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Eddie Lack (1 GA, 15 SV, W) has a great gangster name, doesn’t he? Sounds like someone coming to whack you instead of ‘tend net peaceably. Eddie doesn’t lack for talent and he continues to provide exemplary play backing up Roberto Luongo who remains firmly entrenched as the team’s no. 1 annnd then he went and got clipped by Dustin Byfuglien, which is of course similar to being clipped by a dump truck. He left yesterday’s game in the first and that’s when Eddie came in. Canucks coach John Tortorella said after the game that Robbie had suffered a dreaded lower-body injury and should be considered day-to-day for now. If he does miss significant time Lack should be able to do a lot with his time as the team’s de facto starter. In two pro-seasons in the AHL Lack has shown himself to be a steady, confident goaltender capable of carrying a team with his play. In 2010-11 he sported a season line of 28-25/2.26/.926%/5 with a stellar showing in the playoffs as well. He followed that year with last season’s line of 21-23/2.31/.925%/4 in 46 games. He’s big and fills the net, but he’s a bit lanky at 6’4” and just 190lbs. Still, he’s quick, agile and stays in good position. All this earned him a 2-year deal with the Canucks and here he sits, ready to shine should the Canucks need him. We’ll keep a close eye on Robbie’s injury stats because if he goes down, Lack is worth owning everywhere. Anyway, here’s what else I saw on a very short nice o’ fantasy hockey:

Evander Kane (1 G, 3 SOG, 2 PIM) keeps on scoring and potted the lone goal for the Jets in a 2-1 loss to the Canucks last night. Kane has 5 points in his last five with three goals over that span and 10 PIM to boot! He’s finally healthy and producing and should be a difference maker in the second half for fantasy owners.

Rick Nash (1 A, 4 SOG, +1) is fast turning into a bust this season. After missing 18 games with a concussion he returned and seemed to hit the ice mid-stride scoring goals and being his Nashty self. He quickly sputtered and has just five points in ten games this month with a minus-3 rating. He’s on pace to play in just 65 games and worse, only score 49 points. If the Rangers and Nash’s fantasy owners have any hopes for the playoffs this season, he’s going to have to turn it around fast.

Ryan Suter (1 A, 5 SOG, +1) still sports a big ole’ goose egg in the goal column and yet remains on pace for 45 points, obviously all assists. And I thought Duncan Keith was bad with this, yikes mang!  

Ryan McDonagh (1 A, 1 SOG, +2) scores in fits and spurts but remains on pace for 44 points with 13 goals this season. McDonagh has been known as a guy with shutdown ability but his offensive game is rounding into form nicely. I’d say by season’s end he’s a top 10 defenseman.

Cam Talbot (1 GA, 24 SV, W) has only started nine games so far this season but he continues to be one of the best backups in the league posting a season line of 7-2-0/1.67/.936%/2 over that span. Not too shabby for a kid who didn’t expect to see any time at the NHL level with Martin Biron firmly in control of backup duties for Henrik Lundqvist. Welp, Biron retired suddenly and Talbot has proven to be worth owning in most deep leagues.

Chris Kreider (1 G, 2 SOG, even) has slowed a bit after a very solid start to his season. Still, he remains on pace for 50 points with 23 goals and remains a must own in keeper leagues. When this kid takes a step forward he’s going to be good for 80-90 points a season.

Carl Hagelin (1 G, 3 SOG, +1) seems like he has a lot of potential to be a solid secondary scoring option but that hasn’t quite materialized yet in his young career. Still, he has three goals over his last four games on 12 shots on goal, so he’s on an uptick, anyway. He still has marginal worth in keeper leagues.

Mats Zuccarello (1 G, 3 SOG, +1) continues to pour it on and has five points in his last five games with goals in two of the last three.

Benoit Pouliot (1 G, 4 SOG, even) joined the Rangers scoring parade in the second period yesterday to help put down the Wild 4-1. Pouliot has points in four straight games with goals in back-to-back games and that puts him on pace for… 23 points in 80 games. Damn, that’s pretty terrible.

Derick Brassard (2 A, even) seems to do just enough to get me to mention him on slow days like yesterday and chipped in a few helpers for the Rangers.

Jason Pominville (1 G, 2 SOG, +1) scored the lone goal for the Wild in a 4-1 loss to the Rangers. He has goals in back to back games putting him on pace for 37 this season. Say what? Not going to happen. Pompoms will flirt with 30 goals, but no chance he sets a career high now.

Ondrej Pavelec (2 GA, 23 SV) continues his mediocre play and lost his fourth game in his last five games. It gets worse. After a four game win streak from Nov. 11th through the 15th Pavalec has won just three of the next 13 games with a span of five losses in a row tucked in there. His peripherals are bleh, he’s bleh and I have no idea why anyone owns him anywhere. I don’t have any idea why the Jets don’t just give Al Montoya a shot with the no.1 job at this point, either. Could he be much worse?

David Booth (1 A, 1 SOG, +1) keeps trying to resurrect his career but I just don’t think it’s going to happen. He remains on pace for just 23 points in 70 games played, but I think if he gets to 70 games played that in-and-of itself is a real achievement for Booth. Maybe, just maybe, if he can get that many games under his belt this year he can come back next year and become fantasy relevant once again.

Dan Hamhuis (1 A, +1) was starting to look like a solid no. 2 fantasy defenseman but has really slipped this year putting up just 10 points in 39 games so far this season. His teammate Jason Garrison is having a much better year, fantasy or otherwise.

  1. Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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    agree with the montoya comment, but I think you have those dates wrong. pavelec won, much less played 4 games from nov 11th – nov 15th? that would be 4 games in 5 days and no days off?

    • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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      @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow: never mind, i see how you intend that sentence to be read, 4 game winning streak which started on nov 11th, and since then mostly lost up till dec 15th, i think.

  2. Jeremey says:
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    Season greetings! Needed some advice on how to proceed with my GK situation. I picked up Grubauer for the meantime while Harding was on the mend but now that Harding seems to be doing ok for his treatment and ready to return I need to axe someone. I have 4 G now but need to lose either Grubauer or Reimer? (other goalie is Niemmi) Reimer seems to be losing his 50/50 split rapidly with Bernier outperforming him pretty consistently and can foresee him seeing the ass-end of a 75/25 or worse. I like Grubauer so far better but in a small sample, does he have some good upside and a chance to hold onto the starting job in WAS? Thanks in advance

    • JD

      JD says:
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      @Jeremey: Agreed on the Berner/Reimer split and frankly the Leafs D allows so many shots I don’t want to own any Leafs goalies right now, so drop Reimer.

  3. I kno u have been on Christmas break JD, but I need ur advise! Someone in our league cut Roberto Luongo and he is available tomorrow. Assuming someone with higher waiver prioity doesn’t grab him up, should I cut Cory Schneider to pick him up? I also have Antti Niemi & Mike Smith, with Sergei Bobrovsky on IR. I can then IR Luongo until he returns. There are other options available to fill in as my 3rd goalie until Bob or Luongo &/or Bob return, such as Jonathan Bernier, Eddie Lack, Jonas Gustavsson, Lehner, or I may even be able to pick Schneider back up if nobody grabs him. Thanks!

    • JD

      JD says:
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      @madden_curser:

      Absolutely add Robbie and stash him on IR, then you can either re-add Schneider (if you can, that’s a dangerous gambit) and failing that, add in the following order: Lack, Lehner, Bernier, Gustavsson.

      • @JD: I really don’t see how Schneider survives long term anyway. We can have up to / and need 3 goalies, so the choices are Niemi, Luongo, Mike Smith, Bob, & Schneider. I think maybe the order is as I listed them? I might have a log jam, but come out with a pretty decent 3′some. Bob & Schneider shortest straws of the five?

        • JD

          JD says:
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          @madden_curser: I’m a believer in Schnieder, but this year Marty Brodeur is still their no. 1 so yeah; value in that order with Bobber and Schneider drawing the short straws.

          • @JD: I missed out on Luongo and now Bobber came off IR today. He will be the backup goalie Thursday against Phoenix & it’s uncertain how long he’ll remain in that role, so I don’t plan to activate him just yet. I will have to cut Bobber, Mike Smith, or Schneider loose. I’m leaning Schneider because Pete DeBoer has leaned heavily on Martin Brodeur, but not in love with Smith either. He doesn’t pile up the W’s. Bobber wasn’t especially sharp before the groin pull either. Hate to cut one, but can only have 3. What would u do JD? W/L/SO/GAA/SV%. Thanks. U da man!

          • @JD: Just read this on CBS. Many will remember Smith as that goalie who almost led the Coyotes to the Western Conference Final in 2012. Since then, nothing of note. His record is encouraging (15 wins versus eight losses) but the other indicators would never be categorized as elite (2.83 GAA places him near the bottom, .914 SV% gets him in the middle of the pack). The good news is the lack of competition for the starting job in Phoenix (he ain’t afraid of no Greiss), meaning Smith doesn’t really have to worry about being replaced unless he really, really sucks. JD, we have a full sched tonite. Hope you post something new. Thanks!

            • @madden_curser: Smith was pulled after allowing three goals on 10 shots in Tuesday’s 4-3 win over the Oilers. Despite being yanked, he will face the Blue Jackets tonight. Smith holds a 9-3-3 record with a 2.91 GAA and. 903 SV% at home this season. Would u drop Anderson, Schneider, or Bob?

  4. goodfold2 says:
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    i’m in a 16 team dynasty where I can keep entire roster for each season. we can only have 2 active goalies at a time, and can only start one per day. I have Halak and Holtby. Should I grab Graubauer and drop Holtby yet, and risk losing Holtby if he gets his job back? Other free agent goalies include mcelhinney/graubauer/montoya/johnson/budaj/brodeur/gigere/anderson/dubnyk/peters/clemmenson. We have no pickup limits so it might be not a big deal at all if i lose holtby and have to stream, as I can do that for each non-Halak day (or even bad matchup for Halak days). that only 2 goalie (and daily-today transaction setting) really do allow for tasty streaming, if possible.

    • JD

      JD says:
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      @goodfold2: When asked who their starter is Adam Oates said Holtby is still their guy, he’s just playing the hot hand. Groober is definitely white hot and worth owning everywhere, but Hotlby shouldn’t be dropped just yet. Both guys are young and either can turn cold or hot at the drop of a hat, so anyone expecting Groober to maintain this pace for a prolonged stretch are likely to be disappointed sooner than later. Plus Michal Neuvirth is still floating around in that situation, so if Groober stumbles he could be sent back to the minors to clear the logjam.

      That list of available tenders is pretty underwhelming, but Marty Brodeur sticks out as absolutely worth owning, at any rate.

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @JD: brodeur was just dropped by the schneider/tim thomas owner. when thomas came off of IR the owner had 48 hours to drop or trade one of those 3 (and during this time the owner had to announce which 1 of those couldn’t play till he figured out which one). The owner also quit during this time (as the decision broke him, and he made the wrong one). So i should wait it out with Holtby and let somebody else improve themselves by grabbing Brodeur (he is better than guys like bryzgalov or either NYI goalie, or quite a few others)

        • JD

          JD says:
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          @goodfold2: Hmn, mayhaps you misunderstood my last reply. No, don’t drop Holtby for Groober just yet, however, I’d drop Holtby for Brodeur.

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