The Arizona Coyotes activated, and started, goaltender Antti Raanta on Friday. He had missed three weeks with a lower-body injury.
Not a moment too soon, either, as the Coyotes had gone just 2-4-2 with Raanta out of the lineup, allowing 27 goals in those eight contests. Raanta has a .930 save percentage in 55 career appearances with Arizona. For those in weekly leagues, be sure to activate him for next week as the Coyotes have three games and none of them are back to backs.
On the topic of Western Conference goaltenders, Jonathan Quick had a lengthy practice and seems to be close to returning for the Kings. They have four games next week including a back to back in Alberta. Getting back in for one of those two games makes sense given the timeline in that linked article.
Both Sami Vatanen and Brian Boyle returned on Friday from the IR, though just one has sneaky fantasy value on the Devils. Boyle had been the fourth forward on the top PP unit but was on the second unit on Friday, meanwhile Vatanen has produced very strong peripherals with a respectable seven points in 17 games.
There are fewer more memorable ways to get your first of the season than by going coast to coast:
— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) November 23, 2018
Leddy’s fantasy status: a mess still.
The Islanders/Devils game was one of many to go to overtime in the afternoon NHL contests as the Islanders, Ducks, and Sabres all took wins in overtime. Leddy, Rickard Rakell, and Jeff Skinner all scored late in the third for their respective teams. Rakell had a goal and an assist while Skinner had a pair of tallies.
By the way, Brian Boyle scored on Hockey Fights Cancer Night in Newark. That’s absolutely perfect.
Tom Wilson and Alex Ovechkin both had a goal and an assist in Washington’s 3-1 win over Detroit. Andreas Athanasiou scored his 10th goal of the year, Detroit’s lone tally. He also is up to 65 shots in 18 games. He’s starting to approach that elusive 4.00 shots/game mark.
The Philly top line keeps doing their thing as they combined for three goals and nine points in the team’s 4-0 shutout of the Rangers. Claude Giroux had three assists to give him an even 20 on the year. The two goals and assist give Sean Couturier 14 points in 10 November contests.
Calvin Pickard saved 31 shots in Philadelphia’s shutout of New York.
Rasmus Dahlin skated over 23 minutes, his third straight game with at least 21 total minutes.
Josh Anderson scored his ninth and tenth goals of the season while Cam Atkinson added his 14then route to a 4-2 Columbus win over Toronto. Coming in at 18:14, Anderson has surpassed 18 minutes TOI in back to back games now. If that continues, his torrid scoring pace could continue. Then again, we have John Tortorella and his whims to contend with…
Make it six goals in six games for Jake DeBrusk as he scored one of two Boston’s goals in the team’s 2-1 overtime win over Pittsburgh.
Jordan Martinook, mentioned later in these Ramblings, scored a very timely hat trick for the Hurricanes as Carolina rolled past Florida 4-1. Lucas Wallmark assisted on all three tallies while Andrei Svechnikov added a pair of helpers.
Only four St. Louis forwards were held without a point (Maroon, Bozak, Perron, Sundqvist) in the team’s 6-2 thrashing of Nashville. Ryan O’Reilly, Brayden Schenn, and Alex Pietrangelo each had a goal and an assist while Jake Allen stopped 26 of 28 shots. Allen has a .942 save percentage in five games since returning from injury. Hopefully the netminder has sorted out his issues.
The defencemen did the damage for Dallas as Miro Heiskanen had a pair of goals with Gavin Bayreuther and Taylor Fedun adding single markers in the team’s 6-4 win over Ottawa. Bayreuther played 20:15 at even strength on Friday night, the most of Stars blue liner. The line of Seguin, Benn, and Radulov combined for 17 shots on goal though they only Benn slipped one past Craig Anderson.
Thomas Chabot had a pair of assists in Ottawa’s losing effort, bringing his season’s tally for 27 points in 23 games.
JT Compher returned a little medicine to the Arizona Coyotes as the Colorado forward scored short-handed twice on the same power play to help lift Colorado 5-1 over the Coyotes in Antti Raanta’s return to the net. Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog each had a goal and an assist while Nathan MacKinnon chipped in a pair of helpers.
Aaron Dell shut out the Vancouver Canucks 4-0 in a game that featured 43 total shots.
In the spirit of Black Friday, maybe a few players producing below their talent at the moment to get on the cheap side?
As of Thursday morning, we were sitting with about a quarter of the season behind us. We have a solid idea of which are the good teams and which are the bad; which players are (or can be) the upper-tier producers and which are (or can) not. Well, as of Thursday morning, among the 266 forwards with at least 200 minutes of five-on-five ice time (Corsica), Carolina rookie Andrei Svechnikov sits at the top of the list with 1.61 individual expected goals per 60 minutes. For reference, only 24 players are at least 1.00, only six players are at least 1.20, and Svechnikov is the only player above 1.4. He also sits 12th in shot attempt rate, sandwiched between Patrick Kane and Cam Atkinson. It’s been an impressive start to his career.
If there were to be a time to buy low on him in one-year leagues, it would be now. Perhaps buy low isn’t the correct terminology; buy cheap, we’ll say. When Carolina has the line of himself, Lucas Wallmark, and Jordan Martinook on the ice, the team is shooting 4.7 percent. That is exceedingly low. Even if Wallmark and Martinook are nothing more than league-average shooters, that number is still going to climb.
Svechnikov has earned considerably more time in November (over 15 minutes a game) than October (12:41 per game). He looks like a mainstay of the top PP unit and has teammates whose shooting percentages should right themselves, leading to more assists. The time to buy him cheaper than he should be is right now – that window will be closed by Christmas.
In a recent Ramblings, Ian Gooding talked about Anaheim and how slow they play. While this is true for the most part, Kase returning to the lineup five games ago (before Friday’s tilt) was a huge injection of speed. I’ve watched three of the five Anaheim games since the concussion issues and he always stands out. He brings not only speed but skill and creativity.
Combine that he’s been skating on the top line with Ryan Getzlaf and Rickard Rakell and there’s even more to love. Over the last two seasons, that trio is driving nearly 70 shot attempts per 60 minutes and 3.25 expected goals per 60 as well. Those are great numbers.
Going into Friday’s games, Kase had scored in back-to-back contests and managed 24 shots on goal in five games. He’s now a fixture of the top line and I would wager it won’t be long until he supplants Pontus Aberg on the top PP unit as well. He’s a burgeoning top-tier talent and this brief five-game stint so far this year is just a prolongation of his sublime efforts last season. It won’t be long until he rips off six points in four games or something similar and the Kase owner in your league won’t part with him. Don’t wait that long.
The New York Rangers are slowly coming along and one reason for their start to the year has been the play of Kevin Hayes. He’s on pace for what would be career highs with 52 points, 198 shots on goal, over 19 minutes per game of ice time, and he only has two power-play points to date.
You could reasonably expect Hayes’s PP production to double from here on out. His points rate with the man advantage sits at 2.44, a career-low, about 60 percent of what he produced from 2015-18. He also is managing a career-high in PPTOI per game, coming in at 2:14. That means even though he’s on pace for 7-8 PPPs, it’s pretty easy to see him in the 10-12 range, perhaps more.
He plays a deep centre position and someone with 50 points, 200 shots, and 12 PPPs at centre isn’t a significant fantasy contributor, but Hayes is a guy to monitor. Filip Chytil is definitely Chytiling up, and when a guy like Hayes (playing over 19 minutes with good PP time) heats up, there could be a point-per-game player for 2-3 weeks here. Deep leaguers should see if he can be had for little in a trade.
I know people may be freaking out about Colton Parayko but here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Parayko’s shot attempt rate is down from his previous three years, but down from 12.84 to 12.04, or about 6.6 percent. A decline, but nothing to really get in fits over. What’s interesting is his shot on goal rate from 2015-18 was 6.33 and this year it’s 5.52. That’s a decline of about 14.7 percent, which is something to get in fits over. The fact that his shots are missing the net is probably just a bit of randomness. I would expect that to normalize and Parayko’s shot rate to climb.
- The 25-year old blue liner has yet to manage a 5v5 primary assist on the year. Were that rate to be in line with his recent seasons, we could add 3-4 assists to his current total and he’d be on pace for 35-40 points again.
With a new coach in town (and likely another one on the way) things may be a bit rocky for now, but that would be the time to buy low. He may even be available on the waiver wire. I wouldn’t wait too long, though, because the next multi-point game slams the window shut.