Mika Zibanejad was looking like the biggest bust of this season near the halfway point.  Well, it's changing pretty quickly and amazingly, it wasn't the Sabres that turned it around.  Last week, Zibanejad had three goals and three assists against the Flyers.  It was so fun that he did it again eight days later!  On Thursday, Zibanejad doubled down with his second natural hat trick and six point game in rapid succession against Philadelphia in the 8-3 win.  That brings him up to 10+16 in 32 games, not exactly lighting the world on fire, but within reason.  He's still over three shots per game, so while a repeat top 20 season is out of play, a top 50 season is still within reason.  As I said at the time, Zibanejad is prone to huge hot streaks, and I think 17 points in 7 games qualifies.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Sure, it's on the basis of playing two more games than Washington, but the Islanders in first place in late March is a truly remarkable feat.  Yes, they did make the Conference Finals last season, but in this division, they were not expected to contend for first place.  Goaltending is going a long way for their success, and their future is starting to become more of the present.  Ilya Sorokin saved 36 of 37 shots in the 2-1 OT win over the Flyers on Monday night.  That brings Sorokin to 8 wins in 11 games with a 1.97/.922 stat line.  That's elite right off the bat for the rookie which has led Sorokin to starting four games over the past two weeks.  Semyon Varlamov's numbers and Sorokin's are nearly identical and for now, Trotz seems content to split between the two of them.  Long term, Sorokin is one of the best goalies for fantasy hockey, granted he's a 25 year old rookie.  That said, he's playing enough right now that I would own Sorokin in all formats.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
It's no surprise that the Sharks gave up five goals on Saturday.  They've continually allowed a lot of goals and are arguably the best matchup you can hope your players are facing at the moment.  It was the top line's turn for the Blues as they combined for eleven points.  Ryan O'Reilly and David Perron each had a goal and three assists while Jordan Kyrou scored two goals and added an assist.  Perron is now above a point per game and RoR is exactly at it.  Kyrou cooled off after a hot start, but he's cemented himself as the third member of this line.  The schedule gets pretty tough going forward for the Blues, but I still think I would hold Kyrou in all formats.  The upside is through the roof and with the Blues in more of a battle for a playoff spot than they would have anticipated going into the season, I expect the top line to continue getting big minutes.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
The Ducks season has gone very poorly.  Not Sabres poorly, but still, the results have been extremely disappointing.  The good news is that their young players have shown some flashes of what can be in the future, and on Thursday night, their two cornerstones scored their first career goals.  Trevor Zegras scored in his 11th career game while Jamie Drysdale scored in his first.  For this season, we shouldn't expect much from either.  At the moment, Zegras is a bottom end streamer, while Drysdale should be left on the waiver wire until we see how much he plays, or if he even stays on the Ducks.  In dynasties, there's a ton to like for both.  Zegras has the chance to be one of the best playmakers in the league who scores plenty of goals for himself.  Drysdale doesn't have massive offensive upside, but he should be good enough in all facets of the game, including quarterbacking the power play, that he ends up as a #2 fantasy defenseman while playing top pair minutes for the Ducks.  It may be bleak now, but the future is bright in SoCal.  Let's take a look at what else happened on Thursday night:
Tristan Jarry had his best game of the season on Monday night stopping 42 of 43 shots in the 4-1 win over the Bruins.  He's crossed both hockey versions of the Mendoza line and the wins are strong, but it's still not pretty overall.  However, I'm very bullish on Jarry and Casey DeSmith going forward.  The Penguins are playing much better lately and their schedule going forward is outstanding.  They still have six games with the Sabres and all eight games against the Devils.  That means half of their remaining games are against teams that they should handle with ease.  Think of how well goalies like Andersen normally rank at the end of the season because of how many wins they get.  Both Pens goalies should have those kind of numbers in the second half.  It's hard to say how the starts will be split, but if you're desperate for goalie help, I'm fine with holding DeSmith, and Jarry is a nice trade target.  Let's take a look at what else happened on Monday night:
The hype surrounding Kirill Kaprizov was building for a few years before he came to the NHL.  Even with the lofty expectations on his shoulders, he's played at a level higher than anyone expected.  On Friday, Kaprizov scored a hat trick on eight shots with two PIM and a +4 rating.  He followed that up with another eight shots on Sunday, adding an assist and two penalty minutes.  I wrote about a month ago that I expected Kaprizov's shot rate to take a big jump as the season progressed based on his shooting totals in the KHL.  Well, sixteen shots in the past two games brings him over 2.5 per game, an average rate for a forward.  Add in being just under a point per game and we can basically call the Calder race now.  I'm not convinced that it's going to get better in the future as Kaprizov will be 24 by the time the regular season ends, but either way, he should establish himself around a 30+40 pace in a normal season with slight upside on both of those numbers.  Kaprizov is definitely a top 50 dynasty asset, but I don't think he pushes the top 25 long term because the penalty minutes will be low and more importantly, I don't think he gets to be a 3.5-4 shot per game guy because he's too good of a playmaker for that.  Either way, if you're lucky enough to have him, enjoy it because there's nothing fluky about his performance.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
As far as feel good stories go, Troy Grosenick is near the top of the list for the season.  Grosenick, a 31 year old with only two previous NHL games in 2014, was forced into action for the Kings on Wednesday following Cal Petersen going on the COVID list.  To say Grosenick rose to the moment would be an understatement.  He saved 33 of 34 shots that he faced in the 5-1 win over the Ducks.  You have to love a journeyman coming in and having success.  All of a sudden, Grosenick could get some starts in the near term.  If you're in a deep league and desperate for starts, you can roll the dice on him.  With LA's next six games against Colorado, St. Louis, and Vegas, it's definitely a gamble, but the Kings have been a massive surprise so maybe Grosenick will be the next guy to keep them afloat.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Playing time has been the only thing that has stopped Alex Tuch from breaking out in the past.  It looked like he was going into the top six two seasons ago, but then the Golden Knights acquired Stone keeping Tuch on the third line.  Well, this season that has finally changed even though Stone is still on the team, mostly because the Karlsson line plays less minutes.  On Saturday, Stone left the game with a minor injury which led Tuch to being double shifted.  Even before that, Tuch was on a tear and it'll only get better with his increased workload.  Tuch scored two goals on six shots on Saturday after scoring a goal on Friday.  That brings Tuch up to 12 goals in 21 games, an excellent mark.  Sure, his shooting percentage is unsustainable, but the increase in minutes could counteract that a bit.  Tuch is still available in over 40% of leagues, so if you're lucky enough to be in one of them, grab him now.  Let's take a look at what else happpened over the weekend: