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What the Vegas Golden Knights are doing in their inaugural season is nothing short of spectacular.  The only thing I’ve ever seen like it is Leicester City fighting off relegation before winning the Premier League title the next season at 5000-1 shots.  Sure, Vegas was nowhere near that big of a long shot, but to have the best record in the West is remarkable.  On Tuesday, they beat their top competition, the Nashville Predators, 3-0.  Marc-Andre Fleury led the way with a 28 save shutout.  It’s a shame Fleury was injured this season because he’s been great in 9 of 10 starts.  Fleury has won 8 of his 10 starts with a GAA below 2 and save percentage above .940.  It’s safe to say it will regress some but I’m well past the point of thinking Vegas is going to regress.  This team is real and Fleury looks like he’ll be a slam dunk #1 fantasy goalie for the rest of the season and going forward.  Just a remarkable story that I can’t get enough of.  Let’s take a look at what else happened on Tuesday night:

Alex Ovechkin – Two goals.  Ovechkin is in the midst of his best season in a long time.  Over a point per game and over a 50 goal pace.  Shot rate is well over 4 per game as well.  And places didn’t rank him in the first round!

Nicklas Backstrom – Two assists with a shot.  He played despite being questionable due to illness.  Backstrom is starting to break out of his slump; here’s to hoping he gets that shot rate back up.

Victor Rask – Two goals on five shots.  Rask has been extremely disappointing this season.  He’s a bottom end streamer at best.

Cam Ward – 21 saves on 26 shots in the 5-4 OT loss to Washington.  Maybe one year Carolina will actually get decent goaltending.  Maybe.

Tuukka Rask – 25 saves on 26 shots in the 5-1 win over the Islanders.  It’s going to be one of the things I talk about with Reid on the podcast tomorrow: Boston is damn good and Rask is reaping the benefits (and playing well in his own right).

Brad Marchand – Goal and an assist with five shots and two PIM.  Despite a slow stretch recently, Marchand is still a massive plus in all categories outside of SOG, where he is still slightly above average.

Tim Schaller – Goal and an assist with four shots.  Meh, nothing to see here.

Dalton Heinen – Goal and an assist.  Mr. Heinen on the other hand, plenty to see.  I streamed him a couple weeks ago and haven’t been able to drop him.  Hold him while he’s a hot schmotato.

Tristan Jarry – 16 saves on 17 shots in 34 minutes before leaving the game with a cut on his arm in the 5-1 win over Philly.  Matt Murray took over and did not allow a goal.  Look for Murray to start every game as long as Jarry is out, especially since Pittsburgh has no margin of error.

Evgeni Malkin – Two assists with two shots.  Just stay healthy!

Phil Kessel – Goal and an assist with four shots.  Kessel keep chugging along crushing all of the categories besides plus-minus.  No reason at all to except him to slow down either.

Ryan Reaves – Goal and an assist as the fourth line scored two goals: Tom Kuhnhackl and Riley Sheahan (who played a lot without these two) also had two points.  Don’t expect to hear about any of these guys any time soon.  I still can’t believe Pitt dropped from the first to second round just to acquire Reaves.

Brian Elliott – 10 saves on 14 shots in two periods before being pulled.  Just when it looks like you can trust him, Elliott lays an egg.  He’s purely a matchup-based play.

Andrei Vasilevskiy – 29 save shutout in the 2-0 win over Toronto.  That’s Vas’ sixth shutout on the year distancing him even further from the pack.  He’s miles ahead of every other goalie at the halfway point of the season.

Nikita Kucherov – One shot on goal.  Probably should cut him, bum can’t even get a point.

Aaron Dell – 30 saves on 31 shots in the 4-1 win over the Canadiens.  Dell has been outstanding this season and is worth streaming no matter who the opposition is.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Goal and an assist with six shots.  Vlasic has been serviceable in the past but I wouldn’t use him outside of the deepest of leagues.  Even in deep leagues, the hits are so dreadful that he’s not of much use.

Kevin Labanc – Two assists.  He’s hotter than hell with 12 points in his last 10 games.  Keep streaming him.

Timo Meier – Two goals on four shots.  I’m still a huge fan in dynasties and Meier is worth streaming now with 5 goals in his past 8 outings.  The shots are starting to come in on a consistent basis as well.

Carter Hutton – 24 saves on 26 shots in the 3-2 SO win over the Devils.  This was Hutton’s second consecutive start.  With how well he’s played and Allen struggling at times, perhaps he’s going to work his way into more of a time share?  His numbers are absurd so I’m good with grabbing him in all leagues just in case he earns a split.

