In an opening month where tons of goalies are struggling, Corey Crawford certainly is not.  Crawford continued his excellent play on Wednesday making 35 saves for a shutout against the Flyers.  Crawford sits with a sub 2.00 GAA and > .940 save percentage.  To quote Larry David, “pretty, pretty, pretty good.”  He’s going a long way in masking some of the problems that the Blackhawks have.  Regardless, we all knew Crawford was a #1 fantasy goalie but perhaps he plays his way into the upper tier?  To be honest, the Blackhawks probably need it.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:

Reilly Smith – Two goals on three shots.  Solid streamer right now but I wouldn’t quite put Smith in hold status.

Jonathan Marchessault – Two assists with six shots and two PIM.  I’ll have to ask Reid his thoughts on Marchessault next week; I’m leaning towards hold personally.

Pavel Buchnevich – Goal and an assist with three shots for some more streamer success!  Grab him now because he’s going to start getting more minutes.  The Butcher is playing excellent hockey and the Rangers need his scoring.

Mats Zuccarello – Goal and an assist with two shots.  Solid start in terms of points for Zucc but the plus-minus and shot rate need to get going in the right direction.

Mika Zibanejad – Goal and two assists with four shots.  Oh, Mika, you’re so fine, you’re so fine you blow my mind, hey Mika!

Clayton Keller – Goal and an assist with two shots.  How good is this kid?  Good lord.

Dylan Larkin – Goal and an assist with three shots.  This new second line with the young guns in Detroit looks outstanding.  Alright, I’m biased because it’s some of my favorites, but they’re crushing it right now.

Andreas Athanasiou – Assist with five shots and two PIM for even more streamer success!  The third wheel joining Larkin and my mancrush Anthony Mantha (G, 4 SOG) remains an elite streamer.  The minutes need to go up a bit for Athanasiou to push towards hold status.

Kyle Connor – Goal on five shots with two penalty minutes for ultimate streamer success!  It’s not every day that all three streamers get at least one point.  You guys know my feelings on Connor.  Hold him if you have the room, stream him if you don’t.

Connor Hellebuyck – 28 saves on 29 shots in the 2-1 win over the Wild.  Hellboy has been a revelation for the Jets this year.  If they get this kind of goaltending, they’re getting in the playoffs.  I wouldn’t look to sell high on Hellboy because you got him for so cheap.  He’s been an elite goaltending prospect for a while so just ride the hot streak and maybe it turns into more than a streak.

Artem Anisimov – Goal and an assist with five shots.  Solid streamer while he’s getting the power play time but Artey doesn’t do enough to be held barring a heater.

Kris Letang – Two assists with three shots.  You look across his stat line and it looks great until you get to the -14.  -14!?  How the hell is that possible in 14 games on a good team?  Letang has been a plus player in 7 of the past 8 years so I’m expecting it to turn around relatively quickly.

Matt Murray – 35 saves on 37 shots in the 3-2 win over the Oilers.  Great game from Murray who needs to build off this one.  The wins have been there but we need more from a second round pick.

Connor McDavid – Two assists with two shots.  How is this fair?

Some other guys on his team need to start contributing or the Oilers will be buried.

Cory Schneider – 37 save shutout in the 2-0 win over the Canucks.  The goals against average is below average but the save percentage is strong per usual (barring last season) and now the wins are elite.  Nice to see Schneider playing quality hockey again.  Come the end of the year, I think he settles in as a #2 fantasy goalie but we’ve seen him be a #1 in the past on poor teams.  Maybe this Devils team is actually good?

Taylor Hall – Two assists with four shots.  One thing is for certain, Hall is a tank and among the best forwards in the league, even though he’s never brought up in the discussion.

Jacob Markstrom – 24 saves on 25 shots taking the loss.  Both Canucks goalies have been strong but for now, it appears that Markstrom will get the lion’s share of starts.  I think he needs to be owned in all leagues at this point.

