In my second half predictions post, I said that Jack Eichel would be in the top 5 in scoring for the rest of the season.  He’s certainly started on the right track.  Eichel scored the OT winner on his seventh shot against the Flames on Monday before exploding against the Oilers with a goal and three assists with five shots on Tuesday.  The Sabres power play looks like last season’s unit again, the unit that was #1 in the entire NHL.  Eichel is leading the way there but has also been dominant in all phases.  He’s currently in the midst of a 7 game point streak totaling a whopping 14 points in those 7 games while averaging almost 5 shots per game.  This game put Eichel above a point per game for the season and I expect him to finish there.  Sure, the plus-minus is poor, but everything else is outstanding.  He’s a first round pick for me next season, no doubt about it.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:

Andreas Athanasiou – Two assists with three shots on Monday, 0’s Tuesday playing 20 minutes.  Keep streaming him.

Dylan Larkin – Goal and an assist with two shots and four penalty minutes Monday, shot and two PIM Tuesday.  The goals aren’t where I expected but no complaints with Larkin playing at a 50 assist pace.

Petr Mrazek – 37 save shutout in the 3-0 win over the Devils on Monday, 28 saves on 31 shots in the 3-2 OT loss to the Flyers.  I’ve floated his name as a potential trade target for teams who want to gamble on a goalie with upside.  Mrazek is a gamble for fantasy purposes but I could see liking him a lot more in a new destination than in Detroit.

Luke Glendening – Blanks on Monday before two assists with two shots on Tuesday.  And there’s your annual Glendening update!

Andrei Vasilevskiy – 40 save shutout in the 2-0 win over the Blackhawks.  Doesn’t get any better than Vasilevskiy these days.

Chad Johnson – 32 saves on 33 shots in the 2-1 OT win over the Flames.  Never ignore a revenge game!  Ochocinco couldn’t stop a beach ball before this game as he allowed 4+ goals in every previous start.  Don’t use him unless he strings together multiple games.

Rasmus Ristolainen – Assist with two shots playing over 32 minutes on Monday, .  32:26!?  Good lord.  The Sabres power play is coming around so I’m expecting a good second half from Risto, at least a solid #3 but probably a #2.

Sam Reinhart – One shot Monday, goal and two assists with two shots Tuesday.  Reinhart’s all-around game has really been coming around lately with 6 points in the last 4 and 8 in his last 10.  He’s a great streamer for now as long as he’s contributing on the first power play unit.  Given that he hasn’t taken the league by storm like other high round picks have, I think dynasty owners may be writing him over early.  Reinhart just turned 22 and I still have a lot of faith in him turning into a 60+ point guy so I’d be buying low in dynasties.

Kyle Okposo – Two shots and two PIM Monday, two assists with a shot Tuesday.  Great streamer while he’s playing with Eichel.  Okposo finally looks like the player he was pre-illness.

Ryan O’Reilly – Assist with three shots Monday, two goals on four shots Tuesday.  RoR is a focal point of that top PP unit and he’s taking off as a result.  He’s right on the fringe for me because of the lack of PIM.

Rasmus Ristolainen – Three assists with four shots over two games.  Risto now has 10 points in his last 10 games.  Again, despite the Sabres being a cellar dweller, the top guys are strong fantasy assets.  Look for a big second half from Ristolainen.

Robin Lehner -33 save shutout in the 5-0 win over the Oilers.  And the Lehner roller coaster continues.  I’d definitely use him Thursday against the Canucks if you need a starter.

Taylor Hall – Out the last two nights.  Brutal for the Devils who are basically dead without him.  It doesn’t sound overly serious though; he hasn’t been ruled out for Thursday.

Alex Stalock – 37 saves on 38 shots in the 3-1 win over the Sens.  I was quite surprised that Stalock received the start given that the Wild only have one other game this week (on Thursday).  Stalock is worth streaming in most matchups at this point.

Mikael Granlund – Goal and an assist with four shots.  His slow start is clearly a thing from the past at this point as Granlund is playing at a 70+ point pace.  The jump in shot rate has helped his value immensely.

Mike Smith – 31 saves on 33 shots in the overtime loss to Buffalo.  He was outstanding again stealing a point for a flat Flames team.  Smith has been everything we could have hoped for and then some.

Matthew Tkachuk – Goal on six shots.  He just turned 20 years old.  Tkachuk is going to be so damn good sooner than later.

