Dan Dobish

Hockey Daily Dose

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Daily Dose: Saint John

Thursday, October 25, 2018


Another Wednesday is in the books, and it was a low-scoring four-game slate with five or fewer goals in three of the games. There were three games decided by one goal, including a shutout, and one game went to overtime and another was decided in a shootout. We also had two Canadian rivals and Stanley Cup hopefuls hook up in Manitoba, and it was the highest-scoring game of the slate with six total goals. It was about the best of the lot in terms of fantasy production, too. The road teams also cashed in all four of the outings. My favorite result of the evening came in Cary, N.C., as my Lower C team, Royally Pucked, picked up our first victory in dramatic fashion, taking a 3-2 lead with :38.7 left in regulation. Anyway, let's get started!

 

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Toronto Maple Leafs 4, Winnipeg Jets 2

 

The Maple Leafs have 38 goals in 10 games overall this season, while going a perfect 5-0-0 in five games on the road this season. While they have been rolling up huge goal totals in most games, Nazem Kadri has been lost in the shuffle. He finally got his first goal of the season, the third tally in this game, and it stood up as the game winner. Perhaps that will get him going after a rough start by his standards. The addition of John Tavares, as well as the strong play of Auston Matthews, has made Kadri a bit of an afterthought. Speaking of Tavares, he had another goal, his seventh of the season through 10 contests. He battled Dustin Byfuglien in the blue ice to slip a loose puck past Connor Hellebuyck. It wasn't the prettiest goal he'll score, but it counts just the same for fantasy purposes.

 

Frederik Andersen was tested early and often, but he allowed just two goals on 40 shots to get back into the win column. The same cannot be said for Hellebuyck, who coughed up four goals on 39 shots. In addition to Kadri and Tavares, Tyler Ennis also lit the lamp for the Leafs, as did Kasperi Kapanen. It was the first of the season for Ennis, too, as he took a nice pass from Josh Leivo and deposited it into the back of the net. For Kapanen, he has certainly done his part to lessen the sting of William Nylander's holdout. Kap opened the scoring with an unassisted goal at 14:38 of the first period, his fifth marker of the season.

 

Even in a loss the Leafs were unable to keep Mark Scheifele down, as he continues to post huge numbers. He scored on the power play in the third period, potting his fifth of the season. His tally came just 91 seconds after Nikolaj Ehlers notched his first of the season. The Jets had cut the lead to 3-2, bit two minutes after Scheifele's marker on the man advantage was when Tavares notched his tip-in.

 

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Florida Panthers 3, New York Islanders 2 (OT)

 

The Florida Panthers were able to secure just their second victory in eight games, and you had to figure it would come on the Island. The Panthers improved to 6-1 in their past seven road against the Islanders. It actually didn't look like it was going to go in their favor, however, as the Islanders struck late in the first period with a goal from Brock Nelson, and the midway through the second period it was Jordan Eberle breaking through for his first goal of the season on the man advantage, as the home side took a 2-0 lead. Mathew Barzal chipped in with an assist, his eighth point in eight games to start.

 

Frank Vatrano kicked off the scoring for the Cats with a power-play marker of his own at 2:46 of the third period, slicing New York's lead in half. Evgenii Dadonov posted his fourth goal of the season midway through the third, and that was good enough to force overtime. That's when former Ottawa Senators forward Mike Hoffman did his thing, scoring just 33 seconds into the extra session to take advantage of an interference call late in regulation to Barzal. The goal made a winner out of James Reimer, who allowed just two goals on 22 shots. Robin Lehner wasn't as fortunate, letting in three goals on 41 shots.

 

Tampa Bay Lightning 1, Colorado Avalanche 0

 

It was a highly-anticipated East vs. West matchup in the Mile High City, as the Stanley Cup hopeful Lightning invaded Pepsi Center to take on the Avalanche. Colorado, back from a lengthy road trip, is trying to prove that they're for real and belong in the contender conversation, too.

 

Andrei Vasilevskiy wasn't terribly impressed, as he turned aside all 22 shots he faced in the 1-0 victory. Nathan MacKinnon tested him the most, taking four shots in his 22:45 of ice time, but he was unable to beat the Russian netminder. As such, his nine-game point streak was snapped. Mikko Rantanen also had his nine-game points streak end. Since no one was scoring for Colorado, you had to look to other areas for fantasy production. Marko Dano showed up to the rink in a bad mood, doling out five hits in just 6:36 of ice time. Alexander Kerfoot was doing work in the faceoff circle, winning six of his seven chances, and he added two blocked shots in his 14:08 of TOI. Ian Cole was very willing to sacrifice his body, too, blocking six shots with a hit in his 18:12 of ice time, while Colin Wilson blocked four shots.

 

The offense wasn't flowing for Tampa Bay like normal, either. Nikita Kucherov was the only guy to light the lamp on three shots in 16:49 of ice time, while Steven Stamkos chipped in with the lone assist. The goal was the 150th tally in the NHL for Kucherov. That was it. For Vasilevskiy, it was his 13th career shutout in the NHL.

 

The Avalanche were without J.T. Compher and Conor Timmins, both making their way back from concussions. Both are reportedly feeling better, according to head coach Jared Bednar, and they might return soon.

 

Vancouver Canucks 3, Vegas Golden Knights 2 (SO)

 

There were no goals in the first or third period in regulation, as all of the action came in the second. Max Pacioretty opened the scoring, and Ryan Reaves closed it for Vegas. The two Vegas goals bookended two markers from Bo Horvat, as the teams fought to a 2-2 tie in regulation and through overtime. A shootout was needed to decide a winner in a surprisingly entertaining game. Markus Granlund was the hero, slipping one past Marc-Andre Fleury to give the road team two points.

 

Meanwhile, Jacob Markstrom was a brick wall in the shootout, stopping all four of the attempts he faced. As far as Horvat is concerned, he now has seven goals with nine points over his past nine games.

 

The Canucks were able to persevere without Elias Pettersson, who was sidelined for a fifth consecutive outing due to concussion. He still leads all rookies with five goals.

 

Pettersson wasn't the only big gun missing, which makes the team's road win all the more impressive. Brock Boeser was out due to a groin injury. The injury report is getting longer, too, as Sven Baertschi, Alexander Edler and Christopher Tanev each were forced out of the game due to injury. It wasn't the finish Tanev was hoping for in his 400th game in the NHL.

 

Nate Schmidt was handed a six-year contract extension through the 2024-25 season worth an average annual value of $5.95 million. He didn't play in this game, as he was suspended.

 

Alex Tuch made his debut after being sidelined for eight games due to a lower-body ailment. He was scoreless, but antsy. He tied a team high with five shots on goal while dishing out a hit in 17:39 of ice time.

 




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