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Monday Daily Puck: Pat Is Back

Dustin Nelson

Dustin Nelson is a writer based out of NYC. His fantasy team is full of loafers.

Patrick Kane has been the owner of the least talked about slump in the NHL.

It's all relative, but the reigning Hart Trophy winner recently went nine games without a goal. That's a long slump for a guy who scored 46 last season.

But Kane is trending back in the right direction. He scored an empty-netter Sunday to help Chicago grab a win over San Jose. It was the second straight game with a goal for Kane, who is now on pace for just 24 goals. In season-long formats, that's well below what was expected out of Kane after last year's 46-goal, 106-point campaign.



Even though it was an empty-net tally, it's nice to have him putting pucks in the net again for everyone who drafted Kane high this year.

Featured Matchups
Predators (PP: 11, PK: 19) at Flyers (PP: 3, PK: 13), 7:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies: Pekka Rinne (12-8-4, 2.50, .916), Steve Mason (13-9-3, 2.76, .905)
Key Injuries: Anthony Bitetto (upper body), Miikka Salomaki (lower body), P.K. Subban (upper body), Mark Alt (upper body), Sean Couturier (knee), Michal Neuvirth (lower body), Matt Read (oblique), Mark Streit (shoulder)

The Flyers' 10-game winning streak had to come to a halt at some point. It did Saturday against the Stars. However, it does nothing to change the fact that the Flyers are tearing it up and will be facing a Nashville team that has looked good at times and immensely vulnerable at others. To boot, they'll be without one of their best defenseman for the second straight game.

Both teams are putting in goals at a pretty good clip, ranking in the top 10 teams in the league. Though, the Flyers rank 25th in goals against per game at 2.97, they've averaged just 2.27 goals against over the last 11 contests. That's a pretty decent-sized swing and means the Predators are on the road against a hot team that is improving defensively.

For your roster, the Flyers are full of good offensive weapons throughout their top six and on the blue line. With good offensive numbers and one of the league's best power play, the Flyers might be a good place to look for some roster depth Monday.

Oilers (PP: 6, PK: 10) at Blues (PP: 7, PK: 2), 8:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies: Cam Talbot (15-10-4, 2.54, .916), Carter Hutton (2-4-1, 2.92, .889)
Key Injuries: Mark Fayne (undisclosed), Darnell Nurse (ankle), Iiro Pakarinen (leg), Robert Bortuzzo (lower body)

Despite the depth on paper, the Blues have been allowing 2.88 goals per game, which ranks 21st in the league. It's surprising considering they only allow 27.4 shots per game, the fourth-best rate in the league, and own the second-best penalty kill. Some of that discrepancy comes with Jake Allen's recent struggles.

However, Carton Hutton will be in net for St. Louis. He's seen limited ice this season but hasn't been outstanding. That could open up the possibilities for Edmonton, who have had trouble scoring down the lineup. Connor McDavid's line has produced at a solid clip, but they've been the only reliable ensemble (despite a rotating face on the right side). The second line, centered by Leon Draisaitl, has been picking it up some since some early-season struggles. There's depth to be found there, particularly with Draisaitl, but they're a gamble against a defensively stout team.

But that's about it. Outside Edmonton's top six, there aren't many reliable options.

With the Blues, Vladimir Tarasenko has been on an absolute tear, with two goals and eight assists in his last six games. Meanwhile, Kevin Shattenkirk, Robby Fabbri, and Jaden Schwartz have been able to provide some reliable secondary scoring. With Edmonton down Nurse, St. Louis could provide some quality depth options for your roster. They've been good at home with a 13-2-3 record, the best in the Western Conference on home ice.

Other Matchups
Red Wings (PP: 29, PK: 12) at Hurricanes (PP: 8, PK: 1), 7:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies: Petr Mrazek (9-6-3, 2.98, .902), Cam Ward (10-8-6, 2.30, .915)
Key Injuries: Eddie Lack (concussion), Justin Abdelkader (knee), Tyler Bertuzzi (ankle), Mike Green (undisclosed), Darren Helm (upper body), Alexey Marchenko (shoulder), Brendan Smith (knee)

Allowing just 27.5 shots per game, the fifth-best mark in the league, the Hurricanes have been stingy defensively in front of Cam Ward. That's no doubt helping Ward's resurgence this season. As is sitting behind the league's best penalty kill. Though Ward has some solid numbers on the season, he's struggled recently, posting an .885 save percentage or lower in four of his last six appearances.

Even with Ward's struggles, the combination of Carolina's good D and Detroit ranking 28th in shots per game, as well as putting the 29th ranked power play against the top penalty kill, is a bad combination if you're looking to put Wings on your roster.

Ducks (PP: 2, PK: 17) at Maple Leafs (PP: 14, PK: 11), 7:30 p.m.
Expected Goalies: John Gibson (10-8-4, 2.69, .906), Frederik Andersen (12-7-6, 2.63, .919)
Key Injuries: Simon Despres (head), Nicolas Kerdiles (concussion), Clayton Stoner (lower body), Nate Thompson (achilles), Joffrey Lupul (abdomen), Martin Marincin (lower body)

The Leafs are playing entertaining hockey. That's not to say they're playing great, but that they're taking and giving up close to the most shots in the league. Opportunities are going both ways with them right now, even if their shot share ratios are trending in the right direction.

The Ducks are on a lengthy road trip and Gibson has not been reliable recently, posting an .853 save percentage or worse in three of his last four starts. They're getting some offense, but this could pretty easily be a trap game for Randy Carlyle's team as he returns to Toronto as a head coach for the first time since getting fired by the Leafs.

Flames (PP: 17, PK: 24) at Coyotes (PP: 27, PK: 20), 9:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies: Chad Johnson (13-6-1, 2.22, .924), Mike Smith (7-5-4, 2.62, .930)
Key Injuries: Max Domi (hand), Brad Richardson (leg), Ladislav Smid (neck)

The Flames have been on a tear and they're facing the team that gives up the most shots in the NHL. Additionally, the Coyotes give up the third most goals and they're only ranking that well because Smith has been playing outstanding in net.

Helping the Flames recent surge is that Sean Monahan is on a nine-game point streak and Johnny Gaudreau has points in all six games since returning from injury. In-division rivalries can produce surprising results, but Arizona has been a good matchup for most teams this season.

Recommended Pickup
Viktor Arvidsson, LW, NSH The 5-foot-9 winger is not going to be a well-kept secret for long. Nashville continues to be without an unstoppable force on offense, but Arvidsson is providing a lot of what they need. He ranks second on the team in points (9-11-20) and has points in five of the last six games while averaging 3.5 shots per game over that stretch.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.