It was a light two-game schedule in the NHL Monday night so let’s get right into things.
The Leafs beat the visiting Kings 3-2 thanks to the help of a third-period goal from Patrick Marleau. This was a pretty entertaining game of two teams that seemed evenly matched.
With the Leafs up 1-0 late in the first period, Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick took an inadvertent elbow to the head from Leafs forward Zach Hyman:
Not sure how Quick didn’t get pulled for a concussion test after this but okay pic.twitter.com/iEKtKuMErt— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) October 23, 2017
Quick was later pulled from the game, and almost immediately put back in. How about that concussion protocol! It’s basically the “Can He Play?” scene from Not Another Teen Movie. Kudos, NHL.
San Jose beat the Rangers in New York 4-1 on the back of a two-point night from Logan Couture, and a 33-save performance from Martin Jones. New York had their chances, and carried the play for at least the first 20 minutes of the game, and were a bit unfortunate to not score more often than they did. Such is hockey.
Sharks rookie defenceman Tim Heed scored his first career NHL goal. It went down like I imagine he always dreamed: a sharp-angle shot that goes five-hole, off the post, off the back of the goalie’s leg, and in:
Heed 1st NHL goal pic.twitter.com/tMXKp1Ahc1— steph (@myregularface) October 23, 2017
Whatever. They all count.
It’s worth noting that Kevin Labanc was replaced on the top line in San Jose by Melker Karlsson after just a few shifts in the first period. Karlsson would remain there well into the third period, when he himself was then replaced by Joonas Donskoi. We’ll see if that remains in practice moving forward, but as always, anyone skating on the top trio with the Joes has fantasy relevance.
After Donskoi made it 3-0 Sharks late in the second period, he appeared to collide in a passing manner with Henrik Lundqvist was stretched out making the save. Lundqvist stayed down for a few moments but finished the period. This was the play:
Lundqvist looked like he got hurt here pic.twitter.com/4xL38vSQpH— steph (@myregularface) October 24, 2017
Lundqvist was back for the start of the third period, so apparently no worse for the wear. It’s just concerning when a goalie in his mid-thirties appears to tweak something. Let’s hope it’s nothing.
By the way, with an assist on Donskoi’s goal, Joe Thornton moved into 20th all-time in scoring. It remains hilarious that both he and Evgeni Malkin were left off the NHL’s top-100 list, but I digress.
The Montreal lineup carousel continues: Paul Byron to the top line with Jonathan Drouin and Artturi Lehkonen; Max Pacioretty moves down to skate with Phillip Danault and Andrew Shaw; Alex Galchenyuk is back on the fourth line.
There is undoubtedly some bad luck going on here – they’re shooting 4.29 percent at five-on-five as a team, second-worst in the league, and no team in the previous three seasons shot under 6 percent – so fantasy owners will just have to be patient with guys like Pacioretty. There will be a turning point in the season where they start to score like they should be, there’s just no telling exactly when it will come.
To that end, it’s worthwhile making inquiries to see what it would cost to acquire guys like Pacioretty or Carey Price. They’re not going to be this bad all year, which means their value will never be as low as it is now. Don’t sell them if you own them; it’s the worst time to do so. Benching them may not be a bad idea, as tough a pill to swallow as that is.
Patrick Eaves has had his injury problems this year, and there was a good reason for that: he was diagnosed with a condition called Guillain-Barré Syndrome, in a statement released by the team. He is out of the intensive care unit but is still resting in a California hospital.
It’s obviously a good sign that he is expected to make a full recovery but at this point hockey is secondary to his long-term health. All the best to Eaves moving forward. Just get better and we hope to see you back on the ice, big fella.
With the injury to Cam Fowler (for which we have no timeline yet), there was a shake-up for the top PP unit in Anaheim:
Ducks first PP unit appears to be 26 and 15 at points with 67, 10 and 25. Second unit is 47, 50, 37, 38 and 33.— Eric Stephens (@icemancometh) October 23, 2017
Yes, that’s Brandon Montour quarterbacking the power play.
