Ramblings: Luongo Goes Down, Ellis Hurt, Iginla/Vanek/Filppula debut and more.
Last night was a night for starting your stud goaltenders. Goalies who allowed two goals or less last night:
Braden Holtby (shutout)
Sergei Bobrovsky (shutout)
Roberto Luongo (0)
James Reimer (1)
Cory Schneider (1)
Henrik Lundqvist (1)
Carey Price (1)
Devan Dubnyk (1)
Steve Mason (1)
Craig Anderson (1)
Aaron Dell (1)
Calvin Pickard (2)
Pekka Rinne (2)
Tuukka Rask (2)
Jonathan Quick (2)
Did anyone make any headway in the goalie categories?
A few goaltending notes:
Luongo had to leave after one period nursing an injury and it sounds like he will miss some time.
Tom Rowe says Roberto Luongo out a week but it could be longer. He apparently aggravated condition midway through 1st; played through it.— George ?Richards (@GeorgeRichards) March 3, 2017
There are indications that this is related to an injury he has been nursing for a while, related to his injury from last season. Alarm bells! Lots of them. Not only is Reimer playing better than Luongo but he is much younger and is not nursing year-long hip ailments. You know who carries injuries over for extended periods of time? Old people. Luongo turns 38 in a month. Hmmm…
In one-year leagues, you should be safe but you should also have the Reimer handcuff because he’s been really good and gets enough starts to be valuable in his own right but also for the insurance policy. Reimer is still available in 61% of leagues. He could be an upgrade for teams in a lot of them. Whether you’re a Luongo owner or not, Reimer should be considered. He could be the only option in net for the first week or two of fantasy playoffs.
Pickard has been very productive for going on two months now. I am absolutely cherry-picking here but in his last 14 starts, Pickard has posted a quality start in 10 of them. That’s a better rate of return than Carey Price over that same stretch. His numbers: 4-9-1, 2.43 GAA, 0.926 SV%. Not too many wins, but there’s productive peripherals there. I don’t know that you have the stomach for rolling the Avalanche goalie out there but he has been very good.
Back-to-back wins for Steve Mason. Do I dare jump back on the bandwagon?
Check out Radek Faksa with one of the most creative plays you can make on the ice, mostly because he makes the play off of it:
Faksa is an awesome player. Definitely coming into his own in his second year in the league. He was highly-touted in his draft year, eventually going as a lottery pick. Faksa isn’t fantasy relevant now but he’s challenging for 40 points as a 23-year-old sophomore. I wonder if he can challenge for 60 by his fourth season. Worth keeping an eye on.
Bad news for rotisserie-leaguers, Antoine Roussel may be lost for the year:
Ruff: not good news on Roussel. Going to be awhile, possibly rest of season.— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) March 3, 2017
He never did get a spin at the wheel as the net-front man for the Stars and now he may never get the chance. Now we turn our attention to Jiri Hudler and Patrick Sharp, neither of whom are particularly appealing.
Hudler got off to a hot start sans-Eaves but has gone scoreless in back-to-back games. Too many false starts with Hudler for me to get excited.
Sharp seems too banged up. They couldn’t trade him because of this injury that has been nagging him. Despite the nice assist you saw above, I don’t trust Sharp enough to invest.
Ales Hemsky returned to the lineup but only skated 10 minutes. He could be an intriguing option if he gets up to full speed.
Josh Ho-Sang finally got to make his debut for the Islanders. He skated 17:30 on the second line with Brock Nelson and Andrew Ladd. He also saw some secondary power play time. No points and two SOG. That’s a pretty good opportunity for Ho-Sang but he’ll need to make an impact to stick around.
Ho-Sang has scored 36 points in 48 games at the AHL level in his first pro season. That’s a good start. I wouldn’t necessary expect him to stick at the NHL but he’s off to a good start. Read more about Ho-Sang here.
Since the All-Star break, Ryan Strome has 14 points in 15 games, which is awesome but over the past eight games, the scoring has been erratic. He has two three-point efforts mixed in with six goose eggs. That’s classic unreliability. If Strome were so good that you were willing to ride out these fits and starts then it would be fine, but we’re approaching fantasy playoffs and Strome is likely on your waiver wire or he’s the last guy on your bench. By all means, scoop him up if you need a spark, especially against a friendly matchup like the Stars but I’d try to avoid using him as a lineup regular. I don’t trust him.
David Pastrnak, ladies and gentlemen, he’s a beauty:
What an insane play from Pastrnak pic.twitter.com/xZHQWuMJSL— Marina Molnar (@mkmolnar) March 3, 2017
One lost piece in the Kevin Shattenkirk deal: Zach Sanford getting dealt to St. Louis means that Jakub Vrana has a lineup spot alongside Brett Connolly and Lars Eller. Not the best spot, but he can make the most of it on this team, especially with secondary PP time. He scored the lone goal and had four SOG.
Whenever Andre Burakovsky returns, Vrana will probably be back out of the lineup but it’s amazing that the Capitals have him as an ace up their sleeve. I bet Vrana scores a big goal for them at some point during the playoffs.
It’ll likely be a couple of years before Vrana is fantasy relevant, unless he can leap past Burakovsky on the pecking order to fill in for Justin Williams (or TJ Oshie) who will presumably be gone this summer. Someone worth keeping an eye on. Read more on Vrana here.
Ryan Ellis kept his hot streak going with his 11th goal on the season but later left the game with a lower-body injury that did not look good. The play itself looks innocuous but he had to be all but carried off after:
The Predators had finally gotten healthy and were rolling over teams. There’s no replacing Ellis’ 24+ minutes a night. No update on his injury but it sure seems like he’s going to miss extended time.
If only this had happened a couple of days ago, the Predators could have found a replacement. Now Yannick Weber is going to be called onto the top pairing and to skate some secondary PP minutes.
Check out the Panthers’ lines from Thomas Vanek’s debut:
#1 26.8% JOKINEN,JUSSI - SMITH,REILLY - TROCHECK,VINCENT
#2 18.6% BARKOV,ALEKSANDER - HUBERDEAU,JONATHAN - JAGR,JAROMIR
#3 14.9% BJUGSTAD,NICK - MARCHESSAULT,JONATHAN - VANEK,THOMAS
#4 6.7% MACKENZIE,DEREK - SCEVIOUR,COLTON - THORNTON,SHAWN
Vanek was held scoreless in 15:31 but did fire five SOG. He skated on the Vincent Trocheck PP unit in place of Nick Bjugstad. You can’t really number the Panthers’ PP units because they split time evenly.
Bjugstad was told to kick rocks, in term of PP time, so his middling fantasy value is further dimished.
Also check out the Flyers’ lines from Valtteri Filppula’s debut:
#1 22.7% COUSINS,NICK - COUTURIER,SEAN - READ,MATT
#2 21.6% GIROUX,CLAUDE - SIMMONDS,WAYNE - WEAL,JORDAN
#3 21.6% FILPPULA,VALTTERI - SCHENN,BRAYDEN - VORACEK,JAKUB
#4 11.5% BELLEMARE,PIERRE-EDOUARD - LYUBIMOV,ROMAN - VANDEVELDE,CHRIS
That is a great spot for Filppula. Ultimately, he isn’t going to see top unit PP time and this team is dog shit at 5-on-5 so we can’t think of Filppula gaining relevance beyond deep formats. Also, he may have been better off in Tampa Bay skating a bunch of shifts with Jonathan Drouin but Brayden Schenn and Jakub Voracek are solid linemates. And maybe, just maybe, Filppula can provide the kick in the ass that Philadelphia needs to start scoring at even strength.
Fun Filppula fact:
Filppula's 1.83 Points/60 at 5-on-5 is higher than every single Flyer this season.— Stephen Laidlaw (@SteveLaidlaw) March 1, 2017
So yeah, Philly needed some help. Filppula just happened to score the lone goal for the Flyers last night. Imagine that.
Schenn, meanwhile, extended his scoring streak to seven games. This team is ice cold but he continues to produce, thank goodness.
And the Senators’ lines with Alex Burrows debuting:
#1 19% DZINGEL,RYAN - PAGEAU,JEAN-GABRIEL - PYATT,TOM
#2 17.7% HOFFMAN,MIKE - SMITH,ZACK - TURRIS,KYLE
#3 15% BRASSARD,DERICK - BURROWS,ALEXANDRE - STONE,MARK
#4 13.3% KELLY,CHRIS - STALBERG,VIKTOR - WINGELS,TOMMY
Great spot for Burrows. Mark Stone is a beast. Burrows potted two goals in his debut. I wonder if he’ll be one of the guys who gets a big bump just from playing with a new team.
Pulkkinen scored a goal, his second of the season but only skated 10:55, with secondary PP time. I’d bet against him becoming fantasy relevant but he’s clearly getting a better shot than at any other stop in his career.
I am more intriguing by the potential of Dvorak and Domi. Dvorak needs to entrench himself alongside Domi because Clayton Keller and Dylan Strome are coming at some point.
Dvorak has looked good in the second half of his rookie season, with 10 points in 15 games since the All-Star break. He has spent much of that time centering Brendan Perlini and Shane Doan, which is okay, but his upside goes up if skating with Domi.
Domi, by the way, has six points in his last six games.
Radim Vrbata’s 10-game scoring streak came to a close.
Kopitar scored just his seventh goal of the season, giving him four points in the last four games. He has picked up the pace again, ever since Tyler Toffoli was taken off his line. Explain that one to me. We might have to start calling Kopitar “The Curator” because of how much success he’s had carting washed up guys like Gaborik this season. Then again, it’s not like he’s made Gaborik relevant again so squash any thoughts that he’s going to get Iginla going. The Curator can dress them up and put them on display but he can’t bring them back to life.
Ondrej Pavelec declares himself healthy enough to return:
"I would say I'm 100 per cent healthy."— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) March 2, 2017
Ondrej Pavelec discusses his road back from injury. pic.twitter.com/Z3sSmDXUTw
I would declare him too incompetent to return but that might be too harsh. After all the good goaltending from last night, we need someone willing to give up three goals in EVERY start.
If you haven’t read enough trade deadline content, I wrote up a recap of the deadline moves for the Puck Daddy blog.
Thanks for reading. You can follow me on Twitter @SteveLaidlaw.
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