He hasn’t been talked about much but as far as disappointments go, Ryan Johansen is near the top of the list.  It wasn’t that long ago that he was a 22 year old scoring 33 goals and 30 assists, followed up by 26+45.  Johansen had 4 straight 60+ point seasons before this year and to be blunt, he’s been awful compared to his high standards.  Johansen had his best game in quite some time Thursday, dishing three assists and putting three shots on goal in the 5-0 win over the Kings.  The main reason I’m encouraged by this?  Filip Forsberg.  The Swedish star returned from injury on Thursday and immediately went onto Johansen’s wing.  Still, five goals and under 1.5 shots per game on the season isn’t going to get it done for Johansen owners.  In the last three games, Johansen has at least three shots on goal, so I think he’s going to keep building.  I don’t think we see Columbus Johansen again, but I don’t see why last season’s Johansen can be back for the rest of the season.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:

Frederik Andersen – 28 save shutout in the 5-0 win over the Islanders.  Andersen has been spectacular this season with a .922 save percentage.  If the Leafs can upgrade the blue line in the offseason, we could be looking at a potential top 5 goalie.

Auston Matthews – Goal and two assists with four shots over two games.  He’s become a master of consistency at the ripe old age of 20.

Travis Dermott – Goal and two assists with seven shots over two games.  The former second round pick has shown some upside following Rielly’s injury.  I see some long term upside but for now, leave him on the wire.

Justin Holl – A goal in his first two NHL games.  Holl was a second round but finally made the NHL at 26 years old.  Nice story but it’ll take more than this to convince me there’s anything here.

Curtis McElhinney – 25 save shutout in the 4-0 win over the Rangers.  Use him in quality matchups and fade him in the tough ones.

Martin Jones – 43 saves on 44 shots in the 2-1 SO loss to the Red Wings.  I was shocked that Jones started both games in the back to back.  Nice for him to have a great game but there have been a ton of duds lately too.  You have to keep rolling him but I’m not expecting much of a bounce back.

Petr Mrazek -30 saves on 31 shots earning the win.  He’s been excellent and should be owned everywhere while he’s on fire.  We’ve seen Mrazek put together prolonged periods of success before and could be traded to a playoff team as well.

Nolan Patrick – Goal and an assist with two PIM Wednesday, shot and two PIM Thursday.  Been quite the disappointing season for the second overall pick.  I don’t love his long term fantasy upside but it’s certainly going to be better than this. In redrafts, he’s a bottom end streamer at best.

Jakub Voracek – Goal and two assists with two shots and two PIM over two games.  He’s almost at an assist per game on the season!  Unbelievable year for Jake.

Wayne Simmonds – Goal and two assists with four shots.  I suspect that Simmonds is going to get on a decent run down the stretch.  He’s so consistent year in and year out.

Shayne Gostisbehere – Goal and an assist with six shots.  The assist rate is easily a career best and the shot rate is also peaking.  There’s a good chance that Ghost Bear will be a #1D next season.

Lars Eller – Two assists with two shots.  Same old story for Eller: nice player in real life but doesn’t do much for us in the fantasy realm.

John Carlson – Two assists with a shot and two PIM.  Carlson has been terrific as he’s played like the #1 fantasy defenseman he was before last season’s debacle.  Best shot rate by a large margin and Carlson is almost certainly going to set a career high in assists.

Chandler Stephenson – Two goals.  It’s nice that Stephenson has established himself as an NHL player, but all you need to know for fantasy is that Stephenson has 21 shots on goal in 38 games.

Kyle Palmieri – Goal and an assist with two shots.  As I’ve been writing about for a bit now, Palmieri is due to some positive regression and should be owned everywhere.  Also, he was scummed by Radko Gudas and it would be nice if he was suspended for the rest of the season.  It’s a joke that he still have to deal with him targeting players.

Pavel Zacha – Two assists with three shots.  I’m still a big believer in Zacha’s long term offensive upside but it looks like it’ll be another year or two before he puts it together.

Jake Allen – 43 saves on 45 shots in the 3-1 loss to the Bruins.  I’d have a few people ask me what to do with Allen, and I apologize for not really mentioning him while I drive the Hutton bandwagon.  I still think you have to hold tight with Allen because Hutton could fall off at any time and Allen’s starts will still be useful regardless.

Ryan Spooner – Two assists with two shots.  He’s back on the first power play unit and the second line looks better so Spooner is back to being a quality streamer.

Tuukka Rask – 32 saves on 33 shots earning the win.  Rask has been outstanding for three months straight.  My only concern is volume because this Bruins team is a powerhouse.

Keith Yandle – Goal and two assists with four shots.  Yandle has been quite boring to own this season but it’s good enough across the board that he’s simply a plug and play.

Evander Kane – Three shots and nineteen penalty minutes.  He’s really struggling offensively and looks like he just wanted to be traded.  Tough situation when you know it’s inevitable and have to wait it out.  If his owner is impatient, I’d buy low on Kane.

Cam Ward – 27 save shutout in the 2-0 win over the Canadiens.  Two takeaways here.  One, it’s the same deal with Ward.  You can feel relatively safe playing him in prime matchups and avoiding him in mediocre or poor ones.  Two, starting every goalie against Montreal seems like a must, and it’s only going to be better if they move Patches.

Mike Condon – 30 saves on 31 shots in the 2-1 OT win over the Ducks.  Hard pass for me.  Before this game, Condon has 3 wins in 14 starts with a 3.43/.899.  Yep, no thanks.

Erik Karlsson – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM.  Obviously this season has been very disappointing for Karlsson, but I can’t help but think no matter where he finishes the season (I doubt they move him now), he’s going to bounce back.  Be patient if you have him.

Mike Hoffman – Two assists with five shots.  Speaking of disappointments, the Hoff man is well behind his usual goal pace.  Why is that?  Oh, his shooting percentage is far below his norm.  I think he’s a great trade target in fantasy because he’s already due for positive regression.  If Hoffman gets traded to a better spot, he could have a monster finish.

David Perron – Goal and an assist with three shots.  Unlike the Corsi God and the others on his line, I expect Perron to fall off a bit down the stretch.  That said, he still needs to be owned everywhere, I’d just try to sell high if you could.

Joel Armia – Goal and an assist.  Armia’s overall game has been terrific but it doesn’t do much for us fantasy players.

Kyle Connor – Goal and an assist with two PIM.  He’s out of the top six at the moment dropping Connor to top end streamer instead of hold.

Pekka Rinne – 19 save shutout in the 5-0 win over the Kings.  Not going to get any easier than that for Rinne as they demolished the Kings.

Alex Killorn – Two goals and two assists with four shots.  In the previous eight games, Killorn had 0 points with 9 total SOG and below 15 minutes of ice time per game.  In other words, it’ll take more than one game for me to start streaming him again.

Matthew Peca – Goal and two assists with four shots.  Great story of a 7th rounder becoming a factor on the best team in the league.  He played over 17 minutes in this game so Peca is definitely worth monitoring.

Cory Conacher – Two goals.  Nothing here but just wanted to give him a shoutout as a Canisius College alum like yours truly and my podcast compatriot.

Yanni Gourde – Two assists with a shot and five PIM.  Gourde is teetering right on the edge between streamer or hold.  I kind of lean hold but it depends on team needs and league categories.

Mikael Backlund – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM.  If you need PIM, Backlund is a great choice since he’s playing at a 55 point pace.

Dougie Hamilton – Two assists with two shots.  It’s insane that Dougie doesn’t play the most minutes of everyone on the Flames.  He’s a monster, plain and simple.

T.J. Brodie – Two assists with three shots.  And here’s a guy who regularly plays more than Hamilton and I don’t understand it.  I wouldn’t touch Brodie in fantasy.

Nathan MacKinnon – Out two weeks.  Brutal for the Avalanche as MacKinnon was playing at an MVP level.

Gabriel Landeskog – Two assists with a shot.  The Kog will be needed big time with MacKinnon out.  It will probably cause him a small fantasy downtick in the short term but I wouldn’t panic.

Connor McDavid – Two goals on four shots.  It is absolutely incredible that a team with McJesus is going to miss the playoffs.  It hurts my brain that it’s possible.

Leon Draisaitl – Two assists with a shot.  He’s back on McDavid’s wing giving him a massive boost while that lasts.

Kari Lehtonen – 17 saves on 18 shots in the 4-1 win over the Coyotes.  Easy game for Lehtonen on Thursday.  Use him only in the best of matchups.

Devin Shore – Goal and an assist with five shots.  As long as he’s on the first power play unit, Shore is a solid streamer.

Duncan Keith – Two assists with four shots.  He’s never been a big goal scorer but it’s remarkable that Keith is goalless through 51 games.  The assists are solid but man, I’m glad I have zero Keith stock this year.

Brendan Gaunce – Two goals.  I really liked Gaunce in his draft year but he hasn’t panned out.  I kind of gave up on him but I suppose it’s not impossible that he finds his game at 23 years old.  I wouldn’t hold my breath though.

Troy Stecher – Two assists with two PIM.  He had 3 points in 36 games before Thursday so nothing to really see here.

That’s all for now guys.  Apologies for not having a podcast on Thursday; my computer crashed and I’m still trying to see if it’s recoverable.  I’ll be back on Monday recapping the weekend’s action.  Please ask any questions, leave any comments, or give any suggestions below.  Thanks for reading, take care!

  1. Chris says:

    Hey Viz,

    Would you rather have Tyler Johnson or Atkinson for the rest of the year?
    H2H G/A/PIM/PPP/GWG/+-

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Chris: I’d go with Johnson, SOG is Atkinson’s one potential edge and you don’t have that. Atkinson struggled mightily to this point and Johnson’s upside is just as high so I’ll go the safer route.

  2. Steven Boyle says:

    Best part of that Gudas hit was that he absolutely got his @$$ kicked by Travis Zajac afterwards, response I love to see as a Devils fan. Gudas can rot in hell along with the rest of Philly.

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Steven Boyle: Did love that, probably should have mentioned that. And of course, somehow Gudas isn’t getting suspended. Oh, I know why, that’s the NHL wheel of justice for you

  3. Speaking of guys not getting it done for owners, any thoughts on Nicklas Backstrom? Here are his pts. last 7 games in our league; 4, 1, 4, 1.5, 1.5, 5, 7.5, 0.5. Last season he was great, but his shooting % is down & he has been slumping a bit. I guess he is at 9 goals & 36 NHL pts. in 42 games, 0.86 per. Not terrible, but not great either. He is historically a steady producer. Do you see him performing better for the stretch run? Kuznetsov has 16 pts. with the man advantage, averaging 3:47 of ice time there and plays along side Ovi. Is Kuznetsov stealing Backstrom’s thunder? Maybe just a regression to the norm from last season? Any predictions on him? Nobody beats the Viz!

      • Viz

        Viz says:

        @madden_curser: First, I’ll go Hoffman in a better matchup. Secondly, I’m not a huge fan of Backstrom, especially in points leagues. I think he’ll be fine and maintain a point pace not that far behind point per game. So in that regard, he should be better than he’s been lately, but I don’t see last season’s Backstrom coming back. He’s certainly capable, but the Caps PP is running differently than in the past. It’s going through everybody, not Backstrom to Carlson to Ovechkin or whoever to Backstrom to Ovechkin over and over again. I don’t think it’s directly Kuznetsov’s doing, it’s a culmination of multiple things. If you can get a great return based on his name value, I’d go for it, but I don’t think he’ll be a disaster that you definitely have to sell off.

  4. JJ says:

    Hey Viz,
    I have a bit of a logjam at D with Rielly back. Who is the drop here?
    I also have Ghost and Rielly but they have been pretty consistent.

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @JJ: Don’t feel strongly about this but would lean Parayko

      • JJ says:

        Hmm. I was leaning more Ellis. OEL has easily been the worst with his +/- but has righted the ship a little lately. Surprising

        • Viz

          Viz says:

          @JJ: Yeah, I didn’t really consider OEL, I was between Parayko and Ellis. Guys just aren’t going to finish -60 like OEL was on pace for.

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