Washington’s supporting cast is pitching in, Boston getting what they’ve come to expect from Bergeron, the Flames get a valuable performer back from injury, Fantasy tips and more in Scott Cullen’s Statistically Speaking.
Eric Fehr – The Capitals centre produced two goals and an assist in a 6-2 win at Toronto, giving him eight points (6 G, 2 A) in the past five games. Playing 14:37 per game (just down from last year’s career-high 14:45 per game), Fehr is scoring goals at a career-best rate (0.36 per game), thanks to his career-best 17.1% shooting percentage. As noted a couple of days ago, Fehr is among the players with the best ratio of scoring chance percentage to shot attempt percentage, so he may have some shot quality working in his favour right now.
Patrice Bergeron – Boston’s play-driving centre scored a pair of goals, including the overtime winner (with what may well have been a high stick), in a 3-2 win at Pittsburgh. He has eight points (4 G, 4 A) in the past seven games to get his point production up to typical levels – over 0.70 points per game for the sixth consecutive season. He remains a dominant possession player.
RELATIVE CORSI LEADERS - FORWARDS (min. 300 5-on-5 minutes)
|Joe Thornton||San Jose||C||58.9%||+9.4%|
|Matt Nieto||San Jose||LW||58.2%||+7.7%|
Mikael Backlund – Playing in his first game since late October, the Flames centre had a goal and an assist in a 3-2 loss to Detroit. He has just six points (2 G, 4 A) in 12 games this season and 107 points in 258 career games, but Backlund has been a strong puck possession player for virtually his entire time in the NHL.
Jonathan Bernier – The Maple Leafs goaltender, who has been one of their most valuable players, allowed five goals on 25 shots in a 6-2 loss to Washington, dropping his save percentage to .892 over the past five games, and .916 for the season.
Loui Eriksson – Despite starting all of his shifts in the offensive zone, the Bruins’ winger was on the wrong end (4 shot attempts for, 14 against, 22.2%) of the possession game at Pittsburgh.
LINEUP NEED TO KNOW
Morgan Rielly – Toronto’s second-year defenceman played a career-high 23:31 against Washington.
Johan Franzen – Detroit’s winger missed Wednesday’s win over Calgary with an upper-body injury. With Tomas Jurco also sidelined, Dan Cleary and Joakim Andersson had spots in the Detroit lineup.
Paul Martin – The Pittsburgh defenceman returned to the lineup for the first time in nearly three weeks and played more than 20 minutes against Boston.
Karri Ramo – Calgary’s goaltender left Wednesday’s loss to Detroit early after a collision with teammate Raphael Diaz.
Sam Carrick – Recalled to the Maple Leafs lineup, the rookie forward played all of 2:53 against Washington.
Capitals D John Carlson recorded two assists in a 6-2 win at Toronto, and has 18 points (2 G, 16 A) in the past 18 games…Capitals LW Marcus Johansson scored a pair of goals in the win, and has six points (3 G, 3 A) in the past six games…Red Wings LW Justin Abdelkader had a goal and an assist in a 3-2 win at Calgary, giving him eight points (4 G, 4 A) in the past seven games…On a day in which he was fined $2,000 for diving, Red Wings RW Gustav Nyquist had a couple of assists at Calgary; he has nine points (1 G, 8 A) in the past seven games…Red Wings C Henrik Zetterberg had a goal and an assist at Calgary, and has 10 points (5 G, 5 A) in the past nine games…Rangers LW J.T. Miller had a pair of assists in a 4-1 win at Anaheim; he has four points (1 G, 3 A) in the past four games…Penguins C Evgeni Malkin had a goal and an assist, with 12 shot attempts (6 SOG) in Pittsburgh’s 3-2 overtime loss to Boston… Bruins G Tuukka Rask stopped 37 of 39 shots in a 3-2 overtime win at Pittsburgh...Penguins LW Nick Spaling had strong possession stats (18 shot attempts for, 6 against, 75.0%) against Boston…Detroit’s line of Pavel Datsyuk, Darren Helm and Tomas Tatar controlled played at Calgary, with Datsyuk (21 for, 5 against, 80.8%) leading the way.
It’s a busy night, with 10 games on the schedule, so here are some players to consider inserting into your lineup:
Travis Zajac – The Devils centre has gone through some long dry spells, but has five points (2 G, 3 A) in the past five games and New Jersey has been getting healthier up front.
Melker Karlsson – The Sharks rookie winger doesn’t have a great scorer’s pedigree, but has three goals in the past three games and skating on a line with Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski is a good opportunity.
Ryan Ellis – Five points (2 G, 3 A) in the past three games for the Nashville blueliner, who is averaging a carrer-high 19:50 time on ice per game.
J.T. Miller – The Rangers forward is battling for ice time, but has four points (1 G, 3 A) in the past four games to make his case.
Scott Cullen can be reached at email@example.com