Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports
A fantasized look at Saturday's NHL action.
After a five-game pointless skid, Ilya Kovalchuk is back on track with consecutive multi-point games. Last night he had two powerplay assists along with three shots and a plus-1.
Adam Henrique had a goal on two shots and he's scored in three straight games. He's been excellent since coming back from injury, with 4+1=5 in six games. He also spent 6:16 on the powerplay last night - a great sign for his owners - and his goal was both a PPG and GWG.
Bobby Butler had been mostly unnoticeable in his first three games with the Devils, averaging about seven minutes TOI. Last night he played 12:43, with over half that time spent on the powerplay, and came out of it with a PPG and PPA. No reason to run out and grab him in most cases, but he could be of some use in deep leagues if the PP time keeps up.
Winning his third straight was Martin Brodeur, and he remains ageless with a 6-1-2 record and decent 2.29 GAA / .911 SV% peripherals to start the season.
After three games as a healthy scratch, Joe Corvo returned and busted out for 1+1=2 and seven shots in 20:10 TOI. Justin Faulk hasn't quite been getting it done on the powerplay (one PPP in nine games), so we may see Corvo used a bit more there. Or, more likely, he will fade back into fantasy obscurity.
Brayden Schenn and Jakub Voracek found some nice chemistry together, combining for a couple of goals. Schenn finished plus-3 with 1+2=3 for his first multi-pointer of the year, while Voracek's 1+1=2 was also his first multi-point game this year.
With seven shots last night, Jeff Skinner moved up to sixth overall in SOG with 46. He scored his sixth goal in 10 games, and has at least a point in all but one game this year.
Pavel Datsyuk ended a three-game pointless slide with a PPG, a PPA and four shots. That's his fifth multi-pointer in 11 games and overall he has 4+8=12 , a plus-5 and four powerplay points this year. Like clockwork.
Jimmy Howard was back in net for the Red Wings and he halted his personal two-game losing streak by stopping 22 of 23 shots for the win. Overall this year, Howard has not been good at all. 2,86 GAA and .897 SV%.
In his first game of the year, Nikolai Khabibulin looked good in stopping every even-strength shot he faced. He also did what he's done best for the last few years: lose.
Mike Smith and Antti Niemi owners went home happy after the two goalies shared a shutout. Smith took the W in he skillz comp, but so far this year it has been unsafe to rely on Phoenix's normally airtight systems to prop up Smith. Even with yesterday's goose egg factored in, an .888 SV% and 3.43 GAA are not what you signed up for.
Joel Ward had 1+1=2, but those are his first points in five games, so he's cooled off quite a bit since that hot start.
Reports of Alex Ovechkin's demise have been exaggerated. With a goal last night he has scored in two straight and has a four-game point streak going. He's fired 27 shots over his last five games, so I guess someone reminded him about those two Hart trophies.
Mathieu Perreault had his first points of the year with 1+1=2 in 12:40 TOI.
Mike Ribeiro had an assist to keep his point streak alive at four games, and he's having a great year overall with 4+10=14, 14 PIM and eight PPP in 12 games. You'll always have to put up with low shot totals from Ribeiro (15 so far), but he has a way of making up for it.
Dion Phaneuf broke out big time with a PPG, a PPA, plus-1 two PIM, two SOG, five hits and one block. These were his first points since opening night on January 19th. Unbelievable.
James van Riemsdyk is working out nicely for the Leafs, as he had 1+1=2, plus-2 and four SOG. That's seven goals on 38 shots ever his last ten games.
Phil Kessel has rewarded patient owners lately, with six points in his last three games. He had 1+2=3 last night.
Leo Komarov scored his first NHL goal, but what's really worth noticing is his hit total: three more last night to take him to 43 on the season, good for third in the NHL. He also has 14 shots and eight blocks over 12 games, and if you're in a deep multi-cat league he is starting to look pretty interesting.
Bad night to own a Panther as they finished a collective minus-20. Braden Holtby with the 5-0 shutout.
Bad night to own a Hab as they finished a collective minus-20. Yep. James Reimer with the 6-0 shutout.
What the hell is in Thomas Vanek's water bottle? Another two points last night and he has at least a point in all but one of 11 games so far, with six of those being multi-point games. Including two five point games. Crazy town.
With a couple of helpers last night, Cody Hodgson brings his breakout season totals to 5+7=12 and 33 SOG in 12 games.
Brian Elliott in 2011-12: .940 SV%, 1.56 GAA. Brian Elliot in 2013: .864 SV%, 3.30 GAA. Hero, zero, etc. Regressed Bed-Shitters Anonymous. Hitchcock made it clear after the game that if Jaroslav Halak can't go on Monday, it will be 22 year-old Jake Allen getting the start.
Fantasy line of the night goes to Bobby Ryan, as he exploded for 2+2=4, plus-3, three shots, three hits and three blocks. This ended a three-game pointless slide but overall he has 4+7=11 in his last eight games.
Teemu Selanne was really clicking with Ryan - the One Who Does Not Age had 1+3=4 and he's up to 14 points in 11 games now. Plus-6 too.
David Backes has been coming on a bit lately and he had 1+1=2, 4 shots, two PIM, one hit, three blocks and a plus-1 last night. He has 2+4=6 and 20 PIM in six games.
Alexander Steen had a nice night too with 1+2=3 and he has points in four of five.
Five Canucks had two-point nights in their 5-1 drubbing of the Flames. Jordan Schroeder scored his first two NHL goals, and he's averaged 3:27 TOI-PP since being called up, so opportunity is presenting itself.
Kevin Bieksa and Alexander Burrows both finished 1+1=2, while the Sedin Bros. had identical two-assist performances and beards.
Cory Schneider started his second in a row and stopped 29 of 30 shots for the win. In six games this year he has four wins with a .2.36 GAA and .921 SV%. With Roberto Luongo sporting a.1.53 GAA and .940 SV%, it would appear the Canucks goaltending "controversy" is having no ill effects on either goalie's performance, much to the collective dismay of the Vancouver media.