At this point, it’s about time we recognize that Artemi Panarin isn’t just riding Patrick Kane’s coattails. On Wednesday, the rookie vaulted himself into a tie for 5th in the league in points, scoring a hat trick to lead the Blackhawks to a 5-3 victory against the Rangers. It was a 3-3 game with 3 minutes left until Panarin scored to take the lead and then he sealed it with an empty netter. He now has 22 goals and 35 assists with solid numbers in the other categories. As long as voters don’t punish him for being 24 years old, Panarin should run away with the Calder. He’s gone from a late round flier this year to a slam dunk top 50 asset going forward that’s probably closer to the top 25 than 50. Here’s what else I saw around the league the last two nights:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Goals were extremely hard to come by in the NHL on Tuesday night. Four of the eight games finished 2-1, 3 of which were 1-1 through 60 minutes and needed overtime. Surprisingly, the one game that had a lot of goals was in New Jersey where the Flyers exploded in the 3rd period to beat the Devils 6-3. Their best player, Claude Giroux, led the way with three assists and one shot on goal. After a slow start, Giroux is now in the top 20 in the league in points with 49 (16+33) in 56 games. The first line and first power play unit for the Flyers has been completely unstoppable for the last 4-6 weeks and is keeping the Flyers in the playoff race. If you own any of their big four, enjoy the ride. Here’s what else I saw around the league on Tuesday night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
In the month of February, Oliver Ekman-Larsson has been even better than usual. After Monday night where he had a goal and two assists with two shots against Montreal, OEL now has 10 points (3+7) in 7 games with 27 SOG and 14 PIM. Eight of his points are on the power play which is excellent but that’s come along with a -10 rating. You can stomach the plus-minus from OEL when in defenseman ranks, he’s 2nd in goals, tied for 4th in points, 2nd in SOG and first in STP. In dynasties, he’s solidified himself as the #3 defenseman going forward. It’s crazy to think that OEL is still only 24 years old and the best years for Arizona are still to come. He deserves to be discussed about the Norris Trophy, not to win because Erik Karlsson has it in the bag, but as a finalist. Here’s what else I saw around the league on a relatively busy Monday:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Evander Kane made a huge difference in weekly matchups as he was arguably the player of the week. After his goal and 29 point outburst early in the week, Kane scored twice on five shots and added two PIM on Friday while scoring a goal with three shots and two PIM on Sunday.Please, blog, may I have some more?
On Wednesday, I said the following about Patrick Eaves: “He played on the first line and first power play unit right now so Eaves is a top end streamer while that’s the case. You could even hold him.” Well, he showed why that’s the case on Thursday night as Eaves had a hat trick in the first period against the Blackhawks. He finished the game with those three goals and six shots on goal. He has to be held now or picked up where available as long as he’s on the first line. Here’s what else I saw the last two nights around the league:Please, blog, may I have some more?
There were 12 games in the NHL last night and there was an insane amount of goals. Two games had 11 goals, three had 7 or more and another bunch had 5+. The goalie that had the only shutout of the night was Martin Jones, who arguably had the hardest matchup in the league, stopped all 33 shots he faced in Chicago. In his first season, Jones has been a workhorse (only 5 goalies have started more games) and has put up solid stats across the board, especially wins. He’s a big reason why the Sharks are in prime position to get back into the playoffs after one season out. I’m not a huge fan of Jones going forward but he’s still a very good #2 goalie going forward. Here’s what else happened in an action packed night around the league:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I was getting some questions in the comment section a few weeks ago about whether Mark Stone should be held or cut. Those questions can be put to bed now. Stone scored for the fourth straight game, tallying two goals and an assist with two shots.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’ve always been a huge Peyton Manning fan and thought he was the G.O.A.T. before last night. Even though he didn’t play well, it was great to see him win a second Super Bowl. I’m glad he said was going to have a bunch of beers after the game as well, although he should pick something better than Budweiser. Wait, I’m supposed to talk about hockey here. Whoops… The weekend had less action than normal due to the Super Bowl but there was plenty going on. Kyle Okposo had the best weekend of everyone. On Saturday, he had an assist in the blowout loss but on Sunday, Okposo went off with a hat trick, assist and eight shots in the 8-1 massacre of the Oilers. He now has a good chance of setting a career high in points, penalty minutes and power play points which is outstanding. At 27 years old, Okposo is about to enter his prime and as long as he stays healthy, he should be a 60-70 point player for the next couple years. Here’s what else I saw around the league this weekend:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Even though the Flames offense has been prospering lately, they’ve done it without their number 1 center producing. Before Wednesday night, Sean Monahan had 3 points in his last 13 games. Well, he broke out of his slump and in a big way with a goal, three assists and three shots in the 4-1 win over the Hurricanes. He now has 15 goals and 18 assists through 49 games, a bit behind last year’s pace. You can attribute directly to special teams points; Monahan had 21 last year while he only has 8 to date this year. If he gets going on the power play, he can push last year’s 62 point total. While he hasn’t taken the next step from last season, he’s still only 21 years old. The sky is the limit for this kid and it would be wise to throw make some offers for him in a dynasty league if his owner isn’t happy. Here’s what else I saw around the league the last two nights:Please, blog, may I have some more?
50 points in 40 games. That was my prediction for Sidney Crosby in the second half of the season. Yesterday, I said that “Sidney Crosby has been outstanding for a month and could easily lead the league in points from this point forward” here. That possibility is off to a great start. Crosby had a hat trick on Tuesday night with an assist and eight shots in the 6-5 win over the Senators. Amazingly, he’s become somewhat of a forgotten man this year but it’s his time to shine again. Here’s what else I saw around the league the night after the All-Star break:Please, blog, may I have some more?