The Devils had that game against the Pens but Sidney Crosby was being Sid and scored the tying goal with seconds left in the game.  Then the Pens won in a shootout.

The Capitals are just going through the motions this season, saving it for the playoffs.  How else do you explain them losing to the Toronto Maple Leafs?  Nothing personal Leaf fans, I’m just saying.

Caps’ Nicklas Backstrom is starting to pick up the scoring pace of late.

Ovechkin only had 3 SOG against Toronto.  Did he have the night off?  I mean Nazem Kadri had more SOG, 6, then OV had.

Ottawa 2, Carolina 1.  That’s about right.

Mrazek made some great saves to keep his Red Wings in it against Montreal, but the Canadiens are just too good.

The Blue Jackets are 1-1-2 in last four games.  They could be coming back down to Earth.

But Cam Atkinson is on fire of late.  As is Michael Cammalleri of the Devils.

The Blues have won 5 of their last 6.  This could be because Schwartz seems to be picking up his production of late.

Good Chicago-LA battle except that Chicago didn’t get a lot of SOG. Maybe next time.

I wonder when Anaheim is going to put together a strong run?

David Perron has been on fire of late with a 2-8-10 line in past 7 games.  How long will it last though?

Markov is the hottest scoring defenseman right now.

I hope everyone had a very nice Thanksgiving holiday weekend!

Sorry for the short post today, I’m no feeling so hot today.

Hope all your fantasies come true and have a great week!

NHL IN 30/2016: PART 6(STL, TOR,VAN,WAS WPG) 2 years ago

St. Louis: The emergence of d-man Colton Parayko gives the blue-line much needed top-heavy depth but the question remains whether Jake Allen can carry the sole burden of manning the crease with brian Elliott now in Calgary. The balanced offensive attack should continue to provide enough firepower, but it should be time for Vladimir Tarasenko to enter elite territory as a sniping forward. What will the Nail Yakupov addition do for the team? If he can finally fulfill his potential, look out. Playoffs: Another deep run

Tampa Bay: Absolutely our odds-on favorite to represent the eastern Conference in the Cup Finals. The Bolts are stacked on offense with Steven Stamkos back healthy and nikita Kucherov on the verge of being signed. Look for new coaching assistant Todd richards to bolster the power-play by heavily riding the top guns. A surplus of riches in goal can yield huge dividends if Ben bishop is traded during the season. Playoffs: Cup bound

Toronto: Austin Mathews will be a legit superstar before you know it, but the rebuilding Leafs are from playoff contention. Federik Anderson will bring some skill and stability to the goal while Morgan Reilly will be the defensive cornerstone for years to come. Pre Mike babcock holdovers JVR and Nazem Kadri need to take the step in their offensive development while the youngsters continue to gel. Easier said than done. Playoffs: No chance

Washington: A disappointing playoff exit at the hands of the Penguins should not take away from what a tremendous team coach Trotz leads into the season. Elite in all areas from forwards(Ovechkin, Backstrom, Kuznetsov), defense (John Carlson) to goaltending(Brendan Holtby). The addition of Lars eller helps the bottom-six depth while Justin williams intangibles bodes well for playoff success. Playoffs: Deep run but will lightning strike?

Winnipeg: The young Jets will be exciting to watch with the rookie Laine and the 2nd-year Ehlers wowing their fans with their sublime offensive ability. Add Mark Scheifele breaking out and you have the looks of a massively improved scoring attack. Dustin Byfuglien will lead the D while a goaltending competition lessened a bit with the waiving of Ondrej Pavelec. Adios to the most overrated goaltender around. Many bright spots but a postseason berth not a lock. Playoffs: maybe 


Aleksander Barkov

The 20-year old center is a star in the making and has flourished on a line with Jonathan Huberdeau and Jaromir Jagr. Having scored 23 points in 29 games, the skilled Swede ahold be in line for a 65-70 point year with more to come in the near future. The window is quickly closing to get this Panther, so act fast if he is still on the waiver wire. 


Jacob Markstrom

Take a chance on this young goalie as he has played exceptionally well in the Vancouver crease with Ryan Miller out due to injury.  How about 3-0-1 with a 1.93 GAA. Once touted as the no 1 goaltending prospect outside of the NHL, Markstrom is starting to realize his vast potential. With miller not playing up to his elite form, it's possible that the Swede steals more starts even when he is healthy. He is worth the risk. 


Ryan Spooner


With David Krejci out week to week, Spooner is getting time on the second line and top pp unit. Considering how well he did last season in the same spot, he is worth a short term flier. He has three points over the last two games and could be close to a point-per-game scorer during Krejci's absence. 


Nazem Kadri


Don't look now but this Leaf has nine points over his last games and has clicked well with Leo Komarov on the second line. Kadri has clearly regressed after his '13-14 50-point season but has the goods to deliver at a much higher scoring pace. I would give him a shot but he needs to be more consistent if he is to become a legit fantasy impact player. 


Jonathan Bernier


In this case, the hopes pin on the underachieving goalie building off two straight stellar starts over elite clubs( Pitt, St Louis) and solidifying the Leafs goal while Reimer recovers from a groin injury. One or two things will happen- Bernier finds his game or he loses fantasy relevance for the long term. This one is a pure crap shoot at this point but I do find his recent performances very encouraging. 



SMC 11-8-2015

If anyone hasn’t noticed yet, the Buffalo Sabres are going to be a tough opponent this year. Especially once Robin Lehner returns and gets into mid-season form.

Rasmus Ristolainen is going to be a force for the Sabres power play someday soon. Along with Jake Eichel and Sam Reinhart amongst others, this team will be quite competitive for some time.

The LA Kings seem to be on a mission this year which doesn’t bode well for the Western Conference.

The window of opportunity of getting any Anaheim Duck player on the cheap is quickly closing with the 4-game winning streak.  They dug themselves a bit of a hole but they are the team who can overcome that in a hurry.

Anze Kopitar is going for the CY Young award this season with 5 goals and an assist at this point in the season.

Panther fans are still waiting for that late season magic displayed last year with the arrival of Jaromir Jagr.  Growing pains with young talent will always be the case no matter what.

Tyler Toffoli with 7 points in past 6 games has arrived. 

Mike Condon is almost a splitting image of Carey Price, but not really.

Who would’ve thought that the Philadelphia Flyers were going to shut out the mighty Winnipeg Jets?  And can Michal Neuvirth get a win without shutting out the other team?  All three of his wins have come by shutout.

Toronto keeps losing but they are playing better.  Just looks bad seeing all those red ‘L’s in a row.

Nazem Kadri with 7 SOG still couldn’t beat out Mr. SOG Alex Ovechkin who had 8.

Kris Versteeg is leading the Carolina Hurricanes in points with 10.  Shame on you Eric Staal.

St. Louis has started Jake Allen 6 games in a row and he has won 5 of those.  Looks like he is ready for full-time #1 duties.

Remember Magnus Paajarvi?  He played last night for the Blues.  That’s the second game he has played this season.

This Colton Parayko is something else.  Scored on the PP even though Kevin Shattenkirk returned to the lineup last night.

Since Filip Forsberg isn’t grabbing the headlines like he did last year, some owners may think he doesn’t have it this season, but he still has 8 points in 13 games.  One good streak and he is on his way.  Buy low?

No Parise?  No Problem says Devan Dubnyk.  Just let me go back in time to a year ago and play like I know I can; a 1-0 shutout of the Tampa Bay Lightning. No small feat.

I think Tampa’s Nikita Kucherov is ready to break out.

The NY Rangers know what they had in their grasps last year and are determined to get back ...


Blue Jackets showcasing for next season, Bruins put down Cats, OV gets 50

Two teams trying to finish out the season on high notes, the New Jersey Devils and Columbus Blue Jackets battled to a 3-2 Columbus win.  Players like Mike Cammalleri and Nick Foligno improved on their goal scoring with both reaching 27 on the season so far.  Cammalleri showed what he is capable of when healthy and Foligno displayed that he has arrived in the NHL.  Ryan Johansen had 2 assists on the night and with the Jackets starting to gain some experience, they should be better off next year as long as they don’t get hit with so many injuries like this year….

Alex Ovechkin reached 50 goals for the 6th time in his career and is in contention for the scoring title as well as the goal-scoring trophy with 77 points, just 2 points behind leader Sidney Crosby.  Oh, and the Capitals beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-2, not only solidifying their hold on one of the wild card slots, but also chasing the NY Islanders for third place in the division….

The Florida Panthers gave it their best shot but the Boston Bruins came away with a 3-2 regulation win, putting the Cats 6 points behind the Bruins for that last wild card slot.  As impressive as the young Panthers have been this year, it was the young talent of the Bruins that provided the spark in the 3rd period as David Pastrnak (G, A) and Ryan Spooner (2A) showed what is to come in their NHL careers in this pressure-packed game….

The King is Back! Henrik Lundqvist turned aside 32 of 34 shots to gain his first victory since returning from injury, helping down the Winnipeg Jets 3-2. Cam Talbot had quite the fantasy run but his starts will be limited over the last two weeks as Lundqvist gets back to elite level...

The struggling Toronto Maple Leafs win their second straight contest, prevailing 3-1 over a Tampa Bay squad coming off a huge win of their own over Montreal. Nazem Kadri led the way with a goal and an assist while goalie James Reimer saved 40 shots for the Leafs. Of fantasy consequence, Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman and forward Tyler Johnson missed the game due to injuries..

Albeit a light night in terms of shot faced, Ottawa's Andrew Hammond was back in fine form after saving 16 of 17 shots to preserve the 2-1 SO win over Detroit. The rookie looks good to go for his fantasy owners as Craig Anderson has not delivered in the clutch thus far. For Detroit, Petr Mrazek was solid again and will be getting the next start against Boston...


Good morning all! Christmas is coming!

With Zdeno Chara back in the lineup, Boston should be able to get back on track soon enough.

I don't know if this particular coaching change will help Ottawa but I do agree that a change was needed.

I think you can now consider Buffalo NHL-ready as they have gone 7-3-0 in last ten games separating themselves from the Carolina Hurricanes.

The biggest reason in Buffalo is G Jhonas Enroth. He has taken the reins after a somewhat sluggish start. 

The Philadelphia Flyers have an upcoming 8-game road trip which will say a lot about their chances for the playoffs.

I could see a lot of names changing addresses for the Hurricanes when the trading deadline approaches.

It's impressive to see the Florida Panthers in the middle of the Eastern Conference standings with 32 points through 28 games. Nice job!

Can you believe Toronto is the hottest team in the NHL right now with an 8-1-1 record over last 10 games? Who would've thought after the 9-2 Tampa catastrophe?

The Leafs did it by beating the former hottest team, the Detroit Red Wings, twice in one week.

Nazem Kadri is playing well on both sides of the puck and has 7 points in 6 December games and he had 7 total points in all of November.

That Sean Couturier is on fire recently if you haven't noticed. He also has 7 points in 6 December games like Kadri.

At 6-3-1 in last 10 games, is that considered a slump for Tampa Bay?

With Crosby slumping and all their injuries throughout the early season, the Pittsburgh Penguins still sit atop the Eastern Conference.

Nicklas Backstrom, the assist machine, had a hat trick against Tampa. Now, with all the firepower in that game, I wouldn't have guessed him to get a hattie.

Scott Darling lost against the Islanders 3-2.  He has played well with a 5-2 record and a 1.97 GAA.  Corey Crawford has a 1.87 GAA and Antti Raanta has a 2.02 GAA. What do they feed those Blackhawk goalies?

Sergei Bobrovsky and the Columbus Blue Jackets are storming their way back into the playoff picture by rattling off six straight wins. Get on the bandwagon and hitch the cannon up to the back.

When Kris Letang is in the lineup, he is lethal. Well, maybe not lethal, but damn good.

Frederik Andersen is 7-0-0 in December. I don't think he can get through the month without a loss. Do you?

If Edmonton could only score a little bit more each game, Arizona might have been in last place in the Western Conference instead of the Oilers. I think a coaching change may be in order ...


Don't look now but the Columbus Blue Jackets have won 4 in a row with G Sergei Bobrovsky backstopping the team to their longest winning streak of the season. The Jackets edged the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 in overtime with big thanks to their goaltender.  If you read the BETWEEN THE PIPES: SHOW ME MARTY! On December 2nd, you know we mentioned that it was time to ‘buy-low" on Bobrovsky. Columbus is inching back into the thick of things in the Eastern Conference...For Philly, they have gotten points in last 3 games...Brayden Schenn scored his 8th and 9th goals on the season and now has 5 points in last 5 games....

In New Jersey the biggest story wasn't that Keith Kincaid got his first NHL start but the fact that the Devils gave starter Cory Schneider the night off after 8 consecutive starts. Kincaid didn't draw a favorable matchup as he faced perhaps one of the hottest teams in the NHL right now in the Chicago Blackhawks but managed to hold his own and get the devils a point as the Hawks won 3-2 in a shootout....

The Buffalo Sabres must just love playing against West Coast teams as they defeated the LA Kings 1-0 as Jhonas Enroth pitched a 34-save shutout. If you remember correctly, the Sabres beat San Jose in both games this season and lost 2-1 to LA earlier in the season.  They did lose both matches against the Anaheim Ducks but they won't have to worry about California Dreamin' anymore this season.  Enroth seems to have made himself fantasy relevant with his play of late....

Toronto has gone 6-1-1 since that 9-2 drubbing at the hands of the Tampa bay Lightning with the whole team playing spirited hockey. Nazem Kadri with 2 assists and James van Riemsdyk with his game-winning goal and assist led the charge for the Maple Leafs. JVR has 6 points in last 5 games while Kadri has 8 in his last 6.  If available, pick him up as he is starting to be a bit more consistent.....Jonathan Bernier was spectacular turning aside 32 of 33 shots on goal for his 11th win on the season.....

One of our most hyped pre-season breakout candidates, goalie Braden Holtby, is quickly distancing himself from a slow start as his 33-save effort over Tampa Bay gives him three straight wins and rising peripheral numbers (2.37 GAA/.916). It was just a matter of time before the "Barry Trotz" effect took place in Washington. His system is incredibly goalie-friendly for fantasy purposes...

An improbable comeback headlined the Minnesota Wild's 5-4 win over the New York Islanders, scoring four ...

DAILY PRIME - DECEMBER 3, 2014: HALAK'S A 10 4 years ago

Cam Ward continues to put last season behind him as he bested probably the NHL's best goaltender this season in Pekka Rinne 2-1 last night. Ward evened his record at 8-8-2 after starting out the season 0-3-1. Carolina still remains near the bottom of the conference but is slowly working their way back into the middle of the pack.....

One of the hottest goalies in the league right now is NY Islanders' goalie Jaroslav Halak who won his tenth straight by beating Ottawa 3-2 in overtime. That's 13 wins for Halak, just 3 behind leaders Rinne & Miller. Start him with confidence as the Islanders are on a roll, especially with Halak in net.  These two teams will rematch on Thursday night in Ottawa....

Marc-Andre Fleury pitched a 1-0 shutout against the NJ Devils for his fifth of the season and that leads the league. Fleury continues to be a premier fantasy goalie and has been adding shutouts to his stat line over the past 2 seasons. The most shutouts he had in a season was 5 and he accomplished that twice in his career....

One of the most consistent lines this season has been the Vancouver Canuck line of Daniel Sedin-Henrik Sedin-Radim Vrbata as the trio continued their fine season with a combined 7 points in the Canuck 4-3 win over the Washington Capitals. Ryan Miller earned his 16th win, tying atop the league with Rinne. With the victory, Vancouver now sits atop the Western Conference tied with the Anaheim Ducks with 35 points.  This has been a nice bounce back season for Vancouver....

Even though they still languish near the bottom of the Eastern Conference, the Buffalo Sabres are inching back to respectability as they have won 6 of their last 7 games, gaining 12 of a possible 14 points.....Jhonas Enroth has been on fire lately going 5-1-0 so if you are in need of goaltending help, take a shot with Enroth while he's hot....

Roberto Luongo was brought in to provide stability in the net for the Florida Panthers while their young talent gets some experience. Well, it is paying off already as the Cats have been in just about every game this season and surprised the Detroit Red Wings by going into their building and coming away with a 4-3 victory.  Luongo has been a decent depth goalie to have this year, and can be used as a spot starter every now and then.....Keep an eye on Panther Vincent Trocheck (G, 2A) as he now has 5 points in last three games. He does have the skill set but may not be consistent enough, yet....

The Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Dallas Stars ...

