When Johnny Gaudreau underwent surgery for his finger injury, the expectation was that he was going to miss six weeks. Flames fans and fantasy owners had to be thrilled when he came back on Sunday in less than three weeks. The team did surprisingly well in the 10 games Gaudreau missed, mostly due to Chad Johnson between the pipes, but they didn't score than 3 goals in any game during that stretch. That changed in a big way Sunday night against a strong Ducks team. The Flames scored a whopping 8 goals beating the Ducks 8-3 with Gaudreau scoring the opener and adding an assist later on. He was finally playing well before his injury so hopefully this is a sign of things to come. We know that he's a top end player but the impact of his return will be felt throughout the lineup. More on those guys later in the Sunday section, let's get to the games!
As far as fantasy disappointments go for this hockey season, Evgeni Malkin may have been right at the top going into this week. In 17 games, he had 12 points, which is far below his normal standards. On Tuesday, Malkin single-handedly beat the Wild, scoring two goals and adding two assists in the 4-3 win. Now, 16 points in 18 games with 18 PIM and a +5 doesn't look as bad. One more big game and Malkin is back to his normal levels. I assume this game kills the chance to buy low but I'd look to add as many of the top Penguins as possible in trades; you can't keep these superstars down.
Here's what else I saw on Tuesday night:
Curtis Glencross had a third-period hat trick and Miikka Kiprusoff made 17 saves as the Calgary Flames doubled up the Nashville Predators 6-3. Matt Stajan picked up three assists and the Flames have posted consecutive home wins. Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Montreal Canadiens became the first Eastern Conference team to hit the 40-point mark with a 4-3 shootout win over the slumping Ottawa Senators. PK Subban, Lars Eller and Brendan Gallagher scored for Montreal. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Alex Ovechkin’s first hat trick in two years fueled the Washington Capitals to a 5-1 win over the New Jersey Devils as part of a 12-game Saturday in the NHL. Ovechkin scored twice in the third period when the Capitals scored four times to break open a 1-1 game. Please, blog, may I have some more?