Devan Dubnyk – 25 saves on 26 shots in the 5-1 win over the Panthers.  Second great start since returning from injury.  Obviously you know to start Dubnyk every time out.

James Reimer – 23 saves on 26 shots before being pulled with 3:26 left in the second.  This was more of a mercy pulling than it being Reimer’s fault.  Reimer was starting his twelfth straight and the team was down 3-0.  He’s been on fire so I’m not abandoning ship after one start but the Panthers just started a long road trip so just be aware that the downside is significant.

Jared Spurgeon – Three assists with three shots.  One of the most underrated players in the NHL, Spurgeon is a bottom end hold in 12’ers without the extra categories.  He obviously gets a nice boost if your league includes blocked shots.

Matt Cullen – Two goals on five shots.  And there’s your annual Matt Cullen update!

Eric Staal – Two goals with two PIM.  Staal is on pace to top last season’s big bounce back.  He’s a good bet to top 30 goals for the first time in 8 years!

Tyler Ennis – Two assists with four shots.  Bottom end streamer at best.

Sergei Bobrovsky – 21 saves on 22 shots in the 2-1 win over Dallas.  Massive win by CBJ going into Dallas and winning.  Look for this game to be the start of Bob getting back on track.

Oliver Bjorkstrand – Two goals on four shots.  It’s a bit frustrating that Bjorkstrand isn’t playing more, especially given the injuries to Columbus’ forwards.  He’s an elite streamer but not worth holding.  Not enough shots, no PIM, and the minutes aren’t consistent.

Lukas Sedlak – Two assists.  My takeaway from writing about Sedlak is that I’m shocked that I’ve wrote about him before.  He’s fantasy irrelevant so I was surprised I have his name in the Razzball database.

Blake Wheeler – Two goals on nine shots.  What a boss.  I would have led with Wheeler but I’ve done that enough already.  He deserves serious Hart consideration.

Patrik Laine – Two assists with five shots.  Laine is starting to take off.  If he can get his shot rate over three and pushing even higher, it’s game over for everyone.  His shot is phenomenal, to the point where he’s going to be a lock for 40+ goals annually sooner than later.

Mikko Rantanen – Goal and two assists with four shots.  He’s been overshadowed because of all the other young guns breaking out but Rantanen is pushing a point per game.  He could be a top 50 player as soon as next season if the shot rate can take another jump.

Nathan MacKinnon – Goal and an assist with three shots.  Fifteen points in the past nine games seems good.  And he’s still only 22 years old!

Semyon Varlamov – 21 saves on 21 shots before leaving the game with a lower body injury.  If you want to gamble, Jonathan Bernier should see all of the action he can handle until Varlamov returns.

Jonathan Quick – 32 save shutout in the 5-0 win over the Oilers.  I did not see this career year from Quick coming.  He’s the #2 goalie on the season and starting to open up a slight gap between him and #3 (Hellboy).  I’d just ride it out with Quick unless you can get some massive return.

Marian Gaborik – Goal and an assist with three shots.  Keep streaming the man.

Dustin Brown – Two goals on three shots.  Brown’s resurgence might even be more surprising than Bailey being second in the league in points.  Nobody saw this coming from Brown.  I mean, he already has his most goals in a season in five years.  Props to him for revitalizing his career.  And yeah, it helps to play with…

Anze Kopitar – Two assists with a shot.  Sure, Kopitar slowed down quite a bit, but he’s still sitting over a point per game with an incredible plus-minus.  Monster player.

Alec Martinez – Two assists with a shot.  After a nice season last year in fantasy, Martinez hasn’t done much at all despite his massive workload.  Leave him on the waiver wire.

Alex Tuch – Two assists with two shots.  Big fan long term, and Tuch is worth streaming now, but he’s a middling streamer until the minutes increase (below 12 minutes in this one).

Ryan Getzlaf – Goal and two assists with three shots.  The shot rate isn’t great but Getzlaf is killing it everywhere else.  As mentioned yesterday, look for him to be a top 25ish fantasy player while the minutes are through the roof.

Josh Manson – Three assists, +4.  Manson is a decent option depending on the categories you are looking for at the bottom of your roster.  Assists, plus-minus and penalty minutes are all strong.

Rickard Rakell – Goal and an assist with two shots.  His goal streak is up to six games.  No slowing down Rakell right now on the top line.

