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Hockey Daily Dose

Dose: Up with the Sickness

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

Another week, another loaded Sunday Dose.

Let’s go running into this one as if we just ate some funky chicken soup, shall we?

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-- It’s one thing for the food poisoning-pillaged Predators to beat the Penguins, especially with Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang on the shelf.

Still, winning the game so handily is another story.

Marc-Andre Fleury only made it through two periods, allowing five goals on 23 shots. The Predators took over during the second period, scoring four goals, all at even strength. Nashville's red-hot power play has been carrying them along here, so scoring in that scenario was heartening. Winning under these circumstances is that much more impressive.

-- Juuse Saros grabbed the win, stopping 34 out of 35 SOG. I know that the Predators want to bring him along slowly as a prized prospect, but Nashville only needs to look at Pittsburgh to see that sometimes you need to zig and zag when curveballs go your way. If the Penguins were too rigid with giving Matt Murray a chance, would they have won the Cup? Food for thought.

-- P.K. Subban looks really nice with the Predators, with his two assists giving him five points in as many games. His -4 rating will be fodder for those who are weirdly eager to critique him, but considering how power-play-dependent Nashville has been, I'd wager that it will all balance out.

-- Hey look, Harry Zolnierczyk!


-- If you were doing a fly-by without much knowledge of the 2016-17 season’s current happenings, you’d probably say “Aw, cute, the Leafs really pushed the Blackhawks here.”

Instead, the Maple Leafs held 2-1 and 4-2 leads, taking the latter about five minutes into the third period. Artem Anisimov didn't score his second goal of the contest (and fourth of the season) until 17:32 into the final frame, with Richard Panik scoring his sixth(!) goal of 2016-17 a minute later to tie it up.

Frederik Andersen survived overtime despite some Chicago power-play chances, but it still must sting Toronto to give up another lead.

-- There are some rumblings about Andersen’s health, so keep an eye out for updates on Sunday/early in this coming week.

-- Could Panik be in for a nice season? Health permitting, he's almost certain to crush his career-high of 17 points (he already has eight, including those six goals).

The more important question is: how misleading are is totals so far? The answer seems to be "very."

His six goals come on just nine SOG, good for a ridiculous 66.7 shooting percentage. is career average is 13.5 so ... yeah.

-- Anisimov's shooting percentage is high too (four goals on 12 SOG for 33.3 percent), but last season marked his second 20+ goal season and he seems like a pretty safe fixture with Artemi Panarin and Patrick Kane, so fire away in deeper leagues.

-- Hot take: the Leafs will have an easier time protecting leads when they let go of bad habits like ... say, giving Roman Polak 23:13 TOI, the second-most of their defensemen. Don't do that, Babs.

-- William Nylander scored two goals on seven SOG, doing more than just being a nice partner for Auston Matthews. Toronto's indicated that its young guns will stay up in the NHL, and it seems like it would be silly for them to do otherwise.

-- It’s all too fitting that “Soupy,” aka Brian Campbell, collected three assists on a day like this.


-- After doing very little through his first two NHL games, Jimmy Vesey's really heating up. He scored two goals on Saturday, giving him three tallies in as many nights. His 10 SOG aren't the greatest sign, but nine of them came during this three-game span, so he might be getting more of a green light. He's received 17+ minutes in three games so far (and three of four). There are some solid signs pointing to him being a decent contributor.

-- Is Dmitry Orlov gaining more of Barry Trotz's trust? He has two assists in his last three games and is enjoying solid ice time lately, especially the last two games (about 43 minutes combined, or 21 and a half give or take per contest). He has some pretty tantalizing skill but has the sort of coach who - fair or not - may be prone to giving him a short leash.

-- I love Brandon Pirri as a pickup, but his two goals come on five SOG and he's falling in the low-teens in minutes.

One thing to note with New York: they did so great this summer adding sneaky-good forwards, it might be easy to get hooked in by a quality guy who just won't receive the opportunities to be anything more than nice Daily Fantasy plug-ins.



-- After asking a lot from Al Montoya in his absence, the Canadiens really rolled out the red carpet for Carey Price. After facing 29 SOG in his Oct. 20 return, he only needed to stop 19 out of 21 on Saturday.

-- Shea Weber through five games: one goal, four points, +6, nine SOG, seven blocked shots and 13 hits.

That's great points-wise, but I'd like to see more SOG from Weber. Considering how terrifying his missile-launcher slapper is, getting less than two on net per game isn't the best use of his talents.

