The Jets and Bruins matched up in a marquee battle on Tuesday evening. It did not disappoint. In a game that featured back and forth action and no team ever leading by more than a goal, it was Kyle Connor who played the hero.
The 21-year-old tallied two third-period goals – his 20th and 21st of the season and buried the shootout winner as the Jets took this one 4-3 on the road.
Patrik Laine skated just 10:55 in the affair – the second lowest total of his career. Things are not falling into favour for the 20-year-old winger. He has just two goals and four points in his last 17 games.
His 34 points in 50 contests put him far and away on pace for the lowest statistical output of his young career, and it’s not for a lack of trying. Laine has been firing pucks on net at a career-best 3.44 per game pace. However, both his five-on-five and personal shooting percentages have taken a hit.
Many, myself included, expected the former second overall selection to be able to live in the rare air of the high-teens when it came to conversion rate. He had done so through his first 150-plus games, but this season it’s shrunk to 14.5.
That mark still represents an impressive output, but the decrease illustrates the impact on a player who has become wholly one-dimensional on the scoresheet. Laine’s inability to find an apple or two lying around the yard is concerning, but his IPP is certainly due to come up from the 54.8 mark it sits at now.
If you’re asking yourself if this is a good buy-low window, the answer is yes. Both in one-year leagues and especially keepers.
Laine’s insolation from Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele at even-strength will undoubtedly continue to impact his high-end ceiling, but I trust in skill. Laine is due for a scoring bender and his assist rate should see an uptick as well. All that adds up to a decent bet for a strong back 30.
He'll need the ice time though.
Patrice Bergeron tallied two goals, six shots, a hit, a takeaway and went 65 percent in the faceoff dot. Just another night at the Garden for one of the all-time greats.
Despite missing 16 games due to injury, the 33-year-old is still on pace to record 32 goals and 84 points in just 66 games. The goal total would match his career-high, while the 84 points would demolish his previous best (68).
Like a good wine, Bergy keeps getting better with age.
The trio of Bergeron, David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand came together for seven points in this one. They remain right near the top of the heap when it comes to stacking full lines. As risky as that can be in head-to-head setups, it’s not too often those three are held to a quiet night.
2016 first rounder, Trent Frederic suited up in his first NHL contest for the Bruins on Tuesday. He skated just nine minutes but managed to land himself a highlight by throwing some serious hands with Brandon Tanev.
Austin Watson has been placed in Stage 2 of the NHL/NHLPA Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program because of alcohol abuse. He will be suspended without pay until cleared.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) January 29, 2019
This news is unlikely to affect your fantasy squad much. But it’s noteworthy that Auston Watson gets the help he needs. This comes on the heels of the Domestic Abuse charge from last summer.
It’s clear this guy needs to get his head right.
Buffalo pounced on a continually-shaky, Sergei Bobrovsky on Tuesday. They scored five goals on 34 shots to hand the 30-year-old, two-time Vezina winner a 5-4 loss. Bob has had just one quality start over the past month. He’s 3-5-0 with a 0.863 save percentage over that span. He's sporting a 0.902 overall on the campaign.
After word came down that Artemi Panarin wouldn’t talk contract with CBJ until the offseason and fans in Columbus booing him when he touched the puck (yes, that really happened tonight) the trade deadline is going to be very interesting in Columbus.
General Manager, Jarmo Kekäläinen has his plate overflowing. Despite the loss, the Blue Jackets still own a precarious divisional playoff spot. But do they believe they have the horses to get this thing over the finish line?
If not, it’s hard to imagine letting either or both of Bob and Panarin to reach unrestricted free agency and risk losing them for babkas.
Speaking of Panarin, he had a regular night at the office by chipping in a couple of assists in 22:12 of ice. He has 21 points in his last 15 games while being on pace for a tidy 96 points. His 1.17 point-per-game pace somehow sits outside of the top-15 this season.
What a time to be alive!
On the positive side of the ledger, Rasmus Dahlin is really coming into his own. The 18-year-old assisted on two goals Tuesday while going +4 in 17:12 of action. That brings him up to 28 points in 49 games.
