Ramblings: Ekblad Leaves Game, Busy Knight Earns Shutout, Nichushkin on Top Line (Mar 19)

Ian Gooding


Friday provided us with one significant deal with Brandon Hagel heading to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Read more about the full trade and its fantasy impact.

Josh Norris scored the game-winning goal on the power play for the Senators on Friday, reaching 25 goals for the first time in his career. Not only that, but he's also the first Senator in three years to reach that total, clearly emerging as a goal-scoring threat. Only four players (Chris Kreider, Leon Draisaitl, Auston Matthews, David Pastrnak) currently have more power-play goals than Norris's 12 PPG (although several other players are tied with Norris). He's also the first Senator to reach 12 power-play goals since Mike Hoffman in 2016-17.

As I mentioned yesterday, Erik Brannstrom is expected to take a big chunk of Thomas Chabot's minutes and power-play time. Sure enough, Brannstrom assisted on Norris's power-play goal while logging nearly 23 minutes and first-unit power-play time. His assist broke a 10-game point drought. Brannstrom is rostered in just 1 percent of Yahoo leagues (31% in Fantrax), so there's a real ground-floor opportunity here in single-season leagues.

Nick Paul was a healthy scratch for Ottawa on Friday, which means that he could be on the move.

With Claude Giroux at home waiting for a trade, Mike Yeo played the hell out of Kevin Hayes on Friday. The tall center played a season-high 22 minutes, which included first-unit power-play time and first-unit penalty killing. Hayes has a contract that is virtually untradable (over $7 million cap hit for four more seasons), so at this point the only way he doesn't play is if the scoring completely dries up. Obviously you'll find much better scorers at the center position, but he could make a bit of hay while the Flyers play out the string.  

Seth Jarvis's two goals on Friday were his first since January 21. In other words, he had gone 18 games without a goal. Jarvis had only recorded three assists during that time, so he had hit a rookie wall while falling out of the Calder Trophy race. A recent healthy scratch, Jarvis was moved onto a line with