Anderson Shutout In Outdoor Game, Landeskog’s Five-Point Game, plus more…
It has been an eventful past week for the Ottawa Senators, if you factor in the Erik Karlsson no-trade list and the Eugene Melnyk comments. But the outdoor game couldn’t have gone any better for the Senators, who win 3-0 over Montreal in a game marking the NHL’s very first game 100 years ago.
Craig Anderson stopped all 28 shots he faced to pick up his second shutout of the season. Even though Anderson has been struggling this season, I was sure to start him for this game, as outdoor games (at least ones with colder temperatures) seem to favor the goalies (at least according to my observations). Anderson is the fourth goalie to earn a shutout in an outdoor game. He has now had back-to-back quality starts, which should make his owners feel a little better about using him going forward. At least his goals-against average is now below 3.00 and his save percentage above .900.
Here’s the opening goal scored by playoff hero Jean-Gabriel Pageau. This is a great call by Jim Hughson. Perfectly timed.
"What this game needs now is Joe Malone, or…"
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) December 17, 2017
Erik Karlsson stuffed his fantasy owners’ stockings in this game. One assist, a plus-3 ranking, seven shots on goal, and eight blocked shots. All in 32:55 of icetime, which set a record for time on ice in an outdoor game. Fun times again. If you read my weekly column at Sportsnet, I suggested that you could try to buy low on him.
Karlsson baby what is you doin pic.twitter.com/spXgSMa7jc
— NBCSN (@NBCSN) December 17, 2017
One of those goalies who has earned a shutout in an outdoor game was Cam Talbot, which happened last season. Talbot returned to the Oilers’ lineup on Saturday afternoon, playing his first game since late November. Talbot stopped 29 of 31 shots in the Oilers’ 3-2 win. As much as fantasy owners have been down on Talbot this season, he had won three games in a row before his injury. So in each of his four consecutive wins, he has allowed just two goals in each start. There’s still a buy-low opportunity here.
One other thing: fantasy owners can now officially shed Laurent Brossoit if they’ve been hanging onto him.
Both of Talbot’s two goals allowed on Saturday afternoon were to Matt Dumba. The Wild blueliner had scored just one goal over the first two months of the season, but he has scored four goals during December.
My drop of the week recommendation was also from this game. Mikko Koivu has now gone 10 consecutive games without a point and 23 consecutive games without a goal. Koivu is normally very reliable (at least for assists), but there are probably more productive options at a deep center position on your league’s waiver wire at the moment.
Speaking of point streaks (the good kind this time), David Pastrnak extended his to 11 games with an assist. His point streak is now tied for the longest this season along with Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov. Pastrnak assisted on a goal by Brad Marchand, who has an eight-game point streak of his own, which includes 12 points (5g-7a).
On a busy Saturday, it’s unlikely that many fantasy owners would have rolled the dice on Blues’ backup Carter Hutton. But the precious few that did were handsomely rewarded, as he stopped all 48 shots he faced in the Blues’ 2-0 win over Winnipeg. Hutton had not started in about two weeks because of a foot injury.
By the way, Sunday seems to be the best day for goalie streaming starts. There are fewer games, so it’s easier to slot in a goalie that’s not one of your regulars. Those that are willing to reach out for one probably need to catch up in goaltending categories, and since it’s the final day of the week it’s all or nothing. It worked for me with Curtis McElhinney last week, who pitched a shutout last Sunday.
Sticking with the Blues, here's some good news regarding an Alex Pietrangelo return in the very near future.
Yeo says it’s possible that Brodziak and Pietrangelo play tomorrow. #stlblues
— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) December 17, 2017
I said this in another Ramblings earlier this season, but it’s worth mentioning again: the New York Islanders are a hidden gem of fantasy talent. However, the one player that we all know about leads the way. John Tavares scored a goal and added two assists to give him two consecutive three-point games and nine points over his last four games. We talk about how Tavares’ talent rubs off on linemates Josh Bailey and Anders Lee. But there also seems to be mutual benefit, as Tavares is scoring at over a point per game (40 points in 33 games) for the first time in three seasons.
