There really aren’t GREAT times for a player to get hurt - ouchies are rarely good, unless you’re Kurt Warner, then you probably think injuries border on divine intervention - but this last month will be an especially irritating time for significant injuries.
OK, maybe the next few months, as plenty of you have playoff pools.
As frustrating as it is for real-life teams (who cannot grab a replacement with the trade deadline behind us), it stinks for us normal fake-team-running folk, too.
In light of Jason Demers possibly being out all season, Brendan Gallagher missing two-to-three weeks and Jaroslav Halak being hurt in last night’s game, this is a good time to remind you about Rotoworld NHL’s handy 30-team injury and suspension guide.
The Dose (and other fantastic, must-read Rotoworld NHL columns) will do its best to cover these bases, but fantasy circumstances range enough that you’ll probably need to account for your own contextual needs and inklings. So yeah, bookmark that link above.
Editor's Note: This is your chance to try FanDuel risk free! Sign up today and if you lose your first contest, you’ll be refunded the entry fee up to $10. Play now.
RANGERS 4, SABRES 2
-- The Rangers allowed this one to get pretty interesting considering the fact that they built up a 3-0 lead early in the second period.
Antti Raanta was perfect in the third period as the Rangers scored the only goal in that final frame with Buffalo generating a 19-4 SOG advantage. Overall, the Sabres fired 10 more SOG.
Even with score effects in mind, that's not the greatest sign for the Rangers.
-- Rasmus Ristolainen led Buffalo with six SOG, yet he couldn't score. His scoring rate has been a little disappointing lately, but the promise remains.
-- With Tuesday's goal and two assists, Mats Zuccarello now has 51 points in 67 games, second only to the 59 points he generated in 77 games back in 2013-14. His 22 goals set a new career-high.
His $4.5 million cap hit doesn't expire until after 2018-19, a deal that sure looks like a bargain as of today.
-- J.T. Miller broke a considerable slump, scoring a goal after going eight games without a point. Perhaps he's just at a point in his career where he can be explosive, but maybe not reliable?
HURRICANES 4, SENATORS 3 (SO)
-- Carolina got the extra point here, giving the Hurricanes a slightly better chance to make the playoffs.
While I think the Canes could be pesky enough - they hog the puck more than many people likely realize - I'm not sure they have the juice to jump over Philly and Pittsburgh.
-- In his fourth game with the Senators, Scott Gomez grabbed his first point via an assist. He went the last two games without a SOG and is being used pretty sparingly, but it's novel to see him at the NHL at this point in his career.
-- Dion Phaneuf is pointless in four straight games, but at least he's getting some peripheral bumps, including six PIM from Tuesday and 11 penalty minutes in his past three games.
As expected, the Maple Leafs are probably pumping their fists about unloading his contract at a solid price.
BLUE JACKETS 5, RED WINGS 3
-- Actually, the Hurricanes may eye the Red Wings and Flyers as the teams they need to jump; Detroit seems to be taking on water lately, with a 3-5-2 record in its last 10 games.
-- Jimmy Howard absorbed the loss here, dropping his record to 8-10-5. Even with backup duty and injuries in mind, it's disturbing that he only owns one win in 2016.
-- Joonas Korpisalo may very well stand as the Louis Domingue to Sergei Bobrovsky's Mike Smith in some time. If nothing else, he's made an argument for sustained backup duty: 14-8-4 with a .918 save percentage.
-- This outcome is a good remainder of why Columbus is a dangerous spoiler candidate: three points for Cam Atkinson, two assists from Seth Jones, a goal and an assist from Boone Jenner and some other consistent threats pitching in.
There are teams packing it in, and then there are the Blue Jackets. I'm not sure if this is a better path than just clutching for lottery balls, but it appears to be the direction Torts & Co. are going in.
ISLANDERS 2, PENGUINS 1
-- I'm not sure how bad Halak's injury is, but anyone in need of a goalie should probably claim Thomas Greiss either way. He's only owned in 50 percent of Yahoo leagues.
-- Frans Nielsen is really pumping it up lately. With two assists on Tuesday, he has two points in three straight games (1G, 5A). He hit 44 points, exceeding last season's 43.
-- Justin Schultz had company in failing to score a point for Pittsburgh. He received 1:33 PP TOI, accounting for a decent chunk of his overall ice time (15:50).
