Before the season, if you told me I was going to be writing about an Ingram, I would have assumed I was needed to write about basketball in an emergency. Instead, we're two months into the season, and the #3 overall goalie is a 26 year old who played 30 mediocre to bad games in his NHL career. Connor Ingram posted a 26 save shutout in the 6-0 win over the Capitals on Monday. Ingram now has an 11-3 record with a 2.23/.930. I was bullish on an Arizona goalie in preseason, turns out I should have looked at the backup. Do I expect it to last? I would lean towards no, but crazier things have happened. Arizona is playing excellent hockey, and it's not only because of Ingram. Somehow, he's still available in over 50% of leagues. Even if he turns into a pumpkin in two weeks, it was worth the speculative add, because the upside is through the roof. Let's see what else happened over the last two nights:
Hello everyone. Welcome to the ninth edition of JOT This Down! Keep the questions, comments, and concerns coming. I’ll be here all week to answer any and everything you may have.
It's safe to say that we've reached the point that nobody doubts Boston anymore. Their two top centers retired, and yet the team is chugging along at 16-4-3. Their new captain was the reason they won both games over the weekend. Brad Marchand scored the overtime winner against the Leafs on Saturday, his eighth shot on goal in the contest. He followed it up with a natural hat trick, scoring all three goals for the Bruins in their 3-1 win over the Blue Jackets. That gives Marchand 11+12 in 24 games, almost exactly a point per game. The big thing is his shot rate is at an all-time high. In my preseason rankings, I was uncertain on Marchand's ceiling, but speculated his shot rate could improve without Bergeron. He's at exactly 3.5 per game, and with his elite PIM as always, Marchand is still in the conversation for a top 20 player. At 35 years old, Marchand is showing no signs of slowing down. Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
How does Sidney Crosby keep getting better at 36 years old? Crosby had a hat trick and an assist on Tuesday, leading the Penguins to a 5-3 win over the Blue Jackets. He opened the scoring in the game, he got the lead back in the last six minuets and then sealed the game with an empty netter. That brings Crosby to 10 goals and 9 assists in 14 games while pushing four shots per game. He's on a nine game point streak and is a top 20 forward again. With the arrival of Erik Karlsson (goal and an assist, two shots), Crosby has a great chance of getting to 100 points for the first time in five seasons and 40 goals for the first time since 2016-17. I think at this point, he has to be considered a top five player of all-time. If you have him in fantasy, enjoy it, because there's no reason to expect regression. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
The trade deadline has come and gone with teams making their final moves, either to set up their playoff push, or to sell for the future. I covered all of the trades on this very site over the last week, so if you want to get my previous analysis, go back and take a look. Today, I'm going to take a look at early returns on all of the trades. What role are these players getting, how are they doing, etc. Let's get to it!
It's one of my favorite posts of the year! Sure, a lot of trades have been done in advance of the deadline, but there's sure to be more action today. Starting around noon eastern, I'll be updating this post with instant analysis on every trade that takes place. All of the moves from Wednesday and Thursday are below as well, with all previous moves in other posts.
