James O'Brien

Hockey Daily Dose

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Dose: The Really Real Deal

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving, Daily Dose readers. It would make sense to get all thematic today, but since there were a whopping 13 games last night and only two today, I think it would be more useful to do that on Friday instead. (Maybe we’ll go with a “Black Friday” gimmick instead, then?)


Let’s get to the game summaries:




-- With all the TV contract talk in mind, I’d like to propose a spin-off: Coach Battles! The first edition could be a handicap match pitting Ken Hitchcock and Bruce Boudreau vs. Patrick Roy.


-- Derek Roy is starting to heat up, including two assists on Wednesday. Eight of his 16 points have come in the last eight games. While the center doesn't generate great additional stats, he's at least worthy of being on your radar. He's also in a contract year.


-- It's fitting that Alexander Steen scored his 20th goal on Thursday by generating four SOG, a 25 shooting percentage. That more or less matches his 25.3 mark for the season. While I still think that he may slip a bit, the 29-year-old seems legit bigger picture. I wonder how much his next contract will cost.




-- Marc-Andre Fleury has been struggling this month. After going 9-2-0 with a .927 save percentage in 11 October games, he's 4-5-1 with a .902 save percentage in the same amount of contests in November.


-- Goodness, James Neal is making up for lost time. He now has a five-game multi-point streak going with six goals and five assists in that span. Last night was one of his best, as he had a goal and an assist with a whopping 10 SOG.


-- James van Riemsdyk has been struggling lately, but he had three points last night. Maybe he can approach his work in October (13 points in 12 games) by turning things around?


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-- Jaromir Jagr scored his 10th goal of the season, with was also the 691st of his regular season career, pushing him in front of Mario Lemieux for ninth all-time. He only needs one more to tie and two to pass Steve Yzerman for eighth all-time. Actually, he could jump quite a few other guys this season:


3. Brett Hull - 741

4. Marcel Dionne - 731

5. Phil Esposito - 717

6. Mike Gartner - 708

7. Mark Messier - 694

8. Steve Yzerman - 692

9. Jagr - 691


OK, Hull and Dionne aren’t realistically within Jagr’s reach this season. The same might be true of Esposito. Either way, it’s impressive stuff, and it could get better if he plays in 2014-15, too.


-- Martin Brodeur has lost three games in a row, so maybe Cory Schneider's frustrations will be eased by more reps? Maybe.


-- Eric Staal is on quite the hot streak. Patrik Elias is also doing well. Could it be that both of these middling teams are climbing a bit?




-- Maybe it's time that Victor Hedman breaks out (at least in fantasy terms, as the general vibe about his defensive play has been positive). He has three multiple-point games in November, including last night's impressive two-goal, one-assist performance. That gives him 15 points on the season to go with decent versatility (23 PIM, 44 SOG, 28 hits, 29 blocked shots). Nothing wrong with a guy who can do a little bit of everything.


-- I slightly prefer Valtteri Filppula over Teddy Purcell as depth fantasy Lightning options. Both have their strengths, though things get weaker when stats get deeper.


-- Congrats to Vincent Lecavalier for scoring a goal in his return to Tampa Bay. If Hollywood made a movie about his life, I'd cast Chris Klein as Vinny L.




-- Seeing Martin Havlat show signs of life reminds me of Manny Malhotra having a nice run of performances; I wouldn't add him, but it's nice to see him do well nonetheless. The talent's rarely, if ever, been the issue with the injury-ravaged winger.


-- Has Ben Scrivens played a bad game since Jonathan Quick got injured? Even in losses like Wednesday against San Jose, he still usually gets the team a charity point. He faced 40 SOG.


-- Mike Richards is really finding his groove in Los Angeles. It's almost a bit surprising that he only has 19 hits ... I guess he makes them count, though.




-- Maybe Dany Heatley really will finally take advantage of the opportunities he's given - in this case, Zach Parise's injury - and regain his fantasy relevance? He had a goal on four SOG last night. Maybe most importantly, he logged 19:05 TOI.


