At this point, it’s no surprise when Jamie Benn has a big night. You almost expect it against Carolina even though he was pointless in the previous three games. Well, it happened on Tuesday with Benn scoring his league leading 19th goal on his only shot of the game with three assists. He’s now on a 120 point pace for the year with 39 points in 28 games; I don’t know if it’s crazier that he’s on that pace or that he’s not leading the league in points (more on that later). Bottom line is that last year’s Art Ross winner is proving that it was no fluke. Here’s what else I saw on a busy Tuesday night:
Jaroslav Halak – 43 saves on 46 shots in the 4-3 Islanders shootout win. Even though it’s not the great game for fantasy purposes, it was quite the performance in real life. He’s been frustrating for his owners because he hasn’t been getting the quantity of starts he did last year. I mentioned that last year was an outlier compared to his previous workloads and the emergence of Thomas Greiss has really hurt Halak’s value.
Nick Leddy – Two assists and three shots. After his huge breakout last year, Leddy has disappointed big time this year with no goals, eight assists and barely over a shot a game. I would only own him in 16’ers or deeper.
Frans Nielsen – Two goals on four shots. He’s now at 20 points (11+9) and close to 3 shots per game. Great value in the late rounds.
Claude Giroux – Goal and an assist with seven shots. There’s the Giroux fantasy owners have been known to love in the past. Gradually creeping up close to point per game status.
Sergei Bobrovsky – 33 saves on 34 shots before leaving the game late in the third with an upper body injury. Noooooooo. I’ve been pumping Bob’s tires for over a month now so hopefully this injury isn’t serious. He’s been as good as any goalie in the league after October. If he is out, I still wouldn’t touch Curtis McElhinney. He’s a terrible goalie, plain and simple.
Scott Hartnell – Goal on two shots. Keeping the good times rolling.
Nick Foligno – Assist and three shots. The move to Hartnell’s line helped again. He clearly won’t approach last year’s status but hopefully he can overcome his horrible start and provide some value to his owners.
Ryan Johansen – Assist on six shots. He clearly won’t approach last year’s status but hopefully he can overcome his horrible start and provide some value to his owners. And that’s me copying and pasting me doing what Grey does! I’m so creative…
Jeff Carter – Goal on four shots. Standard at this point.
Christian Ehrhoff – Goal on four shots. Minutes are climbing and it’s his second consecutive game with a goal after starting the season goalless in 21 games. He’s had tons of value in the past so this is worth monitoring.
Alec Martinez – Goal and an assist with seven shots. The Kings hero from the 2014 Cup run hasn’t done much this year but in 12’ers that count hits and blocks, I would own him. With only the standard stats, I’d only own him in 16’ers or deeper, possibly 14’ers.
Jimmy Howard – 38 saves on 40 shots in the shootout loss to Washington. Numbers look great for Howard down the year, just lacks the volume to really move the needle. Red Wings platoon is still much better than them individually.
Marcus Johansson – Two assists and four shots back from injury. The shots are below average but if you can stomach it, he brings plenty to the table.
Alex Ovechkin – Goal on eight shots with two PIM. Standard Ovie.
Cory Schneider – 35 saves on 37 shots in the shootout loss to the Leafs. These are the type of starts I expected from Schneider on a regular basis; he’s been the hard luck loser for years. Still killing it for his owners.
Kyle Palmieri – Goal on three shots. I have no idea who but he’s on a 35 goal pace and I haven’t been mentioning him enough. He’s on pace for a 35+25 season with almost three shots per game and 50 PIM. Absolutely insane. I don’t expect it to keep up at all but who knows with this Devils team?
James van Riemsdyk – Goal on six shots. The shots are still there so the goals should keep coming. And he’s avoided the horrible plus-minus, the biggest concern coming into the year.
Garret Sparks – 25 saves on 27 shots for the win. He looks like he belongs but I still expect him to be on the wrong side of the platoon with James Reimer sooner rather than later.
Mike Hoffman – Goal on four shots. I love being right! Don’t Hassle the HoffMan!
Kyle Turris – Goal and an assist with two shots. He had been on a bit of a cold streak so good to see him back on the score sheet. Despite having 24 points in 28 games, Turris only has 3 power play points so I expect him to keep this pace up or even slightly improve on it.
Mark Stone – Three assists and three shots. It doesn’t matter that he’s not on the first line right now. Stone is at a point per game and while the shot rate has declined a bit, nobody can be complaining about Stone’s stat line for the season.
Vincent Trocheck – Assist with five shots and two PIM. He’s right on the edge in 12’ers; depending on how good the bottomg of your roster is determines whether I’d hold Trocheck or not.
David Backes – Goal on four shots with two PIM. While he’s disappointed offensively so far, he’s still on pace for a 20+20 season with over 100 PIM. He played over 20 minutes last night so I expect Backes to get into the low 50s in points if that holds which would be a great season pushing top 50 value with 100 PIM.