It can’t hurt at this point, what with the Anaheim power play having one goal this year. Montour was among the leaders on the team’s blue line in shot attempt rate last year, and while this team hasn’t struggled with generating shots on the power play in 2017-18, hopefully a new look with Montour can give this team a PP boost it desperately needs.
Eagle-eyed Dobber readers will have noticed in that previous tweet that Ryan Getzlaf was on the top PP unit, and Hampus Lindholm was on the second unit. Indeed, Getzlaf is expected to return Tuesday, as is their top defenceman:
Per RC, Hampus Lindholm (shoulder) will make his season debut and Ryan Getzlaf (lower body) will play tomorrow vs. Flyers.— Eric Stephens (@icemancometh) October 23, 2017
This is welcome news for both fantasy owners and Ducks fans. It remains to be seen if Getzlaf can stay in the lineup, given his propensity for going between the press box and bench so far this year, but if both are back for good, this is great news for them, the ancillary skaters, and John Gibson.
By the way, there was a quote from coach Randy Carlyle that he did not expect too many restrictions on Lindholm and ice time. He’s back in the lineup, which means he should be back to his regular workload. Anaheim has a pretty tough schedule for the next four weeks, so Lindholm returning early is a welcome sight.
Jaromir Jagr was officially put on the injured reserve, and though we don’t have an official timeline for his return, it doesn’t appear it is too serious. That’s kind of good news? Also, Calgary has a brutal schedule in the next week (back-to-back road games in Nashville and St. Louis, followed by home games against Dallas and Washington this weekend), so even though fantasy owners will be without him for a four-game week, he may not have been too productive anyway.
Should Jagr prove healthy in a week, after Sunday’s home game against the Caps, the Flames have five more home games including Vancouver, Pittsburgh, New Jersey, and Detroit. It could have been worse, I guess.
Jankowski has five goals and eight points in six AHL games this year, and 70 points in 78 career AHL regular season games. You can read Jankowski’s Dobber profile here.
It’s probably nothing, but Alex Ovechkin took a spill in practice on Monday:
Ovechkin got tangled up with teammate in two-on-two battle drill. Then went into the boards awkwardly. Practice just ended. Could be nothing— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) October 23, 2017
He did a photo shoot for the team afterwards, so it appears he should be fine. Just a situation to monitor over the next couple of days.
Edmonton looks to be getting Leon Draisaitl back soon:
For those asking on Draisaitl. He has taken multiple shifts on drills and is now out with 1st unit PP— Bob Stauffer (@Bob_Stauffer) October 23, 2017
Officially, Draisaitl is listed as questionable for Tuesday’s game in Pittsburgh. He has to be cleared by doctors on gameday, but the team appears to be hopeful that he can be in the lineup. Either way, it seems he’s going to make his return this week, something his fantasy owners likely desperately need.
We found out yesterday that both JT Compher and Tyson Jost will miss at least two weeks, likely three, for Colorado. This is what their lineup looked like in practice yesterday with the two of them out:
#Avs lines this AM: Andrighetto-MacKinnon-Rantanen, Landeskog-Duchene-Yakupov, Nieto (Bourque)-Soderberg-Comeau, Wilson-Kerfoot-Greer— Mike Chambers (@MikeChambers) October 23, 2017
The trio of Rantanen-MacKinnon-Andrighetto is nice to see, as is Gabriel Landeskog moving alongside Matt Duchene. Colorado has games this weekend against Vegas and Chicago, so it could be good offensively for the Avalanche. It’s up to fantasy owners what decision they want to make, but at the least, the top two lines should see a lot of ice time.
Tuukka Rask looks to be on track to return to Boston’s lineup this weekend, assuming he progresses as expected returning from a concussion. They are at home to Los Angeles on the weekend, before heading to Columbus on Monday. The team doesn’t have a game until Thursday, so time may be running out for Anton Khudobin owners.
Not that this is fantasy-related, but there was an article on ESPN yesterday proclaiming the Nashville Predators as the best franchise in pro sports. The criteria is a mix of fan response and financial analysis, so there may be some merit here. Regardless, congrats, Preds fans!
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