The Rangers topped the Islanders indoors this time around and Henrik Lundqvist was in fine form. He made 38 stops including several big saves on good Islander scoring chances. Lundqvist has been stellar all month winning eight of his last 10 starts and it’s safe to say he’s regained his all-world form.
Marc Staal grabbed a pair of assists for his second multi-point game in his last three contests, while going plus-6 over that stretch. He still doesn’t get much power play time but his overall minutes could rise with Michael Del Zotto now gone.
Derick Brassard’s goal gives him a three-game point streak. If the Rangers keep getting scoring from their secondary guys and Lundqvist keeps playing at this level, they are going to be a tough out come playoff time.
Brad Richards broke a mini-slump with a goal against the Isles. Give him full credit for bouncing back after a rough playoffs last season and he still has an outside chance at 65-plus points. He’s been averaging four shots per game over his last five outings.
John Tavares and Thomas Vanek are now both on three-game scoreless droughts. New York was scoring at a frantic pace a few weeks back but that has slowed considerably towards the end of the month.
The crazy thing about the Tavares and Vanek slumps are how they haven’t hurt Kyle Okposo’s production whatsoever. Okposo scored again on Friday, giving him 12 points in eight games. He’s also been posting an average if five shots a night in his last four. That’s good comfort for Okposo owners knowing he can still produce even if Tavares and Vanek are enduring tough times.
Evgeni Nabokov has actually been pretty good since returning from injury. He’s anything but an ideal option, but if you are desperate for goaltending help he’s not a bad look right now until his numbers cool off.
The Hurricanes pulled a 3-1 upset over the Blues thanks to Anton Khudobin’s play between the pipes. Khudobin is going to make it very hard on the Canes to give Cam Ward the starting role back now he is playing so well, especially with the team fighting for a playoff spot. Khudobin has a 12-4 record all of a sudden.
Jeff Skinner is quietly putting together a strong season. He’s got 38 points in just 43 games now with 19 goals in his last 27 contests.
I can’t remember a player changing his style of play so much at this point in his career than Andrej Sekera. He’s become an offensive machine out of nowhere after being an average defenseman points wise for most of his career. Sekera’s already got a career-high 31 points with an assist on Friday in just 52 games. His previous high was 29 but that took him 76 games to reach. Sekera is also over 100 shots for the first time ever with a little less than half a year still to go.
John-Michael Liles has just one point in 10 games since joining Carolina, but has been a plus-2 and is still getting top power play minutes. Keep an eye on him.
Jaroslav Halak took the loss but unfortunately for Brian Elliott owners he didn’t play poorly.
David Backes scored his first goal since January 7th but does have five points in five games. The return of Alex Steen has seemed to have ignited him offensively again.
Patrik Berglund continues to be a nightmare, recording points in just one of nine games.
Brenden Morrow played less than eight minutes on Friday. He’s officially fantasy irrelevant now.
The Red Wings beat the Capitals 4-3 but needed the shootout to do so. Jimmy Howard picked up the win in his return to the lineup but had just an average performance.
Dan Cleary and Todd Bertuzzi were once again scratches and expect that to continue as Mike Babcock seems content to role with the youngsters, and rightfully so.
Gustav Nyquist is one such youngster and he potted another goal on Friday to give him eight points in seven games. Remind me again why he spent the first month and a half of the season in the AHL?
Danny DeKeyser also scored for the Wings, his first goal and point since December 21st. He had a run earlier in the year where it looked like he might be able to provide some offensive value, but hasn’t done anything substantial since November. It’s worth noting though he played over four minutes on the man advantage against the Caps, so he’s still getting some opportunities.
Riley Sheahan with another point to give him four in his last four contests. He’s getting decent power play time too and officially worth considering at this point.
Michal Neuvirth was great making 42 saves for Washington and helping them pick up a point. Things aren’t looking good for Braden Holtby owners, especially when Neuvirth is making stops like this.
Marcus Johansson is still fighting it with one point in his last eight games. He didn’t see any power play time either against Detroit, even with Mikhail Grabovski out of the lineup. Not good.
Mike Green didn’t play after suffering an injury on Thursday which could be a concussion.
The Preds took down the Devils 3-2 and it’s safe to say Shea Weber is feeling okay. He had a pair of goals on Friday, including the overtime winner.
I’ve continued to be impressed with Carter Hutton. He had another solid outing against New Jersey and it doesn’t look like Devan Dubnyk is going to see a ton of action as long as this keeps up. Dubnyk had a real shot with Pekka Rinne out for a fresh start, but it appears it’s not going to happen for him in Nashville.
Roman Josi grabbed an assist and now has four points in his past four. He’s actually had more ice-time than Weber in three straight games believe it or not.
Michael Del Zotto still with just a single assist since coming over from New York and didn’t see any power play time against New Jersey.
Colin Wilson picked up a helper after going four games without a point. His ice-time is way down though from where it was at the beginning of the month. Wilson is in the midst of a tough stretch.
David Legwand notched a goal and has points in three straight. He still gets decent time with the man advantage and could be available in your league.
Cory Schneider’s play has fallen off a bit in the last four games. The last thing Schneider owners want to see is Martin Brodeur become an option again.
Adam Henrique now four straight games without a point and has gone minus-5 over that stretch. Bad news.
How about the play of Jaromir Jagr and Patrik Elias lately? They’ve each had multi-point nights in four of the Devils’ last six games. No one is happier about this than the Czech Olympic hockey team. I’m also confident Jagr could play until he’s 50. His goal and assist versus the Preds give him 48 points in 56 games, while sporting a sparkling plus-21 rating.
Paul Maurice has the Winnipeg Jets playing some good hockey right now and they knocked off the Canucks 4-3 on Friday for another victory. I think it has to do with the fact that Maurice no longer has Bryan McCabe, Boyd Devereaux, and Chad Kilger at his disposal anymore.
Ondrej Pavelec has done better in the win column lately but his numbers have been only marginally better and he remains inconsistent.
Devin Setoguchi broke out of a slump with two goals against the Canucks. His ice-time has gone up slightly under Maurice and with Evander Kane out he may be the recipient of some more power play time.
Mark Scheifele has been coming on strong as of late and now has four points in four games. He was great against Vancouver, especially in the first period.
Olli Jokinen is now pointless in seven games and saw his least amount of ice-time since October 22nd. C’Mon man.
The Canucks are struggling right now but at least Alex Edler scored a goal. He’s showing some signs of life with points in two straight. Don’t get too excited though, he’s still a minus-5 in his past three.
Ryan Kesler had a three point evening and had a lot of jump. He’s also got eight shots in two contests.
Eddie Lack wasn’t sharp in this one, conceding a couple of goals he probably would like to have back. He looked great playing regularly when Roberto Luongo was hurt, but now that he is going to just get sporadic starts, it might be something he needs to adjust to.
Daniel Sedin has one point in his last 10 games and looks lost without Henrik out there. Don’t believe me? Check this out.
Tampa Bay is in a bad way right now in goal with injuries to both Ben Bishop and Anders Lindback from their game on Thursday against Ottawa. Lindback is reportedly not supposed to be back until after the Olympic break and Bishop is questionable for Saturday. There is the potential that the Lightning will have to call up two goalies for their game against Montreal today which starts at 1pm, so adjust your lineups accordingly and check them early.
Matt Moulson is also down until after the Olympic break after suffering an upper-body injury on Thursday. This will likely have some teams thinking twice about his trade value at the deadline. Moulson has been rumored to be headed to a contender for a playoff push, but his injury and the fact that he could be a rental if he doesn’t re-sign, puts his value up in the air.
The Leafs shipped defenseman Mark Fraser to the Oilers on Friday for prospects Teemu Hartikainen and Cameron Abney. Fraser had been scratched in 19 of his last 20 games but should get a chance to see the ice in Edmonton considering they could use another defensive blueliner. Fraser won’t have much fantasy value though, especially with the Oilers.
Cool piece here from ESPN on Ed Jovanovski’s long road back to the NHL from major hip surgery.