I’ve wrote a ton about Nikolaj Ehlers this season. At the beginning of the year, I thought he was must-own until Paul Maurice inexplicably dropped him into the bottom 6. A couple weeks ago, he was bumped into the top 6 and I said grab him again. Yesterday, I wrote about him at length here since I had him as my top streamer. I said that, “The minutes are up and getting a matchup with the Coyotes, who will be on the second of a back to back having just played an overtime game last night, is close to ideal. I think Ehlers should be owned in 12’ers right now but at the least, stream him tonight.” And that’s me quoting me doing what Grey does! Ehlers was amazing on Tuesday scoring a hat trick on four shots with two penalty minutes. He now has points in 4 straight and 8 points in his last 6 games. As I said before, he should have been owned in 12’ers already but he is still widely available so grab him right now! Here’s what else I saw on a busy Tuesday night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Atkinson from Dubinsky and Jenner. Atkinson from Dubinsky and Jenner! Atkinson from Dubinsky and Jenner!!! That was the theme Monday night in Columbus as Cam Atkinson scored a hat trick on seven shots with Brandon Dubinsky getting the primary assist and Boone Jenner the secondary assist on all three goals. In recent games, the goals haven’t been there but the shots have. He now has 21 shots in the last 5 games and more importantly, he’s up to 16 goals and 14 assists on the season. Dubinsky keeps thriving in his increased role under Torts and almost has 30 points himself along with 39 PIM. Jenner has been the best of the bunch with almost identical stats to Atkinson, only with Dubinsky-level PIM (42). All 3 were already owned in the majority of leagues but if some reason any of these guys are out there, grab them. Here’s what else I saw around the league on Monday night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
For most of the season, I’ve talked about why I wouldn’t want to own Semyon Varlamov. Long story short, I don’t trust the Avalanche to play defense well enough to prevent Varlamov from having a high goals against average. Well, the counter to that is Varlamov is a very good goaltender who can carry his team to wins. It happened twice this weekend. On Friday, he stopped 33 of 34 shots to beat the Blues 2-1 in a shootout, then he came back Saturday to make 42 saves against the Stars in a 3-1 victory. Even after these games, his goals against average is below league average but his save percentage is strong and he’s top 10 in the league in wins. There’s still plenty of value in a goalie like Varlamov, you just need to balance it by having an elite goalie to carry you in goals against average. Here’s what else I saw around the league this weekend:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Say the title five times fast, you won’t! Alliteration aside, Ben Bishop brought an end to the Blackhawks 12 game winning streak on Thursday, stopping 17 of 18 shots to extend the Lightning’s winning streak to 7. Despite all of their struggles, the Lightning are only one point out of first place in the Atlantic and they have Bishop to thank. He’s top 10 in the league in goals against, save percentage and wins, including 2nd in the leagues in goals against average. He hasn’t been mentioned as a Vezina candidate but he has earned the right to be in the conversation. Here’s what else I saw the last two nights around the league:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Oh no. Your D-men are going down left and right and you need replacements! Or your keeper league team is going down and it’s time to target the stars of the future! Your proven veteran has stopped scoring! Who you gonna call?
On the week of his call-up back in November, I mentioned that Shayne Gostisbehere might be a nice addition to your squad. That was back when Philly was terrible and there was no light at the end of the tunnel. Now that they are planted firmly in mediocre territory, he and a few others are easily worth considering from a fantasy perspective. What’s rare about Gostisbehere – aside from the tricky name and the fact that I hear Unchained Melody in my head whenever I see his name – is that here we have a smallish, young defenseman who is basically expected to be a power play specialist, but he’s a +5 overall while scoring half of his points with the man advantage. (For the uninitiated, you don’t get a plus for being on the ice for a PP goal). He’s not exactly unheard of, but ownership is surprisingly still under 50% in Yahoo leagues. Run, don’t walk, for the offensive defenseman who can actually play decently in his own end.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Marv: What a difference a week can make, I’m back! A little too many video games combined with a little too much sleep equals one quick week, but a good one. Video games, movies, hockey & complete laziness aside, with the New Year came an itch to shake things up in my hockey league. I might not have needed the players or the trade, but the act alone and the wheeling a dealing has brought me back to life. To my point, if you’re feeling a bit stretched or a little unmotivated around the halfway mark, throw some trades out there, see who’s biting, just don’t get bit, Ha!
Marv: I initially compiled most the players off this list around a week and a half ago. I’ve updated the information for most the players that required an update. Some might have been snatched up after great new year starts but there is still some value to be had. The only Sell I had I removed only because it broke my heart, Marian Gaborik. After a descent December I thought he was pulling out but has barely registered a blip in January and is now on the fourth line, the mighty have fallen.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Poor Sergei Bobrovsky. After a horrible start, he catches fire for a month only to get a groin injury that sidelines him for a month. Then, he gets activated off injured reserve only to get in practice before he plays a game putting him out for a few more weeks. Bob finally gets healthy and who does he get in his first game back? The best team in the league so far, the Washington Capitals. Bob gave up 5 goals on 27 shots in the 6-3 loss. The question is do you panic? The answer is no. I’m blindly rolling Bob in every matchup going forward outside of two possible matchups; Washington and Chicago. Those depend how he’s playing in the games before hand but the point is that Bob will be fine. Here’s what else happened around the league on Tuesday night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Unfortunately for the hockey world, the biggest news to come out of Monday’s games was that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will be out for “a long time” after blocking a shot with his hand against the Panthers. He managed to get an assist before the injury putting him at 30 points on the year, not great but solid. It’s terrible for the Oilers as they were about to get healthy with Connor McDavid close to returning. In redrafts, you can stash RNH on IR but if you don’t have the IR spots, you can safely cut him. Obviously hold onto him in dynasties. As far as the value of the other Oilers, I don’t think anyone takes a hit since McDavid will slide right into that slot. If anything, I would argue there’s a winner here and it’s Leon Draisaitl. The German should have kept a role in the top 6 even with McDavid back but now it’s a certainty that he remains at center on the top line. Here’s some info on the players who did something fantasy relevant last night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
If you’re a frequent reader of my articles, then you know the player I streamed the most this year has been Vladislav Namestnikov. Well, I’m not streaming him anymore because he’s terrible. Kidding! That’s because he’s a clear hold now. He’s centering the first line in Tampa (Steven Stamkos is playing RW) and he’s coming off a hat trick on five shots in the 5-4 win over the Penguins Friday night. He only had one shot in Sunday’s game but still, the role we look to stream him in looks secured now. Names (I’m sticking with that nickname, thanks commenters!) now has 23 points in 44 games and that’s with being shuffled throughout the lineup and with little PP time (he has 4 PPP). There’s no guarantee that he lasts in this role all season but now, he’s must own in 12’ers. Here’s what else I saw around the league this weekend:Please, blog, may I have some more?
In Wednesday’s article, I talked about Sam Bennett after he scored a goal in his last game. In regards to his future, I said “I still love him in dynasties and would like to trade for him if you’re out of the picture for this season. He’s still only 19 years old and should blossom sooner than later. I smell a sleeper post for him next year; I’m a sucker!” Well, apparently sooner was that night because Sam scored four goals on five shots, including a first period hat trick, in the 6-0 win over the Panthers. He was flying all over the ice and showed why he was a top pick in the draft. This is why I had him ranked so high going into the season. Now, it’s only about finding consistency. It’s hard to guess when that will happen but I still believe he’s going to be a superstar in this league. Here’s what else I saw the last two nights around the league:Please, blog, may I have some more?