Shayne Gostisbehere picked up what I like to call the double-double for his fantasy owners on Saturday. No, I’m not talking about the famous Tim Horton’s coffee. I’m referring to two goals, both of which were on the power play. With 24 points in 29 games, that 50-point season that we projected for Ghost is now well within reach.
The Colorado/Tampa Bay game was an eventful game with plenty to unpack, including a number of fantasy standouts and even a controversial hit.
Just like Jack Eichel on Friday night, Gabriel Landeskog’s monster game on Saturday went to waste when it came to determining his team’s result. Landeskog posted a hat trick to go with two assists, which included two goals in a third period where the Avs exploded for four goals to make this into a game. Landeskog had not scored a point in his three previous games, but don’t assume that this season resembles last season’s disaster. In just 28 games, Landeskog is just nine points shy (at 24 points) from matching his point total from all of last season.
Nathan MacKinnon was impressive again, scoring two goals and adding an assist with seven shots on goal. So were you ready to give up on him before this season? Even though it seems as though he’s been in the league a while, he is only 22 years of age. And he’s finally scoring at over a point per game (38 points in 32 games).
Tyson Barrie recorded three helpers in the third period of this game, two of which were on the power play. Another example of how much better things are in Colorado this season: Barrie already has one more power-play point (11 PPP) than he had all of last season.
In a winning cause, Anton Stralman scored two goals and added an assist. After struggling through November (one assist in 12 games), he’s turned it up in December with five points in seven games. Stralman probably shouldn’t be one of your fantasy d-men at the moment, though, as he has yet to score a power-play point this season and doesn’t receive much power-play time.
Yanni Gourde scored a goal and added two assists. With 23 points in 32 games, Gourde is having a very under-the-radar rookie season. He’s currently tied as a top-5 scorer among rookies in both goals and points.
Lastly, Erik Johnson’s hit on Vladislav Namestnikov is sure to be reviewed by the league for possible supplemental discipline. Fortunately, Namestnikov was able to return to the game. Johnson was handed a two-minute slashing minor, a five-minute major for boarding, and a game misconduct. Maybe the league will deem that sufficient. But it sure looked dangerous.
The Nashville Predators are on a roll, having just swept the Western Canada stops in Vancouver, Edmonton, and Calgary, having allowed just one goal over those three games. Pekka Rinne did not start the Edmonton game, but he has stopped 57 of 58 shots he has faced over the last two games. Rinne stopped all 32 shots he faced in a 2-0 shutout win over Calgary. I know I was premature in assuming the 35-year-old Rinne was on the way down. But an 18-4-3 record with a 2.25 GAA and .930 SV% has him right in the mix as a top-5 fantasy goalie.
With one of the Preds’ two goals, Kevin Fiala extended his point streak to seven games. Over that stretch he has six goals. We’ve mentioned this before, but the Kyle Turris acquisition has given Fiala’s fantasy value a major boost. By the way, Turris is also on a seven-game point streak. No one has benefitted more from the three-team trade last month than Turris, who has 17 points (4g-13a) in 17 games as a Predator.
In a losing cause, Mark Giordano fired eight shots on goal in 26 minutes of icetime.
The Flames didn’t score any goals on Saturday, so there’s not much else to talk about. But this is an interesting stat as to how much Johnny Gaudreau means to their offense:
Johnny Gaudreau has 39 points on 89 #Flames goals this season (43.8%).
That is the highest percent of team goals involved in this season.
— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) December 17, 2017
After Gaudreau, Sean Monahan has 30 points. Then no one even has 20 points.
Mario Lemieux’s five-goal game – the one where he scored even strength, on the power play, shorthanded, on a penalty shot, and on an empty net – was voted the NHL’s greatest moment, announced at the outdoor game. This was quite the statistical feat, if you think about it.
— NHL (@NHL) December 17, 2017
Personally, I thought the Bobby Orr “flying through the air” goal would win, since that image is so memorable. You can view the entire results of the vote at NHL.com’s Greatest Moments Bracket.
For more fantasy hockey information, follow me on Twitter @Ian_Gooding.
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