Anthony Beauvillier – Two goals on five shots.  Oh baby!  That’s eight goals in seven games for Beauvillier.  Since there are 15 games Thursday, you don’t need to stream, but I think you should still draft Beauvillier.  As long as he’s with Barzal and Eberle on the second line, we could see his breakout earlier than expected.

Antti Raanta – 32 saves on 34 shots in the 3-2 OT win over the Islanders.  I don’t fully trust Raanta, but I do think Arizona will be better down the stretch.  He can provide you some value in the right matchups, mainly at home.

Nick Cousins – Two goals and an assist with four shots.  Meh.  He never showed much in Philadelphia and hasn’t done much in the desert before Monday.  It’ll take a lot more before he’s on my fantasy radar.

Jakub Voracek – Goal and an assist with two shots.  What a season for Voracek despite having horrible shooting luck.

Sean Couturier – Two assists with five shots.  I loved Couturier as a prospect but never saw this type of offense coming.  Nothing about it screams fluke either, it’s incredible.

Brad Marchand – Goal and an assist with four shots, and an elbow to the face of Marcus Johansson:

What a disgrace.  That is just ugly and given his repeat offender status, I really hope the league gives him a lengthy suspension.  That’s 10 games if not more in my mind.  What will happen is he’ll get a slap on the wrist, per usual, and move on.  Oh, the NHL Wheel of Justice.  For fantasy, we know how good he is, and if you own Marchand, brace for a potential suspension.

Tuukka Rask – 37 saves on 39 shots in the 3-2 win over the Devils.  He’s been outstanding for a few months now, here’s to hoping he maintains the volume down the stretch.  The Bruins are for real folks.

Casey DeSmith – 34 saves on 35 shots in the 3-1 win over the Hurricanes.  DeSmith has shockingly started three games in a row and keeps rolling so expect the Pens to play him again in their next game, assuming Murray isn’t back.  DeSmith is definitely a great streamer behind a rolling Pens team.

Jonathan Drouin – Goal and two assists with two shots.  Drouin has tons of upside (as we’ve seen in the past) but he’s a streamer at best with how he’s played this year.

Alex Galchenyuk – Goal and an assist with three shots.  I still feel like the Canadiens are going to make an awful Galchenyuk trade at some point.

Carter Hutton – 25 save shutout in the 3-0 win over the Senators.  After one awful start where the team in front of him didn’t show up, Hutton bounced back in a big way.  Mike Yeo went right back to Hutton after the Arizona debacle which shows what kind of faith Yeo has in him right now.  I’ve been driving the Hutton bandwagon for a while now so I’m sure you’ve added him by now… but if you haven’t, do it!

Brayden Schenn – Goal and an assist with three shots.  While he’s slowed down, he’s about to get his partner-in-crime Jaden Schwartz back which should help plenty.

Chris Kunitz – Goal and two assists with three shots.  No thanks.  He’s washed up at this point; I can’t see him sticking with Stamkos for an extended period.  Speaking of…

Steven Stamkos – Goal and an assist with four shots.  Stammer has always been a 15+% shooter and he’s sitting around 13 at the moment.  It could get even better.

Vladislav Namestnikov – Goal and an assist with three shots.  He’s been ice cold with only 2 points (in the same game) in the last 9 before Tuesday night.  I’d lean towards holding Names but it’s getting close.

Mikhail Sergachev – Healthy scratch.  Oh.  Definitely did not see that coming.  Assume that it’s only for one game and he’ll be back in the thick of things.

James Reimer – Left the Stars game 4 minutes in with a lower body injury.  Harri Sateri gave up 6 goals in 36 shots in relief.  Things might get real ugly in Florida soon.  Side note: one of these days, I want to see an emergency goalie have to come in the game.  I wasn’t rooting for Sateri to get hurt, but I’d love to see some random come into an NHL game cold.

Michael Haley – 2:29 of ice time, 39 minutes of penalties.  For whatever reason, this game turned into a bloodbath, and Haley was at the forefront.  If someone randomly used Haley in a super deep league for potential PIM, congratulations, and go play the lottery.

Alexander Radulov – Two goals and an assist with four shots and two PIM.

I’d say this signing has gone well.

John Klingberg – Two assists.  All your assists are belong to Klingberg!

Devin Shore – Goal and an assist with four shots.  Solid streamer with his power play time.

Jonathan Quick – 14 saves on 19 shots in 24:21 before being pulled in the 6-2 loss to the Canucks.  I’ve long been a Quick detractor but bought into the improvement because of the style changed.  While I think it’s helped, the problem is that the Kings are free falling.  I’m quite worried about this team, and consequently Quick, going forward.

Anze Kopitar – Goal and an assist with three shots.  I should say that I’m worried about this team when Kopitar is off the ice.

Thomas Vanek – Goal and two assists with three shots.  This is a vintage Vanek clapper:

I’ve long been a Vanek fan and I really hope he goes to a good situation at the trade deadline.  He’s a strong streamer right now.

Loui Eriksson – Two goals and an assist with four shots.  It’s a shame Loui really fell off once he signed in Vancouver.  He’s a bottom end streamer at best.

Alex Edler – Two assists with three shots and two PIM.  There’s a little value in standard 12’ers because of the shot rate and penalty minutes; I could see using him in your last D spot depending on roster construct.  Edler has massive value in deep leagues and leagues that include hits and blocks because he’s outstanding in both categories.

Bo Horvat – Two assists with two shots in his second game.  Get Dr. Bo back in your lineups ASAP.

Brock Boeser – Two goals on six shots.  How on earth did Boeser fall to the 23rd pick in 2015?  Blasphemy.  If he didn’t get jerked around at the beginning of the season, Boeser could be leading the league in goals.

Rick Nash – Two goals on seven shots with two PIM.  Nash is in excellent form right now as the Rangers are in free fall.  I think it’s more likely by the day that Nash, a UFA, is moved at the deadline.  For now, I’d hold him while he’s on fire if you need shots at all.

Mika Zibanejad – Two assists with two shots.  He’s been mediocre since his return from injury but I’m still holding Mika.

Henrik Lundqvist – 4 saves on 7 shots before being pulled in the first period against the Ducks.  Sometimes even a King struggles.  Despite the Rangers struggles around him, Lundqvist has been playing extremely well before today.  The wins may fall off but I don’t think his numbers will, I’m chalking this up to one bad start.

Ryan Getzlaf – Goal and two assists.  It’s a shame Getzlaf missed so much time because he’s been tremendous this season.  He’s up to 31 points in 25 games.

Corey Perry – Goal and an assist with five shots.  I’d still hold Perry on the bottom of my roster for the PIM boost but it’s not great.

Cam Fowler – Two assists.  I don’t hate any of the big four defenseman for the Ducks for fantasy but I don’t really like any of them either.  You can justify holding any of them or leaving them on the wire depending on what you’re looking for.

Nick Foligno – Two assists.  The minutes are there giving Foligno 6 points in his last 6 games.  I’m still not that interested outside of streaming him if I need potential PIM.

Brad Hunt – Goal and two assists with four shots and two PIM.  Nothing really to see here in fantasy.

William Karlsson – Two goals on three shots.  Five of the six guys on the Vegas top two lines had two points in this game (all but Smith).  Again, never sleep on a revenge game!  Karlsson is now tied for second in the league in goals.  Just remarkable.

Shea Theodore – Two assists with two shots.  I’d be holding Theodore given the strong assists and plus-minus boost.

Bryan Little – Two goals and an assist with four shots.  Little is an elite streamer but I don’t think he’s quite to hold status, mostly because the shot rate has dropped off dramatically.

Mathieu Perreault – Goal and an assist with two PIM.  Same story as Little although I prefer to stream Perreault at the moment.

Tyler Myers – Two assists.  Myers is right on the fringe for me.  It’s solid across off the board that if you want something decent, I’m good with holding Myers.  There’s a bit more value in roto leagues than head to head for that balance.

Joel Armia – Two goals on five shots.  Armia doesn’t have the role to have fantasy value outside of the deepest of leagues.  That said, I really wish he did get a chance to be counted on offensively because I think he has the offensive ability to put up some nice point totals.

Nikolaj Ehlers – Two assists with three shots.  As far as personal favorite players to watch goes, Ehlers is moving right near the top of that list.

Joe Pavelski – Goal and an assist with three shots.  He’s been much better lately with 10 points in his last 9 games.  Still, this was only Pavelski’s 10th goal of the season after 4 straight of 29+.  I’m going to fading him next season, that’s for sure.

That’s all for now guys.  With only two games on the slate tonight, I’ll be back on Friday with my next set of daily notes.  There will also be a podcast that comes out Thursday afternoon so be on the lookout for that as well.  Feel free to make picks for The Three Point Challenge for Thursday’s 15 game slate in the comments section below.  Additionally, I have started working on my fantasy playoff schedule manifesto so that should definitely come out on Monday morning.  As always, feel free to ask any questions, leave any comments, or make any suggestions below.  Thanks for reading, take care!

  1. Brad says:
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    Hey Viz,

    Drop Ryan Johansen for Reinhart? Johansen has been a dumpster fire. Terrible.

    Thanks,

    Brad

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Brad: If you want to play the hot hand right now, I’m good with it, but odds are Johansen will end up having the better total second half. So it depends on how many moves you’re able to make

  2. LG Hockey says:
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    Viz,

    Great write up!

    Got offered Marner and Ellis for Ghost. Seems like a no brainer but Marner is scuffling and Ellis has played well but missed most of the season time. Should I pull the trigger?

    Thanks

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @LG Hockey: No keepers stuff here right? I’m probably passing honestly, Marner hasn’t been good this season and Ghost has been great.

      • LG Hockey says:
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        @Viz: ok thanks – yeah no of the guys mentioned above would be in my top 6 for keepers but Ghost has played well

  3. Jump on it says:
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    In terms of waiver wire/backup goalies – who is one you consider picking up and holding? Hutton and Dell are off the wire in my league. Jarry was looking good until DeSmith is outplaying him.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Jump on it: I’m going to need a bit more information on who is still on the wire in your league to give you an answer. Let me know and I’ll get back to you.

      • Jump on it says:
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        @Viz: thanks Viz! Here are those on the wire: Saros, Miller, Kuemper, Grubauer, Neuvirth, Mrazek, Lehtonen, Raanta, Stalock, Darling, Greiss, Forsberg

        4 cats for goalies – id prioritize GAA and Save % over wins. SO is a hit/miss.
        I have Jarry and Lundqvist.

        • Viz

          Viz says:
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          @Jump on it: No problem, any time! Man, that’s a pretty ugly group. A lot of them are clear backups or just not that good. I guess I would lean towards Mrazek or Neuvirth. Mrazek has been playing well lately and he’s someone that I’ve talked about as a potential trade candidate as an upside play for some teams like the Islanders who have bad goaltending. I also think Neuvirth has worked his way into a time share. Is it possible for you to stream goalies and rotate backups who get the start in a good matchup? I know that’s not ideal but it might be your best bet. If you can’t, I guess I’d lean Mrazek while he’s playing well

  4. Chris says:
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    Hey Viz,

    Currently in first place but looking to upgrade my goalies.
    I currently have Gibby, Quick, and Jarry. Would you trade Quick, and a 9th rounder for Andersen and Risto in a 12 team league, keeper
    Thanks
    G/A/PPP/+-/PIM/GWG

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Chris: I don’t think Andersen is an upgrade on Quick so if that’s what you’re looking for, I’d probably pass. I do like Risto quite a bit though so overall, I think this is pretty close or maybe a win, but I don’t think this helps your goal.

  5. Mr. Rickey says:
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    Great write-up as usual. Couple of questions:

    My G’s are Bishop, Hutton, Neuvirth and Halak – drop either Halak or Neuvirth for Raanta?

    Also, struggling with my D – lost Shattenkirk and now McAvoy – current D’s are Gostisbehere, Theodore and Oesterle. Landeskog and Kadri are my bench players and I’m considering dropping Kadri (my weakest player by far) for some D help. Would you make a move for any of these:

    Edler
    Spurgeon
    Lindell
    Schmidt
    Trouba
    Vlasic

    Thanks – appreciate your thoughts.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Mr. Rickey: Thanks man! Meh, I’m probably holding although it depends what you’re looking for from your goalies. Raanta and Halak are close but give you different things.

      With how bad Kadri has been, I’m fine with dropping him. Any specific categories you’re looking for? In a vacuum, I guess I prefer Spurgeon

      • Shitwolf says:
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        @Viz:

        any idea why Kadri has been so bad? is he hiding an injury? I can understand cold streaks but holy poop!

        • Viz

          Viz says:
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          @Shitwolf: I have no clue honestly, it’s crazy how bad he’s been.

  6. fleeced says:
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    Hi Viz,

    Would you drop Thorton for Horvat in a redraft non-banger league?

