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Hockey Daily Dose

Dose: Rask up to Task

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

We’re getting close to the thick of the trade deadline now, and yes, Doses will reflect that.

Even so, this column will be reactive when it comes to trades. In other words, I’m not going to breathlessly predict where Rental X will go or anything like that.

(Granted, I’d be more likely to be breathless if there was a player named Rental X.)

Instead, I’ll write things like “Rental X scored Y in his first game with Z.” That said, don’t expect this to be comprehensive for every rental. In other words, I’m not going to spill buckets of digital ink about Nick Spaling unless something weird happens, like Nick Spaling becoming fantasy-relevant.

Good? Great.

So, where do you think Jonathan Drouin is going?

(Studio audience laughs.)

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-- Pittsburgh didn't play as poorly as the score suggests.

Instead, Tuukka Rask played at a $7 million level, stopping 41 out of 42 shots (41 saves being his best work of the season, not factoring in shutouts).

It's been a bumpy ride at times this season for Rask, especially early on. Perhaps he's getting used to the Bruins higher-scoring (and higher-score-allowing) style change.

If nothing else, he's getting his record back to the more positive end; with three wins in four games, Rask is now 23-17-5.

-- David Pastrnak generates these bursts here and there that make it easy to get excited about him. Even if that can be annoying in its own way, don't forget that the Czech forward is just 19.

With two goals on Wednesday, Pastrnak now has four points during a two-game streak.

He's looking more and more like a shrewd pick (25th overall in 2014).

-- Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel combined for seven SOG, yet they couldn't dent the net.

-- Carl Hagelin is cooling off considerably after a hot introduction to the Penguins. He has an assist in his last five games and three points in his past 10.

He can use his speed to contribute in other ways, yet David Perron really paid considerable dividends for the Ducks.


-- Alex Galchenyuk was a big reason why Montreal ended Washington's four-game winning streak.

The shifty forward scored two goals, including the opening tally and GWG. Gally managed five SOG while also collecting two rare PIM.

He ended a four-game drought with this little outburst.

I imagine he'd be a guy who would flourish if Michel Therrien's ever put out of Habs fans' misery.

-- Dmitry Orlov strikes me as the type of people who could generate quite a bit more offense on a lesser team.

He scored a goal on Wednesday, giving him six tallies and a solid 24 points in 59 games in which he's sometimes used sparingly (15:14 TOI, down from even his modest career average of 19:36).

His shot is scary (granted, a nine shooting percentage also indicates luck), and he's been hot lately with four points in his past five games.

-- It's nice to see Mike Condon grab some wins here and there to turn down the heat a bit, but I think the excessive organizational trust in Condon really hurt them.

Yes, he had a hot start, but I wonder if Dustin Tokarski would have generated more successes than Condon, who did the following in 40 GP: 15-17-5 with a .904 save percentage.

Not exactly "The Hamburglar" there.

-- Andre Burakovsky scored a goal in this game. With that, he now has 20 points in 22 games in 2016 after only managing nine in his previous 34 contests. Stunning turnaround, though less stunning when you consider his impressive talent.


-- Calvin Pickard generated his second consecutive win, improving his record to 5-3-1 by stopping 30 out of 33 shots.

-- Tough loss for Martin Jones, who fell in this one despite making 38 out of 41 shots. He'll need to wait to hit the 30-win mark for the first time in his career (this season also marks his first 20+ win season).

-- Gabriel Landeskog generated a great all-around game on Wednesday: one goal, one assist, +1 rating, six SOG, four hits and even three blocked shots in 19:36 TOI.

-- Tyson Barrie generated an assist and five SOG in this game.

He's been on fire lately. Barrie now has six points in as many games, largely off the strength of his three-point game against Edmonton on Feb. 20.

-- Spaling did indeed score in his Sharks debut, but he only received 12:37 TOI.


-- Frederik Andersen made 26 saves for his first shutout of the 2015-16 season and the fourth of his career.

His injury issues throw this off a bit, but Andersen is now on a four-game winning streak.

Thanks to some non-decisions, Andersen remarkably hasn't been dinged with a loss since Dec. 21. Again, injuries take some of the starch out of these accomplishments, but still impressive.

-- Robin Lehner deserves better once again.

He didn't get the win despite stopping 28 out of 29 shots against the Ducks.

-- Brian Gionta didn't score (obviously), but he was generating chances, with seven SOG. I wonder if this is way of saying "Please, trade for me."

-- Sami Vatanen scored the Ducks' only goal, giving him nine on the season and 31 points. He's six short of tying last season's 37, his current career-high. He had an impressive 12 goals in 2014-15.

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.