Although Corey Perry isn’t the fantasy asset that he used to be, it’s still worth mentioning that he made his season debut on Saturday. Perry was held without a point while taking four shots on goal in 16 minutes of icetime on what is clearly the Ducks’ top line alongside Ryan Getzlaf and Rickard Rakell. Perry is worth adding if he has been forgotten about in any mid-sized to deeper leagues.
Unfortunately for the Ducks, Perry’s debut was overshadowed by a first-period six-goal barrage by the Jets that ended John Gibson’s night before the end of the first period. This was one of the worst goaltending stat lines of the season, and it came from a goalie that is considered a Vezina Trophy candidate for his work in keeping his team from getting destroyed on a nightly basis. If you don’t believe me, then take a look at their goal differential. Yeah, it’s a league-worst minus-39. Yet the Ducks are still within striking distance of a playoff spot in a watered-down Western Conference.
Dating back to his last game, Gibson has now allowed 11 goals in just 68 minutes. Yikes. Gibson is a solid goalie, but the team in front of him is ruining it for his fantasy owners.
The Ducks’ woefulness shouldn’t take anything away from what was an amazing game from Jack Roslovic, who scored three power-play goals and added an assist. Roslovic scored two of his goals in the first-period downpour, then sealed the hat trick in the second period. Interestingly enough, Roslovic was fighting the flu and nearly didn’t suit up.
Roslovic’s season stats won’t jump out at you (16 points in 51 games), but the talent is there and he now is getting the scoring-line opportunity that he didn’t have earlier this season when he was on the fourth line. He’s been taking full advantage lately, scoring five goals over his last four games after scoring just two goals in his first 47 games. Roslovic’s name has come up in trade rumors as the Jets might load up for a Stanley Cup run, but after Saturday I think he’s staying put. And guess what? He’s only 2 percent owned in Yahoo leagues.
Two of the three members of the Jets’ second line are really rolling right now. There’s Roslovic, and then there’s Bryan Little, who scored two goals and added an assist of his own. The struggling member of this line is Patrik Laine, who with his one assist broke his four-game point drought. One assist is better than nothing, but you’d think a player of Laine’s caliber would cash in more if his team scores nine goals.
The Jets have a multitude of young forwards as you scan down their lineup, meaning that Nic Petan is a perpetual healthy scratch. The Jets are reportedly shopping Petan, who has played just 13 games. I’m wondering if the Jets can leverage Petan and another young forward/pick for a top-6 forward that would round out a very strong top 9.
Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek each had three points in the Flyers’ 5-4 overtime win over Edmonton. Giroux has been scoring at a point-per-game pace as expected, but the 2018-19 season has been more of a struggle for Voracek. The good news for his owners is that just like his team Voracek has begun to rebound. Over his last ten games, Voracek has recorded 13 points, with the last seven of those games resulting in Flyers’ victories. He won’t reach his 85-point campaign of last season, but he should be in for a stronger second half.
Shayne Gostisbehere returned to the Flyers’ lineup today after missing the past three games with a lower-body injury. Taking his usual spot on the first-unit power play, Ghost recorded a power-play assist on one of the Flyers’ four power-play goals in this game. I listed Gostisbehere as a potential second-half rebound candidate, and a strong Flyers’ power play will only help his cause.
In spite of allowing four goals on Saturday, Carter Hart still recorded his sixth consecutive win. Recently named the Rookie of the Month for January, Hart is second to Linus Ullmark in wins among rookie goalies. I wrote more about the Flyers’ goaltending situation in Friday’s Ramblings.
Recently recalled from the AHL, fellow rookie goalie MacKenzie Blackwood stopped 37 of 39 shots he faced to lead the Devils to a 3-2 win over Montreal. Keith Kinkaid has allowed at least three goals in each of his last six starts, but Cory Schneider just played in his fourth of five scheduled conditioning starts in the AHL. After that, the Devils will need to decide whether to bring up Schneider (which could bump Blackwood back down to the AHL) or place Schneider on waivers to bury him in the AHL. Schneider has not won a game since December 2017, so he’s literally fighting for his career at this point.
Nico Hischier scored a pair of goals, including the overtime winner for the Devils. Hischier has now recorded two points in back-to-back games after being held without a point in his previous four games.
No Dylan Larkin for the Red Wings, no problem. The Wings’ leading scorer missed Saturday’s game with a strained oblique, an injury that could sidelined him for a week or two. Jonathan Bernier stopped all 35 shots he faced in the Wings’ 2-0 win over Ottawa. Larkin’s injury meant that Andreas Athanasiou was “promoted” to a line with Gustav Nyquist and Justin Abdelkader. Athanasiou, who I wrote about yesterday, was held without a point. I like him even more if Larkin has to miss a few more games.
