It was quite the weekend for last season’s Calder Trophy winner.  Mathew Barzal entered Friday’s game against the Senators with five goals on the season, and he matched that in two games.  Barzal scored two goals and an assist against the Senators before scoring a hat trick against the Maple Leafs on Saturday.  That brings Barzal up to 10+25 in 37 games with solid PIM and an improved shot rate.  He’s still only 21 years old so clearly the best is to come.  For the rest of this season, I think he’s just inside the top 50 now that his shot rate isn’t far from average.  If he can eventually get that up towards three a game, it’s game over.  Barzal has top 20 player upside down the line; hopefully the Isles get some more talent around him.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the weekend:

Friday’s Games

Josh Bailey – Goal and an assist with two shots.  Bailey is right on the fringe and comes down to team needs.

Casey Cizikas – Goal and an assist with three shots and four PIM.  He’s randomly had a bunch of multi-point games but there’s nothing here for fantasy.

Thomas Chabot – Out three weeks.  Brutal break for Chabot owners, but thankfully the All-Star break comes towards the end of that range.  Everyone on Ottawa takes a hit in the short term and I don’t want any of their other defenseman now that he’s out.

Tomas Tatar – Two goals on four shots.  He’s done enough to remain a hold.  Nice add for the Canadiens this season as Tatar has revived his career.

Jonathan Drouin – Goal and an assist with four shots.  Drouin is right on the bottom end of holds for me.

Mike Hoffman – Two assists with four shots.  Hoffman has been spectacular this season outside of plus-minus.  There’s no reason to expect a regression.

Mitch Marner – Goal and two assists with three shots.  He’s been a monster all season long.

John Tavares – Two goals on five shots.  There’s been no slowing down for Tavares.  Tavares looks like a favorite to set a career high in goals in his first season in Toronto.

Saturday’s Games

Pavel Zacha – Goal and an assist with four shots.  I expected Zacha to be much further along come year three, but it just hasn’t happened for him.  I haven’t lost all hope but I wouldn’t use him now.

Mackenzie Blackwood – 37 save shutout in the 2-0 win over the Hurricanes.  He’s been great since his recall but I still rate Blackwood as a desperation play.  I do see some upside for dynasties though.

Erik Karlsson – Goal and three assists with four shots.  Karlsson has been a beast in the month of December.  He’s playing like his Ottawa self again.

Brent Burns – Two assists with three shots.  Burns has a goal streak in him with his elite shot rate.

Logan Couture – Two goals on three shots.  Great season from Couture who is pushing a point per game.

Ty Rattie – Three assists with four shots.  Rattie was back with Leon Draisaitl (1+1) and Connor McDavid (2G) making Rattie an elite streamer for the time being.

Malcolm Subban – 30 saves on 31 shots in the 4-1 win over the Kings.  I think this says more about the Kings than Subban.  I’d only use him in the absolute best matchups.

Paul Stastny – Goal and an assist.  I’d hold Stastny while he’s a hot schmotato.

Alex Tuch – Goal and an assist with four shots and two PIM.  Easy hold for me.

Nate Schmidt – Two assists with a shot.  Whether you hold Schmidt or not depends what you’re looking for from your bottom defensemen on your roster.

Zach Parise – Two assists with two shots.  Pretty remarkable bounceback from Parise at 34 years old after looking like he was toast last year.

Devan Dubnyk – 26 saves on 27 shots in the 3-1 win over the Jets.  They’re not saying boo, they’re saying Duuubbbb!  Here’s to hoping he can string some more games together.

Marco Scandella – Goal and an assist with three shots.  Nothing to see here.

Tom Wilson – Goal and an assist with two shots.  Nice to see Wilson continue to produce despite his role decreasing as the Capitals get healthy.

Tyler Lewington – Goal and an assist with two shots and five PIM.  Gordie Howe hat trick for Lewington in his second career game.  He had 11 points in 71 games in the AHL last season, so yeah, this could be the only time I ever write about Lewington.  Welcome to the Razzball Database!

Mark Stone – Goal and an assist with six shots.  The Capitals had no answer for the top line of Ottawa, but they shut down everyone else.  Stone remains underrated in hockey circles.

Colin White – Goal and an assist with five shots.  Nice season from White in his first full year due to injury last season.  He’s a bottom end stream for now but there’s some upside here.

Brady Tkachuk – Two assists with three shots and 17 PIM.  Tkachuk has been a monster as a rookie and has all the makings of a no-brainer top 50 player for years.

Phillip Danault – Three assists with two shots.  Danualt remains a bottom end streamer.

Andrew Shaw – Two goals on four shots with two PIM.  Shaw has had a shockingly good season but I still don’t trust him offensively.  That said, he’s a solid streamer for those PIM or hits.

Jordie Benn – Goal and an assist.  And there’s your annual Jordie Benn update!

Adam Erne – Two goals and an assist with three shots.  It must be nice to have fourth liners that can have big games at any moment.  That said, Erne isn’t usable unless his role increases.

Anton Stralman – Goal and an assist with four shots.  He’s been steady for years but he’s not fantasy worthy.

Victor Hedman – Two assists with four shots.  It feels like Hedman is going to have a massive hot streak sooner than later.

Nikita Kucherov – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM.  Kucherov has been at two points per game for his last 25 games.  So absurd.

Yanni Gourde – Goal and an assist with two shots.  This snapped a ten game goalless drought for Gourde, who has fallen down towards being a bottom end hold instead of slam dunk.

Ryan Pulock – Two assists with two shots.  Pulock is showing signs but he’s still not worth holding yet.

Robin Lehner – 36 save shutout in the 4-0 win over the Maple Leafs.  Can you believe Lehner is the first Islanders goalie to ever record a shutout in Toronto?  Crazy.  Lehner has been great lately and should be owned in all leagues.  I’d use him in most matchups.

James Reimer – 34 saves on 35 shots in the 2-1 win over the Flyers.  Reimer has been brutal this season and should only be used in the best of matchups.

Jonathan Huberdeau – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM.  The first line stole the game for Florida as Aleksander Barkov dished two assists as well.  The workload they are receiving is absolutely ridiculous.  Barkov played 26 minutes!

Alex Radulov – Two goals on five shots.  He’s been excellent this season while healthy.

Jason Spezza – Goal and an assist.  Bottom end streamer at this point in his career.

Blake Comeau – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM.  Easy pass.

Ben Bishop – 33 saves on 34 shots in the 5-1 win over the Red Wings.  It’s been quiet with all of the other attention on Dallas but Bishop has been outstanding this season with a .926 sv%.  He should be a bottom end #1 the rest of the way with upside from there.

Matt Murray – 30 saves on 31 shots in the 6-1 win over the Blues.  Five strong starts in a row for Murray is obviously encouraging.  We know the upside, so at this point as a Murray owner I would just cross my fingers and pray.

Sidney Crosby – Goal and two assists with three shots.  Phil Kessel and Kris Letang each dished three assists.  It’s scary for the rest of the league when the top guys on the Pens are in form.

Mika Zibanejad – Four assists with a shot.  Oh Mika, you’re so fine, you’re so fine you blow my mind!  He’s been great all season and is an easy hold.

Chris Kreider – Goal and two assists with three shots and two PIM.  Same story for Kreider, who already has 20 goals on the year.  Great shot rate, solid PIM, he’s doing everything but get a lot of assists.

Jesper Fast – Two goals and an assist in his return from injury.  If he sticks with Kreider and Zibanejad, Fast is a solid streamer.

Kevin Fiala – Goal and two assists with six shots.  He’s a bottom end streamer which is disappointing.  Fiala was looking like a breakout candidate in the preseason and it just hasn’t happened.

Nick Bonino – Two goals on three shots.  He’s still a decent contributor in real life but Bonino has little value in fantasy.

Patrick Kane – Two goals and an assist with four shots.  The Blackhawks are showing signs of life and it’s starting with their best player playing at an elite level.

Dylan Strome – Two assists with three shots.  Strome looks great playing with Kane and while I’m not quite at a hold level, I wouldn’t mind if you decided to go that route.  He’s an elite streamer.

Alex Edler – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM.  Edler is worth holding as he’s been strong across the board while healthy.

Brock Boeser – Goal and an assist with eight shots.  Boeser is playing great hockey again as he’s playing at a 40 goal pace per 82 games.

Mark Jankowski – Goal and an assist with four shots.  There’s a bit of upside here but for now, Jankowski should remain on the waiver wire.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Goal and an assist with four shots.  OEL’s value comes down to whether or not your league uses plus-minus.  If no, then he’s a no-brainer hold.  If it does, then he’s right on the fringe.

Alex Galchenyuk – Two assists with a shot.  Nice five game point streak for Gally who is an elite streamer.

Nick Schmaltz – Goal and an assist with two shots.  He’s been very good since going to Arizona but I still consider Schmaltz a solid hold with his poor shot rate.

Clayton Keller – Two assists with a shot.  The fall in shot rate for Keller this season is quite disappointing.  He’s a bottom end hold but it’s getting very close to the fringe.

Nick Ritchie – Three assists with two shots.  Nice step forward for Ritchie this season but with his putrid shot rate, he’s only a middling streamer.

Adam Henrique – Goal and an assist with three shots.  Henrique is an easy fade in his current role for the Ducks.

Ondrej Kase – Two goals on four shots.  I’ve been holding Kase all season and see no reason to change that now.  Everything on his end looks sustainable or at least very close to it.

Sunday’s Game

Brandon Pirri – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM.  Pirri has been on fire since his return on 12/20 with 5+2 in 6 games with 17 shots.  He’s been a solid goal scorer in his career and is an elite streamer while he’s a hot schmotato.

Marc-Andre Fleury – 29 saves on 30 shots in the 5-1 win over the Coyotes.  The volume alone should allow Fleury to be a bottom end #1 this season.

That’s all for now guys.  I’ll be back on Wednesday recapping the action from the next two nights.  Feel free to ask any questions, leave any comments, or give any suggestions below.  Have a great New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, take care!

  1. Christophe says:

    Great Work, Viz! I currently have 3 goalies (Flower, Gibson and Hart) in a keeper league (2 goalie slots) where owners are dying to get decent goalies. I’m thinking of trading Carter Hart to an owner who’s in love with him for a guy like Nylander or Atkinson to get more offensive production to complete my first place team. What do you think?

    • Rich says:

      @Christophe: I’m not sure where you currently are in the standings, but it makes sense to trade either Hart or Fleury (if you’re out of contention and can get more) for a young forward since you will lose one of them anyway.

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Christophe: Yeah, that would make some sense if you’re trying to go for it this year. I’m more inclined to do it for Atkinson since I like him more ROS, but Nylander would be fine as well.

  2. Jonathan Amello says:

    Any 2nd half performers to target? Getzlaf? any others?>

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Jonathan Amello: I’ve been highlighting a bunch of them over the last few weeks. We know who Getzlaf is, I’m not sure he’s a big target. I think Benn and Tarasenko would be near the top of the list for top end guys, a tier down I would say Gostisbehere, Hedman, and a bunch of other forwards who have been unlucky.

  3. Shitwolf says:

    so i used my #1 ww on ghost bear now i have the 3 biggedt underperforming D haha

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Shitwolf: Haha, hopefully it turns quick!

      • Shitwolf says:


        i has 6 D now who would you drop Pietrangelo Hamilton? or was shayne a waste haha

  4. Jumponit says:

    Happy new year Viz – im in a 12 team points H2H redraft league, someone is offering me Tarasenko for Subban. I already have Boeser/Kucherov on my team and am already light on D (OEL, Morrissey, Chabot, Hamilton) – so I am leaning on declining the offer, but what are your thoughts?


    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Jumponit: Thanks, you too! I would pass, especially with Chabot out for a few weeks.

  5. Dubjay says:

    Hey Viz,
    So I grabbed Kuemper for Crawford. Unfortunately I am still one D short. I either need to drop Grubauer or Voracek. I still like Grubauers upside and think that he could still wrestle the job away from a struggling Varlamov so am tempted to drop Voracek. I grabbed him off of waivers over a month ago and have yet to play him. Have Wheeler, Boeser, and Kucherov at RW so there really hasnt been an opportunity to get him in there. He is wasting away on my bench. Best available D are C.MILLER, A.PIETRANGELO, D.NURSE, C.PARAYKO, MONTOUR, R.PULOCK, J.SPURGEON

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Dubjay: If you aren’t playing him, might as well drop him, or see if you can trade him for a D that’s slightly better than the ones available. Of those guys, I guess I would take the chance on Pietrangelo bouncing back, but it’s ugly, so I’d try to move Voracek to someone who has an extra D.

    • dubjay says:

      So it looks like Pietrangelo and Pulock are gone now. On a side note. Luongo was just dropped. So I could always drop one of Grubauer/ Kuemper for him as well

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