In the olden days of the Dose, I’d probably spew out some rambly words about how Carter Hutton may or may not be a solid pickup in light of Pekka Rinne being out about a month (three-to-five weeks, it seems).
The format’s a little different these days, and I’d wager the Rotoworld gang will tackle this issue in depth (definitely stay tuned for the Saturday [Michael Finewax] and Sunday [Jimmy Hascup] Doses, as the Predators get thrown into the fire with back-to-back games).
Really, with the upheaval that happens in the position - Steve Mason being the reason his team is in many games, the sky becoming the ground, etc. - many netminder prognostications seem doomed to look silly, anyway.
If there’s one rule I’d adhere to, it’s the team. Do you believe in the team in front of said goalie? Do you believe that said goalie doesn’t face much of a threat for starts?
The third part of such an imaginary checklist “Do you believe in that goalie’s abilities” is the hurdle for Hutton, yet for about a month, he might just be worth adding.
Just don’t yell at me if he’s hot garbage after you grab him.
/Walks away slowly with hands raised
WILD 7, SABRES 0
-- The Coyotes sent Devan Dubnyk to Minnesota for a third-round pick. It's oddly fitting that Dubnyk (28 percent owned) gets traded the same time his brief teammate Hutton may face the challenge both endured for at least a portion of 2013-14: carrying the Pekka Rinne-less burden.
Dubnyk fell flat on his face after being moved last season, and while there are some reasons to be worried (Minnesota's an absolute mess right now, obviously), at least he's not coming into town with his confidence shattered.
I know people probably roll their eyes at talk of players slumping their soldiers when they continually get bad goaltending, yet if there was a time it would fit, Minnesota's case would be one of them.
It's a tough call, but you'd be wise to at least monitor Dubnyk's progress. Before you get TOO excited, do note my emphatic opinion that Buffalo is absolutely the worst team in the NHL.
Saturday should be fascinating, as the Wild turn around and host the Coyotes. That’s basically like running into an ex at a restaurant during your second date with someone new.
Except with heavier leg pads.
-- Ryan Suter missed out on the stat-padding last night because of his two-game suspension, but key guys like Jason Pominville (maybe the most reliable forward not named Zach Parise lately), Thomas Vanek and Mikko Koivu socked away some much-needed easy points. Considering some of the low shooting percentages, a true bludgeoning* was in order.
-- I'm not saying the Sabres totally lack fantasy-relevant players, but man, they really start off with a disadvantage, especially in plus/minus.
-- It seems like every Buffalo beat writer pumps up Tyler Myers to a ridiculous extent. Keep an eye out for it if you follow them on Twitter. Often pretty over-the-top.
Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting an $18,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Friday night's NHL games. It's just $2 to join and first prize is $2,000. Starts Friday at 7pm ET. Here's the FanDuel link.
CANUCKS 4, FLYERS 0
-- In case it wasn't obvious that Steve Mason has been a difference-maker for Philly, it was a tough night for Ray Emery, who made way for Rob Zepp. The delicate balance may just be in danger with a Flyers team that isn't very good beyond its offensive pyrotechnics.
-- For his last six games, Ryan Miller has rotated losses with wins, with this most recent one being a 30-save shutout. If that continues, expect him to allow three goals and loss in his next appearance.
-- Daniel Sedin has a one-point edge (38 to 37) on his brother Henrik so far this season.
-- If Zac Rinaldo could even flirt with offensive usefulness (just one point in 32 games), he'd be intriguing in hits leagues, as he has 116 hits and 56 PIM after last night's nine-hit, 12 PIM output.
BRUINS 3, RANGERS 0
-- Are the Rangers handing the "dormant Eastern Conference contender gone hot" baton to the Bruins? Boston has now won five games in a row while the Rangers have now lost two straight games by 3-0 scores.
-- Is it too much to wonder if some of it has to do with Derek Stepan's absence? The Rangers were bad without him, bounced back with him (though Henrik Lundqvist was the obvious catalyst above all else) and now stumble with Stepan suffering an upper-body injury. Of course, Lundqvist made way for Cam Talbot on Thursday night, anyway ...
-- No need to be worried about Rick Nash. No goals or points in two games, but he fired seven SOG.
-- Chris Kreider's offense may come and go, but he's a Dose favorite because of his versatility in hit formats.
RED WINGS 3, BLUES 2 (OT)
-- The Red Wings currently sit in the middle of the East's playoff teams, but if Detroit slips, they seem like they'd be a real nightmare for a top contender.
-- Tomas Tatar may be getting some bounces (15.9 shooting percentage), but not to such an extreme that I'd totally dismiss the notion that he's jumping a level or two. At 24, he's right in that prime area, especially for a Red Wings organization that brings players along ... methodically.
-- Any concern about Vladimir Tarasenko hitting a wall can probably be put to sleep, as he has a four-game point streak (two goals, four assists) going now.
-- Shattenkirk kinda barely sorta slightly reminds me of Andy Kaufman at a very quick glance. Just throwing it out there. Bonus points if he pulls elaborate hoaxes in the locker room.
-- Martin Brodeur's sabbatical is enough to drop him if you've been holding out for whatever reason. You could probably grab him right back if you really wanted to.
JETS 2, STARS 1
-- Going in, I chalked this one up to being an offensive showdown. If forced to bet an imaginary mortgage on any outcome, I would have felt that much more confident in a score-fest once I realized the goalies were Ondrej Pavelec and Anders Lindback.
Lindback allowed two goals on 22 shots, so that sort of held true, but Pavelec was huge for Winnipeg, stopping 46 out of 47 (including all 13 shots from the Stars' power play, which received seven opportunities during the game).
-- Trevor Daley has three goals in his last four games to give him 11 on the season, with a resounding 15.1 shooting percentage. What?
-- Antoine Roussel will not give you offense every night, but he absolutely does enough to be worthwhile if you need PIM and hits.
- Mathieu Perreault continued his resounding run with an assist last night. He's one point from tying his second-best career effort (he has 29, going for 30) and could destroy last season's career high of 43 points.
Jump for the remaining recaps.
* - Bludgeoning actually means beating someone with a heavy object ... but come on, it's not like other beatdown verbs need to be taken totally literally. Right? Whatever, it's a great word.
FLAMES 4, COYOTES 1
-- Look, I will be honest with you: I could not help but react to the Coyotes trading Dubnyk for a pick by thinking "Hey, at least they stopped hiding the tank."
-- Since returning, Mikael Backlund is on a four-game point and goal streak (four goals, two assists). At the minimum, Calgary already has some very intriguing assets who are developing.
[Checks Backlund’s music collection for Huey Lewis just in case])
-- Mikkel Boedker has not thrown in the towel yet: four-game goal streak (five goals, one assist).
-- In two games, Joni Ortio has two wins and has allowed one goal on 64 shots. Interesting ...
SHARKS 3, MAPLE LEAFS 1
-- Man, this season keeps getting odder for Patrick Marleau. After a nine-game drought, Marleau got an assist on Jan. 5. He then went four more scoreless games before getting his first goal since Dec. 6 last night. He seems to either fire a lot of SOG (six last night, four on Jan. 10) or very few (zero on Jan. 13 and Jan. 8). I ... I don't get it.
-- Roman Polak's 12.8 shooting percentage doubles Marleau's rate, so maybe it should not be so surprising that he has five goals already.
Nah, still pretty unexpected. It's already a new career high.
-- Do not pin this one on James Reimer, who stopped 39 out of 41 shots. This was just his second appearance in January and he has not generated a win since Dec. 14. The Maple Leafs have been surprisingly patient re: not stupidly trading Reimer, but at this point, I cannot help but wonder if they might move him before the trade deadline expires. They aren't exactly getting much bang for the buck with him this season, are they?
(I wonder how much this stems from worries that he will be the next Tuukka Rask, as Reimer's individual stats argue that he could be pretty effective in a more competent setting.)
LIGHTNING 3, OILERS 2
-- Tyler Johnson carried an "O-Rank" of 172 in Yahoo entering the 2014-15 season. He's the 12th ranked player so far. Even if he settles down slightly, he's been a resounding coup. It says a lot that frequent linemate Nikita Kucherov is ranked 20th and Ondrej Palat only really trails them because of injuries.
-- The Oilers enjoyed a heavy shot advantage (32-19), but Ben Bishop made the difference in stopping 30 out of 32 shots. His save percentage is not that great (.910) considering his record of 22-7-2, yet it seems pretty clear that it's Bishop or bust.
-- Benoit Pouliot signed with the Oilers for a hefty fee as a possession darling, but he really hasn't been all that dominant on the puck in Edmonton, at least as far as my eyes can see. (Not calling him outright bad, just not the driving messiah many prophesied.)
He's on quite the standard stat tear lately, however. The 28-year-old has goals in four straight games, firing six in with zero assists. He came into this streak with just four goals and five assists.
A lot of odd numbers floating around here. Perhaps a stat-head would have more light to shed on this, though?
-- Man, Edmonton's goaltending. Man.
SENATORS 4, CANADIENS 1
-- Quite a pile of PIM for Tomas Plekanec, who collected 14 penalty minutes on Thursday. That bumps him to 32 on the season. I get the impression he'd be even more of a pest if he wasn't so well-rounded and skilled.
-- Maybe we can cancel that missing persons report for Milan Michalek, as he has four of his 13 points in the last three games. I guess that procedure Michalek and Kobe Bryant underwent REALLY falls apart in 2014-15 ...
-- David Legwand has a four-game point streak going (one goal, three assists). He can be a decent piece of a contending team, but not a contending fantasy hockey one.
-- Craig Anderson quietly continues to put up very nice numbers: the 12-10-6 record won't blow you away, yet he's still maintaining a high save percentage (.929).
AVALANCHE 4, PANTHERS 2
-- In a quieter year for rookies, Aaron Ekblad would be a wonderful Calder Trophy choice. He might end up being the most important player nominated, just for how NHL-ready he seems and how defenseman-needy Florida is. Still, in quite a year for youngsters, he lacks some of the eye-popping zip of Filip Forsberg, in particular.
-- Five of Aleksander Barkov's 10 points came in the last six games. Considering his pedigree ("picked before Jonathan Drouin omg"), he may be one of those type who's better judged by recent results. It doesn't hurt that he's really clicking with another high-end pick in Jonathan Huberdeau, either.
-- It kind of feels like Semyon Varlamov resolved to play like he did last season, and he's really sticking to that through two weeks.
-- While the Panthers marvel at the potential for Barkov-Huberdeau, the Avalanche are enjoying some nice work from veterans Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay. Tanguay now has six points (one goal, five assists) in his last four contests.