Buffalo’s big off-season acquisition is leading the way, Edmonton’s big scorers, Johnny Hockey, Skinner, Varlamov, fantasy and more in Scott Cullen’s Statistically Speaking.
Ryan O’Reilly – With the overtime winning goal and an assist in Saturday’s 2-1 win against Los Angeles, O’Reilly has 10 points (3 G, 7 A) during a seven-game point streak. He now has 27 points in 30 games and is at a career-high 0.90 points per game, despite a career-low on-ice shooting percentage (5.8%).
Taylor Hall and Leon Draisaitl – Edmonton’s dynamic duo continued their impressive run. With four assists in Friday’s 7-5 win over the Rangers, Draisaitl has eight points (1 G, 7 A) during a four-game point streak, and has 26 points in 20 games, which puts him fourth in the league in points per game.
Hall had two goals and two assists vs. the Rangers, giving him nine points (5 G, 4 A) during a four-game point streak. With 34 points in 30 games, he ranks fourth in the league in points.
Johnny Gaudreau – With two goals and an assist in Saturday’s 5-4 OT win against the Rangers, Johnny Hockey has 14 points (8 G, 6 A) in the past 10 games.
Jeff Skinner – The Hurricanes winger tallied a hat trick in Friday’s 5-1 win at Anaheim, then added an assist in Saturday’s 5-4 overtime win at Arizona. He has six goals and an assist in the past five games, matching his point total for the first 25 games of the season.
Semyon Varlamov – The Avalanche goalie is coming on after a slow start. He stopped 34 of 36 shots in Saturday’s 3-2 win at Nashville then turned away 42 of 43 shots in Sunday’s 3-1 win at St. Louis. He has a .958 save percentage in the past five games
Ryan Carter – The Wild checking centre was buried in the defensive zone in Saturday’s 2-0 win at San Jose, on the ice for one shot attempt for and 20 against (4.8 SAT%).
Ryan McDonagh – The Rangers blueliner was on the wrong end of the possession game (11 for, 22 against, 33.3 SAT%) and was on the ice for five Oilers goals (and one Rangers goal) in Friday’s 7-5 loss.
Sean Couturier – The Flyers centre was eaten alive against Dallas Friday, on the ice for three shot attempts for and 21 against (12.5 SAT%) as well as two Stars goals in a 3-1 loss.
Antti Raanta – The Rangers backup has been excellent, but hit his first bump in the road, allowing five goals on 27 shots in Saturday’s overtime loss at Calgary. He still has a .922 save percentage in nine appearances this season.
John Gibson – It’s been a good run for the Ducks’ rookie goaltender, but he was pulled after allowing three goals on 17 shots in Friday’s 5-1 loss to Carolina. That lowered his save percentage to .934 in eight games since getting called up.
Tyler Johnson – His return to the Tampa Bay lineup was short-lived, as he aggravated his lower-body injury. Johnson, who has 11 points in 23 games this season, is out for the Lightning’s upcoming three-game road trip.
Ondrej Palat – In his second game back, after missing more than a month, the Lightning winger suffered another injury that knocked him out of the lineup. He has seven points in 18 games this year.
Oscar Klefbom – The Oilers blueliner suffered a broken finger against the Rangers Friday. Incidentally, he had recorded 10 shot attempts (7 SOG) and had killer possession stats (23 for, 4 against, 85.2 SAT%) in just 11:55 when he was hurt.
Logan Couture – The Sharks centre returned from a broken leg, only to require arterial surgery in his thigh, which will keep him out of the lineup beyond Christmas.
Ales Hemsky – Played 9:27 in Dallas’ 3-0 loss to St. Louis Saturday, and has played fewer than 12 minutes in seven of the past eight games. He’s gone 13 games without a point and has 18 shots on goal in that span.
Jarome Iginla – The veteran Avalanche winger played just 11:18 in Saturday’s 3-2 win at Nashville. He has one goal and no assists in the past 12 games.
David Warsofsky – The smallish defenceman played a career-high 24:57 for Pittsburgh in Friday’s shootout loss to Los Angeles.
Joseph Blandisi – Made his NHL debut for the Devils in a 3-2 overtime win against Detroit Friday and played with Jiri Tlusty and Kyle Palmieri. Signed as a free agent out of Barrie in the OHL, Blandisi had 16 points (7 G, 9 A) in 18 AHL games when he was called up.
Michael Mersch – The Kings winger, a fourth-round pick in 2011, made his NHL debut Friday at Pittsburgh and skated on a line with Nick Shore and Dustin Brown. He had 15 points (12 G, 3 A) in 19 AHL games when he was promoted.
Ryan Carpenter – A free agent signed out of Bowling Green in 2014, the 24-year-old played his first NHL game for San Jose in Saturday’s 2-0 loss to Minnesota. He had 18 points (2 G, 16 A) in 20 AHL games before getting the call.
Brandon Mashinter – The Blackhawks grinder scored his first career goal, in his 36th career game, Sunday’s 4-0 win over Vancouver.
