In Wednesday's daily notes, I said that if I could, I would be looking to buy low on all of the elite goalies. Obviously some at different levels than others, but everyone knows my love for Devan Dubnyk and the Wild as a regular season team. I own plenty of Dubnyk stock again this year and it's been nowhere near as fun as last season when he took the league by storm. Dubnyk was a monster on Thursday night stopping all 41 shots he faced in the 3-0 win over the Canadiens. Four of Dubnyk's last eight starts (yes, one has bad against Toronto Wednesday but that's Toronto) have been strong so perhaps there's something building here. Expect things for Dubnyk, and the Wild in general, to keep improving sooner than later. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
There were seven early games on Tuesday night, all of which hit the under. That didn't stop a few superstars from having a big night. Among that select group was Vladimir Tarasenko, who scored a goal and two assists with seven shots in the 3-1 win over the Devils. He came into the game with an upper body injury making him unclear for the game last night but that didn't stop him from keeping up his excellent play. Tarasenko has been a five category monster in the early going, scoring 8 goals and 11 assists through 16 games with a whopping +14 rating and over four shots per game. He's done actually what you hoped for using a late first round pick on him, or a second round pick if you were lucky enough that Tarasenko fell to you. Let's take a look at what else happened on Tuesday night:
After months of waiting, Matt Duchene has finally been traded! We spend almost the entire episode breaking down the recent blockbuster where Duchene moved to Ottawa, Kyle Turris went to Nashville, and Colorado received a pile of future assets. Who won and lost the trade for both now and the long term? What can Samuel Girard, Shane Bowers and Vladislav Kamenev bring to the table for Colorado? What is the fantasy impact for these players along with their new linemates? Every angle is looked at thoroughly to give you in-depth analysis on this trade. After that, we make our picks for The Three Point Challenge. Be sure to make your pick in the comments section below. All of that and more on the latest edition of the Razzball Hockey Podcast!
I normally don't give the extended intro to the same player twice in a short period of time but my boy Blake Wheeler gets the honor tonight. Wheeler's excellent play continued on Monday night dishing four assists in the 4-1 win over the Stars, adding four shots and a +3 rating. All of a sudden, Wheeler is quietly creeping up on the Tampa duo sitting third in the league in points. 5+16, +7, 14 PIM, 9 STP, 46 SOG is Wheeler's line through 14 games. I don't know what you guys think of that but it seems like an okay start to the season. Loyal readers know I've long praised Wheeler as the most underrated superstar in the game and there are simply few players who consistently play at the level he does. Let's take a look at what else happened in the 6 game slate on Monday:
It seems like forever and a day since Matt Duchene requested a trade from the Colorado Avalanche. His wish finally came true on Sunday in a massive three-way trade between the Avs, Senators, and Predators. The Sens acquired Duchene, the Predators received Reid's favorite Kyle Turris and the Avs get a ton of future assets. For the Senators, I'm not a big fan. Is Duchene better than Turris? I would say so and Duchene had one more year on his contract than Turris. However, adding a ton here, including a first round pick and Shane Bowers, their first round pick from the 2017 draft, is a lot to add. For Smashville, adding Turris without losing anyone from the current roster besides Samuel Girard is a nice move for a team positioned to go for it. It may be more futures heavy than Colorado originally wanted but boy, did they get a ton in this move. They effectively received 2 1sts, 3 2nds, a third and Andrew Hammond for goaltender depth in the organization. I love this move for Colorado long term, like the aggressiveness of Nashville using futures to push (and like signing Turris immediately to a 6/36 deal), and question Ottawa's decision here. For fantasy, Duchene probably gets a small boost because he should slide onto a line with Hoffman and Stone right away. Assuming Turris plays with Forsberg, I think this move could help him as well (at the least it's neutral). I'm very interested to see if Girard plays for the Avs right away. He looked great in his brief stint for Nashville and the former second round pick could becomes fantasy relevant immediately if he's in Denver. I'll be sure to talk more about this trade with Reid on Tuesday's podcast. Let's take a look at what else happened this weekend around the league:
The difference between Mark Scheifele being a first round fantasy pick and a middling to late second round pick comes down to his shot rate. He scored 32 goals last season but his 20% shooting percentage was due to regress. While the shots haven't been coming in, they did on Thursday and the goals were flowing. Scheifele scored a hat trick on four shots in the 5-2 win over the Stars. That brings him to 7 goals and 8 assists in 12 games, an excellent start for Scheifele. Still, I have to assume the goals are going to drop since he has only 23 SOG on the season. Scheifele should be a point per game regardless but again, shots are what we need for him to jump into superstar fantasy status. Let's take a look at what else happened around the league on Tuesday night:
In an opening month where tons of goalies are struggling, Corey Crawford certainly is not. Crawford continued his excellent play on Wednesday making 35 saves for a shutout against the Flyers. Crawford sits with a sub 2.00 GAA and > .940 save percentage. To quote Larry David, "pretty, pretty, pretty good." He's going a long way in masking some of the problems that the Blackhawks have. Regardless, we all knew Crawford was a #1 fantasy goalie but perhaps he plays his way into the upper tier? To be honest, the Blackhawks probably need it. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Reid joins me as always to take a look at players who are on the struggle bus. After we run down the injuries, and sadly there are a lot of them (poor Vegas), the focus shifts to players around the league who were high fantasy draft picks that have been underwhelming or flat out disappointing. Five forwards, five defensemen and eight goaltenders are discussed and graded on a 1-10 scale on how worried we are about them going forward. From there, we do The Three Point Challenge for Thursday's games discussing each game since it's the next big slate on the schedule. Be sure to make your pick in the comments section below. All of that and more on the latest edition of the Razzball Hockey Podcast!
Aleksander Barkov is in a dead heat with McJesus for the most time on ice per game as a forward in the NHL. Barkov has been making those minutes count in October and he continued to do so on Monday. Barkov finished the month with a bang scoring a goal and three assists with two shots against the Lightning. The bad news for Barkov is that his team was still electrocuted by the Lightning losing 8-5. The good news for us fantasy owners is that it doesn't affect us. Barkov has been outstanding and if these minutes last, a top 50 season is a near lock. Let's take a look at what else happened around the league on Monday night:
Hat tricks have been in vogue lately so Blake Wheeler decided to take it to another level. Wheeler scored a hat trick in the first period on Sunday and later added an assist in the 7-1 win over the Penguins. Wheeler has been the fantasy stalwart we've become accustomed to in the early going with 4+8, +3, 12 PIM, 35 SOG and 4 STP in 10 games. I don't know how many more years Wheeler will keep up this level of play but for now, he's a top 20 player with relative ease. Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend: