At the end of last season, we started to see flashes of Aleksander Barkov‘s potential. This season, he started to string games together until he went down with an injury. Since he’s been back, he’s been on a torrid pace culminating with two goals and an assist with four shots in the 3-1 win over the Canadiens Tuesday. The win extended the Panthers win streak to seven and put the Panthers in first place in the Atlantic Sasha now has four goals in the last two games and ten points in the last seven games putting him close to a point per game on the season. Not bad for somebody who can’t drink in the U.S. for eight months. He’s doing so much already that he’s solidly in my top 20 in dynasty rankings and pushing the top 50 for the rest of the season despite the lack of penalty minutes. Here’s what else I saw on a busy Tuesday night:
Chris Neil – Goal and an assist with a shot and 14 PIM. He’s completely unusable unless you’re streaming PIM at the end of the week but I had to acknowledge the dirty player actually getting two points in a game. Miracles.
Erik Karlsson – Assist and five shots. Played 34:37, including a shift that was over 4:30 long. Sickening.
Mika Zibanejad – Goal on two shots. He’s played much better with Mike Hoffman (goal on his only shot) on his wing. If he’s available in any league with 10 or more people, I’d be sure to grab him.
Matt Beleskey – Two goals on five shots and ten PIM. He’s starting to heat up and I think he’s right on the edge of must-own in 12’ers. The PIM are in bunches but they’re so strong that I’d grab him and hold him in a 12’er if you need them.
Patrice Bergeron – Two goal on five shots. Not much else to say about Bergeron at this point; he’s #10 in the ESPN player rater using RCL scoring.
Loui Eriksson – Two assists with five shots and two PIM. He also has more assists than he did all of last season. The injury to David Krejci doesn’t look to slow him down.
Jimmy Hayes – Hat trick on four shots. Still not owning in 12’ers but starting to get on the streaming radar.
Torey Krug – Two assists and two shots in his return from injury. He’s been disappointing in the goals department but he’s piling up the assists.
Ryan Spooner – Two assists and two PIM. With the injury to Krejci, Spooner is now centering the second line and is immediately must own in 12’ers and probably 10’ers. The minutes will increase as well as the quality of linemate.
Anders Lee – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM. ‘Ders is on the first line right now so he’s an excellent stream. I’m not holding him in 12’ers though; he doesn’t do enough across the board to be more than a stream right now.
Frans Nielsen – Goal and an assist with a shot. He’s quietly having a very solid season with 13 goals and 11 assists so far. He doesn’t take penalties but with solid STP and a slightly above average shot rate, he’s a hold at this point.
John Tavares – Goal an an assist with two shots and two PIM. He always seems to kill Toronto when he returns close to home. I still expect a hot streak from Tavares; I can’t see him ending lower than 65 points.
Brad Boyes – Goal and an assist with three shots. Unownable but worth monitoring to see if somebody gets hurt in the Leafs top 6. He’s the likely player to get bumped up if somebody goes down.
Eric Staal – Two goals on three shots. Just when he’s on the verge of being a potential drop, he has a multi point game. He has the potential to improve since he only has six special teams points on the season.
Kris Versteeg – Two assists with three shots. There’s no consistency right now with Versteeg. Right now, he’s on the first line; less than two weeks ago he was a healthy scratch. That leaves him as a streamer in the right matchups.
Kyle Palmieri – Goal on four shots. He appears to be this year’s Jiri Hudler; the player who has been around the league for years as a middling scorer only to have a massive breakout out of nowhere.
Travis Zajac – Two assists and a shot. He’s a poor man’s version of the heavy assist, no shots guys. I hate owning those guys in 12’ers so I like Zajac even less.
John Klingberg – Assist and five shots. He had been on a bit of a cold streak so the big shot total with a point was good to see. Sadly he was -3 but that won’t happen very often.
Patrick Sharp – Goal on eight shots. Life is good right now for Sharp playing with the big guns.
Brandon Dubinsky – Three assists and a shot. He’s fringe in 12’ers right now; your need for PIM should determine whether you own him or not.
Nick Foligno – Three assists and a shot. Hey Torts, get him off the third line!
Ryan Johansen – Assist. Hey Torts, get him off the fourth line! God, nobody is worse than Torts. He’s an embarrassment to coaching.
Brandon Saad – Goal on seven shots with two PIM. He’s almost at three shots per game and now has 14 goals. Not bad at all considering how big of a trainwreck the Blue Jackets have been this year.
Ben Scrivens – 27 saves on 30 shots in the loss. New goalie, same as the other backups for the Canadiens.
Alex Galchenyuk – Assist and four shots. Still rolling despite the Canadiens falling apart right now.
Max Pacioretty – Goal on four shots. He’s been ice cold so hopefully this game starts to turn it around. It’s time for him to play on a line with Gally.
Jonathan Huberdeau – Two assists with five shots. He’s heating up along with his linemates. The minutes are great right now as well.
Jaromir Jagr – Goal on four shots. We salute you, Mr. Jagr.
Mattias Ekholm – Goal and an assist with a shot. Not much value outside of leagues that add categories like blocks but could get a value boost if a Preds defenseman ahead of him got injured.
Roman Josi – Assist with three shots. I’ve talked about him ad nauseum lately so let’s just say he’s a stud and you know what to do with him.
Robby Fabbri – Goal on three shots. He looks great and would be a must add for me if he gets a bump into the top six. In deep leagues, I’d grab him now for the upside, especially if you’re in a dynasty.