Kings D Jake Muzzin had a goal and an assist in Friday’s 3-2 shootout win at Pittsburgh; he has five points (2 G, 3 A) in the past five games…Coyotes RW Mikkel Boedker scored both Arizona goals in Friday’s 2-1 win over Minnesota, and has seven points (5 G, 2 A) in the past eight games…Rangers C Derick Brassard scored a pair of goals in Friday’s 7-5 loss at Edmonton, and added an assist in Saturday’s 5-4 OT loss at Calgary. He has eight points (5 G, 3 A) in the past seven games…Rangers LW Rick Nash had a goal and two assists at Edmonton; he has five points (1 G, 4 A) in the past five games…Oilers LW Lauri Korpikoski had a hat trick in Friday’s 7-5 win against the Rangers; he had two points (1 G, 1 A) in his previous 14 games…Oilers RW Teddy Purcell contributed a goal and two assists against the Rangers, giving him six points (2 G, 4 A) in the past three games.
Bruins C Patrice Bergeron had two assists in Saturday’s 3-1 win vs. Florida. He has 17 points (5 G, 12 A) in the past 16 games…Islanders RW Kyle Okposo put up two goals and an assist in Saturday’s 3-2 overtime win at Columbus then added an assist in Sunday’s 4-0 win over New Jersey; he has seven points (3 G, 4 A) in the past seven games…Blues C David Backes had a Gordie Howe hat trick in Saturday’s 3-0 win at Dallas, his third straight game with a goal…Hurricanes D Justin Faulk recorded a goal and an assist in Saturday’s 5-4 win at Arizona, and has seven points (4 G, 3 A) in the past four games…Hurricanes RW Elias Lindholm put up three assists at Arizona, giving him six points (1 G, 5 A) in the past four games…Hurricanes C Victor Rask added a goal and an assist, and has seven points (1 G, 6 A) in the past four games…Coyotes RW Anthony Duclair had two goals and an assist in the loss to Carolina; he had no goals and one assist in the previous eight games…Rangers D Dan Boyle picked up a goal and an assist in Saturday’s 5-4 OT loss at Calgary. He has four points (2 G, 2 A) in the past three games, and has played more than 22 minutes in five of the past seven games…Flames D Kris Russell had a pair of assists against the Rangers Saturday, giving him five assists in the past six games…Wild LW Zach Parise had a goal and an assist in a 2-0 win at San Jose Saturday, and has five points (2 G, 3 A) in the past four games…Blackhawks C Andrew Shaw had a goal and an assist in Sunday’s 4-0 win against Vancouver; he has five points (2 G, 3 A) in the past four games. Along with linemates Dennis Rasmussen and Bryan Bickell, Shaw controlled 76.9% (20 for, 6 against) of even-strength shot attempts against the Canucks...Blue Jackets C Alexander Wennberg had a stellar possession game (14 for, 3 against, 82.4 SAT%) in Saturday’s 3-2 OT loss to the Islanders…Blues D Colton Parayko (29 for, 7 against, 80.6 SAT%) and Carl Gunnarsson (21 for, 5 against, 80.8 SAT%) had strong possession results in Sunday’s 3-1 loss to Colorado.
Kings G Jonathan Quick stopped 40 of 42 shots in Friday’s 3-2 shootout win at Pittsburgh; he has a .939 save percentage in the past eight games…Blackhawks G Corey Crawford stopped all 25 shots he faced in Friday’s 2-0 victory vs. Winnipeg, then all 30 he faced in Sunday’s 4-0 win vs. Vancouver. He has a .950 save percentage in the past eight games…Flyers G Michal Neuvirth stopped 41 of 43 shots in Friday’s 3-1 loss at Dallas, and has a .939 save percentage in 15 games…Bruins G Tuukka Rask turned aside 26 of 27 shots in Saturday’s 3-1 win against Florida; he has a .957 save percentage in the past five games…Capitals G Braden Holtby stopped 35 of 36 shots in Saturday’s 2-1 win at Tampa Bay. Since giving up five goals on 22 shots to the Rangers on November 3, he has a .942 save percentage in 14 games…Wild G Darcy Kuemper stopped all 25 shots he faced in Saturday’s 2-0 win at San Jose. He has a .947 save percentage in the past four games, and is up to .920 in seven games this season…Islanders G Thomas Greiss turned back all 27 shots he faced in Sunday’s 4-0 win vs. New Jersey, giving him a .933 save percentage in 14 games.
A few players with growing fantasy appeal:
Olli Maatta – The Penguins defenceman is playing more, including a season-high 25:02 in Friday’s shootout loss to the Kings, and has four points (2 G, 2 A) in five games since returning to the lineup. It will be interesting to see if that recent usage continues under the new coaching staff. Owned: 40.2%
Teuvo Teravainen – The second-year Blackhawks winger has four points (2 G, 2 A) in the past five games, and is getting more ice time (14:52 ATOI in December), skating with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa. Owned: 24.1%
Andrej Nestrasil – After a slow start, with one point in 14 games to start the season, no one has come around on the Hurricanes winger, even though he has nine points (2 G, 7 A) in the past nine games and has played more than 14 minutes in four straight games. Owned: 0.0%
Scott Cullen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org