Draft Guide

Plekanec on fire

Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Hits

 

Matt Martin is the only player in the league with over 200 hits so far this season. He added a league-high total of 20 last week in just three appearances. He was credited with six hits twice and he picked up eight versus the Atlantic Division rival Pittsburgh Penguins this past Friday. His Isles' teammate Cal Clutterbuck was close behind with 18 hits. He is second in the NHL in hits and is close to surpassing the 200-mark as well. Colorado's Cody McLeod finished second among body checkers last week with 19 in four matches. He has 127 hits in 46 games this season and he's tied for second in the league with 93 penalty minutes. Luke Schenn led all blueliners with 18 collisions. He has seen his ice time increase recently, so the opportunity to rack up more hits could be within reach. Schenn finished third among defensemen and sixth in the NHL with 260 hits in 79 contests last year.

 

Blocks

 

John Carlson topped all skaters with 15 blocks in four games last week. He surpassed 100 blocks on the year for a fifth straight season. The 25-year-old defender is having a great campaign with 32 points and a plus-14 rating in 45 contests. Shot-blocking specialist Josh Gorges was credited with 13 stops in four outings. He ranks second in the league with 127 blocks in 38 appearances. Unfortunately, his minus-26 rating and six assists doesn't make an attractive fantasy option. Dallas rearguard Alex Goligoski turned aside 12 shots in four games. He also chipped in four assists. Goligoski leads the Stars with 92 blocks in 45 tilts. Zemgus Girgensons of the Sabres led all forwards with eight saves. He has just under a block per game this season with a total of 45 in 47. He also ended an eight-game scoring drought this past Saturday when he scored a pair of goals against Philadelphia.

 

Draws

 

Antoine Vermette won a league-high 48 draws in four matches last week. He also picked up a goal and two assists. He struggled against Minnesota on Jan, 17, with a 41.7% efficiency rating, and in a 3-2 loss to San Jose on Jan. 13 (45.8%), but he topped 72% in his other two outings. Vermette owns a 55.6 winning percentage on the year. Mikko Koivu won 46 puck drops and lost 33 in three contests for the Wild. He also added three assists. His best night in the circle came versus Buffalo last Thursday when he won 14 of 21 faceoffs. Koivu has won 55.1% of his 1,011 draws this season. Dallas Stars forward Cody Eakin was excellent in the faceoff dot last week, posting 45 wins on 71 drops. He had a rough time against Washington on Jan. 17 (38.9%), but he rebounded the next night against Chicago when he won 75% of his faceoffs while contributing two goals and one assist. However, his best performance came versus Winnipeg earlier in the week when he won 13 and lost just two. Eakin has been inconsistent in the faceoff circle all year, winning 49.5%, but it is a slight improvement from his previous two seasons. Montreal pivot Tomas Plekanec topped 40 faceoff wins as well last week. He won 43 and posted a 58.1 winning percentage in three matches. He was better than 60% in two of those outings. Plekanec also produced two goals and four assists during a three-game point streak. He has won 51% of his draws this campaign.


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