Ramblings: Kreider’s Hat Tricks, Ekblad’s Goal Scoring, Virtanen’s Trade Value (Mar 5)

Ian Gooding

2021-03-05

Sidney Crosby's stay on COVID protocol lasted just one game, as he was back in action for the Penguins on Thursday.

Unfortunately, Joel Farabee was placed onto the COVID protocol list. He has been hot recently with 14 points in his last 10 games, as well as a point-per-game pace (19 points in 19 games). Prior to Thursday's game, he was the second-leading scorer on the Flyers and tied for the team lead with 10 goals. He's emerged as a must-own in fantasy leagues.

The battle of Pennsylvania itself was an interesting one. The Penguins scored three goals in the first four minutes of this game. However, the Flyers scored four unanswered goals in the last 50 minutes, including Claude Giroux's second of the game with just over two minutes in regulation to win 4-3.

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If your league is one of those rare leagues that counts hat tricks as a separate category, hopefully you have Chris Kreider on your team. Kreider scored his second hattie in just over a week (five games) and in consecutive road games. The hat tricks and three other recent goals gives him nine goals (!) over his past six games. This after he scored "just" four goals over his first 15 games. Kreider is now suddenly a top-5 goal scorer with 13 on the season. Imagine my luck in picking him up the day before his first hat trick. I'm not kidding. He's up to nearly 30 SH%, so I really shouldn't expect him to keep up with the Matthews and McDavids of the world.

With a goal and an assist, Alexis Lafreniere recorded the first multipoint game of his career. He's now on a four-game point streak with six points in his last six games. It seems like he started to score not long after I advised you it was okay to drop him in single-season leagues. Well, it's time to pick him up, maybe even for the rest of the season. He's now on a scoring line with Mika Zibanejad and Pavel Buchnevich, and his icetime is slowly climbing.

It wasn't all good for the Rangers, as Igor Shesterkin left the game late in the third period. Here's how it happened, along with possible diagnoses and timelines.