One of the goaltending performances of the season came in the marquee showdown on Tuesday. Toronto sure didn’t make it easy on Matt Murray, taking seven penalties, but Murray stood up to the challenge and then some. Murray had a 44 save shutout, leading Toronto to a 4-0 victory. I thought the Toronto goaltending would be rough this season, but Murray has been very good when on the ice. Same goes with Ilya Samsonov. It could fall apart just like it did for Campbell last season, but the reason I liked these guys as #2 goalies is their floor is so high because of wins. When Toronto gets this level of goaltending, it’s extremely hard to beat them. Here’s to hoping Murray can stay healthy because he could be a big difference maker in fantasy. Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Paul Cotter – Two goals on three shots. Cotter has made a nice impression this season and is starting to carve out a bigger role. He’s becoming a deep league streamer for hits. Welcome to the Razzball Database!
Shea Theodore – Two assists with four shots. Theodore has been one of the best defenseman in the league so far. In fantasy, it’s not quite that good, but he’s thriving in the short term with Pietrangelo out for personal reasons.
Brad Marchand – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM. Marchand has been his usual self crushing all of the categories across the board.
Jordan Kyrou – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM. Kyrou has been extremely productive, but his plus-minus is a complete disaster. I’m still holding, but it really needs to improve.
Vincent Trocheck – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM. Trocheck has cooled off quite a bit, but I’m still holding. He’s down to the fringe in general, but the shots/PIM/PPP/hits combo is enough to hold.
Artemi Panarin – Two assists. Even a disappointing season from Panarin has him over a point per game. The Rangers as a team are definitely on edge at the moment though.
Alexis Lafreniere – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM. Laf moved onto the top line during the game and delivered. He’s expected to start there tonight against Vegas as well. We’ll see what happens, but it’s definitely worth monitoring.
Alex Newhook – Two goals. Newhook is in line for a massive role now with Nathan MacKinnon out for about a month. I’ve never seen a team with worse injury luck than the Avalanche. Bednar doesn’t really have a choice besides playing Newhook with Rantanen. You can see the role for yourself against Boston tonight, but if you want to make a spec add, I don’t hate it.
Kevin Hayes – Two assists with seven shots and two PIM. Hayes is awfully close to matching last season’s point total in 22 less games. The plus-minus is rough, but it’s very good everywhere else, so make that decision based on your format and team needs.
Scott Laughton – Two assists with two shots. He’s getting huge minutes, but Laughton is only a bottom end streamer.
Travis Sanheim – Goal and an assist. Sanheim is on a nice run with a point in six of his last seven games. In leagues with blocks, he gets a big boost. Otherwise, I’d use him in 14’ers or deeper and 12’ers depending on your format.
Shayne Gostisbehere – Goal and an assist with two shots. Gostisbehere has found his offensive game in Arizona and the return of Jakob Chychrun (1+1, 2 PIM) hasn’t hurt him. As long as the plus-minus isn’t hurting you too badly, he’s an easy hold.
Nazem Kadri – Goal and two assists with two shots. Nice to see a big game from Kadri after a long cold streak. I expect him to get back on track along with most of the other Flames.
Jonathan Huberdeau – Two assists with two PIM. It’s been kind of a nightmare start in Alberta for Huberdeau, but I’d still be a bit tempted to buy low if possible. He has six points in the last five games and he’s too talented to stay below a point per game.
Nick Suzuki – Goal and an assist with two shots. Suzuki can’t shoot 27% forever. The goal rate is obviously unsustainable with this shot rate, but the assists are for real. I doubt you can sell that high, but I would consider it.
Jordan Harris – Two assists with a shot. Nothing to see here.
Elias Pettersson – Goal and two assists. The season we were hoping for from Pettersson is here.
Riley Stillman – Two assists with two shots. And there’s your annual Stillman update!
Ilya Mikheyev – Two goals on four shots. I was expecting a bit better from Mikheyev in Vancouver. He’s a solid streamer, but I don’t see him pushing past that unless there’s an injury or a trade or two.
Andrei Kuzmenko – Goal and an assist. Kuzmenko has proven to be very good offensively in his rookie season. He’s firmly on the fringe. If you need PPP, he’s nice for the bottom of your roster.
Vitek Vanecek – 24 save shutout in the 3-0 win over the Blackhawks. Chicago really pressured Vanecek in the first before he was able to coast the last two periods. I didn’t see him being a #1 fantasy goalie this season, but here we are.
Dougie Hamilton – Goal and two assists with seven shots. As the President of the Dougie Hamilton fan club, it’s nice to see him back to the level we were accustomed to in Carolina. He’s a top 5 defenseman again.