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @fleeced: Yes, without hesitation. Thornton doesn’t do much for me.

      • Crapshoot Kershaw says:
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        @Viz: thornton actually has been MUCH better than i thought he’d be, but that doesn’t mean i’d keep thornton over horvat even in a redraft. thornton for me was expected to be a streamer even in 16’s where you start 4 at each forward, BUT i nabbed him early in year and didn’t drop as his points have been great (and it’s faceoffs league). same league i lucked into d.brown in similar fashion (hits/blocks also)

        • Viz

          Viz says:
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          @Crapshoot Kershaw: Thornton now out indefinitely (at least 2 weeks) so not even a debate now. Nice hit on Brown.

          • Crapshoot Kershaw says:
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            @Viz: amazing what brown’s done relative to previous 4 years minimum. he wasn’t even a streamer in this deep league last few years

  7. Saints says:
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    Hay viz,
    the gifs are great keep posting them.
    I see you get a little bit excited about your sabres again 😀 so excited that you listed risto 2 times thats funny 😀 😀
    Also funny that Quick lost to the Kings and Stalock won over the Wild 😀 😀
    Dont want to embarass you i was just smiling when i was reading it.
    Still love your posts keep going 🙂

    One Question do You think DeSmith has longterm upside (maybe for another team ?)

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Saints: Thanks, will do! Haha whoops… what happened was that I wrote Monday’s part and saved it and then added Tuesday to it. With the Sabres playing a back-to-back, I wrote him twice and didn’t notice. Man, my mind was apparently mush last night haha. After doing the basketball podcast, I was pretty burned out and had to write still. I’ll edit those now.

      I don’t really see it with DeSmith. He’s already 26 years old and has been a minor leaguer for a long time for a reason. We’ve seen tons of guys get hot for a stint before (e.g. Andrew Hammond) but they fall back to Earth eventually

      • Crapshoot Kershaw says:
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        @Viz: hahahaha, one of the ole if the question got asked on a friday just wait a few hours it don’t matter type-a-deals.

        • Crapshoot Kershaw says:
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          @Crapshoot Kershaw: this meant to go in above post clearly. i hadn’t refreshed page and saw it in the fantrax thornton note (and he’s got a cross all of a sudden)

  8. Crapshoot Kershaw says:
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    DET would be out there damn minds to move mrazek now. he’s still their best future goalie (i haven’t caught up lately in prospects in general but i don’t think they have any top goalie prospect(s) i’m forgetting about), howard is old enough.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Crapshoot Kershaw: Agreed completely (and they don’t have anyone) but it sounds like he’s on the table

  9. I got $100 for groceries, $1400 for liquor and $6,000 for you to bail a couple of shit puppets out of jail says:
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    watched that marchand bow, good night you can see him wind it up, clearly dirty. i still want to have a “who has the pointier elbows” contest with sam abernathy if i ever get to vegas. neat thing about that contest is i win either way (and i’d actually win too, my arms are longer, thus the more point to them)

  10. Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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    today only dubnyk @ PIT or dell vs NYR?

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo: I’d lean Dell given the higher chance of winning and being at home

  11. Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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    WTF are these coaches doing!?

    -nico gets bumped so zajac and his 7 points on the year can be top line again (this SERIOUSLY should get them investigated, i mean, why not throw nico into minors if you REALLY want to tank, or maybe they’re just soft-selling it while hall is out to steal a couple more losses)

    -connor is bumped to 4th line so roslovic can play up. not that i hate roslovic but how does this make any sense?

    • Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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      @Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo: and if for some reason your team is filled to the gills with LA/CHI players and you actually HAVE an opening at center tonight, roslovic is it.

      kunitz for the LW version of this if hits league.

    • Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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      @Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo: and if for some reason your team is filled to the gills with LA/CHI players and you actually HAVE an opening at center tonight, roslovic is it.

      kunitz for the LW version of this if hits league.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo: I never was a Zajac guy but this is completely insane. They’re definitely not tanking, it wouldn’t accomplish anything at this point, but I have no clue what Hynes is thinking. Connor move is a bit more defensible but still crazy talk. LA is the only team that doesn’t play tonight so it would only be if you have Kopitar, barring a deep league

      • Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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        @Viz: oh yeah forgot, 31 teams now, there’d be only ONE off (or i guess possibly 3, but i know from looking at matchups it’s not that many). so we’re tied for the least streamy day of the whole season.

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