Happy Holidays from everyone at Razzball! Reid and I are together once again before the NHL break to tie together some loose ends. As always, we start off with a rundown of the recent injuries before we hit the latest news. Among the news is Jaromir Jagr moving into #2 all-time in points and the massive rise in value for Matthew Tkachuk. After that, we each give three things we want for Christmas for the rest of the season before we talk about how many teams that are currently in the playoffs will make it. Then we run down our award winners to this point in the season for the Hart, Vezina, Norris, Calder and Jack Adams. After that, we close things with The Three Point Challenge. Be sure to leave your picks in the comments section! All of that and more in the latest edition of the Razzball Hockey Podcast!
As far as players that I've enjoyed watching hockey over the years go, Jaromir Jagr is at or near the top of the list. The adjustments he's made to his game over the years while the NHL has become a young man's game is incredible. When you look in the record books under points, now there's only one player ahead of him: Wayne Gretzky. Jagr led the way for the Panthers on Tuesday posting 3 assists and 3 shots placing him second all-time in points. It's a shame he went to Russia for 4 years because he'd probably be #1 all-time in goals. While he's nowhere near last season's 66 point pace, Jagr's shots and PIM are up quite a bit and now that the first line is picking it up over the last few weeks, it wouldn't surprise me one bit if Jagr is a top 100 player the rest of the way. We salute you, Jaromir Jagr. Let's take a look at everything that happened around the league the last two nights:
Reid and I are back once again from a location with suitable hockey weather (Note: not Carolina). As always, we start things off with an injury rundown before we change things up a bit. There wasn't too much that happened over the weekend with a lasting fantasy impact so we decide to have a fantasy awards show! We look at a bunch of topics ranging from MVP's at each position, the best value picks, the best waiver wire adds, the LVP's and players who provided nice streaming value throughout the way. At Razzball, we even acknowledge the little guy! After that, we close things out with the Three Point Challenge. All of that and more in the latest edition of the Razzball Hockey Podcast!
I certainly didn't think I'd be writing about Peter Budaj at any point this year. After all, he played in a whopping one game over the past two seasons combined. Alas, we're here in December with Budaj being a major talking point of the NHL season. After Jonathan Quick went down, the expectation was that offseason signing Jeff Zatkoff would get the majority of the starts but when he went down as well, Budaj stepped in and has kept the job. He had arguably his best two performances over the weekend. Budaj posted a 39 save shutout in the 1-0 OT win over the Penguins before making 29 saves on 30 shots in the 1-0 loss in Boston. Budaj is currently #12 in the ESPN player rater among goalies making him a bottom end #1 or elite #2. With the news that Quick is going to be out until at least March, it's Budaj's job going forward. Despite that, Budaj is still available in over 40% of leagues. Can I explain it? No, not one bit. If you don't already own him and he's available in your league, grab Budaj. Let's take a look at everything that happened around the league the last three nights:
On a Thursday night that lacked in big performances in comparison to recent weeks, Tyler Toffoli's night was probably the best. In the dominating 4-1 win over the Red Wings, Toffoli found the back of the net twice on three shots and added an assist with two penalty minutes. That brings Toffoli's totals to 7 goals and 12 assists in 29 games with almost three shots per game and an elite +14. It's a significant decrease in goals for a 23 year old who buried 31 last year. Toffoli was one of the most polarizing players in preseason, at least to me because I had him ranked much lower than other experts (97th overall, highest rank was 29th, nobody else lower than 69th). It's nice to see the assist rate and shot rate up and apparently he'll be able to post a +20 or better every season of his career but Toffoli will need more games like this where he finds the back of the net to come anywhere near his 59th overall ADP. Can it happen? With the minutes his line is getting and with how much the Kings depend on his line for offense, definitely. I'd be a bit surprised if it happened though because the goals will probably come at the expense of assists and the penalty minutes are non-existent. Toffoli is a great example of a player who is better in real life than fantasy. That's not to say he's a dud in fantasy, he's a top 100 player, but Toffoli should be mentioned among the best young snipers in the game more frequently than he is. Let's take a look at what else happened around the NHL on Wednesday and Thursday night:
Reid joins me once again to discuss the last few nights of hockey. We open things up with a big Razzball announcement; a meeting at spring training of the writers and readers! I give the current details to that; I'll be sure to update when I have then. Then we thoroughly recap all of the games on Monday and Tuesday. Highlights include the Penguins massacre of the Coyotes, the amazing story of Derek Ryan and the wild 8-6 affair in Carolina. From there, we preview all of the games on Thursday including some bargain basement plays for DFS and our Three Point Challenge Picks. All of that and more on the latest edition of the Razzball Hockey Podcast brought to you by Seatgeek, No Halftime and FanPicks!
Kyle Okposo is a player that tends to get overlooked despite becoming an elite scorer in the NHL. In his last 3 seasons with the Islanders, Okposo played well over a 60 point pace per 82 games including 2013-14 when he had 69 points in 71 games. Even now that he's in Buffalo, Okposo is still looked at as a complimentary piece even though he's a bonafide first liner. In Tuesday night's 6-3 win over the Kings, Okposo moved onto Jack Eichel's wing and immediately delivered with three assists and a shot. That gives Okposo 21 points in 27 games with elite power play points and strong shots. Yes, the penalty minutes have dried up for now, but with how well he possesses the puck plus his scoring prowess, Okposo is on his way to another 60+ point season. Even if the penalty minutes don't come back, he's looking at another top 100 overall fantasy season. Pretty, pretty good . Here's what else happened around the league the last two nights:
Hey everyone! Reid and I rundown the latest news around the NHL over the last 5 days. That includes some injuries (thankfully less than there has been), Montreal's thrashing of the Avalanche, Jakub Voracek's back to back four points, Brayden Schenn's hat trick, the potential revival of Evgeny Kuznetsov and much more! Then we do an extensive breakdown on goaltending. We look at the red hot Antti Raanta before we rank the top 10 goalies for the rest of the season. From there, we each give goalies that we are looking to buy low on and others that are sell high candidates. As always, we wrap things up with the Three Point Challenge. All of that and more on the newest edition of the Razzball Hockey Podcast!
Hey everyone! There hasn't been an RCL update since the NHL season has started so I thought it was necessary to fill everyone in on how the different RCL's are shaping up in the early going. We are looking at 5 different leagues, 4 of which are in the correct format and 1 that is a roto league because Reid messed up setting the league up! No worries though, that league will still be in the battle for the overall prize. Let's take a look at all of the action to this point:
I think most fantasy hockey players would agree that Antti Raanta is worth streaming every time he gets the start. The problem has been that Raanta rarely plays because he's behind one of the best goalies in the world, Henrik Lundqvist. A healthy Lundqvist never sat three games in a row while healthy. Until this weekend. After a game on Thursday, Vigneault turned to Raanta again and he posted a 26 save shutout in the 1-0 win over his former team in Chicago. To the surprise of everyone, Raanta started again on Sunday and posted another shutout, this time an easy 5-0 win over the Devils in which Raanta posted 19 saves. If you streamed Raanta on Sunday, hold him until Tuesday to see if he gets another game. This certainly isn't going to last, this is Lundqvist's team, but ride the hot wave while you can. At the least, Raanta is a must-stream every time he gets the nod. Let's take a look at everything else that happened over the weekend: