It's been a while since I've done an old-fashioned, "what happened last night and why do I care" Ramblings so here we go. Saturday was busy which means lots of catching up to do in the fantasy hockey commuity.
Jesse Puljujarvi made the most of his call-up, scoring in the first period against the Rangers. He had 5 SOG on the night, so he's clearly not shying away from using his shot. Given the Oilers' desperation for goals, he'll get bumped up to the big line if he keeps showing promise with Nugent-Hopkins and Lucic.
Not a bad three-point game for Alex DeBrincat, but a weird one. Each point was scored with a different line. He had under 15 mins TOI total, spending 55% of his time with Kero/Bouma, 14% with Toews/Panik, and 6% with Kane. If he sticks with Kero/Bouma, I dont predict many more games like this one. If he sticks with Toews or Kane, he is absolutely capable of being a point-per-game player for at least a few hot streaks. Keep an eye on where he lands.
The Avs dropped both Sweden games to the Sens, but Alex Kerfoot continues to be a better-than-expected producer for Colorado. He put up an goal and an assist in each game, good for 4 points overseas and 13 points in 16 games this season. Unfortunately he doesn't put up enough SOG or peripherals to be worthy of a lineup spot when he's not scoring, but when he's hot like this he has the tools and TOI (not that Duchene is gone) to stay on a roll.
Dont look now, but newcomer Sam Girard had just as much PP TOI for the Avs last night as top-unit veteran Tyson Barrie…they are not wasting time getting this kid into his ideal situation. He could be in a position to put up fantasy-worthy powerplay numbers if this continues.
With 3 SOG last night, Tim Heed continues to produce over two shots per game and hang on to a spot on the top powerplay. It may have started as a short-term look but its starting to look like a full-time expectation for Heed. He is worth a pickup in deeper leagues where SOG from a d-man are a nice bonus.
In a similar but slightly different case – another game, another powerplay point for Will Butcher. He is locked onto that top unit spot, but is also struggling to put up consistent SOG. Heed is a more reliable pickup for shots but Butcher's time on ice with the man-advantage is leading to enough special-team points to make him a more worthy own.
Markus Hannikainen is cooling off after 4 points in 4 games before last night, but I'm not really sure what Columbus expects of someone they play so little. His two-point game last week came with only 4:52 of ice time, and even after that he hasn't seen more than 8:53 in a contest. I dont care how hot he gets I am not picking up someone who gets so few minutes even when on a roll.
With Kyle Palmieri back from injury, Jesper Bratt is no longer seeing time with Taylor Hall. Second-line duties is still more than owners could've expected this season, but certainly dont expect him to continue being the offensive wizard he looked like in the first month of the season. If he starts slumping hard, he may be worth sitting in your reserves.
Joel Eriksson Ek can't seem to buy himself a goal – with 4 SOG last night he's up to 32 on the year with only one tally – that's a 3.1% shooting percentage aka unsustainably low. He is stirring things up when he's on the ice so its only a matter of time before he hits a hot streak. I'll be betting on him if an injury or illness gives him a shot in the top-six.
I hope the Isles dont get the wrong impression that sending Josh Ho-Sang to the minors was a good idea now that he scored upon returning. Or that playing him 13 minutes a night will lead to the major breakout he could have in the top-six. That organization frustrates me sometimes. Play this kid please. And I'm not even a fantasy owner of him!
Speaking of the Isles making me mad – Ryan Pulock was a healthy scratch once again while Seidenberg saw over 18 minutes of ice time.
Back to a smart team – Vince Dunn put up 5 SOG for the third time already this year and played 19:38 – his second-highest TOI this season.
Kyle Connor scored his fourth last night but is still shooting at a 20% rate…he's good but not that good. Expect some of those goals to start turning into assists now that his top-six teammates are starting to get back up to speed.
Some rapid-fire from around the Juniors;
– Hattrick plus an assist for the sent-down Logan Brown (OTT)
– 3 assists for Adam Mascherin (FLA)
– Hat-trick for Jason Willms (undrafted), now at a point-per-game
– Ho hum 5 points game for dman Mac Hollowell (undrafted)
– 4 more points (46 IN 17 GAMES) for Tyler Steenbergen (ARI)
– 3 more points (46 IN 17 GAMES) for Aleksi Heponiemi (FLA)
– 2 goals and an assist for almost-Shark Joakim Blichfield (SJ)
Some First NHL Goals:
Mark Jankowski scores with his legs. That's not usually how hockey works but ok.
Alex Iafollo gets the easiest goal anyone has ever scored courtesy of Anze Kopitar. But still good work being in the right place etc.
Oscar Fantenberg gets a good one through traffic but I'm still reeling at Dustin Brown's move in the corner