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Tuesday's Fantasy Hockey News

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A fantasized look at Monday's NHL action

Joel Auerbach

Well, the Cam Talbot bubble finally burst. After an incredible 6-1 run without allowing more than two goals in a game, Talbot let in four on 29 Jets shots last night . There was never a goaltending controversy here - Lundqvist is Lundqvist - but you probably won't see Talbot play two in a row again, like, ever.

Ryan Callahan scored his first goal in nine games. He had an identical eight-game drought last season and still finished on a 27 goal pace, but if you own him you have to be concerned his ice time has dropped by almost three minutes/game compared to the lockout season (18:35 vs. 21:29). Predictably, his shots are suffering too, down from 3.2/game last year to 2.75/game this year. Over 82 games, that amounts to a 37-shot differential, which is not small potatoes.

If you're a regular reader of FHS or our Twitter feed, you know that Ondrej Pavelec is widely abused around these parts (this is because he sucks). But let's give credit where it is due: in his last ten games, Pavs has posted a sub-.900 SV% only twice, while finishing .941 or better seven times. Overall he's sporting some nifty 2.14/ .935 peripherals in that stretch. He stopped 35 of 37 for the W last night. As a Pavelec owner myself, I want to believe.

Other notable Jets: Olli Jokinen (2+1=3, +3, 5 SOG), Devin Setoguchi (1+1=2, 2 hits, 2 blocks), and a special multicat shout out to Jacob Trouba, who blocked an astonishing eight shots to go along with two assists and a couple of hits. Egad.

Over in Jersey, Max Pacioretty continued to roll with his eighth goal in seven games. He has a ridiculous 38 shots in that span.

P.K. Subban had an assist for his sixth point in seven games after a bit of a cold stretch. Actually it was only a three-game pointless streak, but with Subban that feels ice cold. He's on pace for 12+59=71, plus-29, 85 PIM, 258 SOG, 35 PPP, 97 hits and 126 blocked shots. Super shitty.

Carey Price stopped 28 of 30 shots for his fifth straight win, and it's been nine games since he allowed more than two goals in a game.

It appears Josh Harding has fully taken over in Minnesota, as a healthy Nicklas Backstrom backed up for the third consecutive game. This is especially telling because Harding actually lost his last two starts, although he played well in both games. I guess the knock on Harding, or at least his situation, is that Minny doesn't allow many shots against (only 20 last night),. So if your league counts saves, you're out of luck, and if you don't have a strong second goalie, it means Harding's save percentage isn't exactly the best anchor. To better illustrate, consider this breakdown I posted in the comments a few weeks back, when Martin Brodeur had two shutouts in a week, and I was comparing his value to save pigs like Lehner and Andersen, who allowed more goals but also stopped a lot more rubber:

"Yes, Brodeur's SV% was 1.000, but that was based on only 37 saves over his two games.

Meanwhile Lehner stopped 91 of 95 and Andersen, 92 of 96.

So let's say your other goalie was Kari Lehtonen, who stopped 86 of 95 shots for a .905 SV%.

If you combine Lehtonen with each of the other three goalies, here's what you get for the week

Brodeur/ Lehtonen: .917
Lehner / Lehtonen: .931
Andersen / Lehtonen: .932

Brodeur's two shutouts are nice, but he just didn't stop enough pucks to help average down overall SV% when combined with a second goalie seeing a normal workload."

Anyway, it's all just nitpicking when one considers Harding's big picture this year: a 14-4-3-3 record with 1.45/.939 peripherals and three shutouts including last night's 2-0 victory over the Flyers.

Charlie Coyle scored to snap a five-game pointless slide, but you've gotta love his minutes this year, averaging 18:03 TOI and 2:46 PP.

Heard an amazing stat on the Kings' Fox broadcast last night: LA has not allowed a first period goal since Nov. 2 vs. Nashville, a stretch of 13 games. Kings ended up hanging on for a 3-2 win last night.

Tyler Toffoli scored a couple and his ice time and quality of linemates have both diminished since Jeff Carter's return, but this speaks more to LA's depth than Toffoli's readiness. He's going to be a great player for a long time.

Is Mike Richards the most frustrating player to own in fantasy hockey? He's always doing a bit of something but not enough of something else. Last night, two assists, plus-2, two PIM and one shot (see?). Okay, actually a pretty good night and rebound season for Richards. Where are the PIMs overall though? 10 on the year is not enough.

So Jaden Schwartz is kind of on fire. An assist last night and his point streak now sits at seven games (3G, 5A). He's also seen a recent spike in shots, with totals of 3, 3 and 4 in his last three games after 11 games with two shots or less. He's now on pace for 19+39=58, plus-32 and 161 shots. Those are some lofty numbers for a 21 year-old kid averaging 15:23 TOI in a system like Hitchcock's.

Vladimir Tarasenko had a nice night (1+1=2) and considering his ice time (13:47 avg) and, again, Hitchcock's throttle, Vlad is doing alright; on pace for 28+16=44 and 158 shots.

Lastly, Ben Scrivens. Seriously, if Quick comes back and falters, could this job be Scrivens' to lose? Quick's contract will dictate otherwise, but it will be an interesting situation to monitor. Scrivens stopped 25 of 27 and the win improved his record to 7-2-4-2 with  three shutouts and 1.56/.943 peripherals.

Called up: Kevan Miller, Travis Morin, Jason LaBarbera, Mike Hoffman, John Albert
Sent down: Derek Grant, Mark Borowiecki