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Dan Dobish

Hockey Daily Dose

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Daily Dose: Nifty Fifty

Wednesday, January 9, 2019


All National Hockey League teams have officially logged 41 games played after the Florida Panthers, New York Islanders and St. Louis Blues reached the mark on Tuesday night. That's officially the halfway point for the trio of organizations, while many others are already well into back nine. That includes the Vegas Golden Knights, who have just 36 regular-season games remaining. It was an exciting evening from a fantasy perspective, as we had two goaltender shutouts and multiple performances with two or more points, including a fantasy fiesta between the Colorado Avalanche and Winnipeg Jets. Let's get started!

 

For NHL news and fantasy advice, find me on Twitter here!

 

 

Tuesday's Fantasy Five

 

Nikita Kucherov didn't lead the team in scoring in the 4-0 victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets, but he finished with a goal, an assist and a plus-3 rating with a blocked shot in his 19:59 of ice time. Brayden Point actually had the best night with two goals, an assist and a plus-3 rating, and he hasn't had a consecutive scoreless game since three straight goose eggs from Nov. 8-13. Back to Kucherov, though, as he now has nine goals and 26 points just over the past 11 outings. He is the first Lightning player to reach 70 points within his first 43 games. He is also the first to do it in the NHL since Jaromir Jagr turned the trick during the 1999-2000 season, and he is first player since 1995-96 to post 50 assists through the first 43 outings.

 

The heroics of Kucherov, Point, etc. were more than enough for Andrei Vasilevskiy, who turned aside all 31 shots he faced from the Columbus Blue Jackets. It was the third shutout of the season for Vasilevskiy, and he might have more if not for a foot injury earlier in the season. It is also the 14th career shutout for the Lightning backstop with many more likely in his future. He improved to 17-4-2 with a 2.55 goals-against average and .923 save percentage, with all numbers slightly ahead of his already impressive career statistics. The 24-year-old Russian backstop remains the premier fantasy option in the crease.

 

Tuukka Rask did not yield a goal in Tuesday's 4-0 shutout victory against the Minnesota Wild, turning aside all 24 shots he faced for his first shutout of the season. It was also the 42nd of his career, and the milestone 250th victory of his NHL career. He is now just two wins short of the all-time franchise lead held by Cecil 'Tiny' Thompson, who played with the Bruins from 1928-39. Rask has a while to go before he catches Thompson in the shutouts category, as CCT posted 74 shutouts with the 'Spoked B' on his chest. As far as Rask is concerned, he has managed four straight wins, posting a 4-0-0 record with a 1.23 goals-against average and .944 save percentage.

 

Erik Karlsson got off to a bit of a slow start this season in his new surroundings, and fantasy owners everywhere were wringing their hands. Slowly but surely he has re-emerged as the top-notch fantasy rearguard he has always been, posting at least one assist in 14 consecutive outings. He posted his second straight three-helper performance in a 7-2 rout of the Edmonton Oilers, giving him one goal and 25 points during the amazing run. He is just the fifth blueliner in NHL history to record at least one assist in 14 or more consecutive contests. Karlsson is back on track and on pace for 72 points, which would be his most since 2015-16 when he was a member of the Ottawa Senators.

 

Around the holidays, Dallas Stars CEO Jim Lites squared off on Tyler Seguin and teammate Jamie Benn for subpar play in a profanity-laced tirade. Since, Seguin has pieced together a six-game point streak. He posted two more goals, an assist and a plus-2 rating with a blocked shot and three hits in Tuesday's victory against the St. Louis Blues. He now has six goals and 10 points during his impressive six-game run, as it appears Lites actually was able to light a fire under the veteran. On a side note, if your kids are YouTube fans of Dude Perfect, there is some great footage out there of Benn and Seguin doing amazing trick shots. Look it up! My kids can't get enough, and it's a mash-up of one of their favorite YouTubers and their most-watched sport.

