When Ben Scrivens (0 GA, 59 SV, W) was traded to the Oilers a lot of Oil fans rejoiced, and why not? Ilya Bryzgalov had been recently signed but almost immediately hurt after Stars rookie Valeri Nichushkin rang his bell and sent him to IR and Devan Dubnyk had long been a bleh option for them. I didn’t think this did much for the Oil in the short term given the ease with which Martin Jones displaced Scribbles before Jon Quick returned in L.A., and because the Oiler defense is one of the worst in the league. Last night they proved that was still the case allowing 59 shots to reach Scribbles, who amazingly pushed every last shot aside to shut the Sharks out 3-0. Today people are going wild over Scrivens and I swear I’ve heard some chants of “Scrivezina! Scrivezina!” quietly rolling over the Canadian tundra from Edmonton. When I look at what happened last night I see the fact that the Oiler D allowed 59 shots on goal as the real indicator of what’s going to happen moving forward for Scribbles than his ability to stop them all. How often is that really going to happen? And by “that” I mean both the fact that he faced that many shots and stopped that many? Well, if the Oiler D is any indication, he’ll be facing tons of shots a lot more often than he can stop most of them. Broken down further, the Sharks launched 100 shots last night. 59 made it on net, 22 were blocked and the rest missed. Still, I have to give Scribbles his props; he was absolutely amazing all game and he deserves credit for his performance. Before last night the previous record for most shots against in a shutout belonged to Mike Smith, who pushed away 54 in 2011-12 for a 2-0 win vs. the Blue Jackets. Scribbles shut down the Sharks, there’s a big difference there. Dominik Hašek holds the record for more stops in a playoff game with a whopping 70, but that game went to four OTs, more than double the length of Scribbles’ insane game. So what does this mean for fantasy owners? Nothing. You should still avoid the Edmonton goalies because, uhm, their D allowed 59 shots on goal! Come on! Anyway, here’s what else I saw in the world o’ fantasy hockey last night:
Antti Niemi (3 GA, 24 SV, L) could only sit in awe as his team poured shots on Scribbles only to see every single one of them pushed away. He was probably too distracted by what was going on down the other end of the ice to notice he gave up three goals. He was probably bored! His team spent most of the game in the offensive zone.
Roberto Luongo (4 GA, 35 SV, L) faced 35 shots and allowed four by him for the loss. Puh, hey Robbie, why not give Scribbles a call? He can show you how it’s done.
Taylor Hall (1 G, 2 A, 5 SOG, +2) scored or assisted on all three goals in the 3-0 cray cray shutout victory last night against the Sharks. It’s safe to say without Hall, the Oilers would be far, far worse. In fact, they might not have scored at all last night.
Jordan Eberle (1 G, 1 A, 5 SOG, +2, 2 PIM) has started to light it up this month with 13 points in his last 13 games. This guy should be owned everywhere already, so to his owners I say enjoy the ride, he has the skill keep this pace up for the rest of the season and beyond.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2 A, 5 SOG, +2) continued his own solid month with a few more helpers. That top line in Edmonton is going to be something else next year and would you look at that, they might even have some solid goaltending too. If they shore up that defense of theirs, look out.
Brandon Saad (2 G, 1 A, 2 SOG, +1) had his best game of the season potting two goals and chipping in a helper for good measure. Saad has been a happy surprise for owners and continues to produce at a steady pace, set to finish the season with around 60 points in 80 games. That’s a solid step forward for the young winger who looks to really come into fantasy stardom next season. He’s a must own in keeper leagues because come next season he won’t be very cheap.
Jonathan Toews (1 G, 1 A, 2 SOG, +1) started a trend for the Hawks yesterday with one goal and one assist.
Patrick Sharp (1 G, 1 A, 4 SOG, +1) also tossed in 1 G, 1 A to the winning effort.
Marian Hossa (1 G, 1 A, 4 SOG, even) didn’t want to be left out, so he did the same thing as Sharp and Toews. Aw, it’s so nice to see them all sharing the spotlight!
