The Philadelphia Flyers can’t score. They have six goals in five games and Friday’s 2-1 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes showed no signs that their lack of production would improve anytime soon. Both Scott Hartnell and Vincent Lecavalier left the game with injuries and according to Paul Holmgren they will each miss at least a week.

 

Matt Read jumped up onto the top line when Hartnell went down, but that’s not necessarily an upgrade at the moment because Claude Giroux still hasn’t recorded a point in five games this year. Sean Couturier was the lone bright spot among forwards, picking up an assist to go along with five shots and a nearly 60% rate in the faceoff circle.

 

Goaltender Steve Mason does deserve a mention for his efforts in 2013. In his last three contests he has posted save percentages of .941, .971, and .935 respectively. You know things are bad in Philly when the most positive signs are coming from the goaltending.

 

*

 

Oliver Ekman-Larsson had himself a game on Friday playing over 25 minutes, with a goal, four shots and three hits. He also played a whopping six-plus minutes with the man advantage.

 

Thomas Greiss was also spectacular in net stopping 36-of-37 shots.

 

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Los Angles got themselves a 2-1 win over Carolina thanks to Jonathan Quick stopping 27-of-28 shots.

 

Matt Frattin led the Kings with six hits in over 12 minutes of action. That’s the style he has to play to earn a regular spot in the lineup.

 

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Cam Ward was strong in a losing cause making 36 saves, while Andrej Sekera had three blocked shots. Sekera actually sits second in the league in blocks and also has two points this season. He’s not a terrible add in a deep league if you need help in that category and is somehow 0% owned in Yahoo. You will have no trouble finding him available.

 

Canes youngster Elias Lindholm left the game with an upper-body injury. Something to keep an eye on.

 

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Jeff Zatkoff made his first career start in goal for the Penguins on Friday and got lit up for six goals from the Panthers of all teams. With Tomas Vokoun out for 3-6 months, Zatkoff is going to get at least a dozen starts or so for Pittsburgh, which could be a bad thing. Look for the Pens to potentially add a veteran backup at some point.

 

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Florida seems to have found itself a dangerous line in Tomas Fleischmann, Aleksander Barkov, and Brad Boyes. The trio combined for 10 points and a plus-8 rating against Pittsburgh on Friday. Fleischmann stole the show with a goal and three assists, to go along with six shots. He’s always been very underrated and can help you in a bunch of different areas.

 

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Chicago beat the New York Islanders 3-2 and the usual suspects were out in full force. Jonathan Toews had a goal and seven shots, while Duncan Keith added two assists and four shots.

 

Michal Handzus was also impressive in just over nine minutes by scoring a goal and going perfect on faceoffs for the night. He’s only 1% owned in Yahoo and could give you some value in deeper leagues.

 

It wasn’t all good news for Chicago as Patrick Kane was held pointless and went minus-2.

 

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Josh Bailey and Michael Grabner seem to be forming a nice connection this season. They teamed up on a Bailey goal Friday and have now combined for seven points so far in 2013.

 

John Tavares is going to get some sweet Tooth Fairy money for this.

 

 

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Shocking news to report from the Dallas Stars: Kari Lehtonen has another injury. Lehtonen left Friday’s win against Winnipeg with a lower-body injury and was replaced by Dan Ellis.

 

The Stars didn’t need him though as Tyler Seguin set a career-high in points with four on the night. Jamie Benn chipped in with a goal and two assists, to go along with four hits. Remind me again why Benn wasn’t invited to Team Canada’s Olympic Orientation Camp?

 

Alex Chiasson added a goal and an assist Friday for Dallas. He now has four points in three games this year.

 

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Winnipeg didn’t do much offensively versus Dallas, but they did contribute to poolies in other areas. There were nine Jets that had at least two hits and two shots on Friday. Evander Kane and Dustin Byfuglien led the way with seven shots and three hits each.

 

*

 

Joey MacDonald made another start for Calgary in a 3-2 victory over the Devils. He’s now 3-0-1 on the year and looks to claiming that starting job over Karri Ramo slowly but surely.

 

Sean Monahan scored another goal for Calgary. It’s going to be really tough for the Flames not to keep him up with the team all year.

 

*

 

Jacob Josefson is struggling to find ice-time in New Jersey. He barely got seven minutes against Calgary on Friday.

 

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If I were a Henrik Lundqvist owner I would be mildly concerned about how the New York Rangers have started the season. Actually now that I think about it, I am a Lundqvist owner and I am mildly concerned with the Rangers start. New York is 1-3 to start the year and has been outscored 15-2 in their last two contests.

 

Now part of the reason might be a massive road trip starting on the West Coast to kickoff the season or the fact that the team was missing key players like Derek Stepan and Ryan Callahan in training camp, but it also could have to do with a flawed defensive game.

 

Under John Tortorella the Rangers were stingy defensively giving up just over 28 shots per game, but so far in 2013-14 that number has ballooned to 36.2 a night. Conceding an extra eight shots per contest is going to translate into more goals no matter how strong your goalie is. The scary part is the Rangers also lead the league in blocked shots, so if that part of their game starts to slip at all, Lundqvist will likely be seeing even more rubber.

 

New coach Alain Vigneault has a much more free-flowing offensive style, which might mean better production for Stepan, Brad Richards, Rick Nash and company, but it could hurt Lundqvist’s numbers this season.

 

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Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop suffered a minor lower-body injury in a win Thursday over Florida. Although it isn’t believed to be serious, Anders Lindback should get the next couple of starts since they called up Kristers Gudlevskis to take Bishop’s place. These are the types of opportunities that someone like Lindback can take advantage of and parlay into earning more playing time, in a goalie situation that is up for the taking.

 

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The Minnesota Wild set a franchise record for faceoff winning percentage on Thursday in a 2-1 win over Winnipeg. The Wild went 73.8% on the draws that night and were led by Mikko Koivu who went 14-of-19 in the circle. Many fantasy leagues have faceoffs now as a category and if you can find someone like Koivu that can put up points as well, it’s a nice bonus to have as an owner.

 

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Don’t look now, but Mike Santorelli of the Vancouver Canucks has four goals in five games to lead the team. His fast start is thanks to moving up in the depth chart because of an injury to Alex Burrows and a suspension to Zack Kassian. Santorelli won’t keep up this pace when these guys return, but he could be a nice short-term option until Burrows gets back.

 

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Great news here that NBC will be showing some NCAA hockey this season. College hockey is a solid opportunity to look at future players that you may want to snag in keeper leagues. Major Junior leagues get a lot of attention here in Canada, but the NCAA is an exciting brand of hockey with plenty of history and rivalries.

 

*

 

Alex Edler was suspended three games for an illegal check to the head of San Jose forward Tomas Hertl on Thursday. Adjust your lineups accordingly. 

 

 

Michael Amato is an Associate Editor for DobberHockey and a News Editor for theScore. You can follow him on Twitter at @amato_mike


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Comments (6)add comment

Michael Amato said:

Michael Amato
... @bmartel Only caught the last 10-15 minutes of the game so can't make a good assessment. He only played 12 minutes with minimal PP time though. No shots on goal vs. the Jets.
October 12, 2013
Votes: +1

bmartel said:

bmartel
Nichushkin??? Still no points, but can't find infos if he's playing well or not, if Ruff looks OK with him or not... Any help please?
October 12, 2013
Votes: +1

Big Ev said:

Big Ev
... Couturier wasn't a bright spot, he was brutal. He has no competition level this year and is just awful with the puck. This is probably you last chance to bail on him if you own him. His offensive upside is zilch.
October 12, 2013
Votes: +0

newfcollins said:

newfcollins
... That last line should say "most of the game."
October 12, 2013
Votes: +0

newfcollins said:

newfcollins
... Flyers coaches have to take a lot of blame. They still won't put Voracek and Giroux together on a regular basis. They were point-per-game players together last year. Stop being stubborn about trying to spread around the of fence when you have trouble scoring and put together for not of the game.
October 12, 2013
Votes: +0

donpaulo said:

donpaulo
... I am a Lundqvist owner as well and I am not concerned.
Now is a great time to make an offer for him and if Amato is worrying about him maybe the owner in your league is too.
October 12, 2013
Votes: +1
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