Ramblings: Oshie Hat Trick, Allen Turnaround (March 19)

by Ian Gooding on March 19, 2017

Oshie hat trick, Allen turnaround, possible adds/drops, plus more…

It hasn’t been all bad in Detroit fantasy-wise this season. On Saturday, Tomas Tatar scored two, giving him twenty (almost amazing alliteration). Tatar has five points in his last two games along with three multipoint games in his last five games. Tatar isn’t going to carry your fantasy team, but it’s worth mentioning that he now has three consecutive 20-goal seasons (plus a fourth with 19 goals). A total of 45-50 points is probably what we should expect from him overall.

It has been all bad in Colorado fantasy-wise this season. After breaking an 11-game pointless drought with a goal on Wednesday, Matt Duchene posted more zeroes on Saturday. What sort of company is Duchene keeping in terms of fantasy ranks? Find out in the Geek of the Week.


This is a few days old, but interesting nonetheless. It could also be helpful if you are targeting any backup goalies over the final stretch.

No, that is not a typo in the Detroit row. The Red Wings play Sunday March 26 at home against Minnesota, then play two games on the Monday and Tuesday in Carolina. We talk about teams being exhausted by playing three games in four nights. How about four games in five days, which is what the Wings will be doing thanks to a Friday game against Tampa before the back-to-back-to-back.


With a goal on Saturday against the Islanders, Oliver Bjorkstrand has six points (4g-2a) over his last seven games. It helps that he was on a scoring line with Nick Foligno and Alexander Wennberg, as he was for this game. Now that he looks like he’s here to stay, Bjorkstrand looks like a solid late-season waiver wire pickup.


Although he recorded an assist on Saturday, points have been difficult to come by for Charlie Coyle over the last month. After looking like a breakout candidate earlier this season, Coyle has only a single goal in his past 15 games and just two in his past 32 – one of them being an empty-netter. Included over that stretch was a ten-game pointless drought. If you are trying to make room for a hot waiver-wire grab, Coyle might be your odd man out.


Speaking of ice-cold options, Senators’ fans and fantasy owners alike have to be wondering when the scoring will return for Bobby Ryan. He’s been without a point in four games and has produced just three points over the months of February and March combined. Sure, he was injured for part of that time, but that’s still only three points in 11 games.

Ryan has been receiving the power-play time and overall icetime, but the problem is that he hasn’t been shooting the puck as often. With 93 shots on goal, he has averaged fewer than two shots per game. Not what you want from a goal scorer. In Anaheim he posted four 30-goal seasons; but in Ottawa, he hasn’t even cracked 25. Ryan is not a player you should overvalue and is another candidate for removal from your roster.

Also for the Senators, Craig Anderson made a somewhat surprising return, as he wasn’t expected back until next week. Fantasy owners that made other plans didn’t miss much, as he allowed three goals on 32 shots and lost in the shootout. Despite that, I’m pinning my hopes on Anderson in one head-to-head league while purchasing Mike Condon as insurance. So now on this first-place team I have the Ottawa tandem, the Florida tandem, and Ryan Miller in net. And I’m holding my breath for a Steven Stamkos return. Think I can pull off a championship?


Start Carey Price on Saturday. Don’t worry about the matchup. Just do it.


With his goal on Saturday, Auston Matthews recorded his first point in eight games. Despite that, he still sits in the top 10 in the league in goals with 32. If you watched the Leafs game on Saturday, you probably heard plenty more about Matthews.

In spite of being held without a point on Saturday, Patrick Kane has 28 points (16g-12a) in his last 19 games. That run has helped Kane climb back into the top five of the scoring race.

In his Journey article this week, Kevin LeBlanc profiled one particular up-and-comer who made his NHL debut on Thursday and scored his first NHL goal on Saturday. That player is John Hayden, who recently signed with the Hawks out of Yale University. The 6’3”, 223 lb. Hayden had a nice statline in this game, taking four shots on goal along with seven hits playing on a line with Richard Panik and Jonathan Toews. Give him a look in keeper leagues, particularly those that count hits.  


