Let’s hop right into recaps, as this is a Dose bursting with THOUGHTS and TAKES.
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RANGERS 3, PREDATORS 0
-- For the first time in franchise history, the Nashville Predators have been shut out for three straight games.
Obviously, that's a concern, but Nashville's generally been creating chances and just not getting bounces.
They generated a 25-7 SOG advantage in the first two periods before the Rangers pulled away in the third, with the overall count being 31-19 for Nashville. They forced the Rangers to block 26 shots to Nashville's 14.
Their possession stats are there, there's still plenty of talent. I wouldn't be too worried ... yet.
-- On the other end, the Rangers have now won nine straight games at MSG.
Amusingly enough, there have been plenty of think pieces arguing that the Rangers aren't as great as their record indicates, so the truth is probably that both teams are closer to the middle than they seem.
I imagine the Rangers will take their "fake success" over Nashville's unlucky run every day of the week.
-- Keith Yandle's still a little disappointing in New York. He grabbed an assist on Monday, giving him 11 points in 21 games. Let's face it; this isn't quite what we were expecting when the Rangers gave up a bucket of nice assets (Anthony Duclair included, ouchies) for a blueliner who hasn't necessarily moved the needle a whole lot.
-- Two straight games with game misconducts (10 PIM) for Mike Ribeiro, who also has 32 PIM in a five-game span. What a creep.
FLYERS 3, HURRICANES 2 (OT)
-- We really ARE going to have to learn how to spell that alphabet soup of a name in Shayne Gostisbehere (Gost-is-be-here, OK, got it), aren't we?
He scored the OTPPGWG, and has been showing promise in his first five games.
Space Ghost is averaging 3:17 PP TOI per game, behind just Mark Streit (3:34) and Claude Giroux (one fewer second than Claude). Honestly, those numbers are enough for me to say give him a shot in deeper leagues in particular; imagine how nice a D guy he could be if Philly's power play starts looking like the group that dominated before Dave Hakstol came in and snore'd up the place?
-- Speaking of Giroux, he had three points while Jakub Voracek generated two assists, which is definitely music to fantasy owners' ears.
-- Michal Neuvirth won during his first start in almost two weeks. His numbers remain impressive this season: 4-3-1 with a .939 save percentage.
-- Sam Gagner was bloodied and battered in this one. I thought he had a chance for a sneaky-good season in a contract year, but few Flyers have enjoyed much in the way of production (although Brayden Schenn is doing well to at least try to get his).
CAPITALS 1, OILERS 0
-- Braden Holtby really had to hold strong in this one, especially in the first 40 minutes, as the Oilers generated a 23-15 shot advantage. He earned the shutout in this one, stopping all 33 shots, and is now on a four-game winning streak.
-- Dmitry Orlov scored the only goal with a howling shot. I'm honestly a little surprised that his scary slapper isn't utilized a bit more, as he only has two goals this season. He could be a nice secondary weapon for the blueline, something I'd recommend Barry Trotz to unleash in second PP units more often.
-- I'm not sure it could be more painfully obvious that Nail Yakupov has fallen off without Connor McDavid, although I'll give him some credit for at least trying via decent SOGs. Still, he's on a seven-game pointless streak and only has an assist in his past 10 games. That's after scoring 10 points in a nine-game run. Hmm.
-- Alex Ovechkin was held off the scoreboard, but he fired five SOG and delivered seven hits.
BLUES 2, SABRES 1
-- It took 18 games, but David Legwand finally scored his first goal with Buffalo. It makes sense that this took so long, as he's only averaging a SOG per game.
Legwand's had a weird quantity-over-quality career, at least if you judge him as a No. 2 overall pick. There's nothing wrong with 609 career points at 35, yet it's also not wildly impressive at 1,075 games played.
-- Kevin Shattenkirk is now on a six-game point streak, with two goals and six assists. He was off to a slow start, but the Andy Kaufman look-alike is back to being one of the most dangerous offensive defensemen in the league.
-- Robby Fabbri scored the GWG and generated three SOG in just under 12 minutes of ice time. He holds the sort of potential to be a nice point-generator whenever he's set free.
Might not be this season, though.
-- Quiet couple of games for Ryan O'Reilly (zero points, -2 rating, just two SOG overall). He's still dominant in the faceoff circle and is still a fantastic find for Buffalo.
BRUINS 4, MAPLE LEAFS 3 (SO)
-- Brad Marchand's first goal of the night was a beauty, a real baseball swing of a goal.
The second of the evening ruined the story of Landon Ferraro scoring while his father Ray was covering the game, although Landon did grab an assist in his first game with Boston after being claimed from Detroit. The Bruins seem to like grabbing first-rounders with family ties and mild struggles, as they also acquired Brett Connolly, brother of former oft-injured NHL forward Tim.
One would assume a Sutter will make his way to Boston at some point, considering this trend.
Circling back to Marchand, he's at 10 goals on the season. He's been so hot, I wondered if he was in a contract year. Marchand is not, although he could grab an extension after this season.
In a way, there are really TWO possible contract years, especially for guys who may or may not be core players, and Marchand seems to bounce between "definitely" and "definitely not" more than most.
-- Leo Komarov is one of those sneaky-solid guys depending upon your settings. He's already at seven goals this season.
KINGS 3, PANTHERS 1
-- While I'd give Florida the edge in net, Los Angeles strikes me as a team that boasts Florida's strengths, only better. As in, they're an especially bad matchup for the Panthers, at least in my head.
The Kings stormed out to an 18-4 SOG advantage and then got bludgeoned 30-14 in the following two periods.
(Aside: someone blasted me by using "bludgeoned" in this way, noting that you have to bludgeon someone or something with an actual object. I think that might be the height of "Um, actually ..." Internet annoyance right there.
OK, not the height, but irksome nonetheless.)
-- Wow, Marian Gaborik has been rendered ... boring. His goal gives him just five points in 21 games this season. While he should get more puck luck (6.4 shooting percentage), he sure seems like an old 33, but I wonder if that's just Los Angeles' system, as the downside of such tight play is that you basically have to be a freak like Jeff Carter to do so consistently.
Considering his health issues, it's remarkable that Gaborik hit the 900 regular season games played mark. He did so while playing 80+ games twice and generally being a Band-Aid Guy for ages.
Wouldn't it be odd if he plays 5-7 more years and is relatively healthy but offensively modest? Think I'd rather take the dynamic version, but then again, this isn't my health on the line.
-- After failing to grab a point in his return from injury on Nov. 16, Aleksander Barkov now has four points during a three-game point streak. He also has 10 points in 11 games this season. His line with Jonathan Huberdeau and Jaromir Jagr seems as legit as Florida's had ... maybe ever?
AVALANCHE 4, JETS 1
-- Colorado has enough offensive talent to be an occasional headache, yet the Central Division has to be a little relieved to see the Avalanche and Jets struggling, at least relatively speaking.
One surprising stat: Colorado is just 2-5-1 at home so far this season. They've played five more away games, so if they merely become average in Denver, they'll be in a good position to further muddle this division.
(Or, you know, ruin their chances at better lottery odds?)
-- Semyon Varlamov returned to action, and not at a moment too soon. More than anyone else, he's wild card for Colorado, as he has the talent to save the day, sometimes more often than not when he's really on his game.
Not that I'd make any bold moves to get him, mind you, as that system is more likely to hang him out to dry.
-- The Jets came into November with a 7-3-1 record. Since then, they'be gone 3-7-1, and they now face a three-game road trip.
If their outlook is even worse once December starts, I wonder if they really would be wise to shop Dustin Byfuglien.
It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Byfuglien, but the Thrashers holdovers era of the Jets has gone on for a long time, and the end result is still pretty middling. They still haven't won a playoff game, let alone a series.
Considering Byfuglien's enormous size, his one-of-a-kind game may run out, so maybe Winnipeg is best off selling high? Even if he maintains, sometimes it's actually smart to cut bait with a quality player when you can land a big package of pieces.
The Jets aren't in a position to be a great free agent hotbed, so continuing to be draft and development-heavy makes sense. Maybe the Jets need to pull a Keith Yandle with Buffy?
I don't know, and again, I think Byfuglien is a great weapon. Is the status quo really working, though?