Another hat trick for Zibanejad, Giroux breaks the fall, Barre-Boulet scores his first goal (April 26) – DobberHockey
Hi. If you were eager to read the Monday Ramblings written by Dobber himself, sorry, you stuck with me for one more day. I can’t wait to read his Ramblings as much as you do, so I’ll try to fill the space with something worth your time here. If you need to know why, take a look at his Twitter.
So how did your fantastic playoffs go? If you were able to win this week, congratulations. I hope you can keep this momentum going. Otherwise, we knew it would be a wacky season and just playing fantasy hockey would be a reward. Myself, I was able to win my two head-to-head playoff games this week. One game was a resounding victory against a team that blew me away just two weeks before, which almost knocked me out for the playoffs. I won the following week and had to get help from another team to make the playoffs. In my other championship, a 7-0 lead in the category at the start of the day became 6-4, but I had enough lead in the other categories not to worry about losing. Plus, I held the tiebreaker of a 5-4 head-to-head win earlier in the season.
If you needed goals from the Boston / Pittsburgh game on Sunday, you unfortunately didn’t receive them. At least not for the first two periods, where these two top-half infractions were held scoreless. Then in the third period, Jake Guentzel scored the only goal of the game to give the Penguins a 1-0 victory. Guentzel takes the lead in the team’s goals with 21.
Tristan Jarry threw a 30-save shutout, which is his very first shutout of the season. However, he hasn’t struggled recently, posting quality starts in six of his last seven games. During that time, he has a 6-0-1 with an GAA of 1.98 and 0.931 SV%. Pittsburgh has some tougher clashes next week (vs. BOS, 2x @WSH), but start it as you normally would.
Jeremy Swayman stopped 28 of 29 shots in the loss. He’s also recorded six quality starts in the seven games he’s played since being called up, with a shutout in his previous start Thursday against Buffalo. His season ratios (1.57 GAA, 0.946 SV%) have been exceptional, so he’s worth a spot start when he gets the nod.
Patrice Bergeron was back with the Bruins after a one-game absence, which meant Charlie Coyle’s time on the top line was short-lived. Coyle has only had one point in his last eight games and he hasn’t scored a goal in 27 games (just seven assists in that span). Guess you can give it a try if you desperately need a streamer, but it just hasn’t produced.
It’s the story of two seasons for Mika Zibanejad, who recorded his third league-leading hat trick on Sunday.
January 14 – February 28: 19 GP, 2 G, 4 A, 6 PTS, 3.5 SH%, 57 SOG
March 1 – today: 30 GP, 17 G, 22 A, 39 PTS, 20.2 SH%, 84 SOG
At the end of February, there were concerns that something was wrong with Zibanejad, who reportedly battled COVID before the start of the season. He was shooting the puck, but the finish wasn’t there. Now it’s completely reversed and he’s been producing at last season’s pace (1.3 PTS / GP) since March 1. Do the math and you’ll see that he shot at the same pace all season (in fact, he was shooting a bit harder when he collapsed). He scored in the top 10 for almost two months. Hope you haven’t released a bond and maybe even took the opportunity to buy really low. Patience is a virtue.
Kaapo Kakko scored a pair of goals for the Blueshirts. It’s unclear whether youngsters like Kakko, Alexis Lafreniere, Filip Chytil and Vitali Kravtsov will play enough meaningful minutes to be added as potential streamers for the remainder of the season. I am of course describing their value here and now as opposed to their long term value, which is very high for everyone. Kakko has at least recorded points in back-to-back games so there might be something there if he’s on your waiver thread.
With one goal on Sunday, Sam Reinhart now has eight goals in his last nine games, including a hat trick on Friday. Only 12 players have more goals than him. To learn more about Reinhart, read the Ramblings from two days ago.
A two-goal lead with less than two minutes to go seemed like a sure lead for the Devils to break their nine-game losing streak, right? Claude Giroux said not so fast, scoring two goals at the end of the third period with the keeper withdrawn. Shortly before Giroux scored both goals, I answered a question on Twitter about whether he should be dropped. The reason? Giroux entered this game not with goals in his last 11 games and only two assists in his last eight games. I said it even before the two goals: hang on to Giroux, as he and the Flyers face New Jersey three more times this week. When deciding to add or remove a player during this critical time, consider not only the player’s performance, but also their total number of games and the strength of their schedule.
So it’s now a 10-game winless streak for the Devils. Note that I didn’t say losing streak as Philly ultimately won in a shootout and New Jersey was at least able to collect a losing point. During that time, Mackenzie Blackwood had three very poor starts with three quality starts, which corresponds to an GAA of 3.62 and 0.874 SV%. Additionally, the Devils have allowed a minimum of three goals in each of those 10 games. Beyond the Flyers, the only remaining opponents for the Devils are the Bruins and Islanders in May, which, if things continue to turn that way, are days to stack players on those teams.
Shayne Gostisbehere, a player I suggested as a stream earlier in the week, missed this game with an MCL strain. It should be put away for 7-10 days. Perhaps as a result, Ivan Provorov recorded 29 minutes, while Travis Sanheim played a season record 25:38. Provorov’s ATOI 25:10 is sixth in the NHL this season.
The last game to complete was also past the usual 60 minutes, but ended with just 10 seconds of overtime.
Ondrej Palat continued his point streak with that and more, scoring one goal and adding two assists. He now has back-to-back goals as well as a five-game scoring streak. No Steven Stamkos recently and no Nikita Kucherov the whole season hasn’t been a problem for Palat as he scores at a career-high 0.88 PTS / GP. His lineman Brayden Point helped with three assists.
Alex Barre-Boulet was the third man in the Palat-Point unit. He also played in the First Unit power play unit, where he scored his first NHL goal (and point). Barre-Boulet also fired six shots in his eighth game of the season. He’s logged over 17 minutes in the last two games, so it might be worth watching him if you need immediate help. He’s established himself as a near point-per-game threat in the AHL over the course of several seasons, so it’s just a matter of him receiving more than one NHL opportunity. Stamkos / Kucherov’s injuries opened the door to this. To learn more, check out his Dobber Prospects profile.
In a losing cause, Eric Robinson scored two goals for the Blue Jackets. He played on a line with struggling Oliver Bjorkstrand and Max Domi, both of whom assisted on Robinson’s two goals. Robinson hadn’t scored a goal in his previous 11 games, so that two-goal game would have helped very little roster there.
Joonas Korpisalo left this match just after Barre-Boulet’s goal. He appeared to have injured his groin, although the team referred to it as a lower body injury. If you plan to add Elvis Merzlikins accordingly, keep in mind that the Jackets are the only team to only play two games next week (all other teams play three or four games).
There are eight games tomorrow, so a relatively busy Monday is ahead. Game 1 starts at 6:30 p.m. ET (Montreal @ Calgary), so make sure your roster is set a little earlier than usual. And good luck this week! For more fantasy hockey discussions or to contact me you can follow me on twitter @Ian_Gooding