After another recording issue when we recorded on Wednesday, we're finally back! Reid joins me to run down all of the injuries around the NHL. While this is happening, a trade happens! We give you our instant analysis to the trade between the Anaheim Ducks and New Jersey Devils involving Sami Vatanen and Adam Henrique. After that, we discuss the first line for Vegas doing extremely well, the return of Carey Price, and some players who have performed admirably to start the season but haven't received the credit they deserve. To close things, we make Three Point Challenge picks. Be sure to make your picks in the comments section below. All of that and more in the latest edition of The Razzball Hockey Podcast!
It's very early in the season but Anze Kopitar is playing at an MVP level for the Kings. Kopitar had another monster game on Tuesday scoring two goals on three shots and adding an assist in the 4-1 win over Detroit. Kopitar now has 12 goals and 16 assists in 25 games with an above average shot rate. The Slovenian is averaging over 22 minutes per night carrying a massive workload with Jeff Carter injured. It comes as no surprise that the Kings are much better with Kopitar on the ice and that he's a top 50 fantasy player again. Right now, I'd say Kopitar is the Selke favorite and even belongs in the MVP discussion; he's been that good. Let's take a look at what else happened on Tuesday night:
Jake Guentzel started awfully slow this season after an outstanding playoff run for the Penguins last season. He's started to pick things up and had his best game to date on Monday, scoring two goals and an assist with six shots in the 5-4 OT win over the Flyers. That gives Guentzel six goals in his last six games, more than he had in his first 20 games combined. He's actually benefited quite a bit from Evgeni Malkin's injury as Guentzel took his spot on the first power play unit. That said, I'm hoping Malkin slides between Guentzel and Kessel on the second line when he returns which should really help Guentzel at even strength. Obviously he's a must own but here's to hoping Guentzel keeps building on this and pushes towards being the top 50-75 player that was expected from him after leading the Stanley Cup Playoffs in goals. Let's take a look at what else happened on Monday night:
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Well, everyone who celebrated last Thursday, you Canadians had theirs last month! In this post, I'm going to focus on the top 50 players from the last week along with some players who returned from injury. The biggest story is Jonathan Marchessault. The best bargain in the NHL (salary of $750k this season), Marchessault has a goal and two assists in each of the last three games. Just like that, he's a top 50 player on the season despite missing a few games! Marchessault now has an absurd stat line of 8/13/+5/16/66/5 in 19 games (for those unfamiliar with my normal format, that's G/A/+/- / PIM / SOG / STP. And somehow he's still available in over 60% of leagues! If you're lucky enough to be in one of those, grab him immediately. Let's take a look at the other players on fire lately:
Well, this was supposed to be a podcast but as I was about to upload it, I realized there was some technical difficulties in the recording. Some of Reid's recording somehow disappeared so there were a couple prolonged periods of silence from when he was talking. I apologize for that so I'll summarize what we were thankful for during the podcast. I was thankful for a sneaky good Calder race, coaches rolling their top lines to make up for lack of depth, Vegas being relevant, and Rasmus Dahlin headlining a solid 2018 draft at the top. Reid was thankful for the Oilers being bad to punish Peter Chiarelli's awful decision making, teams being rewarded for having speed and skill, along with Johnny Gaudreau. We also made Three Point Challenge picks for both Wednesday's and Friday's Games. Reid took Tavares on Wednesday with Hall on Friday while I took Forsberg and Eichel respectively. Be sure to make your picks in the comments section below. Here are some streamers for tonight:
I've generally been lower on players like Johnny Gaudreau than consensus for fantasy hockey. The penalty minutes aren't there, the shot rate was good but not elite, and the power play points were in the same boat as shot rate. It's why I've had him ranked as a third or fourth round pick because if he hasn't not a point per game, he's not giving you value. Well, Gaudreau is laughing in my face at a point per game. Gaudreau extended his point streak to ten games on Monday scoring a goal and an assist against the Capitals. That gives him an incredible 31 points (10+21) in 20 games so far this season. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that's pretty good. Johnny Hockey and the Flames look excellent right now (nods in approval since they're my Cup pick) and Gaudreau is going down the path of being a second round pick in the future. Let's take a look at what else happened on Monday night:
We've gone without daily notes for five days due to Razzball crashing for a short period of time. The good news is that the problem is fixed and that we are backed! I'm not going to go through every single game over the past five days because at this point, some of it would be outdated. I'm going to go through each team in the league and write a little bit about each of them. Let's get right to it!
Has Sam Reinhart lived up to being the second overall pick in his draft? Definitely not. Is the book closed on him becoming a great player? I don't think so. Reinhart has shown flashes this season but his quality of linemate has been quite poor. Last game, Reinhart moved to the first line with Jack Eichel and Evander Kane. This move paid dividends on Tuesday night where Reinhart scored a goal and two assists with four shots playing 18:36 in the 5-4 OT loss to the Penguins. What does this mean going forward? Well, Reinhart becomes an elite streamer and potential hold as long as he's playing with Eichel and Kane. Subjectively, I think Reinhart has been much stronger on the puck this year and if not for Eichel missing a glorious chance and another point blank save, Reinhart could have easily reached 4-5 points in this game. Obviously we can't expect that on a nightly basis but there's no reason Reinhart can't play around a 25+35 pace going forward. Here's to hoping Phil Housley does what's right and keeps him there. Let's take a look at what else happened around the league the past two nights:
Reid joins me per usual to hit on a wide range of topics. After running down the latest injuries, we have a free flowing conversation talking about the latest trends around the NHL and what to make of them going forward. Among the talking points are Blake Wheeler's dominance, the Rangers hot streak, elite goaltenders turning it around and Jason Zucker's hot streak. As always, we wrap things up with our picks for the Three Point Challenge. Be sure to make your pick below. All of that and more on the latest edition of the Razzball Hockey Podcast!
Add another goalie to the list of guys who struggled in the opening month only to turn it around. Braden Holtby, the consensus #1 goaltender going into the season, showed us why this weekend with two big performances. Holtby saved 27 shots in Friday's 4-1 win over the Penguins and followed it up with 29 saves in the 2-1 SO win over the Oilers. Just like that, his save percentage is back to its normal level. Sure, the goals against average is still a little high, but goals are up around the league and it's not out of the realm of possibility it goes back down. With the massive win total as well, expect Holtby to get back to the #1 goalie by season's end. Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend: