Winnipeg cooled off the red hot Oilers on Wednesday night winning 4-3. They’d probably trade that win if it meant Mark Scheifele wasn’t injured. The Jets superstar center fell awkwardly into the boards in the second period and did not return. This is mostly guesswork on my part but from watching a ton of hockey over the years, it looked like Scheifele severely damaged his shoulder or collarbone. Either way, we could be looking at a significant absence. What does it mean going forward for the Jets in fantasy hockey? I think we see the top two lines get their minutes evened out. Consequently, it would give a small boost to Laine and Ehlers while a slight down tick to Wheeler and Connor. The potential winner is Bryan Little. Little scored a goal in this game on three shots and played over 21 minutes. The Jets lack a true replacement as a top six center so it’ll be interesting to see what the Jets lines look like tomorrow in practice and during the next game. My speculation: Little becomes must-own, one other player becomes a streamer (Armia?) and not much else changes. Here’s to hoping Scheifele isn’t out too long for everyone. Let’s take a look at what else happened on Wednesday night after a three day hiatus for the NHL:
Thomas Chabot – Goal on two shots but more importantly, played 21:17. There’s no reason why Chabot shouldn’t get 20+ minutes a night. If you need help on the blueline, I don’t mind a spec add of Chabot. I’m still all in for dynasties.
Riley Nash – Two goals and an assist. I wouldn’t use him outside of the deepest of leagues.
David Backes – Goal and an assist with five shots. Lackeydrinksonme has been talking about Backes for a while, most recently in his latest post. I agree with him that Backes would be a nice add if he’s still available. I wouldn’t call him must own but if you need PIM, Backes is a great choice since he’s due for some positive regression in the goals department.
Matt Grzelcyk – Two assists. To be honest, I know very little about the former third round pick. Considering he has done very little before tonight, I’m ignoring him for the time being.
Dalton Heinen – Goal and an assist with three shots, +4. Heinen has 11 points in his last 10 games moving him into elite streamer status. I’m not quite at hold level because the shots are poor and the PIM’s aren’t there but I wouldn’t blame someone if they did hold Heinen.
Tuukka Rask – 25 saves on 26 shots in the 5-1 win over the Senators. The Bruins are playing excellent hockey right now so it wouldn’t surprise me if Rask had a great second half.
Jeff Petry – Assist with three shots. The minutes are massive with Weber out so if you can stomach a little plus-minus hit, Petry is a clear hold in 12’ers.
Cam Ward – 23 saves on 24 shots in the 3-1 win over Montreal. Here’s the deal. Ward stinks at this point in his career. The good news for him is that Darling has stunk even worse. The Hurricanes are a damn good team outside of goaltending so if either goalie can play even average hockey, their numbers will be great. That’s why I was so high on Darling to open the year. It appears neither goalie is the answer going forward but for now, I’d probably own Ward if I needed goaltending help.
Sebastian Aho – Two goals on five shots. It’s been a bit up and down for Aho but I expect a better second half. The shot rate is there and he’s had some quality games (4 multi-point in his last 10). Sure, we haven’t seen a full breakout, but Aho is still only 20 years old. Only a matter of time.
Cory Schneider – 31 saves on 32 shots in the 3-1 win over the Red Wings. Nice to see last year’s Schneider was the outlier. He’s back to being a #1 fantasy option, albeit on the lower end of #1’s.
Nico Hischier – Two goals on three shots with six PIM. He’s right on the fringe in a 12’er. I’m honestly fine either way if you want to keep him for his upside or stream.
Taylor Hall – Two assists with four shots. Hall has been a monster across the board this season. Still blows my mind that New Jersey acquired him for Larsson straight up.
Josh Bailey – Goal and an assist with four shots. My brain still can’t wrap my head around the fact that Bailey, a guy who wasn’t even a consideration to be drafted in a 12’er, is in the top 5 in the NHL in scoring.
John Tavares – Two assists with four shots. There’s no stopping Tavares right now. The Islanders are an excellent team to watch and it wouldn’t surprise me if they pulled an upset in the first round if they get decent goaltending.
Jaroslav Halak – 35 saves on 37 shots in the 3-2 OT win over the Sabres. I’d call it a revenge game but Halak never played a minute for Buffalo. Anyways, it looked like Halak was going to be a tough luck loser before the Isles tied it up with a minute left on Bailey’s goal that barely crossed the goal line. Halak hasn’t been great but Thomas Greiss has been much worse so I expect Halak to get more starts going forward. Play him in good matchups but don’t tempt your fate with the poor ones.
Artemi Panarin – Two goals on four shots playing over 23 minutes. The Blue Jackets have caught a tough break with Alexander Wennberg and Cam Atkinson both expected to miss at least a month. Look for Panarin to try and carry the load offensively in the time being. I think his shot rate takes a jump up.
Nick Foligno – Assist and two shots playing 24:26. Clearly he’s going to get massive minutes while Wennberg is down so if you need PIM with solid points, grab Foligno. I’d take him over Backes.
Josh Anderson – Assist with a shot playing over 22 minutes. At least I nailed my Anderson breakout prediction!
Pierre-Luc Dubois – Assist with five shots playing 22:38. Dubois is going to be a favorite sleeper of mine next year, I just hope he doesn’t have a huge second half so everyone clings onto him. He’s a great streamer right now but I wouldn’t hold him.
Evgeni Malkin – Goal and two assists with four shots. Just stay healthy!
Phil Kessel – Goal and an assist with three shots. Has a monster season gone as under the radar as Kessel’s. Over a point per game pushing 4 shots with solid PIM.
Patric Hornqvist – Two assists with two shots. Clear as day hold as Hornqvist has reestablished himself as the guy on Crosby’s right wing.
Ondrej Pavelec – 30 save shutout in the 1-0 SO win over the Capitals. I certainly didn’t expect that type of start from Pavelec. His GAA is quite high but his save percentage is actually respectable. I’d use him in most matchups although his starts will be few and far between.
Philipp Grubauer – 37 save shutout getting the brutal loss. Grubauer has been awful on the whole this year but better of late. He’s another guy who doesn’t play much but I’d stream him in the better matchups again.
Pekka Rinne – 29 saves on 30 shots in the 2-1 win over the Blues. Nice for Rinne to bounce back after his horrendous start against Carolina before the break. There’s some risk with Rinne since we’ve seen him go on cold streaks in the past but they seem unlikely given the talent on the Nashville roster.
Leon Draisaitl – Goal and an assist. Five game point streak for Leon who is inching towards a point per game again. Quite frankly, Draisaitl needs it to deliver as a top 20 pick like a lot of people had him ranked. The shot rate is below 2.5 per game and the PIM aren’t there so Draisaitl needs those points.
Connor McDavid – Two assists with a shot. Honestly, I’m just glad he played after he was walking with a crutch after the last Oilers game.
Joel Armia – Two goals on five shots. I mentioned Armia in the intro as a guy who could become a streamer. I’ll keep an eye on updates from the Jets to see how Armia’s value could change.
Tyler Seguin – Goal and an assist. Seguin has been solid despite little mention of him given so many other guys having excellent years. Still, Seguin isn’t far off a 40+40 pace with over 4 shots per game.
Alex Stalock – 24 saves on 26 shots in the 4-2 win over the Stars. Devan Dubnyk was healthy enough to backup Stalock so it looks like Stalock’s time of being a hold has come to an end.
Mikael Granlund – Goal and an assist with three shots. I’m still holding Granlund, mostly because he’s had at least 3 shots in 5 of his past 6 games.
Charlie Coyle – Two assists with two shots. I’ve said over the last month that Coyle isn’t a hold but I expect him to be one at some point this year. He has five points in his past five so Coyle is getting closer.
Jason Zucker – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM. Zucker had been ice cold going pointless in his previous seven games. If someone cut him during that stretch, I’d be sure to pick him up.
Antti Raanta – 25 saves on 26 shots in the 3-1 win over the Avalanche. I’d use him in only the best of matchups until Raanta puts together a solid stretch of games.
Malcolm Subban – 27 saves on 28 shots in the 4-1 win over the Ducks. Great win by the Golden Knights as nobody had more than one point total. Subban was great while he was the #1 earlier in the year so I would stream him every time he starts.
LDOM’s post linked above has a nice look at streamers. Obviously Toronto guys are firmly in play against Arizona as are the second tier guys for Chicago. I wouldn’t be surprised if Florida and Philadelphia turns into a high scoring game either. The other games look either one sided (e.g. Tampa) or potentially low scoring (Vegas @ Kings).
That’s all for now guys. There are enough games on the slate tonight that I will have daily notes on Friday morning. As always, feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments below. Thanks for reading, take care!