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Fantasy Hockey News for Tuesday

A fantasized look at Monday's NHL action

Victor Decolongon

The Vancouver Canucks have John Tortorella back (don't push him - but do click that link if you haven't seen the autotuned gem yet) and are relatively healthy up front again, but that didn't help the team do anything useful in fantasy or real hockey. Their best player was Eddie Lack, but the team got no goals in support.

Both Red Wings goals went to Justin Abdelkader; one was a powerplay empty netter. The points haven't been piling up for Abdelkader despite a cushy post on the top line with Henrik Zetterberg and Gustav Nyquist. But he's on the top powerplay now too and he's launched 35 shots over his last 10 games. He may be worth a look in deeper pools. Nyquist, on the other hand, has 8+5=13 over his last nine and probably isn't available in your league, especially after being named as Johan Franzen's replacement on Sweden's Olympic team (a.k.a. Mostly the Detroit Red Wings).

Zetterberg's assist brings him to 48 points in 43 games, quietly on pace for his best season since 2006-07, when he ate only kale and had 92 points.

Jonas Gustavsson left after the first period with dizzyness, so neither he nor Jimmy Howard got the shutout. Howard was credited with the win, along with 16 saves.

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Sidney Crosby stretched his goalless drought to five games. I wouldn't worry about it. James Neal had better luck and busted his eight-game goalless drought with a huge overtime winner. More importantly, he put six pucks on the net. Nice to see that after getting just one shot in each of his last two games. The Penguins need him to shoot the puck, and so do fantasy owners.

I watched a bit of this game. I thought both goalies were great. Marc-Andre Fleury earned the win, but Craig Anderson stopped 46 of 48.

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David Perron had two helpers and recently-acquired Matt Hendricks got the short-handed game winner for the Oilers in a battle of the statistically-worst team in each conference (the other being the Sabres, of course).

Christian Ehrhoff peppered 10 shots on net, along with three hits and four PIMs, but was a minus-2.

Ilya Bryzgalof stopped 42 of 44 pour la victoire.

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The line of Ryan Johansen, Nathan Horton and Boone Jenner is on fire. As far as I can tell, the line was put together three games ago, and the trio has combined for 12 points since then. This is bad news for Brandon Dubinsky owners, as he's partnered up with Cam Atkinson and Matt Calvert (not terrible, but everyone's probably looking forward to Marian Gaborik's return).

Not a part of either of the above lines, Nick Foligno still scored two goals. He's one of my favourite Folignos.

Sergei Bobrovsky was the number one cop on the force last night, stopping 34 of 36 in the win. This is just one of several highlight-reel sequences:

The Blue Jackets are an exciting team. They're young, they're scoring (tied for seventh in the league), and they're winning (holding down a playoff spot as of this morning). As for Boone Jenner, the internet will neither confirm nor deny my suspicion that he is Kylie Jenner's older brother.

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Even with a three-goal outburst last night, the Los Angeles Kings have scored just six goals over their last seven games. Anze Kopitar has scored four of those goals and assisted on the other two. Honestly, where is this guy's Hart trophy talk? Or Selke, for that matter.

Tyler Toffoli was moved up to the top line alongside Kopitar and Jeff Carter. He responded with a goal and an assist. That broke a FIFTEEN game pointless drought. Despite that drought, he has 19 points in 38 games.

Patrick Kane found out about his grandfather's passing just two hours before the game, and proceeded to score two goals and an assist.

Two-point nights also belonged to forwards Patrick Sharp and Jonathan Toews, and defenceman Nick Leddy.

* * *
P.A. Parenteau scored to give himself a point in each of his two games following a stint as a healthy scratch in Patrick Roy's books.

Tyson Barrie's assist brought his point streak to five games. He played a season-high 23:07 and is manning the top powerplay unit. Add the 22 year-old if there is any way he's available, keeper league or not.

Ryan O'Reilly scored to extend his point streak to four games. He's on pace for a career-best 62 points, although he is scoring on an unsustainable 15.7% of his shots.

Nathan MacKinnon's assist gives him a streak of five games, his longest of the season.

Not to be outdone, Gabriel Landeskog's assist gives him a six-game point streak. I really could have saved everyone some time and just said all of the good players on the Avalanche are on four, five or six-game point streaks.

* * *
Matt Nieto lit the lamp twice and added two PIMs, three shots and one shot block. That busted a seven-game scoring drought.

Claude Giroux had a goal and two assists. That's eight points in his last four games as he inches ever closer to the point-per-game mark. I have no doubt he will surpass it, which is remarkable when you consider what an awful start he had.

Brayden Schenn had four shots and six hits in 16:07. He's scoreless in five games now. I remember a time when he was playing for the Adirondack Phantoms and was touted as the "best player not in the NHL." I think expectations have to be dialed back a bit now, if they haven't been already. On the other hand, he seems to have been around so long, it's easy to forget that he's only 22. Next year will effectively be his fourth year in the NHL. Maybe he's due for the magical fourth year breakout?