Colton Parayko – Assist with a shot and two PIM. Despite the decent game, I’m dropping him in 12’ers. The opportunity isn’t there right now with how dominant Kevin Shattenkirk (Goal on two shots with two PIM) has been offensively since he’s returned.
Alex Pietrangelo – Two assists with a shot playing almost 30 minutes. He’s also blocking Parayko quite a bit just because of the minutes he plays. He’s not doing much offensively with them though. I’m still holding him in 12’ers but barely. I’m glad I was low on him in the preseason but apparently nowhere near low enough.
Alex Steen – Goal on three shots with two PIM. Just stay healthy!
Jimmy Howard – 10 saves on 14 shots getting pulled in the second period. Woof.
Pavel Datsyuk – Goal on three shots. I’m expecting him to start picking up the pace really soon, especially on the power play.
Connor Hellebuyck – 33 saves on 34 shots in the 4-1 win over the Wings. He’s still available in almost 50% of leagues on ESPN and I don’t know why. Go and get him.
Bryan Little – Three assists. What a beast.
Blake Wheeler – Two assists with three shots. The penalty minutes have disappeared but he’s now over a point per game. Remind me again why ESPN had him ranked in the 70’s in the preseason?
Drew Stafford – Two assists with a shot. Super streaky so I’m leaving him as a streamer that is potentially a temporarily hold.
Jacob Trouba – Two goals on four shots. There’s a ton of upside here that’s only being blocked by the presence of Dustin Byfuglien (four PIM). If Buff goes down, Trouba is immediately must own. If Buff isn’t resigned in the offseason, Trouba will be a big sleeper of mine going into next season.
John Gibson – 14 save shutout against the Flames. It isn’t going to get any easier than that.
Jonathan Quick – 42 saves on 44 shots in the 5-2 win over the Oilers. He’s the #5 rated goalie at this point and the only thing stopping him from going up is the save percentage. A few more games like this one and he’ll move up with the volume of starts that he’s getting.
Dustin Brown – Goal and two assists with two shots. Still a corpse of his former self and only has value in leagues that count hits.
Dwight King – Goal and an assist with a shot in his first game of the season. He won’t have much value unless he’s moved into the top six.
Trevor Lewis – Goal and two assists with two shots. Fantasy irrelevant but a guy must be acknowledged for scoring three points. You’re welcome, Trevor and family members!
Tyler Toffoli – Goal on three shots. Loving life on the first line. Outside shot of scoring 40 goals this year.
Corey Crawford – 32 saves on 37 shots in the 7-5 win over the Coyotes. Thank god for absolutely horrible Coyotes gotaltending on the other side to at least get Crawford a win. Hopefully you guys listened and don’t own either of the sieves in net for the Desert Dogs right now.
Andrew Desjardins – Two goals on three shots and two PIM. Before this game, he had 1 goal and 0 assists in 32 games and was -10. The Coyotes clear all woes. I imagine this is the only time I talk about him all year so here’s to you, Mr. Desjardins!
Patrick Kane – Goal and two assists with three shots. Kind of disappointing to only have three points against the Coyotes. Kidding. Kind of.
Duncan Keith – Goal and two assists with two shots, all special teams points. He’s going to crush assists and special teams points while being mediocre in the other categories. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of value in that, but it won’t get him in the top 10 defenseman discussion.
Artemi Panarin – Goal on four shots. Still rolling and has avoided the rookie wall so far. Then again, it’s pretty easy to do playing with Kane every night.
Brent Seabrook – Two assists. I’d still be looking to sell high if possible. The shots are starting to regress with Keith back and he’s not great at anything specific.
Teuvo Teravainen – Two assists with two PIM. Good to see him produce in the bottom six and be trusted at the end of the game in a shorthanded situation. He should go back into the top 6 sooner rather than later.
Mikkel Boedker – Assist and six shots. No stopping him right now.
Shane Doan – Hat trick on nine shots. Captain Coyote! He now has 11 goals and 6 assists in 27 games. With the big minutes he’s getting and the massive PIM, he’s must own in 12’ers now.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Three assists and two PIM playing almost 30 minutes. Really starting to come on lately and should only get better going forward. Crazy to think he’s still only 24 years old.
Tobias Rieder – Three assists with two shots. Still right on the fringe of 12’ers. The two power play assists were good to see since that has been holding him back offensively.
Michael Stone – Two assists with two shots. I’m a big fan of Stone’s game and can see him being someone who becomes must own next year in 12’ers but he’s not quite there yet. The shots and PIM are there but the points aren’t yet.
Wednesday Streamers: There are five games tonight so there should be a decent amount of streaming going on. Here are my top three options:
Travis Zajac (19.5% owned) – I said above that I hate owning guys like Zajac yet I have him as my top streamer of the night. What the hell is wrong with this Viz guy? I’ll leave that question unanswered. To the point, the Sens give up the most shots in the league and Zajac is currently centering the Devils’ top line as they attempt to spread out their scoring. Great spot for him to be in.
J.T. Miller (1.5%) – He’s played very well recently with 4 goals and 2 assists in his last 7 games. That has bumped Miller onto the first line and the second power play unit putting him in a prime spot to keep his streak going.
Conor Sheary (0.4%) – He practiced on Sidney Crosby‘s line on Tuesday and gets a prime matchup against a Leafs team that gave up 6 yesterday and has to play on a back to back. There’s the chance Sheary doesn’t stick on the first line so I can’t have him higher on my stream list but on a short slate, I’ll gamble on the upside.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back on Thursday recapping the five games that take place tonight. As always, feel free to ask any questions or post any comments below. Take care everyone!