Ramblings: Barzal, Panarin Each Hit 80 Points

by Ian Gooding on April 4, 2018

Barzal, Panarin Each Hit 80 Points

Mathew Barzal scored two goals and added an assist, giving him 60 assists and 82 points on the season. Let’s step back and admire what a rookie season it has been for Barzal, who is the first rookie since Evgeni Malkin in 2006-07 to reach 80 points. The Calder Trophy is pretty much his at this point, as he is nearly 20 points clear of the next highest-scoring rookie (Clayton Keller). One burning question I have: Will he be the Islanders’ first line center next season? That question applies whether or not John Tavares is back on Long Island.

Barzal’s linemate Anthony Beauvillier scored a goal and added two assists on seven shots on goal, giving him 20 goals on the season. Beauvillier is riding a four-game goal streak, so he should be rolling in your fantasy lineup as the Islanders play out the string.

Nolan Patrick scored two goals and added an assist in the same game, which places him one point shy of 30 in his rookie season. These splits seem to foreshadow progression next season. Don’t forget to add the 2017 second overall pick to your sleeper list.

Oct-Jan: 41 GP, 11 PTS (0.27 PTS/GP)

Feb-Apr: 30 GP, 18 PTS (0.6 PTS/GP)

Over a full season, Patrick’s production over the past two months would amount to a 50-point pace.

*

Did anyone have Taylor Hall booked for 90 points playing on the Devils? With two goals and two assists on Tuesday, Hall has now reached 93 points and is just one goal shy of 40. Hall is also third with 37 power-play points and ninth with 274 shots. Hall was barely drafted in the top 100 (ADP: 92.5 in Yahoo leagues), yet he won’t come nearly as cheap next season.

*

Those hoping that Erik Karlsson would cash in because of the Sens’ four-game week will be disappointed that he will miss the final three games of the season. Understandable, though, given what he has been through. Have we seen the last of him in a Senators’ uniform? The offseason should certainly be interesting.

If you’re a Karlsson owner playing for a championship, Thomas Chabot is worth an add. He scored two goals and an assist on Monday and also has three games over the last four days of the fantasy season. Expect big minutes and power-play opportunity with Karlsson out. Chabot’s fantasy value will be helped big time if Karlsson is shipped out without an adequate return on defense.

Speaking of the Sens, Mark Stone is expected to be a game-time decision on Wednesday. Get ready to activate him in case he plays.

*

With a goal and two assists on Tuesday, Artemi Panarin has four consecutive multipoint games with 11 points over that span. Projected by many to regress in Columbus, Panarin has actually improved with his first 80-point season. Panarin has been ripping it up during the fantasy playoffs with 28 points in just 17 games since the beginning of March. We can officially abandon the narrative that Panarin’s point totals were high because of Patrick Kane. He’s an exceptional player on his own.

With his goal on Tuesday, Pierre-Luc Dubois now has five goals over his last three games and seven points over his last four games. On Panarin’s line, Dubois has been a point-per-game player over that same hot stretch since early March.

The other player on that line is Cam Atkinson, who with two goals on Tuesday now has 10 goals and 15 points over his last 10 games. He was also a point-per-game player since early March after a disappointing first half. Between this red-hot top line and the solid goaltending of Sergei Bobrovsky, does anyone like the Blue Jackets as a potential Cinderella team out of the East? Something I’m starting to think about.

*

You might think that Kyle Connor has at least partially been a product of his linemates. So it’s worth mentioning that he scored his 30th  goal of the season to go with two assists. His linemates for Tuesday? Try Jack Roslovic and Andrew Copp. The Jets rested Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler, among others, for this game. Somebody tell these coaches that we have fantasy titles to win and we need our big guns in the lineup!

*

In stopping all 33 shots he faced against Atlantic rival Boston, Andrei Vasilevskiy won for the first time in four games and earned his first shutout in over two months. Surprisingly, he still leads the league in both categories. Vasilevskiy posted a goals-against average north of 4.00 in March (ouch!) so maybe it’s gotten to the point where you have benched him. It’s been that kind of rollercoaster ride for too many goalies this season.

