Hopefully everyone’s holidays went extremely well. The only thing my weekend was missing was hockey so I’m glad that things will be back tonight. I haven’t updated how things went on Friday’s games so here goes nothing. In my preseason rankings, I wrote the following about Charlie Coyle: “Coyle had a big second half to get over 20 goals and 20 assists for the season. Now, he’s going to be on the first line which should dominate the possession game. The shots need a slight boost but he’s a good bet for 25+25 or possibly slightly better.” First line, check. Possession game, not quite dominant but still above average so still a check. Slight boost in shots, check. Good bet for 25+25 or slightly better, check. Coyle had a monster game on Friday scoring a goal and three assists with four shots in the 7-4 win over the Rangers. That puts Coyle at 12+15 in 33 games with just over 2 shots per game, 22 PIM and +13. Instead of 25+25, we’re potentially looking at 30+35. Coyle is currently the 30th ranked forward and while I had him in my top 150, his consensus ranking ended up over 40 spots later. Hopefully he ended up being one of your last couple picks like he was for me in a bunch of leagues because he’s been terrific and I don’t see it slowing down. Here’s what else happened on Friday night before the break:
Thomas Greiss – 28 saves on 29 shots in the 5-1 win over the Sabres. Man, Buffalo was a dumpster fire in this game but when called upon, Greiss was solid. He could be the main starter for the short term.
Travis Hamonic – Two assists with two shots. The PIM and assists are solid, everything else not so much.
Ryan Strome – Goal and an assist with four shots. Two seasons ago, he had 50 points and looked like he was on the verge of a breakout. The last two seasons, he has 38 points in 101 games. Could he rediscover that offense? Possibly, but for now it’s maybe streamable but nothing more.
John Tavares – Goal on three shots. It sucks that his supporting cast has little to offer; Tavares’ numbers will be fine but not anywhere near the level they could be.
Mikael Granlund – Goal and an assist with three shots. He’s worth holding while he’s on fire.
Mikko Koivu – Goal and two assists. Koivu is on the fringe right now; I’d be fine with holding or just streaming him.
Nino Niederreiter – Goal and an assist. Still an elite streamer but I don’t trust him to hold.
Eric Staal – Two assists with a shot and two PIM. Excellent five category contribution from Staal who sits as the 15th best forward going into Tuesday night. True renaissance for the 32 year old.
Jason Zucker – Goal and two assists with two shots. Same deal as Nino.
Chris Kreider – Two goals and an assist with eight shots. Finishing +3 in a game where your team loses 7-4 is pretty damn strong. Kreider has been terrific all season.
Ryan McDonagh – Goal and an assist with four shots. He’s settled in as a bottom end #2 as I expected and that’s with only 2 goals. There’s upside for slight improvement.
Derek Stepan – Goal and two assists with four shots. He’s quietly been a top 50 forward this year with relative ease. Stepan is a good bet to set a career high in points.
Mats Zuccarello – Three assists with four shots. Zucc is as steady as they come for a mid-range player. The goals are down a bit as expected but he should get over 34 assists for the fourth consecutive season.
Henrik Lundqvist – 9 saves on 13 shots in 24:55 before getting pulled. The King was in a hot streak before this massive dud. I’m still not concerned; the Wild are on fire right now and the Rangers are about to get healthy.
Sidney Crosby – Goal on seven shots. About standard for him at this point.
Evgeni Malkin – Two assists with three shots. He’s been the #1 forward overall and now it’s by a wide margin. Just stay healthy!
Marc-Andre Fleury – 23 saves on 24 shots in the 4-1 win over the Devils. I would stream him but don’t see the point of holding.
Braden Holtby – 23 save shutout in the 4-0 win over the Lightning. His numbers are much better than last year’s in case you were wondering how his season was going.
Nicklas Backstrom – Two assists with two shots. No slowing down at all with the shots getting back to the past levels.
John Carlson – Two goals on six shots. Finally starting to heat up with five points in the last five games. I think we see a big second half.
Marcus Johansson – Goal and an assist with two PIM. He’s starting to slow down to the point where it’s very fringe. The shots have evaporated and there are no PIM. I’m fine with holding or cutting bait to stream.
Sergei Bobrovsky – 36 saves on 37 shots in the 2-1 win over the Canadiens. He’s distanced himself as the #2 goalie on the season and at this point, there’s no reason to expect CBus to fall apart.
Jeff Petry – Goal on five shots. I talked about him a lot over the last two weeks and we discussed him at the last podcast. If you haven’t listened to me, start now and pick him up!
Nick Foligno – Two assists with two shots. He’s been remarkable being a plus in all six categories and a major plus in five of them.
Anthony Mantha – Goal on four shots. He’s starting to heat back up with 4 points in 4 games. The shots completely disappeared but the four in this game were very encouraging. I prefer to stream Mantha but you can go either way.
Aleksander Barkov – Assist with three shots and two PIM. Hotter than a pistol!
Jason Demers – Goal and an assist with two shots. On the fringe of 12’ers right now with an increased offensive role. The shots are still poor and the assists are below average so it’s far from automatic but 5 points in 4 games warrants discussion.
