James O'Brien

Hockey Daily Dose

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Highs and Lowes

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


One guy who flew under the radar a bit was Alex Chiasson, a guy who unexpectedly ran off a five-game point streak for the Dallas Stars that included six goals and one assist. Simply put, it was pretty hard to see this kind of production coming. When you consider his ridiculous 46.2 percent shooting rate in the early going of his NHL career, it’s clear that his good fortune wasn’t particularly sustainable, either.

Right now, it seems like an upper-body injury (possibly a shoulder ailment?) might do him in before regression gets all mean. He felt the ill effects of a hit against Chicago on Monday and didn’t return.

Transitioning from a guy who mattered for a little bit (at least) to a guy who might not ever matter beyond his potential to injure, Ryan White likely played his final game with the Montreal Canadiens thanks to his reckless hit on Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Kent Huskins.

I’d say the NHL should throw “the book” at them, but I figure that book is a coloring book, and those tend to be pretty light. He probably won’t get the message that way.

(Then again, the league seems to use different “books” for star and filler players, so White might just get hit with an Ayn Rand-sized tome.)


Be careful about getting sucked in by Scott Hartnell’s hat trick. Since March began, he’s endured big slumps with one-game goal-scoring outputs. First, he went five games before finding the net once on March 13. He went four more before scoring a duo on March 28. Worst yet, he went eight before last night's trio. Truthfully, I’d be tempted to give him a shot, just don’t pencil in points too brashly (aka don’t talk trash on a message board).


I saw a few questions in Monday’s Dose about injured players. Honestly, I’m really concerned about Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron’s “indefinite” absences and would lean toward dropping them. James Neal’s a tougher choice because he practiced on Monday (along with Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby). Summation: drop Bergeron and Marchand, flip a coin - for now - with Neal ... Speaking of mystery drop situations, there’s word that there’s at least a chance Ilya Kovalchuk can play on Thursday. Hopefully better than a “Dumber & Dumber” chance ... Thanks to last night’s two-goal output, Jason Pominville has four tallies and two helpers for six points in six games with Minnesota ... James Reimer doesn’t get enough credit in Toronto. He was THE reason they perpetuated the New Jersey Devils’ misery (10 losses in a row) via his 32-save shutout on Monday ... Antti Niemi also added to his strong Vezina argument by making all 35 saves against the Coyotes last night ... Ah, bummer: Marcus Johansson is day-to-day with a lower-body issue ... The Nashville Predators were officially eliminated from the playoffs last night thanks in part to the Derek Roy-Ryan Kesler combo I expressed hopes of seeing. People can debate the merits of that pairing in reality all they want, but there’s serious potential for gold in fantasy terms ... Congrats to Ben Bishop for his two-year extension, even if that saps away some contract year motivation.

(Hopefully it goes without saying, but my thoughts are with anyone affected by the awful events in Boston on Monday. Ideally, you’ll be able to get back to focusing on frivolous things like your fantasy team[s] soon enough.)

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.
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