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Hockey Daily Dose

Daunted by Dougie, Ducks

by James O'Brien
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

I don’t have an intro for you, really, but I would like to inform you that - thanks to a PHT commenter’s handle - I have this Bob Marley song in my head.

Important stuff only on the Dose, folks.

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-- Martin Hanzal’s surprising run atop the assists leaderboards may be a thing of the past, and not necessarily for a lack of good play. He suffered a lower-body injury and did not return to this eventual win.

-- Correct me if I’m wrong (honestly, shift charts make my eyes bleed, and no one provided much information regarding Hanzal-less line combos on Twitter), but it seemed like Tobias Rieder was skating with Max Domi and Anthony Duclair for some of the game once Hanzal got hurt.

In all honesty, Domi and especially Duclair didn't really get a lot of ice time in this one, so I wouldn't really make any bold moves to pick up their next beneficiary until someone shares morning skate information.

Even then, I'd be hesitant, as Dave Tippett might be a little hesitant to truly let the young'uns free.

As always, I'll keep an eye on stuff like this. I recommend checking line combination sites; there are quite a few outlets out there. I usually combine Rotoworld's depth charts with one of the other sites.

Short version: just wait on this situation, especially if Hanzal bounces back quickly.

-- Hanzal isn't the only prominent Coyotes center who's hurt, as Antoine Vermette is also banged up.

Arizona turns around with a Tuesday game and a contest on Oct. 30, yet after that, they don't play again until Nov. 5. That could come in handy for guys like Hanzal to heal up, at least if they are truly day-to-day ailments.

-- Michael Stone has three assists in his last five games (plus a +3 rating and four PIM) while starting to pile up SOG pretty nicely (three in each of the last three contests). His ice time show that he's turning some heads: after mid-22 TOI for two contests, he jumped to 25:02 on Monday.

-- Arizona almost paid the price for maybe sitting on the lead. They took a 3-1 advantage into the third period, but maybe eased up too much after going up 4-1. Toronto generated more SOG (14) in the third period than it did in the previous two (13).

-- Yes, the Maple Leafs are kind of miserable, but Nazem Kadri seems due for better puck luck. He's generated an impressive 35 SOG in eight games so far, yet has one goal, good for a pitiful 2.9 shooting percentage. His career mark is 11.9, so expect better things.

(In the meantime, it seems like he's getting frustrated, as Monday was a two-assist, four PIM night and he has 10 PIM in his past four contests).


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-- This one almost seems unfair; the Islanders have won six of seven while the Flames have lost six of seven.

If I were Calgary's front office, I'd try to peddle non-integral trade assets; maybe the Blue Jackets would be interested in a slightly used Dennis Wideman?

-- Frans Nielsen (two goals), Kyle Okposo (two assists) and Nikolay Kulemin (also two assists) enjoyed a nice night. Part of my offense-loving soul will always weep a bit that Okposo and John Tavares aren't skating together, but the Isles obviously aren't sweating it.

-- Is Dougie Hamilton the biggest flop in ages? It's way, way too early to totally dismiss him, but Bruins fans probably are feeling a little better about life right now.

Hamilton is currently on a seven-game pointless slump, and he only has a goal to show for his production all season long. Plus/minus ranks as one of my least favorite stats, yet his -11 mark combined with generally meek showings (just 14 SOG in nine GP from an offensive defenseman) must really be killing fantasy owners.

People are being patient - or grabbing him following others cutting bait - as he's still owned in 86 percent of leagues.

How much value will he have when TJ Brodie comes back, though? What a mess.

-- If NHL patterns continue, Calgary will take the wrong lessons from their goaltending troubles and throw too much money at the problem in the summer. If I were them, I'd go cheap until they find someone they like (or turn the possession tide). Needing a goalie doesn't mean you should panic and give the nearest warm body $3-$4 million just in hopes that something will work out.

That's instead like the Cleveland Browns freaking out and paying Josh McCown a ton of money because (exaggerated screaming sound effect).

-- Jaroslav Halak might just be the template for Calgary and other teams without a true "blue chip" in net. He has a long track record of being solid-to-good, and has also shown the kind of upside that can take over a series or two.

He's been feast or famine a bit this year with two shutouts and seven goals allowed in his other two starts (3-1-0 overall), but he's one of those guys who are quite nice, yet easy to forget about.

-- How bad is Mason Raymond that he can't crack Calgary's lineup right now? Yikes.


-- What's wrong with the Ducks?

It's tough to nail down a reason beyond something superficial and vague like "they're not scoring."

I thought going into the season that they'd be a little less dependent upon Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf, which is a good thing since power forwards - even ones as creative as those two - can be a little streaky. The fact that they're now both 30 isn't the greatest thing in the world, either.

They generated a 39-24 SOG advantage against Chicago last night, yet they've overall been middle-of-the-pack possession wise. That doesn't tell us a ton, either, as aside from a late stretch when the Ducks were really surging in 2014-15, Anaheim's largely been a relatively unimpressive "fancy stats" team.

-- I generally would advise against firing Bruce Boudreau - it wouldn't be surprising if a team instantly picked him up just like when Washington panicked and fired him - but if the Ducks are leaning in that direction, I'd advise waiting until mid-November.

The Ducks face two very tough West opponents this week on the road: Dallas on Tuesday and St. Louis on Thursday.

They're currently in a very frustrating and challenging Central Division five-game road trip.

After that, though, there is some opportunity. They begin November with six of seven games at home. I'd say if Boudreau can't right the ship during that stretch, then it's fairer (if not necessarily wiser) to make the call then.

Under no circumstances should they hire Randy Carlyle, though. Good grief.

-- Jonathan Toews has two straight 1-0 OT game-winners in a row. Imagine you won't see many streaks with those exact parameters this season.

(Although, with the way scoring is sagging these days, maybe we'll get a lot of 0-0 scores heading into overtime.)

-- That's two straight shutouts for Corey Crawford, who has only allowed three goals during his current four-game winning streak. The 30-year-old doesn't get enough credit for being a solid-to-great option in net, but maybe a less overwhelming roster will let him stand out more in Chicago.

James O'Brien
James O'Brien is the Hockey Daily Dose's author and has been a contributor to NBC's Pro Hockey Talk for more than four years. Follow him on Twitter.