Torey Krug – Two assists. He’s the 22nd ranked defenseman in the rater despite having 1 goal and being -4. That shows how powerful Krug is in fantasy despite being brutally unlucky in the goals department again.
Ryan Spooner – Goal and an assist with six shots. He’s heated up a bit but it’ll take an injury for Spooner to reach 12’er status again.
Justin Faulk – Goal and an assist with seven shots. Faulk has done about exactly what we expected. Goals and shots are excellent, assists and PIM are below average while the plus-minus is rough.
Elias Lindholm – Two assists with three shots. Lindholm is so frustrating to me. I see the big upside but we don’t get it nearly enough. It’s okay to stream but that’s it right now.
Jordan Staal – Goal and an assist. He’s played his way into a solid streamer but I’m still not holding Staal. It’s too bottom end everywhere.
Cam Ward – 31 saves on 33 shots in the 3-2 OT win over the Bruins. If I could sell high on Ward, I would do it yesterday. He hasn’t been a .918 sv% goalie in forever and a day.
Calvin Pickard – 38 saves on 39 shots in the 2-1 OT win over the Blackhawks. Colorado goalies right now are an incredible risk.
Tyson Barrie – Two assists with three shots. The lack of offensive talent on the Avalanche has really hurt Barrie’s production. I’d still hold if you can stomach the plus-minus but you can go either way.
Nathan MacKinnon – Goal and an assist with four shots. The player rater isn’t a fan because of the plus-minus and only 2 PIM. That said, MacKinnon has been terrific virtually carrying a line by himself all year.
Jonathan Toews – Goal on seven shots playing over 24 minutes. The minutes are through the roof right now so there’s a ton of short term value.
Corey Crawford – 32 saves on 34 shots in his return taking the loss. Get back to starting Crawford every time out at this point.
Jeff Carter – Two goals on four shots. Carter is currently a top 20 forward being on pace for over 40 goals with massive shot totals. I don’t see it slowing down either given how the Kings utilize him.
Kari Lehtonen – 29 saves on 31 shots in the 3-2 OT win over the Kings. I’m still maintaining that the Stars goalies are purely “desperate for starts” guys.
Tyler Seguin – Goal on five shots. Seguin isn’t far off his usual point per game but the plus-minus has really hurt to this point.
John Klingberg – Assist with four shots and two PIM. That’s three games in a row with a point and the shots are starting to come up. There’s a chance Klingberg starts to push things towards past levels. I’d be fine with trying to make a trade for him trying to buy low.
Mikael Backlund – Goal and two assists with three shots and two PIM. He’s a fine streamer but not enough to be a hold.
Michael Frolik – Two assists with four shots. Same story as Backlund.
Mark Giordano – Two goals on three shots. Despite having only 14 points, Giordano is a plus in all categories at this point. If he starts to put some points together, he should get back to #1D status.
Dougie Hamilton – Two assists with four shots. He is a #1 because he has 6 more points than Giordano. The Flames are starting to pick things up so there is still some more upside here.
Matthew Tkachuk – Goal on five shots. We talked about him extensively on the latest podcast; he should be owned everywhere right now.
Brian Elliott – 13 saves on 14 shots in the 4-1 win over the Flames. He’s been better lately but Elliott is still the backup right now.
Frederik Andersen – 31 saves on 32 shots in the 4-1 win over the Coyotes. Andersen has been terrific after the first couple weeks of the season. Own him everywhere you can and hold tight.
Connor Brown – Goal and an assist with four shots. There is a little long term upside but for now, there isn’t much here.
Leo Komarov – Two goals on three shots. Uncle Leo has been mediocre this year and unless your league counts hits, it should only be streamed.
Shane Doan – Goal on three shots. Congrats to Captain Coyote on his 400th career goal. Doan isn’t even worth streaming at the moment though.
Connor McDavid – Goal and an assist with three shots. He was in a mini-drought but you can’t keep a guy like McDavid down.
Brent Burns – Two assists with five shots. Burns has paid off his top 15 draft status and then some. He’s pushing a point per game and leads the league in shots. Just stupid.
Logan Couture – Two assists with a shot. Couture has been fine but not to the level that I had hoped. There’s the upside for improvement though.
Kevin Labanc – Two goals on three shots. He’s made a decent impact as a 21 year old with 6 goals in 21 games. There’s not enough here at this point but it’s worth monitoring for some long term impact.
Joe Pavelski – Goal and an assist with four shots and two PIM. He’s a damn machine.
Tuesday Streamers – 10 games on the slate tonight as the league gets back in the swing of things. Here are my top 3 options of the day:
Matthew Tkachuk (19.4%) – He should be owned everywhere. Go stream him for this game against the Avs and then hold him.
Bryan Rust (8.8%) – Being on the first line with Crosby is good enough for me. They just took it to the Devils and get them again tonight. I expect more of the same.
Brett Ritchie (1.2%) – The shots have been strong for the past few weeks and a matchup against the Coyotes should help move things into the point column.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back on Wednesday recapping all of the action from tonight. I’m hoping to record a podcast with Reid on Wednesday to be posted on Thursday; I’ll confirm that one way or the other tomorrow. As always, feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments below. Take care!