A lot happened since the last Dose and there were plenty of games on Thursday, so let’s make haste rather than taking in the scenery.
BLACKHAWKS GRAB VERSTEEG
What a boon for the Chicago Blackhawks. Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon once was the Hawks’ main executive, so this trade almost smells of an old buddy deal (an extremely poor man’s version of Kevin McHale sending Kevin Garnett to Boston many moons ago). The fact that the Panthers also retained a good chunk of Versteeg’s salary makes this even more lopsided. It’s surprising the Panthers didn’t receive at least a second-rounder for their troubles.
Some of Kris Versteeg’s value in Florida came from being one of the go-to guys, which almost certainly won’t be the case in Chicago. Even so, being a supporting cast member rather than a marquee guy did him just fine in his last run with the Blackhawks; he scored 20 goals in Chicago's first contemporary Cup run in 2010 and should enjoy strong linemate support.
My guess is that he'll get top-six minutes, which is all you can really ask for. As a three-time 20+ goal scorer, he could bring renewed value after this trade.
Versteeg is worth an impulse buy even before knowing exactly where he’ll fall into the mix. Other Panthers forwards might benefit by proxy, too, especially since I don’t expect much of the players Florida nabbed in return.
Still, the biggest winner is Chicago in reality and Versteeg owners in fantasy. He’s available in 93 percent of Yahoo leagues as of this moment, so give the nice mid-tier sniper an add if you’re needy offensively.
Oh, and there’s still plenty of time to join a Yahoo! Hockey Pool, so get on that.
KADRI SITS THREE GAMES
Nazem Kadri was suspended for three games for running Niklas Backstrom on Wednesday. He had quite the night, as he also delivered a questionable hit on Mikael Granlund. Backstrom is injured, which justifies the three-game price tag and gives Josh Harding a great opportunity.
It’s honestly nice to see some supplemental discipline for a forward bumping a goalie, as guys tend to “lose their footing” and put netminders in danger far too easily in the NHL. (Look at you, Corey Perry.)
This is a brutal draw for the Maple Leafs, however. They’re already dealing with injuries to Tyler Bozak and Dave Bolland, so Toronto’s center deficit is rough. Keep an eye on lineup updates and roster alterations as the weekend goes along.
LOS ANGELES 3, ISLANDERS 2
-- There's no exact timetable for Jonathan Quick's return from a groin strain, but it could very well take a month or more. Ben Scrivens has quietly put up nice individual stats over the years, and with a strong team in front of him, he can be a great investment. He's only owned in 24 percent of leagues right now, so get on that if you need a netminder.
-- Slava Voynov might be turning things around. He has four points of his eight points in his last three games, with two coming (one goal and one assist) last night.
-- John Tavares most feel weirdly alone right now. Matt Moulson's gone and Thomas Vanek still is on the mend. Tavares keeps producing, but can't carry his team to victories.
TAMPA BAY 5, ANAHEIM 1
-- The Anaheim Ducks demoted Frederik Anderson (he of the 6-1-0 record) to the AHL because Viktor Fasth is good to go. If you ask me, even the St. Louis Blues don't boast this sort of embarrassment of riches in net because their three options simply aren't as uniformly potent. This is obviously a big loss for Andersen owners - I'd drop him - but keep him on your watch list. I wouldn't be shocked if the Ducks deal Jonas Hiller at some point this season, maybe even soon.
-- It looks like Valtteri Filppula wins the Martin St. Louis sweepstakes. He scored two goals and an assist in that heightened role, making it abundantly clear that this could be a beneficial situation. I actually already liked Filppula in his previous second-line role, so this is bump is gravy. OK, it’s more like buckets of gravy, but you get the point. He's owned in just 40 percent of leagues.
-- I'm not crazy about his peripherals, but Cam Fowler continues to produce better offense lately and is still firing a decent amount of SOG lately. Not an awful lower-level blueline option right now.
DALLAS 7, CALGARY 3
-- Well, wow. Jamie Benn's six points (one goal, five assists) give him 22 on the season while his peripherals are respectable enough, with a +9 and 62 SOG. Tyler Seguin also has 22 points in 2013-14 after an astounding four goal, one assist night. So much for slowing down in back-to-backs.
-- Valeri Nichushkin is intriguing, though the Russian rookie isn't really getting the minutes to warrant an add just yet. He's worth watching, though.
-- The Stars might have exposed the Calgary Flames' sneaky "we're playing a random goalie to tank" scheme regarding Reto Berra last night, chasing him with four goals on 17 shots.
-- David Jones collected a goal and an assist last night, but he hasn't really delivered on that early season promise of seemingly being a guy who might score by default.
ST. LOUIS 7, COLORADO 3
-- Could this be a sign that the Avalanche's luck is running out or just that the Blues are truly one of the best teams in the league/West? It could be both, but the bottom line is that Semyon Varlamov and Jean-Sebastien Giguere were bound to struggle this season.
-- Fantasy owners are likely most excited by two more goals by Alexander Steen, but his six SOG was also promising. Maybe he'll fire away to avoid too much of a drop-off as his puck luck is likely to drop like Colorado's collective save percentage over the long haul.
-- Chris Stewart is already providing bountiful PIMs (55 already), but he might be that much more of a lock in that area against his former team in Colorado. They were not happy about his actions following a fight last night.
-- Derek Roy collected two power-play points, but he didn't get much ice time, so I'm not sold on his value right now. Disappointing season for a guy who was once a very nice producer.
CHICAGO 5, PHOENIX 4 (SO)
-- Could the Coyotes' high-scoring ways really persist? I'm not sure my mind can process such a dynamic.
-- Sorry to be a broken record on this one, but you should really invest in Shane Doan. Especially in hits leagues, where he has substantial added value (45 so far).
-- Obviously the Blackhawks are doing just fine without Versteeg, especially with high-level guys like Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp really rolling after sluggish starts.
BOSTON 3, COLUMBUS 2 (OT)
-- It looks like the Bruins second line is getting it together. Loui Eriksson isn't the greatest peripheral guy, but he now has a four-game point streak going (one goal, three assists). Patrice Bergeron's heating up, too, with three goals and one assist in his last three games. Boston could very well have two of the league's most enviable lines if that group maintains strong chemistry.
-- Gotta love what Milan Lucic is doing this season. He scored his eight goal, had four assists and continues to bring a nice mix of value to the table (+10, 16 PIM).
-- As long as Zdeno Chara is patrolling the blueline, just about any goalie seems capable. Chad Johnson might be worth the occasional add/drop for that exact reason.
-- Sergei Bobrovsky's been a mess lately. He's 1-3-2 in his last six games and his individual numbers aren't so great. At least he got his money for two seasons, though, right?
SAN JOSE 2, VANCOUVER 1
-- Tomas Hertl keeps producing. He has 17 points in 19 games, including a goal last night. While his luck will probably simmer down a bit more (20.8 shooting percentage), riding with Joe Thornton should sustain him, especially with Brent Burns' uncertain health situation.
-- Dan Boyle might not feel all there in reality yet, but he's doing just fine fantasy-wise. He produced three goals and two assists in his last three games.
-- It's hard to tell if Alexandre Burrows will be as valuable as usual this season. At the moment, he's bit on the marginal side.
-- The same might be true of Chris Higgins, although I still love his trigger-happy ways (four SOG last night, 73 in 21 games played).
- Sports & Recreation
- Ice Hockey
- Chicago Blackhawks
- Kris Versteeg
- Kevin Garnett
- John Tavares