Hall and Purcell bounce back, Eichel stepping into the spotlight, Stastny’s four-pointer, fantasy and more in Scott Cullen’s Statistically Speaking.
Taylor Hall – Edmonton’s star winger had two goals and an assist in a 4-2 win at Florida; he had three points (1 G, 2 A) in the previous 11 games.
Teddy Purcell – Hall’s linemate produced a goal and two assists at Florida, after managing two points (1 G, 1 A) in his previous 11 games. Overall, though, Purcell has been among the more productive pending unrestricted free agent forwards this season.
SCORING LEADERS, PENDING UFA FORWARDS
|Steven Stamkos||Tampa Bay||C||45||20||15||35|
|Kyle Okposo||N.Y. Islanders||RW||43||11||22||33|
|Lee Stempniak||New Jersey||RW||46||10||21||31|
|Frans Nielsen||N.Y. Islanders||C||45||14||14||28|
|Milan Lucic||Los Angeles||LW||44||11||17||28|
|David Backes||St. Louis||C||49||12||14||26|
Paul Stastny – The Blues centre put up a goal and three assists in a 5-2 win over Pittsburgh. He has 10 points (2 G, 8 A) in the past nine games, which has lifted his production (0.74 ppg) closer to career norms, even though his shot generation (1.74 per game) is a career-low.
Jack Eichel – Scored a goal and an assist in a 2-1 win at Arizona, giving him 15 points (5 G, 10 A) in the past 14 games. Since the beginning of December, Chicago’s Artemi Panarin is the only rookie scoring more than Eichel.
ROOKIE SCORING LEADERS, SINCE DEC. 1
|Robby Fabbri||St. Louis||RW||25||7||5||12|
|Joonas Donskoi||San Jose||RW||21||3||7||10|
Willie Mitchell – A tough night against Edmonton, as the Panthers veteran defenceman had subpar possession (10 for, 12 against, 45.5 SAT%) and was on the ice for all four Oilers goals in a 4-2 loss.
Mike Hoffman – Before getting hurt, the Senators winger was having a hard time at San Jose, on for two shot attempts for and 16 against, (11.1 SAT%).
Andreas Martinesen, Chris Wagner and Jarome Iginla – For one thing, it’s noteworthy that this is the line Iginla finds himself skating with these days, and the trio was on the ice for two shot attempts for and 10 against (16.7 SAT%) at even strength in a 2-1 win at Winnipeg.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Suffered a broken hand in Edmonton’s 4-2 win at Florida, and will be out 6-8 weeks.
Mike Hoffman – The Senators’ leading goal-scorer suffered an upper-body injury after crashing into the net during a 4-3 shootout win in San Jose.
Jay Bouwmeester – Returned to the Blues lineup after missing 10 days with an upper-body injury.
Shane Prince – The rookie winger was a healthy scratch for the Senators in San Jose. This may not seem like such a big deal, given that Prince has two goals and eight assists in 31 games, but his underlying numbers suggest that Prince warrants more ice time, not less.
Joel Armia – With injuries decimating the Jets’ forward lines, Armia took advantage of his opportunity, scoring a goal and playing 15:29 – the second straight game and second time in his career that he played more than 15 minutes – in a 2-1 loss to Colorado.
Andre Benoit – The 32-year-old journeyman played 10:46 for St. Louis against Pittsburgh in his first NHL action of the season. He had 25 points (4 G, 21 A) and was plus-10 in 37 AHL games.
J.C. Lipon – A 2013 third-round pick, Lipon made his NHL debut playing 7:11 in a 2-1 loss to Colorado. He had 17 points, and was minus-13, in 30 AHL games when he was called up.
Sabres D Rasmus Ristolainen had a pair of assists in a 2-1 win at Arizona; he has five points (1 G, 4 A) in the past five games…Avalanche C Carl Soderberg recorded a goal and an assist in a 2-1 win at Winnipeg, giving him 10 points (4 G, 6 A) in the past 11 games…Penguins D Kris Letang had a pair of assists in a 5-2 loss at St. Louis, and has 16 points (5 G, 11 A) in the past 10 games…Jets RW Blake Wheeler had 17 shot attempts (10 SOG), but couldn’t get on the scoresheet in a 2-1 loss to Colorado…Sharks D Marc-Edouard Vlasic had a dominant possession game (34 for, 7 against, 82.9 SAT%) in a 4-3 shootout loss to Ottawa.
Sabres G Chad Johnson stopped 26 of 27 shots during a 2-1 victory over Arizona. In his past nine games, he has a .942 save percentage…Coyotes G Louis Domingue turned aside 26 of 28 shots in the loss, and has a .928 save percentage in 13 games…Avalanche G Semyon Varlamov had 36 saves on 37 shots in a 2-1 win at Winnipeg; he had a .881 save percentage in his previous nine games…Jets G Connor Hellebuyck stopped 32 of 34 shots in the loss, and has a .942 save percentage in the past 11 games…Blues G Brian Elliott stopped 36 of 38 against Pittsburgh, giving him a .934 save percentage in his past 14 games…Oilers G Cam Talbot turned aside 31 of 33 shots in a 4-2 win at Florida, giving him a .939 save percentage in his past dozen games.
The best players that (almost) no one owns, available in more than 80% of TSN leagues:
Kris Versteeg – A solid contributor on an underrated Hurricanes team, the 29-year-old winger has 28 points (8 G, 20 A) in 46 games. Owned: 12.7%
Jason Chimera – It’s been shocking how effective the 36-year-old winger has been, especially considering that he had just 19 points in 77 games last season. This year, Chimera already has 26 points (12 G, 14 A) in 45 games. Owned: 11.1%
P.A. Parenteau – The veteran winger has been a useful contributor to a Leafs team that lacks finishers, ranking third on the team with 11 goals. Owned: 7.3%
Scott Cullen can be reached at email@example.com