Ramblings: Rinne Staying In Nashville, Pominville a Plenty (Nov 4)
Rinne Staying In Nashville, Pominville a Plenty, plus more…
The Juuse Saros era in Nashville will just have to wait a little longer, if it happens at all. On his 36th birthday, Pekka Rinne has signed a two-year, $10 million extension to remain with the Predators. This contract could potentially keep Rinne in Nashville for the rest of his career. With a $5 million per season cap hit, the defending Vezina Trophy winner appeared to take a hometown discount to stay in Nashville. So this puts the Preds in a great position to continue to be serious Stanley Cup contenders for the next few seasons.
Both Rinne and Saros are now locked up until the end of the 2020-21 season, which would make Rinne 38 and Saros 26 by the time both contracts end. So if you’ve been stashing Saros in the hopes that Rinne would not be re-signed, this is a bit of a blow. Unless he is traded, Saros should continue to be one of the league’s top backups and at least a streaming option every time he starts.
Rinne’s start on Saturday capped off what was an amazing day. Rinne stopped all 26 shots he faced in backstopping the Preds to a 1-0 win over Boston. Despite his recent stint on the IR, Rinne has picked up right where he left off last season (regular season-wise, anyway) with a 1.63 GAA and .948 SV%.
Brad Marchand was doing Brad Marchand things in this game, at least the things that don’t involve scoring. From this sequence below, he racked up 14 minutes in penalties while receiving a dose of his own medicine. Having said that, if high-sticking penalties are now being reviewed, then why wasn’t this one?
As one commenter in the YouTube video said, too bad they cut it off before Jack Edwards lost his mind.
Jaroslav Halak continued to further his cause to be the Bruins’ starting goalie (at least for now), stopping 39 of 40 shots in the loss. Tuukka Rask might have to take a seat for a while longer as the Bruins will likely continue with the hot goalie. The B’s do play home back-to-backs next weekend against Toronto and Vegas, so expect Rask to draw at least one start next week if you need him.
It was raining goals in Buffalo on Saturday afternoon.
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) November 3, 2018
Jason Pominville won’t ever forget his 1000th game, not just for the pregame ceremony but also for what happened on the ice. Pominville scored two goals and added an assist while taking six shots on goal. This isn’t just a one-off for Pominville either. After a slow start that saw him record just one point over his first seven games, Pommer is scorching hot with 13 points (7g-6a) over his last seven games. As long as his linemates are Jack Eichel and Jeff Skinner, Pominville deserves to be added in many formats.
Pominville can be a very streaky scorer, though. Last season he scored 11 points over his first nine games and ended the season with six points over his last seven games. But during a stretch in January and February, Pominville went 17 games without a point. You will probably need to bench him or drop him outright once the signs of another dry spell appear.
Jeff Skinner also scored two goals and added an assist. He’s also on a hot streak with 16 points (9g-7a) over his last ten games. Going back to his Carolina days, it’s all about linemates with Skinner, and for some reason he doesn’t always have the most ideal ones. But when he has them he is definitely a fantasy force.
Eichel also recorded three points, all in the form of assists. That was only two goals shy of Elias Pettersson’s output last night. For more context on what I mean by that, you can follow me on Twitter. Or read my previous Ramblings. If you didn’t think I make the right decision on trading Pettersson for Eichel one for one (hello, Cam Robinson), I will mention that this is a non-keeper league with no money involved. So I only have to live with my decision for the rest of the year and I don’t jeopardize my kids’ college fund in any way. Or maybe it won’t be that bad of a decision. We’ll see. This kind of thing makes the game more fun and discussion livelier, though.
It wasn’t all good for the Sabres on Saturday, though. Rasmus Dahlin left the game in the second period after blocking a shot. According to Sabres’ coach Phil Housley, Dahlin will make the trip to Manhattan where the Sabres face the Rangers on Sunday.
For the Senators, Craig Anderson was exposed to only the first three Sabres’ goals, but he lasted less than a period as you might expect given the score of this game. Anderson’s .909 SV% isn’t as terrible as it looks if you consider that the Senators now face more shots per game (38.7) than anyone, even the Ducks (37.8). So like I’ve said with John Gibson, keep an eye on a possible wear-and-tear injury with Anderson, who starts nearly every game for the Sens. Or as the old cliché goes, he’s a goalie that sees more rubber than a tire factory worker.
