Thomas Vanek making his debut as a New York Islander, and it wasn't as good as Moulson's was for Buffalo. Vanek with 0 points, 1 SOG, 2 hits, in just 19:49 of ice time. Now, I think fantasy owners were expecting a hat trick right off the bat, or a few points because of playing with Tavares. You can't rush this sort of thing, Vanek needs time to find his bearings and create some chemistry after leaving an organization he's been with for so long, give it time. Vanek without a doubt, came out on top in that trade. Derek Stepan with 2 assists last night, and it's good to see his production is picking up. It's not anywhere near what it was last year, but it's still there with 7 points in 11 games (all assists). Yes, the goals aren't there yet and he's struggled not having Rick Nash with him, but if you look at his 5 game span where he went pointless, I think is where the storm was at it's worst in New York. If you're a fantasy owner, I think things are about to turn the corner for him and the Rangers. Rookie Cam Talbot getting his 3rd start, and got the win stopping 22 of 24 shots. He now improves to 2-1-0 on the season with a .929 SV% and 1.96 GAA.
DALLAS vs. MONTREAL:
It's time to take Michael Bournival seriously, with 1 goal last night, he now was 7 points in 7 games (4G/3A) and a +5 rating. Tomas Plekanec is enjoying having Bournival on his line and it's done nothing but make Plekanec money for fantasy owners. With an assist last night, now has 9 points in his last 7 games with 11 total in 13 games. It's surprising to see that isn't considered the first line in Montreal. The Galchenyuk/Gallagher/Eller experiment I think is coming to an end, their production was off to way to good of a start and they're starting to hit a wall.
CHICAGO vs. OTTAWA:
This was just an ugly performance of goalies if I've ever seen one, and it blew up in my face when I decided to start Craig Anderson. People in my league wondered why I did, and I had to. Schneider was hurt and on IR, and Ryan Miller is still in Buffalo and no one in their right mind will start him with confidence if it isn't against the Panthers, and my opponent this week already had 2 goalie wins to start, had to make a play. Hawks dominated with a 6-5 comeback win, and were lead by their captain Johnathan Toews hat trick. Toews with 3 goals last night, and an assist. 9 Hawk players had points last night including, Marian Hossa with 1 goal, and 2 assists. It was shocking to see 6 goals from Chicago, and Patrick Kane with 0 points and a -1, how does that even happen? Kyle Turris with another goal and assist, which just proves my bits the other night when comparing how good and underrated he is there because of Bobby Ryan, Jason Spezza, and Milan Michalek. Michalek must have heard I called him out when comparing him and Turris because he had his first true multi-point night last night, (he had 1 other game where had 2 assists). You're welcome, Joel. Khabibulin was pulled after giving up 4 goals on 22 shots, in which Crawford came in to relieve him and backstopped his team to 2 points, stopping 14 of 15 shots.
TORONTO vs. EDMONTON:
What a game in Edmonton last night, well for the Leafs but not for Oiler fans. James Reimer coming up huge for his team, with a 43 save shutout to earn the win on the road. It's interesting to see this goalie battle because it hasn't stopped yet. Most of them this season were little bouts and you've seen who has the job by now, but a lot of people thought Bernier would steal the show and his fantastic start earlier proved he possibly would, but Reimer handed him a pen and told him to watch how it was done. Phil Kessel, I was never a huge fan until these last 4 years my old roommate and good friend, Nick Athens, stated early on that this was his boy, and I can see why. He's not the biggest guy in the league, but he's fast, smart, and if you've ever watched a Toronto game, holy shit balls does he have a shot. Kessel went off last night with 2 goals and 2 assists, giving him 18 points in 13 games, (9G/9A). Nazem Kadri, proving last year was no fluke, with 1 goal and 2 assists in this game also. Kadri has quietly put together a solid start with 12 points in 13 games, and Kadri and Kessel combined last night for a whopping 7 points. UNREAL. Edmonton is struggling, even more now with Taylor Hall out and it's obvious they need a spark and some grit. Dobber over at dobberhockey said this, and I couldn't put it any better myself and this is true beyond belief:
"The Oilers need size, toughness and defense. Andrew Ference and Nick Schultz were good starts on the back end, but they need a big, grinding forward with experience. And with the emergence (albeit small sample size) ofMark Arcobello, the Oilers need to trade Sam Gagner. If there was a clone of Milan Lucic out there and this clone was available, he would be perfect for this team."
LOS ANGELES vs. PHOENIX:
Phoenix seeking revenge after being handed a 7-4 loss, just 5 days prior playing the Kings. They were able to pull out the win last night 3-1, with a strong start from Mike Smith who looked like his old form from last year, stopping 41 of 42 shots. It's interesting to see goalies in Phoenix because they play such a strong defensive system, that it helps and allows goalies to thrive. I remember seeing Bryzgalov in Phoenix and remember he was also a tank in the net, but then he signed with Philly and he became the joke of the NHL. Put into a different system that relied more on offense , he struggled and it makes you wonder if that would happen to Smith also if ever the situation were to arise? Andy Miele with 2 assists last night, Kyle Chipchura with 1goal, and 1 assist. Shane Doan who I just picked up off FA was awesome, with a PP goal with the assists from Yandle, and Ekman-Larsson.