Jack Hughes – Two assists with a shot. Hughes is already looking like a bargain on his contract extension. He’s coming into his own and he’s still only 21 years old. One of the most aesthetically pleasing players to watch in the league.
Anze Kopitar – Three assists with a shot. It’s on the fringe unless your league has faceoffs as a category. I would hold at the moment with Kopitar having ten points in the last seven games.
Kevin Fiala – Goal and an assist. Fiala is thriving once again back on the first line. I’d like to see an uptick in his shot rate, but the points are fantastic.
Viktor Arvidsson – Two goals on four shots. Arvidsson is a solid streamer, but it’s hard to see him topping that on the Kings.
Sean Durzi – Two assists. Durzi has a point in his last six games. He is a solid hold now, even though his plus-minus is worse than you’d expect.
Thomas Chabot – Goal and an assist. The Senators are a big disappointment, but their power play remains very good. Chabot is rolling again and should continue to do so.
Tim Stutzle – Two assists with five shots and two PIM. The plus-minus is getting kind of ugly, but it’s hard to complain when Stutzle is over a point per game.
Tristan Jarry – 38 saves on 39 shots in the 4-1 win over the Blue Jackets. Columbus scored exactly one minute into the game, but Jarry was fantastic after that. His GAA is much higher than last year despite almost an identical save percentage. Pitt is giving up a lot more chances, but I do think it will come down a bit. I like Jarry a lot going forward.
Sidney Crosby – Two goals on four shots. Crosby continues to dominate at 35 years old. Somehow, he’s getting overshadowed by the young guns, but Crosby remains in the top tier of the sport.
Bryan Rust – Goal and an assist. I’m fine with holding Rust or having him as an elite streamer. He’s starting to show signs of life so I lean towards holding.
Jake Guentzel – Two assists with five shots and two PIM. Guentzel might be the most unheralded superstar in the league. His playmaking is even up a notch this season while maintaining his 40+ goal pace.
Andrew Copp – Two assists with two shots. Copp is coming around offensively with nine points in his last nine games, but it’s still only a middling streamer for me. The shot rate is very poor after it was an asset last season.
Filip Hronek – Two assists. Hronek just won’t slow down. He has multiple points in six of his last eight games. I don’t expect this to continue, but just ride with it since I can’t see anyone buying high on Hronek.
Justin Faulk – Two assists. Faulk has been fine, but we could see an uptick in production with Torey Krug out for an unspecified amount of time.
Josh Leivo – Goal and an assist with five shots. Leivo bumped back up the lineup with Pavel Buchenvich out, who is also out for an unspecified amount of time. Leivo has had decent runs in the past but I want to see it again before I put him back on my streaming radar.
Noel Acciari – Two goals on three shots. We could be looking at another random year where Acciari scores a bunch of goals, but I still can’t bring myself to use him in fantasy.
Zach Parise – Goal and an assist with four shots. Parise has been better than I expected, but it’s still bottom end streamer territory.
Noah Dobson – Goal and an assist with five shots. The shot rate is elite for a defenseman and the points are slightly better than last season. Dobson remains a #2 in 12’ers.
Kyle Connor – Two goals and an assist with six shots. It’s no surprise that Connor is back on track. Expect him to play at his usual level, which is a borderline top 20 guy.
Pierre-Luc Dubois -Three assists with two shots. Dubois is having the best season of his career. PLD and Connor being reunited is great to see. Winnipeg is one of the most fascinating teams for me both for this season and in the offseason.
Auston Matthews – Goal and an assist with three shots. Matthews’ shooting percentage is getting back towards its usual level. Crazy to think that a 40 goal pace is unlucky, but that’s the level Matthews is at now.
Shane Wright – Goal on three shots. Fitting that Wright’s first career goal came against the team that passed on him at #1 overall. Wright was on fire in the AHL, and will be on his way to the WJC soon. I’m a big fan long term, but for redrafts, he’s not really on my radar at the moment.
Three Point Challenge: It’s a very strange NHL schedule this week with seven games tomorrow and five on Thursday. I’m going to allow people to pick a player on either Wednesday or Thursday. Nobody plays on both days, so you don’t need to specify which day you want to count for your player. You can’t select McDavid, Draisaitl, Robertson, Kucherov, M. Tkachuk, Pastrnak, Crosby, MacKinnon, Thompson, or Karlsson. I’ll go with Connor against the Blues.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back on Friday recapping the action of the next two nights. As always, feel free to ask any questions, leave any comments, or give any suggestions below. Thanks for reading, take care!