Ramblings: Rantanen injured; Josh Anderson returns; Philly flys; random facts – October 22

by Michael Clifford on October 22, 2019
  • Hockey Rambling
  • Ramblings: Rantanen injured; Josh Anderson returns; Philly flys; random facts – October 22

 

The big news for Monday was that the Flyers had called up Joel Farabee, one of their top prospects. He slotted on the third line with Kevin Hayes and Scott Laughton, while finding himself on the top power-play unit. What’s more is that he was immediately slotted into the bumper role on the top PP unit. (One thing I’ll say about that is I’m not sure the Flyers are super committed to having a *top* power-play unit. I think they’ll just run whoever is scoring goals at the time.)

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Philadelphia would go on to throttle Vegas by a score of 6-2. (It wasn’t as close as even that score indicates, as it was 5-0 after two periods.) It was probably deserved for the Flyers, who’d played very well in games recently but couldn’t find the back of the net. They did in this one, popping four goals in the second period to put this out of reach.

The team went back to the second line of Lindblom-Couturier-Konecny – a line that was excellent last year – and it paid off as they combined for two goals and three assists with the wingers picking up one of each.

Ivan Provorov is playing monster minutes again and is looking like the guy from 2017-18 as he had an assist, a block, a hit, and was plus-1. That’s the Provorov both Flyers fans and fantasy owners want to see.

Let’s be fair: it was Oscar Dansk in net for the Golden Knights. If this is Fleury in net, we probably have a different story.  

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Gustav Nyquist scored an overtime penalty shot to push Columbus to a 4-3 win over Toronto.

Though he didn’t play nearly as much as he did on the weekend with Tavares in the lineup, Matthews was still over 19 minutes and had a goal and an assist in the win. William Nylander scored while Andreas Johnsson had a pair of assists.

Josh Anderson returned from his six-game absence on Monday night, skating on what might be the third line but I’m not sure even Torts knows who his second and third lines are. He might not even care. Anderson played over 18 minutes in his first game back.

Texier played just 11:35 for Columbus, his lowest mark of the season. It’s been a rough start to the year.

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I won’t show the clip here, but for people who want to see Mikko Rantanen’s injury, you can click through here. It looked like the toe of his blade caught the ice and made him twist his leg. He left the game and did not return. We’ll provide an update when possible. Let’s hope for the best here.

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Maybe some good news for Penguins fans and fantasy owners as Evgeni Malkin was seen skating before the team’s practice on Monday morning. He only made it to the second game of the season before getting injured, but it looks like he’s on the mend. Of course, there’s a big gap between being ready to skate on your own before practice and being ready to play in a game, but encouraging signs are encouraging.

The team would say that neither Malkin nor Alex Galchenyuk (who also skated) will be playing on the upcoming three-game road trip, so expect to be without them for at least another week.

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Remember last week when I posted that the twins at Evolving Hockey had found that the NHL was not correctly assigning shot location data to events that occurred? Well, they found that it appears the problem was fixed at the date it occurred, but early-season data is still not reliable. So, unless the NHL goes back and fixes what happened earlier in the season, that data isn’t usable. That everything else is moving forward, though, is a good sign, I guess.

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While on the topic of the advanced stats community, well-known analyst Sean Tierney has launched his own website, with a focus on visualizations rather than numbers (though the viz is informed by numbers) to tell the story of hockey. There are lots of cool features that can help hockey fans place their favourite team, or any other team, in the hierarchy across the NHL according to various measurements. Be sure to check it out if you get bored with numbers and prefer viz to help clear the picture. One example from his site is something like this, the on-ice shot rates at 5v5 for the Los Angeles Kings this year. Hey, they’ve been kind of not bad to watch maybe sometimes once in a while!

 

 

It’s always cool to see stuff like this pop up because it just provides the growing community with another resource that it can use to help reach out to newer fans or fans maybe wanting to learn something more about the game they love.

