This is getting epic for Drew Stafford as he potted his fourth hat-trick in his past 21 games yesterday and has 18+5=23 during that stretch. He's on pace for 40 goals this year in only 64 games and I think the fact that he missed 18 games is causing his phenomenal breakout season to get less air time (a few more assists would help as well)... his per82 game pace is 51+23=74 with 251 shots.
Tyler Ennis had an assist on each of Stafford's goals yesterday and the two of them have been teaming up nicely lately as Ennis has 3+11=14 in his last 11 games. Ennis could be making a late charge to get himself into Calder consideration as he's now tied for fourth in rookie points (33) and should overtake Taylor Hall shortly.
The real darkhorse ROY candidate to watch out for is Michael Grabner as he matched Stafford's hat-trick yesterday to give him 9+2=11 during a five game goal streak and that moves him into a tie with Couture in goals by a rookie. He's been on a tear for a while with 15+6=21, plus-13 & 61 shots over his last 15 games and what's even more impressive is that he's virtually doing it all at ES as he only has two PPPs on the season.
Joining Grabner on a pretty effective 2nd line for the Islanders right now is Kyle Okposo & Frans Nielsen... Okposo has 2+5=7 over his last seven and Nielsen is 1+7=8 & plus-9 over his last five games.
FHS favourite Joe Pavelski is picking it up with 3+10=13 & a plus-6 over his last 12 games... just like Kent Wilson at Hockey Prospectus said in a great piece about guys who are having shit luck this year.
Nice fantasy night for Andrew Ladd as he had 2G, four PIMs & eight shots but like a lot of the Thrashers his game has gone downhill lately as he has 9+4=13 over his last 28 games after 10+19=29 in his first 29 games.
Travis Hamonic with another big fantasy performance with 1A, plus-2, 12 PIMs & three shots... and, yes, Jay & I had him on the bench all week. That's now 2+5=7, 29 PIMs & 15 shots over his last seven games and while I've always been high on his upside, let's not get carried away here... this is what Dobber wrote this morning...
[Hamonic] looks as though he can be a 50-plus point, 80-plus PIM defenseman. Next year look for 40/90 and then over a couple of years bump the points upward and the PIM downward.
I think 40 points from Hamonic next year is extremely optimistic but this is coming from the guy who thought Karlsson, Subban and McBain would all top 50 points this season (and that's not even the worst of it). Everyone makes some bad predictions but we try to keep them realistic.
Lost in all the goals the Islanders have been scoring lately is how terrible their goaltending is, Mikko Koskinen gave up four goals on 14 shots before being pulled yesterday and has yet to allow less than three goals in a game yet and then uber-bust Al Montoya came in and gave up two goals on 14 shots but picked up the victory. Montoya is a bad AHL goalie, let alone a decent NHL option so don't go anywhere near him.
Matt Duchene scored on Saturday but I hadn't realized how bad things had become for him (despite owning him in two leagues) as he's now 3+1=4 & minus-8 over his last 13 games... minor detour on his rocket-ship to the stars.
The LA Kings have shook up the line combos lately and keep an eye on Wayne Simmonds as he's landed on the top line with Kopitar (& Handzus) and has 3A in his first two games in that role.
Tyler Seguin responded after being a healthy scratch for two games with a goal yesterday... I still don't think that he'll help you too much down the stretch as I don't see him getting much playing time.
Another pair for Bobby Ryan and he has has 12+5=17 over his last 14 games and while we were looking for a little more growth from him, in this his third full season, he's right around the 65 point pace (with a bunch of PIMs) that he finished with last season.
Ducks rookie Brandon McMillan scored last night to extend his goal streak to three and point streak to four. I'm not going to recommend him as I don't think he has a lot of upside but he's playing regularly on the 3rd line (around 15 mpg) and has worked his way onto my radar.
Zac Dalpe was recalled by the Hurricanes and was in the lineup yesterday but only saw six minutes of ice-time... he's tied for the rookie scoring lead in the AHL with 16+20=36 in 35 games.
The healthy scratches of note from yesterday were: Steven Kampfer, Michael Del Zotto & Nikolay Zherdev.