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Taylor Hall
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Hockey Daily Dose

Daily Dose: Study Hall

by Dan Dobish

It was a nine-game slate in the National Hockey League on Tuesday night, and there were some tremendous performances. We didn't have any goaltender shutouts, nor did we get any hat tricks on offense. Just the same, we had some sparkling performances between the pipes by some high-quality goaltenders, while the usual suspects were busy on the offensive end. Of course, we had some surprises, too, and a few guys you need to pump the brakes on before risking a fantasy roster spot. We'll help you avoid those pratfalls. Let's get started!

 

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Tuesday's Fantasy Five

 

Taylor Hall was the No. 1 overall selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft by the Edmonton Oilers. He showed signs of life with 80 points in 2013-14, but he scaled back to 14 goals and 38 points in 2014-15. It looked like he was going to be a good, but not great, hockey player in the NHL. He had an OK season with 20 goals and 53 points in his first year with the New Jersey Devils in 2016-17, but he jumped to superstar status with 39 goals and 93 points last year. Would he take a step back? He has snapped back ahead of point-per-game form with two goals, four points and a plus-4 rating with six shots on goal and two blocked shots over 20:51 of ice time. He has managed five goals with 19 points in 16 contests. Hall has a little work to do on his minus-3 rating, but Tuesday was an amazing start in that endeavor.

 

Roberto Luongo allowed just one goal on 31 shots in Tuesday's 2-1 road victory against the Philadelphia Flyers, as he continues to be a stabilizing force for a Florida Panthers team that is on the come. He stopped all 13 shots he faced in the regular-season opener on Oct. 6 in Tampa Bay before suffering an injury. He missed nearly a month with a lower-body injury, but he bounced back in Vezina-type form. Louie is 4-0-0 with a 1.33 goals-against average and .956 save percentage, yielding two or fewer goals in all five of his appearances to date. Luongo has helped the Panthers become relevant in the Eastern Conference, as they've improved to 7-5-3 with 17 points. He has re-emerged as a must-start in all fantasy leagues, but he is also a tremendous sell-high candidate. He won't continue to perform at this kind of level at 39 years of age.

 

John Tavares registered a power-play goal and two assists, including one on the man advantage, while ending up with a plus-1 rating, four shots on goal, a blocked shot and a hit over 19:50 of ice time in Tuesday's dominating 5-1 road win over the Los Angeles Kings. Tavares and friends chased Peter Budaj, who was chased after allowing four goals on just 19 shots before getting the hook early in the second period. Cal Petersen, an Iowa native, is the fourth goaltender on the organizational depth chart and he supplanted Budaj in the second. Tavares and the Leafs dominated against a Kings team missing Jonathan Quick and Jack Campbell to injury. Tavares doesn't seem to be affected by any goalie right now, allowing four goals with nine points during his six-game point streak.

 

Leon Draisaitl was busy rolling up big points again, going for a goal and two assists with a plus-2 rating, four shots on goal and a blocked shot while winning 11 of his 18 faceoff chances (61.1 percent). It helps to skate with Connor McDavid, as he was good for three assists with a plus-2 rating. The German pivot has always been a gifted offensive player, but he is on pace for 50 goals and 91 points. His previous best was 29 goals back in 2016-17, when he also had a career-best 77 points. He has managed nine goals with 14 points over the past 12 contests to make his fantasy owners smile from ear to ear.

 

Perhaps the most surprising offensive performance of the evening came from Dmitry Orlov of the Washington Capitals. He entered the night with just two assists through the first 16 games this season, but he exploded for two goals and an assist with a plus-3 rating, four shots on net and two blocked shots in a 5-2 home win against the Minnesota wild. It was impressive, especially since he hadn't lit the lamp in a regular-season battle since April Fool's Day last season in Pittsburgh. Don't go out and spend a ton of your FAAB budget on Orlov. We know what he is by this point, and he is a decent source of hits and blocked shots. So far he has 30 hits and 30 blocked shots in 17 outings, which is especially appealing to those in DFS play, too.

 

Fantasy Game of the Night

 

The Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks rolled up nine total goals in the West Coast battle in the Bay Area. Filip Forsberg led the way for the Preds, registering two goals with an assist, a plus-1 rating, three shots on goal, a blocked shot and a minor penalty. He went for 10 goals and 14 points with a plus-11 rating through 12 games in the month of October, but he had a four-game scoreless run from Oct. 30 to Nov. 7, and just one assist in his past six outings entering play. He is such a gifted player, however, and he should never be reserved in fantasy pools because he can pick up points in bunches at the drop of a hat. Craig Smith went for a goal with an assist, as he also snapped an eight-game goal drought dating back to Oct. 23, which ironically was also against the Sharks. There's something about the teal which gets Smith going. The other goal scorer was Rocco Grimaldi, who had his first point in six games. He sounds like a guy who runs numbers rather than playing hockey for a living.

 

Martin Jones allowed four goals on 34 shots to edge Juuse Saros, as you never want to have goaltenders in the Fantasy Game of the Night. It usually doesn't end well. Joe Pavelski beat Saros twice, posting a plus-2 rating with four shots on goal and two blocked shots. He was disappointing in the faceoff circle, winning eight of his 28 chances (28.6 percent), but most fantasy owners don't go that deep to use the category. Marcus Sorensen continues to surprise, picking up a goal with two assists and a plus-1 rating, posting a pair of three-point games over his past five outings. Joe Thornton was also good for a goal with a plus-2 rating on four shots, giving him three goals with four points over the past six outings. The 39-year-old can still be a boon to fantasy owners, and perhaps the game-winning tally on Tuesday will spur him on to more consistent results. Antti Suomela was good for a goal, his third in the past nine outings. That's not huge, but he is a player to keep an eye on in deeper fantasy pools.

 

Quick Hits: Kris Letang didn't do a very good job, going scoreless with a minus-4 rating in a 4-2 loss in New Jersey. The good news was he recorded three blocked shots and three hits to salvage the night. … Damon Severson posted a goal and an assist for his second consecutive multi-point night, giving him three goals and 12 points through 16 outings. He has quickly emerged as a solid fantasy option in pools of 10 or more teams. … Keith Kinkaid allowed just two goals with 29 saves in a victory, improving to 7-5-1 with a 2.80 GAA and .911 save percentage. He has allowed two or fewer goals in four of his past five outings. … Tom Kuhnhackl went for two goals and a plus-2 rating, and he had four points over his past four contests. He is a player worth monitoring in deeper leagues, and he should be scooped up if he can keep contributing on a regular basis over the next seven to 10 days. … Jeff Skinner scored a goal in his third straight outing, giving him four markers during the span. … Carter Hutton allowed just one goal on 30 shots in a victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning, shutting down a high-octane offense. … Nathan Beaulieu registered two assists with a plus-1 rating, three hits and a blocked shot in just 9:36 of ice time. It was his first game with two or more points in 75 straight contests dating back to March 30, 2017. … Andreas Athanasiou was good for a goal, an assist and a plus-3 rating in a 6-1 victory against the Arizona Coyotes. He has rolled up a goal and an assist in each of his past three games, posting three goals and six points with a plus-7 rating in three outings since flipping the calendar from October to November. … Nazem Kadri went for two goals with a minus-1 rating and four shots on goal in a victory in Los Angeles. … Morgan Rielly racked up a goal, an assist, a plus-1 rating, a blocked shot, a hit and two PIM in the win. The rearguard is working on a three-game streak, and he has four goals and eight points in six games in the month of November.