Daily Fantasy Hockey Notebook 022822

The Daily Fantasy Hockey Notebook will be released everyday Monday-to-Friday as soon as the morning skates finish.

The Notebook includes everything you need to know to set your Season-Long and Daily Fantasy Lineups: including Injuries, Projected Lines and Pairings, Starting Goalie Rankings, Value Picks (DFS), and previews from our DFS Premium Package.


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Key Injuries/Lineup Changes


  • [WSH] Dmitri Orlov (personal) missed the morning skate but is expected to play on Monday.
  • [WSH] Vitek Vanecek was recalled from his AHL conditioning stint but is expected to serve as the backup.


  • [WSH] Justin Schultz (undisclosed) missed Saturday’s game but was at morning skate on Monday.


  • [WSH] Pheonix Copley has been sent down to the AHL.

Projected Lineups

*Subject to change*

⚠ Gametime Decision

Washington Capitals vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

Ovechkin – Kuznetsov – Wilson
Sheary – Backstrom – Oshie
McMichael – Eller – Sprong
Hagelin – Dowd – Hathaway

Fehervary – Carlson
Orlov – Jensen
Kempny – Van Riemsdyk

Bunting – Matthews – Marner
Nylander – Tavares – Kase
Mikheyev – Kampf – Kerfoot
Robertson – Spezza – Simmonds

Rielly – Liljegren
Brodie – Holl
Sandin – Lyubushkin

New Jersey Devils vs. Vancouver Canucks

Sharangovich – Hughes – Mercer
Zacha – Hischier – Bratt
Johnsson – Boqvist – Tatar
Vesey – McLeod – Batian

Siegenthaler – Hamilton
Graves – Severson
White – Subban

Podkolzin – Horvat – Boeser
Pearson – Miller – Garland
Hoglander – Pettersson – Chiasson
Motte – Lammikko – Highmore

Ekman-Larsson – Myers
Hughes – Schenn
Hunt – Hamonic

Los Angeles Kings vs. Boston Bruins

Iafallo – Kopitar – Kempe
Moore – Danault – Arvidsson
Grundstrom – Byfield – Brown
Lemieux – Lizotte – Kaliyev

Anderson – Doughty
Maatta – Roy
Bjornfot – Durzi

Marchand – Bergeron – DeBrusk
Hall – Haula – Pastrnak
Frderic – Coyle – Smith
Foligno – Nosek – Froden

Reilly – McAvoy
Grzelcyk – Carlo
Forbort – Clifton

Goalie Rankings

Daily Value Picks

C – Nicklas Backstrom (WSH) – $3,800
W – Jake DeBrusk (BOS) – $3,300
D – Timothy Liljegren (TOR) – $2,500

Optimizer Highest Projections

C – Auston Matthews (TOR) – $8,900
W – David Pastrnak (BOS) – $8,000
D – Dougie Hamilton (NJD) – $5,600

*To see the rest of the DFS Lineup Optimizer Projections, sign up for DFO Premium*

DFS 5v5 Score:

1. *********

2. *********

3. *********

4. *********

5. *********

*Sign-up for DFO Premium to see the rest of our DFS 5v5 Scores*

The post Daily Fantasy Hockey Notebook — 02/28/22 appeared first on Daily Faceoff.

WATCH Frank Seravalli and Chris Gear discuss the concern over the Leafs goaltending situation

Our good friends over at DailyFaceOff weighed in on the rough night in net on Saturday, and the ongoing problems the Leafs have struggled with in net since the beginning of 2022.

The discussion on the Leafs goaltending begins around the 5:50 mark, and there is some Michael Bunting appreciation later in the show at the 29:00 mark.

Comries clutch third-period showing, Svechnikov proving doubters wrong, Haytons insane goal Three takeaways from Jets 5-3 comeback victory over Coyotes

Entering Sunday’s contest on a four-game losing streak, the Winnipeg Jets desperately needed to carve out a victory in Arizona against the Coyotes, and while this club didn’t produce its best performance of the season, it was enough to earn two points in the standings.

Still, they didn’t make things easy for themselves while facing one of the worst teams in the league.

After trading punches during the opening frame, the Jets and Coyotes were tied at two goals apiece heading into the second period. Then, at the 13:56 mark, newly-acquired forward Nick Ritchie capitalized on a defensive breakdown and potted home the go-ahead goal, providing his club with a 3-2 edge leading into the final 20 minutes.

On the verge of losing a fifth straight game, Winnipeg’s skaters had their backs pressed firmly up against the wall and needed to put together a sensational comeback effort to avoid dropping another winnable matchup. Thankfully, that’s exactly what transpired as they scored three unanswered goals to mount a 5-3 victory.

Now, this franchise finds itself positioned six points back of the second wild-seed in the West.

For an extended recap of this showdown, let’s explore three takeaways from the Jets’ first victory since Feb. 17.

Eric Comrie’s Pivotal Third-Period Performance 

Without question, the biggest takeaway from this bout is Winnipeg’s three-goal showing during the final 20 minutes of play, however, none of it would’ve been made possible if not for backup goaltender Eric Comrie.

Sure, the 26-year-old allowed three goals on just 15 shots against through the first two periods, with two of those markers coming from low-danger areas. Nevertheless, he made sure to overcome those woes during the most crucial part of the game, which saw him make numerous key saves throughout the third period.

Despite facing a flurry of action, Comrie never wavered as he stopped all 14 shots against, proving to be a driving force behind his club’s comeback effort. Taking this a step further, the 6’1″ netminder was also subject to 11 high-danger chances against, resulting in a 2.23 expected goals for rate in the final frame, according to NaturalStatTrick.com.

And yet, Arizona’s skaters were kept quiet, albeit, it wasn’t due to a lack of quality opportunities.

Following this recent outing, Comrie has now made just three starts in 2022 and only 10 appearances on the season. While starter Connor Hellebuyck rightfully commands most of the reps in net, perhaps this latest showing can help slightly increase the backup goaltender’s workload down the stretch.

Evgeny Svechnikov Remains Productive Alongside Kyle Connor, Pierre-Luc Dubois

Surprise, surprise, forward Evgeny Svechnikov enjoyed another strong performance while skating next to teammates Kyle Connor and Pierre-Luc Dubois.

Who could’ve predicted that? Probably almost anyone who watches the Jets regularly.

Just one game after scoring his fourth goal of 2021-22, the 25-year-old added two more points (one goal, one assist) to his resume Sunday, recording his first multi-point performance since Feb. 27, 2021 – exactly one year ago. Though he isn’t known for his offensive traits, the 6’3″ winger made sure to remind everyone he’s capable of making an impact in that department if placed in the right position.

With his first point on the afternoon, Svechnikov aligned himself in front of Arizona’s net and was perfectly located to pounce on the rebound from defenceman Nathan Beaulieu’s point shot. There, he quickly ushered the puck across the goal line, registering his fifth marker of the season.

Cracking the score sheet once again, this time in the third period, the former first-round selection joined the rush and ultimately teed up Connor with an easy tap-in opportunity, which No. 80 didn’t squander.

For the most part, it hasn’t mattered who’s been behind the bench, Svechnikov has consistently found himself in the dog house with this coaching staff. The reasoning for those questionable decisions remains unclear, however, let’s hope this recent offensive spark can keep him in their good graces moving forward.

Barrett Hayton Sparks Goal-of-the-Year Conversation 

Across the midway point of the 2021-22 season, there have already been several sensational goals scored over these last five months, although this latest candidate from Coyotes forward Barrett Hayton might be one of the best so far.

In just his third NHL campaign, most hockey fans outside of Arizona likely had never heard of this former first-round selection, and rightly so, considering he’s compiled just 65 career games – including Sunday’s tilt. But following his most recent outing, the 21-year-old will likely always be remembered amongst Winnipeg fans for his unbelievable highlight goal against their club.

Looking back on this play, the majority of experts will point to the amount of space Hayton was provided while entering the offensive zone. And sure, Brenden Dillon being out of position put Austin Poganski in a very difficult situation, although none of this should take away the incredible skill that the left-handed centre put on display.

It’s one thing to take advantage of open ice and having a forward on defence, it’s another thing to dance around multiple skaters with his stellar puck handling before scoring on his backhand.

Of course, the insane baseball-style goal from Anaheim Ducks forward Sonny Milano – the same score rookie Trevor Zegras assisted on from behind the net – likely remains the goal of the year. Now, however, this play has some competition next to it.

More from Jets Nation:

FlamesNation Mailbag Three weeks out

Folks, we’re three weeks away from the National Hockey League trade deadline. The Calgary Flames bounced back from a not great outing in Vancouver with a much better performance against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night.

With February closing out and March almost upon us, let’s dive into the mailbag!

It’s not impossible, though I’m sure the Flames would very much prefer to avoid it. Heck, the Flames would love to keep everybody – especially homegrown talents like Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk, Andrew Mangiapane and Oliver Kylington, all of which will be getting raises this off-season.

But if your choices to open up cap space are trying to throw picks and prospects to another team to take on Milan Lucic or Sean Monahan, or giving up on a young player like Dillon Dube, suddenly it seems possible to get some good value for Mangiapane in the trade market and open up some space at the same time.

But I’m sure the Flames would prefer to avoid giving up any of their talented players, so we’ll see what creative solutions they can come up with.

Early on this season, the thought process was that Vegas and Edmonton would run away with it and there would be a lot of teams battling it out for the last divisional spot and maybe a wildcard berth. Well, the Flames have been better than expected, Vegas and Edmonton worse than expected, and ultimately aside from Seattle, everybody is a hot streak away from being in a playoff spot (or a cold streak away from being out).

In short: yeah, this is both arguably the weakest division in terms of having no terrifying teams, but it’s also a division where we’re going to see some spirited battles for virtually every playoff position between now and the end of April. Parity can be good and bad all at the same time.

Chris Johnston at the Toronto Star reported that the Flames were looking for a centre and a left-shot defender. We’ve heard a lot about defenders for the past several weeks, because it really fits what Brad Treliving always does at the deadline.

For forwards, it probably depends on prices and what Darryl Sutter (and Treliving) thinks of Adam Ruzicka as a centre in a playoff setting. Byron Froese and Glenn Gawdin are decent depth options, too, but they might want a bit more playoff experience up the middle.

The Flames don’t have a ton of cap space, though, so it probably all comes down to price.

It probably depends on how close Dustin Wolf is to being ready for NHL duty. By the time Vladar’s deal expires next summer, Wolf will have two full seasons of AHL experience under his belt. Will he have done enough at that level to push Vladar out? There’s really no reason to move Vladar until Wolf is ready, especially since Vladar probably won’t be all that expensive on his next deal because of his role as a backup goalie – he likely won’t have played a ton, which will keep his cap hit fairly low.

Tyler Parsons is on the season-opening injury reserve list. All that’s been shared is that he had a flare-up of a previous injury in the fall – unfortunately with his injury history that doesn’t narrow it down a ton. It doesn’t sound like he’ll be playing this season, which is a bad sign for a player who was limited to a single game last season.

He most likely won’t receive another qualifying offer at the end of the season.

Next week’s council meeting will have some action on the arena. The Event Centre Assessment Committee will be re-instituted, and we’ll get an update on the City appointing a third party to work with the Flames and other groups on potential deal structures (which, in turn, would be assessed by the committee).

We’ll see how much progress has been made since January.

The FlamesNation mailbag is brought to you by Deuce Vodka!

“In life, there are so many moments to celebrate, I don’t want to waste a great moment on a bad drink. That’s why I choose Deuce Vodka.” – Brett Kissel. Click here to find Deuce Vodka in a store near you.

More from Flames Nation

Abbotsford Canucks update Woo and Rathbones injury status, and why Dries domination has given him NHL hopes

The Abbotsford Canucks split the weekend series against the top team in the Pacific Division, the Stockton Heat.

