Super Sean, Super Schenn, … and Joel Edmundson?
Sean Monahan was anything but boring during the second period of Saturday’s game. Monahan scored three power-play goals during that period, leading the Flames to a 5-4 overtime win over Philadelphia. Monahan also chipped in an assist with five shots on goal, while linemate Johnny Gaudreau scored a goal and added two assists.
Monahan’s team-leading 11 goals is in the top 10 of the NHL (before Saturday’s evening games). However, it’s Gaudreau who with 9 goals and 20 assists who is now third in NHL scoring behind two guys named Stamkos and Kucherov. Oh yeah, and Gaudreau now has a nine-game point streak, as well as points in all but three games this season. If you need points – particularly assists – there aren’t many options better than Johnny Hockey.
Monahan’s hat trick wasn’t the only one that happened on Saturday afternoon. Anthony Duclair scored all three goals for the Coyotes, including the overtime winner, over Ottawa. With six goals, Duclair has already surpassed his goal total from 58 games last season in just 16 games this season. And he’s even been a healthy scratch numerous times recently.
If you prorate Duclair’s total over the entire season, he’s on pace to score 20 goals for the second time in his career. However, his current shooting percentage (20%) is similar to that of two seasons ago (19%) when he scored 20. That shooting percentage was thought to be unsustainable, and it was. So 20 goals is no guarantee.
From players scoring hat tricks to a player scoring his first NHL goal, Will Butcher finally scored his first NHL goal in his 19th NHL game. It’s kind of hard to believe, given that Butcher has been one of fantasy hockey’s top rookies. What brings him into that discussion is his rookie-leading 14 assists and eight power-play points (before Saturday’s evening games). But his fantasy owners won’t complain that he hasn’t scored a goal until now.
Have you ever removed a goalie from your lineup because he isn’t starting, only to watch him earn a win in relief? That scenario doesn’t play out very often, since the team that usually switches goalies is trailing. That would have happened to some Ben Bishop owners, as he stopped all 18 shots he faced over the second and third periods after Kari Lehtonen was yanked (three goals allowed on 12 shots). This would be frustrating for Bishop owners, who may have missed out on a win after starting him over his previous two games, when he allowed a combined 11 goals.
The goalie I swapped for Bishop? Antti Raanta, who also earned a win. I started Raanta because this is a roto league and I need to make up some major ground in the goaltending categories. I also own Tuukka Rask, Michal Neuvirth, and Malcolm Subban. So yeah, I’m willing to roll the dice.
You probably won’t start Antoine Roussel unless you play in a league with the physical categories. So his goal and two assists and plus-3 with 12 penalty minutes probably didn’t help many fantasy owners. That is technically not a Gordie Howe hat trick because his penalties were 2 and 10. He obtained the 10-minute misconduct on something that didn’t exactly look like a hockey play:
— Curtis Williams (@Willy__17) November 18, 2017
Drake Caggiula might be a great short-term pickup at the moment. Why? The Oilers’ most recent line shuffle has him playing alongside Connor McDavid. Caggiula took full advantage, scoring two goals. McDavid assisted on them both and scored a goal of his own. This was only the second game all season that Caggiula has scored a point, so he probably hasn’t been on your radar. But he is at least worth keeping an eye on in case this sticks.
Looking at the Kings/Panthers score, I thought I was going to write about another Jonathan Quick shutout. Instead, it was backup Darcy Kuemper who stopped all 24 shots in the Kings’ 4-0 win. If you need a backup spot start, Kuemper is one option to consider. He has a 3-0-1 record with a 1.92 GAA and .928 SV% this season. Of course, Goalie Post is the place to go to check for those backup goalie spot starts.
Gotta love the Original 6 and bringing all this greatness together. Even though this was in Montreal, I thought this was a bit of a weird moment. I think it should be more of a celebration of the NHL’s 100th anniversary and the Original 6 than the Montreal Canadiens in particular.
When Mahovlich and Savard join the nWo Wolfpac. pic.twitter.com/kveuymfd1M— David Alter (@dalter) November 19, 2017
It wasn’t exactly a night to remember for the current version of the Canadiens. How awful did it get? They trotted out Antti Niemi midway through the third period to replace Charlie Lindgren when the score became 5-0 for the Leafs. At this point, you just want to cover your eyes if you’re a Habs’ fan. The pre-2017-18 season Carey Price can’t return soon enough.
It was a completely different story goaltending-wise for the Leafs. Frederik Andersen held the fort for the Leafs when the Habs were carrying the play (yes, that actually happened for much of the first and second periods before the Leafs scored their first goal). Andersen stopped 33 shots to post his second consecutive shutout. These shutouts have not been a piece of cake, as he faced 42 shots against the Devils on Thursday. Andersen appears to have turned the corner on some shaky play earlier in the season.
Oh yeah, and unless you completely missed out on any hockey on Saturday, you’re well aware that Auston Matthews returned to the Leafs’ lineup from injury. He scored the final two goals in the third period.
Interesting stat on Max Pacioretty mentioned on the Hockey Night in Canada pregame show: He has gone 45 games (now 46) without a 5-on-4 power-play goal, dating back to February. HNIC also showed the Habs trying him in various places in an attempt to get him going. His overall statline doesn’t really show it, as he has one power-play goal this season and eight last season.
Anders Lee keeps scoring goals. Lee scored two more (his 10th and 11th) in the Islanders’ 5-3 win over Tampa Bay. His linemates John Tavares and Josh Bailey also stuffed the statsheet with three points each. If you prorate that over his last 82 games, Lee has 44 goals. A couple seasons ago we told you to look out for Lee, so hopefully you were paying attention.
Sometimes the floodgates open after a prolonged slump. After being held without a goal in his first 15 games, Sebastian Aho has scored a goal in three consecutive games with six points over that span.
I mentioned Rask earlier – is he about to become part of a goaltending timeshare in Boston? Probably not, but it’s worth mentioning that Anton Khudobin has now started and won back-to-back games for the Bruins. Khudobin stopped 36 of 37 shots in the Bruins’ win in San Jose.
For now, it might just be Bruce Cassidy playing the hot hand. But the Bruins could use every bit of good news they can find, as they currently sit outside of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. As a Rask owner, I might have to look up Khudobin as a handcuff anyway. Could Khudobin start Boston’s next game on Wednesday against New Jersey? You’d have to think he might.
One reason the Blues sit at the top of the Western Conference: scoring from the defense. The Blues’ blueliners as a group lead the NHL with 21 goals. Not a huge surprise, but Alex Pietrangelo leads all NHL blueliners with seven goals. Tied for second is a much more unfamiliar name in Joel Edmundson, who has paired with Pietrangelo for much of the season.
Believe it or not, there was a minor bidding war for Edmundson in one of my leagues before the season. So far, that winner of the bidding war has been on to something. Edmundson is in a great situation with the Blues as a top-4 defenseman. But I have two concerns about him: 1) He receives very little power-play time, and 2) He’s never been a huge scorer at any level. Also for what it’s worth: His shooting percentage is quite high for a defenseman (around 14 percent).
With his overtime winner, Brayden Schenn is on a seven-game point streak in which he has 15 points (5g-10a). He was mentioned on the HNIC broadcast as the best offseason acquisition by any team, and I’d have a hard time disagreeing. I took my own advice and drafted him on two of my teams. So far, he’s been my clear MVP on one team and he’s in the discussion on the other team (I also own Sergei Bobrovsky, arguably fantasy’s top goalie).
Brayden Schenn on pace for 31 goals and 102 points through a quarter of the season. Ok then.
— Michael Clifford (@SlimCliffy) November 19, 2017
I thought Schenn would push for 70 points. Barring an injury, he should have no problem reaching that. Schenn and Jaden Schwartz (one assist on Saturday) are among a group of five players (including McDavid) who are tied for fourth in NHL scoring with 25 points. Believe it or not, Vladimir Tarasenko is the weak link on the line with just 22 points. He was held without a point on Saturday.
With three assists on Saturday, Paul Stastny is now up to six points (all assists) over his last three games. He has not scored a goal in 11 games, though.
I know this tweet is a few days old, but I found this interesting about Brock Boeser:
— Ryan Biech (@ryanbiech) November 17, 2017
With his goal on Saturday, make that 22 points in 26 games.
Finally, hockey is represented on the most recent Saturday Night Live. I don't find every SNL skit funny, but I thought this one was.
Chance The Rapper did a SNL sketch as a hockey reporter 😂😂 pic.twitter.com/SWJ76yJ3hU
— Gino Hard (@Ginohard_) November 19, 2017
For more fantasy hockey information, follow me on Twitter @Ian_Gooding.
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