It was T.J. Oshie night for the Capitals, as he scored goals number 27, 28, and 29 to go with one assist. Oshie has never reached the 30-goal mark, so he’s picked the right time to score, as he’s a UFA this summer. Example #3792 of a player coming through in his contract year. Someone will pay him the big bucks.

But a closer look reveals that Oshie has had a ton of luck on his side, as his incredibly high 24.2 percent shooting percentage is the highest in the NHL among players with at least 50 games. I would say this is not a fluke if Oshie normally has a high shooting percentage. But we’re talking about a player whose career shooting percentage is 13 percent.

So multiply that natural regression by a possible negative impact of signing with a team with fewer offensive options than the Capitals and you have the potential for a significant dropoff per game next season. But maybe not as noticeable as it would be had Oshie played a full season (he has missed 13 games). So in the end what you could have next season is a 20-25 goal, 50-to-55 point player.

A couple of other Capitals’ notes:

Nicklas Backstrom recorded four assists in this game, which gives him eight helpers over his past four games. He’s definitely a darkhorse in the scoring race, currently sitting fifth with 75 points.

Alex Ovechkin did not score on Saturday, although he took seven shots on goal. He has just one goal in his past 13 games. You probably weren’t expecting this when you drafted him, but Ovechkin is currently tied for 17th in the NHL with 28 goals.


With two goals on Saturday, Jeff Skinner has quietly reached 25 goals. He can score in bunches, as this was his fifth multipoint game of the season. Skinner flies under the radar in Carolina, so you may be interested to know that he has reached at least 25 goals in three of his last four seasons.


It was against the mostly toothless Coyotes, but Jake Allen posted a 30-save shutout. Ken Hitchcock’s firing on February 1 has had a positive impact on Allen more than on any other Blues’ player.

2016-17, under Ken Hitchcock: 2.87 GAA, .895 SV%

2016-17, under Mike Yeo: 1.70 GAA, .943 SV%

Hopefully you didn’t trade Allen for pennies on the dollar while Hitch was still the coach. You may also remember that the Blues fired Jim Corsi as the goaltending coach at that time, replacing him with the combination of Ty Conklin and Martin Brodeur.

A quote from Allen, when asked by CBC Sports about a week ago how things were between him and Hitchcock, is telling:

"I didn't have a lot of communication with Hitch. I think you need to communicate. I like to know if [the coach] has a problem [with my play]. If you [want to] change something, come talk to me. It's the easiest solution."

And on his relationship with Brodeur:

“We [goalies] have Marty on our side if [inconsistent play] was to arise again. He would talk to us and we'd have someone to bounce things off. We're pretty lucky.”

Allen appears to be in a much better situation now, which makes his fantasy situation promising going forward.


With Brad Marchand not playing on Saturday, Connor McDavid is back in first overall in the scoring race. With a goal on Saturday, McDavid is up to a league-leading 80 points. He also leads the NHL with 55 assists. We better get used to saying this.

The Oilers could only score two goals after posting back-to-back seven-goal performances, but that didn’t matter for Cam Talbot. He posted a 33-save shutout in earning his third consecutive win. Surprisingly, the Oilers were outshot by the visiting Canucks 33-22.

Playing alongside the Sedins doesn’t hold the same upside that it used to. But when Michael Chaput is that chosen player, you know that the Canucks are hard up for goal-scoring options.

Markus Granlund is turning into a decent NHLer and possibly even another Granlund that you could consider for your fantasy roster (although with far fewer assists). Markus fired seven shots on goal in a losing cause. He entered this game with five points in his last five games and currently sits just one goal shy of 20.


If you were counting on Evgeni Malkin on Sunday, you’re probably out of luck. You had to figure that another injury had to happen during the fantasy playoffs.


One last one on Jonathan Bernier:

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