With another two goals on Saturday, Morgan Rielly has matched his goal total from each of the last two seasons in just 14 games. Well on his way to a career year, Rielly leads all blueliners in both goals (6) and points (18). What’s more, neither he nor Jake Gardiner has taken a single penalty this season.
His owners may have cringed at the fact that he was facing the high-flying Penguins in Pittsburgh, but those brave enough to start Frederik Andersen were rewarded with a 31-save shutout. Usually Andersen is known for slower starts, but his save percentage is now up to .924. Andersen has allowed two goals or fewer in each of his last five starts, so he’s managed to find his groove.
Thomas Greiss earned a shutout of his own, stopping all 35 shots he faced in a 3-0 shutout of the Devils. That’s five wins in a row for the Islanders, including two in a row for Greiss. We’re only a month into the season, but the Islanders now sit in first place in the Metropolitan Division.
With two assists, Josh Bailey’s point streak is now at eight games, with 11 points over that span. He’s scoring at over a point-per-game pace (15 points in 13 games), which seems to resemble last season. Considered a potential bust by many, Bailey seems to be doing just fine without you know who.
Sean Monahan and the Flames have been clutch in the third period over their last few games. With another two goals on Saturday, Monahan now has two points in each of his last four games and a six-game point streak overall. He’s been a red-hot Flame.
Now a fixture on Monahan’s line, Elias Lindholm recorded three assists on Saturday. He’s on a five-game point streak of his own and is scoring at a point-per-game pace in Calgary. On his way to a career year and being used in all situations (ES/PP/SH), Lindholm has skated at least 20 minutes over five of his last six games. Needless to say, the trade from Carolina to Calgary has helped his fantasy value.
The Blackhawks had to make do without Duncan Keith for most of this game, after he was assessed a five-minute major and game misconduct for this early first-period hit on Dillon Dube (15 PIM total). The Flames’ rookie forward was forced to leave the game as well. Expect the NHL to review this hit.
Without Keith, other blueliners had to step up in terms of icetime. One in particular was Brent Seabrook, who logged 26:48 with one assist and four blocked shots. Henri Jokiharju and Erik Gustafsson each logged just over 25 minutes as well.
Another two goals for Timo Meier, including the overtime winner over Philly on Saturday. With 11 goals on the season, Meier is now tied for the league lead with four other players. Meier has recorded points in 10 of his last 11 games and appears to be on the verge of a true breakout. Even though his goal-scoring pace might cool off a little (23.9 SH%), the signs were there. Meier took over 200 shots last season while scoring 21 goals, and he’s been on a solid scoring unit with Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl.
Couture assisted on Meier’s overtime winner. He’s now on a nine-game point streak where he has recorded 14 points (5g-9a). Both Meier and Couture took five shots on goal in this game.
Nothing from Shayne Gostisbehere again on Saturday. He now has just a single assist over his last eight games. It could be time to make a buy-low offer on him from an impatient owner.
If you took Adam’s advice from the most recent Looking Ahead column and added Dustin Brown right away, you were rewarded. In just his third game back from injury, Brown scored a shorthanded goal and added two assists with a plus-3 while dishing five hits in the Kings’ 4-1 win over Columbus. Brown now has four points over those three games. He’s a must-add in many standard Yahoo leagues (which now include hits by default), as he has been credited with 14 hits over those three games. And yes, he is skating with Anze Kopitar.
One more shutout shoutout. This one to Marc-Andre Fleury posted his second shutout of the season, stopping all 34 shots he faced in the Golden Knights’ 3-0 win over Carolina.
Finally, if you want to hear me talk and not just read my words here, you can hear me on the Tampa Bay Lightning Power Play radio show, as I’m interviewed by Nick Alberga (who you may know from Sportsnet radio). I’m on today (Sunday) from 9-9:30 a.m. ET, then again from 12-12:30 p.m. ET and 3-3:30 p.m. ET. If you do, you’ll hear me answer some burning fantasy questions from Nick.
You might also even get to hear my younger son scream in the background. My older son was trying to block him from running into my office room while I took the call. I have to give credit to Nick, though, who was totally cool about the whole thing. Let’s just say I’m glad I wasn’t doing a video interview! Otherwise something like this might have happened.
For more fantasy hockey information, you can follow me on Twitter @Ian_Gooding.
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