After a weak showing on Friday night, the team came out on Sunday evening and capitalized on their chances while Mikey DiPietro kept them in the game with some remarkable saves.

The Canucks went on to win 6-2 and got big goals from Sheldon Dries and John Stevens. Dries scored his 28th goal of the year on a night where he jumped back into a tie for the league lead in goals.

Dries has been excellent all season long and when asked about his success this season, he didn’t want to question why he was getting so many goals.

“I’ve been in the right spot at the right time,” said Dries in the postgame availability on Sunday. “You don’t really question it when it’s going right.”

If you were the league leader in power play goals, you wouldn’t question anything either. Dries has played so well this season and is looking to make a mark in the NHL. Dries was asked if after his strong play this season, if he is looking for a chance at the NHL level as the year approaches a conclusion.

“Absolutely, that’s the goal,” said Dries. “Anyone in this league wants to move up. But you can’t really think about the NHL right now. It’s all about being here and doing the right things every day.”

Not only has Dries been an excellent scorer this season, but he has also been a penalty killer and has NHL experience as a killer. Dries told me that he’s always been a penalty killer and likes that to be a key part of his game. Dries killed penalties for the Colorado Avalanche during the 2018-19 season and had one shorthanded goal while averaging a minute of shorthanded time a game in his 40 games played with the Avalanche.

Dries’ offence may be the thing that is popping off for him but he’s been a calming presence in the defensive zone this season and is still killing penalties with Abbotsford. He is an undersized centre who has found a groove and rode the wave all season long.

In his two NHL games this season, Dries has held his own. He posts a 64% Corsi percentage, a 69% control of shots on net and an expected goals-for that sits at 71% on the year. This sample size is too small to truly judge as Dries has only played 19 minutes of NHL action this year.

We’ll wait and see if Dries gets another run in the NHL later this season but he is doing everything in the AHL to make that become a reality.

Now for the injury updates

There were a lot of questions asked to head coach Trent Cull on Sunday night. The team is off on an eastern road swing and Cull is excited about it. He laughed and said that some of his guys are liking the California lifestyle so it’s time to go to eastern Canada for a bit.

Abbotsford will be in Toronto and Montreal for the next 10 days with two games against each of those teams.

Jack Rathbone’s rehabbing of an upper-body injury has been going well. Recovery has been positive after taking a scary hit and lying motionless on the ice for 13 minutes before being taken off on a stretcher.

Rathbone is expected to join the team in Toronto next Monday and the hope is that he will practice on Monday and Tuesday before returning to the lineup on Wednesday.

As for Jett Woo, who hasn’t played a game in six weeks, he is getting close to returning to the lineup.

“I’m hoping Jett can maybe meet us on the road trip,” said Cull. “We’ll see how that goes. But I’m hoping Jett is a potential player for us at some point here soon.”

As for two other notable injuries, Justin Bailey’s situation may be more complicated as Cull mentioned that Bailey is still just dealing with doctors on what his timeline is. Bailey has not played since February 9th, where he got injured in a scrum after a player on the opposition’s bench swung their stick into Madison Bowey’s torso after he scored a goal.

As for veteran AHL defenceman Ashton Sautner, he is apparently a while away from returning to the lineup after going down just last week with what looked like a lower-body injury.

Abbotsford now takes to the road for four games in eastern Canada before returning home on March 11th to host a weekend series against the Colorado Eagles and a weekday series against the Manitoba Moose.

We’ll keep you up to date with all the Abbotsford Canucks’ news here at CanucksArmy.

Robby Fabbri remains one of Steve Yzermans best acquisitions as Red Wings GM

It’s no secret that Steve Yzerman is one of the National Hockey League’s top general managers.

The architect of two Olympic gold-winning Canadian men’s hockey teams, Yzerman was also largely responsible for building the Tampa Bay Lightning club that went on to capture back-to-back Stanley Cups.