Frederik Andersen – 28 saves on 29 shots in the 3-1 win over the Ducks.  Revenge game!  Even after this game, Andersen sits at 3.25/.901.  It’s going to take quite the streak for Andersen to become plus in anything outside of wins.

Patrick Marleau – Goal and an assist with four shots.  He’s right on the fence between hold and streamer.  I would lean stream because of the lack of PIM and the minutes aren’t great.

Ron Hainsey – Two assists.  Don’t expect any more Hainsey updates any time soon.

Joonas Donskoi – Goal and an assist with two shots.  Firmly a middling streamer.

Mikkel Boedker – Goal and an assist.  Remember when Boedker was a fantasy asset in Arizona and even Colorado?  Boy, has he sucked for the Sharks.  Leave him on the waiver wire.

Martin Jones – 19 saves on 20 shots in the 4-1 win over the Predators.  This game has a ton of fights and bad blood in general but the offense was extremely lacking overall.  43 shots between both teams wasn’t actually exciting.  Anyways, Jones has been great in the early going and should remain a bottom end #1 with potential to be a middle tier #1.

Thursday Streamers:

Pavel Buchnevich (12.0%) – See above.  I think he should be owned everywhere right now so he’s obviously a great streamer.

Kyle Connor (6.9%) – Going back to the well here too.  Same story as Butcher; amazing stream, probably a hold in my book.  Nice spot against the Stars as well.

Dalton Heinen (1.4%) – Heinen is up on the second line with all of the Bruins injuries.  Vegas is simply screwed in terms of goaltending right now so getting any piece of Bruins players is definitely worth it.  Anders Bjork is just as good in this spot, if not better, but I’ll say Heinen for everyone in deeper leagues.

That’s all for now guys.  Be sure to make your Three Point Challenge pick for tonight’s game on the podcast post.  As always, feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments below.  I’ll be back tomorrow recapping the action from tonight’s games.  The Bills and Sabres games are going to greatly determine my mood while writing the notes, haha.  Things might be more colorful than normal.  Thanks for reading, take care!

  1. Scott says:
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    Viz, I have a choice to make to start one of these guys:
    Duchene vs Car
    Eberle @Wsh
    Galchenyuk @Min

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Scott: Hmm, tough choice. I’ll lean Duchene since Galchenyuk’s minutes are down as are Eberle’s who is now on the second line. I would rank them Duchene, Eberle (he’s still playing well so fine going with him) and then Gally last.

  2. Mal says:
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    Viz, is it time to start worrying about Orlov? It seems like I may have to pick between him and Savard with Raanta coming off the IR soon. Or would you drop Raanta?

    He’s getting minutes, just not producing.

    Thanks for your insight!

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Mal: I think I’d cut Orlov. It sucks because my thoughts were right, he did receive a huge minutes boost, but he hasn’t done anything with it over a full month. I know Arizona has been awful but I still think Raanta can be serviceable

  3. Scott says:
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    Anisimov has 3 goals in 3 games. When do we know if he is for real?

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Scott: When he starts to play with Kane maybe. He’ll be prone to hot streaks like the one he’s on now, I’m fine grabbing him when he’s hot, but we know who Anisimov is at this point. Expecting sustained success would be a mistake.

  4. Chris says:
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    Rasmus Ristolainen and Justin Schultz have been dropped in my league. Would you take a chance on one of them while dropping Yandle even though they are off to a bad start? I mean Ristolainen had 45 points last year with great powerplay production and decent penalty minutes while Schultz will return this week from a concussion.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Chris: I’m more inclined to take a shot on Risto now that the Sabres power play unit from last year, the reason why they had the best PP in the league, is back together. Risto being a main part of it should help turn things around. Schultz was great last year but a large part of that was Letang being out so I’d rather keep Yandle than grab him. I would lean towards grabbing Risto.

