The Devils have built arguably the best young core in the league. There's a lot of talk about Hughes and Hischier leading the way now, with Nemec and L. Hughes on the way. There's Meier and Bratt also playing a huge role. However, there's another former first round pick making a huge charge in his sophomore season. Dawson Mercer scored a hat trick on Tuesday in the 5-1 win over the Penguins. I had to do a double check because I did not realize this, but Mercer now has 27 goals on the season. I knew he was having a good year, but man, that's a huge jump for the 21 year old. Mercer is a natural center, but with the two former #1 picks in the fold, there's no reason to put Mercer on the third line right now. He's thriving on Hischier's wing, and is definitely worth a middle to late round pick in drafts next season. I'm not sure how much better it will get other than a potential increase in ice time because his skating is below NHL average, but his playmaking in traffic is so good and his compete level is so high that incremental increases help a lot to get into the 70 point range. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
We're down to the final two weeks of the season, and I hope that your fantasy seasons are still going. This week has a very strange schedule, so in this post, I'm going to break it down and show the best way to target streaming. Every move on the margin helps! Let's get to it!
Tonight, there are only three games. On Wednesday, there are also three games. There are no games on Friday, and only two games on Easter Sunday. On Tuesday, there are 11 games, there's 14 on Thursday, and the entire league plays on Saturday. It's extremely rare for every day to be all the way on one side of the spectrum. Here are the games that take place on the light days:
In a Pacific Division battle on Thursday, Stuart Skinner stole the show. Against the Kings, Skinner saved all 43 shots he faced in the 2-0 win. We all know about the firepower the Oilers possess, but they made the conference finals last season in large part because of Mike Smith getting hot as he was known to do. The Oilers replaced him with Campbell, but that has been an epic disaster. Skinner has established himself as the clear #1 and will be going into the playoffs. His numbers are that of a #2 in fantasy, and while I do like the 24 year old long term, I don't really see upside past that unless the Oilers completely revamp their defense. That said, for the Oilers to get on a run, they'll need solid goaltending, and Skinner has shown that he's capable of that. He's the goalie of the future and more importantly, the present. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
We've reached the final three weeks of the season, with every team having 8-10 remaining games. Unlike last season, there are plenty of races to be decided, both for the playoffs and the lottery odds, which makes things much more interesting. In this post, I'm going to give some additional schedule info to pair with the Playoff Manifesto, along with some injury news. This is a reminder that now is not the time to hold anybody that is going to miss multiple games. Volume is everything, and you can't afford to hold anyone missing games. Two games from say, Marchand, isn't as good as four games from someone like Verhaeghe. Be aggressive. Anyways, I'll start with the injuries before looking at the schedule. Let's get to it!
I don't know how many people have watched Eastbound and Down, but every time there's a game with huge implications, I just want to yell " a f***ing showdown!" Monday had Kings vs. Flames, a crucial battle, and the Flames had their door blown off. The Kings went up 4-0 in the first, and ended up smoking the Flames 8-2. Despite the blowout, there wasn't a lot of headliners for the Kings, but the one was Adrian Kempe. Kempe had two goals and an assist to bring him up to 34 goals and 21 assists, ready to set a career high in both. Their schedule isn't ideal, but Kempe has played himself into a level where he's worth holding regardless. Let's take a look at the last two nights:
We found a new level of ridiculousness on Thursday night. The Canadiens were in Florida and they managed to tie the record for the most goals in a first period in modern NHL history, and they did it in barely over 13 minutes! Both Montreal goalies allowed 3+ goals in the first 13 minutes, and Sergei Bobrovsky allowed goals on the first three shots he faced. My god. The Panthers ended up winning 9-5 to keep pace in the Eastern playoff race. The only player who made more than two points was Matthew Tkachuk, who had a goal and three assists to keep up his torrid pace. Thanks Aleksander Barkov for not getting three points when I pick him in the three point challenge! Anyways, Florida is battling hard for a Wild Card spot, so expect their studs to get all of the minutes they can handle. For playing all games against Eastern teams the rest of the way, Florida's schedule is fairly soft, so expect it to come down to the wire. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
An annual tradition in these parts, it's time for the Playoff Manifesto! This is targeted towards head to head leagues for your fantasy playoffs, but streaming wise, it still holds value for those in roto leagues. For each team, I am going to list how many games they have in each of the last five weeks in parentheses. Obviously if your playoffs don't start until next week, you can ignore the first number, and if your finals cover the last two weeks because the last week is a shorter week, combine the two. I will list all of their games on light days below this, and then I will have a list of all light games at the bottom. I will consider any day on the schedule that has four or less games to be a light day. Those days are the best for streaming so give them extra focus for your planning. Let's get to it!
Apologies to all of you DFS faithful for the absence last week! Mrs. MarmosDad had an unfortunate mishap at work and ended up at the hospital, so your fearless “penner of puckmovers” ended up much busier than expected. But, fret not! I’m back again today to get us all set up to cash in some Classic NHL lineups on a much fuller main slate than we’ve had for a few weeks. (And if you're worried, I'm glad to report that the Mrs. still has 9 1/2 fingers in tact).
With a shout out to the Beastie Boys and their best album (although this is like picking the best chocolate bar, they're all pretty awesome), Check Your Head, we’re going with Vitek Vanecek, G (DK: $8,400) on the road as our lede today. Vanecek heads to Montreal with the Devils for this one and brings a 27-7-3 record with him. The 2.55 GAA and .907 SV% are pretty impressive on the surface, but some might be quick to point out that Vanecek is just 4-2 in his last 6 games, with one of those losses at home against these same Habs. He’s put up a 3.67 GAA over that last half a dozen, but with the Devils reinforcements at the deadline and the Habs mired in a 5 game losing skid, I think it’s a safe bet to play him on the road tonight.
It's one of my favorite posts of the year! Sure, a lot of trades have been done in advance of the deadline, but there's sure to be more action today. Starting around noon eastern, I'll be updating this post with instant analysis on every trade that takes place. All of the moves from Wednesday and Thursday are below as well, with all previous moves in other posts.
Surprisingly, we're having the most action ahead of the trade deadline that I can ever remember. There were a lot of trades over thee last two days that I'll be sure to cover below, but I have to start off with a four goal game. Anze Kopitar scored four goals in the 6-5 OT win over the Jets. I'm shocked that this was actually Kopitar's second four goal game of his career. Kopitar has a good chance for 30 goals now for the first time in six years. Kopitar has played his way into being a hold in all formats as he's closing in on a point per game. With the Kings in the thick of a playoff race, he should continue to get 20+ minutes a night. Kopitar has shown very few signs of slowing down in his age 35 season. He's one of the best players of his generation and doesn't get all of the credit that he deserves. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
With so many major trades happening over the weekend, I feel like the only choice was to write about them tonight. I'll have some quick hits about what happened on the ice over the weekend at the end, but this post is going to be focused on trades. The #1 player on the market, Timo Meier, was traded to the Devils on Sunday night, uniting him with his Swiss teammates Hischier and Siegenthaler. In totality, the trade looks like this:
New Jersey Devils acquire forwards Timo Meier and Timur Ibragimov, defensemen Scott Harrington and Santeri Hatakka, goalie Zachary Emond, and a 5th-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for forwards Fabian Zetterlund and Andreas Johnsson, defensemen Shakir Mukhamadullin and Nikita Okhotiuk, and a conditional 1st-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, a conditional 2nd-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft, and a 7th-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft.
Ah…the Saturday before the trade deadline! Next week we’ll be able to build a roster of new faces in new places, but for tonight let’s steer clear of those players rumored to be on the trade block. There’s nothing worse than having a guy that you picked for your DFS lineup ending up as a healthy scratch because he’s being discussed in a potential move.
With all of that said, I think it’s safe to say that our goalie pick for today is firmly entrenched as a player who will be unavailable on the trade block. Linus Ullmark (DK: $8,300) has been written up a few times in this space, and for good reason. His video game-esque numbers keep getting better. He’s 29-4-1 and leads the league with a .937 SV%. Just for reference, Tim Thomas’s Vezina numbers in his Stanley Cup year (2010-2011) were 35-11-9 and .938 SV%.