For the last few years, Connor Hellebuyck has been one of the best goaltending prospects in hockey. The former fifth round pick blossomed after being drafted and starred for the United States team in the World Junior Championships last year with a record of 7-1 and a GAA of 1.37 and .948 sv%. While that’s clearly unsustainable, he posted a .921 sv% last year in the AHL on an IceCaps team that played wide open. With the injury to Ondrej Pavelec, Hellebuyck was called up to Winnipeg and promptly won two games giving up one goal in each. Yesterday, he stopped 32 of 33 shots in the Jets beatdown of Toronto. I don’t have much to base this off of but I have a feeling Hellebuyck takes this opportunity and runs with it. I’m picking him up everywhere I can on the chance that he does; if he doesn’t, he’ll at least be a great fill-in in the meantime. Here’s what else I saw on a short Wednesday slate:
Garret Sparks – 29 saves on 35 shots. Well, that didn’t go so well. Expect James Reimer to start getting the bulk of the Leafs starts again.
Dustin Byfuglien – Assist on three shots. It feels a bit disappointing that he only got one point in a prime matchup against Toronto. Even more disappointing considering the Jets buried six. He’s still had a great season so far.
Nikolaj Ehlers – Assist with two shots. He’s been dropped to the third line and the minutes are falling. I love him in dynasties but in season long leagues, he’s barely a hold for me and could be a drop soon.
Andrew Ladd – Goal on five shots. He’s starting to get going. If the power play points come up like they should, he could find himself pushing a point per game face.
Bryan Little – Goal on two shots and two PIM. Still quietly going about his business at over a 60 point pace.
Mathieu Perreault – Two assists and a shot. He’s a great source of assists and power play points if you can stomach the lack of shots.
Mark Scheifele – Goal and two assists with six shots. The second line dominated for Winnipeg and Scheifele was front and center. While he’s having a solid year and I’d own him in 12’ers, I think the real breakout is next season. I’d love to add him in dynasties.
Drew Stafford – Two goals on four shots. He took the spot of Ehlers on the second line and has played well. He’s an incredibly streaky player so I’d look to stream him in their next game and possibly hold him if he has another solid outing.
Henrik Lundqvist – 36 saves on 37 shots in the 2-1 SO loss to the Islanders. Vintage Lundqvist game where the Rangers couldn’t find a way to get him two goals. He had a couple bad outings in a row but he was a lock to bounceback. Firmly the #1 goalie going forward.
Jaroslav Halak – 33 saves on 34 shots in the win going toe to toe with Lundqvist. The numbers are outstanding for Halak, I just wish he would start more games than he has been.
John Tavares – Goal on four shots. He had been struggling lately by his standards, especially with his shot rate so it was good to see him score in a tough matchup.
Tuukka Rask – 34 saves on 36 shots in the 3-2 SO loss to Edmonton. Still don’t want anything to do with Rask going forward.
Patrice Bergeron – Assist with a shot and two PIM. He has 22 points in 22 games but 13 are on the power play which is completely unsustainable; he’s not going to put up 45 power play points. He’ll need to step up his game at even strength if he wants to keep up his point per game pace.
Zdeno Chara – Goal on six shots. The big shot total was nice to see since his shot rate is much lower than in past years.
Torey Krug – Goal on three shots. With the amount of shots that he takes, you’d expect a goal streak to come soon. Two goals on 68 shots is nowhere near what it should be, even for a defenseman.
Anders Nilsson – 38 saves on 40 shots in the win. He seems to have firm control of the Oilers job at this point. If you’re desperate for goalie starts, he’s a good option.
Matt Hendricks – Goal and an assist with a shot. Unownable even in the deepest of leagues but worth acknowledging him for two points on a short slate. You’re welcome friends and family of Matt Hendricks!
Mark Letestu – Goal and an assist with two shots. While he hasn’t done much this year, he’s getting big minutes right now including power play time. He’s a decent streamer in the right matchups.
Ben Bishop – 32 saves on 33 shots in the 2-1 win over the Ducks. If the wins go up, he’s a lock for a top 5 goalie at the end of the season.
Jonathan Drouin – Goal and an assist with two shots in his first game back. Quite the return for this elite prospect. The shot rate is going to be dreadful but the points should be there. If your league counts hits and / or blocks, his value takes a massive hit.
Jonathan Marchessault – Goal on two shots. He was on the second line before Drouin returned but he stuck on the power play. If somebody else was to get injured, he’d be a solid streamer but for now, I’m leaving him on the waiver wire.
Vladislav Namestnikov – Assist. Stuck on the second line even with Drouin returning so he’s a solid streamer going forward.
Ryan Getzlaf – Assist and four shots. As I said on Monday, the hot streak is upon us.
Corey Perry – Goal on five shots. As I said on Monday, the hot streak is upon us. Nice copy and paste job Viz!
Rickard Rakell – Assist and four shots. If you expect two players to get hot and you can acquire the third wheel on that line…
Thursday Streamers: There are eight games tomorrow night with the marquee matchup being Washington visiting the Canadiens. That game is where my focus will be; I expect Washington to win on the road. Here are my streamers for tonight:
J.T. Miller (1.5% owned) – He gets a great matchup at home against the Avalanche, the third line looked great against the Islanders and he’s playing the point on the second power play unit. I expect Miller to get on the score sheet.
Charlie Coyle (1.9%) – Toronto just got killed by the Jets and now get a horrible matchup against the Wild on a back to back. Coyle is centering the Wild’s offensive zone line and should get plenty of opportunities against the Maple Leafs.
Teemu Pulkkinen (5.8%) – He’s been a frequent streamer for me this year and I’m going back to the well against the Coyotes.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back on Friday recapping the action from tonight. As always, feel free to ask any questions or leave comments below. Take care everyone!