Dose: Turning things around?

James O'Brien
Elsewhere Auston Matthews scored two goals against Montreal

Dose: Giroux's Big Night

Elsewhere Auston Matthews scored two goals against Montreal

With a deluge of NHL games on Tuesday after just one on Monday’s holiday, it’s one of those days that make it totally reasonable to just jump right into game summaries. So let’s do just that:


-- The million dollar question of “who’s lining up in Steve Stamkos spot alongside Martin St. Louis and possibly Ryan Malone?” seems a little bit unclear. Sportsnet’s listings have St. Louis skating with Brett Connolly and Alex Killorn, but it’s hard to tell how permanent of a thing that really is. In other words, so don’t make any paradigm changes yet.

(Unless you own Stamkos. Then you’re kind of screwed. Honestly, I think it’s foolish for him to rush back in his recovery, but that’s just me.)

-- Ben Bishop continues to play very well, and certainly far above expectations. He's now 12-2-0 on the season, with great individual numbers (including a .930 save percentage). Maybe triple-B (Big Ben Bishop) could keep them afloat?

-- With this overtime loss, Carey Price has a strange statline: a patently mediocre record (7-7-2) with great individual stats (.933 save percentage, 2.12 GAA). With more goal support, things could really turn around.


-- The Claude Giroux top line looked great last night. Giroux had two assists, Jakub Voracek had two assists and Scott Hartnell had a helper in last night's game to power Philly's win. This might be another good time to cash in on a few buy-low situations.

-- That especially goes for Jakub Voracek, who now has three goals on the season.

-- Steve Mason generated his first shutout of the season, making 24 saves.

-- Craig Anderson struggled after Robin Lehner helped Ottawa rattle off four wins in a row. Could Lehner start to steal reps from Anderson even after Paul MacLean gave Anderson his seal of approval?

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-- Are the Phoenix Coyotes being shortchanged by that long period where they were propped up by the league and sometimes dreadful to watch, even when they were winning? They’re red-hot right now, and beat a good team even with Radim Vrbata, Martin Hanzal and Derek Morris out of the lineup on Tuesday.

-- Which brings me to a pleasant development in fantasy: Mike Smith’s continued work as a top fantasy goalie. Smith already has 11 wins on the season and has just been generally stout lately; the Canadian goalie has won two straight and six of his last seven (also eight of nine if you disregard a non-decision). He might just be reaching the potential some gave up on years ago.

-- Morris is on the IR, but there’s still plenty of offense coming from the blueline, with Oliver Ekman-Larsson leading the charge. He has 15 points on the season, including last night’s game-winner.


-- Talk about a reversal of fortunes. One of the worst teams in the NHL, which was on a nine-game losing streak, came from behind to beat the team with the most points in the NHL even after this loss. Not exactly predictable.

-- Tim Thomas finally showed a sign of the work owners/prospective owners have been hoping to see, stopping 32 out of 34 shots for just his second win of 2013-14. On the other end of the spectrum, Frederik Andersen finally lost.

-- Add Brad Boyes (GWG) to the list of guys who could blossom with a new coach (along with Brian Campbell, etc.).


-- Joe Thornton knows his passer role more than ever, with 17 of his 19 points being assists. Both of his goals were pretty flukey, too. The only problem is that it means he isn't great peripherals-wise, especially since his days of being a 100-PIM guy (just two this season so far) are long gone.

-- Even when he plays, Alex Stalock can face light work. He only needed to stop 11 out of 13 shots for his second win of the season last night.

-- A few days ago, I wondered if Reto Berra's been getting so many starts because Calgary wants to tank. That inkling hasn't exactly gone away.


-- Don’t look now (OK, you can if you want to), but Ondrej Pavelec is heating up and approaching actual competence. He and the Jets have won three games in a row.

-- Want a weird record? Try Jimmy Howard after last night’s loss: he’s 5-5-5 on the season. That’s one of those marks that almost requires a double take.

-- Not long after Dustin Byfuglien joined the finally scored a goal club, Zach Bogosian did the same thing, notching one on his 50th SOG of 2013-14. Understatement: that has to be a relief.

After the jump: more game summaries.


-- You have to love the category-filling prowess of Gabriel Landeskog, who had an assist and seven hits on Tuesday. He can do a little of everything, at least when his health is in order. To a lesser extent, Nathan Gerbe's doing similar things for Carolina (10 PIM during a scoring slump, which ended with two assists last night).

-- If Justin Peters hasn't fought for a future spot with the big club, he may very well have done so in the eyes of another NHL team. He's really heating up right now.

-- The Hurricanes could use more offensive zip (third goal, third assist) from Jordan Staal in these trying times.


-- Jonathan Quick seemed to tweak something making a save in overtime. The Kings were mum about his status, at least last night, so keep an eye on that. Ben Scrivens received one of those arbitrary losses after taking over and falling in the SO.

-- This was the Sabres' first win in Buffalo while Colorado suffered its first road loss of the season in the same night.

-- Cody Hodgson (two goals) and Matt Moulson (two assists), might have their bumpy moments, but the two seem like they'll be just fine for Buffalo.

-- Ryan Miller sure had to earn his third win of 2013-14. The Kings generated a 45-17 shot disparity but still lost.


-- Hard for me not to look at the Maurice Richard Trophy as Alex Ovechkin's once more, though there's obviously a lot of time. His 14th goal was an OT game-winner.

-- Brandon Dubinsky's playing so well lately, you don't really need to trumpet deeper stats that much. He has seven points in his last four games. But yeah, those peripherals (34 PIM, 40 SOG and 46 hits) clinch it for a guy owned in just 56 percent of Yahoo Leagues.

-- Mikhail Grabovski's bandwagon must be heating up again. He collected his 11th assist and sixth goal of the season last night.

-- Things have been working out for Braden Holtby when Ray Emery's fists haven't been involved. He's won seven of nine games and has an overall .920 save percentage.


-- Martin Brodeur has three wins in a row, allowing two goals in that span (including two straight shutouts). Cory Schneider owners have reason to be worried.

-- Jaromir Jagr has four points in his last four games (two goals, two assists) and is getting closer to a point-per-game with 14 in 18.

-- Henrik Lundqvist still seems a little shaky so far this season. At least the Rangers have generally been playing better.


-- John Tavares’ continued excellence is no surprise. It's heartening to see Kyle Okposo get back on the board (goal after three pointless games to give him 20 points in 19 games) while Frans Nielsen's hot start continues. A guy who was only supposed to be an OK offensive player with great two-way ability has 21 points in 19 games (including one goal and four assists in the last five games).

-- It wouldn’t be surprising to see Kevin Poulin continue to pile up the starts, although the desperate Islanders could just as easily consider turning to an experienced option beyond Evgeni Nabokov.

-- Patric Hornqvist ended a Predators’ goal-scoring drought that almost lasted three straight games.

-- Boy, Nashville is stubborn about staying the course with its goaltending, isn’t? Marek Mazanec lost in his first career NHL start last night. Hard to imagine him getting many more this season, but who knows with this sometimes-baffling organization.

For a list of injuries and suspensions, click here.

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