Tag: Steven Stamkos

Fantasy Hockey Players of the week (Dec. 3rd-9th)

Johnny Gaudreau: It seems this kid is involved in every Calgary scoring play. The Flames five-game win streak that just ended Sunday night was in large part due to Johnny Hockey’s production. In the four games the Flames played this week Gaudreau had 2 goals and 6 assists. Gaudreau has been a big reason why the Flames are first in the West right now. On the year Gaudreau has 12 goals and 27 assists.

Elias Pettersson: Same as Gaudreau, every scoring play the Canucks have Pettersson is involved in. On the week Pettersson 2 goals and 6 assists. His big game coming vs St. Louis where he tallied 5 points, but every game this week Pettersson had a point. On the year this makes it now 15 goals and 15 assists for the rookie and clear Calder favorite.

Steven Stamkos: This is the first time Stammer gets on the list but Stamkos and the Lightning have had themselves a nice last two weeks. On a current six-game win streak, over the last week though Stammer managed 4 goals and 3 assists, picking up four points in the Lightning’s 7-1 win over Colorado. Stamkos has 12 goals and 18 assists on the year.

Jake Gardiner: If I am not mistaking this is the first defenseman to make the list. Gardiner is a very underrated offensive defenseman, his 2 goals do not speak for his offensive ability but Gardiner is a big part of this Leafs offensive success. Gardiner on the week had a point in every game, 1 goal and 5 assists, despite the Leafs two loses of their three games Gardiner managed to be productive for your fantasy team. On the year Gardiner now has 2 goals and 15 assists.

Gustav Nyquist: A name you probably have not heard in some time probably but Nyquist is a big part of the Red Wings offense, without his production and veteran leadership the Red Wings would not be as competitive. On the week Nyquist managed a point in every game managing 3 goals and 3 assists in three games this week. Nyquist now has 7 goals and 20 assists on the year.

 

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Team Preview: Are the Tampa Bay Lightning ready to finally close on Cup final…

The Lightning had yet another successful season despite their 2016-17 missed playoff year and 5th place Atlantic division finish. The Lightning bounced back for a 1st place divisional finish and 3rd place NHL finish. Coming off a 54 win and 113 point season the Lightning, again failed to capitalize on the ultimate goal though. The Stanley Cup. This was the Lightning’s 3rd conference final loss in the last 8 years and fifth time failing to capitalize on a remarkable regular season in the last eight years.

Many times we have seen the Lightning miss their goal due to some injuries, like Steven Stamkos in the 2015-16 Cup run who many thought was the Lightning’s year and I am sure if you ask many fans around the league if Stamkos was healthy during that run it may have turned out differently for Tampa Bay.

Lightning offense able to lead Tampa to 1st place Atlantic finish again…

Heading into the 2018-19 year the Lighting are without Chris Kunitz and defenseman Andrej Sustr, nothing to really throw your arms in the air over as most of there core guys are still around and their young talent is still there. The Lightning have the Atlantic division at the palm of their hands, having to deal with Boston and Toronto, the Lightning should still be a sure favorite for the playoffs and another deep run.

Tampa Bay Lightning 2018-19 previewWith a line up of JT Miller, Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov on line one, off the bat you are looking at a top 10 first line pairing. If Miller can be consistent and continue to feed off Stamkos and Kucherov he is looking at an easy 60 plus point year. In Millers 19 games with Tampa Bay he tallied 18 points and in the playoffs he scored 8 points in 17 games. On line two the Lightning have Ondrej Palat, Brayden Point and Tyler Johnson, Point and Johnson combining for 106 points is already enough to supplement a solid second line, throw in Palat’s 35 points in 56 games, a player who can easily be a 50 point guy, the Lightning have a top 5 ranked second line in the league. Now a third line lacking some center depth with Anthony Cirelli but still with Alex Killron and Yanni Gourde the Lightning have three scoring lines right there.

They will be expecting some big numbers from Brayden Point and Yanni Gourde again as the two are coming off remarkable years, which with their production was a main reason the Lightning were so consistent throughout the year. This will be a big test for 3rd round 2015 draft pick Cirelli to step into the mix and secure his third line spot. In 18 games last year he tallied 11 points and in the playoffs he managed to make little bit of noise with 3 points.

