Moments ago, I finished a tasty cup of peanut butter-chocolate coffee.
When you hear that, your imagination is running wild with the flavor possibilities, but I’ve got to say: that description always sets the bar too high for that cup’o’joe.
Again, I’m not knocking the mug of hot caffeine I just consumed. Quite the contrary, actually, as it was quite good.
Still, it just always seems more peanut-buttery and amazing in my head than what actually happens on my taste buds. It’s likely how our fantasy hockey teams would play out in real life.
(See what I did there? Now go get some flavored coffee.)
STARS 4, PENGUINS 1
-- Dallas really is on fire at the moment, and the Stars might really soak up some standings points with a homestand coming. They ended their four-game road trip with a perfect 4-0-0 record and have won five in a row.
-- They must be delighted to win after a relatively quiet night from Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. Then, when you have expensive “supporting cast” members like Jason Spezza, they should get a break here and there. (Spezza scored his fifth goal of 2015-16).
-- I doubt many people have access to John Klingberg (82 percent owned), but don’t hesitate if you’re in one of the ghost town leagues where he is available.
-- Congrats to Pascal Dupuis for making it into NHL action. He even generated five SOG despite just 12:43 TOI. Honestly, I think he should hang them up considering his health issues, but it’s an impressive feat nonetheless.
-- Pittsburgh really jumbled up its lines in this one, so stay tuned for different variations in practice and whatnot.
-- Nick Bonino scored the lone goal for the Penguins, reminding us that he’s even on the team.
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RANGERS 4, COYOTES 1
-- After making some noise to start out, the Coyotes have now lost four in a row, going 0-3-1.
-- Rick Nash’s first goal of the season didn’t involve him putting a puck in the net, as he was obstructed on a would-be breakaway with Arizona’s net empty. He had a chuckle about it on the bench; I wonder if he laughed a little harder when someone told him/he realized that he also scored his 700th point on that play?
-- Antoine Vermette left with an injury, so keep an eye open for updates.
-- Keith Yandle scored a goal against the Coyotes, really driving home last night’s “Reality Bites” theme for Arizona.
-- All negativity aside, the Max Domi + Anthony Duclair + Martin Hanzal line seems legit. Or at least legit enough for you to invest in with one of your lower-end spots (or even two if you’re in a deep league/have a weak roster from the fringes). Hanzal has nine assists. In October. And it’s not even Halloween yet. Sentence fragments.
DEVILS 5, SENATORS 4 (SO)
-- Give Cory Schneider some series dap for his 100th career win, as Ottawa had 39 SOG in the losing cause.
-- Shane Price picked up two assists for the Sens. If he has another two-point game, I’ll tell you more about him.
-- Did you know that Erik Karlsson cut his hair? Yeah, bummed me out, too.
-- It was Andrew Hammond's first game of the season. He ended with 28 saves on 32 shots. The Hamburglar missed training camp and the first several games because of a groin injury.
-- Lee Stempniak was the hero for the Devils, both tying the goal in the dying seconds of regulation and then scoring the decisive shootout goal to give New Jersey the extra point. Note: he may not be viewed as a hero if he thwarts their tanking attempts, though.
-- Jordin Tootoo scored his first goal of the season for the Devils. It was a power play goal. Not sure when he became a likely candidate to be on a power play unit, but he saw 1:53 of ice time with the man advantage.
PREDATORS 5, DUCKS 1
-- Mike Ribeiro picked up his first goal of the season and his fourth assist. He ended the night +3.
-- The Predators have scored the first goal of every game and have yet to allow a goal in a first period.
-- Bad fit? Kevin Bieksa ended the night with a -4 rating.
KINGS 4, SHARKS 1
-- Monitor your news sources (may I suggest Rotoworld NHL?) regarding Joe Thornton. He eventually rebounded from a scary fall in the first period, but it was/is pretty worrisome.
-- Big night for Jeff Carter, who scored two goals and two assists. It's amusing that the Mike Richards trade quickly looked great for the Flyers, but Carter's still missed by the Blue Jackets (and Flyers).
-- Patrick Marleau is 36. This seems relevant at a time like this. In the past two games, he has zero points and a -6 rating. I wouldn't freak out too much ... but ouch.
-- You know, this might not be the worst time for the Sharks to consider giving Brent Burns a run at forward. If nothing else, it shakes things up a bit. He managed a ridiculous eight SOG, by the way.
-- Jhonas Enroth was busy in winning his first career start with the Kings. Los Angeles has had a run of making backups look quite good (pans to Martin Jones' bank account, then to Ben Scrivens'), so he may be a nice spot-start option.
-- It often mystifies me why some coaches keep getting gigs and others do not. What makes Peter DeBoer so special, honestly? (Not a rhetorical question, I might be missing something beyond that fluke SCF run …)
WILD 3, BLUE JACKETS 2
-- Columbus came out pretty strong with 13 SOG in the first period, tapering down to nine in the second and seven in the third (generating a 29-23 advantage overall). They still have to be disappointed in giving up any lead (they went up 2-1 with about 20 seconds left in the opening frame but didn't score again).
-- The Occasionally Reviled Right Winger Thomas Vanek scored a very nice power-play GWG.
-- Sergei Bobrovsky at least didn't totally implode, but people aren't going to stop gawking at his $7.425 million cap hit until he strings some wins together. Nature of the beast.
-- I really can't recall a situation that matches the Blue Jackets' terrible start, considering the money spent on this team and the hype surrounding it.
BLACKHAWKS 3, PANTHERS 2
-- Patrick Kane continues his uncomfortably dominant start to the 2015-16 season. How uncomfortable.
-- Imagine how squalid Florida's offense would be without Jagr? I know there's young talent, but yikes.
-- The Blackhawks received a whopping eight power-play opportunities, doubling Florida's chances in this one. Kinda have to win with that sort of edge, right?
-- The upstart Panthers will be more fun to root for when they become a little more fun to watch.
CAPITALS 3, CANUCKS 2
-- Alex Ovechkin's fifth of the season was the 81st game-winning goal of his already impressive career. No heart though. Totally not clutch.
-- Radim Vrbata's showing benefits of his return to the Sedins, factoring into both Vancouver goals (1G, 1A).
-- Washington generated a 35-25 shot advantage against the Canucks in Vancouver. Willie D can't be happy about that.
-- Four straight wins for Braden Holtby. His individual stats aren't spectacular, but some of that may come down to the limited SOG he's facing. He's faced 27 SOG or less in the past four games, all wins. Barry Trotz is smiling broadly at that.
-- Justin Williams has been feast or famine so far, In two games, he has four assists (two helpers in each). In four other contests, he has zero points. I'd like to see more shots from Mr. Game 7, but oh well.