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!