Notice the picture to the right, Jonathan Quick. He clearly deserves a vote for in today’s three stars for his 1-0 shutout of Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Notice Jaroslav Halak above. He also shut out a strong offensive team, the San Jose Sharks, last night. Notice a trend? Two days ago my focus in this column came to backup Mathieu Garon, who now has two consecutive shutouts after defeating the Atlanta Thrashers.
Shutouts have become such a norm in the early going of this season. Heck, Andrew Raycroft hasn’t allowed a goal yet and Dan Ellis had a streak that lasted almost three full games. Do we need a petition to increase net sizes as fantasy owners? Probably not, but a better scouting of the League’s starting goaltenders is probably a start; and most likely why you are here.
Moving onto the actual game action, Columbus shutout the Thrashers as previously discussed. Garon has only allowed one goal over his last three appearances and has a consecutive shutout streak pending. In addition, his team’s top line is actually clicking. Jakub Voracek buried his first goal of the season and Derrick Brassard had two points in the Blue Jackets win. Keep an eye on young defenseman Marc Methot as he now has six assists on the season, clearly stepping up offensively.
Against the Sharks, Halak was Halak; turning aside all 25 shots faced. While Antti Niemi was not nearly as bad as he was in his last outing, his goal to David Perron was somewhat soft. Regardless, letting up more then one goal when facing the stingy Blues seems to be a recipe for disaster. The game winning goal went to Matt D’Agostini, who along with Perron leads the team in goals with five.
As previously mentioned, Quick was impressive. Shutting out Stamkos, Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier, etc is no easy task. However, both goalies were up to the task as Mike Smith only allowed on goal to Justin Williams in the third period, assisted by former Oilers Ryan Smyth and Jarret Stoll.
While those three netminders were all perfect, three others almost earned shutouts as well (technically four if you count Smith).
Ryan Kesler, Henrik Sedin and the red hot Raffi Torres all scored for the Canucks as Cory Schneider cruised to his third win of the season. For Torres, it marked his fifth goal in his last four days but the most important part is that all three lines put one past starting goalie Peter Budaj. Late roster addition, David Van der Gulik, scored his first NHL goal, effectively ruining Schneider’s shutout bid in the third.
Similarly, Matt Moulson ended a shutout bid from Brian Elliott with his fifth goal of the year. Luckily for him the Ottawa Senators decided to bring their offensive game with a 4-1 win over the Isles. Jason Spezza got a piece in all four goals with a goal and three assists while Sergei Gonchar added a goal and has produced in four of his last five. Unlike the Buffalo Sabres, the Sens have began righting their ship sooner rather than later.
Our final matchup brings us to Philadelphia, where the New York Rangers took on the streaking Flyers. After taking a lead in the second period on another goal by Brandon Dubinsky, his eighth of the year, the Flyers would put up four unanswered goals for their fifth straight win. Overall the team scored in a pretty balanced pattern as coach Peter Laviolette mixed and matched. Only Claude Giroux put up multiple points; he now leads the team with 14 points in 13 games.
Well that wraps up an action-packed night of hockey. Be sure to check us all day as we bring you the most relevant fantasy hockey news possible. You can follow us on twitter @dailyfaceoff as we continue to bring you information on starting goalies, team lineups and major injury updates as well as provide in-depth injury updates and player rankings in the future.