Hampus Lindholm – Two assists with two shots, +4.  The Ducks are crushing it right now and Lindholm is part of it.  I don’t mind grabbing him if you need plus-minus help because the points should be around the 40 mark.

Ryan Miller – 31 save shutout in the 5-0 win over the Canucks.  Revenge game!  With how well the Ducks are playing, stream Miller whenever he starts.

That’s all for now guys.  I’ll be back on Friday with daily notes because there is only two games on the schedule tonight.  However, Reid and I will have a podcast tomorrow so look for that Thursday morning.  As always, feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments below.  Thanks for reading, take care!

  1. Brad says:
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    Hi Viz,

    Great write up (as always)!

    What do you think of pacioretty, rantanen and laine for tarasenko and huberdeau in a keeper pool? It’s a h2h 12er. Cats are G, A, +\-, shots, GWG, PPP, PIMs offensively. I’m thinking huberdeau and rantanen are a wash or close to. Maybe a slight edge for huberdeau. Tarasenko is slightly better than laine and patches is a huge buy low who can get rolling at any time. My last keeper is currently johansen so keeper wise it’s super close (comment on that too if you can please) but gives me an edge for this season (I think).

    Thanks again!

    Cersy

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Brad: Hey Cersy, I would definitely take the first three guys. To me, Laine is the best player in that group already, even over Tarasenko. When you consider Laine is going to be 19 years old all season, we have seen nowhere near the best for him. Agree that Huberdeau and Rantanen are close enough to a wash that you’re probably getting a free Patches. It’s definitely close with Johansen (you can worry about that later) but it’s definitely an upgrade now.

      • Brad says:
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        @Viz: Thanks Viz. The deal has come down to Rantanen and Patches for Huberdeau. That almost seems like a no brainer to accept that. Do you agree?

        • Viz

          Viz says:
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          @Brad: Yep, agreed. No problem!

  2. Shitwolf says:
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    hellllllloooooooooo! so what do I dodo about OEL… is he still a hold? he seems to just sink my plus minus and not get on the score sheet too often.

    extra cats are PPG, PPA, hits blocks pims. and then the usuals.

    My 4 D are Mccavoy, proverov, OEL and schultz… would you swap any for Theodore, fowler, or spurgeon?

    Thanks homie!

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Shitwolf: Hey man! Yeah, OEL is tough right now. I have no problem cutting bait if you want to because of the +/-. The problem is he’s a beast in hits and solid in blocks so the extra categories kind of help him. I’d lean holding him but I am fine cutting bait if you want. It all depends on what categories you are looking for. I’m done with Schultz and would add Spurgeon if you need blocks or either of the other two otherwise. Fowler and Theodore are super close

      • Shitwolf says:
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        @Viz:

        Thanks for the info man that helps… how come you are done with schultz? didn’t he just come back from injury?

        • Viz

          Viz says:
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          @Shitwolf: No problem… he’s looked awful when he’s played and the minutes are down a ton. He thrived with Letang out last season so unless that happens again, I’m hesitant to think he turns it around

          • Shitwolf says:
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            @Viz:

            much appreciated man love ya 🙂

  3. You stated Dell has been outstanding this season and is worth streaming no matter who the opposition is. I have Martin Jones, who is struggling, as his last outing was the 7th time in his past 9 starts that he surrendered 4 goals or more. Our league only allows 3 goalies max. I have Vasilevskiy and I usually stream goalies in my 3rd slot. I streamed Dell last night and I feel like maybe he is a hold for me at this point, what with the way Jones is playing and all. I hate to tie up my 3rd slot for one of my goalie’s back-ups, but I don’t know what else to do at this point, at least for the near future. SJ has a back-to-back tomorrow & Friday anyway. Any thoughts on that Viz? Thanks. You da man!

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @madden_curser: With the impending back to back, I would hold through Friday and see how the next two games go for the Sharks. I agree that it would suck having to hold Dell but it might end up being the smart thing to do. Let’s get a little more info before you make the decision.

  4. Clbsnrsk says:
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    Another great write up. Just wondering if you may consider doing a post on stashable rookies that could get called up during the stretch. Some questionable because of eligibility, like goddamn do I love Greenway, and Yamamoto will surely be a hold til next years camp, but other guys like Chabot and Logan brown on a horrible Senators squad, and some of these other juniors having a fantastic tournament. Thanks man!

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Clbsnrsk: Thanks! I’m thinking about doing it around the All-Star Break if that’works just for something to fill down time.

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