Last year’s point leader for defensemen is off to an even better start this season.  John Carlson had a goal and two assists on Monday, bringing his totals to 5/8/+6/6/19/8 through eight games.  It was hard to see any upside from last season’s totals, but some shooting percentage luck could have Carlson around 20+50.  Add in a quality plus-minus, and there’s a chance that Carlson ends up the #1 defenseman for the season.  It’s far from a guarantee, but it’s abundantly clear through three weeks that last season’s big breakout was no fluke.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:

Semyon Varlamov – 37 saves on 38 shots in the 4-1 win over the Flyers.  Varly has the clear upper hand right now for the Avs goaltending situation.  I’d roll with it while that’s the case, and in roto leagues, I’d try to get Grubauer and have both.

Mikko Rantanen – Two goals on three shots.  He is going to get paid this offseason, big time.  He’s unbelievable.

Gabriel Landeskog – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM.  Speaking of insane starts, Landeskog’s stat line: 8/4/+12/8/28 in 9 games.  Silly.

Petr Mrazek – 20 saves on 21 shots in the 3-1 win over Detroit.  This revenge game says more about Detroit than Mrazek.  Carolina manhandled the Red Wings, and I’d stream every starting goalie against the Red Wings right now.

Ryan O’Reilly – Goal and two assists with four shots.  RoR’s start in St. Louis couldn’t be any better from an individual perspective.

David Perron – Goal and an assist with five shots.  Perron’s hot start earned him a place on RoR’s wing.  The problem is that he has 14 shots in 8 games.  On the other hand, we saw push a point per game last season with a poor shot rate, so perhaps that happens again?  Perron probably should be owned, but I don’t love it.

Vince Dunn  – Goal and an assist with five shots and two PIM.  Dunn has been a personal favorite for a long time, and now he’s getting PP1 time.  He’s worth owning everywhere.

Mark Scheifele – Two goals and two assists with five shots.  I still can’t believe that ESPN had him ranked outside of the top 50.  Then again, they’re basically beta testing their new software throughout their fantasy sports leagues right now.  Absolutely hilarious and pathetic on both counts.

Ben Chiarot – Goal and an assist with two shots.  And there’s your annual Chiarot update!

Alex Ovechkin – Two goals and two assists with seven shots.  Safe to say the Canucks had no chance against the studs of Washington, as Nicklas Backstrom dished three assists and T.J. Oshie had a goal and an assist.  You know what to do with these guys.  Expert advice!

Jonathan Huberdeau – Two assists with two shots and two PIM.  Solid start for Huberdeau across the board.

Mika Zibanejad – Two goals and two assists with five shots and two PIM.  Oh, Mika, you’re so fine!  The shot rate is insane right now, to the point where 5 goals in 9 games is in line with his career shooting percentage.  If I had noticed he was available in almost 50% of leagues, I’d have started the post about him instead of Carlson.  Go grab him immediately if he’s available in your league.

Mats Zuccarello – Two goals.  Zucc is right on the fringe.  I’d somewhat lean hold but I don’t feel great about that.  At the least, he’s an elite streamer.

Neal Pionk – Two assists with a shot playing almost 26 minutes.  He’s QB’ing the top PP unit which is enough to make him worth considering.  It looks to be very AAGNOF so grab him depending on team needs.

Darcy Kuemper – 35 saves on 36 shots in the 4-1 win over Columbus.  I wouldn’t be counting on this from Kuemper.  I could see using him in the best of matchups, but that’s it.

Christian Fischier – Hat trick on four shots.  Fischier has jumped to middling streamer status given that the shot rate is pushing three per game.

Derek Stepan – Three assists.  He started off poorly, but Stepan has been receiving huge minutes.  He’s only a streamer, but he could switch to a hold sooner than later.

Matthew Tkachuk – Two assists with a shot.  He’s been a star this season and he still doesn’t turn 21 for almost two months.  The upside is through the roof.

Mikael Backlund – Two assists with a shot.  Backlund is better for deep leagues because of his steadiness across the board.  For 12’ers, I’d prefer to stream him, but it’s getting closer because the shot rate is approaching elite status.

Jeff Petry – Goal and an assist with three shots and four PIM while being -2 in a 3-2 win.  I mention the plus-minus because the story is the same for Petry.  Everything will be solid but the plus-minus, so do you want to stomach it?

Jonathan Drouin – Goal and an assist with three shots.  He’s on fire with seven points in his last five games.  I still see Drouin as a streamer, but if you want to hold him while he’s hot, that’s fine.

Max Domi – Two assists with three shots and two PIM.  Same story as Drouin above.

Tuukka Rask – 38 saves on 39 shots in the 4-1 win over the Sens.  Nice to see Rask get back on track in a game that he faced high shot volume.  He’ll be fine going forward.

David Pastrnak – Two goals and two assists with five shots.  At this rate, he’ll be a first round pick in drafts next season.

Patrice Bergeron – Goal and two assists with two shots.  Another player who is having an insane start, Bergeron has 16 points in 9 games with over 3 shots per game.

David Krejci – Goal and an assist with three shots.  It’ll be assist heavy, but Krejci is on the top PP unit, so you can certainly justify a hold if you’re in need of those categories.

Brent Burns – Goal and two assists with three shots.  He’s really starting to get rolling with 10 points over his last 6 games.  Brent Burns doing Brent Burns things!

Logan Couture – Two assists with three shots.  Same story as Burns, with 10 points over his last 8 games, including 7 in the last 3.

Evander Kane – Two assists with a shot and two PIM.  Kane has been spectacular to open the season with a point per game, 25 PIM and 38 SOG.

Tomas Hertl – Goal and an assist with five shots.  Seven points over the last four for Hertl solidifying him as a hold.

Timo Meier – Goal and an assist with three shots.  Six game point streak for Meier as the former ninth overall pick is starting to come into his own.  I prefer to hold him because it’s only going to get better.  Huge favorite of mine for dynasties.

Viktor Arvidsson – Two goals and an assist with three shots and two PIM.  The first line of the Predators dominated this game, but the Sharks scored two PP goals and another short handed.  Ryan Johansen and Filip Forsberg also had two points each as this line is playing among the league’s best.  Johansen’s shot rate is back over two per game which is massive for his future outlook.

Corey Crawford – 24 saves on 25 shots in the 3-1 win over the Ducks.  Nice, easy win against this mess of a Ducks team.  Crawford has been great since returning.

Brandon Saad – Two goals on seven shots.  The goals were on special teams, but Saad looked much better going back on Kane’s wing.  I’d look to stream him in the short term and see what develops.

Jason Spezza – Goal and an assist with two PIM.  He’s a middling streamer at best until the minutes increase.

John Klingberg – Goal and an assist with two shots.  Great start for Klingberg as he’s at a point per game and the shot rate is better than ever.

Devin Shore – Two assists with a shot.  Six shots in eight games makes Shore irrelevant.

Tyler Pitlick – Goal on three shots.  I highlighted Pitlick because Seguin and Benn were asked by Montgomery who they wanted to play with them with Radulov being out and they both said Pitlick.  He delivered, and makes for a great streamer until Radulov returns.

Patric Hornqvist – Two goals and an assist with five shots.  Hornqvist was off to a rough start with one point in six games before this explosion.  I know this isn’t what you want to hear as a Hornqvist owner, but you can really go either way with him.  I’m fine with cutting him, fine with giving him a little more time.

Matt Cullen – Two assists with three shots.  Couldn’t care less.

Sidney Crosby – Two goals on five shots.  He was also goal less going into this game, but McDavid brought out the best of Crosby.  Look for him to get on a tear sooner than later.

Phil Kessel – Two assists with a shot.  Only two shots per game is very unlike Kessel, but the points have still been there.  Look for a shooting binge in the short term.

Jamie Oleksiak – Two goals with seven PIM.  I like Oleksiak in deep leagues for the big PIM/hits/blocks combo.

Kris Russell – Two assists with a shot.  Russell is absolutely atrocious at hockey, the end.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Two assists with three shots.  Life is good for RNH playing with Connor McDavid (1+1, 8 SOG).  Side note, McDavid played almost 29 minutes in this game.  Absolutely insane.

Alex Chiasson – Two goals.  Chiasson is now shooting 100% on the season.  Sustainable!

Leon Draisaitl – Two goals on three shots.  I’m not sure what is going on with Draisaitl.  Eleven shots in seven games isn’t going to cut it.  Now, eight points in seven games is obviously great, but that shot rate really needs to jump if he’s going to be a top 50 player.

That’s all for now guys.  I’ll be back on Friday with my next set of notes.  Be sure to leave any questions, comments, or suggestions below.  Thanks for reading, take care!

  1. MarvPesos

    marv says:


    Great write up.

    10-tm H2H cat Keeper (keep10), stats (G, A, +/-, PIM, PPP, SHP, GWG, SOG), (W, GAA, SV, SHO), 25 moves per year MAX, no streaming
    C, C, C, LW, LW, LW, RW, RW, RW, D, D, D, D, Util, G, G, BN, BN, BN, BN, BN, BN

    I typically wait about 10 games until I review how my team is shaking up, but I looked today haha

    Some of my low end guys, slow performers are: B. Saad, J. Eberle, N. Bjugstad

    And some interesting names on the wire: P. Hornqvist, K. Yamamoto, T. Koneckny, M. Zibanejad, J. Drouin, A. Lowry, D. Perron, C Tierney

    Most guys in my league are pretty active so some of those top guys will be gone in the next couple days, any moves you’d make ?

    thanks bud

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @marv: I love Zibanejad in this format, and think Hornqvist and Perron are worth considering. I would definitely grab Mika and the other two depend on how many moves you want to make this early. I would have said cut Saad for sure before yesterday, which now has me debating. I think I kind of lean him still, but you could convince me on Bjugstad not being on PP1. I’d give Eberle a bit more time unless you want to grab all three of those guys.

  2. Ashtray says:

    I threw Saros out there last night due to all the hype and it ended up biting me in the ass. Continue to hold him or lose him if I also have F. Andersen and Crawford?

    12 team h2h 7×7

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Ashtray: being 7×7 iwould definitely hold. I would regardless, one bad start doesn’t change that he’s a top 10 goalie with Rinne down, but the extra cats make it even more mandatory

    • The Harrow says:

      @Ashtray: why wouldn’t you have played saros yesterday, do you have like a 1 goalie start per week min thing here or something? should we get mad when gibson doesn’t get a win too?

  3. christian herman says:

    Would you rather have ekman larsson or Hischier and Montour

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @christian herman: I don’t care for Montour, but i’d Take Hischier alone over OEL

  4. Jumponit says:

    Do you have any concerns on Quick? He has been struggling mightily – wondering if he will be the 2017 Carey Price. When should we think about cutting?

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Jumponit: Definitely, the Kings look super slow and quite frankly, awful. That said, I’m not to the point where I’d consider cutting him yet.

  5. dubjay says:

    Hey Viz,
    Is it a no brainer to pickup Pietrangelo off of waivers? I see that he is still playing a ton of minutes but dont like the fact that Dunn has taken over his spot on the top powerplay.
    Other FA D include

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @dubjay: Over those guys, absolutely. I’m not too worried about Pietrangelo, the units are fairly even. Sure, the top one has Tarasenko, but it also has Bozak and Maroon. It gives Dunn a boost more than hurts Pietrangelo, but I still prefer Pietrangelo given the work load.

      • dubjay says:

        Thanks Viz.
        Got him off waivers. With the Panarin trade, now the team looks like this.
        Pretty happy with that group. When the 2 for 1 deal goes through, I will have an empty slot to fill. Was thinking of grabbing either D.Brown, B.Tkachuk or S.Weber to put in my IR slot. Then grabbing one of these FAs. Ideally I would like a backup RW or RW/LW. Could also switch out either of my bench guys

  6. Marco Aurélio Corrêa Cordeiro da Silva says:

    Hey man, let’s see if this one is worth it.
    I send Perron + Werenski
    The guy sends Max Pac + Dahlin
    Catergories are G, A, PIM, PPG, PPA, SHG, SHA, FOW, FOL, HAT, SOG, HIT, BLK.
    BLK and SOG gives the same points.
    He has other players of interest such as Mittelstadt and Svechnikov.
    My C are Larkin, Karlsson, T.Johnson, Eichel, Backlund my RW are a bit weaker Fischer, Rantanen, Noesen, E.Rodrigues, Nichushkin, Rattie.
    Maybe your clearer mind can think of somthing out, that I can’t.
    Thanks in advance.

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Marco Aurélio Corrêa Cordeiro da Silva: There’s no keepers in play, correct? This is close, mostly because Dahlin isn’t that valuable right now, but should be before the end of the season. I think I would hold off and keep your two. Patches’ minutes are down quite a bit right now and I’m not sure it’ll change in Vegas.

  7. Jonathan says:

    Salary Keeper league:

    G A P PP +- Hits

    Zacha or Bennett

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Jonathan: Honestly, I really wouldn’t want either. I’d say Bennett right now, Zacha long term, so it depends what you’re looking for. Just have a hard time believing in either at this point.

  8. Veritas says:

    Hi Viz and guys, amazing and helpful hockey content as usual. I have a couple of questions and needed some help.

    Yahoo Sports / 12 Person / Redraft One Year League / Head-to-Head / Snake Draft / No Games Played Maximum
    Categories: G, A, P, +/-, PIM, PPP, SOG, GWG / W, SV%, SV, GAA
    Positions: LW LW, C C, RW RW, D D D D, Util, G G, Bench x4 (17 Player Roster)
    3 player adds per week. 3 goalie starts per week. No season add limit
    My Team: Week 3, Current Rank 7/12
    LW: Forsberg, Schwartz, Kreider
    RW: Boeser (DTD), Kovalchuk (LW), Stone
    C: Benn (LW), Stamkos, Eichel, Rakell (LW, RW)
    D: Gostisbehere, Barrie, Shattenkirk, Chabot, Morrissey – (picked Morrissey dropping Reimer)
    G: Crawford
    IR: Weber (D) (hopefully to replace Chabot or Shattenkirk?)
    IR+: Raanta (G)
    IR+: Brown (RW) (I thought he was a low risk hold – could drop)

    My team isn´t doing too well. I’m struggling in most areas, especially +/-, PIM, and Goalie stats (I hope due to injuries – Reimer was killing me too) I’d like some help deciding who to drop or hold when a good a waiver option emerges, so my questions would be:

    1) Which players do you think I should keep on a very short leash? Guys that should be dropped when someone else becomes a must add.

    2) Should I pick one of the following players up? Who would you drop to add him? Guentzel (C, LW) was dropped I’d probably have to use my waiver claim to try to grab him, Dunn (D), H. Lindholm (D) and Pionk (D) also seem interesting.

    Interesting players in the waiver wire: Guentzel (C, LW), Petry (D), Edler (D), H. Lindholm (D), Fowler (D), Montour (D), N. Schmaltz (C, LW), Pionk (D), T. Wilson (Susp) (RW), Pulock (D), Dunn (D), Ullmark (G), Rittich (G), Markstrom (G), Reimer (G), Mrazek (G)

    • The Harrow says:

      @Veritas: can’t stash t.wilson in yahoo.

      • Veritas says:

        @The Harrow: Good to know, we have a NA spot. I thought we could add him

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Veritas: I really like this team offensively, I would be patient with it. I guess the guy to drop would be a defensemen (Shattenkirk, Morrissey or Chabot) if someone emerges on the wire? Most of your forwards are a non-starter. I guess Kreider is the worst there, but I don’t really have a problem carrying only 4D if the situation arises. I’d give Shattenkirk a little bit more time, but he would be the guy on a short leash for me.

      • Veritas says:

        @Viz: Thanks VIz, please let us know when you think highly owned players need to be dropped like it´s hot.

        • Viz

          Viz says:

          @Veritas: Sounds good, I’ll try to include guys like that when I think of it, if not a separate section once a week.

  9. Gost of Xmas Pastrnak says:

    Hey Viz

    Hope all is well with you.

    I was offered rakell and grubauer for barzal and boeser in my h2h keeper pool.

    I have the Buffalo go goalies and Bobrovsky doc wantes to bolster my goaltending. The rest of my team is Aschaber follows:

    C – Zibanejad
    C – Johansen
    LW – Skinner
    LW – Panarin
    RW – Pastrnak
    RW – Svechnikov
    D – Gostisbehere
    D – Yandle
    D – Chabot
    UTIL – Ferland
    UTIL – Parise
    Bench – Maroon
    Bench – Pulock

    Think I’d be giving giving up much? I’m looking leaning on yes. I don’t think trust hutton as keeper for next season. I like Ullmark but think he will continue to be a backup even next season.



    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Gost of Xmas Pastrnak: I would pass, I prefer both Barzal and Boeser over Rakell and think there’s enough questions about Grubauer that I’d want something better than him to move that kind of fire power. If you want to make a trade for a goalie, I’d try something else, but I wouldn’t be panicking too much about goaltending.

  10. Christian Herman says:

    Kapanen & Luc Dubois for Keller. Who wins?

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Christian Herman: You keep posting everything multiple times, just once is okay. Give me Keller assuming the waiver wire isn’t complete trash.

      • Christian Herman says:

        @Viz: my bad brother. Was saying it wasn’t posting to the site once I posted. Thanks for your advice sir

        • Viz

          Viz says:

          @Christian Herman: No worries, sometimes it takes a bit to show up. If you post regularly, eventually it should change and go on the site instantly. Any time!

  11. Zenji says:

    Hey man, love your write ups and hope you are having a great 2018.

    I’ve been working the wire and my team is really rounding into form. Stick with me here and I promise ill get to a trade question eventually!

    Our league counts saves, wins, GAA, and SV% for goalies, its 4/11 of our categories. We keep 3 and I kept Ovie, Hellebyuk, and Gibson. Kind of a bold move and I even dropped Holtby to pick up Gibson who was dropped foolishly by another owner. I’m all about off game days. I drafted Raanta in the 10th round and so to start out the season had Hellboy, Gibson, Raanta. One owner had horrendous goalies, stacked forwards, and no hits so I sold him Raanta, Chabot, Lucic, and JT Miller for Voracek and Kopitar. I immediately flipped Kopitar for Getzlaf, I see them as fairly similar but like I said I love the off day games. My team felt a little too gritty and not scorey enough so I was looking to improve there.

    I hope you are with me so far, here is where is gets fun. Last year I won the championship, then drafted last and was holding first waiver priority. A couple days ago an impatient owner dropped Rask. So no sooner had the ink dried on the Raanta trade that I was able to burn my #1 priority and scoop up Rask. Even better I snagged Saros the night Rinne went down. Ok so here is my roster and here is the trade the other owner has suggested.

    10 H2H Goals, Assist, Shot, Hit, PIM, Blocks, Special Teams Points Wins, Saves, GAA, SV%

    Pierre Luc-Dubois
    Elias Lindholm
    Tom Wilson (drafted 50th overall and dropped, he was my MVP last year!)
    Tanev (streamer, 15 PIM CHA CHING!!!)


    IR Shea Weber
    IR Brady Tkachuk


    I dont want 4 goalies, as great as they are, because we have a 4 goalie max so I cant spot start (sunday handcuff) if I’m maxed.

    I’m being offered Rakell and Erik Karlsson for Hellboy. What do you thihk? And what do you think is the best solution to this good goalie problem I’m having. Thanks for all you thoughtful consideration. If anyone else reads this and wants to chime in your feedback is welcomed. Take care!

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Zenji: First off, I would have dropped Wilson as well in the other guy’s shoes, he’s not worth holding for a 20 game suspension, you just miss too many games played, especially for someone who has a high risk of getting another suspension.

      You definitely should make a goaltending trade, there’s no way around it. I have no problems with the trade above if you want to trade Hellboy. Obviously Karlsson has started off slowly, as has Rakell really, but it should only be a matter of time until things turn.

      • Zenji says:


        Thanks man! I only added Wilson two days ago. I might have dropped him for the first few weeks also but now it’s hard not to justify picking him up in my opinion. He was the 25th best skater in our league last year. After grabbing him 3 owners cursed me in our group chat. Haha

        I’m in 2nd place and my team is strong so I believe I can weather he storm and my team will be stronger for it once he returns. Thanks for your advice!

  12. Aardvark says:

    Would you drop Sergachev for Darnell nurse, Neal poink or Vince dunn ?

    Do you like Saad over Nolan Patrick?

    14 team H2H points league. Point per shot and extra points for power play goals and assists

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Aardvark: I think I would hold, but you could grab Dunn and I wouldn’t mind it. Still prefer Patrick.

  13. Chris says:

    Great write up, Viz! I have two questions for you. I’m having a bad start to my season in one of my keeper league and I’m want to shake things up.
    1) Would you trade Ekholm for Yandle? I do like Ekholm but I think Yandle would help me in the points and hits cats more than the Preds D-Man. What you think?
    2) I currently have Hyman, but I’m thinking of dropping him for P-L Dubois? Thoughts?

    Thanks, Viz!

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Chris: Definitely prefer Yandle over Ekholm, don’t think it is close. Would grab Dubois as well, he should improve sooner than later.

  14. Fleeced says:

    Zibanejad Or Schwartz?

  15. Aardvark says:

    Would you trade Konecny and Sergachev for Kyle Connor. And then pick up Dunn?

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Aardvark: Yeah, I like that for you.

  16. Caught Looking says:

    +/- 1
    SOG 0.5
    BLK 0.5
    HIIT 0.5

    W 5
    SO 3
    SV 0.25

    I have an offer in to me my Benn for his Bobrovski. My other goalies are Quick Hutton and Howard. I have Ovi who is gold in this league, but So is Benn. Im nervous about Bob this year. What do you think?

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Caught Looking: I’d try to get a bit more out of him just because of how poorly Bob has started. I think he will turn it around, and you certainly need the goaltending help, but I’d see if you can get a bit more out of it than making the move straight up.

      • Caught Looking says:


        What about Bob and Getzlaf for Benn and Couturier?

        • Viz

          Viz says:

          @Caught Looking: Would rather have Getzlaf than Couturier, so I’d pass.

  17. Marco Kirillov says:

    Hey man, scrapping the trash of a 16 team league FA. Need to choose 2 beetween Boedker, Beauvillier and Loui Eriksson. Which ones?

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Marco Kirillov: I would grab the last two and leave Boedker on the wire.

Comments are closed.