Vasilevskiy and the Bolts earned the win in spite of being without Steven Stamkos, who is day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

Charlie McAvoy returned to the Bruins’ lineup after missing 15 games. He was held without a point and was a minus-2.

*

Hat trick for Jamie Benn, who has now cracked the 30-goal mark. His goal and point totals over the past couple seasons suggest that he is a very good fantasy option, but not an elite one as it stands now.

Kari Lehtonen left Tuesday’s game against San Jose with an upper-body injury. With Ben Bishop also sidelined, Mike McKenna came on in relief and stopped all 17 shots he faced to earn a come-from-behind win for the Stars.

*

With his 42-save win against Calgary, Antti Raanta has now won six consecutive starts and nine of his last ten. Since January 1 Raanta has a 1.83 GAA and .942 SV%. I understand the Coyotes’ and Raanta’s rough starts, but how could he still only be owned in slightly less than half of Yahoo leagues? This guy could be winning you a championship as your third goalie!

*

Here’s the Predators’ buzzer beater that was disallowed due to “goaltender interference.” Don’t ask me for my opinion because I don’t know what goaltender interference is anymore. It seems that Viktor Arvidsson pushing his stick on Roberto Luongo was enough for the refs to make the call.

Even Carrie Underwood is weighing in now…
 


*

Some Anaheim injury news: Cam Fowler is expected to be sidelined for the next 2-6 weeks (I know, doesn’t really narrow it down) with a shoulder injury, while John Gibson is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

*

Remember Brandon Pirri? That Vegas magic dust rubbed off on him in his first game for the Vegas Golden Knights, as he scored two goals in a late game against the Canucks. Pirri was in the lineup because Erik Haula and Jonathan Marchessault were given the night off, a concept that seems to be growing in popularity in the NHL.

William Karlsson scored goal number 43 and added two more assists, giving him six 3-point games on the season. Much is made of the goal total, which no one predicted. But did you know that Wild Bill leads the NHL with a plus-46? I still say the goal total regresses next season with a likely shooting percentage decline (23 percent), but chemistry is chemistry and confidence is confidence. He’s found both in Vegas.

When Jussi Jokinen was sent to Vancouver in the Thomas Vanek trade, I assumed that he was just a throw-in that would mostly be healthy scratched over the remainder of the season. But injuries hit the forward ranks, and Jokinen has not only played, but thrived. With an assist on Tuesday, Jokinen now has seven points over his last five games. The way Jim Benning loves his veteran mentors, I now wouldn’t be surprised if Jokinen is brought back by the Canucks next season after playing for four teams this season. Especially with the Sedins retiring. Maybe Jokinens is even a late-season add if you’re in a deeper format.

Nikolay Goldobin posted the first two-goal game of his career on Tuesday, which gives him goals in back-to-back games and four points over his last three games. He shows flashes of brilliance, such as a goal I was in attendance for where he absolutely undressed Drew Doughty. Yet he disappears for long stretches, which should make him hard to trust in keeper leagues.

I’m sure you’ve heard or will hear about plenty of Sedin stories as they now play their final week. Here are two that stand out to me, both originating from their draft day in 1999:

  1. The three trades that Brian Burke made to acquire both first-round picks needed (the Canucks already owned one pick). You may believe that Burke is an overrated GM/executive, but this was outstanding work and perhaps his finest moment as a GM. These trades ensured that the Sedins could spend their entire careers together. It’s fair to assume that they wouldn’t have had the individual success they had without each other.  
  2. The 1999 draft class itself. Aside from the Sedins, this might be the weakest draft class ever. Ryan Miller and Henrik Zetterberg were superb later-round picks, but many of the names in the first round are unrecognizable today. This might serve as a cautionary tale of overvaluing draft picks relative to actual NHL players, although I am led to believe that scouting tools have improved in the information age.

Daniel recorded an assist, while Henrik was held without a point in their first game since they announced they would retire at the end of the season. I’ve got the Sunday Ramblings, so be prepared for at least a little bit of Sedin coverage as they play their final game on Saturday. 🙂

Classy move by the Golden Knights in sticking around to shake hands with the Sedins after the game.
 


*

For more fantasy hockey information, you can follow me on Twitter @Ian_Gooding.