 

Fantasy Game of the Night

 

The Colorado Avalanche were on the short end of the stick in Tuesday's 7-4 loss on the road against the Winnipeg Jets, but as mentioned above it was a fantasy fiesta. Philipp Grubauer was touched up for six goals on 20 shots for another loss, slipping to 9-5-3 with a 3.29 goals-against average and .895 save percentage, and he has lost five of his past six starts and eight of the past 10 appearances. On offense, it was all about Gabriel Landeskog, as he picked up a pair of goals with a minus-1 rating and four shots on goal. He also won 10 of his 11 faceoff opportunities (90.9 percent), posting an all-around good game to wow voters in the 'Last Vote' for the final All-Star spot. Linemate Nathan MacKinnon continues his huge season, picking up two more assists with four shots in his 22:20 of ice time. Mikko Rantanen also chipped in with an assist, but in a game with 11 total goals, his fantasy owners were likely a little sad he didn't do more. But with 19 goals and 66 points overall, don't be greedy. Tyson Barrie picked up a pair of assists with a team-high six shots on goal and three hits, giving him a goal and seven assists during his current five-point point streak. Carl Soderberg also had a goal and assist, his first multi-point game since Dec. 6. He actually entered Tuesday's game with just on goal and an assist over his past 13 games since that two-point game, so his fantasy appeal remains limited to deeper pools.

 

It was an exciting game for the special teams of the Jets, as they picked up three power-play goals and a shorthanded marker. Blake Wheeler was good for the shorty while also adding three assists, a plus-1 rating, two blocked shots and a minor penalty in a busy and fruitful evening. Jacob Trouba had a score on the man advantage and he also added two assists with three blocked shots and three hits to make his DFS owners happy, too. Mark Scheifele joined him in the three-point club with a goal, two assists, a plus-1 rating and two blocked shots with a hit. Kyle Connor also struck for a power-play goal with four shots on goal in his 19:54 of ice time, giving him 15 goals on the season. That production was more than enough for Connor Hellebuyck, who allowed four goals on 41 shots to improve to 19-12-1 with a 2.86 goals-against average and .909 save percentage. Tyler Myers also chipped in with two assists and a plus-2 rating, while Adam Lowry was scoreless but able to rack up seven hits.

 

Quick Hits: Rusk received all the support he needed from Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, as each player had a goal and two assists with a plus-1 rating. … Blake Coleman continues to pile up nice numbers for the Devils, and he added three blocked shots and two hits in a loss at Buffalo. Coleman has four goals in the past six outings. … Carter Hutton posted a victory against New Jersey, turning aside 20 of the 21 shots he faced. … Jeff Skinner is up to 29 goals, and he has three goals in three games in the month of January. … Greg McKegg continues to roll up surprising numbers for the Hurricanes. McKegg picked up a goal and an assist in a win against the Islanders, and he now has two goals and four points in three games since his recall from Charlotte of the AHL. … Justin Williams struck for a goal, and he how has three goals (two on the power play) with an assist in four games in January. … Brock Nelson will be sad Carolina doesn't appear on the schedule again this season. He had two goals, an assist and a plus-3 in the loss to the Canes giving him two goals and six points in three games vs. Carolina this season. … Bryan Rust scored two goals with a plus-2 rating, giving him 10 goals and 14 points with a plus-11 rating over the past 13 outings. … Matt Murray continues to roll up big numbers, winning all eight of his numbers since coming off Injured Reserve. … Mike McKenna allowed four goals on 24 shots to loss in Washington. He became the seventh goal to suit up for the team, as they have already tied an NHL record for backstops in a single season with 39 games left to play. … Jakub Voracek had a goal and three points, giving him six points over the past four outings. … Andreas Athanasiou had two more goals, giving him six goals and seven points across the past seven. … Brandon Dubinsky (lower body) and Markus Hannikainen (upper body) each excited Tuesday's shutout loss at Tampa Bay due to injuries. They're presumed day-to-day for now. … John Klingberg has picked up the pace, posting a goal with an assist and plus-1 rating, giving him six points and a plus-2 rating over the past five outings. He has a power-play goal and three assists on the man advantage during the span, as he picks up the pace. … Joonas Donskoi had two goals in a blowout win against the Oilers, giving him seven of his 13 goals across the past six contests. … Evander Kane is working on a six-game point streak, posting two more goals and an assist Tuesday to give him five goals and 10 points during the impressive run.




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