In 2019, the longtime Detroit Red Wings captain returned to his roots in Michigan and looks to be ushering in a new era of dominance as general manager in Hockeytown. Yzerman previously served as the Red Wings’ team vice-president from 2006 to 2010.

During his eight-year tenure as Lightning GM, Yzerman drafted superstars Nikita Kucherov, Andrei Vasilevskiy, and Brayden Point. The NHL’s 2015 General Manager of the Year also traded for two top-four defenders in Ryan McDonagh and Mikhail Sergachev while in Tampa.

Yzerman decided to step down as Lightning GM prior to the 2018-19 campaign and was succeeded in the role by Julien BriseBois. After a year serving as an advisor in Tampa, Yzerman joined the Red Wings as GM in April 2019 — just in time to see his former team win the Stanley Cup in 2020 and 2021.

Nevertheless, Yzerman has already found great success in both drafting and trades since returning to Detroit. He made a splash with his first-ever draft selection as Red Wings GM, surprising many onlookers by taking Moritz Seider with the sixth-overall pick in 2019. That decision looks pretty shrewd now.

The following year, Yzerman hit again by taking Lucas Raymond with the fourth selection at the 2020 NHL Draft. Less than two years later, Raymond is already a fixture on the Red Wings’ top line.

The jury is out on how Simon Edvinsson and Sebastian Cossa will perform in the Red Wings’ professional ranks, but it’s safe to say Yzerman has more than earned the benefit of the doubt when it comes to his drafting. He’s proven himself similarly capable when it comes to wheeling and dealing.

The 2022 NHL trade deadline is rapidly approaching and the Red Wings are flush with assets that could be on the move in the next little while. In the days and weeks leading up to Mar. 21, we’ll be taking a look at Yzerman’s track record of making trades since becoming Red Wings GM.

Here’s a look back at one of the best deals Detroit has made with Yzerman at the helm.

Detroit Red Wings forward Robby Fabbri (14) is pursued by Colorado Avalanche defenseman Ryan Murray (28). Photo credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports.

Nov. 7, 2019

Less than seven months into his tenure as Red Wings GM, Yzerman managed to turn Jacob de la Rose into Robby Fabbri through a one-for-one trade with the St. Louis Blues.

A first-round pick of the Blues in 2014, Fabbri had a strong rookie year in 2015-16 (37 points in 72 games). He added 15 more points in the playoffs as St. Louis made it to the Western Conference Final.

After just 51 games in his sophomore season with St. Louis, Fabbri tore the ACL in his left knee. He missed the remainder of the 2016–17 season and — after re-injuring his knee in the Blues’ 2017 training camp — the entire 2017–18 campaign.

Fabbri finally returned to the Blues in 2018-19, scoring six points in 32 games while primarily skating in a depth role. He added a goal in 10 playoff contests to help the Blues capture their first Stanley Cup.

The following year, Fabbri appeared in just nine games with the Blues before being shipped off to Detroit in exchange for Jacob de la Rose. Prior to the move, Fabbri averaged just 9:42 per game; that figure increased to 17:16 over his 52 contests with the Red Wings to close out the 2019–20 season.

Fabbri was able to rediscover his game quite quickly as a Red Wing and has been a consistent middle-six scorer for the past three seasons, tallying 38 goals and 76 points in 122 games with the club. The 26-year-old forward signed a three-year, $12 million extension with the Red Wings last December.

Conversely, de la Rose scored only six points in 47 games over parts of two seasons with the Blues following the trade. Also 26 years old, de la Rose left North America after the 2020–21 season to sign with the Swedish Hockey League club Färjestad BK.

Through 51 contests with the Red Wings this year, Fabbri ranks fourth on the club with 14 goals and sixth with 27 points. In recent weeks, he’s been a key part of the “Guelph Connection” line alongside 2014–15 Guelph Storm teammates Tyler Bertuzzi and Pius Suter.

Is Fabbri a perfect player? No. He’s not the strongest defensive forward and probably tops out as a third-liner on a contending team. However, given what Yzerman gave up to acquire him, Fabbri was — and continues to be — found money for the Red Wings.

