James O'Brien

Hockey Daily Dose

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Dose: Snatch Schneider

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

It’s been a while since the Dose has covered the previous night’s set of games, and it seems that enough has shifted that this could be a beneficial time to take a look-see. Expect the Pacific Division rundown on Thursday, assuming there isn’t a substantial trade or other disturbances.




-- Usually, when something’s shocking with the Devils, it’s usually Cory Schneider steaming about his lack of goal support. Tuesday’s outburst was most unexpected.


-- Speaking of Schneider, I think it’s time to reiterate that he’s worth adding, as he’s still only owned in 63 percent of leagues. Since 2014, he’s played in six of the Devils’ 10 games, and I’d expect New Jersey to continue to embrace the reality that Schneider’s the better option. Beyond that, just take a look at his work as of late:


Jan. 21: win, one goal allowed

Jan. 16: OT/SO loss, one goal allowed

Jan. 12: OT/SO loss, two goals allowed

Jan. 11: win, one goal allowed

Jan. 9: win, shutout

Jan. 4: loss, two goals allowed

Dec. 28: win, one goal allowed


 -- Looks like things might move back toward Jaroslav Halak in St. Louis, as Brian Elliott's lost three games in a row.


-- Not sure I'd pull the trigger on Damien Brunner right away, as his three points were impressive during his return from an injury that kept him out for a month, but he only received 13:37 TOI last night.


-- Speaking of solid young players receiving poor ice time, can we buy a little more TOI for Eric Gelinas, who's only played 14:44 and 14:17 the past two games?




-- I don't expect the Blue Jackets' bandwagon to lighten for a while, as they play five of their next six games at home. Sergei Bobrovsky's just about out of stock at 90 percent owned, so you'd need to look elsewhere for CBJ finds.


-- So let's get at that subject. Nathan Horton's not half-bad with his solid point production and decent power forward numbers, you'd expect him to be owned in more than 31 percent of leagues.


-- That's not to say he's a Dose favorite, though. I'd rather have Brandon Dubinsky (63 percent) in a hits league while Ryan Johansen might be the best of the reasonably available bunch (55 percent). R.J. Umberger (four percent) doesn't quite make the mark for me, however.


-- Martin Jones really hasn't been bad despite a four-game losing streak, but I doubt he'll see enough action behind Jonathan Quick to be anything more than a quick add/drop type. Unless Quick gets hurt in Sochi, naturally.


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 -- 81 percent ownership shows that most leagues aren't in the dark about Kyle Okposo ... but everyone else? C'mon.


-- With three points last night and a cushy gig alongside red-hot Ranger Rick Nash, this might be a moment in which Chris Kreider fence-sitters need to make a choice. In hits leagues, it's a no-brainer as he's getting those (109) and plenty of PIM (60) to go with his very nice (if hit-or-miss) offense. I'd be tempted even with hits out of the picture, honestly.


-- Amazingly, Kevin Poulin's O-Rank (570) matches his yahoo rank (570) at this moment. He's clearly OK if you need quantity (for now), but not quality.


-- Ryan Callahan's having one of the worst contract years I can remember. It's not that he's been terrible, but I wonder if he's a Torts beneficiary to some extent (the fiery coach's favorites [new one: Chris Higgins] tend to pile up SOG).




-- I can't get over Morgan Rielly calling Phil Kessel "a mutant, almost." His power is clearly scoring goals, as his duo on Tuesday gave him 26 tallies on the season.


-- It says a lot about the negativity surrounding Nazem Kadri that he's fairly available, as he's only 65 percent owned. He's a good brute stats guy (45 PIM, 107 hits in 48 games played) and now has a four-game point streak in which he has two goals and four assists. Scoop him up if you can.


-- Yup, Nathan MacKinnon's figuring out that whole "scoring in the NHL thing." Hard to argue with him being owned in normal formats, as he's not really all that useful in peripheral areas beyond SOG (141).


-- He might not be a stats blogger's delight, but Tyler Bozak's results are pretty impressive. I wouldn't trust his goal production with an unsustainable 23.7 shooting percentage, but you have to like his peripherals over 28 GP: 38 SOG (meh), 43 hits (pretty good) and 24 blocked shots (not bad at all for a forward).




-- Alex Ovechkin missed this game with a lower-body injury. The general vibe is that this isn't a huge concern, but if this is wear-and-tear related, I doubt carrying the expectations of Russia's Olympic hockey on his back won't help, either.


-- Boy, John Carlson sure isn't afraid to fire the puck; he has 138 SOG in 50 games. Not many blueliners who average more than three per game.


-- It's clear that the Senators are back in Craig Anderson's corner while Braden Holtby's job seems more secure than it's been in ages in Washington. It won't be if they don't end their winning streak soon, though.




-- Man, could even Ondrej Pavelec defy goaltending odds in this whirlwind season of netminding nihilism? It's a small sample size, but he's now won four in a row, just like Paul Maurice. While I don't buy this overall, I'm much more tolerant of adding and dropping goalies with little conscience. I'd get someone like Schneider first, though, naturally.


-- Go ahead and give Mark Scheifele (nine percent owned) a shot. It's stunning how much better he's played in the past two months (18 points in 22 games) versus the first two of the season (10 points in 28 contests). Makes me feel slightly less ridiculous for giving him Calder hype in the preseason.


-- It's glorious to see Evander Kane back in the swing of things.


-- I think Nick Bonino is playing over his head, but it's tough to deny 10 points in his last nine games in January (with a promising 18:08 TOI average in that span). Consider this a reluctant thumbs up endorsement, which could be given a 180-degree turn in little time.




-- Zack Kassian managed to not get any PIM despite all that Sam Gagner angst, which is a bummer, but at least he scored his 10th goal of the season. There are MANY better options out there, though.


-- Looks like Roberto Luongo's back on track. Good deal.


-- Not a bad bounce-back for Ben Scrivens, who stopped 25 out of 27 shots. He still didn't win and I don't really expect him to often.


-- Quite a night for Kevin Bieksa considering he didn't score a point: +1 rating, seven PIM, three SOG, three hits and two blocked shots.




-- Kari Lehtonen broke his lull with an easy 18-game shutout. He won't get many easy ones on a team like the Stars, so he should savor them.


-- Antoine Roussel (eight percent owned) checkup: 18 points, 118 PIM, 70 SOG, 85 hits and 24 blocked shots in 49 games played. Not awful, but it's all about those PIMs, obviously.


-- Say what you will about Alex Goligoski (36 percent), but he hasn't been half-bad: 19 points, 24 PIM, 86 SOG, 57 hits and - big bonus in these leagues - 90 blocked shots. Don't be mean and make too many "he's no Matt Niskanen" jokes, OK?


-- Games like these really expose how top-heavy Minnesota really is. Yuck.




-- Hey, Tim Thomas has been looking really good individually lately. He hasn't had a save percentage that dipped below .900 since December rolled around. Only twice did he dip below the .920 mark since Dec. 5. He's not winning every night, but he's giving them a real chance, and maybe Peter Horachek is making a difference for the Panthers' defense. Long story short, watch list the oddball American.


-- Steve Ott's an odd case. You have the good (156 hits) with the bad (-20 rating) and the confusing (39 of his 45 PIM came in October and November). That last bit would make me hit the brakes.


-- Aleksander Barkov has really shown improvement lately, but he suffered a lower-body injury of unknown severity last night. So keep an eye on that.


-- Can Drew Stafford turn it around? I'm going to wager no, although his 6.5 shooting percentage should improve.


For a full list of injuries and suspensions, click here.

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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