The rich keep getting richer. The Boston Bruins acquired Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway from the Capitals on Thursday, sending draft picks and Craig Smith to Washington, and a pick to the Wild for retaining salary. I think this trade is far more interesting from the Washington perspective. They couldn't agree to a contract with Orlov, with the dispute being over the term of his next deal. Until a few days ago, it seemed farfetched that they would weaken their team for this season, but I actually think it's a smart move. Even if they snuck into the playoffs, they weren't going anywhere. They gained some additional ammo that they can flip in the offseason to make a push again next season. They have a lot of additional pending UFA's that could be on the way out, so it's hard to figure out who will be there in a week to benefit from this move. My guess is Trevor van Riemsdyk takes Orlov's spot on PP2, but he's also a UFA making 950k so he's a logical target for a lot of teams at that price, so he could be on the move too. Smith should crack the lineup, but I'm not expecting much at all. He's off the radar until we see him play. As for Boston, Orlov won't be getting PP time there with Lindholm holding down PP2, so he takes a slight hit to his value. The Bruins are so good that Orlov should stumble into enough points to be valuable in deeper leagues, but we're talking 14+ teams. Hathaway should do what he usually does, and that is pile up a bunch of hits and PIM with an okay goal rate for a fourth liner. All in all, this trade impacts real life more than fantasy. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
I've never seen an organization do more to sabotage their own team and coach as the Canucks have over the last six weeks. They've been openly interviewing coaches for two months while Boudreau was still employed. It was already reported that Rick Tocchet was going to take over the Canucks before the Canucks played on Saturday night. It was highly emotional for the fans, players, and coaches, as Zach Hyman had a goal and three assists with five shots to lead Edmonton to a 4-2 win over the Canucks in Boudreau's last game. He was 50-40-13 in his Vancouver, a 90 point pace per 82 games, much better than it should be with their roster. Boudreau is one of the best coaches of the last 20 years, and I hope he gets another chance. Fantasy wise, Tocchet steps in and well, he was really bad when he coached the Lightning and Coyotes. His only playoff appearance was in the bubble because of an expanded playoffs. The schedule does lighten up quite a bit for the Canucks in the short term, which obviously helps. The distraction of the entire situation being gone also helps, but at the same time, they're going to trade Horvat sooner than later, and this could end up a slight negative for the value of their players. If anything, I lean neutral to their values, but I really don't like the way things are trending in Vancouver. Shame on Aquilini and Rutherford for handling this situation as poorly as possible. As for the Oilers, they're on fire finally starting to solidify their playoff positioning being carried by their superstars. The big thing I would say is never panic about their lines, Hyman and RNH will score plenty regardless, and will end up taking extra shifts with McDavid and Draisaitl anyways. Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
It's no secret in these parts that I'm from Buffalo and root for the local teams. I've seen plenty of devastating injuries over the years, from hockey players being severely cut, Pronger's collapse on the ice, soccer players collapsing like Eriksen in 2021, and I was at the Bills game when Kevin Everett was paralyzed. Damar Hamlin's cardiac arrest was the first time that it felt like "life or death" on the football field. It seemed like an eternity between first responders helping him, getting him to the hospital, and waiting for any update. I can only imagine how it was for his family, friends, and teammates. Here's to hoping that Hamlin continues to progress in his battle towards recovery. The Sabres played in Washington on Tuesday night, with the entire team wearing "Love For Three" t-shirts for their Buffalo brethren. The Sabres won the game 5-4 in the most fitting way possible. Tage Thompson scored his third goal of the game, completing his third hat trick of the season, exactly three minutes into overtime, playing three on three, bringing him to 30 on the season, which is three off the league lead. You can't write a better ending than that. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights while we keep Damar in our thoughts:
Patrice Bergeron became the eighth active NHL'er to reach 1,000 career points on Monday, assisting on a Marchand goal in the 5-3 win over Tampa. The best defensive forward for the last decade, Bergeron has long since been a lock for the Hall of Fame, but being the 94th player to ever reach 1,000 points puts him in truly elite company. It sounds crazy to say that he's underrated, but I do feel like his career is underrated. He's never been a top five player in the league, but he was close for an extended period, his line was consistently one of the best in the league, and if you could pick any skater to be on the ice with one minute left up one to save the planet, he's the guy. Congrats to this hockey wizard. Let's see what else happened on Monday night:
The Sabres got off to a hot start this season despite their top line struggling to get on the scoresheet. On Saturday, they started the turnaround against the Blackhawks, but that game paled in comparison to what they did on Monday. Against the Red Wings, the Sabres scored eight goals, led by their $50 million man, Tage Thompson. Thompson had the game of the early season, scoring three goals, dishing three assists, and putting nine total shots on goal. All it took was two games for Thompson to turn his October into a monster month with 6+6 in nine games with over four shots per game. Granato told him that he needed to start shooting the puck more, and that's turned into 25 shots in the past three games alone. Obviously he's not going to keep up that rate, but Thompson could turn into a top 50 player if he pushes his shot rate to over four per game. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Vancouver has managed to blow multi-goal leads in each of their first four games. Pretty remarkable stuff that already has Boudreau on the hot seat. The good news is that there's still been some offensive bright spots for the Canucks, and Elias Pettersson is leading the way. Pettersson had five points over the last two nights, totaling two goals, three assists, and six shots in the two games. That brings Pettersson to 3+3 in four games, along with 3.5 shots per game. That's a good start to one of my bold predictions of the season, which is that Pettersson will score 45+ goals this year. Time will tell if that pans out, but I have no doubt that Pettersson can be a top 25 player despite the low penalty minutes. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights: