There have been some truly remarkable scores in the NHL in the last week. Attracting all the attention is Saturday's 10-7 old-school classic between the Maple Leafs and the Red Wings. The Leafs' 10-goal outburst was the league's first such showing since the Canadiens beat the Red Wings 10-1 on Dec. 2, 2017. Double-digit scoring has only been achieved 14 times since the 2004-05 lockout, and it's special when it happens.
Personally, that's a little too loose for me. I like a high-scoring game every now and then, but like many coaches, I prefer solid defense and a little goaltending luck. I often build my fantasy teams on a strong foundation in net, so I want the goalies to do well. A game like Saturday's where all four netminders see action always pulls at a my heart a bit. I also appreciate that sometimes Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews are just going to dominate a game -- that's fun too, but not something I need to see happen constantly.
Since it's been a bit of a high-scoring week, this is a good time to remind you that it's okay to be patient with your goaltending. A couple of weeks back, I had to let Jordan Binnington go from a couple of my teams -- then he won two starts and allowed just one goal on 56 shots this week. It's too soon to say he's won the starting job back for the Blues, but I'm feeling a little less confident in my Ville Husso shares now. Binnington's a solid add if you can find him, though it's important to note his wins were against the Flyers and Blackhawks. They've got a few more favorable matchups in the near term, so I'd hold onto both goalies at this point.
Samuel Montembeault has been one of the Canadiens' biggest beneficiaries since Martin St. Louis took over as head coach. Montembeault has won his last three starts, taking down the Blues and the Maple Leafs before shutting out the Sabres on Wednesday. Andrew Hammond's NHL comeback is a nice story, but Montembeault remains the Habs' top goalie, and given the recent results, he's worth a look in deeper formats. A four-game road trip through western Canada will be a good measuring stick for the 25-year-old -- is this just a small flourish, or could he return significant value heading into the fantasy playoffs? I wouldn't drop a slumping No. 1 to add him, but I'd part with the weaker halves of some of my goalie tandems (Braden Holtby or either of the Kings' goalies, for example) if I need an upgrade.
I'm not ready to say Scott Wedgewood is the Coyotes' top goalie, but he's started four games in a row and won three. He allowed nine goals in that span while posting a .940 save percentage. The best of the bunch is a 43-save takedown of the Golden Knights on Friday night. The Coyotes' defense is awful and likely to get worse in the next three weeks. Wedgewood's a huge gamble -- I'd consider adding him if I need to boost my saves numbers and I can get wins from my other goalies. That said, the Coyotes only play twice this week, and one of those games is against the Avalanche.
Outside of the crease, Derek Ryan is thriving under new head coach Jay Woodcroft. I highlighted Warren Foegele recently, but Ryan stole the show with four goals in two games against the Panthers and the Hurricanes. The 35-year-old's move from center to right wing has done wonders for him. From a fantasy perspective, he's only going to help when he's putting up points. He's posted 46 shots on net in 49 games this season and doesn't play much of a physical game, but he could give both the Oilers and your virtual squad a boost in depth scoring. Given the injuries the Oilers have, Ryan is poised to keep this burst of offense going for a while.
Connor Brown's also piling up points lately -- he's got a goal and five assists in his last seven outings. He missed some time before the All-Star break due to a broken jaw, but he's been able to see top-six minutes with the Senators while Drake Batherson (ankle) and Josh Norris (shoulder) are out. The Senators begin a five-games-in-eight-days road trip Tuesday in Tampa, with other stops in Florida, Vegas, Arizona and St. Louis. There's some tough matchups in that run, but Brown's notched 13 points in 17 road games this season, and he's got a little momentum.
Pick up Sebastian Aho -- no, not that one. The Islanders' defenseman (not to be confused with the Hurricanes' center) is on quite a run lately with six assists in his last seven games. Zdeno Chara (upper body) is out of the lineup, so Aho's got a little more job security than usual for a while. He's only at eight assist in 19 games overall, but the production is steady lately, and he'll add roughly a hit and a blocked shot each game as well. He won't hurt you anywhere, and he's pretty easily replaceable if the points dry up.
Half of Adam Lowry's goals this season have come in the last five games. He's scored three times in that span, with two of those goals coming shorthanded. The 28-year-old enjoyed a fairly lucky season last year with 24 points in 52 contests, and that luck evened out in the first three months of this campaign. He's at 12 points (four shorthanded) in 53 contests overall, but some injuries to Jets forwards have opened up a little more opportunity for the center. Capitalize on it before he goes cold again.
We've been getting vintage Zach Parise lately -- who knew a promotion to the top line could serve the 37-year-old so well? He's picked up three goals and two assists since the Islanders hit the road for a five-game trip that began Tuesday in Seattle. Mathew Barzal's (lower body) absence has me holding off, but if he comes back in short order and Parise's on his line, I'll be willing to make the move to bolster my depth. Just don't expect Parise's turn-back-the-clock routine to last another two months.
Does Jake DeBrusk still want out of Boston? The 25-year-old winger requested a trade earlier in the season, citing a lack of opportunity. The Bruins haven't fulfilled the request yet, and Bruce Cassidy called the bluff by putting DeBrusk on the top line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. So far, so good -- DeBrusk has four goals and an assist in his last four outings. He's got reasons to play motivated -- he's a pending RFA, but his play during his current two-year contract hasn't lived up to the $3.675 million cap hit. If he's going to turn it around, don't let him sit on the waiver wire. The top line in Boston is one of the best gigs in the NHL if he can hang onto it.
I won't rain on anyone's parade if they want to see more scoring in the NHL. Outside of fights, goals are what fans in the stands pay to see, especially when it's some of the league's best players scoring them. In the next week though, you can find me cheering for the masked men to get things back on track -- the puck stops here, after all.