You have to feel for the Columbus Blue Jackets, who has now lost Sergei Bobrovsky for the next three weeks due to a lower-body injury. He had been brilliant lately with a 1.57 GAA and .948 save percentage in his last 15 contests. That stretch had helped restore faith in him after a less than ideal 2014-15 campaign and, more notably, a disastrous beginning to this season. Unfortunately injuries have become a recurring, if not necessarily crippling, problem for him, which has hurt the Blue Jackets and fantasy owners alike.
Editor's Note: This is your chance to try FanDuel risk free! Sign up today and if you lose your first contest, you’ll be refunded the entry fee up to $10. Play now.
Without Bobrovsky, the Blue Jackets will now be leaning heavily on Curtis McElhinney. If you wanted to pick up McElhinney to collect some extra starts in the short-term, especially if you own Bobrovsky, then that might be a decent option. Just keep in mind two things: 1) Columbus' offense hasn't been great lately, which is why the Blue Jackets have struggled to win despite Bobrovsky's best efforts and 2) McElhinney is, at best, mediocre. Sure, he could luck out and have an impressive stretch, but that would just make McElhinney a serviceable goaltender that happened to get hot at the right time.
Which ties into something obvious, but I feel needs to be said more often: When it comes to making predictions about the future of players, we naturally use the information available to us, but there are no guarantees. More to the point, there's nothing to say that a hot streak is an indication of a new norm or that a bad player can't have a great game. It's important to keep that in mind, especially with the rise of daily leagues. You're going to ultimately make a judgment call based on your best guess, but any player can do anything when the sample size is that small. That doesn't mean the results are random, just that the margin for deviation is high.
Continuing our weekly look at the wonder that is Patrick Kane, whose point streak has reached 23 games. He also picked up his 600th point in the process on Tuesday. It's all incredibly impressive, although it's worth noting that Tuesday represented the second straight game that he has extended his streak by way of an empty-net point. Is that a sign that his streak is reaching a conclusion as he cools down? Perhaps. But again, with small sample sizes the margin for deviation is high. Either way, it will be fun to see what happens tonight when Chicago takes on Nashville.
Calgary versus Buffalo will be another good one to watch. The Flames entered the season as something of a question mark as their impressive play in 2014-15 had to be measured against their poor Corsi, making them a candidate to decline. Still, looking beyond the fancy stats, there was enough to like about their team so the jury was out. Unfortunately they got off to a disastrous 2-8-1 start that they've been trying to claw out of ever since. They've taken a step forward recently with three straight wins and, most encouragingly, Mark Giordano has been a big part of that with two goals and five points in his last five games. The Flames don't need Giordano to be at the top of his game to win - but it's certainly a lot harder for them to succeed without him. If he's finally turned a corner - and it wouldn't be surprising if he has - then there's hope for Calgary yet.
Then on Friday I recommend checking in on Joseph Blandisi. The 21-year-old is expected to make his debut with the New Jersey Devils as Travis Zajac (upper body) and Adam Henrique (lower body) are unavailable. Blandisi was taken in the sixth round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft by Colorado, but never signed with the Avalanche. In 2014 he attended the Sabres training camp and failed to secure a contract once again. Then everything came together and he recorded 52 goals, 112 points, and 126 penalty minutes in 68 OHL games in 2014-15 after finishing with just 50 points in the previous season. Armed with that kind of breakout, he managed to finally get an entry-level contract with the New Jersey Devils and has gone on to record seven goals, 16 points, and 43 penalty minutes in 18 AHL contests. Now he's not likely to get enough playing time in his NHL debut to have a big impact and his current stint with the team could be a brief one, but in another season or two he could be a very valuable fantasy asset.
Jaromir Jagr has now gone eight games without a goal, but it's just a matter of time before he finally ends that drought. When he does he will be tying Marcel Dionne for fourth place on the NHL all-time goals leaderboard. He's also just 11 goals behind Brett Hull. Jagr might also reach another historic milestone this season as he's 28 points behind Gordie Howe for third place in the all-time scoring leaderboard. If he manages to get 66 more points in his career - not inconceivable with how he's aged - then he will be in second place, behind only Wayne Gretzky. And that's after spending three years in the KHL.