Don Cherry said on Coach’s Corner a week ago that hockey fans might be “sick and tired” about him talking about Connor McDavid every week. However the bottom line is that Cherry has every reason to discuss the offensive prowess that McDavid is starting to provide the Edmonton Oilers on a regular basis. McDavid now leads the National Hockey League with 19 assists and 29 points. It has been 30 years (since the legendary Wayne Gretzky in 1986-87) that an Edmonton Oiler finished the season leading the National Hockey League in points and McDavid currently leads Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning by three points in the Art Ross Trophy lead.
Meanwhile in New York, one major reason why the New York Rangers have had outstanding success so far this season has been their strong five-on-five even strength play. The Rangers lead the NHL with 85 goals (11 more than the second place Philadelphia Flyers) and five-on-five even strength goals with 59 (10 more than the second place Toronto Maple Leafs).
The Rangers success scoring goals even strength has translated into many players on the squad who have a great plus/minus. Michael Grabner leads the NHL with a +20, while five other Rangers are also in the top ten in the plus/minus category. Kevin Hayes is third with a +15. J.T. Miller is fourth with a +13. Dan Girardi is sixth with a +12. Nick Holden and Ryan McDonagh are tied for tenth with a +11. All six Rangers could be considered in rotisserie leagues if you are trying to improve your plus/minus.
This past week notables that went on the injury reserve included Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard (groin), Nashville Predators right winger James Neal (upper body), Philadelphia Flyers center Sean Couturier (sprained MCL) and Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler (hand). The loss of Howard could be significant for Detroit because it seemed like Howard regained the Red Wings’s number one goaltending spot away from Petr Mrazek before his injury. Even though Howard only has a record of five wins and five losses, he has an outstanding goals against average of 1.82 and save percentage of .940.
This could be the week to stay away from Washington Capitals superstar Alexander Ovechkin in weekly leagues. That is because Washington only plays twice between now and Sunday, the least number of games in the NHL.
This week strongly consider taking Jakub Voracek of the Philadelphia Flyers in weekly leagues. Voracek is currently third in the NHL in shots on goal with 81 and the Flyers play four times. Others who should be considered include Tyler Seguin of the Dallas Stars, Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks and Jeff Skinner of the Carolina Hurricanes. Like the Flyers, the Stars, Blackhawks and Hurricanes also play four times each over the next week.