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Hockey Daily Dose

Dose: Well then, Jamie Benn

by James O'Brien
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Quick rundown of Tuesday's upcoming action:

The Senators should be plenty desperate as they host the Penguins, who basically just need to win one of their next three games to ensure that Ottawa doesn't smoke them out. Winnipeg faces a huge test in the St. Louis Blues as they wrap up an enormous back-to-back set. The Flames and Kings face off against Western Canada teams who would be better off losing. Should be an interesting night.

Good? Good.

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-- Tobias Enstrom (sometimes Toby) was unable to play on Monday, but he's a possibility for one or more of Winnipeg's three remaining games. Keep an eye out for updates in that regard, as he can be a decent fill-in.

-- Dustin Byfuglien's covered two of his four-game suspension. As much as it hurts, I totally understand if you dropped him, especially since there was such a gap between his last appearance and the first contest in his time-out seating.

-- Few things bring out the homer giggles quite like seeing a relatively nondescript performance earn a Three Stars nod. In this case, the game was in Minnesota, which likely explains why Jason Pominville got in the mix (not to disrespect his even rating and four SOG, mind you).

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-- Was this biggest win of Ondrej Pavelec's career? It has to at least be the most important shutout, right? He didn't get much of a margin for error, but either way, he stopped all 32 shots for his 21st win of a peculiar season.

-- Blake Wheeler scored his 26th goal and 61st point (along with bumping his PIM to a robust 73) in 77 games this season, really strengthening the argument that he might be the most underrated player this side of, well, Bryan Little.

-- Lucky traded players update: Drew Stafford now has 18 points in 23 games with Winnipeg while Tyler Myers has more points with the Jets (15 in 22 games) than he did with Buffalo (13 in 47). Strong chance that both are pretty happy with this season's ending even if they don't make the playoffs.


-- Vancouver edging Los Angeles in a shootout and Winnipeg winning in regulation represented a 30.8 percent shift in playoff odds in Winnipeg's favor, according to Sports Club Stats. With that, Winnipeg has a 67.9 percent chance while the Kings are at 61.9. Calgary clocks in at 72.3 and has a game apiece against the Jets and Kings. Should be a really fun ride.

-- Daniel Sedin is trying to avoid missing the 20-goal mark for a third straight season. He only had 16 in 73 games in 2013-14 while the lockout year held him to 12. He has 18 this season, so he has a shot at 20, but also has bigger fish to fry. Still, a significant slide in sniping for "The Shooting Sedin."

-- At the moment, Henrik Sedin has just as many goals with 18. His tallying peak was in 2009-10 when he garnered 29, one of just two times that he's hit 20+.

-- Eddie Lack (36 out of 37 saves) and Jonathan Quick (37 of 38) were both bright in this one, yet Lack grabs his 17th win of the season.

-- Mike Richards being a bust is starting to wonder off into Rick DiPietro territory: from kind of funny to increasingly sad.


-- I'm not sure if the 2015 playoffs would be more fun with San Jose in them, but I feel pretty confident in saying that Dallas would liven things up, even if part of the fun with the Stars is that they're quite flawed.

-- With two straight wins, Jhonas Enroth has three victories in 11 games with the Stars. You may be surprised to know that even with a hot run here and there with Buffalo, his stats are still mediocre overall, especially a .901 save percentage. The Stars would be wise not to stop their searching for backups (who may just be able to start if Kari Lehtonen truly is in "glue factory" mode and this isn't just an aberration).

-- Whoa then, Jamie Benn. He's suddenly very much in the running for the Art Ross Trophy after Monday's three points, as his 80 points place him in a three-way tie for second overall behind Sidney Crosby's leading 81 points. Tyler Seguin may well have won the race if he was healthy all year, as he's not far behind with 76 points in 70 games.

-- I wonder how different things would be for Ottawa if Jason Spezza was still in town. Maybe they'd be in the playoffs? Maybe he'd stand in the way of someone else who's taken big steps forward? Either way, he's more or less operating as usual with 61 points in 80 games, a bit behind last season's 66 in 75.


-- "What a weird game" is a comment you can probably paste into every remaining Buffalo Sabres joint this season.

Even so, pretty weird. For one thing, Buffalo led 2-0 in the first period and eventually 4-0 and almost lost 4-3 as Carolina sparked a rather pointless comeback.

The eye-popping stat is shots: Carolina 52, Buffalo 25. Even if you chalk some of that up to score effects, it's still pretty ridiculous.

-- Matt Moulson returned from his illness to assist on Tyler Ennis' 20th goal of the season. This is now Ennis' second-best career points output as his 45 only trails his 49 from 2010-11.

-- With Mike Smith losing with grace lately, Anders Lindback is the new guy who wins only when you want him to lose.

-- Are we absolutely certain that 2005-06 Brian Gionta hasn't replaced 2014-15 Brian Gionta for a month?



-- Derek Stepan is clearly making up for lost time, and not JUST with three goals and two assists in his past two games (including three points last night). Since March 22, Stepan has five goals and seven assists in nine games. That's after going pointless in 12 games from Feb. 24-March 21. Hockey is weird.

-- The crossover in players between these two teams is weird, but it would be weirder if the Rangers, Blue Jackets, Coyotes, Kings and Flyers had some sort of secret trade society going. I feel like Florida has a pipeline to Vancouver that no one's comfortable to talk about, too.

-- Seriously, this breakout season is just nuts for Nick Foligno. He has 13 more points than he generated in 2013-14 and 2012-13 combined.

-- Keith Yandle now has four points in as many games, giving him 10 in 18 contests overall with New York. Not sure what to expect from him next season.

-- Martin St. Louis earned the 1,000-point milestone earlier this season (he currently has 1,030 on the strength of a 49-point campaign). He's not far from his 400th goal, as he now has 391 with 21 coming in 2014-15.

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James O'Brien
James O'Brien is the Hockey Daily Dose's author and has been a contributor to NBC's Pro Hockey Talk for more than four years. Follow him on Twitter.