You know what’s an odd experience? Walking a dog when it’s super-windy after it was snowing outside. It’s like the lowest level sandstorm possible, only with snow. That said, it gives the feeling of being in Star Wars (without the beast innards).
Anyway, last night was another one of those “will there ever be goals?”-type bummers. Here are a few tweets that may deepen your bummerage in that regard, if you want to put stats to possible feelings.
Let’s think happy thoughts and do some recapping, then.
SENATORS 2, FLYERS 1 (SO)
-- Jakub Voracek scored his first even-strength goal in 38 games, giving him 21 tallies on the season. It was unassisted.
-- Andrew Hammond's incredible run stands as thus: five straight wins, a 10-0-1 record. He hasn't allowed more than two goals in any single appearance. Again, this is a guy whose AHL and college hockey numbers weren't anything special. He's still only owned in 47 percent of Yahoo leagues; who knows when this fairy tale may end - or at least calm down - but why not give him a try if he's available?
In even more important notes, a fan threw a hamburger onto the ice and he picked it up as part of the celebration.
-- Two tough beyond-regulation losses in a row for Ray Emery, almost one month apart. It's been a fairly odd season in general for the 32-year-old. He's 1-1-4 in his last six games. He began the season 4-0-1. Overall, he's 10-10-5 with a .896 save percentage.
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RANGERS 2, PANTHERS 1
-- Who would have thought that the Rangers would ride great goaltending that has been as good or better since Henrik Lundqvist went down with his troubling injury?
Whatever the case may be, that's what's happening. Cam Talbot stopped all 20 Panthers shots in the second period and turned aside 38 out of 39 for his 17th win of the season. I wonder what happens with his contract situation this summer? At 27, he could garner some interesting offers (maybe San Jose opts to go cheaper than Antti Niemi?).
-- As strong as the Rangers have looked at times, their overall possession stats haven't been that impressive. They're just middle-of-the-pack in the NHL in that regard. Could they be vulnerable to an upset if their goaltending merely slips?
-- Martin St. Louis suffered a lower-body injury in this one, but the Rangers don't think it's serious. Obviously keep an eye on this situation, though.
-- Dominic Moore collected two assists and really likes Ping Pong.
-- Brandon Pirri spoiled the shutout bid with a goal on five SOG. Fifteen of his 17 points are goals this season.
DUCKS 4, PREDATORS 2
-- If there were per-period fantasy leagues, people would have to pay a premium to draft Anaheim Ducks players in the third period. Nashville had a 2-0 lead going into the final frame, yet Anaheim won 4-2. They’ve now won a league-leading 11 games when they’ve been trailing after two periods. Anaheim has outscored opponents 79-58 in third periods.
I’m not sure how much of that is dumb luck (or playing in California, which may tire out opponents from a travel/time-zone standpoint?) and how much might be tactics - maybe Bruce Boudreau has a way of leveraging fatigue? - but either way, those are some staggering numbers.
-- Fatigue certainly could have been a factor in this one. The Predators out-shot the Ducks 15-3 in the second period and then it flipped to a 15-4 advantage for Anaheim in the third. Nashville was closing up a back-to-back while the Ducks had home ice and more rest, so in a way they "should" have worn out the Predators.
-- Roman Josi now has 12 goals and 49 points on the season. If he scores two more tallies, he'll set a new career mark for goals while he's already well ahead of last season's mark of 40 points (his previous best).
-- James Wisniewski finally got his first point with Anaheim (an assist) last night. He's getting decent ice time, so I guess it's just a matter of him becoming comfortable. He has some talented defensemen to jostle with for production and opportunities now.
CAPITALS 2, BRUINS 0
-- The Bruins came into this contest on a five-game winning streak, but Braden Holtby was just too good, stopping all 32 shots.
That's his 33rd win and eighth shutout of the season, matching his combined total of the past two seasons (four in each of 2013-14 and 2012-13).
-- With two assists, Nicklas Backstrom now stands alone in that category in Washington Capitals franchise history, as he now has 420 helpers in his career. Interestingly, he'll have to hold off Alex Ovechkin, who came into Sunday tied with him at 418 assists (he stayed dormant in this game).
Obviously, Backstrom is the more prolific playmaker (he's played more than 200 fewer games than Ovechkin), but that's kind of an interesting wrinkle, isn't it?
-- Ovechkin took a puck to the, erm, midsection and seems fine. Was a bit of a scare, no doubt.
-- With his 11th goal of 2014-15, John Carlson set a new career-high (one more than last season). He's blown away his career points peak (47 this season, 37 twice before). Funny that he's had his breakthrough season with Matt Niskanen added to the mix, right?
RED WINGS 5, PENGUINS 1
-- Marek Zidlicky really looked great in this one, using his big shot to generate a goal and two assists. He now has five points in his last three games, giving him seven points in as many games with Detroit. Zidlicky is 41 percent owned in fantasy leagues right now, and could be a pretty solid investment.
(Just don't expect a point per game, obviously.)
-- The Penguins lost their minds - as they just seem to do during the occasional blowout loss - and that meant big penalty totals. Steve Downie and Kris Letang generated 22 PIM apiece. Chris Kunitz had 14. I'd wager tons of fantasy owners were pumping their firsts as the Penguins lost their minds.
HURRICANES 3, BLUE JACKETS 2
-- Quite a gift for Nick Foligno owners, as he scored his 25th goal of 2014-15 with .6 seconds remaining in the first period.
-- Justin Faulk scored his 14th goal of the season, giving him 45 points in 2014-15. One thing we often forget is that bad teams sometimes present great opportunities for good players, and I wonder if Faulk is a great example. His chances may slip a bit (with 188 SOG, his 14 goals is a bit high, but not so insane to think that he can't score 10+ goals again) once Carolina gets more options. Or if?
-- Scott Hartnell extended his goal streak to four games, collecting five (and no assists) in that span. He also has 48 points and 90 PIM in 64 games, falling in line with a typically effective Hartnell fantasy season (assuming he scores a bit more and hits at least 100 PIM).
-- Seven of Anton Khudobin's eight wins have come after 2015 rolled around. Not a revolutionary turnaround, but he's at least somewhat redeeming himself.
BLUES 3, STARS 0
-- Jake Allen's been a solid enough investment in his own odd way. His save percentage remains mediocre (.906 this season after .905 in 2012-13), but he has 18 wins and four shutouts. Some especially unlucky starters are within that range.
-- Man, what a goal by Vladimir Tarasenko, his 34th goal of the season. As hard as goals are to come by, I wonder how many times he might score 50 goals? He certainly has a 50-goal trigger, at least in A Time of Goals.
-- Not sure how much I would push Tyler Seguin and his not-quite-100-percent knee if I were the Stars. Six points behind may seem doable, but with 12 games left and so many good things ahead of them ... it's just not happening. Why risk such a great young player's health on a long shot?
Just my two cents on that one.