Many of us awoke on Tuesday to see that two coaches were relieved of their duties. Mike Yeo in St Louis and Todd McLellan in Edmonton. There will be fantasy fallout from both of these moves, however, it’s the most likely in Edmonton where Ken Hitchcock will be tightening the reigns.
I’d just like to take a moment to curtail the theory that Connor McDavid will be negatively impacted. I go into some detail in the articles below but let’s just get a few things straight. Hitchcock went in Dallas and demanded more from Tyler Seguin. Well, that was justifiable.
Connor McDavid led the league in takeaways last season and is The. Best. Player. on the planet. He’s also playing over 22 minutes a night right now. Do we really think that Hitch is going to A) tack on two more minutes of PK time to that load or B) sacrifice even-strength time for it? Will he start dumping all the defensive zone draws on McDavid?
No. No, he won’t. Not if he’s a reasonable human being anyways. And he showed that he is on Tuesday evening as he double-shifted his team's captain throughout the evening.
But do you know who could be hurt from this? Leon Draisaitl. He’s a wildly talented player who could still use some further motivation in the defensive department at times. If Hitch decides that he’s the guy to anchor line two and not RNH, then I could see Drai and Hitch having some heated conversations. It will certainly be fun to watch how the team reacts off the hop (I imagine somewhat well), but also how things sift out after a couple of weeks.
Fortunately for Draisaitl, he remained up on line one with McDavid and Drake Cagguila during Tuesday night's contest.
For more on the fantasy implications for both of these moves:
After a heavy slate of action last night, Tuesday was home to a single contest. It pitted the newly coached Oilers against the Sharks.
Joonas Donskoi potted his fifth of the season to open the scoring. Brent Burns grabbed the second assist for his 20th of the season. That leads NHL defenders. His eight primary apples at even strength also lead the backs. Second is OEL with five. Burns is doing just fine.
A few moments later Connor McDavid knotted the game at one with his 100th career goal. McDavid sits with 100 goals and 287 points in 230 career games. His 1.25 points-per-game sits second to Sidney Crosby’s 1.29 for active players. For comparison, Crosby was averaging 1.37 points per game through his first 230 NHL games.
Logan Couture got dirty on Adam Larsson with just under a minute to play in the second period. Larsson is still looking for his jock. The 29-year-old has been quietly living in the point-per-game area all season long.
Tomas Hertl returned after missing a few games. He returned to the second line with Couture and Meier and skated 20:11 with two shots on goal.
McDavid set up Cagguila for a tap-in goal to tie the game 3-3 early in the third period. He then set up Leon Draisaitl in overtime to win it 4-3. Draisaitl chipped in with two assists as well. He has nine points in the last four games. Life with McDavid is good.
Connor McDavid played 41.2% of the game at even-strength through regulation, all of overtime and finished with 3 points including an assist on the OT winner. #HitchlikesConnor— Mike Kelly (@MikeKellyNHL) November 21, 2018
Mikko Koskinen started for consecutive games and three of the previous four. He's looking strong and appears to have the upper hand on the starting job. I still expect it to be a fluid situation until one player either truly runs with the ball or drops it, slips on it, and sprains his ankle.
The news came down on Tuesday that Patrice Bergeron would be out at least a month. That’s devasting news to the Bruins and fantasy owners alike. Bergeron was on pace for a career season across the board. I was already well into my campaign to get him some legitimate Hart trophy votes.
So, what does this mean for the Bruins’ lineup and how does it affect the fantasy landscape?
David Krejci filled in for Bergeron when he left the game on Saturday. He’ll continue in that role for the duration. The Bruins simply lack another option. Plus, Krejci is a decent fill-in. He has built-in chemistry with David Pastrnak from the international scene and some minutes sprinkled in at even-strength the last two seasons.
Anders Bjork was skating with the two on his natural left-wing slot. This could prove very interesting for the young forward. The 22-year-old has struggled mightily in his first full season. He has a single goal and two helpers in 18 contests. However, Bjork is a skilled player who has had a healthy dose of time next to David Backes, Chris Wagner, Joakim Nordstrom, and Sean Kuraly. Not exactly the most productive crew.
Give this kid a long look next to Pasta and Krejci and we could be looking at a nice streaming option. Just like he was when he produced seven points in his first nine NHL contests a year ago.
It’s unlikely that Bjork takes the opening on the top power-play unit though. That could be a serious opportunity in Bergeron’s bumper spot. David Backes filled in there to conclude that game and could make some sense to fill that role in the interim. This would allow Krejci to continue to be the QB on the second unit.
Don’t sleep on Jake DeBrusk seeing an opportunity there as well.
Those combinations affect one more superstar: Brad Marchand.
The loss of Bergeron will hurt every member of the super line. Pasta at least get’s Krejci, but Marchand will slide to the second line and play beside DeBrusk and likely, Nordstrom. That’s a clear downgrade.
This does allow him to likely shade off of opponent’s top shutdown combinations. He’ll be getting a lot of looks against team’s second pair and second line. He can likely do alright with those matchups.
So, Drake Batherson seems to be enjoying pro hockey, eh?
The 20-year-old concluded a tremendous QMJHL career highlighted by a World Junior Championship gold medal and a monster playoff run with Blainville-Boisbriand. He transitioned to the American league last month and went off. Seven goals and 20 points in 13 AHL games before earning the call.
Thus far, the NHL hasn’t appeared to be much of a challenge yet either. He has two goals and five points in three contests. He’s riding shotgun with a rejuvenated and red-hot Matt Duchene on the top line, and the two seem to feed off of each other’s speed and skill.
The 2017 fourth-round selection is skating on the team’s “second power-play unit”. However, it’s a split unit situation in the Nation’s Capital and Batherson is still out there working with Duchene.
Batherson is owned in 2.6 percent of ESPN leagues and eight percent on Yahoo. Take a look to see if your squad could use a kid on a heater. He’s out there for most of you.
Ben Bishop is out a week or so with an LBI. The Injury Ninja has been hard at work this year. There’s not much to think about here, Anton Khudobin will get the starts. Khudobin has been good this seaon. He’s posted a 0.925 save percentage but hasn’t earned a ton of run support.
He could be a nice grab as the Stars play five games in the next eight days.
As we inch closer to a new calendar, I like to look back and tabulate the most successful players from that previous calendar year. Here’s a look at the leaders for a few main categories.
- Alex Ovechkin (40)
- Connor McDavid (40)
- David Pastrnak (37)
- Patrik Laine (37)
- Nate MacKinnon (36)
- Mikko Rantanen (58)
- Mat Barzal (56)
- Brent Burns (55)
- Blake Wheeler (55)
- Evgeni Malkin (54)
- Connor Mcdavid (94)
- Evgeni Malkin (89)
- Mikko Rantanen (83)
- Nate MacKinnon (80)
- Claude Giroux (79)
- Tyler Seguin (266)
- Brent Burns (258)
- Alex Ovechkin (256)
- Nate MacKinnon (251)
- Jonathan Marchessault (241)
Here’s a look at some lesser considered stats but ones that are often used to predict future and continued success:
- Blake Wheeler (39)
- Mitch Marner (37)
- Mikko Rantanen (34)
- Sidney Crosby (33)
- Connor McDavid (33)
- Connor McDavid (113)
- Timo Meier (88)
- Brendan Gallagher (88)
- Evander Kane (83)
- Anders Lee (82)
- Alex Ovechkin (4:25)
- Jack Eichel (4:01)
- Sean Monahan (3:48)
- John Carlson (3:45)
- John Klingberg (3:44)
- Evgeni Malkin (4.6)
- Nate MacKinnon (4.1)
- Patrice Bergeron (4.0)
- Mikko Rantanen (4.0)
- Connor McDavid (4.0)
Save Percentage (Min. 25 games)
- Antti Raanta (0.939)
- Pekka Rinne (0.934)
- John Gibson (0.929)
- Semyon Varlamov (0.929)
- Roberto Luongo (0.927)
- Craig Anderson (1511)
- Frederik Andersen (1532)
- Connor Hellebuyck (1443)
- Henrik Lundqvist (1428)
- Marc-Andre Fleury (1426)
Thanks for reading and feel free to follow me on Twitter @Hockey_Robinson
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