The race for the Calder trophy has been razor thin from the start of the season. Early on it looked like the Sharks’ Tomas Hertl was well on his way, but then he blew out a knee and that opened the door for the Rangers’ Chris Kreider, but he has since cooled, though he’s still getting good minutes with Rick Nash and Derek Stepan and remains valuable in deeper leagues. Ondrej Palat jumps into the mix with his recent surge of 15 points in his last 16 games giving him 31 points, which actually puts him ahead of Kreider’s 30. Regardless, it’s Nathan MacKinnon’s (1 A, 5 SOG, +1) turn to be the front runner and this time the edge might not be so razor thin. MacKinnon has eight points in his last five games with goals in three straight until last night, but he figured he’d keep the trend going and chipped in a helper. With less than 30 games to play MacKinnon leads all rookies in goals (20), assists (21) and points (41) putting him on pace to finish with a Bobby Ryan-esque 30 goals and 31 assists in 82 games. It’s not every day that you get a rookie that can score 30 goals, it’s even more rare to find a kid who will match his goal scoring with assists and a decent plus/minus to boot!  You’d think given his recent streak and general good play all year he’d be owned in 100% of leagues everywhere, but alas, Yahoo fails us once again and his ownership sits a platry 68% as we approach the stretch run to the playoffs with Palat coming in at just 16%. ESPN sits at 100% for MacKinnon but just 81% for Palat. These are the guys that give you the edge moving forward, so if you’re in a league where either is available, do yourself a favor and pick them up yesterday. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in the world o’ fantasy hockey last night:
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: