Monday ranks as one of those nights in which it’s wise to remind you that it’s a good idea to check out Rotoworld’s NHL news and injury pages. I normally plunk those links down at the end of each Dose, but considering all that happened/was announced, this seems like a good idea to bring some extra attention to them.
Here’s what they look like in each version of the Dose from Monday - Friday:
To rattle off a few of the most noteworthy bits from especially recent times, Olli Maatta is out for the rest of the season, Steve Mason is expected to miss about two weeks, Tyler Johnson and Victor Hedman suffered lower-body injuries in the Lightning’s loss (more on that soon), Braydon Coburn went down with an LBI of his own and Jimmy Howard won’t play in the 2015 All-Star Game as he’s on IR with what may be a groin injury.
Frankly, I wouldn’t be shocked if injuries bumped quite a few players out of that festive day in Columbus. I wonder if the league’s policies regarding handing a fine to a player for missing the ASG and then playing his next game might be a touch on the draconian side, but I’m not the one who has to worry about the two teams with nothing but ham-and-eggers (c/o Bobby “The Brain” Heenan) on each side.
Anyway, let’s get to the recaps before I make another obscure professional wrestling reference.
FLYERS 7, LIGHTNING 3
-- This had all the makings of a nice win for Tampa Bay … until word got out that Evgeni Nabokov would be the starter instead of Ben Bishop. While Bishop really wasn’t all that much better in relief once Nabby was taken out of his misery, it has to be troubling for the Lightning to see such a drop-off from their starter to their backup.
Nabokov only has one win in his last seven appearances, going 1-4-2 with some ugly moments in that span.
Look, he’s 39. He’s played in 697 regular season games and 86 postseason contests during his NHL career, not to mention earning more than $41 million (according to Cap Geek's career earnings list, which surprisingly still comes up).
It’s quite possible that Nabokov is at the end of the line. I’m sure that’s sad for him - especially if that $41 million doesn’t amount to much thanks to living expenses, taxes and bad investments/foolish spending - but that’s still a pretty impressive run. I’d be surprised to see many NHL teams lining up after 2014-15, though.
-- Ryan Callahan scored a goal last night and an assist in his second-most recent game, which is a positive sign that his four-game drought is behind him. The New York native may rank among those who are asked to do more if Tyler Johnson is indeed hurt for an extended amount of time.
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-- Mark Streit is on a very nice run, generating a goal and two assists on Monday to give himself a four-game point streak (one goal, five assists).
-- Rob Zepp hasn't done anything special in his first two NHL games as a 33-year-old, yet he's 2-0-0 regardless.
-- Jonathan Drouin now has an assist in four straight games. It looks like he's lining up with Steve Stamkos and Alex Killorn fairly regularly, although we'll keep an eye out longer term to see if things shuffle if that Johnson injury keeps him sidelined.
-- Brenden Morrow's in the "basically just taking up space" point of his career with four points and 43 PIM in 40 games played.
CAPITALS 2, AVALANCHE 1
-- Troy Brouwer is the type to generate “Cy Young pitcher stats” with goals to assists rivaling W-L ratios. Case in point: Monday represented his first PPP that came via an assist, as the previous six were all goals. (Want more PP fun? Click here.)
While 12 goals and 10 assists overall isn't as lopsided as previous years, Brouwer maintaining this pace would mean four straight seasons in which he has more goals than assists and five in six. Odd.
(He brings enough peripheral stats to the table to be useful in leagues with deeper categories, though.)
-- Semyon Varlamov saw his three-game winning streak end, yet he was still quite good, stopping 36 out of 38 shots. All of a sudden, his individual stats (.921) look good despite a wobbly 10-9-5 record. If he keeps this up, we'll really have to stop dismissing Colorado as at least an upset threat.
-- Braden Holtby won his second game in a row and fifth in six tries. He only has one regulation loss since Dec. 2. Impressive stuff, which makes me wonder what kind of contract he may receive (either this summer or if Washington extends him before that happens).
KINGS 2, MAPLE LEAFS 0
-- Martin Jones has had a weird 2014-15 after his semi-breakout last season. He's just 4-3-2 with a solid but unspectacular .916 save percentage. Even so, a remarkable three of his four victories have been shutouts.
-- It looks like Leo Komarov is banged up again, with it being a shoulder injury (probably) this time.
-- Interesting tidbits from NHL.com: this was the Kings' 900th win and the first time they shut out the Buds since Feb. 20, 1988.
-- Anze Kopitar is on fire: one goal, one assist last night, which extends a four-game point streak (two goals, six assists). He's coming within range of a point-per-game, although he'll need a few other big nights to do so (34 points in 40 games).
-- Drew Doughty now has 27 points in 43 games. He has a chance to flirt with his best-ever season (16 goals, 59 points in 82 games back in 2009-10), which might make the all-too-convenient "Why doesn't he win the Norris" talk come playoff time actually sensible for once.
(Doughty's been very good for a long time, but his best work has often come in the postseason. Sorry pundits, but playoff work doesn't count toward the Norris. [There really might be a few who don't know that, too.])
-- Jeff Carter will get his points (two assists on Monday). Better linemates will augment that fact, but I would not worry about his takeaway.
-- Marian Gaborik has been fantastic since December, scoring nine goals and five assists for 14 points in 14 games.
-- Jonathan Bernier's contract situation would be more interesting if he was a UFA. Still, it should be an intriguing situation even if Toronto has a lot of leverage since he is a restricted free agent, instead.