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Hockey Daily Dose

Dose: Limping into the Break

by James O'Brien
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Last night marked the last evening of NHL games before some players get to take a nice little mid-season vacation while others participate in an alternate-reality competition in which teams score 10+ goals and don’t even bother hitting each other.


It seems like injury news is slipping through with each night, and might even come through on Thursday and beyond, canceling some trips to Columbus while spoiling other players’ hopes of getting quality vacation time.


(I can’t even imagine the disappointment a veteran player who’s been through multiple ASG’s must feel about getting the call. It’s not a tragedy by any stretch, of course, but 82-game seasons are long and rigorous.)


For more on “The Curse of the All-Star Goalie,” check this out.


Don't forget, for everything NHL, check out Rotoworld's up to the minute coverage on Player News, as well as follow @Rotoworld_HK and @cyclelikesedins on Twitter.


Speaking of breaks, the Dose will be on holiday until Tuesday. Enjoy the festive weekend and maybe detox from FanDuel just a touch, why don’t you?


JETS 4, BLUE JACKETS 0


-- Uh oh, it looks like Sergei Bobrovsky might be injured once again. It seems like Columbus has hit the wall anyway, as the Blue Jackets have only won two of 10 games since 2015 rolled around, with all eight of those defeats coming in regulation.


-- Interestingly, Curtis McElhinney has been quite solid lately, albeit in a very, very small sample.


"Mac" has not lost a game since Nov. 29. Three of his six appearances (see, he doesn't play often) were in relief. He's been pretty sharp since Dec. 27, winning all three of his decisions. In four January games played, he has a .940 save percentage.


Does this mean you should grab him? I'd say largely no.


His career save percentage is .903. In 28 games last season with CBJ, he won 10 times and had an (OK for a backup but that's about it) save percentage of .909.


Anyway, keep an eye on him, but with the Blue Jackets free-falling enough to warrant tanking, I wouldn't be too interested.


-- Then again, why bother thinking about McElhinney when you can get a borderline starter on a rising team like Michael Hutchinson?


Hutchinson is only owned in 60 percent of Yahoo leagues, which is almost as baffling as the notion that Winnipeg is still waffling between Hutchinson and Ondrej Pavelec.


Hutchinson stopped all 29 shots for his second shutout of the season. He's now on a four-game winning streak, pushing him to 14-4-2 on the season. His fantastic .935 save percentage argues that it isn't an accident, yet with the way the Jets are scoring on some nights, he can probably stumble here and there and still grab some wins.


SENATORS 4, MAPLE LEAFS 3


-- The Toronto Maple Leafs basically lost their sixth consecutive game in the first period, as Ottawa stormed off to a 3-0 lead. Mike Hoffman was instrumental, scoring a goal and an assist. Bobby Ryan also made a big impact, generating two assists.


-- Erik Karlsson probably enjoyed the best game of all, collecting two goals on six SOG, including the game-winner. He's been goal-or-nothing lately, scoring four goals in five contests.


The Swede's shooting percentage this season (6.3) more or less matches his career mark of 6.9 percent, so don't be shocked if he flirts with the career-best 20-goal work he generated last season (note: I'm not saying last year was better than his Norris campaign overall, just that he scored one more goal).


-- Watching the telecast of Leafs - Senators, I almost wondered if I overlooked a renaissance for David Clarkson. Nope, last night's goal was his first point since Dec. 28 and his first tally since Dec. 20.


-- Brilliant intentional rebound by Phil Kessel, which netted him an assist and James van Riemsdyk a goal.


-- Milan Michalek has scored 15 points in 2014-15. He generated six of those points in the past six games.


He lacks the sort of exciting linemates to really call for action, but he should be on the radar, if nothing else.


BLACKHAWKS 3, PENGUINS 2 (SO)


-- With Evgeni Malkin on the mend, the Penguins shuffled things up, putting Chris Kunitz back with Sidney Crosby and shifting Steve Downie to a line with newcomer Mark Arcobello and Brandon Sutter.


