Pulling a switcheroo and filling in for Pope604 today after he helped me out last night. All complaints about quality declines can be directed to me.
As is typical of Tuesdays, a busy NHL schedule necessitates focusing on the outstanding performances and, where possible, bringing you some analysis beyond the boxscore.
Brian Campbell owners, you're going to love this mmm-mmm good stat line: 0G, 0A, 0PIMs, 0Hits, 0SOG, -4. Yes, minus four. And all that in just 23:30 and almost three minutes of powerplay time. The crazy thing is that Campbell is still 79% owned, somehow. Compare that to James Wisniewski, 73%, Justin Schultz, 66%, or Roman Josi, 22%. Clearly, some owners have stopped paying attention.
It was the Boston Bruins' third straight six-goal game, so there are many players worthy of mention, but how about David Krejci? He had a great game: one goal, two assists and +5. You may not have realized that with 45 in 52, he's leading the Bruins and 25th in the league in scoring.
As an aside, I'd watch for a decline in Zdeno Chara. His shooting percentage this season is 11.3%. Compare that to his career average of 6.4%. This is masking the fact that his shot rate is declining: in 2011-12, he took a career-high 264 shots; then 224, then a pro-rated 203, and this year, a pace of 185. Fewer shots means fewer goals, unless one can keep shooting with unsustainably high accuracy. In a keeper league, now is actually a great time to thank Big Z for his services and trade him while he still has the numbers and name-recognition to net a big return.
Nazem Kadri is finding some consistency, with nine points in his last seven games. He scored twice last night on six shots.
Ondrej Palat had two helpers to go along with five shots and six hits. The seventh-round pick is quietly five points back of his undrafted teammate, Tyler Johnson, who is getting much more Calder attention, and sixth in rookie scoring with 29. Seriously, where does Steve Yzerman find these guys?
Scott Hartnell had two goals, one assist, five shots, two hits and one blocked shot. Not bad for thirteen minutes of work, and good to see after he was held to zero points and just two shots over his last two games.
Steve Mason stopped all 33 shots for the shutout. If you predicted the shutout after he let in at least three goals in each of his last six games, please let me know in the comments. Feel free to suggest numbers in tomorrow's lotto 6-49 draw too.
Cam Atkinson broke a four-game slump with a goal and an assist.
James Wisniewski likewise put up one-and-one on four shots. If he stays healthy, watch out, because the only year in his career that he played over 70 games, he scored 53 points. He's on an even better pace now.
Stephane Da Costa scored twice. Still have to think his window of future fantasy relevance is closed, but let me know if you think otherwise. He's 24 and these two goals put him 67% of the way to his NHL career high, set two years ago.
Jason Spezza had a goal and an assist on five shots.
Alex Ovechkin had 2G, 2A, 7SOG and 2Hits, and was not the first star of the game. That honour belonged to Mike Green, who had 2G, 1A, 2PIMs, 5SOG, 2BS. Check out Ovechkin selling the shot before setting up Green for the overtime clincher:
Carey Price stopped all 36 shots he faced, earning a huge shutout for the struggling Habs.
Jaroslav Halak only had to stop 23 shots to get the same result, a flawless victory. Halak it, Halak it a lot.
Alexander Steen bulged the twine once on four attempts. He's not slowing down with 3+4=7 in six games since returning from a concussion.
Michael Del Zotto earned an assist, his first point with the Nashville Predators. Barry Trotz said Del Zotto was going to be "let loose," and while there is much to admire about the Preds' mobile, puck-moving blueline, it is difficult to see Del Zotto putting up great numbers even with the change of scenery. Josi and Weber eat up most of the powerplay time and Jones and Ellis are happy to clean up the leftovers. Del Zotto didn't see a lick with the man advantage last night.
Mark Scheifele scored one, helped out on another, and put up solid peripherals too. Jacob Trouba had another two assists. If he's available in your keeper league, he's a top 50 guy now and maybe a top 10 guy soon, so what are you waiting for? In my league, he's protected as an undrafted under-ager.
Marian Hossa put two tallies through the pipes in a losing effort.
Mikael Backlund answered for the Calgary Flames with two of his own, marking back-to-back two-pointers on the heels of four scoreless games. Lee Stempniak had three assists.
Zach Parise scored a goal and two assists. It's his third game back after breaking his foot. He failed to score in the previous two games.
Mikael Granlund received seven minutes of top powerplay time and made the most of it, scoring a PPG in addition to his even-strength assist. He has a goal and three assists over his last three games.
Antoine Vermette is on fire. His tally last night brought him to six goals in his last five games. By way of contrast, the Los Angeles Kings have five goals in their last five games. They were shutout again last night and have been held to one or zero in nine of their last 15 games. I woudn't be surprised to see them make a move soon.
Can't fail to mention Oliver Ekman-Larsson's two goals. He bumped a five-game pointless drought.
Thomas Greiss, the backup goaltender whose name anagram is Orgasm Heists, certainly stole a big O for the Coyotes last night, earning the shutout on 30 saves. He's 7-3-1 with a .935 save percentage this season. This is the 28 year-old's fifth year in the NHL and it's probably fair to say he should see more starts over the remainder of the season given that Mike Smith, whose numbers haven't been spectacular, leads the league in games and minutes played.