Thursday’s developments mostly call for game notes, but before I get to those summaries, it appears as if the Dallas Stars’ two most noteworthy health situations received positive updates.
It’s more of a life-over-fantasy matter, yet it still sounds like the Stars found Rich Peverley’s visit uplifting. To little surprise, he’s been ruled out of play this season and it’s reasonable to ask if he’ll ever play in the NHL again. Regardless, I’d imagine it was nice for Peverley to interact with his teammates even a little bit.
The more pressing news is that it sounds like Kari Lehtonen is recovering well from his concussion, though the Stars aren’t exactly giving a ton of details about what his positive steps actually means. He may or may not be medically cleared after a checkup on Friday, so keep your eyes on Rotoworld NHL for news this weekend.
I wouldn’t drop Tim Thomas even if the news is optimistic, as he could very well be valuable for at least another week (if not longer). Still, there’s little doubt that Thomas owners should stay up to date regarding Lehtonen’s health.
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CAROLINA 4, BUFFALO 2
-- It might seem odd to start things off with this game (though I don't always go in order of importance, anyway), but I feel the need to single out Jeff Skinner's night. He scored his 26th goal in 55 games with an astounding 13 SOG in that game. He's now on a four-game point streak is generally putting things together in a way that sparks one's imagination regarding what he could be capable of if everything - particularly his health - comes together a little more often.
-- Jordan Staal is really on a hot streak lately. He now has three straight two-point games and seven points in a four-game point streak (two goals, five assists overall). Oddly, this comes after he went six consecutive contests without a single point. He's definitely getting the sort of ice time you'd want from a productive player, so he might be worth a gamble. He's owned in 41 percent of Yahoo leagues right now; his 151 hits could be a nice tiebreaker if your league uses that category.
-- I'll say this for Buffalo goalies: they're far more interesting in leagues with saves. Michal Neuvirth has lost both of his games with Buffalo so far despite stopping 93 out of 98 shots. Again, that's in two regulation games.
TORONTO 3, LOS ANGELES 2
-- It's kind of messed up that Jonathan Bernier suffered a lower-body injury against the team who drafted him and reluctantly gave him up via a trade last summer, but that's what happened. I'm not sure how bad that issue is, but James Reimer has a new contract on the line so if he gets a chance to run with the ball for a while, there could be some nice gains. I think Reimer's gotten a raw deal quite often with the Buds, so the potential is there. Then again, there's the fact that the Maple Leafs allow way more shots per game than they generate and other concerns ...
-- Marian Gaborik collected his first goal and first assist as a member of the Kings after going without a point in his first three games with L.A. Again, I'm a big proponent of his talent and while the Kings aren't always a fertile ground for offense, there's enough talent around him to make this a positive situation.
TAMPA BAY 5, FLORIDA 4
-- Speaking of players scoring their first goals with new teams, Ryan Callahan also found the net for the first time with Tampa Bay while Steve Stamkos notched his first goal since returning to action and losing his setup man Martin St. Louis to trade. That goal and assist represent his first points since coming back from injury, too, as he went without a point in his first three games back.
-- Radko Gudas celebrated his return to health by generating two PIM, one SOG and a ridiculous 10 hits.
-- Valtteri Filppula collected three assists on Thursday, pushing his point total to 46 in 61 games this season. My guess is you might not be safe to expect 21-goal outputs each year unless he changes his approach, as he has that many despite firing only 108 SOG.
-- Again, it seems like Brandon Pirri is taking well to his new locale, with two points on Thursday to give him three in his past two. I wouldn't add him, mind you, but he might just make a meaningful impression in Florida.
ST. LOUIS 6, EDMONTON 2
-- It's not like T.J. Oshie's shootout skills are the only reason he should be getting more attention this season. He's one point away from tying his career-high of 54 points despite only playing 66 games so far this season. He generated 17 goals and 36 assists to get to that point.
-- Jaden Schwartz has 21 goals and 50 points on the season himself, backing up Ken Hitchcock's early season praises of the young player. Being on the Blues helps to tip the scales for many Blues players, including Schwartz, who has a +27 rating at the moment. Vladimir Tarasenko notched his 20th goal of 2013-14, giving the Blues four different players with 20+ goals (and again, Oshie isn't far behind that mark).
-- Ryan Miller is now 5-0-1 as a member of the St. Louis Blues, leaving him that much closer to .500 with a 20-22-4 record overall in 2013-14.
SAN JOSE 4, COLUMBUS 3 (SO)
-- Not many East teams out-shoot the Sharks, who tied the Anaheim Ducks for the lead in the competitive Pacific Division by winning last night. Things could get tense for the Blue Jackets pretty quickly in the East playoff situation.
-- Jack Johnson might not be known for strong defense, yet it's gritty numbers that make him a fantasy blueliner of note. More than his 25 points, it's his 44 PIM, 124 SOG, 146 hits and 109 blocked shots that make him worth considering.
-- Brandon Dubinsky's my favorite increasingly known Blue Jackets fantasy commodity, at least in leagues with grit stats. His 41 points are nice, but his 92 PIM, 145 SOG and 194 hits are pretty fantastic.
-- Patrick Marleau is two goals away from hitting 30 for the sixth time in his NHL career.
MINNESOTA 2, NY RANGERS 1
-- Darcy Kuemper is now 12-4-3 on the season after stopping 29 out of 30 shots last night. He continues to be a go-to guy for the Wild, with Ilya Bryzgalov only receiving one start as a member of the Wild so far.
-- Matt Moulson has two points in four games with Minnesota after failing to collect a point in two straight contests.
-- Mikael Granlund has three points in his last two contests, continuing some strong recent work.
BOSTON 2, PHOENIX 1
-- Tuukka Rask joined the 30-win club on Thursday, as he's won five games in a row. He won by allowing one goal in each of his last two contests, three goals on March 8 and also grabbed a shutout on March 6.
-- Mike Smith hasn't put together a great record at 24-20-10, but the vitriol he generates might be a little excessive; his .914 save percentage is solid. Maybe not gold medal-worthy, but still.
-- Things have panned out pretty well for Brad Marchand after some early struggles. He has 21 goals, 42 points, a +25 rating and 62 PIM in 66 games this season.
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