Yzerman has acquired numerous “reclamation projects” since arriving in Detroit, with Adam Erne and Brendan Perlini being two other obvious examples. None of them have worked quite as well as Fabbri.

More from WingsNation


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The Day After Oilers take the moral victory with McDavid okay after high stick

Things were tense in Edmonton Sunday morning.

Only five minutes into their game against the Carolina Hurricanes, Oilers superstar forward Connor McDavid took a mean high-stick to the face. Immediately, he doubled over on the ice heading to the locker room and fans held their breath.

Was it just a cut, or did McDavid lose some teeth? Even worse, could he have suffered a broken jaw?

“McDavid took one to the jibs there and there was a laceration and some dental work and that type of thing,” said head coach Jay Woodcroft after the game.

“Phew,” a collective fanbase sighed.

He returned to the game for the second period, but it wasn’t quite enough to topple the Carolina Hurricanes. What the team was able to do, however, is walk out of that game with their heads high.

Edmonton opened the scoring just 51 seconds into the game with a beautiful McDavid shot, but it was called back with Warren Foegele having jumped offside. While the Oilers ended the first frame down two, they were recharged with their captain back in the second.

Derek Ryan stayed hot with his fourth goal in the last two games, but it wasn’t enough for the Oilers to get the win.

That resurgence, however, tells you exactly what you need to know about where this Oilers team is at. While they walked out of a three-game swing through Tampa Bay, Florida and Carolina with just two points, they come out of it with a lot more.

The Oilers showed they can compete with anyone in this league. They lost 5-3 to the Lightning in a game that saw an empty-net goal, some terrible goaltending by Mike Smith, and some great play by the rest of the Oilers.

Against Florida? Well, they fought back, they weathered the storm and they walked out with two points.

They did the same against the Hurricanes, but just couldn’t buy a goal when they needed it.

“I thought we had a chance to win every game we played on this road trip,” said Woodcroft after the game Sunday. “For me, the competitiveness in our team has impressed me through these three games. The level of opponent has been excellent and each one of those opponents presented different issues for us as we went into that game.

“I thought we tried to do some things through the first three games that I saw positive responses with our team. We had a chance to win each one of those games. Just like we don’t overly get high, we’re not going to do anything more than process this game. We’re going to work on some things in practice and get ready for a very game Philadelphia Flyers team Tuesday.”

The Oilers schedule lightens up, relatively speaking. They go from a murder row to a trio of teams well on the outside looking in. Philadelphia Tuesday, Chicago Thursday, Montreal Saturday.

Edmonton, however, can’t afford to let off the gas pedal in anyway shape or form. The Oilers lost in embarrassing fashion to the Blackhawks days before Dave Tippett was fired, and the Philadelphia Flyers stole a 5-3 win in Edmonton earlier in the year.

Call it a redemption tour, if you will.


  • Kailer Yamamoto missed Sunday’s game with some “bumps and bruises,” as described by Woodcroft. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins also sat out the game following a high hit against Florida.

What they’re saying…

Hurricanes hold off high-flying Connor McDavid and the Oilers, win 5th game in a row

Sometimes, it is just a matter of inches.

The Carolina Hurricanes were seemingly on their way to a comfortable victory Sunday over the Edmonton Oilers. A sellout crowd at PNC Arena was on its feet and loud as defenseman Brett Pesce blistered a shot past goalie Mike Smith off the rush.

Then, in a matter of seconds, it all turned. The Canes won, but it was anything but comfortable, a hard-earned 2-1 victory that Carolina’s fifth in a row.

Teuvo Teravainen had a goal and assist to extend his personal point streak to eight games, Sebastian Aho scored a power-play goal and goalie Frederik Andersen had 29 saves in his 29th win of the season. The Hurricanes (37-11-4) were flawless in killing penalties Sunday and held two of the most skilled players in the world — Edmonton’s Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl — without a point.