-- This 4-0-1 start is glorious for Montreal management after a ... polarizing summer, but there have been some cupcakes so far. Buffalo, Ottawa, Arizona and Boston have flaws, and no Sidney Crosby blunts the win against Pittsburgh ever so slightly. Don't forget Montreal's strong start before falling apart in 2015-16.

-- That said, don't expect a fall soon. Four of their next five games are in Montreal, and the Habs only face four road games through Nov. 24. Could be a nice push if you're consider a Hab vs. some other waiver pickup for the short/mid-term.


-- Look, I don't know how much Carolina's awful goaltending is on its two goalies vs. the team, although the team's decent puck possession stats make me think it leans more toward it being Eddie Lack and Cam Ward's fault.

What I do know: Lack and Ward have been disastrous in net.

-- Shayne Gostisbehere owners were waiting for an outburst like this: one goal, two assists for three points with a +2 rating on Saturday. Fittingly, he got the GWG, too. He's probably been "due" for a good game like this, as he racked up 14 SOT in the previous four games, while "only" ending up with two helpers and zero goals.

-- Ivan Provorov was a delightful 2015 NHL Draft mini-steal, and he's shown some promise, with Saturday being a highlight via his two assists. He's getting nice ice time for a rookie blueliner, too.

That said, with just two SOG in five GP, he's not quite "there" in fantasy terms.

-- When you look up "beast" in the dictionary, you won't see "Wayne Simmonds on the power play" ... but maybe you should.

-- Carolina and Philly both boast enviable war chests of young players, and each group factored into this one.

Sebastian Aho sure looks promising with five assists in as many games after piling up two apples on Saturday. Not sure where exactly to rank him right now - only seven SOG, but three PPP in five games - but the speedy Finn sure is fun to watch.

-- It's heartening to see Lee Stempniak fit in so well with young'uns Victor Rask and Jeff Skinner, but do note his four goals come on just nine SOG; there's some luck happening. That said. it's been a little irregular. In three games, he had three SOG apiece, while he went without a SOG in two contests.

A solid reminder that this season is early, so always look at career stats, especially with Stempniak, who is on the verge of 800 career GP.


-- It's a testament to the Lightning that they held Ottawa to one goal and 28 SOG. Between an underrated top line, Erik Karlsson and a seemingly focused Bobby Ryan, the Senators have some solid firepower, if nothing else.

-- Andrei Vasilevskiy has wins in both of his appearances so far this season, allowing just three goals on 62 shots faced, including stopping 27-of-28 on Saturday.

-- Not explosive, but I like what I've seen from Steven Stamkos so far this season. Five points (3G, 2A) in five games, eight PIM, three PPP, and 20 SOG. His 15 shooting percentage is actually below his remarkable career average of 17.1 percent. Sniping' Stevie Stams.


-- Shane Harper came out of nowhere (OK, California) to score the first two goals of his career. I don't expect much from him, but as an undrafted 27-year-old with some solid AHL numbers (especially 32 goals in 75 games for the Chicago Wolves in 2014-15), it's a cool story.

-- I might recommend Jonathan Marchessault once per week at this pace, as he's only owned in 17 percent of Yahoo leagues.

He scored a goal and an assist on Saturday, giving him seven points in five games. He's getting nice ice time and is riding shotgun with Jaromir Jagr and Aleksander Barkov, so what's there not to like?

-- Then again, Vincent Trocheck is even more legit and is only owned in 58 percent of leagues ...

-- After going three games without a point, Matt Duchene has five points in his past two games (3G, 2A). Duchene's production can be a little hit-or-miss at times, but sometimes "fun to watch" is a nice tiebreaker in fantasy, and he fits that bill without question.

-- Blake Comeau scored for Colorado, providing a handy reminder that he still exists.


-- Gustav Nyquist continued his momentum from the great goal he scored against Nashville on Friday, collecting Detroit's first two goals during a hot run in the second period. Maybe the Red Wings will miss the playoffs as many predicted, but I get the impression they'll at least be a tough out many nights.

Then again, how many outright-bad teams are there this season? It's an interesting situation to watch, and might hinge a lot on injuries.

-- Thomas Vanek keeps rolling on with an assist, giving him seven points in six games. One concern is ice time: his 13:59 TOI was his peak in 2016-17. It's plausible that he'll have a redemptive season, but beware of the red flags.

