Michael Finewax

Hockey Daily Dose

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Dose: Ehlers a Natural Scorer

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

It was a holiday schedule in the NHL and we wish everyone in Canada a Happy Thanksgiving and a Happy Columbus Day to our American readers.


By the way, how come Columbus is not playing on Columbus Day? It seems like a natural.


Oh well, there are 14 teams that did play so let’s dive in.


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This one was a shocker. Colorado was by far the worst team in the NHL last season but they have never seem to have a problem in Boston.


The last time the Bruins beat Colorado in Boston was on March 30, 1998. They have not won in this century at home against Colorado. That is a strange stat. It was Joe Thornton’s first year in the NHL and the Bruins made him a healthy scratch.


Even stranger has been the play of Nail Yakupov who potted a couple of goals in the win for Colorado.


The first pick in the 2012 Draft by Edmonton is now playing for his third team as both the Oilers and Blues gave up on him. It was his first two goals of the season and he now has three points in three games with a plus-three rating.


Semyon Varlamov kicked out 29 shots for the shutout. He is 2-0 with a 1.00 GAA and a .971 save percentage. Kudos if you have had him in your lineup.


Sven Andrighetto had a goal and an assist with J.T. Compher also scoring.


The Bruins may be in trouble and could sure use Patrice Bergeron back in the lineup.




Jake Allen stopped 40 shots and didn’t give up a goal on two shootout attempts as the Blues held off the Islanders.


Vladimir Tarasenko scored two goals in the second period, but the Islanders made a nice comeback in the third as Andrew Ladd scored with less than seven minutes to go to ruin the shutout bid of Allen and then Anders Lee scored with a minute to go to give the Islanders a point and send the game into extra time.


It was Allen’s third win of the season and after the game coach Mike Yeo said that Carter Hutton would get the start on Tuesday against the Rangers.


Thomas Greiss was solid in the Islanders net as he made 33 saves.


The line of John Tavares, Anders Lee and Jordan Eberle each saw 6:22 minutes of power play time but could not score as the Islanders were 0-6 on the pp. The Blues scored once in six chances.




The New Jersey Devils have come flying out of the gate. They were the worst team in the Eastern Conference last season and tied for third worst in the NHL.


But an infusion of young talent garnered the Devils their second win in two games as they walked into Buffalo and came away with a 6-2 win.


You have to be impressed with 19-year-old Jesper Bratt. The Swede was taken in the sixth round, 162nd overall, in 2016. He made the team out of camp and has thrived thus far. His two goals and an assist give him three goals and five points in the first two games of the season. Expect him to be picked up on the waiver wire this week in most pools.


Marcus Johansson also scored a couple of goals. The former Capital is a big piece of the Devils and not just a complementary player like he was with Washington where he played second fiddle to the likes of Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov.


Congratulations to Nico Hischier as the first overall pick in the 2017 Draft picked up his first NHL point as he assisted on a first period goal by Brian Gibbons.


The Sabres gave up their fourth shorthanded goal and the season is not even a week old. There is lots to do on this Sabres club which hopes to contend for a playoff spot this season.


Evander Kane continued his hot start with both Buffalo goals. He has four goals and six points in just three games.


Chad Johnson got his first start of the season for Buffalo but was pulled after two periods as he gave up all six goals on only 22 shots.


Cory Schneider picked up his second win of the season, stopping 23 shots.


TORONTO 4 CHICAGO 3 (Overtime)


Quite a comeback for the Maple Leafs as they were down 3-1 with seven plus minutes left in the third but they managed a 4-3 overtime win as Auston Matthews sniped home the winner.


Anton Forsberg was outstanding in the Chicago net and the Blackhawks need not worry when they have to rest Corey Crawford as Forsberg looked every bit the NHL goalie.



Forsberg made 39 saves but took the overtime loss while Frederik Andersen picked up his third win of the season despite making only 18 saves.


The Maple Leafs seem to get at least one amazing performance from a player every night and on Monday it was Connor Brown’s turn as the sophomore had a goal and an assist.


The Blackhawks scored early and often as they went up 2-0 before the eight minute mark of the first as Jan Rutta and Jonathan Toews scored.  But Nikita Zaitsev, who was a real find for Toronto, cut the lead in half in the second with his second of the year.


Richard Panik made it 3-1 Chicago in the third before the Leafs made their comeback.


Look for Corey Crawford to get the star t on Tuesday in Montreal.




Brayden Point scored the overtime winner to give Tampa Bay a 4-3 win over Washington.


But the big news was that Alex Ovechkin was held goalless and pointless after he scored seven goals in his first two games of the season. He did have four shots on goal.


It looked to be all Washington early on as Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie scored in the first period but the Lightning sandwiched goals from Alex Killorn and Chris Kunitz around Oshie’s second of the game in the second period.


Nikita Kucherov, now considered one of the top ten players in the NHL by many, tied it up in the third and sent the game into overtime.


Backstrom and Oshie each had three points for the Capitals.


Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 23 shots for the win while Philipp Grubauer in his first start of the season for the Capitals, stopped 36 of 40 in taking the OT loss.




You don’t see this very often in the NHL any more but Nikolaj Ehlers had the natural hat trick as he led the Jets to their first win of the season with a 5-2 win over Edmonton.


Ehlers also had an assist as he picked up his first four points of the season. Ehlers started the season off on a line with Bryan Little and Patrik Laine but played on Monday with Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler and the trio clicked.


Scheifele had a big game with a goal and two assists while Wheeler had three assists as the line chipped in with 10 points.


Connor Hellebuyck got the start for the first time this season as the Jets used Steve Mason in their first two games. Hellebuyck was great as he made 37 saves and even had an assist.


After a shutout in the opener, the Oilers have had problems, losing to Vancouver and now the Winnipeg Jets.


Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored for Edmonton while Connor McDavid had a solitary assist.


Cam Talbot got the start in goal and made 38 saves but five got past him as he took his second loss of the season.


Dustin Byfuglien missed Monday’s game with a lower body injury.




While I wrote earlier that the Bruins had not beaten Colorado in 19 years, the last time the Flames won in Anaheim was January 19, 2004. That is until Monday night when Mike Smith was sensational as he made 43 saves in shutting out the Ducks 2-0.

John Gibson played well in the Ducks net, stopping 27 shots but it wasn’t enough.


Sean Monahan  with his first of the season and Mikael Backlund with his second, scored for Calgary who won their second in a row after losing to the Oilers in the opener.


Ryan Getzlaf made his first start of the season as he returned from a lower body injury.


Mark Giordano had seven blocked shots in the game and Rickard Rakell led all skaters with seven shots on goal.

Michael Finewax is entering his 13th season as the Senior Hockey Writer and Editor for Rotoworld. You can follow him on Twitter @mfinewaxhockey.
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