The end of the NHL regular season, and therefore the normal fantasy season, is upon us. Insert all of the sad face emojis here. Once the regular season is finished, I will set up a bracket challenge for all of us Razzballers on nhl.com so be sure to be on the lookout for that next Monday. But for now, more important things, winning your championship! I’m going to put some basic guidelines for what I’d be looking to do with your team the last few days to position yourself as best as possible. Let’s get right to it!Please, blog, may I have some more?
After his remarkable first half, it looked like Patrick Kane reaching 100 points was a formality. Then he struggled mightily in the second half, enough to the point where he needed 6 points in the last 5 games to get there. Kane got there with time to spare in style, scoring a goal and an assist with five shots on Friday and followed it up with three goals and an assist with four shots on Sunday. He’s the overwhelming favorite for the Hart Trophy now and now has an outside shot of the Richard Trophy. As for where he’s ranked for next season, I will probably have Kane ranked #3 or #4 overall. Despite the amazing year, Kane is more of the second half player where he was closer to a point per game than the first half monster. Here’s what I saw over the weekend:Please, blog, may I have some more?
For the second time in a week, Jeff Carter had a monster game. On Thursday, Carter had two goals and an assist with 3 shots in the 3-0 win over the Flames. After this game, Carter passed the 60 point plateau while being +17 and over 3 shots per game on the season. The penalty minutes keep him from the truly elite but Carter will still be firmly in the top 100 going into next season. Keep rolling him for the last 10 days of this season. Here’s what else I saw around the league the last two nights:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’ve been talking about Nazem Kadri’s shooting percentage for the entire season. To be blunt, it’s not possible for a forward to be shooting 5% for an entire season; regression will always find you for better or worse. He finally saw a big boost on Tuesday scoring his third career hat trick on four shots in the 5-2 win over the Panthers. There aren’t many guys who have an excellent shot rate and supply great penalty minutes but Kadri is one of them. I love players like these to fill out the middle or bottom of my roster and I’m sure I’ll be higher on Kadri than most next season. Add in the young talent Toronto is adding around him and wouldn’t shock me if Kadri approached 30 goals next season. Here’s what else I saw around the league on Tuesday night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s been very up and down this year for Sean Monahan but as we approach the end of the year, his numbers are exactly in line with last season. After scoring a goal and adding two assists on Monday night against the Coyotes, Monahan is sitting at 27+32 with 184 shots on goal after 31+31 and 191 last season. With six games left, it looks like he will slightly best last season’s big breakout. The 21 year old isn’t going to end up a top 20 player, that’s not his offensive ceiling and he doesn’t contribute in penalty minutes (16 this year is a career high) but he should be around 50th overall in drafts next year since there’s a good chance he can get to 70 points with some progression. Here’s what else I saw around the league on Monday night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s been quite a while since we’ve seen a shutout streak like the Blues are on. On Friday, Brian Elliott had one of the easiest shutouts of the season making 15 saves in the 4-0 win over the Canucks. The next day, Jake Allen recorded the fourth consecutive Blues shutout, stopping all 32 Capitals shots in the 4-0 win. Both have been outstanding this season and should be started every game the rest of the way. Get them in your lineup every time they start; the Blues will be highly motivated down the stretch to get home ice throughout the Western Conference Playoffs. Here’s what else I saw around the league this weekend:Please, blog, may I have some more?
On Thursday, for the third time this season, Zach Parise scored his third hat trick of the season, adding an assist and six shots in the 6-2 win over the Flames. While he’s a step behind his usual pace, 22+25 in 64 games is nothing to sneeze at, especially with elite shots. However, I’ll probably be staying away from him next year given where I suspect his ADP will be. He plays a heavy game, he turns 32 in the summer and is starting to miss chunks of the season more regularly. That’s not to say I don’t like his game but his days of a top 50 player, for me, are over. Here’s what I saw around the league the last two nights:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Coming off an ugly loss to the Predators, it was a near certainty that the Kings would come out firing on Tuesday night. They certainly did but it wasn’t enough because of Devan Dubnyk. Dubnyk had arguably his best start of the season stopping 38 of 39 shots, including a few massive point blank saves, in the 2-1 win over the Kings. After laying a huge egg against the Devils, Dubnyk has had three excellent starts in a row with this one being the best. The win puts the Wild one point ahead of the Avs for the last playoff spot in a battle that should come down to the wire. This is perfect for Dubnyk owners because he should start at least 7 of the Wild’s final 8 games, if not all of them. Keep him in your lineup every time he starts. Here’s what else I saw around the league on a busy Tuesday night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Streamer success! Coming off his first career multi-point game on Saturday, William Nylander had the first three point game of his young career, scoring a goal and two assists with four shots in the 5-2 win over the Flames on Monday night. The Leafs fans might not be happy that the team is winning now as they are jockeying for draft position but they have to be happy with the progress their young players are showing, especially Nylander. The 19 year old is only going to get better and should go in the middle rounds next season in redrafts with the upside to be a top 100 player sooner than later. Here’s what else I saw around the league on a short Monday slate:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The story of the weekend around the league was the goaltending performances. There were quite a few duds and a bunch of outstanding starts, including 3 shutouts Friday, 4 shutouts Saturday and one more on Sunday. The best of the bunch was a 38 save shutout by Fredrik Andersen in the 4-0 win against the Bruins on Friday. It’s rare for the Ducks to be outshot but they buried their chances and were continually bailed out by Andersen. We all know that Andersen is very good at this point so the most telling thing was that in their next game, John Gibson received the start despite Andersen coming off a shutout. Bruce Boudreau is giving both of his goalies plenty of action and seemingly has a set schedule so you have to pay attention every day and start whoever gets the nod. Here’s what else I saw around the league this weekend, starting with Friday’s games:Please, blog, may I have some more?