A lot happened on Thursday, and much of it was of the unfortunate injury variety. I’ll do my best to hit the big stuff, but click here for a comprehensive list just in case something slips through the cracks.
Now, let’s get to the game summaries:
MONTREAL 2, BOSTON 1
-- It’s pretty disturbing that Max Pacioretty delivered a hit that forced a player to be stretchered off the ice and was the victim of an unfortunate collision that resulted in the same for himself in different games between the Habs and the Bruins. By most accounts, it sounds like the blow he delivered on Johnny Boychuk last night was clean (or at least wasn’t suspension-worthy). Hopefully Boychuk’s injury issues are minimal, as he’s already experienced some problems this season.
-- For a while, Carey Price’s strong work slipped under the radar because Montreal wasn’t giving him much support. Now that the Habs are winning, it should be clear how well he’s playing. (Looking at you, Steve Yzerman and the rest of Team Canada’s brain trust.)
-- While I’m uncertain he’s a decisive add, you should at least keep tabs on Brian Gionta. He has six points (one goal, five assists) in his last five games.
-- Jarome Iginla is a notorious slow-starter, so I expect business to pick up. He’s firing away (six SOG last night, 77 in 28 games), but not connecting very well, as his five goals represent just a 6.5 shooting percentage. He’s doing well in other categories - +10, 57 hits - so he shouldn’t be disappointing TOO many people.
TORONTO 3, DALLAS 2 (OT)
-- Tyler Seguin was awfully busy in his return to action, firing seven SOG. Seguin and Jamie Benn combined for 15, without a point to show for it.
-- More and more, it's clear that the Maple Leafs are "happy" with their formula of "holding on for dear life as their goalies hopefully make a ridiculous amount of saves while hoping that their top-six forwards drag them to victory." It worked on Thursday, as Jonathan Bernier stopped 48 out of 50 shots in another win.
-- Nazem Kadri is still getting lucky, as his 21.4 shooting percentage is bound to drop. The best lucky draw is skating between Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk, which should keep the good times more or less coming …
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MINNESOTA 4, CHICAGO 3
-- Andrew Shaw missed last night's game with an upper-body injury. He might play soon, possibly even tonight, though.
-- Hey, would you look at that: Jason Pominville has two assists in his last three games, giving him six overall (versus 14 goals).
-- Corey Crawford has two consecutive losses in which he allowed four goals (on just 41 shots overall). His 17-6-3 record is fabulous, but all of a sudden, his individual numbers are pretty weak (.906 save percentage, 2.49 GAA). He might not be truly elite, but with what looks to be a strong team in front of him for the foreseeable future, Crawford will be a very good option.
-- Dany Heatley isn't worth owning, but at least he's giving the Wild a tiny bit of value for the mammoth amount of money they're spending on him. He has six of his 10 points in the last nine games.
EDMONTON 8, COLORADO 2
-- The beauty of Patrick Roy, head coach, is that we get to give him a hard time about his famous career. Take Thursday, for instance, as many referenced his infamous last game with Montreal as he similarly left Semyon Varlamov out to absorb all eight goals by Edmonton.
-- You’ve heard my spiel on David Perron, who’s still only owned in 55 percent of leagues. Even taking out his hits (a solid 35), he puts a ton of SOG, nice PIM and plenty of points on the board. You know what to do.
-- Ales Hemsky’s really heating up. He has two goals and three assists for five points in four games. He isn't great peripherals-wise (especially a -12, which may not get better with the Oilers), yet his skill is obvious and he’s in a contract year. I’d monitor him, like Gionta.
-- Devan Dubnyk is now 5-2-0 in his last seven starts. The big goalie still has a save percentage under .900, but he's responding nicely to the challenge of the Ilya Bryzgalov signing.
PITTSBURGH 5, SAN JOSE 1
-- Evgeni Malkin is dealing with a lower-body injury. Blah.
-- Marc-Andre Fleury definitely earned his 16th win of the season, as he stopped 44 out of 45 shots. That included stopping 23 out of 24 Sharks shots in the second period.
