Happy Thanksgiving to our friends south-o-the-border... enjoy the dirty bird!
I sat Ondrej Pavelec down last night as I wasn't sure he was ready to face the Red Wings but he made me regret it as he stopped 32 of 33 to help ATL lay a beating on one of the league's best. Pavelec has started 10 of the past 12 and his fine play is starting be get rewarded as he's won his last three and has only give up five goals in total over his last five games.
Patrick O`Sullivan scored in his debut for the Wild last night as he bounced one in off a defender. He played 15 minutes with a little on the PP and lined up mostly with Cullen & Clutterbuck. As we said yesterday, feel free to take a chance on him but realize that it's all or nothing, he'll either catch fire or he'll be in the minors soon.
Derek Stepan was up on the top line for the Rangers again last night, playing 21 minutes, and with 1+1=2 he extended his point streak to five games. He probably won't last in this role but the future is very bright for this kid.
I think Jay snickered at me when I told him we should grab Andreas Nodl as a short-term add in our keeper league... well, so far so good as he scored SH last night and added an assist in only 12 minutes of ice-time and now has 6+4=10 & a plus-8 over his last 12 games... how you like them apples Jay?!?
Another PP assist last night for Kevin Shattenkirk and he has 2+3=5 with points in four straight. I'm going to stop saying that I expect him to be heading back to the AHL soon as he might just decide that he doesn't want to go back.
Tampa's Guy Boucher has finally deviated from his goalie rotation as Mike Smith has started the past three and won four in a row. He's not doing it in style as his numbers are ugly (3.15 & .884) but he's getting the job done as he's now 8-3-0 on the season.
Brian Boyle with another goal last night and he has 10 on the year already. Pretty amazing turn around as he had four in 71 games last season. Not sure if you caught the HNIC profile on him a while back but he really worked on his skating in the offseason and that seems to have helped him a lot.
I've found myself watching parts of a few Panthers games recently and one thing that I will never understand... why do people keep giving Chris Higgins money to play hockey? He's getting regular ice-time and in some key spots too and all this guy does is not score.
While watching that Panthers game, I caught Mark Recchi registering his 1500th point... not too shabby, congrats to him. I don't usually get too worked up about accomplishments based on longevity but I am impressed that Recchi continues to be a decent contributor at this point in his career. He's hitched his wagon to some great young players at the end of his career, Crosby, Stamkos & Seguin... have to give him credit for that, smart man. Back to the fantasy talk, Recchi has 4+5=9 over his last nine games.
R.J. Umberger is not a player that I'm very fond of but he's been rolling lately with 2+7=9 & a plus-7 over a seven game point streak. I will say that you know what you'll get from RJ as he's averaged 50 points over the past three seasons (50, 46, 55).
Marc-Andre Fleury made 30 saves for the shutout win over Buffalo last night and he is 6-0-1 in his last seven games. Even after this hot streak, his sv% is still sub .900 (currently .896), which is an indication of how bad he was to start the year. The Penguins are playing great defensively as Fleury is facing an average of 25.8 shots/60mins and has only seen 30 or more shots in a game in five of his 15 appearances... that's pretty crazy.
I had to drop Valtteri Filppula in a league the other day as if he's not scoring (2+1=3 over his last 12 games) then he's not worth owning as he does virtually nothing in any other categories. I've been patient with this guy over the past few years but I'm starting to wonder if it ain't ever going to click for him... watch, now he'll go on a tear.
It's not going to matter cause he's not going to play but Henrik Karlsson looked pretty solid stopping 20 of 21 for the Flames last night before losing in the shootout. This was his first appearance in 10 games and he'll likely have to wait a while for another one.
Your notable healthy scratches from last night: Jiri Hudler, Erik Karlsson & Nikita Filatov. Expect Karlsson to get a boost from this, the other two have been scratched a few times this year and it hasn't helped them much.
Travis Hamonic was called up by the Islanders and got into his first NHL game last night... we like this kid a lot as he combines some offensive ability with some nasty. In 19 AHL games so far this year he has 2+5=7, 45 PIMs & 42 shots.
The Islanders sent Josh Bailey to the AHL... not surprised at the move but I am surprised at the timing as its's a few years too late as he should have went back to Jr. as a teenager two years ago. He'll be back up shortly but we're not very high on his prospects and given that he's on the Islanders, you can go ahead and drop him.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson is headed back to the AHL.