With eight games on an unusually busy Sunday, it seems appropriate just to dive right in.
BLACKHAWKS 4, BLUES 2
-- Tough weekend for Brian Elliott here. After being pulled halfway through Friday's game against the Blue Jackets, he gave up three goals on 27 shots for his second loss in a row. He's 16-7-2 in 2014-15, so a two-game losing streak stands out like a sore thumb. Fantasy owners are hoping those fingers aren't all red by April.
-- Unless my eyes are deceiving me, Vladimir Tarasenko hasn't seen more than one three-game point drought this season, and only has a few two-gamers. Truly explosive outputs are a little fewer and far between, but the production keeps coming and he keeps firing away SOG. Hard to imagine him regressing over the rest of this season or any time in the near future, really.
-- Marian Hossa remains one of those "great in reality, just good in fantasy" guys. He broke a five-game pointless streak with two goals. He has three tallies and one assist in his past nine games. The most disturbing trend is his SOGs, as he's generated two or less in the past seven games.
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CANADIENS 3, BRUINS 1
-- If they can make it to the postseason, the Bruins have to hope they avoid Montreal, as the Canadiens swept their season series. Not sure what exactly it is - maybe possessing a goalie who might just be better than Tuukka Rask? - but the Habs just seem to have their number.
-- I'm not going to deny that I think placing Dale Weise with Max Pacioretty is a long-term dopey idea, but I also can't argue with recent results. In back-to-back games, he generated three goals and one assist. Overall, he's on a three-game point streak. I could see adding him briefly if you're a HEAVY add/dropper, but he's most relevant as a cheap daily fantasy grab.
-- David Pastrnak scored a goal on Sunday, but he's generally been ice cold, managing a point and an assist in the past nine contests.
-- Andrei Markov scored his seventh goal (matching his 2013-14 total in that regard) and 30th point in 52 games. Very, very nice production for a skilled player many were worried had hit the wall at 36.
LIGHTNING 5, DUCKS 3
-- Ryan Getzlaf didn't just manage to play on Sunday, he scored a goal and an assist in 21:13 TOI. Not bad even if it was in a losing effort.
-- Is Frederik Andersen a little banged up? Keep an eye on it, at least.
-- Some of the players who were drafted after Brett Connolly (sixth overall in 2010): Jeff Skinner (7th), Cam Fowler (12), Jaden Schwartz (14) and Tarasenko (16). If you want a quick reminder of why the Blues are an elite (or at worst, elite-ish) team, note what they've done with mostly mid-to-late first-round picks who would probably go dramatically higher in imaginary re-drafts.
Imagine Tarasenko on some alternate universe version of this Lightning team. Terrifying.
FLYERS 3, CAPITALS 1
-- Philadelphia has now won five of six games. As far as I can tell, the most obvious patterns one can see are that the Flyers are generating consistent power-play offense (though not a new thing) and they're getting some nice goaltending.
-- The good news on that front is that Ray Emery has occasionally been the guy playing well, as Steve Mason had another lower-body injury crop up. Not sure I totally trust Emery behind that wobbly Flyers defense, but keep an eye on his progress (as the Dose will do as well).
-- Kimmo Timonen coming back would be cool in many ways but ... man, I don't know. I'll leave the verdict to actual doctors, but blood clots are pretty scary to this neophyte.
-- Whether it's Marcus Johansson, Andre Burakovsky or hopefully some other forward with a little more finishing touch than Jay Beagle, it sure would be nice if there was a little more linemate consistency for Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. Not that those two couldn't keep scoring with an inanimate object on their line (as long as that object doesn't slide offside).
STARS 3, RANGERS 2 (OT)
-- After losing to THE BUFFALO SABRES SERIOUSLY on Saturday (basically a fantasy failure beyond forgiveness, even if the truest failure was the continued NHL employment of Anders Lindback), the Stars needed this one badly and managed to win by a hair.
-- Jason Spezza was the standout here, scoring a goal and two assists. He now has 10 goals and 31 assists for 41 points in 53 games. I'd say that's more or less what fantasy owners were hoping for in his first season with the Stars, right?
(Hard to imagine his contract extension not causing Dallas some regret, though.)
-- When you hear Henrik Lundqvist talking about risking a stroke if he plays, Cam Talbot's stock goes creeping up. Tough situation to read here, so I'd recommend caution (aside from giving Talbot a shot if you're hurting for a goalie, especially short-term).
-- Holy smokes, John Klingberg. Since Jan. 29, he has four goals and six assists in six contests. He's not even firing a ton of SOG or anything like that. Love his situation, but I don't hate the concept of selling high on him in a trade, either.
ISLANDERS 3, SABRES 2
-- Speaking of the Sabres, they nearly hooked the tights on two fun-to-watch teams in as many days, even though they were thoroughly outclassed by both the Islanders and the Stars in those respective games.
Buffalo only managed 10 SOG (five fewer than the 15 New York generated in the second period alone), yet barely fell short of a pointless point.
Every night Buffalo doesn't provide bountiful fantasy rewards is frustrating for a simple reason: they are sincerely as bad as advertised.
-- What's the funniest "overrating Tyler Myers at the trade deadline" situation you can think of? The darkest ones would involve him costing Toronto or Edmonton a pretty package for his bloated contract.
-- If there was any worry about people confusing Marcus Foligno from Nick Foligno, that likely went away this season. That said, congrats to him for his second one-goal, one-assist output in the past five games.
-- If you’re the Islanders, why not try to get a “rental” player now, preferably a forward to ease John Tavares’ loss of Kyle Okposo? Tavares carrying one of Anders Lee/Josh Bailey is one thing, but both (or similarly mundane linemates)? That ain’t right.
PREDATORS 3, PANTHERS 2 (SO)
-- The Predators have beaten the Panthers twice in shootouts this season, and Filip Forsberg factored into both of those wins. He scored in the SO last time and scored a goal plus a shootout-winner on Sunday.
He might have gotten the Free Car treatment at the All-Star Game, but make no mistake about it, he belongs with the kind of legit first-line work he's doing for Nashville. In many years, guys like John Klingberg or Aaron Ekblad would be perfectly suitable as Calder winners, but this season it's Forsberg and everyone else.
-- The rest of the Central Division can't feel great about the recent strides made by Seth Jones, who is on a four-game point streak and is just 20. Yikes.
-- Mike Ribeiro: still only owned in 57 percent of leagues. I know he's limited as far as versatility goes, but ... come on.
JETS 5, AVALANCHE 3
-- Jeez, the "Dustin Byfuglien as a forward" thing won't ever die, will it? He actually had a great game on Sunday (one goal, two assists, six SOG, etc.), but the bottom line is that I'd rather see Big Buffy get 23+ minutes of ice time on D rather than about 19 at forward.
Granted, he'll bring value either way, but the guy has to be tired of this nonsense. How many All-Star Games must he attend on D before someone says, "Hey, maybe we should keep an All-Star at D."
-- I was under the impression Tyson Barrie would be sidelined on Sunday. Instead, he scored a goal and logged 23:44 TOI.
-- Mathieu Perreault had another big showing, scoring a goal and two assists. His splits are remarkable: three points in October and November, 13 in December, 12 in January and already four in February.
-- It's honestly almost kind of funny to see the Avalanche lean on Semyon Varlamov too much (as good as he is) because of their own stupidity. They paid a ton for Reto Berra's not-so-surprising letdown and then relegated so-surprisingly effective Calvin Pickard to the AHL when he was one of the only good things going for this team.
It's no accident Colorado is currently out of the playoff picture, and honestly, they're lucky they've even been in the general neighborhood of the bubble picture considering their general ineptitude.