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Dan Dobish

Hockey Daily Dose

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Daily Dose: Lightning Crashes

Sunday, March 4, 2018


It was a rather light night on the National Hockey League ice for a Saturday, as most eyes were on the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. for the NHL Stadium Series game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Washington Capitals. It was a pretty amazing setup, too, as the rink was set on a platform resembling an aircraft carrier. One of my favorite features was the outside of the dasher, as one side read: Beware of jet blast, propellers and flying pucks. It was a nice touch, and one of the many things with great attention to detail. Now, if they could only have had the lights stay on for the entire game. Let's get started!

 

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Saturday's Fantasy Five

 

The matinee action between the Philadelphia Flyers and Tampa Bay Lightning was a wild affair. The 7-6 shootout victory featured 10 different goal scorers, but no one was more prolific on this day than All-Star Steven Stamkos. He struck for a pair of goals, three assists, a plus-2 rating and seven shots with one blocked shot across 19:06 of ice time. In addition to his regulation offensive production, he also notched the game-winning tally in the shootout. Perhaps the only thing that didn't go his way was his six wins on 13 chances in the faceoff circle, but that's the kind of stat not many fantasy owners use. He has struck for three goals and six points with a plus-3 rating in two March outings, and he has nine goals and 19 points across the past 16 contests.

 

In that outdoor game, John Carlson served as one of the offensive heroes for the Caps. He erupted for a goal and two assists with three shots on goal, and he also delivered a blocked shot, hit and a minor penalty over 22:48 of ice time. He joined teammates Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov with a goal and two assists. Backstrom was also doing work in the faceoff circle, winning 16 of his 25 chances, while Kuz stayed red hot with his third multi-point outing in the past four games. He has four goals and nine points with a plus-4 rating during the impressive span. It was Carlson's performance that was most impressive, however, as it was the most unexpected. He entered the game with just one goal and five points over his past nine contests.

 

Torey Krug stepped up with a very underrated fantasy performance. In fact, in seasonal play, he might not have moved the needle as much as he did for DFS players. But in GPPs, he certainly made fantasy owner smile. He logged a pair of assists with 10 shots on goal, two blocked shots and three hits over 24:46 of ice time, and about the only thing that went wrong was a minus-1 rating. In DFS games rewarding SOG, blocked shots and hits, the Bruins rearguard was rolling up plenty of fantasy points even if he was held off the board in the goals department.

 

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In a losing effort, Montreal's Antti Niemi was tested early and often in a 2-1 loss in overtime. He faced 10 shots in the first period, 19 shots in the second, 17 shots in the third and four more in OT, yielding just one power-play goal in regulation to Jake DeBrusk before being victimized by Brad Marchand for an even-strength marker in OT with help from Krug and United States Olympian and recent addition Brian Gionta. If not for the heroics of Niemi, this game would have been a beating. Even in a loss, he picked up plenty of fantasy points in leagues providing points per save, and he only allowed the two markers.

 

Jamie Benn was busy in Saturday's 3-2 overtime victory against the St. Louis Blues, picking up the game-winning tally, an assist, a plus-2 rating, eight shots on goal and three hits over 21:45 of ice time. He also took care of business on faceoffs, racking up eight wins in 10 chances in the circle. It was Benn's fourth GWG of the season. Speaking of fours, that's where his point streak sits, as he has a goal and five points with a plus-2 rating during his current four-game run. The goal actually snapped an 11-game goal drought dating back to Feb. 3 against the Wild. There's something about the Notes that agrees with Benn, as he has two goals and five points during a personal three-game point streak against St. Louis.

 

Fantasy Game of the Night

 

As mentioned, that Flyers-Lightning battle was quite the offensive show, featuring fire wagon hockey for most of the afternoon. It isn't often a team scores six goals and is on the losing end of things, but that's exactly where Philadelphia found themselves. Nolan Patrick opened the scoring with a power-play goal, and the center finished with two points, a plus-1 rating and four shots on net. Claude Giroux joined him in the multi-point club, also logging a goal, an assist and four SOG while winning 14 of his 22 faceoffs. Ivan Provorov, normally known more for his physicality, was a breath of fresh air for fantasy owners on the offensive end. He picked up a goal with three points, a plus-2 rating, five SOG, three blocked shots and a hit across his 23:49 of ice time. Jakub Voracek also managed a goal, an assist and a plus-2 rating to make his fantasy owners smile, while Valtteri Filppula rounded out the multi-point club with two helpers and two blocked shots. Petr Mrazek's stock took a hit, as he yielded six goals on 35 shots in the shootout setback.

 

On the winning side, the Tampa Bay Lightning saw All-Star Andrei Vasilevskiy roughed up for six goals on 43 shots, but at least he ended up with the 'W'. We mentioned Stamkos above, but how about the performance of Victor Hedman? He was good for two goals, four points, a plus-1 rating, four SOG and a blocked shot over 28:11 TOI. Nikita Kucherov was good for three helpers with a plus-2 while spending two minutes in the sin bin. The Lightning didn't have as many multi-point producers, but they still had plenty of fantasy stars. Newcomer J.T. Miller is fitting right in, scoring a goal with three shots on net and a hit. He has three points in three games since coming over from the New York Rangers at the deadline, and he has two goals in three contests against Philly this season. All-Star Brayden Point also had a productive day despite the lack of goals, posting an assist, three SOG, a blocked shot, a minor penalty and two hits. Dan Girardi was also good for a goal, plus-1 rating and a blocked shot with two hits. It was his first goal dating back to Jan. 7.

 

Quick Hits: Not many fantasy players likely had him in the lineup, but Chris Thorburn racked up 15 PIM with a pair of hits in just 4:38 of ice time on seven shifts. ... Thorburn and Antoine Roussel threw hands just 11 seconds into the game, with each picking up five for fighting and a 10-minute game misconduct each. Roussel was also tagged with the instigator, and he ended up with an assist, a blocked shot and three hits for what amounted to a pretty solid fantasy afternoon for the veteran. … Tyler Seguin racked up two helpers, a plus-2 rating and four SOG with nine wins on 17 chances at the dot. … Ben Bishop turned aside 35 of the 37 shots he faced for the overtime win against St. Louis. … It seemed like old times in Chitown, as Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews each picked up a goal and two assists each, as the Blackhawks surprised the Kings. … Anders Lee continued his storybook season, logging a goal and an assist with a plus-2 rating and a hit in an OT loss in the Steel City. It was his 14th multi-point performance of the season. … Christopher Gibson did about all that could be expected in a start on the road at Pittsburgh. He allowed three goals on 50 shots, getting beat by Sidney Crosby for the winner in OT. There's no shame in that game. … Nick Cousins had an underrated fantasy stat line, picking up a helper, a plus-1 rating, six shots on goal, a minor penalty and seven hits across 14:02 of ice time. … Oliver Ekman-Larsson posted a goal with a plus-1 rating, snapping a 18-game drought without a marker dating back to Jan. 18 in the Music City. It was his first goal in front of the home fans since Nov. 25 when you could still make turkey sandwiches with leftovers from Thanksgiving. Despite the goal drought he has managed a point-per-game clip with a goal and six assists over the past seven outings. … Antti Raanta allowed a goal with 23 saves and win against the Senators. The Coyotes have struggled this season, but Raanta has emerged as a useful No. 2 backstop in most pools with wins in three consecutive starts, and seven of his past eight assignments. … Mika Zibanejad posted a goal, an assist and a plus-1 rating with a blocked shot and four hits in a win at Edmonton. … Alexandar Georgiev yielded just two goals, one to Connor McDavid and one to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, but he made 35 saves to pick up his first NHL victory. … On the injury front, Jay Bouwmeester checked out due to a lower-body injury in Dallas.

 




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