One of the goaltending performances of the season came in the marquee showdown on Tuesday. Toronto sure didn't make it easy on Matt Murray, taking seven penalties, but Murray stood up to the challenge and then some. Murray had a 44 save shutout, leading Toronto to a 4-0 victory. I thought the Toronto goaltending would be rough this season, but Murray has been very good when on the ice. Same goes with Ilya Samsonov. It could fall apart just like it did for Campbell last season, but the reason I liked these guys as #2 goalies is their floor is so high because of wins. When Toronto gets this level of goaltending, it's extremely hard to beat them. Here's to hoping Murray can stay healthy because he could be a big difference maker in fantasy. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
As fun as it is to make fun of Toronto's Stanley Cup drought, it's very impressive when somebody breaks one of their major records. On Saturday, Mitch Marner did just that, getting a point in his 19th consecutive game, scoring twice on five shots. Toronto fans love to make Marner their whipping boy, but this should give him a respite until the playoffs come along. The shot rate is slowly creeping back up for Marner, which is a necessity if he's going to approach last season's point total. He's a bit behind at even strength, but he's managed to be even better on the power play. Marner is as safe as it gets in fantasy at this point and remains in the top 20. Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
There were a few choices for the lede today, but I’m going to go all in on Stackin’ The Kraken despite them lining up against a tough opponent in the Florida Panthers. Seattle is riding a 7 game winning streak and is 8-1-1 in its last 10 games. They don’t have a flashy superstar to write up but they’ve got a pretty cohesive group of players that are definitely getting results. One of the leaders of said skater group is center Matty Beniers, (DK: $4,800). I had Beniers slotted in as one of our mid-value picks for today as early as Thursday afternoon, and he did not disappoint in that night’s matchup. The Kraken gave up 2 first period goals to the Caps Thursday night, but stormed back to tie it in the 3rd and won it on a Beniers goal just 7 seconds into OT. Taking a peek at some other picks today, you’ll see just how hot the west coast’s newest NHL addition has been.
As someone who is a big believer in Jason Robertson and had him ranked 32nd overall, a bit ahead of consensus, I did not see this coming. Robertson scored a hat trick on Thursday versus the Ducks, bringing him to 22+17 in 24 games. Is that good? Then you see Robertson is averaging under 18 minutes per game and realize that given a normal superstar workload, it would be even better! He's been absolutely incredible to this point and if the season ended today, he'd be the Hart Trophy winner. Is it going to last like this? Probably not. But he's clearly a top 10 player at this point, which is insane considering that two seasons ago, he was a second round pick rookie. Whatever scout led Dallas to picking Robertson deserves all of the money. Let's see what else happened over the last two nights:
Dallas locked up the last part of their core on Tuesday, signing Roope Hintz to an eight year contract extension. Even being in the midst of a three game pointless streak, Hintz remains over a point per game and based on game score, he's a top ten forward in the league to this point of the season. I don't expect him to maintain that pace, but his line is right there for the crown of best in the NHL. Fantasy wise, I'd like to see the shot rate uptick 10-20%, but even with where he is, Hintz is a solid piece towards the top end of your roster. If DeBoer played him 20+ minutes like he should instead of 17 per game, the numbers would be even better. Congrats to Hintz for securing the bag! Let's see what happened over the last two nights:
The Jets have been excellent to open the season, but that hasn't stopped them from tweaking things to get better. On Friday, we saw Bowness go back to last season's duo of Pierre-Luc Dubois and Kyle Connor together, something I've been clamoring for. They notched one goal on Friday by Connor from Dubois, but they went off against Chicago on Sunday. Dubois had two goals on eight shots, while Connor had a goal and two assists with two shots. I've been saying it was a matter of time for Connor to get going, and I think that time is now. He's too talented to not pile up goals. Dubois has been quite good across the board so far this season, but career highs are now in play. The shot rate is fantastic, the PIM are strong, and he's playing at a 40 goal pace. It sucks that they're missing Ehlers indefinitely so they don't have a great second winger, but even still, look for these guys to improve their even strength performance while remaining great on the power play. Let's see what else happened over the weekend:
I had a Nashville Predator lede all set to go for you today, but apparently Bridgestone Arena is under more liquid than the pile of mashed potatoes you assaulted with that steaming gravy boat at your Thanksgiving dinner table. Never fear, MarmosDad is here with a quick pivot to another winger for you today. After looking through our names, I noticed a bit of a pattern. There were quite a few guys with the name "...son", so I give you the "-Sons" Of Thanksgiving Anarchy.
Patrice Bergeron became the eighth active NHL'er to reach 1,000 career points on Monday, assisting on a Marchand goal in the 5-3 win over Tampa. The best defensive forward for the last decade, Bergeron has long since been a lock for the Hall of Fame, but being the 94th player to ever reach 1,000 points puts him in truly elite company. It sounds crazy to say that he's underrated, but I do feel like his career is underrated. He's never been a top five player in the league, but he was close for an extended period, his line was consistently one of the best in the league, and if you could pick any skater to be on the ice with one minute left up one to save the planet, he's the guy. Congrats to this hockey wizard. Let's see what else happened on Monday night:
I swear that I haven’t been taken hostage by Sabres fans and forced to write exclusively about those Buffalonian Beasts of the NorthEast. But every week seems to provide a new opportunity to work in one of the Sabres as we head back to KeyBank Center to peek at some wingers and ‘See More Skinner’. At risk of working in a Simpsons reference or two here, Jeff Skinner, (DK: $5,200) seemed like he was doomed to be deemed a huge overpay when he signed that 9 million AAV extension in 2019. Coming off a 40 goal season, he certainly got paid like a top tier winger…then followed up that season with 14 goals and 7 goals respectively (albeit in less than 60 GP for each year). This year, he seems to have found a home on the top line with Tage Thompson and Alex Tuch. 14 points in 17 games with nearly 3 SOG per game qualifies as a good start, and his PP1 time could pay off against Matt Murray and the Leafs tonight. More importantly, unlike his Springfield namesake, I don't think even ‘SuperNintendo Chalmers’ could rattle this Skinner.
Remember when the Devils fans were chanting "Fire Lindy" two games into the season? My, how the tides have turned. The Devils have won 13 of 14 since, including 10 in a row. The most recent win was 5-1 against the Canadiens on Tuesday with their star players leading the way. Jack Hughes scored twice on seven shots and added an assist in the victory. Hughes now has multiple points in six of his last ten games, and is pushing 4.5 shots on goal per game. Even with a lack of penalty minutes, that's enough to be the top 20 player that I ranked him as before the season. The future is incredibly bright in New Jersey with two elite defensemen prospects coming to support the excellent foundation in place. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Mikhail Sergachev had the game of the weekend, scoring two goals and two assists on three shots in the 6-3 win over the Capitals. However, I was starting this post with Sergachev after watching the first ten minutes of the game. Sergachev moved to the first power play unit and immediately delivered, with one goal and one primary assist coming there. That is a massive boon to his value. Whether it lasts, who is to say? I would bet against it staying that way for the whole season, which is why I wouldn't panic if I owned Victor Hedman. However, in the short term, this is enough to make Sergachev a #2 defenseman in a 12 man league, with upside to be a #1. Getting to feed Stamkos and Kucherov for shots over and over again is a godsend to fantasy value. Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
This is one that the Bruins fans have been waiting a long time for. The Return of the Mack may not be a favorite tune for many of you, but the return of Charlie McAvoy, (DK: $5,200) should be an exciting time for anyone that’s been for a stroll through the pahk on a Satahday aftahnoon! With a game winner in his first game back on Thursday night, he’s a great bet to put up some FPTS in Buffalo tonight. As far as the format for today goes, I’ve been thinking about this one for a few weeks and decided to give it a go. At the risk of showing my age, I used to play NHL ‘95 on the Sega Genesis pretty religiously when I was younger and was thinking about how the ratings and skill levels of certain players would match up to today’s version of the game…a solid 25+ years later. Maybe it was because we didn’t have the internet back then, but I remember thinking how cool it was that the 1995 version of the game had a complete roster page that included every player on every team in the league.