Ramblings: Goalie injuries, Petry and Lee are hot/Marchand not – and more
First, in the spirit of the season, here is some great news. Craig Cunningham will soon be released from hospital and has recovered from what, by the sounds of things, was pretty certain death. Here is a really great story on Cunningham and how he cheated death - I'll admit I got emotional reading it.
Is it in poor taste to segue from that into something like “and speaking of life support, Jack Capuano…”? Yes? Poor taste? Okay. But...but...Cunny's okay now. Still no? Alright.
At this point, an Islander loss wasn’t going to get Capuano fired. Not on December 21 for goodness sake. But a win certainly helps him keep his job after Christmas. And he should be loading up his car with Christmas gifts to take over to Anders Lee’s house. Lee picked up three points and is red hot right now. Lee has 11 goals and 14 points in his last 14 games, easily the hottest player on the team.
Meanwhile, their captain John Tavares has just one assist in five games.
Thomas Greiss stopped 48 of 50 shots and has won five of his last seven starts. Capuano has to know that he’s on the hot seat right now, and it’s pretty clear that Greiss is getting him the wins while the other goalies are not. I think Greiss will start grabbing more of the workload…and Halak owners will be outta luck.
Brad Marchand has 18 points in his last 30 games. Those nine points in four games to start the year really does a nice job of keeping him up among the scoring leaders, eh?
Another game for Juuse Saros, and once again it was a stellar one. His win-loss record may not show, but he’s been awesome so far. His SV% still sits up around .950 and he’s allowed just seven goals in five games.
PK Subban has been partnered up with Mattias Ekholm all season. But Subban has been out for the last three games. Ekholm has three points in those games playing with Matt Irwin. Ekholm has to be Subban’s defensive conscience. So when Subban is out of the mix, Ekholm’s role changes.
#1 28% FIALA,KEVIN - FORSBERG,FILIP - JOHANSEN,RYAN
#2 21.7% RIBEIRO,MIKE - SMITH,CRAIG - WILSON,COLIN
#3 21.2% ARVIDSSON,VIKTOR - FISHER,MIKE - NEAL,JAMES
#4 14.3% JARNKROK,CALLE - SISSONS,COLTON - WATSON,AUSTIN
Kevin Fiala had a big opportunity last night with those linemates, but came up empty. He has just one point in his last seven games. Overall, he’s on pace for 23 points, but my guess is that he gets 30 to 35. He’s a potential top sixer, but I’m not comfortable with him as a prospect. He could click on that big line (be it this year, or two years from now) and become a 70-point guy. Or he could be a third-line energy guy.
Coach Peter Laviolette could have played Reid Boucher against his old teammates, but elected not to. Usually a coach would do that for his player. Seems a little odd.
I wish I had an answer for you about Cory Schneider. All I know is that he’ll log a ton of games because the Devils will turn to him even after he goes 0-65-2. He’s a ‘buy low’ candidate for sure, in keeper leagues.
The high-octane offense of the Rangers hit a wall and the high-octane offense of the Penguins hit them hard – 47 shots on Antti Raanta and seven of them went in. The offense was spread out pretty well for the Penguins (except for Conor Sheary, of course, since I own him) – including Chris Kunitz snapping a six-game pointless drought. Kunitz had exactly 40 points last year and exactly 40 the year before that. This season his pace is for 39 points.
And the new Kunitz is Bryan Rust, though Rust doesn’t hit as much. Rust picked up a pair of points and lookie who his linemates are:
#1 26.6% HORNQVIST,PATRIC - KUNITZ,CHRIS - MALKIN,EVGENI
#2 24.3% CROSBY,SIDNEY - RUST,BRYAN - SHEARY,CONOR
#3 19.8% BONINO,NICK - HAGELIN,CARL - KESSEL,PHIL
#4 16.7% CULLEN,MATT - FEHR,ERIC - WILSON,SCOTT
Also of note – the HBK line is back together and that can only mean good things for Bonino.
Rick Nash was out of the Rangers lineup and Michael Grabner was inserted on his line in his place. Grabner had just two points in 12 games heading into last night, but scored thanks to the uptick in linemates.
Two more goals for Cam Atkinson, whom I’ve been trying to acquire for the last three weeks in two different leagues (I already own him in my third league). I wish he’s stop for a second so I can get these deals done. He’s not helping with his constant “score this” and “assist that”. Stop! Geez, he even scored in the shootout.
Meanwhile, another Montreal defenseman – Shea Weber – has zero points in his last 10 games.
And while we’re at it, Alexander Radulov is pointless in four. When 13 of his 23 points have come when playing with Alex Galchenyuk, you have to be concerned about Radulov’s inability to produce while Galchenyuk is injured.
Jonathan Drouin has points in seven of his last eight games, with 10 points in that span and five of them while on the power play. He’s doing this while playing with Valtteri Filppula and Brian Boyle. This hot streak suddenly makes Boyle an interesting short-term option. He has four points in his last four games and has taken 15 shots on goal in that span. Generally speaking he takes about 1.5 shots per game, so this uptick is clearly the influence of Drouin.
Ben Bishop had to leave the game with an injury….
And Bishop wasn’t the only goalie to leave that game. Here’s Jimmy Howard…
I’m not doctor, but the Howard one looked very serious. So maybe we see Bishop back after the break, but Howard could be gone for quite a while.
Semyon Varlamov returned. He played well (31 saves, 33 shots), but the Avalanche still lost. Calvin Pickard failed to steal the top job while Varly was out. It was a long shot any way, to steal it so soon given that Varlamov is signed to big money for two more years after this one. But Pickard didn’t even leave an impression and in fact he drove his SV% down below Varlamov’s. So now the numbers don’t even favor the youngster.
The Wild have won eight games in a row. The Blue Jackets are 11-0-1 in their last 12. Looks like the ‘other’ expansion teams have finally arrived.
For Devan Dubnyk, he picked up his fifth shutout already. As long as Bruce Boudreau is there, Dubnyk is looking at some pretty sweet numbers. He also stays relatively healthy, making him a top fantasy goalie in all formats.
Don’t look now, but Bobby Ryan has a five-game points streak. Back from the dead! Figures that he’s going again now that he’s back with Kyle Turris. The Sens go and acquire Derick Brassard to be Bobby Ryan’s centerman because Brassard shoots left. And they never clicked. And now Ryan is back with the right-handed guy and it’s working.
Consistency – or lack thereof. But at least there’s a pattern (sarcasm!). Here are Jake Allen’s goals allowed over the last five games, starting with last night’s contest: 2, 5, 2, 5. He’s not stringing the quality starts together. It’s too random right now, which makes it very tough for those in daily leagues. You’re almost guaranteed to sit him at the wrong time and dress him at the wrong time.
Robby Fabbri left the game with an injury, but later returned though he seemed to be playing through some discomfort so we shall see what becomes of that.
Jaromir Jagr ties Mark Messier on all-time points list:
- Ramblings: Big Rig Keeps on Trucking (Jan 15)
- GRamblings: Grubauer, Guentzel, Granlund, Grabner, Greenway, Gagner and Gmore (GJan 16)
- Top 10 first half surprises (and can they keep it up?)
- Fastest Rising Forward Prospects (January 2017)
- Ramblings: Capitals and Penguins Pour on the Gravy (Jan 17)
- Western Conference All-Disappointment Team (Jan 2017)
- Saturday's best bets for NHL victories - January 14 2017
- Fantasy Hockey Podcast: Ghost Busted