For the majority of his professional career, Connor Hellebuyck has gone up and down more than an elevator.  He’s bounced around the NHL and AHL along with starting and being the backup in Winnipeg despite the fact that he’s clearly their best option between the pipes.  That’s not to say Hellboy has been a great goalie throughout.  In fact, he’s had plenty of times where he looks rough.  That’s simply the nature of the beast in the NHL being a young goalie.  Hellboy was at the bottom last week allowing five goals in consecutive starts.  Naturally, he turns things around this weekend with a 29 save shutout against the Blues and saving 22 of 23 shots in the 6-1 win over the Avalanche.  The numbers are poor on the whole but he has won half of his games.  Should he be owned right now?  I think you have to gamble on the upside in 12’ers.  The main point is that this season has done nothing to dissuade me from loving Hellebuyck in dynasties.  We all know that the Jets are loaded with offensive talent that is only going to get better and Hellebuyck will be a beneficiary.  The prospect cupboard remains full despite all of their recent graduates and most importantly, there are a bunch on the blue line.  What do I expect him next season?  Probably a #2 goalie with upside to be a #1 who should be owned in all leagues.  Long term?  He should eventually develop into a guy who is a middling to bottom end #1 year in and year out.  Bottom line, I’m still driving the Hellboy bandwagon!  Here’s what else happened around the league last weekend:

Friday’s Games:

Mark Streit – Goal and an assist with four shots in his Penguins debut.  I don’t love him going forward but he needs to be held as long as Kris Letang is out.

Sidney Crosby – Two assists.  He’s in a cold stretch by his standards but I’m sure he’ll break out of it sooner rather than later.

Phil Kessel – Two assists with two shots.  The goals have dried up but he’s looking good to set a career high in assists.

Evgeni Malkin – Two goals and an assist with four shots.  Unlike his previous two teammates, Geno hasn’t slowed down at all besides injury.  Just stay healthy!

Justin Schultz – Goal and an assist with three shots.  With Letang out, Schultz is a clear #1 defenseman.  I would still try to sell him in dynasties if you aren’t in contention because I don’t expect the Penguins to retain him killing his value.

Shane Doan – Goal and two assists with three shots and two PIM.  He had a great game for old time’s sake but Doan’s fantasy value has disappeared this year.

Louis Domingue – 32 saves on 34 shots in the 4-2 win over the Hurricanes.  Despite this game, Domingue has a 3.20 GAA and .899 sv%.  You know what to do.

Dustin Byfuglien – Two assists with six shots.  He’s up to the #2 defenseman on the season with his recent tear.  The goals aren’t at previous levels but the shots and PIM are while the assists should reach a career high.  Go Big Buff!

Bryan Little – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM.  The injury prevented Little from having an outstanding all-around season.  He’s played close to a 35+35 pace over 82 games.  Clear must own.

Blake Wheeler – Two goals and an assist with seven shots and two PIM.  I could have easily started the post about Wheeler as this was one of two three point games for him this weekend (spoiler alert!).  His overall stat line is amazing once again proving why I ranked him as high as I did.  He’ll be right back there next season.

Thomas Greiss – 30 saves on 31 shots in the 2-1 SO loss to the Blackhawks.  Like I was this season, I expect to be much higher than consensus on Greiss next season.  Hopefully Weight doesn’t mess things up like Capuano did!

Corey Crawford – 31 saves on 32 shots getting the win.  The goals against average is actually poor this season while the save percentage is average.  Crawford’s value has come directly from the raw win total.

Justin Abdelkader – Two assists with a shot.  Remember when he made team USA over a ton of notables, including Kessel?  Good times.  He’s heated up a bit but I wouldn’t want anything to do with him.

Brian Elliott – 35 saves on 37 shots in the 3-2 OT win over the Red Wings.  He’s finally been the goalie people hoped for winning six straight allowing two goals or less.  Too bad Elliott probably buried your season if you owned him.

Patrick Eaves – Goal on three shots.  Eaves has fit in perfectly with the Ducks as expected.  He should be held everywhere.

Ryan Getzlaf – Two assists.  He’ll come close to last year’s totals but there are plenty of warning signs going forward.  The shots are falling off, PIM dropping, plus-minus is negative after 4 straight years of +14 or better, etc.

Rickard Rakell – Two goals on five shots.  The minutes remain lower than I’d like but he simply keeps scoring.  I’d be worried about him long term if he wasn’t 23 years old and constantly improving.

Sami Vatanen – Goal and an assist with four shots.  He’s been quite disappointing this season but I’m already expecting a bounceback since the Ducks will be forced to clean up their defensive logjam.  Vatanen is right on the fringe in 12’ers.

Jonathan Bernier -37 saves on 39 shots in the 5-2 win over the Maple Leafs.  Revenge game!  He’s a small step above “desperate for starts” until John Gibson returns.

Saturday’s Games:

Kyle Palmieri – Goal and an assist with four shots.  The shot rate has dropped from last season but Palmieri has done better than I expected following the big breakout in 15/16.  He’s solidified himself as a hold.

Patrice Bergeron – Two assists with six shots.  Bergeron has dominated throughout the second half and should continue to be a top 20 forward the rest of the way.

Drew Stafford – Assist with seven shots in his Bruins debut.  As discussed on the trade deadline podcast, he’s a nice streamer assuming he sticks on the offensive zone line.

Andrei Vasilevskiy – 31 saves on 32 shots in the 2-1 SO win over the Sabres.  Let’s say he’s responded much better to becoming the #1 goalie due to trade than injury.  Keep rolling him.

Robin Lehner – 31 saves on 32 shots taking the loss.  There’s no denying Lehner has been terrific this season for the Sabres but my god, he is horrendous in the shootout.  He hasn’t made one save in eight attempts against this year.  Woof.

Carey Price – 26 saves on 27 shots in the 4-1 win over the Rangers.  That rough stretch looks like a thing of the past now with Price and the Canadiens rolling.  He’s met my expectations this season which was to be a #1 goalie but not the #1 goalie.

Alex Galchenyuk – Two assists with two shots.  Gally is on fire again with points in five straight.  The only concern is where the shots have gone.  He was gradually building to last season’s 2.5 per game only to be well under 2 per game this season.  Considering the penalty minutes are decent but not great, he really needs the shots up to be an elite fantasy player.

Max Pacioretty – Two assists with four shots.  That’s top ten overall forward Max Pacioretty.  He’s been a top five forward since December 1st.

Chris Kreider – Goal on four shots.  I can say that I finally believe that Kreider has reached his potential.  Clear top 100 player who is pushing towards the top 50 going forward.

Zach Werenski – Two assists with two shots.  It’s not an insult towards Werenski, his rookie season is outstanding, but his statline is wildly mediocre to be a top 10 defenseman.

Craig Anderson – 25 saves on 27 shots in the 3-2 win over the Blue Jackets.  Simply reiterating that Anderson needs to be played regardless of opponent right now.

Jamie Benn – Goal and an assist with three shots.  Benn is in the middle of the heater that I’ve called for months.  He’s now over a point per game on the season which is exactly what we hoped for taking him in the top few picks.

Tyler Seguin – Two assists with six shots.  Like his teammate, Seguin has largely been what we hoped for outside of plus-minus.

Kari Lehtonen – 41 saves on 42 shots in the 2-1 win over the Panthers.  This start does nothing to change the fact that I have no faith in Lehtonen.

James Reimer – 32 saves on 34 shots taking the loss.  It’s his job right now and he’s played extremely well on the whole.  If for some reason he’s still available in your league, pick him up immediately.  This post is going nowhere, you can go do that and come back.  I simply insist you come back.

Dustin Byfuglien – Two assists with two shots.  All of the points for Big Buff!

Nikolaj Ehlers – Goal and two assists.  He’s the fifth best fantasy player on his team which seems like an insult until you look at the players ahead of him. Ehlers is barely 21 years old so we haven’t seen the best of him.  He’ll be in my top 50 next season with the expectation that it keeps improving.

Patrik Laine – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM.  Six game point streak ends, he bounces back with two more points.  Two goals off the league lead as a rookie, it’s just absurd.  All in on the young man.

Blake Wheeler – Goal and two assists with three shots.  “I could have easily started the post about Wheeler as this was one of two three point games for him this weekend.  His overall stat line is amazing once again proving why I ranked him as high as I did.  He’ll be right back there next season.”  And that’s me copying and pasting me doing what Grey does!

Braden Holtby – 30 saves on 31 shots in the 2-1 OT win over the Flyers.  For the first time in months, we’re looking at a new #1 goalie on the season and his name is Braden Holtby.

Patrick Kane – Two goals on six shots.  Nine goals over the last five games seems pretty good for Kaner.

Richard Panik – Two assists with three shots.  Panik should still be held as long as he remains this hot.

Brent Seabrook – Two assists.  He’s picked it up a lot lately and even though I don’t care for him in fantasy, he should be held right now even if it’s mainly assists.  AAGNOF!

Jonathan Toews – Goal and an assist with two shots.  Just when he starts to cool off, he gets another multi-point game.  Unreal streak for Mutton Chops.

Viktor Arvidsson – Two goals on three shots.  He’s had the largest point improvement over last season in the entire NHL.  We’re looking at around 28+28 with over three shots per game.  Pretty, pretty good.

Ryan Johansen – Two assists with a shot.  It’s been a bit overlooked given the plethora of hot players throughout the league but Johansen has pushed his way into the top 10 in assists.

Dylan Larkin – Goal and an assist with two shots.  Man, what a disappointment Larkin has been.  I whiffed hard on him and another Red Wing…

Henrik Zetterberg – Two assists with two shots.  That whiff on the opposite side of the spectrum is Zetterberg.  After he looked like he was falling off a cliff at the end of last season, Zetterberg already has more points than last season.  When I do my end of the season write-up and what I was right and wrong about, Zetterberg will certainly end up in the wrong column.  That’s what I get for doubting a Hall of Famer I suppose.

Connor McDavid – Goal and an assist with two PIM.  Does this seem fair to you because it doesn’t to me:

Adam Larsson – Two assists with a shot.  If you play in a hits and blocks league, Larsson is solid given the plus-minus and PIM.  If you don’t, well, he’s as useless as that trade was for Edmonton.

Sven Baertschi – Two goals.  This year has been a nice stepping stone for Baertschi who should become either a bottom end hold or one of the best streamers in the league next season.

Loui Eriksson – Two assists with for shots.  Hard pass on Eriksson in all formats right now.

Bo Horvat – Three assists with two shots and two PIM.  All aboard the Dr. Bo bandwagon for next season and I’m holding right now.

Nikolay Goldobin – Goal on his only shot in his Canucks debut.  He played only 6 minutes but I love Goldobin in dynasties.  Explanations on the podcast linked above.

Alec Martinez – Goal and an assist with three shots.  The fact that Martinez, on pace for 40 points and around -20 on the season, is fringe show how terrible defensemen are.

Sunday’s Games:

Dougie Hamilton – Two assists with three shots.  I really don’t understand why Hamilton doesn’t get more minutes.  That does give him upside for more if it changes but I have my doubts that it does barring injury.  Regardless, Dougie is a #1D right now.

Sean Monahan – Goal and an assist with two shots.  Meh, I’m very underwhelmed.

Sergei Bobrovsky – 20 save shutout in the 3-0 win over the Devils.  Second straight shutout for Bob who is peaking once again.  Look for Columbus to ride him in an attempt to secure home ice in the first round.

Oliver Bjorkstrand – Goal and an assist.  My favorite dynasty player who has been drafted outside of the first few rounds lately, Bjorkstrand remains a solid streamer for the rest of the season.

Sam Gagner – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM.  He scored a goal in each game this weekend after going 30 straight without a goal.  He’s an average streamer at this point.

