When Johnny Gaudreau underwent surgery for his finger injury, the expectation was that he was going to miss six weeks. Flames fans and fantasy owners had to be thrilled when he came back on Sunday in less than three weeks. The team did surprisingly well in the 10 games Gaudreau missed, mostly due to Chad Johnson between the pipes, but they didn't score than 3 goals in any game during that stretch. That changed in a big way Sunday night against a strong Ducks team. The Flames scored a whopping 8 goals beating the Ducks 8-3 with Gaudreau scoring the opener and adding an assist later on. He was finally playing well before his injury so hopefully this is a sign of things to come. We know that he's a top end player but the impact of his return will be felt throughout the lineup. More on those guys later in the Sunday section, let's get to the games!
The general rule of thumb in these parts is when you score a hat trick, you're getting the lede. Vladimir Tarasenko was a clear first round pick this season (at least for me) and that's because of his consistency plus upside. Before Thursday night, Tarasenko was sitting at a point per game with elite shots. The penalty minutes have disappeared but overall, his owners had to be happy. Thursday night he showed his game to game upside scoring a hat trick and adding an assist in the 5-4 win over Tampa. After tonight, Tarasenko sits third in the league in goals and points. The scary thing is that he doesn't turn 25 for a couple weeks; we haven't seen his prime yet. Let's take a look at what else happened around the league the last two nights:
There's a bunch of excitement in these parts! Reid and I are back once again and this time, we're back with a sponsor! No Halftime, a daily fantasy sports app that baseball listeners should know, teams up with Razzball once again. More details on that in the podcast; you can find their website to take a closer look at things here. As always, we run through the latest injury news before we look at some recent developments. Some of those include the Sabres PP with Jack Eichel back, Columbus exploding again, Anthony Mantha showing his upside and John Klingberg scratched yet again. We follow that up with a segment about players who are back in form, most notably Mike Hoffman. To wrap things up, I talk about No Halftime and what they're doing for us Razzballers before closing things with The Three Point Challenge. All of that and more in the newest edition of the Razzball Hockey Podcast!
On the most recent podcast, Reid and I talked about the impending return of Jack Eichel. You can get extensive coverage at the link above but to summarize, everything that we expected showed its face in Tuesday's game. In the 5-4 win in Ottawa on Tuesday, Eichel stuffed the score sheet totaling a goal and an assist, both on the power play, in addition to five shots and two PIM. The "Big 5" for the Sabres all had multiple points in this game and it's not a coincidence. I'll get to the rest of them later but with Eichel returning, all of the top Sabres on the first power play unit get a major boost. Now is the time to either add (Sam Reinhart), buy low (Rasmus Ristolainen, maybe Ryan O'Reilly) or hold tight (Kyle Okposo) to the big guns. This should be a top 5 PP unit going forward and with Eichel returning along with 2 of their best 3 defensemen sooner than later, the depth on this team increased drastically benefiting everybody. Here's what else I saw around the league the last two nights along with some big news for the readers / listeners of the podcast:
I hope everyone's long weekend went well! Reid and I are back recapping a massive weekend of hockey. After a couple minutes of football and Westworld talk (no spoilers), we talk extensively about Florida's decision to fire Gerard Gallant and the impact it has on their team in real life and fantasy. From there, we talk about the incredible hot streaks of Michael Cammalleri, Craig Anderson and Milan Lucic. Sadly, there were a ton of injuries over in the last week so we do a thorough rundown on that front plus look at players on the verge of returning e.g. Jack Eichel. As always, we wrap things up with The Three Point Challenge. All of that and more in the latest edition of The Razzball Hockey Podcast!
Holy smokes, over 5000 words! This is quite the recap of the last 5 days of hockey. I had a introduction all set to go around Milan Lucic but I had to erase it and give the lede to Michael Cammalleri. Cammalleri mysteriously missed six games in a row before returning on Wednesday night. It turns out that his 5 year old daughter Chloe had severe pneumonia which eventually required surgery. On this Thanksgiving weekend, we're thankful that she's going to make a full recovery. Dad returned and had a three game stretch for the ages. He started with a remarkable goal and three assists with 9 SOG in the 5-4 shootout win over Toronto. Cammy followed it up totaling a goal, assist, four shots and two PIM in the 5-4 loss to Detroit before scoring 2 goals on 4 shots in the 4-3 shootout loss to Pittsburgh. Just a measly 8 points in 3 games, no big deal. He's almost back to a point per game (just like last season) with three shots per game and solid penalty minutes. Cammalleri is still available in over 50% of leagues and to be blunt, that's a huge mistake. If you're in one of those leagues, go grab him now. Here's a look at the last five days around the league. I'm going to go through day by day but in the format most people like; just note that a player may be mentioned multiple times.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Reid and I back with a Black Friday podcast (recorded on Wednesday). Hopefully everyone has the day off to enjoy some hockey! We each talk about three different things that have happened so far this NHL season that have an impact going forward, notably Auston Matthews and Patrice Bergeron slumping, before we talk about the Vegas Golden Knights. Their team name, the dreadful press conference, the logo, everything. As always, we finish things up with The Three Point Challenge for Friday's games. You have the entire day to make your submission as long as it's before that player's game started. All of that and more on the newest edition of the Razzball Hockey Podcast!
A week ago, I said this about Steve Mason: "Michal Neuvirth is out for over a month so it’s going to be Mason’s show. Perhaps the extra starts will help him get into a flow but he’s certainly in the 'desperate for starts' category for now." After Tuesday's big game, it's been three strong starts out of four. Mason made 38 saves in the 3-1 win against the Panthers and if not for a horrible Matt Read turnover with less than two minutes left, he would have been a good bet for a shutout. Since Neuvirth went down, Mason has saved 107 of 115 shots which is more than solid. I picked up Mason for this start in multiple leagues and for now, I'd definitely grab him in 12'ers. He's less than 20% owned at the time of this writing so odds are he's available in your league. It may not be all peaches and cream but the volume alone has its value and the Flyers have played much better in their last five games. Here's what else I saw on the short Tuesday slate:
We're back and based on Reid's quote, you should buckle up! Per usual, we start off by updating the most recent injuries around the league and how it affects players in Tampa Bay and Manhattan. We follow that up by talking about Connor McDavid's first career hat trick, the red hot Jeff Carter and Nathan MacKinnon, Marian Hossa's revival, the future goalie in Tampa posting another shutout and Cam Ward randomly getting hot. We then move on to the Three Point Challenge before we add some other recent news that we skipped over, namely scratches of Shayne Gostisbehere and John Klingberg and Alexander Radulov's excellent play. Better late than never! All of that and more in the latest edition of the Razzball Hockey Podcast!
In the afternoon Monday, there was talk that recent Penguins callup Jake Guentzel was going to play on the second line with Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel in his NHL debut. Needless to say that it was a damn good debut, at least from an individual perspective. Guentzel scored a goal one minute into the game and added another one later on in the first period to go up 2-0. He finished the game with two goals on five shots playing over 15 minutes. Yeah, the Rangers came back to win 5-2 but that doesn't take away from Guentzel's debut. So I did some digging on Guentzel. The former third round pick was a stud in college at Nebraska-Omaha (a damn good college hockey school, believe it or not) including putting up 46 points in 35 games his junior year before going pro. He finished off 2015 with Scranton and had 6 points in 11 games before posting 5 goals and 9 assists in 10 playoff games. Guentzel was over a point per game in Scranton this season before getting called up. Basically, this kid can score and getting to play with Malkin and Kessel should do him wonders. In deep leagues, definitely add him where you can. In standard 12'ers, I'll probably look to stream him again on Wednesday to see if this role is legitimate. I don't want to overreact to one game but Guentzel has potential to be a waiver wire darling if he sticks. Here's what else happened around the league on Monday night: