So, in Thursday’s Dose, I mentioned that it was a little ridiculous to imagine Evander Kane being a healthy scratch because of sweatpants. I also noted that it was probably a little more complicated than that. As it turns out .. yeah, it’s a mess.
I’m not sure how much of the full picture we’ll end up seeing, but that’s really what you need to know. The Jets are a mess on the ice and off of it. This situation seems to send Kane toward two paths: a) being traded or b) undergoing surgery and then being traded in the offseason.
(Or maybe a team will take a post-surgery Kane in hopes of getting him come playoff time or just for the future? Considering his youth and ceiling, I wouldn’t begrudge a GM for taking such an approach …)
Anyway, I’d wager that others at Rotoworld will tackle this issue, but the good news is that Kane was placed on IR, so you can probably stash him and see what happens in case he gets traded to a positive place. He’s been on my IR for quite some time now in one league, for instance.
With nine games on last night’s docket, I’ll leave it at that. I’ll also try to make note not to leave my tracksuits near Dustin Byfuglien and a shower/tub whenever possible.
(I do love my tracksuits.)
DUCKS 5, PREDATORS 2
-- Even with Ryan Getzlaf a surprise scratch, the Ducks didn't exactly grant Pekka Rinne a sweet welcome. They scored two goals in each of the first two periods before easing up/sitting on their lead in the third (one empty netter on just two SOG in the final frame). Overall, Rinne gave up four goals on 25 shots.
Man, was Rinne on a roll heading into that injury on Jan. 13, too. The Finn was on a six-game winning streak and an 11-game point streak (10-0-1) before he got hurt.
I wouldn't be too worried about excessive rust just yet. Let's not forget that Anaheim moved into the best record in the NHL with this win.
-- Frederik Andersen stole Rinne's thunder, stopping 44 out of 46 shots to win his 29th game of the season. Remarkably, that ties the two goalies in that category (Rinne is 29-7-2 while Andersen is 29-7-5).
-- Moving back to Getzlaf, he's considered day-to-day with a lower-body injury. No morning skate, so I'd guess he's either ruled out or he's a game-time decision, so maybe be cautious in FanDuel and other daily fantasy formats.
-- After scoring eight points in his first 36 games, Seth Jones has nine in 15. He's also averaging more than 21 minutes per night after hovering around the 17-18 range in the first three months of the season. Interesting development for the fourth pick of the 2013 NHL Draft.
Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting an $20,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Friday night's NHL games. It's just $2 to join and first prize is $2,000. Starts Friday at 7pm ET. Here's the FanDuel link.
ISLANDERS 3, FLYERS 2 (SO)
-- Steve Mason continues to put the Flyers in a great position to win, even if they aren't giving him much goal support. Mason stopped 28 out of 30 shots but fell to 11-12-7 on the season.
-- Mikhail Grabovski unleashed a heck of a shot for his eighth goal of the season. He also fired six SOG. He should do this more often.
LIGHTNING 5, STARS 3
-- Those who went to sleep early in this one might have been a little disappointed with the vaunted line of Nikita Kucherov, Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat, but they made up for lost time late in the third period. In barely more than a six-minute run of the third period, the line combined for three goals, overwhelming the Stars' efforts even with Trevor Daley seemingly generating a key 3-3 marker.
Kucherov's assist on Johnson's 18th goal of this season was especially ludicrous.
-- Meanwhile, Steve Stamkos owned the first period, scoring his 28th goal and collecting his 20th assist of 2014-15. I think he'll be OK, you guys.
-- John Klingberg already has 10 goals on just 60 SOG, averaging out to a 16.7 shooting percentage (which is pretty high for forward standards, let alone defensemen). In the last four games, he has four goals and three assists. Pretty ridiculous stuff. Even if he almost inevitably will slow down/not get the same bounces, he's a key cog in a high-powered offense and gets the out-of-nowhere version of the Calder Trophy (Filip Forsberg gets the real one so far, if you ask me).
-- The Lightning may just run away with the Atlantic Division if they give Andrei Vasilevskiy a decent amount of starts. He's now 4-1-0 with an impressive .932 save percentage. You don't see a ton of first-rounder goalies lately, but it seems like he has a chance to make Steve Yzerman look smart (part 50).
SHARKS 5, CANUCKS 1
-- Aside from Vancouver improving its shot totals as the game went along - which almost certainly had a lot to do with score effects, let's be honest - just about all the numbers in this game indicate that the Canucks were the team wrapping up a back-to-back set, not the Sharks.
Not the greatest sign that the Canucks got creamed in this one, especially since they even had the added advantage - slight or not - of playing at home. On paper, it's not surprising to see that this was a mismatch, though.
-- I'd probably grade Melker Karlsson out at "good enough to occasionally finish one of Joe Thornton's chances," which basically means he's a semi-functional NHL player. I wouldn't scramble to add him unless you're in a very, very deep league.
At least not yet.
