James O'Brien

Hockey Daily Dose

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Ovi 'returns,' Monahan stays?

Thursday, October 17, 2013


RANGERS 2, WASHINGTON 0

 

-- Alex Ovechkin should be given serious thought as the first overall pick in fantasy drafts again. It's not just his six goals (three on the PP) and nine points in seven games ... he has a ridiculous 50 SOG already. That's slightly more than seven per game. He already has two eight-shot contests this season, including last night. I'm willing to wager that he's the only player with six goals or more so far in 2013-14 who has a lower shooting percentage (12.0) than his career average (12.2).

 

-- Hey, that's more like it, New York Rangers. The Washington Capitals only had one more shot (22) in the entire game than the Rangers fired on Braden Holtby in the second period. And then they only had four SOG in the third period. It's ... a feeling-out process.

 

-- Wow, Brad Richards might be even better in an implied contract year than he is in a real one. He has four points in his last two games and seven in six overall. Some praise him most for his passing skills, but he's firing rubber on nets with aplomb (27 SOG in six games). Maybe coaches just need to hypnotize him into thinking that he's fighting for a contract every season.

 

-- Ryan Callahan could be the useful forward he's been for years, even though he's coming off surgery. His three goals came in the last two games and he has 13 SOG in the last three (including six last night). He's in an actual contract year, as is Henrik Lundqvist, who notched a heartening shutout.

 

-- Keep circling the waiver wire for impatient people regarding Holtby. His overall numbers aren't great, but his save percentage improved in every game this season; he went from .917 on Oct. 10 to .933 (his only win on Oct. 14) and .944 last night. He's still largely owned (82 percent) but cross your fingers for short tempers, because he’s a solid fantasy option.

 

ANAHEIM 3, CALGARY 2

 

-- Dustin Penner (just two percent owned) scored his second goal in two games riding shotgun with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. Please, Bruce Boudreau, please please keep them together. Penner's possibly worth adding already, and at minimum worth following, if this situation sticks. Lesser linemates have enjoyed sporadic success with the Ducks' diabolical duo, but Penner has the resume to do much more damage; the guy has four 20+ goal seasons (including a 32-goal peak) on his resume. Just keep an eye on his injury situation, as he’s admittedly a little banged-up.

 

(Sometimes it’s appropriate to break “strong peripheral guy”-type rules. This is one of those cases.)

 

-- Teemu Selanne finally scored his first goal of the season, and while his production is waning (11 SOG in five games is a little underwhelming for a sniper) he still has four points in five contests.

 

-- I know it's not as much fun to add a depth winger as it is to grab a 2013 first-round pick, but Jiri Hudler's probably a safer bet than Monahan. You don't have to worry about him getting sent down, his shooting percentage isn't AS misleading (23.1 percent) and he has more points (8 in 6 GP). Sure, not much sizzle to go with a mediocre cut of steak, but someone has to score in Calgary, right?

 

-- One would think that Viktor Fasth waiting so long between starts (Oct. 6, then Oct. 16) means Jonas Hiller snared the starting job, but both have three starts each. So hopefully you didn't select Jonas Hiller too high.

 

INJURIES (full list) AND QUICK HITS

 

Evander Kane left Wednesday practice with a leg injury ... Tim Thomas looks to be back in action tonight, and against his former team the Boston Bruins, no less. A seven-goal meltdown and a dazzling shutout seem equally likely ... The Leafs are still being vague about James van Riemdsyk's status, so stay glued to pre-game skate updates ... The good news is that the Lightning called up first-round talent Brett Connolly. The bad news is that Martin St. Louis might be the guy who allows him to get in the lineup, as Tampa Bay's captain has a foot injury ... Carl Hagelin was cleared for contact. In other Rangers injury news, Derek Stepan seemed at risk for a concussion, but returned to last night's game (so we'll see). Troy Brouwer may or may not sit for that ... Patrick Kaleta looks to appeal his 10-game suspension ... At least Maxim Lapierre feels regret for the hit he put on Dan Boyle, who is "OK" ... Davis Drewiske will miss five-to-six months with shoulder surgery, adding to a beaten-up Habs blueline ... The Devils placed Ryane Clowe on the IR ... Magnus Paajarvi is likely to debut for the Blues Thursday ... Ilya Bryzgalov's ECHL tryout is over. Will an NHL team eventually give him a shot?



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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.
Email :James O'Brien



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