NHL IN 30: TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS 2014-2015 4 years ago

The Toronto Maple Leafs surprised everyone two years ago by making the playoffs and last year they surprised their fans who thought that they were pretty much a lock to return but fell a few points shy of the 8th and final playoff spot. During this past off-season the Leafs held steady except for signing a few role players to round out their forward lines by inking one-time Leaf Matt Frattin and also Mike Santorelli. The belief is that the existing core of forwards will improve and take that next step.  Gone is Nikolai Kulemin. The Leafs also kept their goaltending duo of Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer intact, both of whom should improve upon last season's numbers.


In what many believed was to be a 50-50 split in games started between Bernier and Reimer, it was Bernier who basically won over the starting job as he started in 49 of the 55 games he played in. In his first stint as a starter, Bernier posted a 26-19-7 record with a 2.69 GAA and a .923 SP.  Not great, but a better than Reimer's numbers of 3.29 and .911 respectively.  Expect Bernier to get the lion's share of starts this season.  There were rumors that Reimer would be traded but for now, he is a more than qualified backup to Bernier.


There wasn't much change on defense during the summer except for the free-agent signing of former Dallas D-man Stephane Robidas. Robidas should bring more veteran presence to the blueline along with Dion Phaneuf. Morgan Rielly and Jake Gardiner, as well as Cody Franson, should give the best chances at production. There has been word that Gardiner will assume more of an offensive responsibility, and if that is the case and Rielly progresses, Franson's numbers could take a hit. With this defense corps, you probably would see high offensive production, but each of the top four could get approximately 40 points each.


There is no doubt that Phil Kessel is the go-to guy on this squad. Kessel was on pace to surpass his best season high in points of 82 amassed in 2011-2012 but fell short because of a dry spell he hit towards the end of last season.  Expect his production to progress a little more, possibly into the 90's as he is hitting his prime.  IF you miss out on Kessel, don't let James van Riemsdyk slip too far as he is ready for another jump in points. Last season saw his point totals hit 61 with 30 goals.   I'm sure the Flyers are wishing they had him back now.  CenterTyler Bozak enjoyed having Kessel on his wing, so much so that ...


Joe Pavelski continues his elite scoring ways for the Sharks with two more goals in the 3-2 win over Calgary. With 18 goals in the past 20 games, he now has 27 on the season, tied for second in the NHL with Corey Perry. At this rate, his career-high of 31 goals will be obliterated very soon, but be wary of a point slow-down after the Sochi Olympics. A few of the "chosen ones" for Team USA have responded with above-the-norm scoring production, but it will be difficult for them to maintain that pace. In the case of Pavelski, his current point-per-game scoring pace of "50 in 50" is unchartered territory for him, as his best statistical year was his 66 points in 74 games back in '10-11. For now, enjoy the ride as few are better for fantasy purposes.

USA Snub Keeps Rubbing It In: On the contrary to Pavelski, Kyle Okposo keeps putting up "monster" numbers in the face of not being selected by Team USA. He pulled off the Gordie Howe hat trick against the Flyers yesterday afternoon, including scoring the game-winner in the shoot-out. With 49 points in 50 games, he has been exceptionally sharp with 13 points (6G/7A) in the last 10 games. His scoring pace could actually remain constant, considering he is clicking with John Tavares and at the age of 25, he could be breaking out in Year 6. Plus, he will not be dealing with post-Olympic fatigue and his motivation for being snubbed will last all season long. Am loving Okposo as a solid fantasy option in the second half!

More Fantasy-Game Notes: Toronto's Nazem Kadri has responded to a plethora of trade rumors with another solid effort, a goal and an assist in the 4-2 win over Phoenix. With 4 points in the last two games, he has briefly bounced back after a mediocre first half so far, but can fantasy owners trust him? He will need a few more high-scoring efforts to warrant fantasy status.. What's up with Kari Lehtonen? With yesterday's loss to Nashville, he has gone 1-6-1 in his last 8 starts. His current numbers are still better-than-average with a 17-14-8 record, a 2.69 GAA and a .913 SP. If you have a better option, sit him for now.. Watch out for Toronto defenseman Jake Gardiner, who been playing at a very high level in recent games. With a goal and an assist against Nashville, the enigmatic blueliner might be worth a look if Coach Randy Carlyle keeps rewarding him with big minutes, especially on the power-play... Jimmy Howard and Jakub Voracek both left their respective games due to injury. In the case of Howard, ...