James O'Brien

Hockey Daily Dose

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Dose: Turning things around?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

With a deluge of NHL games on Tuesday after just one on Monday’s holiday, it’s one of those days that make it totally reasonable to just jump right into game summaries. So let’s do just that:




-- The million dollar question of “who’s lining up in Steve Stamkos spot alongside Martin St. Louis and possibly Ryan Malone?” seems a little bit unclear. Sportsnet’s listings have St. Louis skating with Brett Connolly and Alex Killorn, but it’s hard to tell how permanent of a thing that really is. In other words, so don’t make any paradigm changes yet.


(Unless you own Stamkos. Then you’re kind of screwed. Honestly, I think it’s foolish for him to rush back in his recovery, but that’s just me.)


-- Ben Bishop continues to play very well, and certainly far above expectations. He's now 12-2-0 on the season, with great individual numbers (including a .930 save percentage). Maybe triple-B (Big Ben Bishop) could keep them afloat?


-- With this overtime loss, Carey Price has a strange statline: a patently mediocre record (7-7-2) with great individual stats (.933 save percentage, 2.12 GAA). With more goal support, things could really turn around.




-- The Claude Giroux top line looked great last night. Giroux had two assists, Jakub Voracek had two assists and Scott Hartnell had a helper in last night's game to power Philly's win. This might be another good time to cash in on a few buy-low situations.


-- That especially goes for Jakub Voracek, who now has three goals on the season.


-- Steve Mason generated his first shutout of the season, making 24 saves.


-- Craig Anderson struggled after Robin Lehner helped Ottawa rattle off four wins in a row. Could Lehner start to steal reps from Anderson even after Paul MacLean gave Anderson his seal of approval?


Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $2,500 Fantasy Hockey league tonight (Wednesday). It's just $10 to join and first prize is $500. Starts at 7:30pm ET. Here's the link.


For everything NHL, check out Rotoworld's Player News and follow @Rotoworld_ HK+@cyclelikesedins on Twitter.


Oh, and there’s still plenty of time to join a Yahoo! Hockey Pool, so get on that.




-- Are the Phoenix Coyotes being shortchanged by that long period where they were propped up by the league and sometimes dreadful to watch, even when they were winning? They’re red-hot right now, and beat a good team even with Radim Vrbata, Martin Hanzal and Derek Morris out of the lineup on Tuesday.


-- Which brings me to a pleasant development in fantasy: Mike Smith’s continued work as a top fantasy goalie. Smith already has 11 wins on the season and has just been generally stout lately; the Canadian goalie has won two straight and six of his last seven (also eight of nine if you disregard a non-decision). He might just be reaching the potential some gave up on years ago.


-- Morris is on the IR, but there’s still plenty of offense coming from the blueline, with Oliver Ekman-Larsson leading the charge. He has 15 points on the season, including last night’s game-winner.




-- Talk about a reversal of fortunes. One of the worst teams in the NHL, which was on a nine-game losing streak, came from behind to beat the team with the most points in the NHL even after this loss. Not exactly predictable.


-- Tim Thomas finally showed a sign of the work owners/prospective owners have been hoping to see, stopping 32 out of 34 shots for just his second win of 2013-14. On the other end of the spectrum, Frederik Andersen finally lost.


-- Add Brad Boyes (GWG) to the list of guys who could blossom with a new coach (along with Brian Campbell, etc.).




-- Joe Thornton knows his passer role more than ever, with 17 of his 19 points being assists. Both of his goals were pretty flukey, too. The only problem is that it means he isn't great peripherals-wise, especially since his days of being a 100-PIM guy (just two this season so far) are long gone.


-- Even when he plays, Alex Stalock can face light work. He only needed to stop 11 out of 13 shots for his second win of the season last night.


-- A few days ago, I wondered if Reto Berra's been getting so many starts because Calgary wants to tank. That inkling hasn't exactly gone away.




-- Don’t look now (OK, you can if you want to), but Ondrej Pavelec is heating up and approaching actual competence. He and the Jets have won three games in a row.


-- Want a weird record? Try Jimmy Howard after last night’s loss: he’s 5-5-5 on the season. That’s one of those marks that almost requires a double take.


-- Not long after Dustin Byfuglien joined the finally scored a goal club, Zach Bogosian did the same thing, notching one on his 50th SOG of 2013-14. Understatement: that has to be a relief.


After the jump: more game summaries.


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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.
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