Ramblings: Lehner’s Vegas Debut; Hot Scorers Toffoli, Fiala, Ryan (Feb 29)

Ian Gooding

2020-02-29

Happy Leap Year Day! If you've bucked the odds and were born on this day, I hope you celebrate like it's nobody's business.

It's good to be back writing after taking last weekend off. Writing the Ramblings on weekends means that I don't get out as often as I used to, and that can include live hockey games. So it was nice to experience both the WHL and the NHL on consecutive nights, with the local Vancouver teams winning both games. Special thanks to Mike Clifford and Tom Collins (writing his very first Ramblings!) for stepping up in my absence.

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Is Tyler Toffoli hot because he's found himself on the Canucks top line, or is he hot because he's simply in a groove? The answer might be both.

Toffoli has points in all four of his games with the Canucks, which includes four goals playing on the top line with Elias Pettersson and J.T. Miller. However, you may remember Toffoli's hat trick in that outdoor game, which turned out to be his final game as a King. Going back six games, Toffoli has eight goals and ten points. He's also been firing the puck a ton, with an average of exactly five shots per game over his last seven games.

Of course, he's not going to score at this pace forever, but it's fair to say that his ceiling with the Canucks is higher than it was with the Kings. Even if Brock Boeser returns before the regular season, Toffoli would be bumped to the second line at worst, which features Bo Horvat and old friend Tanner Pearson. Having said that, don't count on Boeser returning by the end of the regular season, so Toffoli should get an extended look on the top line.

Fantasy Impact: Toffoli Traded To Canucks

Now that it seems like Toffoli could put up some amazing numbers with the Canucks, will he sign there this offseason? Unfortunately for Canucks fans, I don't see this happening unless there's some serious out-of-the-box cap maneuvering by Jim Benning. In other words, this could turn into another Anson Carter-type situation, where he leverages a big season from a major opportunity with the Canucks to a lucrative contract with another team where he loses value. This is more of a fearless forecast than anything, rather than an evaluation of Toffoli's ability. Regardless, it will be interesting to see what happens this offseason.

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If you're thinking of benching or dropping Kevin Fiala, don't. This tweet was posted before Friday, when Fiala added yet anothe