At this point, his 0.57 point-per-game output is bordering on the historical. From an ALL-TIME perspective, here are the top seasons from U19 defenders:
Phil Housley 66 points in 77 games (0.86)
Bobby Orr 41 points in 61 games (0.67)
Aaron Ekblad 39 points in 81 games (0.48)
Rasmus Dahlin 29 points in 49 games (0.57)
The 2018 first overall selection is tracking very well to finish third on that list, but don’t count out a late run to overtake Orr. Dahlin has eight points in his last seven games and is looking more comfortable with each passing contest.
With his sixth multi-point outing, he joins the aforementioned, Orr and Housley as the only other defenders to reach that mark before their 19th birthdays.
Oh, the numbers this kid is going to put up over his career. Here’s hoping you took him first overall in keeper drafts this summer (thanks for the gift, Patty).
Anthony Stolarz and the Flyers shutout the Rangers 1-0 in the final game of the evening. Oskar Lindblom scored the only marker just 100 seconds into the game. Assists to Sean Couturier and Jakub Voracek.
Couts is riding hot these days. After an icy four points in 12 games to begin his season, the 26-year-old has been playing at a point-per-game pace. He has 11 points in his last eight games and seems primed to keep that pace up – this despite being away from Claude Giroux at even-strength for the last little while.
Following up on Ian’s Sunday night dig into players who have historically clicked on impressive second halves, I’m here to bring the dread. The Debbie Downer to his Positive Pete.
I’ve combed through far too many game logs since 2014-15 to discover some performers who have left their owners wanting more at the most inopportune time of the year – fantasy playoff season. These stats are taken from post-All-Star break until the completion of the regular season.
First up, the Flyers’ captain.
You might think this one seems strange considering that Giroux produced a whopping 45 points in 35 games down the stretch in 2017-18. It was the final touch on a career-best 101-point campaign. It also stands alone as his finest second-half performance sprinkled amongst several disappointing springs.
The first bracket will indicate the point-per-game output post-All-Star break. The second bolded bracket will represent the year-end point-per-game total.
2014-15: 22 points in 34 games (0.65) (0.90)
2015-16: 28 points in 34 games (0.82) (0.86)
2016-17: 18 points in 32 games (0.56) (0.71)
2017-18: 45 points in 33 games (1.36) (1.23)
Even riding a five-game win streak, the Flyers remain 10 points out of a wild-card spot and are more likely to settle at the bottom of the standings than make a late charge. Thus, it’s more than conceivable to expect Giroux to see his production slide a bit. Heading out of the break, Giroux has just six points in his previous 10 contests.
The entire Flyers' squad being on a down season will likely affect the trade value even on a stud like Giroux, but it may not hurt to test the waters. Don’t be afraid to use the Schedule Planning feature on Frozen Tools to suss out a suitable trade target that may have some better matchups during the fantasy playoff weeks.
Seguin has been one of the most consistent producers over the last five seasons. He’s never played below a 72-point pace while clicking above a point-per-game on three occasions. However, he tends to do most of his damage on the front-nine.
2014-15: 25 points in 25 games (1.00) (1.08)
2015-16: 20 points in 22 games (0.91) (1.01)
2016-17: 25 points in 32 games (0.78) (0.88)
2017-18: 35 points in 32 games (1.09) (0.95)
The good news here is that the 26-year-old bucked the back-half, downward trend last season. He’s been much better since his CEO embarrassed himself as well as Seguin and Jamie Benn a month ago. Dallas continues to be in the hunt for a Wild Card spot, and they’ll need their best player rolling.
This is one of the situations where I’d bank on the player, rather than the downside.
The All-Star blueliner has been one of the few bright spots in Big D these last few seasons. He’s consistently been among the top producing defenders since entering the league in 2014-15. He’s never played below a 50-point pace and is coming off a career-high 67 points a season ago.
But like those mentioned above him, he tends to see his production dip as the season wears on.
2014-15: 22 points in 33 games (0.66) (0.62)
2015-16: 18 points in 26 games (0.69) (0.76)
2016-17: 22 points in 32 games (0.69) (0.61)
2017-18: 19 points in 32 games (0.59) (0.82)
Similar to teammate, Seguin, Klingberg is attempting to drag his squad into a much-needed post-season berth. He’s playing very well since returning from injury and has seven points in his last six contests. Despite seeing his numbers slide in back portions during three of his four full seasons, I’d be willing to bet the 26-year-old bucks that trend in 2018-19.
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