December 19, 2013

steve laidlaw

2013-12-19

Really light schedule last night with just two games but I've still managed to round up plenty of content for you.

 

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The New Jersey Devils and Ottawa Senators engaged in just about the most contrasting battle there is in the league.

 

The Devils play an anemic style hell-bent on limiting shots at all costs, almost as if they are single-handedly trying to bring back the late 90's. New Jersey is dead last in shots per game, while ranking first in shots allowed.

 

In your average Devils game you won't even see 50 shots reach the net. Hit the snooze button on these guys.

 

 

The Senators are the complete opposite pushing for shot opportunities whenever possible but also conceding shots at an alarming rate as well. The Senators are third worst in the NHL for shots allowed per game behind only Toronto and Washington and sit second in the league in shots per game behind only San Jose.

 

In your average Sens game you will see over 67 shots on goal. That's a 17 shot gap!

 

So what happened in last night's game? The shots-allowed averages won out, with Ottawa allowing 33 while taking just 24. You won't win too many games with that sort of shot differential and that reflected on the scoreboard with the Devils claiming a dominant 5-2 win.

 

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Patrick Elias is the single most fantasy relevant player on the Devils and he came through as such with two assists to give him eight points in his last seven games.

 

If there was another Devil to challenge him for that title it would probably be rookie sensation Eric Gelinas who had two points of his own last night. He is now up to 15 in 26 games this year. Gelinas still sits behind Andy Greene and Marek Zidlicky on the depth chart but he has now tied them in scoring for the year despite playing eight fewer games.

 

I recommend watching out for some pullback in Gelinas' numbers as we head towards the second half of the season as the limited power play time could be cause for alarm.

 

Damien Brunner also had a two-point night and now has five points in his last four games. Not sure that's good enough to get in my good graces though.

 

When is that drop-off I keep calling for going to hit Jagr? He has points in five straight and has missed just one game this season. Still waiting for that other shoe to drop.

 

Rookie forward Reid Boucher scored the first goal of his NHL career. He's a scoring machine that you definitely want to get your hands on in a keeper league and is making a case to stick around right now. Check out his DobberProspects profile here.

 

One of the other aspects that made last night's matchup so interesting for me was the battle between two teams who have been rocking some goalie controversies that I have not been silent about in the slightest.

 

In New Jersey, it continues to be a pretty even split, though one that slightly favours Martin Brodeur despite