The Pesce goal, which would have given the Canes a 3-0 lead three minutes into the second period, was disallowed after the Oilers challenged for offside on the play. After review, Canes winger Andrei Svechnikov, who was trying to straddle the Edmonton blue line, was ruled to have been an inch or two offside on the entry.

No goal, no 3-0 lead. Instead, it would be a tight game the rest of the way.

“It’s crazy how that happens, right?” Canes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “It’s 3-0, we’re playing pretty well. That would have been maybe a different kind of game. But they had the same thing happen early in the game. It might have been different if they get it, so I guess those kind of cancel out.

“It was weird. For the amount of high offensive players in the game there wasn’t a ton of Grade-A opportunities but there were a bunch of almosts.”

Read more from the News Observers Chip Alexander here.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.

IIHF Council meets Monday to deliberate Russias international participation

The International Ice Hockey Federation has scheduled a Council meeting for Monday to deliberate Russia’s ability to both host and participate in international events, following the country’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine last week.

Russia is scheduled to host both the 2023 World Junior Championship, in 10 shorts months in Novosibirsk and Omsk, as well as the 2023 Men’s World Championship in St. Petersburg next May.

There is a larger and more pressing decision to be made: Russia is set to skate in the upcoming World Championship in May in Finland. Russia’s Under-20 team is also slated to play in the rescheduled World Junior Championship in Alberta in August.

Will they be allowed?

The Swiss and Latvian hockey federations sent statements on Sunday calling for the complete expulsion of the Russian Federation from the IIHF, which is a much larger discussion than just excluding them from tournament play for 2022 for starters.

The IIHF’s Council could vote as soon as Monday to take definitive action and a multitude of outcomes are on the table.

The Belarusian hockey federation is also under fire for their country’s steadfast support of Russia through dictator Alexander Lukashenko. The IIHF was roundly criticized for being slow to act in moving the 2021 World Championship out of Belarus, only ultimately doing so by citing safety and security concerns.

That decision was made by former IIHF president Rene Fasel, who stepped down in Sept. 2021 after 27 years at the helm of the sport’s governing body.

While president, Fasel developed a positively chummy relationship with Russian ruler Vladimir Putin. Fasel was undoubtedly a member of Putin’s inner-circle, as evidenced by when he left the 2018 World Championship in Denmark to attend Putin’s inauguration after another “won” election. He was seated in the second row of dignitaries at the Kremlin.

Fasel was awarded the Russian “Order of Friendship” by then-president Dmitry Medvedev in 2011. He has reportedly taken a position in the government-orchestrated KHL since leaving the IIHF.

Two teams, Jokerit (Finland) and Dinamo Riga (Latvia) completely cut ties with the KHL in recent days.

Member federations hope Russia will be dealt with more swiftly under new president Luc Tardif, born in Canada but represents the French federation, who is barely five months on the job.

The post IIHF Council meets Monday to deliberate Russia’s international participation appeared first on Daily Faceoff.

The Leafs 3 stars of the week Auston Matthews climbing the Hart Trophy rankings, Mitch Marner nets four-goal game

It was quite a busy week for the Toronto Maple Leafs last week as they had themselves a four-game week for the first time since the second week of December when they went 2-2-0 in those four games. They opened the week on Monday with a visit to Montreal to play the Canadiens for the first time since the home-opener and I don’t think I should go into much detail about that game because it was arguably their worst game of the season. Goaltending was a mess, the defense was a mess, the offense had their chances of course, but couldn’t capitalize on any of them as they fell 5-2.

They then had to shift their focus to Columbus within 48 hours as they were trying to avoid their first three-game losing streak since mid-October when they ended up dropping four in a row before they went on an absolute heater and won like 15 of their next 17 games. Well, it was a much better effort this time around compared to the game against Montreal, but they ended up losing their 2-1 lead in the third and Columbus ended up coming back to take the 3-2 lead and shut the door on Toronto’s offense. This was the Maple Leafs’ first three-game losing streak in four months.

After coming off another loss, the Maple Leafs were back on home ice to host one of the best teams in the entire league in the Minnesota Wild. This one was a bit of a snooze fest through the first 20 minutes, and I know I’m not the only person who thought that was the case. However, as the game progressed, both teams opened up a bit more and the shots were coming more frequently. Toronto ended up giving up the first goal but Auston Matthews quickly responded and scored his 35th of the season to tie it at one. It was a 1-1 game mid-way through the third period until Matthews decided to take control and scored his second of the game – and eventual game-winner – to give the Maple Leafs the 2-1 lead and ultimately the win.

They ended their week on the road in Detroit to take on the Red Wings for the third time this season, and all I got to say about this game is that it was a typical Toronto game. Completely dominate your opponent through the first 40 minutes, take a 7-2 lead into the third period, and then within a blink of an eye it’s 7-6, and the Maple Leafs are on their heels. Well, it didn’t stop there. Toronto made it 8-6 and then Detroit made it 8-7 but Toronto said enough is enough and ended up winning 10-7 in without a doubt the most ridiculous Leaf game I’ve watched that I can remember.

Record during week 20: 2-2-0 | Season record: 34-14-4 (72 points)

3rd Star: Michael Bunting – 4 GP – 2 G – 5 A – 7 PTS

Michael Bunting has quickly climbed the Calder Trophy rankings as of late, and his play from this past week – more so from Saturday’s game against Detroit – has truly shown how great of a player he has been to this Toronto team this season as he is finding a ton of success on the first line with Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner. In the four games last week, Bunting registered two goals and four assists for six points. Although five out of the seven points he put up came in the Red Wings game, it’s safe to say Bunting had himself quite the week/game without a doubt and is now top three in rookie scoring. His addition to the first line has been a treat to watch because he compliments both Matthews and Marner so well and also provides some skill too and not just grinding in the corners and the front of the net. With Bunting’s six-point week, he has now improved his point totals to 40 points – 18 goals and 22 assists – in 52 games this season. For someone making $950K against the cap not only this season, but next season too, he has been without a doubt arguably the best bang-for-your-buck signing this past off-season. He is now on pace for 28 goals and 35 assists for 63 points.


2nd Star: Mitch Marner – 4 GP – 4 G – 5 A – 9 PTS

Just like Michael Bunting, Mitch Marner had himself quite the week, but more so quite the game against the Detroit Red Wings last night. In what seemed like a game where Toronto should’ve locked down once they were leading 7-2, Detroit rallied back and made things interesting. The Maple Leafs ended up picking up the 10-7 win on the road with a big thanks to this man right here, Mitch Marner. Not only did he register six points in a game where 17 goals were scored, but he scored his first career hat-trick and then decided to score a fourth in what was a wild game, to say the least. Marner had himself four goals and two assists last night and has now improved his point totals to 54 points – 21 goals and 33 assists – in just 43 games this season, which is incredible to me. Not only has Marner been racking up the points for the past month and a half, but he has been scoring at an unreal rate and already has hit the 20 goal mark with 30 games remaining. Marner is currently on pace to hit 36 goals this season and 92 points – which would be his second 90-point season during his career – and has honestly bounced back in a major, major way since coming out of the gates very slow to start the season.


1st Star: Auston Matthews – 4 GP – 4 G – 5 A – 9 PTS

There really isn’t much to say about Auston Matthews, other than he is continuing to show us why he is without a doubt a top-three player in the NHL. Just like the other two players on this list I’ve talked about already, Matthews had a great week last week and an even better game last night as a lot of other Maple Leafs did too. With his nine points in four games last week, Matthews has not only shown how dangerous of a player he is, but he has taken the league lead in goals, crept into the top five in league scoring, and continues to show how much he’s grown as a player on the defensive side of the puck, and the gif below shows that if you want to take a look. With his monster week against the Canadiens, Blue Jackets, Wild, and Red Wings, Matthews has now improved his point totals to 68 this season – 37 goals and 31 assists – in just 49 games, which puts him on pace for 60 goals and 50 assists for 110 points, and remember, he missed three games too so that isn’t even on an 82-game pace.