Everyone who reads this space knows my love for Brent Burns.  His beard brings about a magisterial power that guides him on the ice.  The Sharks played on Monday and Tuesday to open the week and their all-world defenseman delivered.  In Monday’s loss to the Rangers, Burns scored two goals and an assist with seven shots.  He followed it up with 2 assists and three shots against the Islanders putting him in the early league lead for points.  Burns and Erik Karlsson are in a class of their own right now among defensemen and should battle each other season for top dog status on the blue line.  Here’s what else I’ve seen around the league the last two nights:

Monday’s Games:

Rangers 7, Sharks 4 – Seven goals in the third period turned this game into a shitshow.  Besides Burns, it was all Little Joe Pavelski who got in on all four goals, tallying a goal and three assists with three shots.  The two superstars on the Sharks are paying off early dividends.  Tomas Hertl had an assist, two shots and four PIM and should be owned everywhere while he’s getting first line time.  For the Rangers, a ton of players were involved.  Chris Kreider had this third straight game of 1+1 and looks like he’s finally coming into his own.  The first liners had their first quality game of the season and in a big way.  Mats Zuccarello had a goal and two assists while Derek Stepan had two assists.  Rick Nash scored his first of the season playing 18 minutes, both good signs.  Ryan McDonagh dished two assists and added three shots; I love his chances for a big season.  Jimmy Vesey scored his first career goal but with only 10 minutes of playing time, I wouldn’t hold him in 12’ers.

Avalanche 4, Penguins 3 (OT) – Man, the Avs look so much better at even strength than in the previous few seasons.  Who would have guessed that? <pats self on back>  Gabriel Landeskog tied up the game in the third period and then won it early into overtime.  Nathan MacKinnon‘s fast start continued with two assists and five shots on goal.  Erik Johnson tallied two assists and four shots and has looked better under Bednar.  Calvin Pickard was solid with 28 saves on 31 shots.  Nick Bonino had an assist with a shot and two PIM playing 23 minutes.  I’ll call that streamer success!  I’ll be back on him with these big minutes.  Matt Cullen scored a goal and an assist with four shots for a nice, random contribution.  Phil Kessel scored again while Chris Kunitz had an assist, shot and six PIM.

Red Wings 5, Senators 1 – Man, this game was a blast from the past for the Red Wings.  Mike Green scored a hat trick and added four PIM.  In his last 23 games dating back to last season, he has 20 points so he needs to be owned everywhere.  Same goes with Thomas Vanek who had three assists.  Darren Helm scored twice but he doesn’t have much value outside of the deepest of leagues.  Petr Mrazek was great stopping 31 of 32 shots.  Andrew Hammond was a dumpster fire as expected giving up 5 goals on 25 shots while Erik Karlsson kept the points streak alive with an assist on Ryan Dzingel‘s goal.

Bruins 4, Jets 1 – We will get these games from time to time from Tuukka Rask because of how good he is.  Rask stopped 34 of 35 shots in Winnipeg getting the win.  His talent is unquestionable but he needs some help from his team defensively.  One player had a multi point game for Boston.  Guess who it was.  I bet you won’t get it right.  It was Rask with two assists!  David Pastrnak scored again to get his fourth of the season while Zdeno Chara found the back of the net once on an empty netter with three shots total while adding two PIM.  Blake Wheeler scored the Jets goal to maintain his torrid pace.

Tuesday’s Games:

Capitals 3, Avalanche 0 – Philipp Grubauer had his first career shutout and it couldn’t have been much easier needing only 18 saves.  The Avs were extremely flat after a big OT win in Pittsburgh the night before.  The big takeaway is that like last year, Grubauer is an excellent stream every time he starts.  Semyon Varlamov was great in the game keeping it close for a while stopping 37 of 40 shots.  The first line of the Capitals finally had a strong game in this one.  T.J. Oshie scored twice on six shots, Alex Ovechkin scored the other goal on five shots and added six penalty minutes while Evgeny Kuznetsov had an assist with four shots.  Marcus Johansson dished two power play assists and since he remains on the first unit, he’s a great streamer for assists / power play points.

Devils 2, Ducks 1 – The two Devils superstars won their team the game tonight.  Cory Schneider saved 23 of 24 shots while Taylor Hall scored his first two goals for the Devils with four total shots.  Corey Perry and Cam Fowler each had a power play assist to Sami Vatanen to maintain their strong starts.  There are a few things to take away.  One, don’t stream guys against the Devils.  Two, only stream Devils in the incredible matchups.  Three, the Ducks are a complete mess.  There is no four.

Sharks 3, Islanders 2 – Pavelski scored a late winner to have 5 points in 2 games like Burns.  Aaron Dell saved 21 of 23 shots in the spot start.  I’m not looking to stream him yet but it’s worth monitoring. I doubt Dell gets many starts though.  Joe Thornton tallied two assists while Tomas Hertl scored again. The biggest takeaway for the Islanders is Josh Bailey, who had an assist and more importantly played 22 minutes.  He’s an elite streamer at the moment.  Anthony Beauvillier scored his first career goal but with only 8 minutes of ice time, he’s not 12’er worthy at the moment.

Canadiens 4, Penguins 0 – I did not see this one coming.  Al Montoya bounced back in a big way stopping all 36 shots for the shutout and he managed to add an assist.  Carey Price is still coming back shortly but Montoya will be in elite streamer status every time he gets a start.  Max Pacioretty had a great game scoring a goal and an assist with six shots and four penalty minutes.  Patches looks great so far along with the rest of the first line.  Jeff Petry had two assists for his second straight multi-point game.  Hot schmotato alert!  It’s not going to last but if your last defenseman is struggling or just bad, grab Petry.  David Desharnais scored twice but I’m not a fan for fantasy purposes.  Alex Radulov had his first goal as a Canadien with three shots and six PIM.  I’m still not sure what to make of him but Radulov needs to be owned until the picture is clearer.

Senators 7, Coyotes 4 – Oh boy, another 7 goal 3rd period!  So many goals so far this season.  For the Coyotes, Mike Smith left injured in the third after 27 saves on 30 shots.  Louis Domingue came in the game in relief and was horrible allowing 3 goals on 11 shots.  There’s no update on Smith’s injury at this time but if you need short term starts, grab Domingue.  I don’t think he’s going to be good though.  Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored a goal on seven shots with two penalty minutes for his second consecutive strong game.  Jordan Martinook buried two goals but he’ll need a bigger role to be worthy of rostering in standard leagues.  Alex Goligoski dished two assists and should be owned in all leagues.  Dylan Strome had his first career point in his first career game while Connor Murphy tallied two assists with a shot and two penalty minutes.  I think Murphy is interesting for deep leagues but won’t be 12’er worthy this year, especially when Michael Stone returns.

This game needs two paragraphs with all of the scoring!  This was all about the big guns for me.  Karlsson had a goal and an assist with two shots; dude is a cheat code.  Kyle TurrisMike Hoffman and Mark Stone dominated in this one.  Turris went 1+1 with 2 SOG, Hoffman had 3 assists with 8 shots while Stone had 1+1 with 5 SOG and 2 PIM.  These guys are going to crush all season.  For deep leagues, Tom Pyatt has carved out a nice role and should be valuable.  Pyatt scored a goal and added a shorthanded assist with four shots and being +4.  He also played over 19 minutes so if that keeps up, he’ll push towards being on the streamer radar.

Lightning 4, Panthers 3 (SO) – This was the game of the night.  Steven Stamkos tied up the game with 6 seconds left on an absurd shot; he also had an assist and four shots.  Then Vincent Trocheck (goal, 4 SOG, 2 PIM) scored a shootout goal that I still have no freaking clue why it counted.  James Reimer stopped 25 of 28 shots in his Florida debut.  It was only okay but he was 6 seconds away from it being a great start.  Alex Killorn scored again and should be held for the time being.  Otherwise, nothing really stood out here, just two really good teams.

Stars 2, Predators 1 – Pekka Rinne was great stopping 35 of 37 shots but it wasn’t enough to get the win. Jason Spezza scored in the third to get the win from Antoine Roussel.  Roussel is fantasy relevant because of his penalty minutes but he’s rewarded owners early with three points this season.  Kari Lehtonen stopped 27 of 28 shots in the win but this won’t change that he’s in a timeshare.

Wild 6, Kings 3 – There are only two pointless teams in the league: Columbus, who isn’t a surprise but has only played two games, and the Kings.  I talked about how worrisome their depth is for a couple months now but it’s even worse than I thought.  Erik Haula and Jason Pominville each had a goal and an assist dominating the Kings bottom six.  Ryan Suter scored two assists with a shot while almost the rest of the Wild’s relevant fantasy players had a point.  Jeff Zatkoff was horrible allowing five goals on sixteen shots through two periods before he was pulled.  I’m still holding him but it may be worse than I originally expected.  Tanner Pearson scored twice from Jeff Carter putting Pearson back on the streaming radar.

Blackhawks 7, Flyers 4 – This game was insane.  The Blackhawks were up 4-0 with 2 minutes left in the second period and 3:49 into the third period the game was tied.  Then Chicago scored three goals in the final 10 minutes to make the score look ugly again.  For Chicago, we finally saw the big guns from last season step up.  Patrick Kane was a monster getting a goal, three assists, six shots and two penalty minutes.  Artemi Panarin erased his dreadful first three games with two goals and an assist plus four shots.  Their center, Artem Anisimov, had the best game of his career with two goals and two assists with three shots.  Arty is an elite streamer but I’m still not sure I’d hold him in 12’ers.  Brent Seabrook dished three assists while Marian Hossa scored his 500th career goal.

For the Flyers, Claude Giroux lead the comeback with three assists.  Travis Konecny had an assist for the third straight game.  Brayden Schenn returns in the Flyers next game so now we will see what role Konecny has with their full lineup.  Wayne Simmonds scored for the second straight game with six shots while Jakub Voracek had two assists and two shots.  The interesting guy is Matt Read who scored twice on three shots.  He was on the first power play unit which I don’t expect to last with Schenn back.  He’s worth keeping an eye on just to see if he gets to be a streamer.

Flames 4, Sabres 3 (OT) – Ughhhh.  My Sabres blow a lead three times before the Flames won in overtime thanks to some poor officiating. First the referee is out of position and blocks a clear leading directly to a Flames goal.  Then Sean Monahan gets away with a clear boarding penalty on Sam Reinhart in overtime and subsequently scores the winner.  Anyways, Ryan O’Reilly scored a goal on five shots while Rasmus Ristolainen had an assist maintaining their strong starts.  Matt Tkachuk scored his first career goal but the minutes aren’t there right now to even stream him.  Mark Giordano dished two assists and added three shots and four penalty minutes.  My biggest takeaway from this game is that Calgary is pretty unimpressive.  I think this team is closer to last year than two season ago.

Oilers 3, Hurricanes 2 – For Carolina, Lee Stempniak scored both goals on three shots.  Streamer success!  We talked about Stemp on the last podcast but for now, I’m holding him.  Victor Rask had two assists with four shots while Jeff Skinner tallied an assist with six shots.  I’m really like this first line right now.  Cam Talbot bounced back after his disastrous start on Sunday with 31 saves on 33 shots.  Leon Draisaitl extended his point streak with an assist and Jordan Eberle scored once on four shots.  Connor McDavid went pointless for the second straight game, what a bum!

Canucks 2, Blues 1 (OT) – Pardon the language but how in the fuck are the Canucks 3-0!?  They found a way to get a late equalizer again, this time from Bo Horvat with 2:55 left before the Cyborgs teamed up for the overtime winner.  It was Horvat’s second straight game with a goal which puts him right on the edge of hold versus streamer in 12’ers.  Jacob Markstrom saved 23 of 24 shots for the win and while I still think the Canucks are going to fall off a cliff sooner than later (they’ve played with a lead for exactly 0 seconds this year), their goaltending starts aren’t must avoid anymore.  Jake Allen was so close to a shutout but instead finished with 24/26.  Vladimir Tarasenko scored again on six shots and is completely dominating games right now.

Wednesday Streamers – There are only two games on the slate so options are extremely limited.  Basically, I’d try to grab the best players available regardless of matchup.  I expect the Jets to come out strong against the Leafs while I like the Rangers against the Wings the way NYR is playing.  For guys under 20%, my three preferences are J.T. Miller, Kevin Hayes and Mathieu Perreault.

That’s all for now guys.  With only two games on the slate tonight, there won’t be any daily notes until Friday morning.  The plan is to record another podcast with Reid today to go up on Thursday morning so be on the lookout for that.  I will also include streamers for Thursday in that podcast post.  As always, feel free to ask any questions and leave any comments below.  Take care!

  1. Mantis Tobaggan MD says:
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    now with this:
    C s.bennett/henrique/kuznetsov/turris/nielsen/filppula/
    LW j.larsson/martinook/stalberg/r.o’reilly/s.wilson/nieto
    RW clutterbuck/donskoi/hornqvist/sharp
    D de haan/a.martinez/methot/pesce/shattenkirk/severson/tanev/provorov
    G m.jones/rask
    IR/IR+ kalinin/j.mitchell/gaborki/demers/hemsky/salamaki
    minors:
    C – c.cassels, cousins, vatrano, paquette
    LW – martinsen (COL)
    RW jt brown/pakarinen
    D corrado/edmundson/fabbro/sergachev/santini/c.murphy/golubef/cholowski
    G – blackwood/hammond/kuemper/mcdonald CGY/treutie

    all of these players available, due either to just being FA or from the 2 rosters we are condensing down. waivers go off tomorrow night (i’m 13th waiver), so i’ll get at least

    this order look about right (yr rankings spots for the obvious ones):
    1st set (13 guys so i’m guaranteed one of them): simmonds (24), panarin (45), rinne (59), e.kane (89), trocheck (93), oshie (95), palmieri (119), suter (133), keith (134), zetterberg (159), little (160), n.ritchie, hanifin (with probably moving some above zetterberg from age)

    here’s where it gets harder since we have these NHL’ers:
    C -backlund, sutter, bonino, lindberg
    LW – panik, nelson, di giuseppe, pearson
    RW – pominville, t.mitchell, neil, fast, m.johansson, eaves (and i only have 3 RW total on active roster healthy)
    D – (quite a few possibly better than pesce/severson/tanev): stone, russell, hamhuis, beachemin, sekera, del zotto, orpik, holden, ericsson, nurse
    G – raanta, tokarski
    and these prospects:
    faksa, m.stephens, gudlevskis, g.reinhart, morin

    so that is just over 39 players, meaning i’ll get at least 3 of them. guessing with the higher ranked prospects (stephens/reinhart/morin) i should rank just higher than guys ranked back end like you have (stone, pearson), then yr backend guys, then NHL’ers not ranked at all by you (bonino/panik/sutter/fast etc) then lower prospects like gudlevskis (over one of my weakest goalie prospects)/faksa etc.

    • Mantis Tobaggan MD says:
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      @Mantis Tobaggan MD: actually morin isn’t that highly ranked, him and faksa probably on same plane.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Yeah that would be my general plan although there’s a lot of guys in that second group I would move up. Nelson, Bonino, Eaves, Panik, Johansson are all much better than the other forwards there.

      • Mantis Tobaggan MD says:
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        @Viz: good call, couple of specific things

        1. which of my two least prospect goalies (going with assumption hamburglar/kuemper have at least some value as one injury away from starting and possible streamers for me, and blackwood is big prospect name goalie) mcdonald/krutie is worst? i know you like gudlevskis as likely backup at TB post trade. while he’s not in higher tier of prospects i’ll try to get he is best out of lower group, maybe even ahead of morin for me specifically since i have like stupid D prospect depth for an 18 teamer

        2. i was just about to ask that very thing about how you’d order the NHL forward list. so sutter/backlund (similar players those 2) are behind all of above listed. good to know.
        what about these vs my worst 3 D men active (severson/pesce/tanev):russell, hamhuis, beachemin, sekera, del zotto, orpik, holden, ericsson, nurse. i used to think ericsson had almost no value (but now 2 games in a row of major PIMs). nurse clearly at top of that list for upside and could minor him too. severson you’ve mentioned last time as being first dropped, but wonder where you’d stop the line as far as dropping him with those guys.

        3. when you say “move up the nelson…johansson group” how far up, above some of the guys you have ranked higher or just above all the non-top prospects (also virtanen i forgot to mention, he’s seemingly a slightly lesser RW ritchie). i’m assuming the top prospects being ritchie/hanifin/virtanen (this based on their prospect grades/draft slots and top 10 lists from sources)

        • Viz

          Viz says:
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          1) Yes, McDonald and Krutie

          2) I still wouldn’t overreact to Ericsson, you can’t expect anywhere near this to continue. I have personally thrown in the towel on Nurse, I just don’t see it in him. If you had him, I’d definitely throw him in the minors. Also Severson clearly has more value in a league like this. It honestly depends on what categories you want for all of these guys, rankings them all seems like an exercise in futility.

          3) I would put Nelson either right in front or behind Ritchie in your list above. Then the other guys behind the top prospects.

          • Mantis Tobaggan MD says:
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            @Viz: yeah, at least severson can get points. need some of those guys at back end. sorry, it’s treutle the goalie playing in germany and not signed by anybody.

            • Viz

              Viz says:
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              @Mantis Tobaggan MD: Right, agreed. Still dumping him among your goalies.

  2. Mantis Tobaggan MD says:
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    GREAT news! espn isn’t F’ing around as much as we feared, panarin/pasternak at least have gotten correct positioning, i’m sure there are others.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      They’re usually good about fixing them, I just have no idea why they’re so horrible to begin with.

      • Mantis Tobaggan MD says:
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        @Viz: they appear to be even better about fixing them this year than yahoo baseball is. panarin/fabbri are 2 very weird counterexamples to what i just said, as they spent last year playing LITERALLY ZERO center, yet enter this year in espn as ONLY CENTERS! even yahoo fixed that in preseason.

        • Viz

          Viz says:
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          @Mantis Tobaggan MD: Yeah I complained about it on the podcast and that’s why I made 9F spots for RCL’s. They change it right when the season starts but there’s no excuses for it to be wrong in preseason when they played literally no center last season.

  3. Saints says:
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    HAy VIz great Job thank you 🙂
    You haven’t mentioned the remarkable 5 shots of devante pelly smith and his uptick in PP Time. Is it not a big deal for you ? I saw it and was thinking Wow thats a thing Viz will talk about.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Saints: thanks! I don’t think it’s too big of a deal because DSP isn’t a true offensive threat, if he got to 40 points in a season it’d be a pretty big surprise. I guess it puts him on the streamer radar but generally I avoid streaming in Devils games because of how low scoring they generally are.

  4. Jensen says:
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    Cam Talbot for president. Still under 50% ownership in ESPN. Crazy.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      I’m pretty sure it’s because he’s horrible. If you want to pick him up and dance with the devil, go ahead, but the only thing you may get is decent wins. The goals against average and save percentage are going to be dreadful with the defense in front of him.

      • Mantis Tobaggan MD says:
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        @Viz: until nurse hits his ceiling in about 2 more years. hehe

  5. Mr. Rickey says:
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    10 team roto league. I drafted Quick and Bobrovsky and picked up Zatkoff. I’m dead last is all Goalie categories. The only starters or sort-of starters available are:

    F. Andersen
    Craig Anderson
    Hellebuyck
    Cam Ward

    Does it make sense to make a move? If so, drop Quick for one of the above? Or Zatkoff and hold Quick? Or should I just stream back-ups when they play? I’m also sitting on Eichel and Evander Kane so I don’t have a lot of bench space.

    Thoughts appreciated.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Mr. Rickey: it sucks but for now, I’d probably just stand pat and give things a little more time.

    • Jensen says:
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      @Mr. Rickey: What goalie cats are you playing/scoring style? I drafted Quick in a league but luckily its H2H not roto so I’m just going to stream goalies like a MF’er and try to win W’s and saves every week even if the %’s suck. Better to lose two cats than 4.

  6. Man Of Steel says:
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    Can you put the following forwards in tiers for me? PTS=3, PP PTS =2, SOG =.4
    Ehlers
    Nylander
    Marner
    Reinart
    Bennett
    Backulund
    Marchessault
    Palat

    I am sure a lot of these guys are close so if you could tier them that would be great thanks!

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Man so many of these guys are extremely close, this could change in a few days. I guess something like:

      Reinhart
      Marner
      Nylander
      Palat
      Ehlers
      Marchessault

      Bennett
      Backlund

      You could convince me to rearrange the top 6 in any order, really. Bennett’s slow start and my lack of belief in Backlund puts them a tier lower.

  7. Shitwolf says:
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    hey viz hows it going today… in my own hockey I played D finished with 2 hits (none contact league) an assist and 3 shots on goal but we only had 8 guys show up vs the 1st place team… game ended with a fight and our goalie skating to center ice to shit talk… fuck i love beer league

    lost 8-5 dang… bahaha anyway I wrote you in the other thread but I guess that one is dust now….
    my weeks toast due to injuries/suspension, my IR slot is now eichel, but murray still on WW i guess he is 1-2 weeks away? should i drop hellboy for him and go with a short bench or wait and hope nobody grabs him?

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Hey man, things are well, about to record a podcast with Reid for tomorrow. Haha I love it, nothing like beer league fights. I must have missed the question before so sorry for the delayed answer. Hmm, that’s a close call because the way Fleury is playing, I think Murray is going to be close to an even split like Hellebuyck is in right now. I think you can make the move now if you want to because a) Hellboy isn’t playing tonight, Hutch is and b) the Jets only other game this week is Sunday against Edmonton which could be a 7-5 game, not sure you’d want that start from Hellboy anyways.

  8. Scott says:
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    Sit Zatkoff @Dallas tomorrow?

    • Jensen says:
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      @Viz: @Viz: @Scott: Seriously doubt Zatkoff gets the start.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Scott: Yes, even if he plays. With a bigger slate, I’ll look elsewhere.

  9. Scott says:
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    Tomorrow, who sits?
    Fleury vs SJ
    Montoya vs Arizona
    Niemi vs LA

    • Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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      @Scott: for ratios it’s niemi.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Scott: It’s early to say because there’s a good chance one of these guys, especially Montoya, don’t play tomorrow. Right now, I’d lean towards Montoya because the Kings are a dumpster fire while the Coyotes are playing wide open but it’s close between those two.

  10. When will FantasyPros allow us to download our hockey teams and have a dashboard like they do for their football? Not to talk about a different website, as I will always read your articles on Razz Ball, but u work for them too right? It would be even better for hockey. That would be great.

    • What's a Drexl? says:
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      @madden_curser: razz guys don’t “work” for them in the sense you appear to mean. they send their rankings to them (weekly and/or predraft), fantasy pros uses them, it benefits both sides. my guess is if you can’t do it like in football they haven’t yet set up that aparatus (they do have the best mock draft software around though, which i’m sure you used for football and/or baseball, as i do)

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