Taylor Hall with his first career NHL hat trick last night. The trio of goals were all scored on the PP and all in the third period... making it of the natural variety. They give him 20 for the season and he's now on pace for a breakout 53 points. He played 19 minutes with 5:33 on the PP (second highest on the team). Expect a strong finish from Taylor.
Ales Hemsky also had a three point night (1+2=3) and now has 11 points in his last nine games. He's playing at a .92 ppg pace this season.
Blake Wheeler picked up an assist, two PIM's and four shots in his first game as a Thrasher. He played 18 minutes and as we speculated his PP time (2:32) was much higher than his Boston days. I think we'll see a slight rise in his production down the stretch... 40-something point pace. He was playing with Andrew Ladd and Bryan Little for the majority of play yesterday.
Sheldon Souray was put on re-entry waivers yesterday so NHL teams have 48 hours to put a claim in. We can't see GM Steve Tambellini bringing Souray back on the Oilers (although they could really use some help on the PP) so we're guessing there is something in the works. You might want to get a jump on the competition and grab him if you've got an open roster spot in a deep league... just in case he lands in a real good spot.
Al Montoya with the shutout last night. He's only allowed three goals in about 180 minutes with the Isles this season. His career NHL numbers look pretty good (2.16 gaa and a .920 sv% in 8 games before last night) but his AHL numbers are pretty bad. He has a career 2.62 gaa and .906 sv% and this season he's even worse at 3.19 & .891. He could beat the odds and be a useful fantasy goalie but I wouldn't count on it. Roll the dice, if you're feeling lucky.
Matt Moulson is having a better season than he did last year, which surprises me as I was thinking he was a flash in the pan. After two goals last night he has nine points in his last eight games and is on pace for 54 points (up from last year's 48). Just watch out for that plus-minus (-12) though.
John Tavares is on a big tear. Two assists last night give him 37 points and a -2 in his last 31 games. That is one impressive streak.
He may be on pace for just 60 points but Patrik Elias is a player on the rise (like most of his fellow Devils). His three assists last night give him 20 points in 20 games.
Craig Anderson started his first game with the Sens and picked up the 47 save shutout win in the shootout. Wow. Maybe Andy really did just need a change of scenery. Great start by Anderson but we're pretty worried about his prospects the rest of the way when the team in front of him is giving up almost 50 shots.... to the Leafs!
Gotta give a shout out to James Reimer as the kid stopped every shot he faced except for Jason Spezza's shootout goal. Tough loss to take.
Cam Ward has played every minute for the Canes over their last 15 games. That has a lot of value in fantasy leagues but not so much when you only win six of them. I still beleive he's a mid-level fantasy goalie. He just an elite guy.
The Ducks finally had enough of Curtis McElhinney and gave him the hook yesterday in the first after four goals on 11 shots. That's 16 goals in his last seven periods. Timo Pielmeier came in and saved just seven of 12 shots against the Blues. No idea what is going to happen in the Anaheim crease but it looks like the injury to Jonas Hiller could kill their playoff hopes.
At the other end of the rink, Ben Bishop replaced Ty Conklin (after he gave up three goals on five shots). Bishop stopped the next 20 as the Blues rolled to a win. I'd be surprised if the Blues didn't go back to Bishop in their next game.
The Blue picked up nine total goals against the Ducks... so there is lots to talk about...
- New additions Chris Stewart (two PPG) and Kevin Shattenkirk (one PP assist) got on the board with their new club. They were on the 1st PP unit and Stewart was playing with Backes and McDonald while Shattenkirk was paired up with Colaiacovo.
- David Backes had a 1+3=4 with a plus-4... he's got nine points in his last six games now.
- T.J. Oshie has a 2+1=3 with a plus-2... how could we not mention our boy Oshie? He was one of our big breakout picks this season and only injuries prevented that from coming true. He's played at a 63 point pace when he's been healthy.
- Alex Pietrangelo picked up three assists... he's on pace to top 40 points in his (almost) rookie season.
- Andy McDonald had a 2+1=3 with a plus-2... we've been talking him up a lot around here as a great pick up. He is only owned in 26% of Yahoo! leagues yet has scored ten points in eight games since he during from his concussion issues. Get on it people!
- Others of note: Alexander Steen with 1+2=3 and Carlo Colaiacovo with 1+1=2
Antti Niemi has played all but 30 minutes of the last 16 games. The heavy workload isn't bothering him as he shutout the Avs last night stopping all 25 shots.
You have to be encouraged by Ian White's first game with the Sharks. He had the 6th most PP TOI on the team (1:56) and picked up an PP assist. Great flyer in deep leagues.
Devin Setoguchi picked up the hattie last night... in only 14 minutes of action. This guy disappears for long stretches so ride the hot streak if you want, just don't depend on him.
Erik Johnson's first game with the Avs showed us he's going to get leaned on pretty heavily. He lead the team in ice time with a whopping 26:42 and PP TOI with 4:37. No results so far but that extra TOI can only help his production.
Kyle Turris was sent down to the AHL. If you were hoping for Turris to start realizing his potential down the stretch it's time you looked elsewhere.