In the afternoon Monday, there was talk that recent Penguins callup Jake Guentzel was going to play on the second line with Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel in his NHL debut. Needless to say that it was a damn good debut, at least from an individual perspective. Guentzel scored a goal one minute into the game and added another one later on in the first period to go up 2-0. He finished the game with two goals on five shots playing over 15 minutes. Yeah, the Rangers came back to win 5-2 but that doesn't take away from Guentzel's debut. So I did some digging on Guentzel. The former third round pick was a stud in college at Nebraska-Omaha (a damn good college hockey school, believe it or not) including putting up 46 points in 35 games his junior year before going pro. He finished off 2015 with Scranton and had 6 points in 11 games before posting 5 goals and 9 assists in 10 playoff games. Guentzel was over a point per game in Scranton this season before getting called up. Basically, this kid can score and getting to play with Malkin and Kessel should do him wonders. In deep leagues, definitely add him where you can. In standard 12'ers, I'll probably look to stream him again on Wednesday to see if this role is legitimate. I don't want to overreact to one game but Guentzel has potential to be a waiver wire darling if he sticks. Here's what else happened around the league on Monday night:
Normally I take a wait and see policy on Russian prospects because they often come highly touted but fail to impress when given the opportunity (We’re all looking right at you, Nail Yakupov) but in the case of Dmitry Orlov (1 G, 3 SOG, +2), I think I can make an exception. Last night he may have locked up a roster spot after scoring his first goal of the season in a magnificent all around effort for the young defenseman. Since his debut Nov. 30th his TOI is hovering around 18 minutes a game and last night against the Panthers he was out there for a whopping 20:04 with 2:42 in OT, the most of any Caps d-man. Orlov was everywhere last night, deking his way through the offensive zone and creating scoring chances, and of course cashing in as well. When asked if he thought this was Orlov’s best game this season Caps head coach Adam Oates had this to say “Yep. I think so, but I still think we saw the offense, we see those plays he made in overtime. I’ve talked to him all along. I know that. You gotta do the job in our end.” That’s the one knock on Orlov to this point, he’s offensive minded to a fault. His penchant for over-reaching to push for an offensive chance makes him a liability in his own zone, but he is so deadly in the offensive zone that he’s likely to continue with the Caps moving forward. That's a risky prediction on my part because he's been sent down and recalled five effin' times in the last month! Is the Caps front-office bi-polar or what? If Orlov stays up with the Caps this time he’s a risky add in standard formats unless he really explodes, and if last night’s game was any indication he has the potential to do just. However, Oates and the Caps want to win, and if his possession numbers skew too far into the negatives he’ll get sent back down like whoa. Or he'll get sent down for no earthly reason. Honestly, I don't know what the Caps will do at this point but the kid has made his case to stay this time around, that's for sure. Regardless, he’s a special kind of player with the potential to post Mike Green-esque point-per-games seasons early on in his career, so he should be owned in all keeper leagues. Anyway, he’s what else I saw in fantasy hockey yesterday: