Ramblings: Quinn Hughes Watch Begins, Thoughts on Namestnikov, Grubauer, Markstrom (March 10)

Ian Gooding

2019-03-10


Philipp Grubauer had a relatively easy time against the Sabres, stopping all 18 shots he faced in posting his second shutout as a member of the Avalanche. The shutout was also his second in his last three starts, with the last one coming on February 23. Although Jared Bednar continues to mainly give Semyon Varlamov the nod, the Avalanche need to make a goaltending decision this summer with Varlamov a pending UFA. The Avs are in a playoff battle, so Bednar may be more inclined to give the starts to the devil he knows. However, Grubauer’s recent strong play could result in an increased frequency of starts down the stretch.

Nathan MacKinnon did his thing for the Avs in the win, scoring a goal and adding two helpers.
 


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Vladimir Tarasenko missed Saturday’s game with an upper-body injury, which is considered day-to-day.  Jaden Schwartz moved up to the top line with Schenn and Ryan O’Reilly. He was held without a point in spite of playing nearly 21 minutes. Schwartz has now been held without a point in each of his last eight games. So if a move up to the top line doesn’t help, then nothing will this season.

Speaking of the top line: Since returning from injury, Schenn has five points (2g-3a) in three games, including a goal on Saturday.

In a winning cause, Timo Meier scored two goals, his 25th and 26th of the season. After a strong first half, Meier had cooled off in the new year with just three goals in 23 games in January and February. The switch has turned on in March with five goals over his last four games. Just in time for your fantasy playoffs.

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In front of many local Leafs’ fans who had saved their money for their team’s one trip to Edmonton (and at a time friendly to the Leafs’ fans back home), John Tavares scored a goal and added two assists in the Leafs’ 3-2 win. After being held without a point in a difficult return to Long Island, JT has scored eight points over his last four games, which he has heard many more cheers from (home game against Buffalo and r