It's not too late to enjoy the 7th annual Midseason Fantasy Guide - pick it up here!

 

The Isles were victorious over the Philadelphia Flyers as Kyle Okposo led the way with a goal and a helper. The fact that he’s playing with John Tavares and Thomas Vanek makes him such a great fantasy commodity. The trio gets almost all the power play time for New York, as Okposo’s 6:27 against the Flyers showed. He’s operating at essentially a point per game pace right now and sits tied for 10th in league scoring.

 

Michael Grabner just can’t get it going and part of the reason is his minutes. He got no power play time against the Flyers and played just 11 minutes total. Grabner has so much potential but seeing next to no time with Tavares and Vanek isn’t helping his productivity.

 

Anders Nilsson got the call in goal and it’s been up and down for the Isles between the pipes since Nabokov went down. Kevin Poulin has played much of the time and just been average, although New York has been winning games at least.

 

Frans Nielsen extended his point streak to four games with an assist. He’s on pace to shatter his career-high in points this season and has a legitimate shot at 60-plus.

 

*

 

Matt Read scored twice for Philadelphia and now has three goals in his last two. He’s actually been on pace for 20 goals a season since he came into the league and the reason for his hot streak may have something to do with Vincent Lecavalier, who has joined him on a line recently with Sean Couturier. Keep an eye on if that continues.

 

Speaking of Downie, he’s in quite the slump. He’s got no points in 12 games and what’s worse are his shots on net. Downie has managed just one in four games. Yikes.

 

Jakub Voracek suffered a hand injury after taking a slash from Cal Clutterbuck, according to reports. No word yet on how serious it is.

 

*

 

So this Patrice Bergeron-Reilly Smith-Brad Marchand line is really picking up some steam. They were at it again on Monday as the Bruins beat the Kings 3-2 and the three are all on four game point streaks, combining for 18 over that span. Perhaps no one has benefitted more than Marchand, who has six goals in his last four, including a pair against the Kings. He started the year sluggish with four points in 15 contests, but it looks as though Marchand is getting back on track.

 

Here’s a sweet individual effort by Marchand for a shorthanded tally.

 

 

Torey Krug notched his 11th of the season and has an outside chance at 20 goals and over 200 shots. Not too shabby from a defenseman.

 

Chad Johnson started for Boston and he’s done a nice job filling in for Tuukka Rask when called upon. In three of his last four appearances he has posted a save percentage of at least .940.

 

Jarome Iginla is now pointless in six straight games. He still saw nearly five minutes with the man advantage though on Monday. So as long as that continues there’s no need to panic.

 

*

 

Justin Williams is in a bit of a funk for Los Angeles. His minutes have been dropping recently and he’s played less than 17 in five straight contests, failing to find the score sheet over that stretch. The last three games he has been playing a lot with Matt Frattin and Mike Richards, a bit of a drop off from regular line-mates Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown.

 

*

 

In the shocker of the evening the Panthers dealt the Penguins a 5-1 defeat in Pittsburgh and shut down Sidney Crosby, Chris Kunitz, and James Neal.

Matt Niskanen scored though and he’s been rolling as of late. He has points in eight of nine games and Kris Letang’s return from injury a couple of weeks back hasn’t slowed him down or limited his opportunities. Niskanen is still getting quality power play time.

 

*

 

The Panthers won thanks to a two-goal performance from Drew Shore. It’s tough to get excited about Shore yet as this was his only game of the season where he had more than one shot on goal, but he will be someone to watch down the road.

 

Nick Bjugstad on the other hand, is starting to show some signs of consistency. He’s got points in four of five games and might be worth a short-term pickup.

 

Jonathan Huberdeau picked up a goal and an assist. He’s clearly in a sophomore slump and barely played 11 minutes against the Pens. Huberdeau is another one to be patient with, but he won’t offer much help in 2013-14.

 

Tomas Fleischmann continues to be invisible in the production department and the scary thing is he will probably easily set a new career-high in shots.

 

Jesse Winchester had three assists against the Pens. Don’t expect that very often. Or ever gain.

 

*

 

The Blues beat the Red Wings 4-1 but the bigger news was Jimmy Howard left with a lower-body injury. If it is going to keep him out for a lengthy period of time then Petr Mrazek could be a good add. Although Jonas Gustavsson is nearing a return as well, so watch out for that.

 

I mentioned Riley Sheahan as someone to consider with all the injuries Detroit is dealing with. He grabbed an assist against St. Louis and saw some decent power play time. However, he also went minus-3, which isn’t going to get you in Mike Babcock’s good graces.

 

*

 

Alex Steen picked up two assists to go along with seven shots and looked more comfortable in his second game back from a concussion.

 

David Backes continues to struggle and initially I thought it had to do with Steen going down. Backes’ numbers dropped considerably while he was out, but so far that hasn’t changed since Steen has returned. Granted, it’s only been a couple of games and Backes still contributes in other ways, but he was clicking with Steen earlier in the year.

 

Jaden Schwartz has finally come crashing down to earth. He’s got just one point in seven games and been a minus-4 in his last three. He was down under 17 minutes against the Wings.

 

*

 

The Predators beat the Stars 4-1 and Valeri Nichushkin was scratched for the second straight game. It’s not all that shocking considering he’s been pointless in five, so Lindy Ruff had apparently seen enough. Nichushkin had some nice success with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin earlier in the year and even if Ruff does insert him back into the lineup he has likely lost his spot with that group. Erik Cole has been playing with those two as of late.

 

*

 

Carter Hutton has been playing sensational and picked up his third straight win, making 35 stops against the Stars. Devan Dubnyk owners won’t be pleased with that if they were hoping for him to have a fresh start in Nashville. With the way Hutton is playing it doesn’t look like Dubnyk will be seeing action too frequently.

 

Roman Josi’s two points now give him six in his last four. He’s also managed to go plus-6 in his past three to go along with 10 shots. Being partnered with Shea Weber has its advantages.

 

*

 

The Leafs have now won five straight after picking up a win in Phoenix and continue their streaky ways. It’s becoming clear that as Phil Kessel goes, Toronto goes. He has been averaging two points a night during this run and had just two total in a four-game losing streak that preceded it.

 

Nazem Kadri had a goal and an assist against Phoenix. I thought he played his best game of the season against Montreal last Saturday and it looks as though Kadri is doing his best not to get traded.

 

Jonathan Bernier made 39 stops in the win. James Reimer doesn’t have any fantasy value right now and probably won’t for the rest of the year unless Bernier gets injured.

 

*

 

Mike Smith had another subpar outing after two solid starts. If you subtract those two games, Smith has posted a save percentage less than .900 in six of his last eight starts. Not good.

 

Zbynek Michalek is a good guy to have around if you have blocks as a category in your league. He would easily be in the top five in the NHL if he hadn’t missed substantial time due to injury this season. He’s usually good for at least two blocks a night and is also a plus-10 on the campaign.

 

*

 

The Flames still aren’t winning, but at least they’re not getting shutout. Jiri Hudler scored in a 3-2 loss to the Sharks and seems to be recapturing some of the magic he had earlier in the year with five points in six games.

 

It will be interesting to see how Saturday’s slugfest impacts a few Flames defensemen in the next couple of games. Dennis Wideman played over 38 minutes against the Canucks because of all the ejections and that can take a few games to recover from.

 

Mikael Backlund doesn’t seem to be taking advantage of Mike Cammalleri’s absence in the lineup with some extra minutes. He hasn’t picked up a point in three games, going minus-3.

 

*

 

Joe Pavelski is on a hotter streak than that time George Costanza pretended to sell computers at a crazy pace when in competition with Lloyd Braun. However, Pavelski’s goals are real and with two against the Flames he now has six in three games.

 

Wingels had the other goal and is looking like a decent candidate to hit 50 points. If people are sleeping in your league he might still be available, but that won’t last.

 

*

 

So John Tortorella got suspended 15 days for his actions on Saturday night and Bob Hartley was fined $25,000. I actually thought the NHL did a solid job with the discipline in this case as they couldn’t let this slide without making a statement. If the league is serious about player safety then they have to start taking a stand with premeditated brawls.

 

*

 

Henrik Sedin won’t play Tuesday and it will end an impressive iron-man streak at 679 games. Here’s a look at what was happening in the world when it began 10 years ago.

 

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


Write comment
Comments (2)add comment

Nehithaw said:

Nehithaw
More respect due for Pavelski? I thought that it would have been worth mentioning that Joe Pavelski is now tied for 2nd in goals (27) with Corey Perry. I looked back to Saturday's ramblings and found this: "Obviously Joe Pavelski also had himself one hell of a game, with a hat-trick and 5 SOG, but Martin St. Louis scored four so who cares, y'know?"

So I'll rephrase that: Joe Pavelski has scored 6 goals in his last 3 games and he now has more goals than Martin St Louis, Patrick Kane, Phil Kessel, John Tavares, Rick Nash, Crosby, Getzlaf and while we're it - Logan Couture.

How many people would have guessed that Pavelski would be where he is now in the scoring race? I'd say that it is fantasy relevant.


January 21, 2014
Votes: +0

tonyunclejohnny said:

tonyunclejohnny
J Schwatz Great ramblings as usual thanks!

Just a caveat about j schwatz' ice-time. He had 16:52, yes under 17min but the highest on the blues was Steen with 17:44, and Backes had 16:38 so it's more a question of how the coach plays his forward than reduced ice-time for Schwartz. He's also still on the top line with Backes and Steen most of the time (with Oshie as well)+ 1st pp unit. So the coaches are still trusting him. Just saying. But no question his production hit a wall.
January 21, 2014
Votes: +3
You must be logged in to post a comment. Please register if you do not have an account yet.

busy