The Tampa Bay Lightning suspending Jonathan Drouin for skipping an AHL game/forcing the issue/whatever you want to call it is the big news of Wednesday. That makes sense, too, because it’s really something.
Honestly, though? I’m not sure what we can really discuss in fantasy form until a trade actually happens (or he sheepishly returns to the Lightning after injuries/struggles prompt a call-up).
I know the Bolts are suspending him indefinitely, but it’s really just another reminder that they have, oh, 99.99 percent of the power here.
It’s interesting to imagine the various scenarios here, and fascinating to wonder how much his trade value drops (or dare we wonder, rises?) with each twist and turn of this saga.
The Dose is more of a here-and-now thing, though, so let’s get to Wednesday’s three games. Ryan Dadoun will provide more on Drouin in his Fantasy Nuggets column later on Thursday, so don’t worry about the bases not being covered.
More than anything else, I’m looking forward to the first match between Drouin and the (insert his new team) versus the Lightning, really.
Editor's Note: This is your chance to try FanDuel risk free! Sign up today and if you lose your first contest, you’ll be refunded the entry fee up to $10. Play now.
DUCKS 3, WILD 1
-- This marks five straight losses for Minnesota. More than anything else, this game highlights how these two teams are moving in opposite directions, even if the Wild are still in the West's top eight and the Ducks are not.
You can trace the Wild's struggles to the turn of 2016, as they ended 2015 with wins in three of four.
Since January began, they've gone 2-5-2. They play two more away games during this four-game road trip and also face five of six on the road, so this could get rocky.
The Ducks, meanwhile, have been great since after the holidays. Starting on Dec. 27, the Ducks managed to go 8-3-1.
-- Chris Stewart scored Anaheim's first goal, a small measure of revenge (or spite? or something else?) as he spent 20 games with Minnesota last season (generating a solid-enough 11 points and 25 PIM). Stewart's now at 13 points and 45 PIM in 39 games.
-- After losing two straight games and three of four, John Gibson got back on the winning track by making 25 out of 26 saves.
Gibson has faced less than 30 SOG in every game since Nov. 30.
-- Ten goals now for Rickard Rakell, and a goal in two straight games for that matter. He's had a solid, if uneven, season with 21 points in 42 contests.
BLUES 2, RED WINGS 1
-- With Carl Gunnarsson hurt, the Blues were in a bind, and it only became more strenuous when Colton Parayko was judged as too sick to play during the warm-up. The Blues were limited to five defensemen in this one, so managing a win was pretty remarkable, even for a Blues team that's borderline comfortable with being uncomfortable as far as injuries go.
-- The Red Wings generated a 30-20 SOG advantage. Brian Elliott was the difference-maker, obviously, stopping 29 out of 30 shots.
This continues Elliott's hot streak: three straight wins and victories in five of six contests.
Pietrangelo's another of those "better in reality than fantasy" guys, as even with that pair of helpers, he only has 21 points in 50 games.
-- Petr Mrazek lost his second straight game, but it's not like he's getting much support. He's limited opponents to two goals or fewer since Jan. 4 (4-1-1, while he's also 5-1-1 in his last seven).
AVALANCHE 2, SABRES 1
-- Colorado seems like it's enjoying 2016, especially lately: 6-3-0 in the past nine games.
Not sure if this was more about Buffalo sitting on its lead or Colorado just turning it on to come back from a 1-0 deficit, but the Avalanche took over in the third period. The Avs generated an 18-5 SOG advantage in the final frame, scoring both of their goals to grab this win.
Tanguay's been quiet this season, but things have been picking up. He now has four points in as many games and five in his last six.
-- Evander Kane generated his 10th goal of 2015-16, and now has five points in his last six games. Kane really struggled during about a month-long span (Dec. 6 - Jan. 8), but perhaps he'll finish strong?
-- This was Robin Lehner's second appearance since being injured on Oct. 8. He still doesn't have a win in 2015-16 (no wins yet in Buffalo), but he's been solid enough, with a .922 save percentage. He stopped 33 out of 35 shots in this one.