Around the Rink
A day after being traded to the Sabres, Matt Moulson made his debut in Buffalo, scoring two terrific goals Monday. Thomas Vanek, meanwhile, plays his first game as an Islander on Tuesday against their crosstown rivals, the Rangers. By the way, the Sabres made out like kings on this deal, and they're gonna probably get at least another first-round pick back when they inevitably trade Moulson.
And what have the Isles really gained here? Over the last two seasons and the beginning of this one, Vanek has totaled 111 points in 129 games. That's pretty good. But in that same time, Moulson has 122 points in 140 games – actually a very slightly higher scoring rate (0.87 points per game to 0.86) while skating more minutes, shooting more and putting up a better plus-minus than Vanek.
Perhaps you can make the riding-John-Tavares's-coattails argument, suggesting that if Moulson could put home all those points with Tavares, Vanek with all his talent could put up truly eye-popping numbers. That's essentially the gambit the Islanders are making. But Moulson is a very talented player in his own right, and there's certainly a strong argument that he's tougher than Vanek, both in on-ice grind and in ability to stave off injury. Advantage: Buffalo. They still lost Monday, of course.
By the way, the Sabres scored three goals Monday, more than double their season average (1.45 coming in, now all the way up to 1.57). Sadly, they're not the only team hovering under two goals per game; the Rangers, shut out Monday in their home opener by Montreal backup Peter Budaj, are averaging a now-league-worst 1.50 tallies per game, and Nashville and Philadelphia are likewise under the Mendoza line. (Accept the mixed sports metaphor. Go with it.)
Hope you sold high on Tomas Hertl after that huge four-goal game; he has just a goal and three assists in nine games since. The kid isn't Alex Ovechkin, so while I like his talent plenty, I'll bet he doesn't break 60 points this year. Everyone likes to compare Hertl to his countryman Jaromir Jagr – well, Jagr "only" had 57 points in his rookie season.
Projected Goalie Starters (all times Eastern)
For updates on the projected goalies later in the day, check our Projected Goalies Grid.
Ducks (Jonas Hiller) at Flyers (Steve Mason), 7:00
Stars (Kari Lehtonen) at Canadiens (Carey Price), 7:00
Rangers (Henrik Lundqvist ) at Islanders (Evgeni Nabokov), 7:00
Lightning (Ben Bishop) at Devils (Martin Brodeur), 7:30
Senators (Craig Anderson) at Blackhawks (Corey Crawford), 8:00
Jets (Ondrej Pavelec) at Blues (Jaroslav Halak), 8:00
Maple Leafs (Jonathan Bernier) at Oilers (Devan Dubnyk), 9:00
Kings (Jonathan Quick) at Coyotes (Mike Smith), 10:00
Injury News for Teams Playing Tuesday
Mathieu Perreault, C (wrist) – Could be back in the lineup Tuesday
Viktor Fasth, G (lower body) – Back in Anaheim for physical therapy; return uncertain
Saku Koivu, C (head) – Headed back to Anaheim for evaluation
Dustin Penner, LW (concussion) – Practiced Monday; possible for Tuesday
Jakob Silfverberg, LW (hand) – Out 4-6 weeks
Chris Pronger's never going to play again; everyone else is healthy
Alex Chiasson, RW (illness) – Was questionable Monday, but played 16:18; three shots, minus-1
George Parros, RW (concussion) – Skated Monday, but sat out; seems unlikely for Tuesday
Travis Moen, LW (face) – Didn't travel with the team to New York
Carl Hagelin, LW (shoulder) – Should be back out there Tuesday
Henrik Lundqvist, G (undisclosed) – Played Monday, stopping 25 of 27 in a shutout loss
Rick Nash, LW (concussion) – Still not practicing
Lubomir Visnovsky, D (concussion) – Still not skating; not close
No news is good news
Cory Schneider, G (lower body) – Placed on IR, but expected to miss just one game
Bryce Salvador, D (foot) – Placed on IR; out about a week
Ryane Clowe, LW (head) – Still out indefinitely
Clarke MacArthur, LW (undisclosed) – Out of the lineup Sunday, but expected to play Tuesday
Michal Handzus, C (hand) – Out at least through Tuesday
Paul Postma, D (leg) – Has a blood clot; out indefinitely
Magnus Paajarvi, LW (upper body) – Almost surely out Tuesday
Chris Stewart, RW (undisclosed) – Could be back in Tuesday
Joffrey Lupul, LW (foot) – Didn't look good in practice Monday, but may play Tuesday
Tyler Bozak, C (lower body) – On IR and out at least a week, maybe significantly longer
Nikolai Kulemin, RW (ankle) – Could be back in action later this week
Mark Fraser, D (knee) – Skating with the team, but still out a couple weeks
Devan Dubnyk, G (ankle) – Didn't start Sunday; very tentatively expected back Tuesday
Tyler Pitlick, C (knee) – Sat Sunday after leaving Saturday's game
Healthy as horses
Martin Hanzal, C (suspension) – Will have to sit two games
Rostislav Klesla, D (lower body) – Placed on IR, but won't miss a lot of time
Lauri Korpikoski, LW (upper body) – Maybe back as soon as Nov. 1, when he can come off IR
Brandon Dubinsky, C/LW, CLM – All of a sudden, Dubi's caught fire for the Jackets, racking up five points and a plus-5 along with 17 PIM in the last three games. While he could be suspended for a hit he laid on Anaheim's Saku Koivu on Sunday, it's possible Dubi will avoid discipline or get just a modest suspension.
Radko Gudas, D, TB – In leagues that count penalty minutes, Radko's been Gudas gold, racking up a ridiculous 53 PIM in 11 games and tacking on four points – including a current three-game points streak. In leagues that count hits, he's even better, as he's already dished out 40. And in the NHL, which counts them all, he's been a boon to a Lightning blue line that's badly needed the toughness he brings.
Drew Doughty, D, LA – After starting the season stone-cold, causing pain for fantasy owners and Kings fans alike, Doughty's turned it on lately, collecting four points and a plus-5 in the last four games. Despite being held scoreless Sunday, he still put four pucks on goal and skated a season-high 6:40 on the power play.
Michael Del Zotto, D, NYR – Del Zotto's owners have to be running for the hills after they drafted the young blueliner for his 40-point potential, only to watch him deliver a zero-point performance (with a minus-6 rating) through eight games and a pair of illness-caused scratches to start the year. At least he put three shots on goal Monday, tied for second-most among Rangers on the night. Del Zotto's been just a shadow of his former self, not playing physically and not generating much push offensively. Sometimes, the numbers don't paint a complete picture of the job a defenseman's doing, but Del Zotto's pretty much do.
Nathan MacKinnon, RW, COL – The first overall pick is Rocky Mountain Cold right now, as he's been held off the board in five straight games, taking just nine shots and going minus-2 in that time. With third-line minutes still on the slate for the time being, his name's worth more than his game right now.
Ryan Miller, G, BUF – Miller lost his fifth straight game Monday, dropping to 1-9-0 on the year after giving up four goals on 25 shots. Even when he plays well, he faces a load of shots (which is hurting him in GAA, but helping in leagues that give points for saves), and as mentioned previously, the Bills simply don't score.
Wayne Simmonds, RW, PHI – Simmonds is being cut loose in a wide swath of fantasy formats recently thanks to a start that's seen him put up a truly brutal two points in 10 games. Use this opportunity to snatch him up if you play in a league that rewards power-play points; he may not have gotten anything now, but Simmonds will get his in time.