As a Sabres fan, it was tough to watch Andrei Vasilevskiy lock the game down Thursday night in the Lightning 4-1 win over Buffalo. After a horrible first period, the Sabres dominated the game but Vasilevskiy took control. Coach Jon Cooper said that Vasilevskiy’s going to get a bunch of games in the near future so add him if you can. He’s an excellent target in dynasty leagues. After this season, either he gets traded or the Lightning trade Ben Bishop. Either way, you’re a winner. In one year leagues, he will have plenty of value in spot starts.
Here’s what else I saw Thursday night:
Tyler Johnson – Goal on two shots, +2. Somehow it’s only his second goal of the year. A huge run is coming.
Nikita Kucherov – Goal, assist and 4 shots. A huge run is coming here as well. And that’s me repeating me!
Steven Stamkos – Goal on two shots. He’s amazing but it seems like he scores a goal every game against Buffalo. Granted, the Sabres have been horrible for years but for DFS purposes this has value.
Jack Eichel – Goal on six shots. Every goal he has is a highlight reel goal. I know he hasn’t been great yet but I still firmly believe that his numbers will be solid by the end of the season.
John Carlson – Goal and assist on two shots. Up to 12 points in 12 games. Yeah, I love my preseason ranking more and more.
Alex Ovechkin – Goal on 5 shots. Meh, mediocre by his standards.
Braden Holtby – 28 saves on 29 shots in the win over Boston. Firmly believe he is a top 5 goalie going forward.
Brendan Gallagher – Goal, assist, two shots and 2 PIM. His center, Tomas Plekanec, had the same line minus the PIM, and his opposite winger Max Pacioretty had the same line except two assists instead of a goal and an assist. The Canadiens top line is a power house right now and I don’t expect that to change.
Andrew Ladd – Goal with four shots. Hey, there’s that goal I talked about yesterday!
Dustin Byfuglien – Goal with seven shots. He’s simply a monster. We just have to hope he avoids a suspension; he’s already been talked to four times this year.
Bobby Ryan – Goal with four shots. Solid start to the year for a guy with two first names.
Craig Anderson – 38 saves on 40 shots in the shootout win. I’d like to see the GAA come down but at least it’s clear that he’s the workhorse going forward for Ottawa.
James Neal – Plus 2, 5 shots and 4 PIM. He was skating around like a maniac all game and he ended up injuring Zach Parise and Charlie Coyle. No word yet on how long either are out but it sounds like Parise could miss some time. On Neal, he’s up to 10 points (7+3) in 12 games with 12 PIM and over 4 shots per game. Excellent well-rounded line.
Roman Josi – Goal with four shots and 2 PIM. Josi and Shea Weber (Assist with a shot) both almost played half of the game. What animals.
Thomas Vanek – Three shots but played over 20 minutes. With the injury to Parise, I expect Vanek to move up to the top line. He could see a little bit of a hot stretch in the upcoming games.
Mikael Backlund – Goal and an assist with two shots. He’s been very poor to start the year (everyone outside of their top line has) but perhaps this will spark a turn around. I’m still not owning him in 12’ers though.
Karri Ramo – 26 saves on 27 shots in the win. Finally a good start. Bob Hartley said he’s going to start the next few games so if you need some starts, Ramo would be a nice pickup. I’ve been holding him in leagues because I expect the Flames to turn it around; yesterday was a good start, albeit against an offensively challenged Flyers team.
Matt Duchene – Goal on three shots. We’re starting to see some signs of life from Duchene, partially because he’s finally getting some quality linemates to play with.
Nathan MacKinnon – Assist with six shots and 4 PIM. Quite frankly, it doesn’t matter who MacKinnon is playing with; the kid is a terror on the ice every time he’s out there.
Nicklas Grossman – Two goals on 3 shots. There aren’t many players less likely to score two goals in a game than Grossman. This will probably be the only time all year that I write about him. Sorry Nick’s family!
Connor Murphy – Two assists and a shot. He’s getting PP time but he’s still not ownable except in the deepest of leagues.
Martin Hanzal – Two assists. If you’re in need of assists, Hanzal is a great target having 12 on the season now. If you need anything else, you aren’t getting it. He hasn’t scored yet and only has 16 shots. ASSISTagnof! That doesn’t work nearly as well as thrAGNOF or SAGNOF.
Mikkel Boedker – Two assists with four shots. Played almost 22 minutes which is a great sign going forward. He’s up to 10 points so this could be his full breakout season. The plus-minus will probably be a disaster though.
Sergei Bobrovsky – 31 saves on 33 shots in the win over the Kings. I told you to buy low so I’m going to pump my own tires and say that call looks outstanding. If it’s not too later, I’d still try to get Bob. He’s been a top 10 goalie for 3 years running and still has a chance to get there this year.
Brandon Dubinsky – Goal and an assist with three shots. He played the most minutes of all CBus forwards again. Clearly Torts is going to let Dubinsky get a ton of ice time so the coaching change has added some fantasy value to Dubi.
Jeff Carter– Goal on five shots. Good times keep on rolling for Carter.
Alex Petrovic – -5 in the 5-2 loss to the Sharks. Only posting about him because it’s rare to see a -5, let alone when your team only gives up 5 goals. Rough night.
Jaromir Jagr – One shot and -4. Not much better for the legend. He’s working his way back from injury so some tough times were expected when you’re 43 years old.
Joonas Donskoi – Goal with four shots and 2 PIM. He’s back from injury and went straight back to the top line. He’s fringe in 12’ers without the power play time but he should be an excellent streamer and I’d grab him in anything deeper.
Joe Thornton – Two assists, no shots. That looks like a Thornton line.
Brent Burns – Goal and assist with three shots. He’s up to 10 points and an absurd 54 shots already. Man, that power beard he has is outstanding as well.
That’s all for now guys. I will post my streamers in the comments section as I want to get this up on the website as soon as possible. As always, feel free to leave any comments or ask any questions below. Look for a contributing article shortly from a new writer as well. I’ll be back on Monday with the weekend recap. Have a great weekend everyone!