As a Sabres fan, it was tough to watch Andrei Vasilevskiy lock the game down Thursday night in the Lightning 4-1 win over Buffalo. After a horrible first period, the Sabres dominated the game but Vasilevskiy took control. Coach Jon Cooper said that Vasilevskiy's going to get a bunch of games in the near future so add him if you can. He's an excellent target in dynasty leagues. After this season, either he gets traded or the Lightning trade Ben Bishop. Either way, you're a winner. In one year leagues, he will have plenty of value in spot starts. Here's what else I saw Thursday night:
As far as regular season games go, Blues versus the Blackhawks from last night was one of the best games I've seen in years and definitely the best from this year. The Blackhawks were incredible offensively scoring 5 goals in the first only for the Blues to tie it up in the 2nd period at 5! Then Vladimir Tarasenko took care of business in overtime to earn a big two points for St. Louis early in the season. Tarasenko, who ended with a goal, assist, one shot and +3 with a -13 Corsi, was one of 7 Blues and 11 players total in the game who had two points; that's simply absurd. Let's take a deeper look at this game along with the other three games from Wednesday night:
I've made my fair share of bold predictions and statements this year on Razzball but this one might be the boldest of them all; Tyler Seguin is the best hockey player in the world. No, not Sidney Crosby or Alex Ovechkin. Instead, it's a 23 year old who was drafted by the Bruins second overall only to be shipped to Dallas because they thought he partied too much or they simply don't like guys who have a lot of talent. On Tuesday night, Seguin returned to Boston and scored a hat trick on six shots. He also had an assist and eight shots Monday night in Toronto, the team who could have drafted Seguin but they traded that pick to Boston for Phil Kessel who is no longer in their organization. He's up to 20 points in 13 games, tied for the league lead with his linemate Jamie Benn (Goal, two assists, six shots, two PIM the last two days). He also has 60 shots in 13 games which is at an Ovechkin-like level. Bottom line, he's the number one player for me going forward. Man am I pumped to have the Stars to win the Cup at 66-1! Here's what else I saw the last two days:
Surprise! I said yesterday that I wasn't going to have an article today but instead of posting my streamers in the comments section, I will post a short, separate article with my top options. I said here that Leon Draisaitl was a must-add right now. While his ownership is increasing rapidly, he's still only 36% owned on ESPN. He gets an amazing matchup against Philly and to make it even better, it's at home with Philly on a back to back. He's locked into the top line with Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and the top power play unit. Here's a look at some other guys who are available in most leagues that can help you out tonight:
This weekend, we saw some amazing statlines from players around the league, including 3 hat tricks. Mats Zuccarello scored all 3 goals for the Rangers in a 3-1 win over Toronto on Friday, all assisted by Derick Brassard and Rick Nash. Long time fourth liner Dale Weise had a hat trick on Friday against Calgary and added an assist on Sunday, totaling eight shots between the two games. In the battle of Alberta on Saturday, Michael Frolik scored a hat trick on seven shots. Going forward, Zuccarello is obviously must own. I still wouldn't own Weise in leagues unless it's a super deep league where you include hits. Frolik is an interesting case. On one hand, those were his first three goals of the season. On the other, he now has 8 points in 12 games, is close to 3 shots per game and is now in the top six. I'd call him a streamer in 12'ers for now since he isn't getting much power play time but if he starts to get it, things will change. Here's what else happened in an action packed weekend...
For the past week plus, every time that the Blues played I bring up a solid performance from Colton Parayko. His role was increased with the injury to Kevin Shattenkirk and he's run with it ever since. Yesterday, he scored another goal getting an absurd 10 shots on goal with 2 blocked shots. Shattenkirk is going to be back soon but Parayko has solidified himself as a top 4 option on the blueline with power play skills. Again, go grab him where you can. Here's what else happened the last two nights:
Hey guys! With the short three game slate yesterday, I'm going to change things up for today. I will recap those games in the Friday night post. I was getting a lot of feedback in the comments that people like the advanced stats included so I'm going to take a look at some stats for the first three weeks of the season, both from a team perspective and individual players. I will give definitions for the stats, show who ranks well or poorly and what that means going forward. For example, James Van Riemsdyk has the 4th best Corsi For percentage in the entire NHL at 62.1%. That means when JVR is on the ice, Toronto has 62.1% of the total shots taken. Obviously, league average is 50%. Going forward, this means that JVR is dominating the game when he is on the ice and along with the opportunity to score a ton of points, his plus-minus will probably be better than expected in the preseason. He's an excellent trade target because Mike Babcock is putting him in a great position to succeed. Now, 10 games isn't a great sample size to say that all of these things are going to hold but they should be a solid indicator of things to come. These stats are coming from HockeyAnalysis and War on Ice. Let's dive in and take a further look!
Finally Tuukka Rask owners have something to be happy about. Rask shutout the Coyotes, saving all 24 shots on goal in the Bruins 6-0 victory. Would I be happy as a Rask owner with this development. Of course, but mostly because this could give you a chance to sell Rask at a higher value. Arizona is going to be a horrible team and they are regressing quickly from their hot start. They are the type of team that the Bruins will dominate because their top-six is going to control the game and not allow their defense to be exposed. Bottom line, I don't see this as the start of a bounceback for Rask; I see it as an opportunity to get away from him while getting good value in return. Here's what else I saw Tuesday night:
Last season, the Ducks finished the regular season as the top seed in the Western Conference. This year, every team has at least 2 wins so far in the West except the Ducks, who are 1-5-2 through the first 8 games after a 1-0 OT loss to Chicago on Monday. Through 6 games last year, Corey Perry scored 8 goals. This year, through 8 games, the Ducks have 6 total goals (Perry has none), including being shut out a whopping 5 times. Am I concerned? To be honest, not that much for the Ducks or Perry. The Ducks have been consistently outshooting teams, including a great Chicago team by a Corsi (all total shots) 60-47. Perry also had 8 shots on goal on Monday and was +11 in Corsi, meaning the Ducks had 11 more shot attempts than they gave up when he was on the ice. The Ducks are shooting close to 3% on the season as a team which is completely unsustainable. Bottom line, expect the Ducks to break out of their slump soon and in a big way. With the 3 game slate on Monday, I'm also going to cite Corsi statistics for individual players on Monday to give a better indication on how their team did when they were on the ice. As a disclaimer, Corsi is only for 5-5 on play; it doesn't include special teams time because it would skew the stat too much. Corsi is a great indicator for future success; the more shot attempts a player has when he is on the ice compared to his opponent, the more likely he is to score goals. Let's take a look:
When you look at the Montreal Canadiens' roster, I see a quality team with three superstars, but not a team that amazes you on paper. Right now, you have a team that's clicking on all cylinders, starting 9-0 with every win in regulation. Even when they get outplayed, like they did on Saturday, they have Carey Price to bail them out. Price stopped 49 of 52 shots to carry Montreal to a 5-3 in the second game of a back to back. If you were bold enough to take him in the first round, it's paying off so far. Hell, almost all Canadiens have been great so far and are carrying fantasy teams in plus-minus by themselves. Let's take a look at what happened in a busy weekend around the league:
If you ever met Jhonas Enroth, you'd never think he was a goalie in the NHL. The diminutive Swede is, at best, 5'8" and 160 pounds. That said, he's proven to be a capable backup at the very least. In his first start in Los Angeles, Enroth stopped 39 of 40 shots in San Jose to let the Kings get revenge for the Sharks blowing them out opening night. Enroth showed in Buffalo that when he gets the chance to play in a regular role, he's more than capable, so if Jonathan Quick were to get hurt, he's must own in all leagues. For now, he's a great streamer in virtually all matchups. Here's what else I saw on Thursday night:
While there were only four games on the schedule on Wednesday, there was plenty of young talent showcasing their abilities around the NHL. Front and center among them all was Connor McDavid, who scored a gorgeous goal, his fourth of the season. I'd like to see a better shot rate but it's hard to find real complaints about an 18 year old having 6 points in 7 games, including 5 in the last 3. The Oilers next four games are all against excellent defensive teams so it'll be interesting to see if he can keep his point streak alive. Here's what else I saw on Wednesday: