Fantasy Hockey News for Tuesday

Al Bello

A fantasized look at Monday's NHL action

Nathan MacKinnon had two powerplay goals, both assisted by Paul Stastny, who also scored one of his own. Those two, plus Gabriel Landeskog (1A), have been very effective on the powerplay. Poor Matt Duchene has been stuck with Jamie McGinn and Maxime Talbot if DobberHockey's Frozenpool isn't playing a hilarious joke on Matt Duchene owners.

Erik Johnson is a guy you may want to consider in deeper leagues. He didn't hit the scoresheet tonight but he has ten points in his ten games prior, and he's a bit off-the-radar after a slow start. He's been getting solid powerplay time, although tonight Tyson Barrie had the edge in that department, and he's shooting the puck more than any other Colorado Avalanche blueliner.

Jiri Hudler did not appreciate the Czech management team's assessment of his hockey skills, so he went and scored a goal and an assist.

Mike Cammalleri scored a game-winning powerplay goal, his first point in five games.

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Brandon Dubinsky and James Wisniewski were all about synergy as they set up each others' goals (for those who haven't had coffee yet, that's 1+1=2 each). With Marian Gaborik out long-term, it looks like the top two lines will be Dubinsky-Horton-Anisimov and Umberger-Foligno-Johansen, with the same lines on the powerplay. Both lines can be productive at times, but Ryan Johansen in particular may be coming back down to Earth, going pointless in five of his last six.

Rick Nash called Steve Yzerman and told him to watch last night's game, in which he lit the lamp twice. Unfortunately, Nick Rash is nowhere close to the near-point-per-game player he was last year. An anagram of Rick Nash is Cash Rink, which would be a great name for a hockey player. Anyway, Nash is one of the bubble guys for Team Canada and I can't wait to find out (today!) who makes it and who doesn't.

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John Tavares didn't do much tonight, just a hat trick and two assists. Actually, two of those goals were third period powerplay goals with the game pretty much decided, but they all count. Thirteen points in his last six has vaulted Tavares into third in the NHL scoring race.

This feels like an appropriate time to point out that Canada has eight of the top ten scorers in the NHL right now. We're so stacked that two of those guys (Chris Kunitz and Joe Thornton) are quite possibly going to be left behind.

With Kyle Okposo off being a new father, Ryan Strome played on the top powerplay unit, where he netted his first career NHL goal. People were super excited about Ryan Strome a long time ago, and then they weren't, and now I think they are again. The Islanders are fairly deep at centre and they didn't rush his development, which is nice to see. But the 2011 5th overall pick has proven too talented for the AHL. He scored 33 points in 23 games before the Islanders called him up last month. I don't think they'll send him back down, but you never know.

Four different New York Islanders had double helpers in the win: Thomas Vanek, Casey Cizikas, Andrew MacDonald and Calvin de HaanVanek has 14 points in his last nine games.

Lindy Ruff refused to pull Kari Lehtonen, who let in all seven goals on 43 shots. Rich Peverley had two apples, while Jamie Benn, Valeri Nichushkin and Erik Cole scored.

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I hope you listened to seagull's free agent target advice and grabbed Sean Bergenheim for your deep league. He's playing with some talent in Aleksander Barkov and Brad Boyes (both assisted on Bergenheim's goal). He's scored goals in five of his last six, totalling six goals in that span. Zero assists, mind you.

Barkov, who assisted on Bergenheim's goal, has 2+8=10 over his last nine games.

Can we talk about what a terrible fantasy season Brian Campbell is having? 19 points in 42 games is not bad, but he has really slowed down, with just seven in his last 22. He's second in the entire league in TOI per game and fifth in PPTOI per game, yet there are over a HUNDRED players with more powerplay points than Campbell this season. Moreover, there are 397 players who average more points per 60 minutes. You'd think by sheer chance he'd get a few more second assists. Does anyone who watches Panthers games have an explanation?

Carey Price stopped 26 of 27 pour la victoire, for you Francophones and fans of Big League Manager, the NHL board game created by Canadian journalist Ian Handsomemanthing.

Five-and-a-half hours until I can wake up and find out who I am going to spend the next week complaining about not making Team Canada! See you out there.

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