The Montreal Canadiens and Vancouver Canucks are bringing new meaning to the slogan “Pain for Shane.”
Hands up if you handicapped those two specific Canadian squads as perennial threats to land the No. 1 pick; I know I didn’t. It’s still relatively early but both teams, who many pegged to be in the playoff conversation this season, are off to dreadful starts.
As we get set to wave goodbye to November and hello to December, it’s never too early to start quantifying next summer’s NHL draft lottery. Of course, Kingston Frontenacs phenom Shane Wright is the prized possession. The 17-year-old forward is off to a solid start with nine goals and 22 points in 18 Ontario Hockey League games.
1. It’s time to go bargain shopping on another Canadian team that’s been struggling after a hot start, the Winnipeg Jets. Nikolaj Ehlers, Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler and Connor Hellebuyck can all be had for less than market value right now.
2. As predicted a few weeks ago, Jake Oettinger has emerged as the go-to option in-between the pipes for the Dallas Stars. Through five appearances, the 22-year-old has posted a 4-0-0 record with a 1.26 goals-against average and .959 save percentage. At this juncture, Oettinger’s reaching must-own territory.
3. For what it’s worth, I’m lukewarm on full-time ownership of both Braden Holtby and Anton Khudobin. Something has to give in that crease, right?
4. Now’s a superb time to investigate selling high on Tristan Jarry, who’s been on another planet lately.
Tristan Jarry's last 5 GP:
▪️ 0.986 SVP%
— Nick Alberga (@thegoldenmuzzy) November 27, 2021
Maximize that value!
5. To the depleted New York Islanders next. Staying with the Black Friday theme, we’ve definitively hit a buy-low window for the likes of Mathew Barzal, Semyon Varlamov and Ilya Sorokin. Until I see more, those are the only three Isles files I’d be reluctant to drop during these rough times.
6. For the time being, I’d stay away from streaming Rangers backup Alexandar Georgiev for spot start duties. In six appearances, the 25-year-old is 2-1-1 with a 4.08 goals-against and 0.858 save percentage. Yikes.
7. Meantime, you may way to give Toronto rookie Joseph Woll a look in the future. The 23-year-old is 3-0-0 with a 1.67 goals-against and 0.939 save-percentage in three starts since being recalled from the AHL.
8. Sell high on Nazem Kadri. With Nathan MacKinnon on the mend, it’s the right thing to do. You won’t regret it. Kadri’s career best 10-game point streak came to an end on Friday night in Dallas.
9. The best in-house replacement in Tampa for the injured Brayden Point is Anthony Cirelli, who’s been elevated to first power play duties.
If you’re looking for a daily streamer option, consider Alex Barre-Boulet. He’s been skating with Ondrej Palat and Steven Stamkos on the top-line.
10. Some external Point replacement options: Minnesota’s Joel Eriksson Ek, Anaheim’s Trevor Zegras and Nashville’s Ryan Johansen.
11. Put Rickard Rakell on your watch list. The Ducks winger, who’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent following this season, has two goals and an assist in three outings since being activated from injured reserve (UBI).
12. Take a flier on Max Domi. The 26-year-old Blue Jackets forward has two goals and five points over a mini three-game point streak. Domi has nine points in nine games to start his campaign. Oh yeah, he’s also in a contract year.
13. Add Tage Thompson. Quietly, the 24-year-old is experiencing a career breakout, he’s potted five goals in the past four games. The Sabres forward is currently on pace for 39 goals. Jack Eichel who?
14. Scoop up Denis Gurianov. The dual-eligible Stars winger has notched a point in five of his past seven outings. He’s starting to cook.
15. Drop Kevin Shattenkirk. After averaging a point per game over his first 12 outings, the veteran Ducks blueliner has tallied just two points (1G, 1A) in the past nine games.
16. Two deep sleeper rookie looks: Washington’s Aliaksei Protas and Philadelphia’s Morgan Frost.
Protas has been skating on the top-line with the red-hot Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov. Meantime, with both Kevin Hayes and Derick Brassard sidelined for the Flyers, Frost has been centering line two alongside Joel Farabee and Cam Atkinson. Be mindful.
17. Take a wait and see approach with Evander Kane. Even though his suspension is slated to end on Tuesday, there’s no guarantee we’ll see him in the NHL anytime soon. Monitor that situation closely.
18. On Saturday, the NHL postponed the Isles’ games through at least Nov. 30. With that being said, the week of Nov. 29 – Dec. 5 will tentatively feature 49 games.
Monday: Four Games
Tuesday: Eight Games
Wednesday: Six Games
Thursday: 10 Games
Friday: Five Games
Saturday: 10 Games
Sunday: Six Games
19. There are four four-game teams (CGY, CBJ, SJS, TBL).
Take a peek at these two schedules:
Calgary Flames: Mon (PIT), Thurs (at LAK), Fri (at ANA), Sun (at VGK)
Waiver Looks: Rasmus Andersson, Dan Vladar
SN Fantasy Pool: CGY Goalies 3, Johnny Gaudreau 2
San Jose Sharks: Tues (at NJD), Thurs (at NYI), Fri (at NYR), Sun (at CBJ)
Waiver Looks: Mario Ferraro, Kevin Labanc
SN Fantasy Pool: Logan Couture 2, Erik Karlsson 1
20. Steer clear of Dallas and Philadelphia, they play just twice.