Lightning need McDonagh to make a big step next season…

Tampa Bay Lighting Ryan McDonaghOn defenseman the Lightning have a Norris winning defenseman now in Victor Hedman, proving to be one of the most versatile and consistent defenseman in the NHL. Hedman is a sure fire 60 plus points year in and year out. The next step is getting Ryan McDonagh to the next level, and capable of bringing what the Lightning thought they were going to get when he first came over. McDonagh tallied 3 points in 14 games last year with Tampa and is coming off one of his worst years (29 points) since he emerged in the league. McDonagh when healthy is capable of 40 plus points but if he cannot stay healthy or find his groove on this Tampa Bay team it will cause some concern for Tampa fans and leave the Lightning missing that “one” piece they need to secure a Stanley Cup. Along with the meat and potatoes guys in the league Dan Girardi and Anton Stralman, two guys who you know what you are going to get from them and nothing more. Two solid defensive defenseman but as Girardi continues to age as well as Stralman this Tampa Bay defense has some concerns. Luckily with Vezina nominee goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy the Lightning have a sure number one goaltender, with Vasilevskiy coming off a 44 win season posting a 2.62 GAA and .920 save percentage with 8 shutouts the Lightning better hope he can continue to log 60 plus starts a year at a consistent rate. Last year was Vasilevskiy’s second full year as a starter but from 2016-17 to 2017-18 his minutes increased from 1,480 to 2,075 minutes a 595 minute difference his starting time increased from 47 games to 64 games a 17 game difference, point of the story is, he has seen a steady increase in numbers and when this happens we all know what occurs in the long run…

Predictions? 

I think the Lightning edge out the Bruins for the top spot and hold off the Leafs as well, they finish around the same point mark and win wise, perhaps a 112 point divisional win. The only concern with the Lightning here is if they face some injuries and go on a skid they have two of the best teams in the NHL right on their tail ready to take over the division. Still I see a division win from the Lightning, but perhaps that next step is not next season as they will fall short of the ultimate goal once again.

 

 

Washington Capitals in do or die game six: Lightning eye 2nd Stanley Cup appearance in four years

The Capitals have now lost three games in a row, and head back to Washington to hopefully even out this series. If you are a Capitals there is obviously some concern being raised here as they have lost three straight and face elimination tonight but also the Capitals have looked like the better team in a majority of the games they lost thus far.

For the Capitals tonight executing these three keys is vital to a game six win…

(1) KEEP TAMPA OFF THE POWER PLAY! Hey Capitals the Lighting are good on the power play if you have not realized yet therefore you should probably not keep giving them chances on the man advantage. Stamkos in his office is probably going to score 10/10 times, Kucherov moving around put there with time and space is going to come back and bite you. If the Capitals can find a way to limit the Lighting’s power play chances they will be fine.

(2) Score first! Each of the last three games the Capitals have not scored and they have lost now three games in a row. When a team scores first this playoff year it has seemed to be almost a prerequisite for a win to come. The Capitals first two games they scored first and they won. Take a page out of the Golden Knights book they scored first in their last four wins over Winnipeg and they won the series. Scoring first is huge and especially for the Capitals at home here that would be a major momentum shiftier.

(3) Braden Holtby is going to be playing at some Marc Andre Fleury type level tonight. A good goalie will win you games this playoffs. Look at Vegas, look at Tampa Bay in game game four and five. Holtby is going to need to come up with not just his usual saves but he will need to be dialed in and making saves many of us have never seen before. Which is possible for Holtby, if the Capitals give him the support and eliminate turnovers in the gray areas of the ice Holtby will for sure make a save 99 percent of the time he sees the play happening or the puck. Don’t pull a Pekka Rinne here Holtby.

A look at what Vegas is saying…

The open line to start the day was Tampa Bay +110 and Washington -130 as the day went on and it is now 12:02 p.m. the line has not changed much but it did as Tampa is +105 and Washington is -125. This means that there really is no clear favorite the line is pretty close Washington is the favorite but by a small margin. Which is expected to see a line like this after Tampa won three straight and Washington is home so I think we all thought the line would be very even and no clear favorite would be seen. But the picks 44 percent Tampa and 56 percent Washington as of now. Thirteen other sites have lines similar as well having Tampa around +105 to the highest of +115 and Washington at -120 to the highest of -130. This is going to be a tough one, I would not lock anything in just yet. The line is going to change even more as the day goes on, so stay put.

Tampa looks to even series in Washington

The Lighting came out a different team for game three, they won with comfort and now have a little more confidence and momentum going into game four. The thing with the playoffs this year too is that the road teams seem to have the advantage as road teams heading into tonight’s game are 8-2.

The Lighting came out a little better in game three, the Capitals certainly matched their play but thanks to some big saves by Andrei Vasilevskiy and a big time game from the Lightning’s big three they now have a chance to even this series at two heading home to Tampa for game five.

The Lighting will not have the same result on many things they did in game three as we can expect the Capitals to come out a bit better and possibly pop the first goal. The Capitals took 5 penalties which allowed the Lighting to score 2 times on those five chances, which as by the looks of things was the difference maker. Some keys for the Capitals heading into game four are…

Three Keys for Washington

(1) Score first. The Capitals have scored first in the first two games and when they do they seem to carry a lot of momentum and things just seem to go their way more often. Plus if you can score first and get the road team on their heels that is good news. It sounds harder than it is, but the Capitals really need to come out in the first and just put pucks deep and on net. When the Capitals had their fore-check going and they were turning around the Lighting’s defense they saw more offensive pressure and chances.

(2) Limit the Lightning’s power play chances. the only way the Lighting are winning if they score on the power play it seems as they have 7 of their 12 goals on the power play this series. Pretty obvious, so stay out of the box.

(3) Play simple early. To get a road team tired and on their heels early in the game is important. By chipping and chasing for the first 15 minutes of the first to tire out the Lightning’s defense will be huge. The Capitals need to utilize that third and fourth line more often and have them just go out, bang bodies and cause some havoc. Just keep the game simple and don’t give the Lighting much offensive room.

What Vegas is saying…

The line opened at -105 for Tampa Bay and -115 for Washington which means nothing, because that’s nonsense. But right now at the moment at (9:10 am EST) the line is Tampa +100 and Washington -120. Which essentially means there is no clear favorite so either or the books are saying, basically anyone can take this game. The over under is 5.5 goals which we have been seeing almost every game this series it has hit above 5.5. I think just taking the over/under is a solid choice. The books are tough right now because looking at 13 other sites it also saying Tampa to be around +100 to +105 most and Washington to be -110 to -120 most. The books are saying there is no favorite basically so this is a tough one. Clearly this will change as the day goes on and bets come in for either team, but right now stay put and don’t do anything. As of now it is 58 percent Tampa Bay and 64 percent Washington in terms of bets already made.

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: Bruins stop the Bolts? Can Vegas take advantage of home ice?

Bruins get ready for a must-win game four

The Lightning and Bruins face off for a game four tonight at Boston. A do or die game for the Bruins, they need to take this game or they will flirt with going down 3-1 heading back to Tampa with the weight of the world on their shoulds in a must win for the rest of the series. If you are the Bruins you have to be a bit worried, just a tiny bit. The fact Tampa has outshot you two games and outscored you 8-3 in two games is concerning. The worst of it all, Stamkos has one goal and Kucherov has 0 goals and is -3, so these guys have yet to get started. The Lightning are beating the Bruins with Yonni Gourde, Ondrej Palat, Tyler Johnson, Brayden Point and a bunch of skilled role players chipping in. The Bruins have relied heavily on their top guns this series as Bergeron, Marchand, Pastrnak has been involved in at least every goal for Boston this series. The Bruins saw success in the first series vs Jersey due to Bjork, DeBrusk, Heninen, Nash chipping in and doing something. The Bruins will need to see more of that tonight.

The biggest key for Boston is their start though, both games they have allowed Tampa to score the first goal and also outshot them heavily in the first. The Bruins on home ice here need to come out and take the game they know they can play to Tampa immediately from the start. The Bruins are without a very deep team that can have all four lines scoring and also playing a physical game. Therefore, they need to do it and eliminate the Lightning’s time and space. Also, need to get more pucks towards the net for the start.

How do I think this game will go? Well, if the Bruins come to play from the start we see this game going a different way. The Bruins will score first I think a very important first goal a matter of fact one that will help give them momentum for the rest of the game. We will see both power plays playing a big role in this game. definitely a physical game, one of the more physical games this series. Bruins are going to come out on top, they will eliminate the Lightning’s chances early and stay on top of them all game. Bruins 3-2 tonight.

Vegas heading back home

The Golden Knights want to for sure forget about the last game vs San Jose as they lost 4-0 and could not bury the puck if their life depended on it. They did traffic and pepper Jones but the Knights were unable to convert on anything and left them disheartened after the third period. The series is tied and the advantage is in the Knights favor as they head home tied 2-2 with a chance to go up 3-2. Which I think is what most are expecting. Vegas at home is almost a shoe-in, expect they did, in fact, lose to San Jose at home already this series.

The Knights keys are not allowing the Sharks to play their style of game. Meaning the Sharks literally played that quick, fast tempo, depth game against the Knights in game four. The same way the Knights play. Therefore to stop this early, get in their face, slow the game down and take advantage of the Sharks travel day. The Sharks and Knights are very similar they have a ton of guys producing on every night so it is not shutting down one player for either team. But they will need to keep an eye on streaky Tomas Hertl, Logan Couture, and Evander Kane. While the Sharks need to watch for Karlsson and his line. A player we have not heard from this series is James Neal and Erik Haula two big-time players for the Knights. I would expect these players to do something productive on the scoresheet tonight. They have a combined three points in four games this series. Another player for the Knights that will need to be somewhat relevant is Tomas Tartar they brought him over for this very reason for depth and to add some playoff experience. Let’s see how that plays out.

How do I think this game will go? I think Vegas takes it. A very close game. One that will not be a blowout. a game that will come down to the wire from start to finish it will be physical, chippy and filled with action. The Sharks and Kngihts will exchange chances for the entire game and be a low scoring game as well. I think we see Vegas win 3-2.

 

NHL All-Star Game roster prediciton

The All-Star game is nearly a month and a halfway, therefore the captains for each division will be picked in the coming weeks and rosters will be established. Since the transition to 3 on 3, the NHL has moved to each division picking 6 forwards, 3 defenseman and 2 goalies. This new format has definitely brought a new exciting element to the NHL All-Star game but I don’t think fans care as much. Most of these 3 on 3 games result in very little defense and tick tack toe passing, and 9-8 games. Anyways if I had to predict each division top forwards, defenseman and goalie this is what division by division would look like.

Metropolitan Divison: “C” John Tavares 

Phil Kessel

Taylor Hall

Sidney Crosby

Alex Ovechkin

Jakub Voracek

Zach Werenski

Kevin Shattenkirk

Nick Leddy

Braden Holtby

Sergei Bobrovsky

Atlantic Division: “C” Steven Stamkos

Nikita Kucherov

Auston Matthews

Mark Stone

Jack Eichel

Vincent Trocheck

David Pastrnak

Erik Karlsson

Shea Weber

Victor Hedman

Carey Price

Andrei Vasalievsky

Pacific Division: “C” Johnny Gaudreau 

Braydon Schenn

Vladimir Tarasenko

Anze Kopitar

Connor McDavid

Brock Boeser

Sean Monohan

Drew Doughty

Brandon Montour

Oliver Ekman Larsson

Central Division: “C” Blake Wheeler 

Mark Scheifele

Patrick Laine

Tyler Seguin

Jamie Benn

Patrick Kane

Filip Forsberg

John Klingberg

Roman Josi

Alex Pietrangelo

 

NHL Headlines 10/31

Ar1zona: And they got one, but it was for sure not a pretty one. The Arizona Coyotes now have more wins than the Whalers, Thrashers, and Golden Seals this season with a massive 1 win. This came after blowing a 3-1 lead to the Flyers with less than a minute and a half to go in the third period. Clayton Keller obtained another point tonight on the game winning OT goal by Alex Goligoski. I am still in disbelief that they pulled this one out. I am sure once Raanta is back, and they get a couple of wins this team will show some signs of life and probably will not finish last in the NHL this year.

Lightning Strikes 8 Times: Man, Tampa Bay looks good, really good. They defeated the Florida Panthers 8-5 in the battle of Florida where the gunners Kucherov and Stamkos combined for 3 goals and 2 assists. Andrei Vasilevskiy recorded his 10th win of the season, tying the NHL record for wins in October. He did not have the strongest of games saving only 15 of 20 with a few weak goals, but 10 wins is 10 wins. Tampa Bay appears as the early favourite to win not only the Eastern Conference, but maybe even cup favourites as well. This team coming off an injury depleted season where they missed the playoffs, additions of an emerging young defense man in Sergachev and the strong play of their all-world captain surely makes them a different animal in the East.

Shark in Unknown Waters: Patrick Marleau played his first game as a visitor in San Jose last night. Being drafted by the Sharks in the 1997 draft, he spent the past 2 decades as a leader and hall of fame player for the Sharks. The opening tribute was one that Joe Thornton said he shed a few tears during. This was a big game for both clubs as they look to get back to form. The Leafs were on the losing end of this match, a mellow comeback for Marleau, but one the Sharks will be proud of. Brent Burns appears to be back on track after he obtained an assist, making it assists in his last 4 games. To be noted, Tyler Bozak, Roman Polak, and the Leafs’ 4th line all sat during the majority of the 3rd period. The Leafs are looking weaker as their shooting percentage falls, and their defense remains a weak point on the team.