Justin Schultz (1 G, 2 SOG, +1) might be part of one of the worst defensive units in the league, but the kid can score. With three points in his last five games he remains on pace for a 35-point rookie campaign, and that’s pretty damn sexy. His minus-15 that’s likely to get worse before it gets better is far from sexy, but he is a rookie playing in Edmonton after all. The Oil are absolutely brimming with young talent, it’s only a matter of time before it all comes together for them… or they trade off all their assets to other teams for fear they can’t afford to keep them all.
Daniel Carcillo (1 G, 3 SOG, even, 2 PIM) wasn’t brought to the Rangers to score goals but he said nuts to that and tossed in a goal yesterday. What’s better, it was the game-winning goal in a 2-1 victory over the Isles in the second stadium series contest for the Rangers this week.
Benoit Pouliot (1 G, 3 SOG, even) wasn’t brought to the Rangers to score goals either, but here we are. It’s actually a great sign for the Rangers that in a 2-1 victory two guys who do not score took care of business.
Henrik Lundqvist (1 GA, 30 SV, W) had perhaps the worst month of his career in December when he lost time to injury but also posted a .888 SV%. That doesn’t even begin to get into how poorly the Rangers started this season, though you have to think it had a lot to do with the renovations that were underway at MSG that forced the Rangers on the road for the first 10-15 games of the season. That’s exhausting. Despite that, this win gets his record over .500 for the first time this season and his season line now sits at 19-18-3/2.50/.915/3.
Duncan Keith (1 A, 4 SOG, +1) added another assist, shocking! No goals? No goals. All remains right and well with the universe.
Chris Higgins (1 G, 5 SOG, even) is scoring again, so grab him and stream him for now. He has five points over his last five games powered by three goals and I’d buy that for a dollar!
Ryan Kesler (1 A, 5 SOG, even, 12 PIM) seems to be notching an assist every other game. I guess that’s good… but, er, how about some more goals?! Kesler is on pace for around 60 points this season, but that’s kind of disappointing considering he has the talent to push a point-per-game. Still, you have to love that juicy PIM tally. Nice.
Mats Zuccarello (1 A, 2 SOG, +1, 2 PIM) finds a way to contribute every game, in multiple categories, and this game was no different. Add Zucc wherever you can! I’d say he’s worth his weight in gold, but how much can a hobbit really weigh? He’s worth a lot, regardless.
Michal Handzus (1 A, 2 SOG, +1) seems out of place in Chicago, doesn’t he? I mean that team is so high powered, every line can pot a goal at any moment and the team can put up four or five any game. They’re mostly young, hungry and talented and then there’s Handzus. Hmn. That’s not to say he isn’t talented, but he’s over the hill, ya’ll! Nothing to see here.
Brent Burns (8 SOG, even, 2 PIM)‘s beard put eight shots on goal and had nothing to show for it. I think that could be said about every single player on the Sharks last night.
Brock Nelson (1 G, 2 SOG, even) has a great porn name if you ask me. Or maybe it’s better fitting for a cartoon character? Either way, he’s on pace to score 16 goals this season and that’s pretty solid for the former 2010 first rounder. Brock has a booming shot, fantastic speed and a big frame that he knows how to use. He’s on pace to finish with around 30 points this season and that’s pretty solid! Look for him to take a step forward next season.
Brent Seabrook (1 A, 3 SOG, even) snapped a five game scoreless skid with his helper last night. Since he’s actually a human defenseman, so you can’t expect Erik Karlsson like numbers from him all the time; he’s just fine.
Corey Crawford (2 GA, 29 SV, W) snapped a three game skid and helped the Hawks down the Canucks 5-2 last night. He’s only allowed more than three goals just once over his last ten games, so the wins and losses don’t quite add up the way you’d think. It also goes to show you that wins and losses are basically the worst way to judge how well a goaltender is playing.
Evgeni Nabokov (2 GA, 32 SV, L) started and lost to the Rangers coughing up goals to Benoit Pouliot and Dan Carcillo? Ouch. And this was because he had to replace Kevin Poulin last game because the Bs lit Poulin up for six freakin’ goals. I wouldn’t own any of these jokers.