James O'Brien

Hockey Daily Dose

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Dose: Damaged and Defeated

Friday, October 18, 2013


VANCOUVER 3, BUFFALO 0

 

-- Chris Higgins seems like the winner of the John Tortorella sweepstakes, or at least that's what I assume is what has gotten into him. Higgins has 29 SOG in eight games this season, with four points. Those efforts are starting to translate to results, with three of those four points in his last two games.

 

-- Once again: poor Ryan Miller.

 

PITTSBURGH 4, PHILADELPHIA 1

 

-- Sidney Crosby scored a goal and an assist, giving him 14 points in seven games this season. If he can stay healthy, it's hard to imagine anyone compiling more fantasy value. Unless his universe-appointed rival Alex Ovechkin keeps his seven-shot-per-game pace up, of course.

 

-- Marc-Andre Fleury's really playing well and/or benefiting Tomas Vokoun's injury.

 

-- Don't blame Steve Mason (.923 save percentage) for his 1-5-0 record this season. It seems like a strange reversal of fortunes, as he was once the person to blame in Columbus but now he’s a faint beacon of hope in Philly.

 

OTTAWA 5, NEW JERSEY 2

 

-- The Devils really seem like they're paying some kind of karmic punishment for helping make the league less exciting in the 90’s; they generated a 42-23 shot advantage and still lost handily.

 

-- Craig Anderson had a much-needed great night, with 40 out of 42 saves. His shorthanded work was especially impressive, as he stopped 11 of the 12 on the PK.

 

-- Cory Schneider hasn't been great (.908 save percentage) but Martin Brodeur has been awful (.865). The Devils might want to give the young fella more starts.

 

TAMPA BAY 3, MINNESOTA 1

 

-- The Minnesota Wild rank highly - if not in first place - in the "most top-heavy team in the NHL" category. At least Josh Harding continues to show some short-term value.

 

-- I continue to like Valtteri Filppula as a depth option. He's getting plenty of ice time and keeps producing, although that 44.4 shooting percentage makes me wonder if I should drink the Kool-Aid.

 

-- Ben Bishop continues to be one of the league's best values (and best-kept secrets).

 

ST. LOUIS 3, CHICAGO 2 (SO)

 

-- The Blues have very little reason to take anything but back-to-back starts from Jaroslav Halak right now, so Brian Elliott will need to do something special tonight to really nose his way in here.

 

-- It's nice to see Alex Pietrangelo make good on the promise of that big extension, as he has six points (all assists) in six games.

 

DALLAS 4, SAN JOSE 3 (SO)

 

-- Nice to see one of the truly talented-but-underrated wingers Ray Whitney get some nice action on Thursday, as "The Wizard" collected two assists to bump his season total to four (both for points and assists). I'm not sure Dallas has the scoring depth to help him out much, as it seems the Stars' powers are largely revolving around the deadly Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin combo.

 

-- Antti Niemi might be one of the top bargains among fantasy goalies; he still hasn't lost in regulation.

 

-- No shock Dan Ellis has been a solid backup for Kari Lehtonen, who seems close to a return (but who knows with the fragile Finn).

 

LOS ANGELES 2, NASHVILLE 1 (SO)

 

-- Jonathan Quick pulled the "veteran move" of removing his mask a second time to stump the flow of a Predators' power play. I shudder to imagine this rule loophole being exploited more and more; when can it become a delay of game?

 

-- Patric Hornqvist is one of the Preds to have, at least when he's healthy; he didn't score but he had seven SOG last night and just generally gets his nose into everything (28 SOG in seven GP).

 

-- The Predators strike me as a bubble playoff team, especially since Pekka Rinne seems settled in.

 

For a full injury list, click here.



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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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