CANADIENS 4, STARS 3 (OT)
-- The Canadiens haven't exactly risen to the occasion against tough West opponents until this win, but Alex Galchenyuk certainly has.
He scored two goals and one assist, including the OTGWG, to help Montreal surprise the Stars here. He now has six goals and one assist for seven points in his past four games.
With 23 goals, Al-Gal only has one fewer goal than Max Pacioretty, who found the net for the 24th time this season.
-- It feels like Sven Andrighetto (fabulous) should have more than 11 points after collecting two assists on Tuesday, but that's probably FanDuel talking.
-- No doubt about it, it's been a frustrating five games for Tyler Seguin: -7 rating, zero points. Like I've wondered before, I continue to think that maybe he could use a little breather before the playoffs.
Even so, he has 20 SOG during that five-game drought, including four SOG against Montreal. So it's not like he's just dogging it.
Maybe a Friday showdown with the Chicago Blackhawks will be his remedy?
BRUINS 1, LIGHTNING O (OT)
-- I'm not sure I get the Lightning right now.
They really stumbled through most of the season, but then they reeled off a franchise-record nine straight wins. That run of games was noted for being a little light on tough competition, however, only making things more puzzling.
Even more recent results are confusing. After the Flyers more-than doubled them up SOG-wise, the Lightning generated a 42-33 SOG advantage against Boston but couldn't score one goal.
Marchand now has a remarkable 34 goals this season, already easily the best run of tallies he's ever had. With 54 points, he's only one away from tying his career-best of 55.
One thing that stands out: he's shooting a lot. His 203 SOG is a career-high this season despite coming in 63 games. Last season, he scored 24 goals on 180 SOG in 77 GP. While his shooting percentage is 16.7, that's not so outrageous for a guy with a 15.4 percentage.
Maybe someone just said "Hey, Brad, shoot more ya pest."
PREDATORS 4, JETS 2
-- I don't like it when people say "If team X was in Division Y, they'd be in [ ] place right now," because that ignores scheduling and other contexts. Maybe that division is tougher than you'd expect because the teams cannibalize each other's' points?
If you DO like going by that logic, though, consider that the Predators would be a breath behind the Sharks for third place in the Pacific and right in the mix for the top spot if their 80 points were transferred from the Central.
Instead, as hot as Nashville is, the Predators are still five points behind the Blues for third in the Central.
I doubt Nashville manages to climb out of the wild card, but man, they sure stand as a scary "reward" for winning said Pacific.
Even so, Craig Smith lighting it up isn't far behind.
Smith tends to tease with these glimpses of brilliance, but this is noteworthy. With two goals on Tuesday, he now has 10 points (split evenly with 5G and 5A) in his last five games.
Perhaps he's just what he's been the last couple years: 20-something goals, 40-50 points. And that's OK. There just have been moments here and there when it seemed like he could maybe climb a little bit more. Maybe this is a sign of a moderate breakthrough?
-- Circling back to Rinne, he's won four of five and has a .924 save percentage during that time. He even bumped his season save percentage to a partially-face-saving .910.
SHARKS 3, OILERS 0
-- After losing in his Sharks debut, James Reimer looked sharp here, stopping 31 pucks for his first shutout of 2015-16.
Reimer's long been a hockey nerd favorite, and his .920 save percentage argues that he could be an interesting guy to watch, whether he gets his best chances during this stretch run or maybe even in the postseason.
One can debate if he's a $6 million goalie or not (I'd try to get him for quite a bit lower than that in exchange for the security of more term, but that's just me), but this is a possible chance for him to really bump up his value.
Of course, Martin Jones is playing well in his own right, so that's tough for Reimer ... and great for the Sharks.
-- Logan Couture scored the first two goals to open the game, hitting 10 goals on the season. Before you bury the guy, note that this comes in 36 games and that he's likely been at less than ideal health likely for some of those active contests.
If I were the Sharks, I'd ask him to be candid about his health and see if he could use the occasional night off heading into games that matter more than Pacific jockeying.
-- Connor McDavid's on a two-game pointless run. He generated five SOG against Winnipeg, but this game was quieter with just two. Granted, he's not a big SOG guy yet anyway, with 71 in 32 games.
Bold take: I think the kid will turn out OK.