-- Derek Morris has two assists in four games back from injury and a nice 12 points in 18 GP overall. Can't say I saw a Morris resurgence coming.


-- Antoine Vermette has three points (1G, 2A) in his last four games. He goes from marginal to intriguing in leagues with faceoff wins, as he's second in the NHL behind Sidney Crosby (346) with 338 FW.




-- With 15 goals in 26 GP, Patrick Kane is on pace to absolutely shatter his career-high of 30 goals. He's generally lingered around the 23-25 goal area in his career, so seeing him increase his sniping is promising. If anyone can flirt with a season-long 18.8 shooting percentage, it's a standout like Kaner.


-- Jiri Hudler is still disregarded, which is weird. He's only owned in 56 percent of leagues despite scoring 24 points in 23 games.


-- Brandon Saad continues to build evidence that he's a dependable mid-level scorer.




-- I was thinking about mentioning Scottie Upshall last week, but now he's even more tempting. He has three goals and five assists for eight points in eight games. Not bad.


-- Brad Boyes has similarly been bouncing back with the coaching change in mind, so keep an eye on him.


-- The Rangers might be the most disappointing team fantasy-wise, as just about every major guy has struggled with consistency and/or injuries ... except Brad Richards. Strange.




-- It's tough to recommend many Red Wings beyond the obvious ones (unless you count Johan Franzen, which is totally cheating). At least the obvious ones are really good; Henrik Zetterberg has seven points in his last four games, giving him 30 in 26 (with an outstanding 92 SOG).


-- Jonathan Ericsson signed a six-year, $25.5 million extension with the Red Wings. Nice for both sides. He's a good-in-reality guy, although he's had his critics.


-- Jarome Iginla hasn't scored a ton, but still brings value: 25 PIM, +10, 68 SOG and 54 hits. That's not to say his production is awful, either, just not as strong as I was expecting.




-- Marek Mazanec is owned in just 19 percent of leagues. Maybe he's not the greatest long-time option, but he's now 5-3-0 with a .935 save percentages, pushing his shutout total to two already. The logic behind adding Carter Hutton can be transferred to the unknown Czech. He could be a bigger boon if Pekka Rinne's out quite a bit longer, too.


-- Matt Cullen has seven points in his last four games. He's worth monitoring, I'd say.


-- Boy, the Blue Jackets are really bad. That's all, just felt I'd share that deep analysis.




-- Andrei Markov has six assists in his last four games, giving him 17 points in 25 GP this season. He also has a +11 rating and 10 PIM. The Russian blueliner was one of this season's biggest question marks, yet he's working out fantastically.


-- Matt Moulson scored his first goal since Oct. 28, breaking an 11-game drought. He's still been pretty solid since being traded to Buffalo, as he has 10 points in 13 GP. His SOG are solid enough at 27, just a little more than two per contest. Not world-beating stuff, but he's showing he can function without Tavares.


-- Carey Price is on a three-game winning streak. His 10-8-2 total mark still doesn't quite do his .936 save percentage justice - he should be on Team Canada, in my opinion - but it's still promising.




-- Things aren't too bright for the Capitals right now. It's OBVIOUSLY all about Adam Oates playing Alex Ovechkin on the right side ...


-- John Carlson's been quite the find. After only scoring two points (both assists) in 12 October games, he now has an impressive 10 points (including six goals) in 13 November contests. He has 71 SOG in 25 games and is logging plenty of TOI. It's too bad he's owned in 71 percent of leagues.


-- Clarke MacArthur's worth having (34 percent owned). He has 18 points, a +10 rating, 22 PIM, 54 SOG and 41 hits.




-- I've mentioned this before, but John Tavares must feel so lonely. He keeps producing (two points last night, 29 in 25 games) yet the Isles have only won two in their last 10 contests.


-- Did you know: Kevin Poulin is Long Islandish for Carter Hutton.


-- Thomas Vanek has been fantastic since returning from an injury, with two goals and two assists (along with 10 SOG) in three contests.


Click here for a full list of injuries and suspensions.

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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