-- Should Chris Kunitz make Team Canada? Fantasy owners are just glad that he has that extra carrot dangling; He now has five goals and four assists in a six-game point streak. Extending it back a bit (with just one pointless game on Nov. 23), the hard-charging winger has seven goals and six assists for 13 points in his last nine contests. Overall, he has exactly a point-per-game (30 in 30).
-- Tomas Hertl continues to produce, as he had a goal on six SOG in 17:05 TOI last night. He's really been firing shots on net lately, with 21 in five games, only getting two goals for that trouble. At least that means he isn’t just riding puck luck.
CAROLINA 5, NASHVILLE 2
-- Jeff Skinner is on fire. He generated a hat trick on Thursday after scoring two goals and an assist on Tuesday. No shocker: he's really good when healthy.
-- Justin Peters continues to be a competent backup, as he won his second game in a row, improving his record to 6-7-1 with a .922 save percentage and 2.35 GAA.
-- Marek Mazanec was pulled after a rough two periods (four goals on 13 shots). This might give Carter Hutton a chance to edge in on Mazanec's reps. Speaking of Predators goalies, it sounds like Pekka Rinne's MRI was largely positive; Nashville hopes he'll start "more strenuous activity" around Dec. 20.
-- Whoa, Justin Faulk is out of his mind. He has eight points in his last six games, including one tally and two assists on Thursday. I generally promote patience, but scoring blueliners are hard to find, so why not give him a shot? He's been getting plenty of ice time lately, too. He's just owned in 16 percent of leagues.
More game summaries after the jump.
ST. LOUIS 5, ISLANDERS 1
-- Frans Nielsen has really slowed down lately. He broke a six-game pointless streak with an assist on Thursday. He only has one goal and one assist in his last 10 games, failing to generate a SOG in two of those contests. While Nielsen is a quality player in reality, it appears that talk of his fantasy breakthrough might have been premature.
Either that or he's just slumping alongside a team that is in a bad way.
-- Derek Roy has a goal and a four assists for five points in four games. Consider him another guy worth monitoring (again, another player with marginal peripherals).
-- Jay Bouwmeester is generating nice numbers for fantasy owners, as he has 21 points in 27 games and a +15 rating.
-- If you're looking for depth defensemen, you could probably do worse than Andrew MacDonald. Hopefully you could do better, though, to be honest.
RANGERS 3, BUFFALO 1
-- At 5-16-0, it’s hard to slam anyone for dropping Ryan Miller, even if the lure of a possible trade to a contender is also pretty tantalizing. Tough call.
-- Seriously, Chris Kreider is useful in the stats beyond point production. Example: he registered a whopping seven hits last night.
-- Tyler Ennis broke a four-game pointless streak with a goal. He seems like he has an extra jump in his step with Ted Nolan behind the bench, but not to the point of being worthwhile in fantasy.
-- Ryan McDonagh's ascension to genuine fantasy usefulness continues; he has a five-game point streak with one goal and five assists for six points.
FLORIDA 5, WINNIPEG 2
-- There's no sense doubting Scottie Upshall any longer, as he extended his point streak to five with two assists last night. Upshall has 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in his last nine games.
-- OK, Tim Thomas is marginal, but he shows enough flashes of that two-time Vezina form that he's still worth keeping an eye on.
-- Yikes, a -4 for Dustin Byfuglien, who has a -6 rating over four games (and a -11 mark overall). He's well worth it, though, as he does so many things well (22 points, 38 PIM, 101 SOG, 53 hits and 50 blocked shots in 30 GP) that you'd be pretty silly to complain.
TAMPA BAY 3, OTTAWA 1
-- Ben Bishop ended his two-game skid, though it was far from his fault. In the last five games, he's allowed just five goals and hasn't given up more than two tallies. He remains one of the genuine steals of this season.
-- Martin St. Louis has five pointless games in his last seven. On the bright side, he has four goals and one assist in the two games he got on the board.
-- Robin Lehner continues to struggle lately, as he's been on a three-game losing streak.