November 30, 2013
Time is running out to sign up for the free one-day fantasy hockey challenge at Draftstreet.com. You have until 2pm on Saturday to get your rosters in to win $500 and did I mention it's free to join? The winner also takes home Dobber's Midseason guide, which is well worth the effort. I'm already signed up, are you???
It was a busy schedule on Friday because of American Thanksgiving and the action got started before noon as the Flyers beat the Jets 2-1. The big news out of that one wasn't the scoreline, as Evander left the contest with a lower-body injury and did not return. If Kane is out for any substantial amount of time it will be a big low to the fantasy hockey world, as the young Jet is one of the more versatile players around. He can help you greatly in points, shots and hits, so let's hope he returns to the ice sooner rather than later.
As far as the game itself goes, the lone bright spot for the Jets was Ondrej Pavelec's 32 save performance in a losing cause. The knock on Pavelec so far in his career has been his consistency, but he has now strung three straight starts together where he has posted no worse than a .941 save percentage. Let's see how long he keeps this going.
Sean Couturier played nearly 23 minutes, which was a season high, and picked up a goal to give him five points in his last six games. He's become more of a defensive player in that Philly lineup, but if he can pick it up offensively a bit he would become a nice fantasy asset.
Matt Read also saw over 22 minutes, but don't be fooled as more than six of those came in shorthanded situations. He's seeing minimal power play time, which is unfortunate.
Brad Marchand had his first multi-point game of the season on Friday as the Bruins took down the Rangers 3-2. His goal and an assist came in just over 14 minutes of action, which was the lowest ice-time he has seen in a couple weeks. Perhaps the strong effort earns him some more minutes going forward.
Zdeno Chara had quite the day with a goal and a helper to go along with seven PIM, two shots and a block. However, the most encouraging part of his day might be the fact that he finished plus-2. Chara is currently sporting a minus-1 rating for the campaign and was minus-3 over his previous three games. Very un-Chara like.
Carl Hagelin is an interesting option right now from the Rangers. His assist against Boston gave him points in two straight games and he has been around 16 minutes a night in that span. The previous couple of weeks he was seeing closer to 12-13 minutes.
Pittsburgh shutout Tampa Bay 3-0 and until Friday the Lightning had been doing a decent job of finding the back of the net minus Steven Stamkos.
On the brightside, JT. Brown had four shots and three hits. He won't get you many points, but Brown has 15 shots in the last four games and seems to be getting respectable minutes with Stamkos out of the lineup.
The usual suspects were at it for the Pens with Sidney Crosby getting three assists and Chris Kunitz added two goals, while Marc-Andre Fleury picked up the shutout.
Kris Letang followed up his three-point performance on Wednesday with an assist against the Lightning. With Paul Martin on the shelf, Letang is going to receive major minutes.
The Islanders continue to struggle and were blanked 5-0 by the Red Wings on Friday. Kevin Poulin gave up five goals and saying he hasn't exactly been the answer in goal since Evgeni Nabakov went down would be putting it nicely. Although he isn't getting much help.
Detroit was powered by two goals each from Daniel Alfredsson and Darren Helm. Knock on wood, but Helm looks to finally be healthy and has eight points in eight games.
And if Helm wants to stay healthy he might want to avoid plays like this. Even though he scored.
Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson are a very underrated pair of defensemen in Motown. The two combined for three points and a plus-6 rating against the Isles.
Anaheim recalled goalie Frederik Andersen and he helped the Ducks to a 5-2 win over Calgary on Friday.
Dustin Penner continues to be unreal for the Ducks. He scored twice more against the Flames and now has five goals in his last three contests. Penner got over 21 minutes of ice after not evening hitting 20 minutes in a game so far this season. The only downside of Penner's play is that it's making it very difficult for me to make any more pancake jokes about him.
The Flames are banged up at forward and David Jones seems to be taking advantage. He potted two against Anaheim and has four points in four games. He's worth a short-term look at the moment.
The Sharks downed the Blues 6-3 and Brent Burns had three goals and an assist. He's so valuable in leagues that still have him eligible as a defenseman.
Joe Thornton and Logan Couture also chipped in with three points each, while Tomas Hertl had a goal and a helper.
Justin Braun and Brad Stuart deserve an honorable mention for combining for a whopping 15 blocked shots against the Blues.
Brian Elliott was supposed to be giving Jaroslav Halak the night off, but that changed when Elliott gave up four goals on just 12 shots. Halak has cemented that No. 1 job in St. Louis now.
Jaden Schwartz continues to roll and is starting to look like the sleeper he was advertised as before the start of the season. His two points against the Sharks now give him a six game point streak.
Patrik Berglund hasn't scored in two months and is stuck on one goal for the campaign. Even in Ken Hitchcock's system you would think he could muster up more than that.
Eric Fehr had a goal and an assist as Washington beat Montreal 3-2. Fehr got over 18 minutes and has three points in two games and scored a shootout goal last week against the Leafs as well.
Mikhail Grabovski also tallied two points and was rewarded with 20:31 of ice-time, a season high.
Marcus Johansson has found himself in a bit of a rut recently. He was held off the score sheet against the Habs and has just a single point in his last five outings.
Good sign for Brian Gionta owners, if there are any left, as the Montreal forward had two assists on Friday. He had just one point in his last nine games coming in and that was only his third multi-point contest of the campaign.
Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise made a surprise return from a foot injury on Friday, but couldn't help his team from falling to Colorado 3-1.
Dany Heatley did have another goal for Minnesota and he has now scored in four of his last six games. Time to gather up the canned goods.
The Avs were powered by youngsters Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon who had three and two points respectively. Landeskog ended a three-game pointless streak while MacKinnon's effort ended a two-game slide.
The Devils knocked off the Hurricanes 5-2. Cory Schneider must have been excited to get his first start in about a week, even though he only faced 18 shots and conceded two goals.
Jaromir Jagr had a three-point night, but his career is winding down. He's got no more than another five years left in him.
Despite picking up an assist, Michael Ryder hasn't found the back of the net in 10 straight and played a season low 12 minutes against the Canes. Yikes.
Eric Staal saw a seven game point streak snapped against New Jersey. He had nine points during that stretch, so hopefully he bounces back quickly.
After getting a shutout in his first start with the Oilers, Ilya Bryzgalov was yanked after giving up four goals on 23 shots against Columbus. The world makes sense again.
On a more positive note, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins picked up an assist and now has eight points in his last five games.
Nail Yakupov led the Oilers in shots with five and ice-time with over 22 minutes.
Ryan Johansen led the way for the Blue Jackets with a goal and an assist to go along with five shots. Johansen is a good add right now with five points and 15 shots in his last three contests.
If you cheer for an NHL squad there is a strong likelihood that there is one place your respective team always struggles. For me as a Leafs fan, I would rather see them play anywhere but Buffalo. In the last decade it always seems Toronto loses there in the worst possible way, no matter what the team's records are. Friday was no exception as the Leafs fell in overtime after a Christian Ehrhoff goal.
The Peter Holland experiment seems to be over. He was scratched on Friday and Trevor Smith seems to be beating him out for playing time. Smith picked up an assist after a great shift against the Sabres.
Jake Gardiner had a nice bounce back effort after being scratched on Wednesday against Pittsburgh. Gardiner notched an assist and went plus-2 against Buffalo. He got over 21 minutes and added two hits and two blocks for good measure. Looks like he got the message.
Tyler Myers had two assists against Toronto, but still has yet to record to games in a row this season with a point. I don't think anyone saw this coming after the way he started his NHL career.
Luke Adam scored his first of the year in just his fourth game. Temper your expectations with Adam though as he still isn't receiving anywhere close to significant ice-time.
Chicago beat Dallas 2-1 in a surprising low-scoring affair between a couple of teams that can really light the lamp.
Corey Crawford had this third straight strong start and if he keeps this up he's going to be a lock for Team Canada.
Brandon Saad was in the middle of a seven points in six games run, but was held pointless against the Stars.
Tyler Seguin has cooled considerably from the streak he was on earlier in the month and has now gone without a point in four straight. This is likely the reason why Jamie Benn and Valeri Nichushkin have gone in similar directions. Benn, however, did have seven shots against Chicago though.
Stephane Robidas was unfortunately lost in this one with a broken leg and taken to hospital. Look for him to miss a considerable amount of time.
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