There have been a lot of bad trades over the last five years in the NHL. It’s no surprise that Nino Niederreiter has turned into an excellent player in Minnesota after being traded by the Islanders, the team who drafted him fifth overall. Who knew trading a player who just went in the top five in the draft at 20 years old was a bad idea? Anyways, Nino has been solid for a few years now but he’s starting to peak in his age 24 season. Niederreiter scored two goals and an assist with four shots in the 4-3 win over the Coyotes on Thursday. This brought Nino to 30 points (14+16) on the season while being +18. The PIM are below average and the shots are barely above two per game but with his developing power play prowess to supplement his even strength play, Niederreiter is looking like a clear hold at the moment. Hopefully everyone in dynasties held onto him because the best is yet to come. Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Oliver Ekman–Larsson – Goal on three shots with two PIM in Wednesday’s game. That’s the good. The bad is that he was -5 in this one. We’ve gotten absolutely worst case scenario from OEL this year. He followed it up with 2 SOG and a -1 rating on Thursday so it didn’t get any better.
Shane Doan – Three assists with four shots and two PIM over two games. Doan was a surprise last season but father time has caught up to Captain Canada this year. Leave him on the waiver wire.
Dustin Byfuglien – Two assists with three shots, +3. The shots have been going up lately to get him to exactly three per game on the season. Add in the 115+ PIM and 45-50 points and you have your typical Big Buff season.
Nikolaj Ehlers – Goal on six shots with two PIM. If he can start avoiding the 0 shot games, Ehlers can be a stud in all categories.
Bryan Little – Goal and an assist with two shots. I’m still holding Little in 12’ers.
Jacob Trouba – Goal on five shots. He’s slowed down a but but I’m still holding him in 12’ers for okay points but solid PIM and shots.
Ondrej Pavelec – 30 saves on 33 shots in the 6-3 win over the Coyotes, his first game this season. Pavelec has had one good season in his entire career. If you need a goaltender, you can grab him for the short term, but it’s firmly in the “desperate for starts” category.
Matt Murray – 19 saves on 20 shots in the 4-1 win over Montreal. An easy game was what the doctor ordered after the 8-7 bloodbath on Monday. It has been a rough stretch for Murray but I have no worries going forward.
Jake Guentzel – Goal on his only shot. He’s playing with Malkin and Hornqvist right now so he’s back towards the top end of streamers.
Patric Hornqvist – Two assists with two shots. Strong across the board again from Hornqvist.
Patrice Bergeron – Goal and two assists with two shots. That’s six points in the last five for Bergeron who is finally starting to get rolling. Look for him to push the top 25 overall in the second half.
Brad Marchand – Two assists. This ties his previous career high in assists. Marchand has played 48 games. I didn’t think he could top last season but he’s well on his way.
Adam McQuaid – Goal and an assist. He had more points in this game than he did in his first 42 combined! He’s useless in fantasy.
Frank Vatrano – Two goals on six shots with two PIM. He’s pushing towards a hold with three shots per game and solid goals as a result. If the minutes go up a little bit, he’ll be there.
Dylan Larkin – Goal and an assist with two shots, +4. I am already predicting that Larkin has the post-hype breakout next season.
Gustav Nyquist – Goal on four shots. That’s six points in the last four games for Nyquist who is right on the fringe for me.
Tomas Tatar – Goal and two assists with two shots, +4. He’s a fine streamer and nice GPP play in DFS because he’s had some monster games this year but the only consistency Tatar has shown is in his inconsistency.
Aaron Ekblad – Two assists with four shots. Ekblad now has four assists in his last three games which is as many as he totaled in the first 39 games. The penalty minutes and shots are excellent so it’s still worth holding for the upside.
Vincent Trocheck – Goal on two shots. Six game point streak for Trocheck who is thriving in his increased role. I still would look to sell high when Barkov is on the verge of returning.
Connor McDavid – Goal and two assists with six shots. Every time that players get close to him in the points race, McDavid has a huge game. His hands are just ridiculous let alone that he can use him at top speed.
Martin Jones – 22 saves on 24 shots in the 3-2 win over the Kings. He’s regressed some lately but Jones has still been excellent on the whole.
Joe Thornton – Two assists with a shot. So I did some digging on Thornton’s goals this year. They were all empty netters! Maybe Jumbo Joe can actually score a goal on a goalie at some point this year, if he shoots the puck at one that is.
Dustin Brown – Two assists with a shot. He’s actually chimed in some points lately with six in the last five. I don’t trust it to last at all so here’s my breakdown of whether or not I’d care about Brown. One, do you have at least 16 teams in your league? Two, do you count hits? If either answer is no, then I could care less. If you answered yes to both, then you can maybe think about it.
Marian Gaborik – Goal on two shots with two PIM. He’s back on my streaming radar with four points in the last four.
Tanner Pearson – Goal on three shots. Bottom end hold like we talked about on Tuesday’s podcast but I’m still holding.
Jason Pominville – Three assists and a shot. Pominville received some quality power play time in this game and delivered. He’s a bottom end streamer due to the lack of PIM and inconsistent even strength role.
Eric Staal – Goal on four shots. He’s shown no signs of slowing down giving him a clear case for bounce back player of the year.
Thomas Greiss – 23 save shutout in the 3-0 win over the Stars. Finally! This is the Greiss I expected earlier in the season. Own him everywhere.
John Tavares – Two goals on six shots. Johnny who? Tavares! Those who follow lacrosse will get the reference. Anyways, is seven goals in four games good? Asking for Mr. Tavares.
Mike Condon – 42 save shutout in the 2-0 win over the Blue Jackets. I still don’t expect Condon to keep it up but until Craig Anderson returns, he’s must own.
Erik Karlsson – Assist with two shots and two PIM. He hasn’t had a huge game lately but Karlsson has dished an assist consistently. I doubt he leads the league again like last season but he’ll be near the top.
Pavel Buchnevich – Goal on two shots. Pushing towards a hold again.
Michael Grabner – Two goals on five shots. I can’t believe Grabner has 21 goals already. I guess he has to be held again because 35+ goal scorers shouldn’t be on the waiver wire and he’s well over that pace now.
Kevin Hayes – Two assists with six shots. The shots are up a bit lately with 16 total over the last five games. If he can get the shots up, Hayes would be pushing towards the top 50 overall.
Brady Skjei – Goal and an assist with two shots. There’s definitely some upside here in dynasties but for now, I’d leave Skjei on the waiver wire in 12’ers. It’s close but it’s not quite enough.
Zach Hyman – Goal on three shots. Clear as day streamer.
Andre Burakovsky – Goal and an assist. I’m probably holding him while he’s this hot with the expectation that I will cut him again in the next couple weeks. At the least, I’d look to stream him against Dallas on Saturday.
Evgeny Kuznetsov – Goal and an assist with two shots. He’s officially back. I thank him on behalf of his owners, that is assuming they didn’t quit on their season with how dreadful he was the first few months.
T.J. Oshie – Goal and an assist. Can’t stop Oshie or the Capitals right now.
Alex Ovechkin – Two assists with two shots. The Great Eight hasn’t had more assists than goals in six years but it’s getting extremely close after six assists but zero goals in his past four.
Daniel Winnik – Two assists with a shot. Nothing here really given his role on the fourth line.
Jake Allen – 6 saves on 10 shots in 25 minutes before being pulled. Carter Hutton then allowed 3 goals on 8 shots. Man, the Blues goaltending has really let them down this season.
Jaden Schwartz – Goal and two assists with two shots and two PIM finishing +3. Not too bad in any game let alone when your team loses 7-3. Schwartz is starting to find his groove again with six points in his past five.
Alex Steen – Two goals and an assist with three shots. Just shoot the damn puck and stay healthy!
Viktor Arvidsson – Two assists with two shots. He’s back on the fringe after a recent cold streak. If you’re in a roster crunch or want to grab somebody hotter, I’m fine with cutting bait. Having said that, I’d lean towards hold.
Ryan Ellis – Two goals on three shots. It’s his show on the blue line with the injured Preds so make sure to grab him everywhere.
James Neal – Goal on two shots. This was his first point in three games after missing about two weeks due to injury. Expect the shots and points to turn around in the near future.
Dougie Hamilton – Two assists with a shot and two penalty minutes. Dougie continues to hit all of the categories at a solid clip.
Sean Monahan – Goal and an assist with six shots. Four game goal streak along with a streak of five straight games with at least four shots. This is the Monahan we’ve come to know and love over the past couple seasons.
Calvin Pickard – 34 saves on 36 shots in the 2-1 loss to the Ducks. Shots were 22-3 Ducks after the first but Pickard kept it 0-0. He’s been great lately but the team is so poor in front of him that he stands little chance. The truest of “desperate for starts” guys.
Gabriel Landeskog – Goal on three shots with two PIM. The other members of Colorado’s big three had an assist. I’m still holding the Kog despite his team’s struggles.
John Gibson – 21 saves on 22 shots getting the win. En fuego. It doesn’t take much for it to continue against the Avs right now.
Hampus Lindholm – Goal on seven shots. He’s just too inconsistent right now to hold in 12’ers.
Jonathan Drouin – Goal on four shots. In the last four games, Drouin has at least four shots on goal. Assuming this shot rate holds (almost three per game on the season), he’ll be a top 50 player next season.
Aaron Dell – 24 saves on 25 shots in the 2-1 win over Tampa. He rarely plays but when he does, Dell is worth streaming.
Andreas Athanasiou (7.3%) – Going back to the well after he scored against the Bruins in their last game. A game with the up and down Sabres gives him a great opportunity to get another point or more.
Jake Guentzel (3.8%) – He’s had a point in both games since his recall and while the Hurricanes have been outstanding at home, they’re not stopping Malkin. Great spot for Guentzel as long as he sticks on Geno’s line.
Reilly Smith (17.3%) – Smith has been okay lately but the minutes have been huge. The Canucks have been better lately but I’ll take my chances with the Panthers top six guys getting massive minutes.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back on Monday recapping all of the weekend’s action. As always, feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments below. Thanks for reading, take care!