Ramblings: Thoughts on Bratt, Severson, Lemieux, Hayes, and more…
Joel Armia hasn’t been noticeable to fantasy owners this season, but he stood out on Friday night with his first NHL hat trick. Armia has now scored goals in back-to-back games after being held without a point in his previous nine games and without a goal in 14 games.
Brendan Lemieux, another former Jet, scored his first goal as a Ranger and his 10th of the season. The son of Claude filled roto categories and even impersonated his father a bit, recording 12 penalty minutes and taking six shots on goal. If the rookie Lemieux can build on his point totals (just two assists in 46 games), he could be a player to target in multicategory leagues. With 78 PIM, Lemieux is in the top 15 in that category. At the very least, he’s already receiving more icetime for the Rangers than he did with the Jets.
Alex Ovechkin’s game-winning goal against the Islanders was his league-leading 45th of the season. Ovie has now scored at least 45 goals in 10 NHL seasons, which passes Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy for the league record. Not to take anything away from what might have been the two top scorers when I first started following hockey, but Ovechkin has amassed these totals in an era where goals haven’t come as easy. We are witnessing one of the greatest players in hockey history.
In his Flyers’ debut, Cam Talbot stopped 30 of 33 shots he faced in earning a 6-3 win. That’s eight goalies that the Flyers have used this season, which is now an NHL record. Talbot was also playing his first game since February 9. Since his acquisition, it’s been a steady diet of Carter Hart and Brian Elliott. Talbot isn’t an ideal own, as Hart is expected to return to practice this weekend and could return shortly thereafter.
Jakub Voracek recorded three assists, which gives him nine points (3g-6a) over his last four games.
Scary hit from behind on Nolan Patrick by Kurtis Gabriel, who was fortunately able to return to the game.
Patrick would later get his revenge on Gabriel, hitting him in the third period and forcing him into concussion protocol.
In one of our other columns this week, I remember a commenter took exception to the writer’s criticism of Jesper Bratt. There may have been some disconnect between the ability of the real-life player and what might be viewed as unspectacular fantasy stats. However, maybe Bratt should be getting more credit for his fantasy abilities lately. Over his past 12 games (nearly a month), Bratt has accumulated 13 points (4g-9a) while taking on considerable even-strength minutes with Nico Hischier. Bratt is quite a streaky player, but Taylor Hall, Kyle Palmieri, and Hischier are the only Devils with more points per games played than Bratt (33 points in 49 games). As well, Bratt’s icetime is up an average of two minutes per game since Hall has been out of the lineup (around Christmas).
Damon Severson broke a three-game streak without a point with a goal and two assists. Despite the short-term slide, Severson is on pace for his first 40-point season. That 40-point season would come in the magical “fifth” year, so there’s a bit of post-hype sleeper here. One note, if you’re in a league that counts plus/minus: Severson has never been a plus player, and his career total is minus-78 over those five seasons.
Conor Sheary was the difference-maker against his former team on Friday. His second goal of the game was the overtime winner, and he also added an assist. Sheary is on pace for 40 points, which is probably about the average of the two extremes that we were expecting from him: either over 50 points, or under 30 points. So his current pace is essentially the average of the totals from his two other full NHL seasons.
The Hurricanes defeated the red-hot Blues for their fourth consecutive win. But the story was the celebration after, which involved former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield.
What a bunch of jerks, goofing around like that and making a mockery of our serious hockey traditions.
Jake Allen didn’t exactly make a strong argument to reclaim his starting job back, allowing four goals on 23 shots in the loss. One of them was a gift shorthanded goal for Sebastian Aho, which was one of his two points in this game.
The day started off with the news that Guy Boucher had been let go by the Ottawa Senators and replaced with Marc Crawford. I like Crow as a head coach, so I’m glad to see him back in the NHL as a head coach. You can read the fantasy take here.
The injury looked bad when I watched it, and the timeline confirms it. Derek Stepan is expected to be sidelined 4-6 weeks with a lower-body injury. That could potentially cool Lawson Crowse, who has picked up his production recently with Stepan as his center. Crowse, the 11th overall pick in 2015, has points in each of his last four games and is a plus-5 over that span.
Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler each scored three points in the Jets’ win over division rival Nashville. That’s not a huge surprise. What may be of more interest is the fact that Kevin Hayes also scored a goal and added two assists in his second game with his new team. Hayes has slotted in as a center for Kyle Connor and Nikolaj Ehlers, which would be a good spot for him to be in. That’s not good news yet somewhat expected for Bryan Little, who has been moved to the third line with Adam Lowry and Brandon Tanev. That’s what Dobber predicted in his Fantasy Take on the Hayes trade.
John Gibson made his return to the Ducks’ lineup after missing the past nine games. Although he didn’t earn a win, he pitched his first quality start since January 19, stopping 31 of 33 shots he faced. Wins won’t be easy to come by for Gibson given the Ducks’ current state, but we can probably expect him to be a little better than he was right before his injury (four consecutive losses in which he allowed 18 goals total).
It was unfortunate for Gibson and the Ducks that they ran into Marc-Andre Fleury, who stopped all 34 shots he faced in the shutout win. Flower now leads the NHL in both wins (31) and shutouts (7). Now that Vegas has bolstered its scoring with Mark Stone, the Golden Knights are going to be a very tough out in the playoffs.
Speaking of Stone, he recorded his first point (an assist) as a member of the Golden Knights. Even though that’s his first point in three games, Vegas has won all three of its games with him in the lineup.
Marcus Sorensen is the player on the Sharks with the long hair (okay, there’s more than one) who plays on a line with Joe Thornton. He stood out on Friday for his offense, scoring two goals in the Sharks’ 4-3 win over Colorado.
The Sharks were without Evander Kane on Friday, as he was dealing with an undisclosed injury. It’s possible that Kane was injured after taking a hit and fighting Zdeno Chara earlier in the week, a highlight I had to watch numerous times for some reason.
Even though he was moved off the top line, Gabriel Landeskog still recorded three assists in the Avalanche loss. Over his last seven games, Landeskog has accrued 10 points (3g-7a).
For more fantasy hockey information, you can follow me on Twitter @Ian_Gooding.
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