Just two games on Friday night and they both went to a shootout.
Winnipeg beat St. Louis 4-3 and Evander Kane had himself an Evander Kane kind of night. He posted a goal, four PIM, four shots, three hits, and a block. Kane’s quickly becoming Mr. Everything when it comes to fantasy hockey stat lines.
Tobias Enstrom chipped in with a goal to send the game to overtime. He finished plus-2 and also had five shots. He now has points in six of eight games so far this year. The Jets have been getting a lot of offense from their blueline as Enstrom and Dustin Byfuglien are tied for the team lead with seven points.
Zach Bogosian on the other hand still only has one point on the year, but he had a respectable night against St. Louis. Bogosian had three shots, three hits, and six blocks, in nearly 28 minutes of ice-time. His previous high on the season was just 22 minutes. Bogosian now sits third on the Jets in shots, second in plus/minus, third in blocks, and third in hits.
The Jets lost two defensemen in this one with injuries. Jacob Trouba was taken off on a stretcher after going head first into the boards and Mark Stuart left in the third with what reportedly was a rib injury.
In a somewhat surprising move, Devin Setoguchi was a healthy scratch.
David Backes had himself a good game in a losing cause. He notched a goal and an assist to go along with six shots, four hits, and two blocks. Backes now has six points in his last four games.
Alex Steen is now up to seven goals on the year after scoring two against the Jets. He’s now got seven points in his last four games.
Brian Elliott struggled in just his second start of the season. So far he has posted save percentages of .846 and .897 in those outings. That’s not going to make Ken Hitchcock very happy, but it should please Jaroslav Halak owners.
Is it just me or have there been just an obscene amount of awful goals already this year? This one from Olli Jokinen on Elliott isn’t as bad as some of the others, but it still has an odour to it.
Magnus Paajarvi skated in just his second game of the season after being a healthy scratch for the other five. In either contest he has failed to hit 10 minutes of ice-time. It looked like there could have been an opportunity for Paajarvi in St. Louis to get some more minutes than he received in Edmonton, but that looks to no longer be the case.
The Ducks beat the Coyotes 3-2 in a shootout and Jonas Hiller was excellent once again for Anaheim. With Viktor Fasth going down with an injury combined with his slow start, Hiller looks to be claiming the net right now for the Ducks.
Teemu Selanne still getting it done with a goal, five shots and two hits.
Francois Beauchemin and Cam Fowler each played nearly six minutes of shorthanded ice-time on the night.
Mike Smith had a strong game stopping 37 of 39 shots, until he wanted to steal the spotlight from Elliott for worst goal of the night.
Martin Hanzal picked up an assist for the Coyotes. He is rolling right now with points in four of his last five games.
Antoine Vermette had a nice night with a goal and going 67% in the face-off circle. Vermette is a decent pickup if you need help in the face-off category. He ranks in the top 10 when it comes to winning percentage and has taken the fourth most draws in the league thus far.
It might be time for the New Jersey Devils to turn the net over to Cory Schneider. It’s a tough situation when you have a future hall-of-famer on your roster, but Martin Brodeur has had an awful start to 2013-14. Brodeur’s numbers have been on a steady decline over the last few seasons, but this year with a .856 save percentage and a 3.40 goals against average, he looks to be bottoming out. The Devils have yet to win and the team needs a spark, so giving Schneider a succession of starts couldn’t hurt.
The tough part for New Jersey are games like the one they had against Ottawa on Thursday. The Devils rank in the bottom five in the league when it comes to shots on goal, but against the Senators they outshot them 42-22, yet couldn’t come away with points because of a few questionable goals conceded by Brodeur. The goaltending situation there could get messy by the end of the year.
Things still aren’t clicking for Nail Yakupov after being scratched for two games by coach Dallas Eakins. He still has yet to record a point this season and sits at minus-4 on the campaign. What may be most troubling for Yakupov owners is that Eakins seemed to give him a legitimate push after scratching him, but no response. Yakupov played over 17 minutes in the two games since he returned from sitting in the press box, and he hadn’t received that much ice-time in a game all season. He was also playing with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and David Perron, a group you would think should be able to put up points. If you have confidence that Yakupov is going to turn it around at some point, this would be the ultimate buy low opportunity.
A pair of forwards figure to miss around a month with injuries in Max Pacioretty and Ryan Callahan, so there are opportunities for others to move up in the depth chart because of their absence.
The Canadiens juggled their lines a bit Thursday seeing Rene Bourque skate with Daniel Briere and David Desharnais. Bourque scored for just the second time this season and perhaps with some more minutes due to Pacioretty being out of the lineup, he can get jump started offensively.
When it comes to Callahan, Mats Zuccarello and Benoit Pouliot figure to get some more opportunities. When you factor in Rick Nash being out indefinitely as well, both of those guys could be nice pick ups until the Rangers get healthy once again.
Things keep getting worse for the Philadelphia Flyers as Kimmo Timonen left Thursday’s game against Pittsburgh with a lower-body injury. It remains to be seen if he misses any action, but that’s a defenseman the Flyers can’t afford to lose.
Another solid read here from Sean McIndoe on the dominance of the Western Conference.
In an effort to turn their slump around that has seen the Washington Capitals lose four of five games, Adam Oates had some new line combinations going at practice on Friday. The news will be welcomed with open arms for Martin Erat owners, but not so much for Mikhail Grabovski owners. Erat jumps up to the second group while Grabovski slides down to the third. Erat has been buried so far this season with minimal minutes, so let’s see if this new role sticks.
Staying with the Capitals, it looks like Tom Wilson won’t be going back to junior this season.
St. Louis Blues forward Maxim Lapierre was given a five-game suspension for boarding the Sharks’ Dan Boyle.
Good news for the Leafs on two fronts. James Reimer said he felt fine on Friday morning at practice after colliding with Josh Leivo on Thursday. Leivo’s knee hit Reimer’s head and forced him to leave the contest.
Also, James van Riemsdyk looks to be good to go Saturday night after missing two games with back spasms.
Stephane Da Costa, Darcy Kuemper, and Scott Clemmensen are all heading back to the AHL.