USA TODAY Sports
A fantasized look at Saturday's NHL action.
If you're looking for help on the wire, Benoit Pouliot is on a bit of a tear with 4+5=9 in nine games. He had two goals and six shots yesterday in a season-high 16:51 TOI, playing on a line with Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis.
The Steven Stamkos mini-slump is officially over. After only two assists in his last five games, Stammer scored on two of his five shots yesterday, and added an assist for emphasis.
Teddy Purcell is on a four-game point streak. He had 1+2=3 for his third three-pointer of the year, and offensively he's been excellent with 15 points in 14 games. He's also plus-6 with five PPP, which makes it a little easier to forget his measly totals in the grit cats.
Since replacing an injured James Reimer three games ago, Ben Scrivens has faced 100 shots and stopped all but four of them. With the shutout last night, Scrivens' record climbs to 3-3-0, but it's the 2.24 GAA and .927 SV% that will really give the warm and fuzzies to his owners.
Craig Anderson took the loss vs. the Leafs, but he wasn't exactly hurting your team, allowing just two goals on 28 shots for a .929 SV%.
Ten games into his season and Pacioretty has yet to score a goal, but he's been chipping in assists regularly and had another two apples last night to get to eight in ten games on the year. He also has 31 shots so expect the goals to start going in soon, although he left yesterday's game with a skate cut to the rib (yikes) and is listed as day-to-day.
Rene Bourque is having a bit of a multi-cat resurgence this season - he had 1+1=2 last night and has goals in consecutive games. His numbers over 14 games are very agreeable: 5+5=10, plus-2, 24 PIM, 39 shots and 21 hits. He's also averaging a career-high 3:31 TOI-PP.
With 7+5=12 in 14 games, Tomas Plekanec is off to an excellent start to the season, and he scored again last night.
Brayden Schenn and Jakub Voracek have really been clicking lately. Each had an assist last night, and Schenn has points in seven of nine games with 3+6=9 in that span, while Voracek is 2+7=9 over his last 10 games. If you can stomach the plus/minus, check to see if these guys had been dropped in your leagues after their cold starts.
I had the fourth overall pick in a couple of single-season drafts this year and went with Claude Giroux. Things should pick up but so far he's put up some mediocre numbers for where he was drafted in most leagues. 3+7=10 in 15 games, and he was held off the scoresheet again last night. He's a combined minus-6 over his last three games. The guy I probably should have drafted is...
...Mr. John Tavares, who put on quite a freaking show last night with a hat trick on six shots and an assist for good measure. Tavares is up to sixth in league scoring, and expect him to be a fixture there for the next decade plus.
Still riding comfortably on JT's coattails is Matt Moulson, as he also had a four point night (1+3) and six shots. That was Moulson's fifth multi-point game of the year and he has 3+4=7 in his last three games.
It seemed like Lubomir Visnovsky was trying every possible angle to avoid playing for the Islanders, first disputing his trade from the Ducks and then hanging out overseas for an extra couple of weeks after the season started. Hopefully you hung on to him as he's looked great on the Isles' PP and has assists in three of four games since deciding to show up at the rink.
More potential waiver wire help for you: Brad Boyes had a couple of helpers last night, and he's been playing regularly with Tavares and Moulson. Boyes has 3+6=9 in his last nine games, and expect the points to keep coming as long as he sticks with the big guns.
If you recall, before the season began we predicted that Viktor Fasth would take over the starting goalie gig for the Ducks and begin his NHL career with eight consecutive wins. Of course, right? Yeah, no. If for some reason Fasth still happens to be an FA in your league, please grab him immediately. He is sporting a filthy 1.78 GAA and .933 SV% after the 3-2 SO win over the Predators last night.
Ladies and gentlemen, Shea Weber is alive! He scored his first of the year last night and has points in consecutive games for the first time this year. Overall his peripherals have been excellent though, with 13 PIM, 38 shots, 31 hits and 29 blocks in 15 games. The goals and assists were bound to come.
Fantasy Line of the Night (as suggested on our Twitter by @BloodonIce) goes to Martin Hanzal, with two goals (one was the GWG on the PP), one assist, plus-1, four shots, two PIM, seven hits and one block. Sorry John Tavares fans...
Keith Yandle snapped a gour-game pointless slide with three assists, and he's up to 1+8=9, 24 PIM and 42 shots in 15 games this year.
With the 5-3 win, Mike Smith's record improved to 5-4-1 on the year, but his .897 / 2.80 peripherals are not what you wanted.
If you've been dressing Jared Boll for the PIM, he gave you a nice surprise last night with 1+1=2 and plus-2 in 8:23 TOI. He is second overall in league PIM with a whopping 65 in 15 games.
Crazy shootout in Edmonton last night, as nine players had multi-point nights. John Mitchell (1+1=2), Matt Duchene (1+2=3), Jamie McGinn (1+2=3) and Tyson Barrie (2A) piled it on for the Avalanche, while Taylor Hall (3A), Jordan Eberle (2G), Ales Hemsky (2G), Sam Gagner (2A) and Ryan Smyth (2A) replied for the Oilers. This was a fun game to watch as the Oilers fired 55(!) shots and scored five straight to come back from a 4-1 deficit. Nikolai Khabibulin was credited with the unlikely win, as he replaced Devan Dubnyk, who allowed three goals on 12 shots.