With a strange schedule this week due to Thanksgiving in the United States, I'm going to be back on Tuesday recapping tonight's action. I know it's been a bit for daily notes, but managing through this snowstorm in Buffalo has taken up a lot of time. As a result, I'm going to change things up and talk about one player on each team that is changing my opinion about them for fantasy, for better or worse. Let me know in the comments section if you like this type of post (or if you don't, speak the truth) so I know going forward. Let's get to it! Things couldn't be going worse for John Klingberg with the Ducks. The team signed him in order to help out in the early part of the season and probably trade him at the deadline for assets. Instead, he hasn't helped at all, and is even off the first power play unit now. The shot rate is dreadful, as is the plus-minus. You can still hold for upside later in the year, but he's no longer must-own in 12'ers and even 10'ers.
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Remember when the Devils fans were chanting "Fire Lindy" two games into the season? My, how the tides have turned. The Devils have won 13 of 14 since, including 10 in a row. The most recent win was 5-1 against the Canadiens on Tuesday with their star players leading the way. Jack Hughes scored twice on seven shots and added an assist in the victory. Hughes now has multiple points in six of his last ten games, and is pushing 4.5 shots on goal per game. Even with a lack of penalty minutes, that's enough to be the top 20 player that I ranked him as before the season. The future is incredibly bright in New Jersey with two elite defensemen prospects coming to support the excellent foundation in place. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Mikhail Sergachev had the game of the weekend, scoring two goals and two assists on three shots in the 6-3 win over the Capitals. However, I was starting this post with Sergachev after watching the first ten minutes of the game. Sergachev moved to the first power play unit and immediately delivered, with one goal and one primary assist coming there. That is a massive boon to his value. Whether it lasts, who is to say? I would bet against it staying that way for the whole season, which is why I wouldn't panic if I owned Victor Hedman. However, in the short term, this is enough to make Sergachev a #2 defenseman in a 12 man league, with upside to be a #1. Getting to feed Stamkos and Kucherov for shots over and over again is a godsend to fantasy value. Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
I haven't done an updated hold/stream list since the season started, so I'm going to do that today. Instead of two separate categories, I'm going to do three now: hold, on the fringe between bottom end hold and elite streamer, and any level of streamer. This is for 12 team leagues. I will only make comments on certain players that I deem noteworthy, otherwise this will be purely a list. Assume that every starting goalie is worth holding unless noted otherwise, mostly by them being in the streaming category. Let's get to it!
To say the injuries are piling up on Washington is an understatement. They have six players on IR plus Orlov missed Monday's game. The salaries of these players combines to over $40 million. Washington pulled off the upset over the Oilers on Monday on the back of their power play. Four of the five Capital goals came on the power play, with Evgeny Kuznetsov leading the charge with two goals, two assists, four shots and two PIM playing over 20 minutes. It hasn't been the best start to the season for Kuz, but this will certainly help. It's also encouraging that he has 3+ shots in five of his last seven games. If I owned Kuz in fantasy, I would be patient. With the lack of depth Washington is dealing with, the minutes should get back up towards the 20:17 he averaged last season. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
It wasn't the best start to the season for the defending Stanley Cup Champions, who were 4-4-1 in October. Time off before playing the Blue Jackets twice in Finland was just what they needed to get back on track. Colorado won 6-3 on Friday before winning 5-1 on Saturday. The stars led the way in both games. Nathan MacKinnon dished seven assists between the two games, Mikko Rantanen had a hat trick on Friday, totaling 3+2, while Cale Makar had a goal and four assists. Columbus is a complete disaster defensively, but it's great to see Colorado's stars continue to dominate. Sadly, their weekend ended on a somber note with the passing of Peter McNab. He was one of the best TV analysts in the league and he will be sorely missed. Thankfully, he survived his illness long enough to get to see the Avalanche win the Cup again. Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
The Canucks have been showing signs of life lately, especially offensively. Right now, there's no better cure for early season woes than going against the Ducks. On Thursday, Vancouver scored eight goals, and their big offseason acquisition led the way. Andrei Kuzmenko had a hat trick and an assist, giving him eight points in his last four games. He's found great chemistry with Pettersson (more on him later) and Kuzmenko has kept his spot on the first power play unit. He's on the fringe, but for now, I would definitely hold while he's this hot. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
The Sabres got off to a hot start this season despite their top line struggling to get on the scoresheet. On Saturday, they started the turnaround against the Blackhawks, but that game paled in comparison to what they did on Monday. Against the Red Wings, the Sabres scored eight goals, led by their $50 million man, Tage Thompson. Thompson had the game of the early season, scoring three goals, dishing three assists, and putting nine total shots on goal. All it took was two games for Thompson to turn his October into a monster month with 6+6 in nine games with over four shots per game. Granato told him that he needed to start shooting the puck more, and that's turned into 25 shots in the past three games alone. Obviously he's not going to keep up that rate, but Thompson could turn into a top 50 player if he pushes his shot rate to over four per game. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
In terms of expected goals and puck possession, the Devils have been the best team in October, bar none. They've been absolutely dominant and earned every single bit of their 6-3 record. Their most impressive win came on Friday beating the Avalanche 1-0, and they followed that up with a complete demolition of Columbus, 7-1. The common denominator? Vitek Vanecek started both of these games. Vanecek saved all 24 shots from Colorado before saving 20 of 21 shots from the Blue Jackets. We're looking at a time share in New Jersey, but Vanecek appears to have grabbed the upper hand for now. Before the season, I had little interest in either of their goalies. Now, with how well they're playing, both could be owned in 12'ers, but Vanecek definitely has to be. Ride the hot hand while you can. Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
The Coyotes are stuck in a continual rebuild, but acquiring Shayne Gostisbehere has been one of the bright spots. Inexplicably, the Flyers gave a second round pick for Arizona to take Ghost Bear, only to give up a first and other assets to get Risto from the Sabres. Woof. Now, the Desert Dogs have rebuilt Gostisbehere's value. He scored two goals and an assist with four shots in the 6-3 win over the Blue Jackets on Tuesday. that gives him 4+4 in six games this season. In five of those games, he has at least four shots on goal. Yes, the plus-minus is bad, but those PPP are excellent. Even if Chychrun returns and play games, I can't imagine Gostisbehere losing his PP1 spot. Unless your league puts a big priority on plus-minus, he needs to be held everywhere. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
With Tyler Bertuzzi injured and Jakub Vrana in the league's assistance program (best wishes to him), the Red Wings needed somebody to step up on left winger. Dominik Kubalik, come on down! Kubalik wasn't given a qualifying offer by the Blackhawks after last season, leaving him to sign in Detroit as a free agent. The first two weeks couldn't have gone better, especially the last weekend. Kubalik had a goal and an assist with 4 shots against the Blackhawks on Friday, before having a goal and two assists with six shots against the Ducks on Sunday. With eight points in his last four games, Kubalik is in must-own territory right now. There's no guarantee it lasts, but he's shown he can thrive next to Larkin and Kubalik has been a 30 goal scorer before, so we know he has the upside. Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
During the longest playoff drought in NHL history, there have been plenty of hot starts from the Sabres. While I still expect that drought to extend for another season, Thursday's game against the Flames felt different. Coming off a win that they stole in Edmonton, the Sabres came in with house money. They got a 4-1 lead before giving a goal with 1.6 seconds left in the second that the linesman inexplicably kicked into the middle of the ice. Then, the Flames scored a minute into the third. Old Sabres teams would have collapsed, but this one took over the rest of the game, winning 6-3 and being the better team against an elite Calgary team. Leading the way was Alex Tuch, scoring a hat trick to give him five goals in the past three games. Tuch has at least three shots on goal in all four games this season. Buffalo's schedule for the rest of the month? Vancouver, Seattle, Montreal, Chicago and Detroit. Yeah, Tuch definitely needs to be held for the time being. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights: