It was a strange Saturday night in the National Hockey League, as we had just six total games scheduled, and one was canceled due to COVID-19. So Saturday looked more like a Monday or Wednesday. Even so, we had ginormous off-the-ice news, as the Columbus Blue Jackets and Winnipeg Jets swapped disgruntled stars, and one kid also in the trade found out you can go home again.
The Jackets shipped Pierre-Luc Dubois and a third-round pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft to the Jets for unhappy Patrik Laine and Ohio native Jack Roslovic, who is tickled to be going back to his childhood home.
Laine is still just 22 years old, and has not yet begun to scratch the surface. The 6-foot-5 Finn already has 140 goals and 250 points across 306 NHL games, including 52 power-play goals and 85 total points on the man advantage. He also has 18 game-winning tallies. The Blue Jackets get a budding superstar, although many are already guessing that if he couldn't make it work in Winnipeg with head coach Paul Maurice, how will he co-exist with bull in a china shop John Tortorella as his bench boss? He is in the final campaign of his two-year, $13.5 million contract, and he will be a restricted free agent after the season.
Roslovic is a Columbus native, so he is tickled to return to his hometown. He was already working out in Columbus before the trade, away from the team due to his restricted free agent status. Roslovic has since inked a two-year, $3.8 million deal, so the Jackets won't come up empty handed. The 23-year-old posted a career-high 12 goals, 17 assists and 29 points last season across 71 games. He has a while before he warrants fantasy consideration outside of deeper pools.
Dubois managed just one goal and a minus-2 rating in five games with CBJ, and the former No. 3 overall pick from the 2016 NHL Entry Draft will look to take off with the Jets. He has managed 66 goals, 93 assists and a plus-20 rating across 239 NHL games, striking for just nine power-play goals. On the surface, it appears the Jets got fleeced in this deal, but time will tell. PLD and Laine are obviously fantasy must-starts, regardless of their zip code and/or postal code.
Laine was sidelined due to an upper-body injury prior to the deal. According to quarantine rules in Canada, Dubois will have to remain in isolation for 14 days, missing a minimum of seven games. As such, he might not make his team debut until Feb. 11 against the Ottawa Senators. With Roslovic, he had already been south of the border in Columbus, so he might be able to debut soon. Laine needs to get over his UBI, so his timetable for debut is uncertain. Let's get started!
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS 5, TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING 2
Laine's new team got off to a tough start Saturday afternoon, but quickly turned things around.
Victor Hedman struck for his first goal of the season just 4:10 into the game for the defending champs, getting to Elvis Merzlikins early. Nick Foligno answered back 17 seconds later, and the Lightning never owned the lead again.
Mikhail Grigorenko added his first from Kevin Stenlund and Nathan Gerbe, and Vladislav Gavrikov notched goals before Ondrej Palat closed out the second period with a power-play goal, as Columbus stayed ahead 3-2 before heading to the room.
Zach Werenski and Eric Robinson each struck for goals in the third, as Andrei Vasilevskiy had a rare poor day at the office, allowing four goals on just 27 shots. Even with five goals on the board, Robinson was the only multi-point performer with a goal and an assist while also turning in a plus-2 and a game-best five hits. Gavrikov ended up with a plus-3 while dishing out four hits.
Merzlikins turned aside 30 of 32 shots to square his record at 1-1-1 with a 3.34 goals-against average and .891 save percentage in his three starts.
Editor's Note: NBC's coverage of the 2020-21 NHL season continues with Sunday's matchup between the Washington Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Coverage begins at 12:00 p.m. ET on NBC. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.
BOSTON BRUINS 6, PHILADELPHIA FLYERS 1
The Bruins buried Carter Hart, who is off to a difficult start for the Fly Guys.
Hart coughed up six goals on 26 shots, while Jaroslav Halak was rarely tested at the other side, allowing just one goal on 17 shots.
Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand each scored two goals while adding an assist, and Charlie Coyle, Nick Ritchie and Craig Smith each had two-point games, too. And 11 players on the B's side had at least one point. Both of Bergie's goals were power-play goals, and one of Marchand's goals came on the man advantage, too.
Halak improved to 1-0-1 with a 1.44 GAA and .938 SV% across his two starts, allowing just a goal to Kevin Hayes. The Flyers stud forward, another former Jets player, has at least one point in five of his six games to date. Hayes has three goals, eight points and a plus-2 rating overall.
MONTREAL CANADIENS 5, VANCOUVER CANUCKS 2
The Canadiens and Canucks were locked in a good one into the third period, and then the Habs were able to pull away.
Before the scoring, though, there were some business to tend to. Joel Armia was knocked out with what the Habs felt was dirty. Tyler Myers, who administered the questionable hit, was not fined by the NHL. Joel Edmundson, who recently said he wants to be a leader on the team, dished out his own penalties with his right and left fists. Myers was thrown off his game, literally, going scoreless with a minus-4 rating. Fantasy owners of Myers weren't too broken up, though, as posted five PIM.
Nick Suzuki scored his second goal of the season midway through the first, with helpers to Brett Kulak and Jonathan Drouin. The assist for Drouin was his fifth of the season. Corey Perry banged in his first of the season midway through the second, helped out by Ben Chiarot and Tyler Toffoli.
The momentum wouldn't last, as Brendan Gallagher scored his second goal of the season midway through the third, and Drouin added his first for the multi-point game. Edmundson posted an unassisted goal at 17:06, as Montreal won and covered the puck line.
Editor’s Note: Drafting is only half the battle! Get an edge on your competition with our NHL Season Tools that are packed with rankings, projections, a trade evaluator, start/sit tools and much more. And don't forget to use promo code PUCK10 to get 10% off. Click here to learn more!
ST. LOUIS BLUES 4, LOS ANGELES KINGS 2
Jordan Binnington and the Blues doubled up the Kings, but it wasn't as easy as it looks on paper.
Torey Krug scored a power-play goal, his first marker of the season, and the first for St. Louis after an 0-for-14 start on the man advantage to start the season.
Adrian Kempe blasted in a one-timer past a sprawling Binnington, his third straight game with a goal to tie a career high. Dustin Brown, demoted from the top scoring line for Kempe, stepped up on a 5-on-3 power-play situation with a goal. He was assisted by Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty.
Kopitar played in his 1,078th NHL game, taking sole possession of third place on the franchise's all-time list in games played. He has picked up seven helpers in just five games, as he continues to be a must-start.
Cal Petersen allowed late goals to the Blues, suffering the second regular-season loss in as many starts. He wasn't terrible, allowing three goals on 29 shots.
WINNIPEG JETS 6, OTTAWA SENATORS 3
Laine's former team struck early on the power play, as Nikolaj Ehlers managed a power-play goal to stake the Jets to a 1-0 league.
In the second period, it turned into a bit of a seesaw affair, as Evgenii Dadonov notched his first before Kyle Connor responded to make it 2-1 in favor of the Jets. Brady Tkachuk and Nick Paul each scored to make it 3-2 in favor of the visitors heading to intermission.
The lead was short-lived. Andrew Copp tied it up on helpers to Paul Stastny and Ehlers, while Stastny came right back with a power-play goal which stood up as a the game-winning tally. Copp then banged in his second of the game and season before Mark Scheifele out a bow on the scoring on an empty-net tally.
The offense was music to the ears of Connor Hellebuyck and his fantasy owners. He improved to 3-1-0 with a 2.25 GAA and .920 save percentage. He remains at the top of his game.