  5. Matt says:
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    Start 2 Goalies Tonight from this list:

    Lehner @ Arizona
    Darling @Colorado
    Bishop @ Winnipeg

    I’d have to be high as a kite to want to start Lundqvist @ Tampa Bay right? I picked up El Nino and Marner from a couple of fed up owners from Free Agency. Hopefully it pays off. Does Boston sound like a good play to win vs Vegas tonight? Buffalo is +105 vs a 1-11 Arizona team.S
    Sounds like a trap game but I have Eichel in 3 point. Appreciate the write ups and content. Always fun to read/listen.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Matt: Darling isn’t playing so other two. Definitely wouldn’t play Hank.

      Like the pickups, feel better about Nino than Marner, need him to start producing.

      Yes, think Boston wins and like Sabres too. They can’t afford to give away easy games and have had a long time to prepare. Like the Eichel pick, hope it works out. Appreciate the kind words!

  6. Saints says:
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    Hay Viz like i mentioned under the podcast post for me is Trade time now.
    The first teams are recognizing in my dynasty league that they are bad. I think i can make some good trades. Do you have some more buy low candidates in dynasty for a contender ?
    My Prospect Pool is pretty stacked (thanks to you):
    Kempe,Barzal,Rantanen,Tuch,Kaprizov,Mittelstadt,Girard,Vesalainen,Parsons are some of the best Prospects i own.
    I’m targeting Derrick Brassard right now (Hit/Blk/FOW im lacking especially Faceoffs right now) what do you think about him and which prospect would you give up for him ?

    • Saints says:
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      @Saints:
      I forgot to mention Grimaldi,Yamamoto and Caggiula 😀

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Saints: What position do you need the upgrade in? Let me know and I’ll take a closer look. I do like Brassard, I would do one of your lower end guys who aren’t as high upside. So I wouldn’t touch Mittelstadt, Barzal, Rantanen, Parsons but would trade someone else if they’re willing.

      • Saints says:
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        @Viz:
        I can use help everywhere 😀 but especially at Defender and Center.
        No those guys wouldnt be touched. I thought that it would be amazing to get brassard for a guy like grimaldi and/or caggiula.

  7. Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey says:
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    PIT actually isn’t a good team thus far this year, their goal differential is -13 that’s the 4th worst in the league.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey: True, although they lost two games by 15 combined (10-1 CHI, 7-1 WIN). They have some problems but it’s not quite as bad as it looks.

  8. nightpandas says:
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    In a deep league with 14 teams where we start 6 D. Mine are: Karlsson, Klingberg, Montour, Matheson, Heed, Fantenberg and Beaulieu (IR)

    Trouba on the wire…what’s the deal with this guy? worth a grab?

    also Boychuk, Edmundson, K Miller, B Hunt are out there

    G A Pts +/- PIM PPP SHP SOG

    thanks man

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @nightpandas: Yeah the upside is there, definitely grab him, probably for Fantenberg?

  9. SMLV1 says:
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    Drop Perry for Wheeler at RW? H2H standard league

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @SMLV1: All day, every day, Wheeler is a top 20 player, how the hell is he on waivers? You don’t have anyone worse than Perry to cut? Regardless, make that move immediately and thank the lucky heavens that Wheeler is available haha

      • SMLV1 says:
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        @Viz: I don’t think so my other RW eligible starters are drouin, Pastrnak, Nylander and Aho…any concerns on Aho?

    • SMLV1 says:
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      @SMLV1: dadonov available too but could use the pims more than anything

      • SMLV1 says:
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        @SMLV1:

        My team looks like this
        Mcdavid
        Tavares
        Drouin
        Jaden Schwartz
        Pastrnak
        Now Wheeler
        Byfuglien
        Ristolainen
        Parayko
        Faulk..keep???
        Barkov
        Nylander
        Aho

        Goalies…weak I think
        Smith
        Rask
        Reimer

        • Viz

          Viz says:
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          @SMLV1: I’d hold Faulk for now. Makes more sense considering you guys have smaller rosters.

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