Ramblings: Ovechkin’s assists; Duchene’s torrid pace; Suzuki rolling – November 13

Michael Amato

2021-11-13

I can't remember a season with so many teams having schedules this thin to start the year. The Colorado Avalanche are in the midst of their second of three weeks where they play just two games and the New York Islanders have only one game this week for the second time this year. There are obviously going to be high-end players from those teams like Nathan MacKinnon and Ilya Sorokin that you simply have to hold onto, but anyone from the fringes of your roster you might have to drop and add players that have three or four games.

In leagues that track volume stats like shots, hits, and blocks it's going to be very tough to compete in head-to-head matchups when you're rostering players that simply aren't playing more than a game or two in a given week. Don't discount the importance of the schedule and how it impacts your team.

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Alex Ovechkin moved into fourth on the all-time scoring list Friday, but this year he's piling up the assists too. The Washington Capitals forward currently has 12 assists in 14 games and his ratio of goals and assists is 50/50, which is much closer than it's been in recent years. Ovechkin hasn't even recorded 20 assists in a season since 2018-19 and he's already more than half way there after the first month of the season. Most people obviously draft Ovechkin for his scoring prowess, but if he can get his point totals up thanks to an abundance of assists this season that's only going to make him all the more valuable.

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Speaking of assists, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins picked up a pair Friday. Nugent-Hopkins now has 17 assists on the year and zero goals. Not sure I've ever seen anything like that before.

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Nick Suzuki recorded just one point in his first five games, but things have certainly changed of late. The Montreal Canadiens forward has been on an incredible tear recently, posting nine points in the month of November alone. This run includes four multi-point games in his past five and Suzuki is averaging more than four shots per game over this stretch. These are all great signs for a player on a team that looks to be in for a rough year. Sometimes when a team is heading for a bad season the offensive numbers of a player like Suzuki can drop as well, but that doesn't appear to be case where the young center is concerned.

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The Los Angeles Kings have won seven-straight and usually when that happens a team is getting some depth scoring that you may be able to capitalize on. Adrian Kempe (6) and Andreas Athanasiou (4)