-- Do not get too thrilled with Arcobello despite generating an assist in his second Penguins game. He received 11:24 of ice time.


-- Quite the 48 hours from Steve Downie. On Tuesday, he generated nine PIM. The 27-year-old scored a goal last night. His value obviously climbs when he is with Crosby and/or Malkin, yet his PIM generation and decent scoring ability make him relevant at a fringe level nonetheless.


-- Jonathan Toews has one goal and eight assists in a seven-game point streak. He's really enjoying some strong work alongside Marian Hossa and Brandon Saad, especially lately.


SHARKS 4, KINGS 2


-- The Kings are solidly behind the Calgary Flames for the final wild card spot (which, at the moment, seems like the only spot that may be up for grabs in the West). How much more must Los Angeles slip before they at least give Martin Jones more reps? I know he has been banged up here and there, but does that explain the bigger picture situation? That second question is less of a rhetorical prompt than the first one ...


-- Since Dec. 31, Logan Couture scored five goals and eight assists in his last 11 games. He now has 42 points in 48 games, including 18 goals.

 

-- Is Patrick Marleau out of his funk? The 35-year-old has generated two goals and three assists in four games after some rather troubling droughts.


-- Kyle Clifford had quite the unique gritty stat-line on Wednesday: five PIM, four SOG and four hits. Dustin Brown is the less extreme, more "roster-able" answer: one goal, four SOG and three hits.


-- Nice work from Antti Niemi in the past week or so: he's 3-0-1 in his last four games. While the wins came against struggling teams, San Jose needs runs like these.


AVALANCHE 3, BRUINS 2 (SO)


-- Did a Patrick Roy second intermission speech light a fire under the Avalanche? Thirty-six seconds into the third period, a bit of violence between high-level players erupted between Brad Marchand, Dougie Hamilton, Gabriel Landeskog and Ryan O'Reilly.


Colorado generated a 19-5 shot advantage between the third period and overtime, the kind of numbers that make you rub your eyes in disbelief.


Hey, if they do this more often, maybe the Avs might win some games?


-- Speaking of Marchand, he scored a goal on one SOG and generated that minor penalty in his first game back from a two-game suspension.


-- Torey Krug already has nine goals in 44 games so far this season, just five short of the 14 he generated in his first full NHL season in 2013-14. I know country club general managers are too sheepish to do this, but wouldn't Krug be the ideal offer sheet target?


DUCKS 6, FLAMES 3


-- It is probably safe to grab Patrick Maroon as a short-term guy, as his spot seems fairly safe on a line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. He has two goals and three assists for five points in his last three games. Considering the fact that he is only owned in five percent of Yahoo leagues, it does not seem like many have caught on just yet.


(Or people do not want to do the frequent add/drop thing.)


-- That said, Maroon isn't even the guy I would necessarily add in this game recap section. Sean Monahan continues to distinguish himself in the thick of his four-game goal streak (plus an assist). Monahan is only owned in 34 percent of leagues and honestly seems like a consistent scorer, especially for a second-year guy.


-- Cam Fowler is now on a four-game assist streak. Anaheim's crowded field of solid defensive scorers probably partially explains the Ducks' continued success (beyond that whole Perry and Getzlaf deal).


-- Ryan Kesler ended a six-game slump with an empty-netter goal, not exactly the most impressive way to end those struggles. That said, maybe that will ease the burden on a player whose offense has really dried up.

 

 -- Perhaps Joni Ortio’s Cinderella run is over? Considering the fact that Calgary is rolling with three healthy goalies, my guess is he that his leash will be very short.


For a full list of injuries and suspensions, click here. Go to Rotoworld's NHL page for breaking hockey news and more.

James O'Brien
James O'Brien is the Hockey Daily Dose's author and has been a contributor to NBC's Pro Hockey Talk for more than four years. Follow him on Twitter.