Ramblings: Johansen, Jones debuts, and more (Jan 9)

by Ian Gooding on January 9, 2016

Johansen and Jones debut with new teams, black and Blues, Etem trade, plus more…

Be the first in your league to grab the Midseason Guide!

I’m filling in for Steve today, so you’re stuck with me for the weekend. But I’ll try to make it worth your while recapping a fairly busy Friday.

Ryan Johansen is finally out of the clenches of John Tortorella, and he probably couldn’t be happier. Except maybe if his new team wasn’t on the losing end of a 5-3 game against Colorado. But his fantasy owners, myself included, are thrilled to pieces that he’s now playing for any team other than Columbus.

RyJo didn’t waste any time acclimatizing himself with a power-play goal just 2:35 into the game. He would assist on a Filip Forsberg goal in the second period while ending the game with a +2 and two shots on goal in 17:46 of icetime. Here’s how the Preds’ lines looked:













So Peter Laviolette appeared to juggle his lines throughout the game, looking for the right combination to use with his new prized scorer. I’d expect Johansen to center Filip Forsberg and James Neal for what could be a fairly lethal top line for the Preds, who are just clinging onto a playoff spot at the moment.


Seth Jones’ new team couldn’t win either, taking a 4-1 loss in Carolina. In the game, Jones did not record a point while being tagged with a -2 to go with two hits and no blocked shots. So he was probably more likely to receive a tongue lashing than a shin guard award from John Tortorella after this game.

Actually, no. It wasn’t all that bad. Of the 22:31 he skated in this game, 3:13 was on the power play, tied with Ryan Murray for the most on the team. In fact, Jones paired with Murray in both even strength and power play. In the few times I’ve watched Jones, he’s been noticeable to me because of his mobility. So his pairing with the stay-at-home Murray, together with his upgrade from the second-unit power play in Nashville to the first-unit power play in Columbus, could be beneficial to his fantasy value.

Also from that game: Nick Foligno left the game after taking a head shot from Brad Malone. Suspension worthy? Looks like it to me. Watch Foligno’s head bobble from side to side. The league will review this hit.


Chances are if you have a Tampa Bay Lightning player in your fantasy lineup, he has underachieved this season. I thought this quote about the Lightning today was interesting.

Over his previous half-dozen games, Victor Hedman would probably fall into the above category, having failed to record a point during that span. But he was in on all three Lightning goals in the third period of their 3-2 win in Edmonton, being credited with a goal (on a Taylor Hall stick deflection) and adding two assists (one on a Darnell Nurse skate deflection) with a +3. In other words, Hedman owners have the Oilers to thank for his three-point game.

Hedman also got it done in his own end of the ice, making the save of the game for the Bolts.


According to Man Games Lost, the St. Louis Blues are seventh in the NHL in man games lost this season. The number should probably seem higher, given the important players that the Blues have lost for at least short stretches.  That number may rise soon, as all of Jake Allen, Jay Bouwmeester, and Paul Stastny left Friday’s game in Anaheim because of injuries. Stastny was hit in the head with a puck, J-Bo took a hit from Ryan Getzlaf, while Allen was injured in a goalmouth collision with Corey Perry. Yikes.

Yet even with their share of injuries, the Blues have been a deep team able to weather the storm and comfortably hold a playoff spot. But the injuries eventually took their toll on the Blues in this game. After holding a 3-1 lead at one point in the second period, the Blues could not hold on, allowing the Ducks to eventually win in the shootout.

Given his numbers this season (especially a putrid minus-15), Ryan Kesler should not be owned in over half of Yahoo leagues. Yet there he was on Friday, scoring two goals. Kesler appeared to be the most noticeable Duck player in this one as well, with a couple of strong scoring chances in overtime as well. Kesler now has four goals in his last four games, so your patience (or utter neglect) has been rewarded in the new year.


Ryan Spooner added another two points on Friday in the Bruins’ 4-1 win over New Jersey. If you’ve added Spooner recently, he’s paid off for you with a four-game point streak and six points over that span – the time since David Krejci left the lineup due to injury. With Krejci not expected to return to the lineup for at least another week, and with the Bruins playing four games next week, Spooner should be a strong play again next week.

For more on next week’s schedule, check out Mike Schmidt’s Looking Ahead for Week 15.

And while you’re at it, be sure to check out Chris Wassel’s Daily Fantasy Picks for Saturday.


More articles: Steve Laidlaw gave you the goods on the Fantasy Impact of the Emerson Etem trade. As a Canucks’ fan, I believe that Etem has an opportunity for a top-6 role in Vancouver. Only players with the surname of Sedin seem to be able to score on this team right now.

This trade is an upgrade for the Canucks because Etem probably has a second-line ceiling, even though he has been a healthy scratch numerous times with the Rangers. Even though Nicklas Jensen may have been given a cup of coffee on fantasy lineups a couple seasons ago, any future he has in the NHL will probably be as a third liner at best.

Want one more reason that the Canucks made this deal? Check this out.

To add some context, Willie Desjardins is the former head coach of the Medicine Hat Tigers. And Trevor Linden played his junior hockey in… you guessed it.


Phillip Danault scored his first NHL goal in the Blackhawks’ 3-1 win over Buffalo. With five points in his first ten NHL games, he is already on a 40-point pace. He is currently centering the Blackhawks’ third line with Teuvo Teravainen and Andrew Desjardins. So is he worth a pickup? The former first-round pick (26th overall in 2011) might be worth at least adding to your watch list. But I’d like to see some time with the bigger names first.


Next, some news quick hits…

Jannik Hansen has been placed on IR. This is significant because Alex Burrows is expected to return to the Canucks’ top line with Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin for Saturday’s game against Tampa Bay.

Marcus Johansson has been suspended for two games for an illegal check to the head of Thomas Hickey. He will miss the Capitals’ pair of games on Saturday and Sunday.

Carey Price likely won’t be ready to return until after the All-Star break in early February (NHL.com). So it’ll be more of Mike Condon, who is expected start Saturday against Pittsburgh (Goalie Post).

The Ghost won’t appear on Saturday. Shayne Gostisbehere is out with a lower-body injury. Flyers’ GM Ron Hextall said that a further update on Gostisbehere’s injury would be provided on Saturday (NHL.com).


Finally, a reminder that hockey is a fast, dangerous sport. Denna Laing of the Boston Pride suffered a serious spinal injury during the Outdoor Women’s Classic a week ago (Sportsnet). On what is a horrific post-script to an otherwise amazing event, thoughts and prayers and positive vibes go out to Laing in her rehabilitation.

Enjoy your Saturday. Follow me on Twitter @Ian_Gooding.