The Jackets are back to their winning ways, and one player (unsurprisingly) was the key to the whole thing, while one of his opponents from earlier this week is having a season to remember. Let's take stock of who's hot in this edition of the Mid-Week Heat Check.
Sergei Bobrovsky (duh)
Folks, Sergei Bobrovsky was on one this week.
He’s allowed two goals each in his last three games, to the tune of a .946 save percentage over that span. That includes a stellar 42-save performance in a shootout win over the Panthers and a 35-save performance to beat the Leafs in overtime.
The one loss? A 2-0 road loss in Colorado. He was credited with two goals against, but he was caught on his way to the bench for the extra attacker on the second one. He essentially allowed one goal (on, to that point, 31 shots) in that game – not his fault his teammates couldn’t pick him up.
Either way, his rough December is in the rearview now. New year, new Bob. Since the calendar flipped, he’s 3-1-0 despite playing behind a team that’s scored just eight goals total in those four games. Turns out, having a goalie with a .948 save percentage is really damn helpful.
A hot Bob is a happy Bob, too. Not even an errant (and accidental) slash to the throat by David Savard couldn’t keep Bob’s spirits down.
— 1st Ohio Battery (@1stOhioBattery) January 8, 2018
No real fantasy advice here – he’s owned in 100% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues – but if you drafted Bob, go ahead and pat yourself on the back once again.
One of the players who *did* score on Bobrovsky this week was Jonathan Huberdeau, who despite winning the Calder Trophy back in 2013 remains one of the league’s better-kept secrets.
Still just 24 and entering his prime, the Quebec native had a hand in both Panthers goals against the Jackets – scoring the first and assisting on the second – before topping it with a three-point game last night. He’s now riding a four-game point streak and has an incredible 7-4-11 stat line in his last eight games.
He missed the majority of last season after taking an errant skate blade to the achilles (ouch!) but since his return last February, Huberdeau has been absolutely bonkers from his left wing spot. He didn’t miss a step last season, putting up 26 points in 31 games, but he’s been even better this year. After a three-point game last night, Huberdeau leads his club in points, with 43 in 42 games.
Huberdeau and his center, Aleksander Barkov, are legitimate superstar-caliber players who would have the fame to match in most other markets, but that could work to the advantage of more savvy (and bold) fantasy hockey players, who should remember these names when next year’s draft comes along, or try to swing a deal soon. After all, it’s never too early to prepare.