-- Wow, Jimmy Howard is off to a hot start. He stopped Brent Burns & Co. on Saturday, turning aside all 30 SOG. He also made 32 of 33 saves against the Rangers. Maybe Petr Mrazek is the superior option long-term, but Howard is worthy of opportunities to prove that he's going to enjoy a career year.

Worst case scenario, he could really bump up his trade value.


-- This might be close to the best scenario for the Devils within the realm of reason: stay in games, hope that Taylor Hall and a handful of other players can score just enough to win.

Two of Hall's three goals are game-winners.

-- Cory Schneider is now 2-2-1, but that doesn't give him enough credit considering his .943 save percentage. Any off night for Schneider should be seen as a surprise, as the low-tempo and high talent make for one of the better combos for a goalie ... but he'll likely need to battle for wins.

-- Not sure the Wild are suited to be in the race for the Central Division crown, but Bruce Boudreau's likely to keep them competitive. With Winnipeg and Colorado looking improved (or at least dangerous), the already-scary Central is looking to be a real nightmare.


-- Hey, maybe Columbus isn't easy pickings after all? On back-to-back nights, the Blue Jackets beat the Chicago Blackhawks and Dallas Stars. Yes, those two teams have their issues - at the moment, or at their roots - but that's still quite a haul for a squad pegged to possibly be the worst in the league.

-- Sergei Bobrovsky was the MVP of this one, as you'd expect when the Blue Jackets beat the Stars. He stopped all 32 SOG, giving him his first shutout of 2016-17. He stopped 32 out of 34 SOG on Friday.

"Bob" is the opposite of Jake Allen and Carey Price. Where those two aren't facing 30 SOG, Bobrovsky's faced at least 32 SOG in every game this season.

-- Brandon Dubinsky with the kind of game you picture when you pic him: one assist, +1 rating, seven PIM, one SOG, two hits and one blocked shots. He didn't do the greatest in the faceoff circle, but otherwise a prototypical Dubinsky game.


-- Today is October 23, 2016, and Peter Budaj is on a two-game winning streak. In the NHL.

Pretty mind-blowing, right? The 34-year-old hasn't exactly been standing on his head; he's allowed three goals in those two wins despite facing 25 SOG and 20 SOG respectively.

Still, pretty cool to see that old name attached to some more NHL success. It kind of reminds me of Charlie Batch getting some scattered wins a decade after he was a starting QB in the NFL, right down to the contending-caliber team dragging him to victories.

-- Dustin Brown generated quite the night on Saturday, scoring a goal and two assists (while also generating a +2 rating, one SOG and five hits). Nights like those were far more common for Brown back in his best days.

From 2008-09 to 2011-12, he fell in the mid-20s in goals and mid 50s in points. He then had 29 points in the lockout-shortened year in 2012-13 ... and then stayed in the near-30-point range during full seasons since then. Kinda weird.

-- Henrik Sedin generated a goal and an assist, Daniel Sedin got an assist and Brandon Sutter kept his hot streak going with an assist to help Vancouver at least grab a point. The Canucks are now 4-0-1 on the season, a hot start few expected.


-- After failing to score a single point in the first five games of his second tour with the Blues, David Perron made anyone who benched him feel really lousy on Saturday. For the third time in his career (and second time with St. Louis), Perron generated a hat trick. He threw in an assist for good measure, too.

It's difficult to say what to expect from him going forward. He wasn't really generating many SOG despite ample ice time until Saturday. Does this start a hot streak or will he be all-or-nothing more often? We'll just have to wait and see.

-- Again, Jake Allen's had it pretty nice this season, never seeing up to 30 SOG in a single game yet. I can't say that I'm sold on Allen as an "elite" goalie, but he's in a nice situation to put up solid fantasy stats. Or at least wins.

-- Is Alex Pietrangelo truly the Blues' best defenseman? I'm not sure, but he's used as if that is the case, as he easily topped the team with 24:19 TOI and generated two assists, two PIM, two SOG, one hit and one blocked shot.

-- Awful game for Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau, who suffered with matching -4 ratings. I don't expect the duo to struggle so greatly all season, but it's definitely a disappointing start. Maybe you can poach one of them from an anxious, inexperienced fancy owner in an opportunistic trade?

-- Sam Bennett grabbed two assists in this one. I find it difficult to project what kind of season we should expect, but he's got some nice potential.

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.