Weekly Plus - Minus 12/30/08|
Best and worst performances of the week...
By Jason Kasiorek
Daniel Larsson has served notice that he is the real deal. The first year netminder tied a franchise record last week with his second shutout in a row, leaving him with four on the season, good enough for the AHL lead. His red hot December has propelled him into the ranks of the league leaders in wins, goals against average and save percentage. Larsson is also pushing starter Jimmy Howard for playing time and has been the more consistent and spectacular of the two so far, having only lost one game in regulation all season. He easily took the top spot this week despite strong performance from Evan McGrath, Darren Haydar, and Ville Leino among others.
This weeks top three plus and minus performances:
Larsson just keeps getting it done, winning his only start of the week with a shutout, his fourth of the season, and second in a row. The talented Swede appears to have made the adjustment to North America, and now has his sights set on the NHL.
McGrath potted two goals last week, and continues to excel playing on the Griffins hottest line with the two Frankies. The third year center recently saw a six game points streak snapped.
Darren gets this weeks third star for sparking up the Griffins powerplay unit with three points in two games. Captain Haydar also had an even defensive rating on the week, halting a slide that left him at a team worst -14.
Consistency, or lack thereof, the main criticism of Howard, reared its ugly head again this week as he followed up a strong performance last week with a stinker this week. Jimmy gave up four goals including the OT winner on 22 shots and did not look sharp.
Emmerton is fighting his way through a four game scoring drought, and needs to relax and go with the basics. He only has five shots on goal in his last four games despite playing with some world class talent in Darren Haydar and Mattias Ritola and will need to step it up.
Kolosov exhibited some typical rookie growing pains last week. The towering blueliner's defensive errors were made more noticable by his increased ice time, especially on special teams. If he continues to improve at the rate he has the last month, hopefully he will grow into the role and tighten up.