Kevin Shattenkirk – Goal and an assist with three shots. The chance to buy low on Shattenkirk is completely out of the window.
Alex Steen – Goal and an assist with three shots. I haven’t said this in a while so it bears repeating; just stay healthy!
Vladimir Tarasenko – Goal on his only shot and four PIM. I almost feel disappointed that this was his line against the Coyotes. At least he had four PIM as a bonus to make up for only having 1 SOG.
Roman Josi – Assist and four shots. At this point he has the NBA Jam blue fire.
Patrick Kane – Empty net goal on his only shot to extend his point streak to 23 games. I’d give him crap for needing an empty netter to extend his streak if he didn’t already go 22 GAMES before this. Silliness.
Andrew Shaw – Goal and an assist with two shots. Still not fantasy relevant outside of the deepest of leagues but randoms deserve a shoutout every now and then! Hey mom! Just kidding she wouldn’t read this despite her passion for our lowly Sabres.
Teuvo Teravainen – Goal and an assist with two shots. More importantly, he played 18:40 in this game. I talked about him Monday and said I’d leave him on the wire playing only 12 minutes or so. These big minutes with a boost in the lineup changes things. I’d grab him to stream in the next Blackhawks game and hold if the minutes are there again.
Cam Ward – 4 saves on 8 shots before getting pulled. He’s simply horrible at this point. I wouldn’t even want to own him in 20 teamers; he’s the worst.
Justin Faulk – Two power play goals on five shots. The plus-minus sucks but everything else is amazing. He has 10 power play goals already this year. That’s the franchise record for a defenseman for a season and we just started December!
Noah Hanifin – Two assists and four shots. Love him in dynasties and the only thing stopping him from being must own in 12’ers at this point is the possibility that he goes to the World Juniors for the U.S. team. The minutes are up and being on the first power play unit is doing him wonders.
Victor Rask – Three assists with two shots and two PIM. Grab him where available.
John Klingberg – Three assists and two shots. If the season ended today, would there be a tougher choice for a major NHL trophy than Klingberg or Erik Karlsson for the Norris? They’re both out of this world. Sweden is blessed for the World Cup next summer.
Valeri Nichushkin – Goal and two assists with a shot. Grab him where available; as long as he’s on the first line, he’s going to crush.
Tyler Seguin – Goal and three assists with a shot. Fitting that he has the exact same stat line as Benn. Out of this world good. Stanley Cup favorites? Not sure I’d go that far yet but they’re right there for me.
Patrick Sharp – Goal on four shots. The drop to the third line hasn’t hurt him; he’s taking more shots and the top power play time is outstanding.
Martin Jones – 11 savess on 14 shots before getting pulled early in the second. He’s human after all.
Brent Burns – No points but seven shots on goal. He brings plenty to the table even when he’s not scoring.
Logan Couture – Assist with a shot and four PIM in his return after a 20+ game absence. Get him back in your lineups immediately if you had him on IR. Couture is a great player and should push the top 50 for the rest of the season. Plus he’s a Bills fan, automatic boost in my book!
Karri Ramo – 31 saves on 33 shots in the win. He’s starting almost every game for the Flames (16 of last 17) so if your league counts saves, he’s a godsend. If for some reason he’s available, grab him.
Mikael Backlund – Goal and an assist with five shots. I feel like he should be doing so much better than he is with the talent around him. He’s only a streamer in 12’ers in the right matchups.
Mark Giordano – Two assists with four shots playing over 28 minutes. This is the Gio we came to love the last couple of seasons. Still trying to buy low if possible.
Dougie Hamilton – Assist with a shot and two PIM. I still believe.
Dennis Wideman – Two assists and three shots playing over 25 minutes. I expected a big regression from Wideman and it’s happened with no goals on the season. The shots are horrible and the hits aren’t great either for those in hits leagues. He’s a decent source of assists if you’re desperate but I’m not owning him.
Wednesday Streamers: There are four games on a short Wednesday slate so streaming should be prevalent. Here are my top three options:
Melker Karlsson (1.2% owned) – Even with the return of Couture, Karlsson stuck on the first line against the Flames and second power play unit. No better chance to succeed than against the Oilers tonight.
Beau Bennett (0.1%) – He’s up to the first line with the sudden retirement of Pascal Dupuis due to blood clots (best of luck to him going forward and congrats on a solid career). Bennett is also on the second power play unit and the way Sidney Crosby is starting to look again, the Pens should dominate against the Avalanche.
Olli Maatta (12.1) – I’ve talked about him the last few days as must own with Kris Letang out but just in case you weren’t listening, start listening! A matchup for the Avalanche should let him get on the score sheet for the third straight game.
That’s all for now guys. With the short slate on Wednesday, I won’t have daily notes on Thursday. But don’t worry! There will be great content coming out Thursday morning from Marv and Pesos with a special article on saving your season if it’s needed or improving an already strong team. I’ll be back on Friday with a recap of Wednesday and Thursday’s games. As always, please ask any questions or leave any comments below. Take care everyone!