Ramblings: Habs can’t score, still get the W’s. Ovechkin can’t score either (Mar.13)


My apologies for the weekend, one which saw the server warehouse lose power to all their servers (including mine). And then after that four-hour downtime it came back with what we later found to be a script inserted by a hacker that redirected you to some stupid page that appeared mostly blank. Anyway, we found it (eventually) and removed it. I’m guessing it only got through the firewall because of the power outage, but I don’t know much about such things.


The Blackhawks have been on fire lately, while the Wild have been the best team in the West for the bulk of the season. So their match-up on Sunday was a big one – irresistible force vs. immovable object kind of thing. Chicago got the win but the Wild outshot them 44-22 and outhit them 25-10. Will this be the passing of the torch? I wonder if we’ll find out in the Western Conference Final…

The Patrick KaneArtemi Panarin duo is heating up again. Panarin has 15 points in his last 15 games. In his second NHL season he is trending to match last year’s shot total (187), but he’s toned down the physical stuff – with both PIM and hits dropping by quite a bit. His ES points are up, but PP points are down this year versus last.


Interesting to note – Eric Staal is seeing less PP time this year than any of his last three seasons. That’s both in terms of percentage of his team’s available PP time, as well as average PP minutes per game. The uptick in his production is strictly at even strength, which is a great sign because the numbers haven’t been artificially boosted. Perhaps he was just pissed off at himself for letting his game slip so early in his life that he worked his off last summer to prove everyone wrong.

Devan Dubnyk gave up two goals on the first two shots of the game and was pulled. And despite that, Darcy Kuemper was the one who was saddled with the loss. Two weeks ago Dubnyk was given a win for making seven saves. And on Saturday Kuemper was pulled after two periods and Dubnyk stopped 11 of 12 shots and got the ‘W’ – so he’s been on the happy end of goalie changes lately, as far as wins and losses go.


Kevin Shattenkirk was suspended for two games after this silly hit:

After going pointless in his first two games with the Capitals, he has points in each of his last four.

And of course it was John Carlson who reaped the benefits of Shatty’s absence. He saw 74.5% of available PP time (4:32) when he had been seeing 20-40% with Shattenkirk in the lineup. Carlson scored a PP goal last night.

Dmitry Orlov didn’t see a single second of PP time.

Alex Ovechkin hasn’t scored in 10 games (has that ever happened?) but he did pick up an assist. He has 21 shots on goal over the last four games. A huge market correction is forthcoming with this guy…


Don’t be fooled by Montreal’s four-goal “outburst” yesterday. This team is still struggling to score – despite going 6-1-0 in the last seven games – four of those wins were in overtime and overall they had 16 goals in that span (which means 12 goals during regulation time over seven games). Of the four scored on Sunday, two of them were empty-netters. The lack of offense is still very much a problem.

Paul Byron had three points, but again – two of them involved the empty net.

Gotta love Alexander Radulov: six games without a point, then a four-point game, and then six games without a point again. Three of them missed due to injury, I’ll admit – but saying it this way sounds better.


Too late for me to get any value out of him in trade talks at all whatsoever, but since the trade deadline Gustav Nyquist has six points in five games. He’d have to continue at that pace to reach the 50-point mark and ‘maybe’ salvage himself as a tradable commodity for fantasy purposes.


Marcus Sorensen now has three points in seven games for the Sharks. An undrafted Swede, the 24-year-old was signed by San Jose last year and is looking like another Joonas Donskoi/Melker Karlsson-type of steal. Not as high upside as Donskoi, but higher than Karlsson. And hopefully less injury-prone. If your league can use such a player, he’s worth a look.


The Blue Jackets announced that defenseman Ryan Murray is out for the rest of the season with a broken hand. Murray’s proneness to injury has killed his development and stunted his chances of ever becoming a fantasy asset. I was wary of him in his first year after being drafted, and had pretty much written him off within two years of that point.


After a very successful season in the Swiss League that saw him post 48 points in 50 games (sixth in scoring), Drew Shore signed with the Canucks on the weekend. I doubt anything comes of this, but he had promise at one point and so perhaps he picked something up overseas that makes him a better player.

Incidentally, the leading scorer in the Swiss League this season was Mark Arcobello. He had 55 points in 50 games. Roman Cervenka was third (51 points) along with Robert Nilsson (51 points).


Chicago signed their prospect John Hayden to a two-year contract on the weekend and they plan to play him at some point this season. He finished the year with 21 goals and 34 points in 33 games for Yale. He’s 6-3, 210 pounds and is a Hobey Baker candidate, drafted in the third round in 2013. His upside is limited, which is a big reason why he’s ranked just 301 on last month’s Fantasy Prospects’ List. But he definitely moves up with this signing, as well as his strong season.


The Flames have won nine games in a row. The franchise record is 10 – set by the Atlanta Flames in 1978.

The Senators have won six in a row. The Leafs and Oilers are two of the most improved teams in the NHL. Many of us saw a big Canada comeback this season after none of our teams made the playoffs last spring. Well here it is. I even joked about how Sportsnet fired a bunch of people due to low playoff ratings – that they’d magically see the ratings go up in 2017 and credit their change in personnel as the reason. When in fact it would be because four Canadian teams make the playoffs, and nothing to do with who hosted Hockey Night.


I was winning two of my three keeper leagues. Wire to wire dominating. But the same idiot in each league threw everything he had at me in trades to acquire as many points as possible. In one league, it wasn’t nearly enough. In the other league he took an eight-point lead at the deadline. Heading into Sunday, the eight-point lead remained. And all I wanted was for Ovechkin and Backstrom to snap out of it, and for Washington to put a damper on Getzlaf and Perry. So again – you just knew that Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry would explode for three points each.

And of course Dallas couldn’t stop a beach ball, so naturally my opponent’s other big guns Joe Pavelski and Brent Burns went off. Ah the ups and downs of fantasy hockey.

I used “idiot” as a term of endearment here. I’ll still punch him at the draft if he ends up winning.