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Brian Boyle, the newest Florida Panther, was at practice for the team on Monday, skating as the second-line centre. That was only because Vincent Trocheck is a little nicked up, but this coaching staff obviously does not seem very high on Henrik Borgstrom at the moment, so I do wonder if Boyle gets some run on the third line.

Both Trocheck and Aleksander Barkov could be in the lineup Tuesday night. We’ll find out more today.

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It’s probably worth mentioning that Monday night, Samuel Girard was moved off the top PP unit for Colorado after taking over for Cale Makar on the weekend. Maybe a bit of a game of yo-yo going on right now?  

Early in the summer, I wrote that my expectation was Girard to have the PP role out of the gate with Makar eventually transitioning into the role. Girard possesses many skills necessary for a successful power-play quarterback, but there is a roadblock. At the least, we have to consider it’s possible that this is an uncertain role right now. Just keep an eye on future games and trends, just in case it’s necessary to take a trip to the waiver wire.  

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For those that play daily fantasy sports, the rule changes DraftKings introduced for this season has likely thrown a wrench in your normal strategy. For those unfamiliar, DraftKings altered their scoring to lead to bigger scores, and the biggest changes likely are bonuses for reaching certain plateaus. For skaters, it’s three points (goals and assists), five shots, or three blocks. For goalies, it’s 35 or more saves. These bonuses can figure heavily into the final contest standings, as a single player’s DK point total can be boosted by 40 percent if, for example, they land five shots on goal, for example (1.5 points per shot, three-point bonus for five shots).

Anyway, I probably should have done this a couple weeks ago, but I went through three-point games in recent seasons. Here are some findings. Most of these will just be useless facts, but maybe you can wow a friend or two when you’re on your 14th Molson this Saturday night and no one will be coherent enough to challenge what you say. (All data from Hockey Reference.)

  • Since the start of the 2016 season, there have been 1938 instances of a forward getting three points in a game. Of those 1938 instances, only 31 belong to the Arizona Coyotes. Those 31 three-point games from Arizona Coyotes forwards include four from Max Domi, who hasn’t been with the team for the last 90-ish games.
  • Arizona has four fewer three-point games than Vegas (35), who weren’t in the league in 2016-17.
  • There were three teams with at least 100 instances of a player reaching three points in a game: Tampa Bay (109), Pittsburgh (103), Winnipeg (103).
  • The Edmonton Oilers have had 86 three-point games over the last three-plus seasons, of which 64 belong to either Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl. Third on the list for Oilers forwards in total three-point games since the start of the 2016-17 season, tied with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins at five each? That would be Jordan Eberle, who is now in his third season with the Islanders.
  • There were six instances of a player managing three points while playing fewer than 10 minutes of ice time, the most recent belonging to Henrik Borgstrom on March 3rd. The same Henrik Borgstrom who was a health scratch on the weekend.
  • Some notable totals: Barkov (17), Malkin (24 in just 210 games), Backstrom (24), Ovechkin (20), Panarin (21), Matthews (16), Marchand (28), Giroux (18), Pastrnak (22), McDavid (39, lol), Tavares (18), Gaudreau (23), Stamkos (23), Seguin (17), Tarasenko (12), Draisaitl (25), Scheifele (30), Rantanen (21), Marner (22), MacKinnon (23), Kucherov (36), Bergeron (17), Kane (26), Kessel (19), Crosby (28).
  • Something I found interesting: Brad Marchand averaged a three-point game every 8.4 games, David Pastrnak every 10.5, and Patrice Bergeron every 12.7.
  • Jack Eichel has one-third of Buffalo’s three-point games going back to 2016.
  • Over those three-plus seasons, Patrik Laine owns the four youngest three-point games ranging from age 18 years, 183 days to age 18 years, 259 days. The next youngest three-point game? Nico Hischier at age 18, 288 days. (Andrei Svechnikov is next.)
  • The two oldest seasons, unsurprisingly, belong to Jaromir Jagr about a month apart back in 2016 with the Panthers. The next oldest was Shane Doan, and those are the only three over-40 instances.

Anyway, not much of this is useful, just thought it was neat.