The Razzball ranking committee of one (yours truly) has long been a fan of Brayden Schenn. Mid 20's in goals, about 30 assists, solid PIM, and elite special teams points made Schenn a main stay around the 100 overall mark in his time in Philadelphia. With the move to St. Louis in the offseason, I wrote the following about Schenn in my preseason rankings: "Schenn’s success will come down to two things: can he improve his even strength play in St. Louis while sustaining his power play prowess?" Well, the power play points are slightly behind the past, but my god is Schenn crushing at even strength. Schenn scored a hat trick on Tuesday night leading the Blues to a 4-3 win over Montreal. That gives Schenn 13+20 in 28 games this season, along with a mind-blowing +22 rating and elite penalty minutes. Schenn's career high in a season is 37 even strength points; he already has 25 this year! Even the biggest of Schenn optimists couldn't have seen this coming as he's pushing for the #1 forward spot in all of fantasy hockey. Kudos to everyone who drafted Schenn in the early to middle rounds and here's to continued success for the top six in St. Louis. Here's what else happened the last two nights around the league:
Reid and I talked about Tristan Jarry extensively on last week's podcast. We said that he should be picked up immediately with Matt Murray out for at least a few weeks, mostly because the Penguins had a back-to-back against the hapless Sabres. Well, Jarry delivered and then some in both games. He started off with a 34 save shutout in Buffalo before allowing 1 goal on 33 shots in Pittsburgh on Saturday. The schedule isn't great this week with the Rangers, Islanders, and Maple Leafs on deck, but they're all at home. At the least, Jarry is a nice spec add to see how things go against better competition. He's still available in over 70% of leagues so go grab him now. Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
Nothing like a revenge game against your former team to get your current team back on track. Local Razzball favorite Mike Smith saved all 28 shots against his former team leading the Flames to a 3-0 win over the Coyotes. Smith has been outstanding this point becoming one of the greatest values in fantasy hockey to this point. The save percentage is among the league's best and the wins are more than solid. Since I'm all in on the Flames this year, I don't see why the team in front of him would get worse. To make things better, the Flames don't have a quality backup goalie. Smith is going to be a massive workhorse going forward and should be a borderline #1 fantasy goalie. Not bad for someone drafted in the very late rounds. Let's take a look at what else happened over the previous two nights:
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!