Semyon Varlamov is the epitome of a goaltender who is the ultimate wild card. Insert Forrest Gump quote here, etc. One day he can give up 2 goals on 2 shots and get pulled like he did against Buffalo a few weeks ago and then you can get a 37 save shutout like he had against the red hot Ducks on Wednesday night. It was the first regulation loss for the Ducks in over a month. Patrick Roy has shown the willingness to go to Calvin Pickard if necessary but that’s two monster games in a row for Varlamov so expect him to ride the Russian for the near term. Here’s what else I saw on Wednesday night:
Thomas Greiss – 33 saves on 36 shots in the 4-3 SO loss to the Maple Leafs. Always hurts to drop a game to the Leafs. Anyways, Jaroslav Halak is out at least six weeks meaning he is out for the rest of the regular season; he can be dropped in all non-keeper leagues. Greiss is going to be the workhorse down the stretch so if you’re in one of the 20% of league he’s not owned in, grab him immediately.
Nick Leddy – Goal and an assist with two shots. Finally starting to come on with a ton of assists. If you need assists, Leddy is a solid option at the bottom of your roster. Just now he’s going to hurt you in goals and shots.
John Tavares – Goal on six shots with two PIM. He always kills the Leafs when he returns close to home at the ACC. It’s been a down year by Tavares’ standards. Most of it can be attributed to the decline in shot rate from his big jump last year. He’ll still be a second rounder next year because we’ve seen the upside and he’s near his prime.
Ryan Strome – Goal on five shots with two PIM. Streamer success! He’s close to a hold while he’s on the first line with Tavares but I’d probably look to stream him on a regular basis instead.
Nazem Kadri – Two assists with seven shots and two PIM. I’ll probably be higher on Kadri than most next year. The shots are elite, his shooting percentage should regress back meaning more goals, he adds a lot of PIM and his linemates will greatly improve.
William Nylander – Goal on three shots. The 19 year old already looks like he belongs in the NHL; he’s going to be a great later round target next year. I’d be thrilled to own him in a keeper league.
Corey Crawford – 28 saves on 30 shots in the 3-2 shootout loss to the Blues. Still the #1 overall goalie on the season and with the battle the Blackhawks are in with the Stars and the Blues for the division, I expect him to stay #1.
Andrew Ladd – Goal on four shots playing over 20 minutes. Nice to be on the first line in Chicago instead of the third line in Winnipeg like he was the last two months.
Artemi Panarin – Goal on five shots. Back in the top 10 overall in scoring as a rookie. Apologies to everyone else but he has to be the Calder winner.
Jake Allen – 33 saves on 35 shots in the win. He was a top 5 goalie before he was injured and Allen is the workhorse again; it’s reasonable to expect more of the same from him.
David Backes – Goal on three shots with two PIM. The seasons of 25-30+ goals are probably a thing of the past but 20+25 with 80+ PIM has plenty of value.
Robby Fabbri – Assist and five shots. If the minutes get to the high teens, Fabbri is going to be a force. He’ll be one of my favorite late round targets next year.
Mike Fisher – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM. He’s been better lately but Fisher is still off the radar for 12’ers.
Viktor Arvidsson – Two assists and four shots. And there’s your annual Viktor Arvidsson update!
Johnny Gaudreau – Two goals and an assist. He’s past last year’s point totals now in part because he already has 12 more shots than last year with 15 games to go. Probably a second rounder next year at this point.
Mark Giordano – Two assists and seven shots. Hotter than a pistol right now.
Sean Monahan – Two assists with five shots. The shots have been much better lately, improved enough that he could reach last year’s shot total. Every time I feel disappointed in Monahan, I have to remind myself that he’s still 21; coming close to repeating last season isn’t a bad thing.
Dougie Hamilton – Assist and two shots. Another guy that I feel disappointed he didn’t take the next step but then I remember he’s 22. Hamilton looks at home now in Calgary so I like the chances of a breakthrough next year.
Joni Ortio – 24 saves on 26 shots in the 3-2 OT win over the Predators. He’s the workhorse now but he’s firmly in the “desperate for starts” category.
Nathan MacKinnon – Goal on two shots. He’s up to 50 points and is a good bet for 60 after last year’s disaster. I expect a big jump close to point per game next year from MacKinnon with his increased shot rate.
Mikkel Boedker – Assist. The shots have disappeared for Boedker since he arrived in Denver which is frustrating to see. I think he’s pretty fringe in 12’ers right now barring a turn around.
Alex Tanguay – Two assists. I have to give Tanguay a lot of credit. A lot of guys being traded from a team battling for the playoffs to a team rebuilding would check out, especially a 36 year old who has accomplished a ton in his career. Tanguay has piled up the points so far in the desert. He now has 5 points in the last 3 games and while the shots aren’t there, he’s becoming a solid streamer.
Kevin Connauton – Goal on four shots. This guy is an animal when he gets the minutes which he did with Oliver Ekman-Larsson out. He’s an excellent stream while OEL is out and quite frankly, I don’t get why his minutes aren’t up all the time. It’s not like the Coyotes are flush with great defensemen down their lineup.
Anthony Duclair – Assist. Somewhat of a streamer success? His future value is all about whether he can increase the shot rate.
Radim Vrbata – Goal on four shots. He’s been one of the biggest disappointments this season. Vrbata has looked checked out on a regular basis. He’s a free agent this summer and could be a sneaky value; it was only last year that he scored 31 goals.
Jacob Markstrom – 32 saves on 34 shots in the 3-2 win over the Coyotes. Look for him to get more starts down the stretch with the Canucks giving the young kids an extended look.
T.J. Oshie – Goal and an assist with five shots. I was expecting more from Oshie in his first year in D.C. That’s not to say he’s been bad, his numbers are a plus across the board, but I was thinking 60-70 points instead of 50-55.
Dmitry Orlov – Goal on two shots. He completely walked through the entire Kings team to tie it up late. Orlov is really good but unfortunately, he has other defensemen blocking his path.
Jeff Carter – Goal and an assist with six shots. That’s back to back multi-point games for Carter who should get easily to 20+30 despite missing some time.
Milan Lucic – Goal and an assist. His numbers are right in lie with where they were in Boston last season.
Tanner Pearson – Two assists and two shots. More importantly, he played over 15 minutes including power play time on the second unit. This puts him back on the streaming radar.
Thursday Streamers – It’s a little Thursday than usual with 6 games on the slate. Most of them have massive betting spreads with Boston, Detroit, Minnesota and San Jose big favorites while Montreal and Florida are also fairly big favorites. If the backup goalie plays for any of these teams besides Montreal, they’re an excellent stream. Here are my top three forward streamers for tonight:
Charlie Coyle (23.1) – Okay, I’m cheating by my normal rules but they’re my rules! Coyle’s shot rate has improved drastically lately and the minutes are still massive. I think he’s a hold right now in 12’ers but regardless, he’s a must stream if he’s available against the lowly Oilers as the Wild push for the playoffs.
Sam Reinhart (5.9%) – Going back to the well again. He has points in three straight, the minutes are outstanding and the Montreal goaltending situation is a mess. I expect Reinhart to extend his streak to four games.
Sven Andrighetto (0.4%) – Options are pretty thin tonight as far as my normal streamers go so I’m going with somebody new here. In the last two games, Andrighetto has seen a massive minute increase playing on the first line with Alex Galchenyuk and Max Pacioretty. Gally is hotter than a pistol right now so Andrighetto should find himself with some good opportunities tonight against the Sabres.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back tomorrow recapping tonight’s action. As always, feel free to ask any questions and leave any comments below. Take care everyone!