Ramblings: Anderson Shutout In Return (Feb 12)

by Ian Gooding on February 12, 2017

Anderson shutout in return, Arvidsson and Berglund hatties, plus more…

In his first game in over two months, Craig Anderson pitched a 29-save shutout win over the Islanders. Hopefully he is back for good and his wife Nicholle is doing well.

Anderson’s return means that Andrew Hammond was placed on waivers. His days as the Hamburgler seem to be in the distant past, as he has struggled mightily this season (0-2-0, 4.08 GAA, .837 SV%). Could a team like the goaltending-thin Avalanche pick him up? Hammond has a career 2.13 GAA and .923 SV%, so there may be some interest from teams in need of organizational goaltending depth. Hammond started just twice since December 5, the date that Anderson left the team.

Meanwhile, Mike Condon’s value obviously takes a major hit with Anderson’s return. Considering that Condon was let go by two other organizations over the past 12 months, it’s remarkable how often he played while Anderson was out. A total of 28 of his 32 games played came in December, January, and February. At one point he played in 24 consecutive games, which included four back-to-backs. His numbers during that time were average at best (2.73 GAA, .905 SV%), but it’s unlikely he disappears entirely out of fantasy relevance now that he’s proven he can handle the workload.


You could insert Frank Vatrano’s name under the “Players This Helps” column when it comes to the appointment of Bruce Cassidy as the Bruins’ head coach, but the fact that he is simply back from injury means that we should begin to see more of him soon.

Vatrano scored a goal and added two assists in 11 minutes of icetime in one of several Saturday day games. Although Vatrano didn’t skate on one of the top two lines (Ryan Spooner and Jimmy Hayes were his linemates), he found himself on the second-unit power play where he scored his goal. Vatrano has been averaging nearly three shots per game, making the most of the limited minutes he has received (14 minutes per game). His final season in the AHL was remarkable (36 goals in 36 games), so he’s a sharpshooter in waiting and a possible deep league pickup for this season.


Since we like to discuss Granlund on this site, here’s another Granlund stat for you. Granlund has seven goals over his last 15 games, including two goals over his last three games.

I should also mention that I’m referring to Markus Granlund. See what I did there?


I’m sure you can figure out what happened, so I’ll fill you in on the rest. Viktor Arvidsson also took eight shots on goal. Much to Steve’s enjoyment, Arvidsson should be a candidate for one of the NHL’s Three Stars this week, as he now has five goals and two 3-point games this week. I’m sure you know what Arvidsson is about by now, since Steve has covered him numerous times in the Ramblings.

To think, Arvidsson was recently dropped in a roto experts league by Dobber writer Eric Daoust, with another owner using waiver priority to pick him up. Yet I can’t blame Eric much, as he is running away with the league lead and very much on top of hot waiver-wire pickups (and very stacked at both wing positions). This league has been set to public viewing, so you can see it here.


Arvidsson’s hattie wasn’t enough for the Preds, who were outgunned 7-4 by the Panthers. Vincent Trocheck and Jonathan Huberdeau each had three points. Since his return, Huberdeau has five points in three games, with points in all three games and 13 shots on goal. Huberdeau is better than any waiver-wire pickup for fantasy teams that held onto him for all or part of the season.

I have to give credit to Eric, who was also the one who grabbed Huberdeau off waivers while everyone else in that league was asleep.


He’s only 55 games into the season, but 32-year-old Patrick Eaves has already reached a career high in goals. He scored goals number 20 and 21 while playing on a line with Jamie Benn on Saturday. Eaves is at the time of this writing a top-20 goal scorer. But because he’s not a name brand, he’s still unowned in about three-quarters of Yahoo leagues. The 15 percent shooting accuracy may have something to do with it, but he shot at that rate two seasons ago as well. Might as well pick him up.


The Evander KaneJack EichelSam Reinhart line combined for seven points – all in the first period. Both of Kane’s goals were laser beams that were in the net before Frederik Andersen realized he took the shot. We may have been quick to write off Kane after his legal troubles and injury issues, but he’s now up to 18 goals in 44 games. Expand that over a full season and Kane would be on pace for over 30 goals. The tools are still there, and if he stays with Eichel during the growth stage of Eichel’s career, we may still see that happen.

From that same game…


Another player who is closing in on 20 goals is Patrik Berglund, thanks to a hat trick against the struggling Canadiens. Berglund now has six goals and is a plus-6 over his last five games, and the icetime is there for the taking now that Robby Fabbri is out for the season. Berglund isn’t on the first-unit power play and he has only three power-play goals all season, so expectations should be tempered. But the Blues will need to lean more heavily on Berglund down the stretch, which makes him a possible deep league pickup.


Henrik Lundqvist isn’t having his best season (2.68 GAA, .911 SV%) and he may be on the downside of his career. But in case you’re worried that he won’t perform down the stretch, his 400th career win on Saturday was his fifth in a row and his eighth in his last ten games. During February, Lundqvist has five wins, a 1.98 goals-against average, and a .946 save percentage. The Rangers score enough goals (an average of over three per game) to make King Henrik a solid bet to win, even if he struggles a little.


In daily leagues, roll with as many Capitals as possible whenever they play at home. In other words, I really shouldn’t have started John Gibson tonight.

Nicklas Backstrom is on fire right now. With a goal and two assists on Saturday, Backstrom now has back-to-back three-point games, along with a seven-game point streak where he has 13 points. And surprise, surprise: Backstrom is now tied with Sidney Crosby with 60 points. That puts Backstrom on pace for just under 90 points. Is Backstrom a darkhorse candidate for the Art Ross, or can he keep up with Crosby and Connor McDavid? I’d still take Crosby, given the points-per-game pace from having played fewer games.

By the way, Sid the Kid has now been held without a point for two consecutive games, so he “still” sits at 998 career points. His next crack at 1,000 will come Tuesday against Vancouver. The Canucks seem to love allowing stars to score milestone points, such as Wayne Gretzky’s record-breaking point, Patrick Marleau’s 500th goal, and a few others that I can’t remember right now. So if you’re a Crosby fan, make sure you tune in on Tuesday night. If you have Valentine’s Day plans, cancel them (with permission from your significant other, of course!)

Also scoring-race related…


Mike Smith loves to play the puck. But here he clearly shouldn’t have.

That goal was the second goal of the game for Josh Archibald, who was playing just his second NHL game and his first of the season.


Richard Panik scored two goals and added an assist, pushing his season goal total up to 14. What makes Panik particularly intriguing is that he was recently inserted on the first-unit power play with Patrick Kane and company. This is Panik’s second multi-point game in his last three games, so he has been heating up. If he can stay on the first-unit power play for a while, that will be a huge boost to his fantasy value.

Speaking of Kane, he scored a goal and added two assists of his own in this one. His point streak now stands at five games, a streak in which he has piled up nine points. If you watched this game, you could clearly see how he is one of the most talented players in the league. But you already knew that.


Enjoy your Sunday. Follow me on Twitter @Ian_Gooding.