Another day, another injury. Erik Karlsson will miss the rest of the regular season with a broken thumb that will require surgery. Karlsson's season ends at 57 games, which means that this is the second consecutive season in which he has failed to reach 60 games.
Signed to a long-term deal by the Sharks this past offseason, Karlsson should be ready to go next season. However, I mentioned to anyone who would listen that I was leery about using a high pick on Karlsson entering the season, so I'd recommend at least a Kris Letang-like discount if drafting him next season. I understand the thumb injury isn't related to other ailments he's had in the past, but this is a defenseman who appears to have a ton of mileage that has resulted from some major minutes throughout his career.
As for the Sharks, this is yet another blow to what has been a nightmare season, as they are well out of playoff contention with both Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl sidelined. Sharks scorers could take another hit in value because of Karlsson's ability to distribute the puck. Entering Saturday's games, Karlsson leads the Sharks in both assists (34) and points (40).
One name that might come to mind for fantasy owners is Tim Heed, who entered the lineup on Saturday after being a healthy scratch for 18 of the last 19 games. If you think he can immediately provide some offense, keep in mind that he has just one assist in 26 games this season. He is worth watching, though, as his value took a major hit back when the Sharks acquired Karlsson.
For what it's worth, the Sharks still have Brent Burns. He is on a five-game point streak with six points (2g-4a) over that span. He recorded an assist while logging 27 minutes on Saturday.
Kane missed Saturday's game and will also miss games on Monday and Thursday before he can return for Saturday and Sunday games next weekend.
Kane shot back quickly, criticizing the Department of Player Safety. Regardless of what you think of the elbow and Kane as a player, you can probably agree with Kane's comments about the DoPS's glaring lack of consistency in issuing supplementary discipline.
The Sharks' first-unit power play featured a retro look on Saturday, as it included both Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau. Even with the promotion, neither 40-year-old forward should be worth rostering in anything but the deepest of leagues.
Dean Evason's coaching debut featured nothing unusual from the Wild, who were shut out at home by the Sharks. I guess I have to admit I was wrong about Martin Jones on this one, as he earned a 39-save shutout. Jones had allowed at least four goals in each of his previous three starts, but even though Aaron Dell had started each of the previous five games, Bob Boughner could easily ride the hot hand and go back to Jones on Monday.
Since being acquired by the Wild, Alex Galchenyuk doesn't have a point in three games and has ranged between 12-14 minutes per game playing on a line with Mats Zuccarello and Luke Kunin. You can continue to leave Galchenyuk on your waiver wire.
Today I had to answer a very unusual question from my six-year-old: "Dad, why is there a fighter jet at that hockey game?" There were some amazing visuals at the Kings/Avalanche game at the Air Force Academy. Definitely not your typical hockey game.
As for the game itself, Tyler Toffoli scored the game-winning goal with just under a minute to play in regulation, then capped it off with an empty-net hat trick goal to give the Kings a 3-1 win. This hat trick was the first in NHL outdoor game history.
As we move closer to the trade deadline, we will likely hear Toffoli's name more and more. He is currently seventh on TSN's Trade Bait List. Since the Kings are lottery bound, UFA-to-be Toffoli seems like a solid rental for the right team needing a second-line winger. After a slow start (four goals in his first 20 games), Toffoli has turned it up recently with seven goals in his last 14 games. By the way, don't forget to check Dobber Hockey on trade deadline day as we provide the fantasy impact of the most important deals of the day.
Jonathan Quick had an impressive game, stopping 32 of 33 shots to earn the win. The win was Quick's first since (scrolls way down on game log) December 31. Since that time, Quick has been tagged with seven regulation losses and one overtime loss. His current ratios (2.99 GAA and .897 SV%) aren't the league's worst, so the lack of wins (just 12 in 37 games) seems like the biggest problem for whatever Quick owners are remaining.
The Jets have announced that Bryan Little will miss the rest of the regular season. He will need a procedure to repair his ear drum after taking a puck to the head during a game in November. He has played in just seven games this season, scoring five points, so the injury won't impact the Jets much as far as their current state goes.
Jonathan Drouin was a late scratch for the Habs because of a lower-body injury. Drouin recently returned to the lineup after missing nearly three months, but he had not recorded a point in the four games since his return.
After the Stars finished the Canadiens with a come-from-behind 4-3 overtime win, the Habs were irate about the officiating – in particular, Brendan Gallagher and referee Dean Morton. Obvious NSFW warning. Montreal received zero power plays in this game in spite of some obvious missed calls.
Sorry, Habs fans… I have to share this goal because it's a nice one. Tyler Seguin's second goal of the game and the game-winner.
Yesterday I mentioned that Kailer Yamamoto was playing on the Oilers' (current) top line with Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. On Saturday, Yamamoto was able to build on that success, scoring an empty-net goal and adding two assists with a plus-3. This was his first three-point game in his career, which officially makes him a point-per-game scorer since his callup from the AHL. In addition, those three players have combined for 73 points over those last 17 games. Connor who?
To put things into perspective, since Yamamoto's first game on December 31, he is a top-30 scorer in terms of points per game. He definitely deserves ownership in more than 24 percent of Yahoo leagues.
The Blackhawks fired everything but the kitchen sink (okay, 49 shots) at Jacob Markstrom on Thursday and could not buy a single goal. The hockey gods rewarded them for their patience on Saturday with eight goals. Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews each scored a goal with two assists, while Alex Nylander broke a six-game point drought with two goals.
During the second intermission of the Blackhawks/Flames game, the Hockey Night in Canada panel suggested that David Rittich might be wearing down. Rittich was pulled during the second period after allowing four goals on 15 shots. Rittich, who has never played more than 48 games in any pro season dating back to his time in the Czech league, played in his 43rd game of the season on Saturday. Based on Rittich's quarterly numbers, they are right.
Qtr GP W L OTL GAA SV% QUAL QUAL%
1 17 9 5 3 2.71 0.914 8 47.1
2 16 9 5 2 2.92 0.909 7 43.8
3 10 4 5 0 3.39 0.893 4 40.0
Even though the Flames are clinging onto a wild card playoff spot, I believe this is where we start to see Cam Talbot at a greater frequency than we've seen this season. Given the declining returns and the relatively high win total (22 wins – tied for sixth), Rittich seems like a potential sell high.
Elias Lindholm scored twice for the Flames, which gives him a three-game goal streak and ten-game point streak, which is the longest in the NHL presently. Lindholm has already matched his career high of 27 goals and still has a quarter of the season left. His 18.2% shooting percentage seems quite high, but his presence on the top line with Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan should result in Lindholm's first 30-goal season.
This week in head-to-head action, I'm facing a team with a murderer's row of goalies: Markstrom, Tuukka Rask, and Andrei Vasilevskiy. The third name on this list might be the hottest goalie in hockey, as he has racked up eight consecutive wins and 18 wins in his last 19 games. In fact, Vasilevskiy has not been tagged with a regulation loss in two months (December 14).
My opponent's fantasy team's results have basically mirrored those of his goalie, as his is the hottest team in the league after starting the season losing six of his first seven head-to-head matchups. Yet another reason that you shouldn't bail on your fantasy team if you have a rough first month or two. Now that they have hit their stride, the Lightning are a dangerous opponent that could still very easily win another President's Trophy.
The final shot total in the Islanders/Golden Knights game turned out to be 43-19 for Vegas. Yet the Golden Knights were barely able to squeak out a 1-0 win. Marc-Andre Fleury pitched the easy shutout, while Semyon Varlamov was the hard-luck loser. The Isles have now been shut out in back-to-back games, so I wonder if adding a scorer or two at the trade deadline is in order.
Look for the February edition of the Top 100 Roto Rankings to appear today.
For more fantasy hockey information, or to reach out to me directly, you can follow me on Twitter @Ian_Gooding.