Ramblings: Stamkos, Jagr, Gostisbehere (Feb. 21)

by Ian Gooding on February 21, 2016

Stamkos scores #300, Jagr passes Hull with a pair, Ghost extends streak, plus more…

A lot of cool stuff happened on Saturday, so you’ll see a higher-than-normal number of graphical objects in the Ramblings today. Plus the usual fantasy breakdown. Hopefully it’ll be fun for you.

The highlight of the only afternoon game had Steven Stamkos scoring the 300th goal of his career. For some perspective, here’s where he fits in as far as how long it took him:

So even though he’s having a down year by his standards (44 points in 58 games), we know that Stamkos is going to get paid this summer. I’ve taken a page out of Laidlaw’s book by trying the Twitter poll thing. This will be of interest to those of you in salary cap leagues:

It’s probably been a letdown year for you if you own one or more Lightning forwards. Ondrej Palat sits on the waiver wire in one of my leagues. I don’t even want to think about Tyler Johnson, who’s on another one of my teams. So maybe it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that your icetime leader for Lightning forwards today was Valtteri Filppula with nearly 22 minutes. He also led the forwards with nearly five minutes of power-play time, although he was held without a point on Saturday.

If you still have Matt Carle on your fantasy team (and you are either really patient or beyond help if you do), he scored his first two points of the season in his 42nd game.


I love this: Kris Letang gets his stick knocked out of his hands by Cedric Paquette, so he grabs Paquette’s stick and starts using it.

Apparently that is an illegal stick penalty. Letang also received another two minutes for arguing the call and totaled six penalty minutes on the day. He filled the boxscore in numerous ways on Saturday, taking seven shots on goal with one assist and four hits in 30 minutes of icetime.


It took until overtime, but Shayne Gostisbehere extended his point streak to 15 games. It’s a thing of beauty.

Nah, Ghost Bear couldn’t possibly pass Artemi Panarin as the Calder Trophy favorite. Or could he?

Also for the Flyers, Brayden Schenn continues to be hot with a goal and an assist. You may remember that Steve recommended him in his Waiver Wire Wednesday for Sportsnet. Schenn now has goals in four of his last six games, as well as seven points over that span.

Claude Giroux out Saturday after taking a hit from P.K. Subban on Friday. Here’s how the Flyers’ lines looked without Giroux:





The most notable roster move had Sam Gagner entering the lineup in Giroux’s absence, scoring a goal of his own. If he’s not playing on the same line as the top players, he’s pretty much useless for fantasy purposes.


Jonathan Bernier was pulled early in the second period after allowing three goals. His save percentage is down to .895 this season, which in the year 2016 is the definition of awful.

But the Flyers/Leafs game managed to feature all four goalies because Steve Mason left the game after the Leafs’ third goal. There wasn’t much said about why he left, so you’ll want to keep an eye on his situation.


Jonathan Huberdeau left Saturday’s game in the first period after taking a hard hit from Jacob Trouba. The Panthers are already without Aleksander Barkov and Brandon Pirri, among others. So here’s how the Panthers’ lines adjusted during this game:





You can’t be blamed if you haven’t heard of nearly half of these players.

The injuries didn’t stop Jaromir Jagr from scoring two goals, which were enough for him to pass Brett Hull for third on the all-time list for goals scored. Here’s how he stacks up among the greats now:

If you think about it, Jagr would probably be second on that list right now had he not spent those three seasons in the KHL.

What Jagr’s fantasy owners might be more concerned about is the fact that he has reached 20 goals in 56 games. With the Panthers’ injuries, I doubt he gets to 30, even though he is on pace for nearly that number. That’s even if he sticks with Jussi Jokinen and Vincent Trocheck, even though the latter two have performed well as a duo this season.

Another reason that I don’t think Jagr gets to 30:

Compare that to Jagr’s career shooting percentage, which is 13.8. We know how long his career has been, so a more accurate comparison might be his recent shooting percentage. Over the last two seasons, Jagr’s shooting percentage has hovered between 10 and 10.5 percent. So maybe we should expect a bit of regression.


With two goals against the Stars, Brad Marchand has reached 30 goals for the first time in his career. I have a little more on Marchand in last weekend’s Ramblings and the 20 Fantasy Thoughts, and my thoughts haven’t really changed from that.

For the Stars, Patrick Sharp scored. Usually that’s not newsworthy, given that we know him as a reliable goal scorer. But that was Sharp’s first goal since January 3 – a span of 19 games. He hasn’t stopped shooting, as his shot totals over January and February have been on par with the rest of his season (just over three shots per game). Barring injury, he will have no problem reaching 200 shots on goal for the sixth consecutive full season. So don’t expect another slump like the last one.  


Dylan Larkin was out on Saturday with the flu. So here’s how the Red Wings’ lines looked:





The Datsyuk-Zetterberg-Abdelkader line earned by far the most icetime, with each on the ice for at least 21 minutes. Larkin has been playing alongside Richards and Tatar, so it was Nyquist who was moved onto a better line. The only Red Wings to score points in this game were Richards and Athanasiou, who both scored unassisted goals.


Reid Boucher recorded points (goal and two assists) on all three Devils’ goals against the Capitals. With nine points and four power-play points in 18 games, Boucher is looking like a half-decent fantasy option at the moment.

Interestingly enough, Boucher is on a line with Travis Zajac and Kyle Palmieri, who has been slumping after a strong first half. Steve has more on Palmieri in yesterday’s Ramblings. For those who have been patient with Palmieri, he scored a goal and added an assist with a +3 in this game.


With no Anze Kopitar on Saturday against Nashville, here’s how the Kings’ lines looked:





Lucic slid onto the Carter/Toffoli line. Brown squeezed whatever fantasy value that he could out of playing alongside Kopitar, so he will need to make do alongside Lecavalier. By the way, Vinny now has six games without a point, in case you were daring enough to add him shortly after he became a King.


We’ve mentioned Ghost and the game that he had. But another defenseman who’s putting together a solid mini-run is Tyson Barrie. With two goals and an assist on seven shots on goal against the Oilers on Saturday, Barrie has seven points over his last five games. His icetime may not always be above 20 minutes per game, but he’s now hit 40 points again and has a great chance at reaching 50 again for the second consecutive season.

We know that P.K. Subban has received his share of criticism for his style of play, most recently from Michel Therrien’s comments and the trade rumors. Yet it’s funny how offensive-minded defensemen such as Subban and Barrie and Gostisbehere seem to be popping up more often now in spite of the perceived weaknesses of defensemen of that type. You know, that they’re too small and they get caught rushing in key moments when they should focus on preventing goals like the textbook stay-at-home guys. But with offense at such a premium right now, teams need to see the value in these talented blueliners.

Another old man, Jarome Iginla (and I can say that because I’m older than him!) chipped in an assist, giving him ten points over his last eight games. An interesting comment on the Hockey Night in Canada broadcast: Patrick Roy has decided to let Iggy decide whether to participate in game-day skates. That seems to be working.


Injury notes: Alex Steen left on Saturday in the first period with a possible arm injury (St. Louis Game Time).

Oliver Ekman-Larsson also left the game early in the first period with a lower-body injury (Today's Slapshot). If Ekman-Larsson misses any time, Kevin Connauton stands to gain the most. He scored a goal and added two assists with six shots on goal and a +2 in 31 minutes of icetime in this game.


Finally, here’s Gilles Meloche’s awesome mask from Saturday’s Chicago/Minnesota alumni game. I have to admit, I didn’t really care for those North Stars uniforms when they were in circulation, but they look absolutely fantastic now. The classic look of hockey jerseys before they took a turn for the worse during the mid-1990s. And I have no problem with the Wild alumni wearing these jerseys for this game. After all, they are a part of Minnesota hockey history more than they are Dallas Stars history.

Enjoy your Sunday. Follow me on Twitter @Ian_Gooding.