It's been quite a while since we've seen a shutout streak like the Blues are on. On Friday, Brian Elliott had one of the easiest shutouts of the season making 15 saves in the 4-0 win over the Canucks. The next day, Jake Allen recorded the fourth consecutive Blues shutout, stopping all 32 Capitals shots in the 4-0 win. Both have been outstanding this season and should be started every game the rest of the way. Get them in your lineup every time they start; the Blues will be highly motivated down the stretch to get home ice throughout the Western Conference Playoffs. Here's what else I saw around the league this weekend:
On Thursday, for the third time this season, Zach Parise scored his third hat trick of the season, adding an assist and six shots in the 6-2 win over the Flames. While he's a step behind his usual pace, 22+25 in 64 games is nothing to sneeze at, especially with elite shots. However, I'll probably be staying away from him next year given where I suspect his ADP will be. He plays a heavy game, he turns 32 in the summer and is starting to miss chunks of the season more regularly. That's not to say I don't like his game but his days of a top 50 player, for me, are over. Here's what I saw around the league the last two nights:
Coming off an ugly loss to the Predators, it was a near certainty that the Kings would come out firing on Tuesday night. They certainly did but it wasn't enough because of Devan Dubnyk. Dubnyk had arguably his best start of the season stopping 38 of 39 shots, including a few massive point blank saves, in the 2-1 win over the Kings. After laying a huge egg against the Devils, Dubnyk has had three excellent starts in a row with this one being the best. The win puts the Wild one point ahead of the Avs for the last playoff spot in a battle that should come down to the wire. This is perfect for Dubnyk owners because he should start at least 7 of the Wild's final 8 games, if not all of them. Keep him in your lineup every time he starts. Here's what else I saw around the league on a busy Tuesday night:
Streamer success! Coming off his first career multi-point game on Saturday, William Nylander had the first three point game of his young career, scoring a goal and two assists with four shots in the 5-2 win over the Flames on Monday night. The Leafs fans might not be happy that the team is winning now as they are jockeying for draft position but they have to be happy with the progress their young players are showing, especially Nylander. The 19 year old is only going to get better and should go in the middle rounds next season in redrafts with the upside to be a top 100 player sooner than later. Here's what else I saw around the league on a short Monday slate:
The story of the weekend around the league was the goaltending performances. There were quite a few duds and a bunch of outstanding starts, including 3 shutouts Friday, 4 shutouts Saturday and one more on Sunday. The best of the bunch was a 38 save shutout by Fredrik Andersen in the 4-0 win against the Bruins on Friday. It's rare for the Ducks to be outshot but they buried their chances and were continually bailed out by Andersen. We all know that Andersen is very good at this point so the most telling thing was that in their next game, John Gibson received the start despite Andersen coming off a shutout. Bruce Boudreau is giving both of his goalies plenty of action and seemingly has a set schedule so you have to pay attention every day and start whoever gets the nod. Here's what else I saw around the league this weekend, starting with Friday's games:
Nobody has Benn better across the board this season than Stars captain Jamie Benn. See what I did there? Hilarious! I'll see myself out... Benn had another monster game on Thursday scoring two goals and an assist with six shots in the 4-3 win over the Lightning. That's his third multi-point game in the last four and gives him 36+44 in 72 games with 56 PIM and 229 shots. He's the number 3 skater on the season behind Patrick Kane and Alex Ovechkin but as of now, I would have Benn as my #2 player on the board going into next season behind Ovechkin. It's been an incredible year for Kane but I can't see him repeating it and Benn's extra PIM make up enough difference for me. Here's what else I saw around the league Thursday night:
After a hat trick over the weekend, Michael Frolik came back with another monster game on Wednesday night scoring a goal and adding two assists in the 4-1 win over the Jets. Despite this recent hot streak, I'm still leaving Frolik on the waiver wire. His numbers on the season are still pedestrian and the consistency is lacking. That said, I can guarantee you Frolik will be one of my Friday streamers (spoiler alert!) because you might as well ride the hot streak in your playoff run. Here's what else I saw around the league on Wednesday night:
It's an unpopular opinion but for my money, Erik Karlsson is the best player in the NHL. He makes a bigger impact on a game to game basis than any other skater in the league; it's scary to think about where the Senators would be without him. Karlsson had another one of his big games on Tuesday night with the game winning goal in overtime on his third shot while adding two assists in regulation. The Swede now has 60 assists (60!) to lead the league and 13 goals in 71 games with over three shots per game. He's even been a bit unlucky; his shooting percentage is its lowest since his rookie season. Karlsson came into this year as somebody to go around the turn in 12'ers but he's a slam dunk first rounder now. Here's what else I saw around the league Tuesday night:
Both divisions in the Western Conference are in the midst of a three way battle that will have a major impact throughout the playoffs. The Blackhawks found themselves playing three games in a row against their competitors and lost their third in a row. The Blackhawks were thoroughly dominated on Monday night by the Kings, losing 5-0 at home. Jonathan Quick posted the shutout for L.A. stopping all 32 shots he faced. Quick is currently the number 4 fantasy goaltender on the season with better numbers across the board than last season. The Kings remained in first in the Pacific while the Blackhawks remained in third. They have overcome being on the road before but it still makes things quite difficult for Chicago. On the other hand, the Kings getting home ice, a situation they're rarely in, would be a nice bonus against the Ducks or Sharks. Expect Quick to get the majority of the starts down the stretch to be one of the biggest difference makers in the fantasy playoffs. Here's what I saw around the league Monday night: