In what was the easiest case of couch analysis this year, Dustin Byfuglien has been moved to the injured reserve with a concussion. Anyone who watched the game or saw the replay saw what this was but he was still inexplicably allowed to play hockey.
Anyway, we know that concussion timelines are tricky so don’t expect one anytime soon. Josh Morrissey is the replacement to grab.
Ben Bishop was activated off the IR by the Dallas Stars. The Stars are in Vancouver on Saturday afternoon so be sure to get him off the injured reserve and in your lineups (outside of weekly leagues, that is).
Scott Darling was sent to waivers by the Carolina Hurricanes. If he clears (he will), he’ll go to the AHL. This is because of how well Curtis McElhinney is playing at the moment, but all the same that’s a tough contract to try and swallow. I don’t necessarily feel this is the last we’ve seen of Darling in the NHL this season, either.
Alex Ovechkin missed practice on Thursday but the team is saying that it’s just a maintenance day and nothing to worry about.
Evgeny Kuznetsov skated for the Capitals on Thursday but he has not been cleared medically. It does appear he could return any day now so be ready to move him back into your lineups.
Two of the top teams squared off on Thursday night with Buffalo (that still feels weird to think about) visiting Tampa Bay.
And they did not disappoint.
Cedric Paquette broke the 4-4 tie with under six minutes remaining to push the Bolts to a 5-4 win over the Sabres. Alex Killorn and Nikita Kucherov each had a goal and an assist while Victor Hedman picked up a pair of helpers.
Sam Reinhart had a pair of goals in a losing effort skating on the top line for Buffalo. Jack Eichel had a couple of assists bringing his season total to 30 points. Be sure to check the waiver wires to see if Reinhart is kicking around. Those top line/top PP minutes are coveted. He may not last on the top line, but it’s worth the gamble.
By the way, Ondrej Palat return for the Lightning in this game and skated about 14 minutes on the fourth line. He may get moved up at any time but there’s no rush to grab him off waivers just yet.
Boston retired Rick Middleton’s number and won 2-1 in a shootout on a special night in Beantown.
To be honest, Tuukka Rask stood on his head at times in this game, particularly in overtime when he made breakaway saves on both Jordan Eberle and Mathew Barzal. Rask has been very sharp since returning from his absence.
Not that it’s a huge concern, but it’s worth noting that Batherson was effectively benched in the final five minutes in favour of Bobby Ryan. It wasn’t a punishment as they were trying to protect the shutout. What’s weird about that is that Batherson doesn’t stand out to me as poor defensively but Bobby Ryan definitely is. Don’t expect the rookie to grab those easy empty net goals anytime soon.
Riley Nash scored his first goal of the season (remember when he was a hot commodity as a free agent?) and that stood as the game-winner in Columbus’s 4-2 win over Minnesota. He also added an assist, matching Pierre-Luc Dubois’s output for this game with a tally and a helper. Cam Atkinson scored his 16th goal of the season, this one coming on the power play.
Artemi Panarin fantasy owners will be happy with his goal tonight but John Tortorella is continuing to use him on what is effectively the second PP unit. This power play has been a source of frustration fantasy-wise seemingly ever since Torts took over on the bench
Zach Parise scored in the losing effort, adding a couple more shots after that. That makes 12 goals and 22 points in 23 games averaging just under 3 shots per game. Going back one month, he has nine goals in his last 13 games.
The new-look top line showed up for Arizona, including the recently-acquired Nick Schmaltz, in their 3-0 road win in Nashville. Schmaltz had one goal and one assist, Clayton Keller scored his seventh of the year, while Alex Galchenyuk had an assist. Adin Hill started for the injured Antti Raanta and saved all 29 shots he faced.
Not much to write about stats-wise in this one but it’s interesting that Vinnie Hinostroza led all Coyotes forwards in even-strength ice time and looks locked into the top PP role for now.
We had quite the shootout in Winnipeg with the Jets soaring past the Blackhawks 6-5. Nikolaj Ehlers had a hat trick, Patrik Laine scored his 20th and 21st goals of the season, and both Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler had a trio of helpers.
In the absence of Dustin Byfuglien, Josh Morrissey stepped into the top power play role. He played one second shy of 29 minutes with a plus-3 rating, two shots and three blocks. We know how fickle concussions can be so now is the time to grab Morrissey off the waiver wires.
File this under “maybe something, maybe nothing”: Dylan Strome took precisely one shift with Jonathan Toews towards the end of the game. It’s nothing to really focus on right now but there could be some line shuffling coming down the pipe for the Blackhawks.
Edmonton got a power play goal from Oscar Klefbom with a little over two minutes remaining to push the Oilers to a 3-2 win over Los Angeles. Klefbom also had an assist with two more shots on goal, putting him on pace for over 40 points and 240 shots.
Jesse Puljujarvi scored on his first shift of the game, which is nice, but he also played just over 12 minutes. That’s not nearly enough ice time to support a successful fantasy campaign. Let’s hope Hitchcock gives the kid a little more rope, though I’m not holding my breath.
Dustin Brown scored for the Kings, giving him eight goals in 15 games this year. There are a lot of things going wrong with Los Angeles this year, but Brown has been a bright spot when he’s been healthy.
The Golden Knights got a third-period short-handed goal from William Karlsson to push Vegas to a 4-3 win over Vancouver. That makes goals in three straight games for the 40-goal scorer from a year ago. He’s starting to shoot the puck more, too, as he managed only 1.5 shots on goal in October but that rose to 2.3 in November. Still not a hefty amount, but a marked increase nonetheless.
Max Pacioretty scored a pair of goals for Vegas, bringing him to 10 on the season. That makes 8 goals and 13 points in 13 November games. Just imagine what he’ll do when Paul Stastny returns.
Brock Boeser scored a pair of goals, one on a beauty setup from Elias Pettersson, in the losing effort.