Jack Eichel – Goal on ten shots with two PIM.  Ten game point streak for Eichel who has the most points in the league over the last five weeks.  If not for the injury, he’d be looked at in the same light as Matthews and Laine.  Eichel will be a fringe first rounder next season.  It’s also amazing he didn’t have the most shots on goal on his team…

Evander Kane – Assist with eleven shots and four PIM.  Evander Kane doing Evander Kane things!

Brian Gionta – Goal and an assist with three shots.  Decent streamer in his current role.

Ryan O’Reilly – Goal on seven shots playing over 25 minutes.  He’s heating up with six points in the last four while the shots are pushing three per game on the season.  RoR’s ceiling is capped because of the lack of PIM but the points are great.

Marc-Andre Fleury – 28 saves allowing 0 goals in 40 minutes of relief in the 4-3 win over the Sabres.  Despite Murray’s struggles in this one, I don’t expect MAF to play much down the stretch.

Justin Schultz – Goal and two assists with two PIM.  Schultz owners are begging Letang to never come back.  Unless you own both like I do in my big money league, then you’ll take the slight hit to Schultz’ value to have Letang.

Conor Sheary – Goal and an assist with four shots.  Now that he’s off the IR, get him back in your lineups.

Eric Staal – Two goals.  He’s cooled down quite a bit in the second half but I think you still have to hold him unless your waiver wire is loaded.

Devan Dubnyk – 20 saves on 21 shots in the 3-1 win over the Sharks.  Dubs is rocking and a rolling again.  With Chicago pushing them for the division title, look for Dubnyk to maintain his workload through the fantasy playoffs.

Jake Allen – 27 save shutout in the 3-0 win over the Avalanche.  I sound like a broken record but I’m discounting this start since it was against Colorado.  Keep rolling Allen hoping for the best but don’t have high hopes.

Richard Bachman – 43 saves on 44 shots in the 2-1 win over the Ducks.  He’s a career minor leaguer who has been decent enough to keep his NHL teams in games over the years.  I wouldn’t count on him for anything unless you’re beyond desperate.

Eddie Lack – 25 saves on 26 shots in the 2-1 win over the Coyotes.  His coach absolutely ripped him to shreds in this interview a few days before this performance:

Yowza.  I won’t slam him like Peters but I also have little faith in Lack.  Shall I say, my faith is Lacking?  I’ll see myself out… after I give you some streamers for tonight.

Monday’s Streamers:

Mathieu Perreault (18.1%) – Is a seven game point streak worth your attention?  I would imagine it is.  That is what Perreault is on right now so use him tonight.

Mikkel Boedker (8.0%) – I expect the Sharks to score some goals on the Jets despite Hellboy’s recent prowess.  The choices are minimal on the Sharks, especially since Hansen is having viza issues, so here’s to hoping Boedker has one of his good nights to start the week well.

Drew Stafford (1.1%) – As noted above, he had a nice debut with a nice role.  Options are limited tonight but I’m willing to roll the dice on Stafford again.

That’s all for now guys.  With a small Monday slate, my next set of daily notes will be out Wednesday morning.  Reid and I will be recording a podcast Tuesday morning so look for that to drop in the early afternoon Tuesday, hopefully before noon.  As always, feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments below.  Thanks for reading, take care!

  1. Mr. Rickey says:

    I need to make some room on the bench – who do you like better ROS – Pannik, Marleau or Aho? Need to drop one.

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Mr. Rickey: I’d probably drop Aho. Marleau is definitely the best one so it’s down to Panik and Aho. I’ll take Panik who is playing extremely well when the margins between him and Aho are incredibly small.

  2. Saints says:

    Hay Viz thanks for the write up 🙂
    In my leagues “contraction draft” i got McKinnon for next year and I’m pretty excited to pair him with Ratanen.
    What do you think about Burrows now after his 2nd game was pretty quiet and again only 11 Minutes?
    I’m still searching desperately for help for my playoffpush starting next week.

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Saints: Very nice, hopefully things get better in Colorado next season. That’s why Burrows is a streamer and not a hold, it’s not going to be stable enough. I wouldn’t be counting on him to make a real impact for you come playoff time.

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