Ramblings: Splits for Zibanejad, Saros; Hatties for Verhaeghe, Rust, Kessel, Motivation for Gaudreau (Mar 28)
Before Saturday's game, Brad Marchand was placed on the COVID protocol list. That resulted in young banger Trent Frederic being placed on the top line with Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak. Although Frederic did not record a point, he logged a season-high 17:30 of icetime and 2:14 on the second power-play unit. Frederic is the Bruins' runaway leader in penalty minutes (53) and is tied for fourth in hits (42), so those in bangers leagues in particular should keep an eye on him while Marchand is out.
Linus Ullmark was activated from IR to start Saturday's game. He qualified for a quality start in allowing three goals on 36 shots, but as expected the Sabres lost again. It's now 17 games without a win, which has now been over a month. Ullmark's season numbers (2.49 GAA, .918 SV%, 46.2 QS%) are actually pretty good if you consider the team he plays for. If you're okay not earning a win, he may be worth adding. Conversely, he should improve Buffalo's goaltending situation, which might mean they finally pull out a victory at some point.
The Flyers were in desperate need of a strong goaltending performance on Saturday, and they received it from Brian Elliott. The 35-year-old Elliott stopped 24 of 25 shots to backstop the Flyers to a 2-1 win over the Rangers. This was a nice bounce-back game for the Flyers, who allowed eight goals to the Rangers on Thursday, just over a week after allowing nine goals to the same Rangers squad.
Despite the loss, Mika Zibanejad scored another goal. We know that he's gone from freezing cold to scorching hot this season, so let's check out his splits: