Who’s Hot; Who’s Not?
C Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado Avalanche): November Stats- 9 G, 14 A, 59 SOG
W Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay Lightning): November Stats- 6 G, 8 A, 44 SOG
C/RW Joe Pavelski (San Jose Sharks): November Stats- 11 G, 4 A, 41 SOG
C Anze Kopitar (Los Angeles Kings): November Stats- 4 G, 9 A, 27 SOG
D Roman Josi (Nashville Predators): November Stats- 3 G, 9 A, 66 SOG
D Derek Forbort (Los Angeles Kings): November Stats- 0 G, 3 A, 21 SOG
Last 10: 7-2-1
I guess this is more of a ‘take advantage while you can’ ordeal. The Sabres cruised through the month of November that included a 10 game winning streak. You aren’t seeing things, the Buffalo Sabres are one of the hottest teams in the NHL, or at least they were in November. Could the plethora of top draft picks finally be paying off? Jack Eichel seems to be dishing out scoring chances like it was a nonchalant day job (well, I guess it is to him), Jeff Skinner has found the back of the net 20 times, and Sam Reinhart, Jason Pominville, & Kyle Okposo have combined for 65 secondary scoring points. The concern is emphasized after those 5, as well as D Rasmus Ristolainen being as solid as any blue liner with 15 points of his own. After that, youth could play a major role in Buffalo being able to remain consistent throughout the 2018-19 campaign. I personally am not jumping on Buffalo’s bandwagon just yet, but no one can dispute they had one helluva month.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Last 10: 8-2-0
So… The Lightning are good, but I’d assume you didn’t need me to tell you that. Even with Steven Stamkos having a very “un-Stamkos” like month, the Lightning have breezed through their schedule the same way they did last season when they claimed the top seed in the Eastern Conference. Unlike the Sabres, the scoring comes from 576 different places (ok, perhaps an exaggeration, but you get the point- and no, I’m not making the 241st Brayden Point pun you’ve seen in the past few weeks- not an exaggeration). Beyond (the) Point (alright, sorry, it was too easy), Tampa offers offensive depth in the forms of Kucherov, Gourde, McDonagh, Johnson, Hedman, Miller, Killorn, Coburn, and Callahan, who granted, is off to a slow start, but we all know he’s more than capable of producing at any given moment. Hmmm… Maybe 576 wasn’t as big of an exaggeration after all.
Last 10: 8-2-0
They’re the champs until proven otherwise, and Washington has certainly picked up right where they left off in June. Backstrom, Ovechkin, Kuznetsov, & Carlson all have exceeded the 20 point mark in the early stages of 2018-19, and while they’re now shortage of star talent at the top, they too, are effectively deep. T.J. Oshie, Tom Wilson, Jakub Vrana, Brett Connolly, and Lars Eller all have exactly 14 points each, which is just another reason this team is so dangerous, similar to Tampa, the scoring can come from almost anywhere, so how does an opponent prepare? Yeah, most don’t prepare effectively, and it’s through no fault of their own.
F Joe Pavelski– vs New Jersey Devils- December 10th
C Bo Horvat– vs Vancouver Canucks- December 15th
C Evgeni Malkin– @ Carolina Hurricanes- December 22nd
Vegas Golden Knights– vs Los Angeles Kings- December 23rd
New York Islanders– vs Ottawa Senators- December 28th
The Final Word
Be sure to check back at the end of December for The Final Word; recapping the entire month’s NHL action pertaining to fantasy hockey.