Hopefully you didn’t bench Ryan Pulock after he entered Saturday with a seven-game pointless drought and a single point in his last 12 games. Pulock recorded three third-period assists in the Islanders’ come-from-behind 4-2 win over Los Angeles. The Islanders aren’t complaining about that right now, though – they’re just winning. With the win, Robin Lehner has now won 12 of his last 14 games.
With a goal and two assists on Saturday, Vladimir Tarasenko now has 13 points (7g-6a) in his last 12 games – since the start of January, to be exact. Your buy-low window has probably closed shut now. As a (new) Tarasenko owner, I had been hoping that he would be given a chance to line up with Ryan O’Reilly, and my wish has finally come true. The arrangement has also been positive for All-Star Game participant O’Reilly, who added another two points on Saturday and now has a seven-game point streak.
Fun play of the night from Filip Forsberg… hey, didn’t he close his hand when he caught that? Kind of like travelling in the NBA – why ruin a great play with a foul (penalty)?
— FOX Sports Tennessee (@PredsOnFSTN) February 3, 2019
Erik Gustafsson scored two goals, including the overtime winner, in the Blackhawks’ 4-3 win over Minnesota. Gustafsson has been racking up the assists since after Christmas, so the two-goal effort may have been a bit of a surprise. After years of Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook, the torch has been passed to Gustafsson as the defenseman to own in fantasy. He leads all Hawks’ defenders with 33 points and has also taken over first-unit power-play duties as well.
With a goal and two assists on Saturday, Alex DeBrincat has racked up nine points (3g-6a) over his last five games. Over his last 10 games he has eight goals and 14 points.
The Lightning were without Brayden Point on Saturday because of a lower-body injury. The resulting line shuffling resulted in Mathieu Joseph lining up with Tyler Johnson and Yanni Gourde, and Ondrej Palat playing on a lethal top line with Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos. Palat had just one point over his last four games entering Saturday. He wasn’t able to take advantage, so that’s one point in his last five games.
Thirsty Vancouver Canucks fans were finally able to “shotgun” their first beer since before Christmas. Jake Virtanen snapped a 13-game stretch without a goal, while adding an assist in the Canucks’ 5-1 win over Colorado. Shotgun Jake had recorded just one assist over that 13 games and was very nearly made a healthy scratch just before the All-Star break, but coach Travis Green instead elected to keep Nikolay Goldobin in the press box.
Oh yeah, and about Goldobin… not only was he back in the lineup on Saturday, but he was also handed the plum assignment of lining up with Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser, a spot that he is already familiar with. Goldobin also scored a goal, which should at least temporarily extend his time there. Goldy is a tempting fantasy option for his raw talent and his linemates, but his lack of defensive awareness and his tendency to be uninvolved in the play for long stretches results in him residing in Green’s doghouse too often. The funny thing is that Goldobin is the Canucks’ fourth-leading scorer at the moment (24 points in 45 games).
Your Pettersson highlight of the night:
Elias Pettersson is ridiculously good. pic.twitter.com/Po5nzj97rR
— let’s go rangres (@DraftLook) February 3, 2019
Yet another rough night for Semyon Varlamov (five goals allowed on 26 shots). He’s simply not making enough saves to be in your fantasy lineup at the moment. The Avalanche outshot the Canucks in this game, but the Avs’ defense gave up what looked like too many high-danger scoring chances. Splitting up the top line (which they did on Saturday) to shake things up isn’t going to solve their defensive woes, which seem to be the real problem for the Avalanche.
Derick Brassard did in fact play a game for the Panthers, making his debut on Saturday. He recorded an assist on Mike Hoffman’s goal while playing on a line with Hoffman and Vincent Trocheck. I wasn’t sure how the Panthers’ lines would shake out, but that’s not a bad arrangement for Brassard at all. I said that he has to be in the top 6 to have fantasy value, and that’s where he appears to be. He might be worth taking a flier on, but the possibility of another trade still lingers as the Panthers look to make bigger moves.
Enjoy your Super Bowl Sunday, everyone! All the hockey (three games) will be on before the big game, so make sure your lineups are set early as you attempt to close the week out on a high note.
For more fantasy hockey information, you can follow me on Twitter @Ian_Gooding.
- Ramblings: Hamilton and the Hurricanes, Gibson’s Greatness, Ghosting Ghost Too Early?
- 21 Fantasy Hockey Rambles
- Ramblings: Fast Starting Oilers, Kakko’s First Goal, Lehner/Raanta Season Debuts (Oct 13)
- Looking Ahead: October 11 through October 23
- Ramblings: The 10 Biggest Worries (Of My Projections)…and The 10 Guide Projections I’m Not Budging (Oct 14)
- The Journey: Next in Line - The Pacific Division
- Geek of the Week: Can Kevin Labanc Be A Breakout Star?
- Saturday's NHL Picks: October 12, 2019