-- Joe Pavelski already has 28 goals, the third best output of his career. Before you go beat up a nerd for predicting that he'd regress from his 41-goal career-best pace from last season, do note that he's shooting up a storm with 173 SOG in 53 GP. He's also been shooting at a high percentage this season (16.2) and last (18.2), probably in large part due to the human shooting percentage increaser, aka Jumbo Joe.
-- Brent Burns has been playing nicely since the All-Star break concluded: four assists in six games after an abbreviated dry spell.
RED WINGS 3, AVALANCHE 0
-- The score was misleading here, as Detroit took advantage of Patrick Roy's hat tip to fantasy owners in the form of emptying his net with more than three minutes left in the third. The Red Wings scored twice without Semyon Varlamov there to smother pucks, with five of a possible six players padding their stats on those two goals.
-- The one "real" goal came from Justin Abdelkader, who connected on a power-play, tic-tac-toe, punctuation-friendly goal assisted by Henrik Zetterberg and Gustav Nyquist. That's easily my favorite Red Wings line in the current mix they have going (I prefer Pavel Datsyuk in Nyquist's spot, but that's me being greedy).
-- Quite a nice night by Petr Mrazek: his first shutout of 2014-15 (third overall) came via 28 saves. He's now 12-4-1. There have been ups and downs, but he's at least making an argument for future opportunities (this season and beyond).
-- Nathan MacKinnon got in his first career NHL fight and didn't break anything, at least I don't think. So that's good.
Jump for the remaining recaps.
BLUES 3, SABRES 0
-- You know a team is bad when a dominant team comes in, beats them 3-0, and fantasy owners are kind of bummed out. That's the state of affairs for the Blues and Sabres, respectively.
-- If you're in one of the rare leagues that uses FWs - I used to like them because they were easy to nab, but it's been so long since I've been in a league that includes them that I'm not even sure how I'd feel today - NHL.com's Lou Korac points out that Paul Stastny won 13 out of 17 faceoffs on Thursday and 24 out of 35 during the last two games. Not too shabby for a guy who's also on a three-game assist streak.
-- Jake Allen made some great saves, but still only had to make 23 stops to get his third shutout of 2014-15. He's now on a four-game winning streak, even if he's been sitting enough that the run stretches back to Jan. 10.
PANTHERS 3, KINGS 2
-- Man, Los Angeles has to be beyond worried right now, right?
The Kings are 3-6-4 since Dec. 29. They coughed up a third-period lead last night. They're 5-12-6 on the road so far in 2014-15 and play 18 of 31 remaining games away from home.
As usual in their regular seasons, the Kings have been a better team possession-wise than the results indicate, but it remains to be seen if they can dig out of another hole. This might just be their biggest challenge since they've become a regular playoff team.
-- Marian Gaborik's done his part. In the last 23 games, he's scored 12 goals and 22 points. Very, very nice stuff.
-- Quite a run for Aleksander Barkov since Dec. 31: five goals, eight assists for 13 points in 14 games. After quite a slow start, Barkov is having a fantastic run as a sophomore.
-- Much has been (fairly) said about Jonathan Quick as a disappointing regular-season goalie, but dropping to 17-15-10 is still pretty stunning. Roberto Luongo has enjoyed much more success, both individually and record-wise, with a 19-13-8 mark.
CAPITALS 2, SENATORS 1
-- Alex Ovechkin scored his 32nd goal of 2014-15, and apparently had an empty-net chance later on but failed to convert. Still, Ovechkin owners probably couldn't complain too much with a one-goal, +1, four PIM, three SOG and four-hit night. He's really been coming on strong lately.
-- Braden Holtby has only allowed one regulation goal and two goals total in the last four games, going 3-0-1 in that span. People parading Vezina talk around dismiss a few guys who clearly stand above him, but he might be the Vezina-winner value-wise in fantasy.
(Nah, Frederik Andersen gets it.)
-- In the past six games, Evgeny Kuznetsov has scored two goals and three assists. Before that, he only had 15 points in 44 games.
-- Robin Lehner has basically been the opposite of Braden Holtby. To save some number crunching, just trust me on this one: things haven't been going his way. On the bright side, Lehner has been solid lately, limiting opponents to two goals in each of the past three games.
HURRICANES 2, COYOTES 1 (SO)
-- Hey, all of a sudden, Mike Smith has been putting together respectable work.
In the past two games, he's stopped 70 out of 72 shots, going 1-0-1. Going back further, he's only had one weak game (five goals allowed on 20 shots) in the past four games, even if he's only won twice.
Considering that Smith is under contract for a while, it's not a total waste that he's at least starting to protect his dignity.
-- Cam Ward returned to action, breaking a four-game losing streak in the process. He's quietly had a pretty solid season, at least compared to the very low expectations he brought in: 12-8-4 with a .915 save percentage.
-- The Hurricanes received four power-play opportunities to zero for the Coyotes, which was surprising since the game took place in Glendale.