ONE STREAK ENDS, ONE CONTINUES
Following the bylaws of being a member of the Endless Needlers Club, I'm required to give the Anaheim Ducks a hard time for handing that eyebrow-raising contract extension to Viktor Fasth. Please note that the more financially secure Fasth is 0-1-0 while the guy who was trying to prove he could make it at the NHL level was undefeated in eight games.
(Hey, if the Ducks can overreact to a small sample size, so can I.)
All kidding aside, this is an interesting situation to watch. Jonas Hiller’s fought off vertigo-like symptoms and an at-times atrocious defensive system to be a strong goalie in the past, and he’s still the highest paid netminder on the roster, so I’d at least consider dangling Fasth in some sell-high trade scenarios.
Then again, going back to that collector analogy, Fasth is like found money in the form of some rare comic book you find in your weird uncle’s attic. Maybe you should put him in plastic and keep him around for a little longer to see if he becomes even more valuable.
(Note: don’t literally wrap Fasth in plastic, please.)
Speaking of streaks and surprisingly effective backups, Ray Emery and the Chicago Blackhawks won again on Monday. He’s now an outstanding 8-0-0, producing close to the number of wins many of us probably expected he’d get in a full season.
I’d wager that Corey Crawford starts Chicago’s next game, barring an unexpected setback injury-wise. It’ll be fascinating to see how Joel Quenneville divvies up the starts if they keep playing at a comparable level. Will it be 2-1? Closer to a 50/50 split?
Emery owners shouldn’t panic either way. Just make sure you treat him like the asset that he is: a fantastically useful backup. My advice is to keep him with a workhorse or two so you get the right mix of quality and quantity (especially in leagues with saves as a stat and minimum games played requirements).
One of the players of Monday was Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi, who scored two goals and two assists. Many of you must wonder: who is this guy and should I add him?
Here’s one thing I know about Josi: he eerily resembles Sidney Crosby when his hair is a little longer.
Oh, you wanted functional information? Uh oh … Well, he’s Shea Weber’s regular partner on the blueline. While he’s quite a bit behind the nearly $8 million man in ice time, (Weber is logging 26 minutes per game), Josi's 22:19 per night is second on the squad. The best news for fantasy owners is that he's getting nice power play time, with an average of more than three minutes per game.
Before you get too excited, he scored more points on Monday than he had all season; he has seven points overall. Obviously, Nashville isn't an offensively dominant team, so it's not like he's in a great spot to pile up secondary assists and easy points. He also isn't a great peripheral guy with just four PIM, although his 37 shots on goal are at least acceptable for a fringe defenseman.
He could be interesting in the future, but I’d probably wait for more than one impressive night of production before adding him this season.
INJURY NOTES (full list) and QUICK HITS
Shockingly, Ryane Clowe avoided a huge suspension. He’ll only face a Taylor Hall-sized two games. Big bullet dodged for a guy who’s already been disappointing … Michael Ryder's three-point Monday spotlights a great streak for the hot-and-cold winger. He has an eight-game points streak with two goals and seven assists. He's in a contract year and a good situation in Dallas, so give him a shot (at least while he’s dialed in) … Seriously, Jakub Voracek. SERIOUSLY. I really didn’t know the guy had this in him … Speaking of useful Flyers, Scott Hartnell scored his first goal of the season. If he can stay healthy, I expect plentiful numbers from the shaggy haired super-pest … Mike Green is expected to return to action tonight … Kari Lehtonen might, too … Filip Kuba is day-to-day with an upper-body issue ...The Rangers are currently labeling Ryan McDonagh as day-to-day without specifying his problem … Sounds like Brent Burns will miss at least a few games. He’s on the IR, so stash him if you can … Dustin Byfuglien is day-to-day as well … The Los Angeles Kings are heating up when they need to. Again … Amazingly, Saku Koivu is continuing his surprising resurgence. Maybe I was wrong about Teemu Selanne’s bud … One other surprising Duck is Francois Beauchemin. He has 12 points and a jaw-dropping +13 rating in 17 games played. He only had 22 in 2011-12 and 17 in 2010-11, so yeah, this came out of nowhere. Can someone give Bruce Boudreau two scoops of his favorite ice cream flavor for his work in Anaheim this season? (My wild guess? Cookie dough.)