The hype surrounding Kirill Kaprizov was building for a few years before he came to the NHL.  Even with the lofty expectations on his shoulders, he’s played at a level higher than anyone expected.  On Friday, Kaprizov scored a hat trick on eight shots with two PIM and a +4 rating.  He followed that up with another eight shots on Sunday, adding an assist and two penalty minutes.  I wrote about a month ago that I expected Kaprizov’s shot rate to take a big jump as the season progressed based on his shooting totals in the KHL.  Well, sixteen shots in the past two games brings him over 2.5 per game, an average rate for a forward.  Add in being just under a point per game and we can basically call the Calder race now.  I’m not convinced that it’s going to get better in the future as Kaprizov will be 24 by the time the regular season ends, but either way, he should establish himself around a 30+40 pace in a normal season with slight upside on both of those numbers.  Kaprizov is definitely a top 50 dynasty asset, but I don’t think he pushes the top 25 long term because the penalty minutes will be low and more importantly, I don’t think he gets to be a 3.5-4 shot per game guy because he’s too good of a playmaker for that.  Either way, if you’re lucky enough to have him, enjoy it because there’s nothing fluky about his performance.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the weekend:

Friday’s Games:

Philipp Grubauer – 18 save shutout in the 2-0 win over the Kings.  For all that has gone wrong this season with the goalies I ranked aggressively, Grubauer has delivered and then some.  He’s been a top three goalie as the Avs dominate possession.  They’re due to go on a massive run with how well they’re playing.

Mikko Rantanen – Goal and an assist with five shots.  Rantanen going from a 2.5 shot per game guy to well over three does wonders for his value.  The PIM have dried up, but he’s still a top 20 player.

Cal Petersen – 44 saves on 45 shots as the tough luck loser after his COVID test proved to be a false positive.  Tough break for Grosenick who I noted on Friday.  Petersen looked great in both games over the weekend and is worth owning despite a difficult upcoming schedule.

Vladimir Tarasenko – Goal and an assist.  I have to say that Tarasenko has looked much better than I anticipated after another shoulder issue.  Hr has four points in four games and obviously should be held everywhere.

Zach Sanford – Goal and an assist with two shots.  He’s a decent streamer while he’s on the top line but that’s it.

Alec Martinez – Goal and an assist with two PIM.  With Pietrangelo out, Martinez hasn’t done as much offensively as I expected.  However, he’s still on the fringe depending on your league settings and team needs.  He’s among the best in the league in blocks where he’s an auto hold, but is terrible in shots.

Reilly Smith – Goal and an assist with four shots.  Smith is a middling streamer at this point as the Golden Knights don’t count on his line for as much offense anymore.

Jonathan Marchessault – Goal and an assist with seven shots.  Despite what I said about Smith above, Marchessault has still been good enough to hold.  He’s a plus in every category.

Tomas Nosek – Goal and an assist with four shots.  Nosek provides what you want from a fourth liner in real life.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t help us in fantasy.

Mats Zuccarello – Three assists with three shots.  Zuccarello was on fire immediately after returning to the lineup and it hasn’t stopped.  Surefire hold.

Cam Talbot – 25 save shutout in the 4-0 win over the Coyotes.  When on the ice, Talbot has been a top end #2 goalie this season which is exactly what I expected.

Connor McDavid – Goal and two assists with two shots.  Leon Draisaitl and Tyson Barrie each had a goal and an assist with three shots.  Business as usual for the top Oilers against the Senators.

Tyler Ennis – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM.  Ennis’ role is too inconsistent to use in fantasy.

Devan Dubnyk – 34 save shutout in the 6-0 win over the Ducks.  Even with this game, Dubnyk has a 3.03/.904 winning only a third of his games.  He’s clearly a desperation play.

Tomas Hertl – Goal and an assist in his return from the COVID list.  Hertl looked good both nights against the Ducks and goes back onto the fringe, although I lean towards hold.  Burns, Kane, and Meier all had two points as the top guys on the Sharks destroyed the Ducks.

Kevin Labanc – Goal and two assists with three shots.  Labanc has bene playing much better lately.  It’s not worth holding, but he’s an elite streamer now.

Saturday’s Games:

Carter Hutton – 31 saves on 32 shots in the 3-0 loss against the Penguins.  It was Hutton’s best game by a mile this season and he still lost.  Don’t even think about it.

Kris Letang – Two assists with five shots and two PIM.  Letang is clearly not at the level he used to be, but he’s still a plus across the board.  That makes him more of a bottom end #1D instead of top end even if he stays healthy.

Casey DeSmith – 24 save shutout.  DeSmith has been solid in his action this season with a .912, but has an elite 2.23 GAA because the Penguins have been excellent limiting the opportunities he faces.  I probably wouldn’t stream him against Boston, but after that I definitely would as he has a handful of games in a row against the Devils and Sabres.

Keith Kinkaid – 18 save shutout in the 4-0 win over the Bruins.  We have a new leader for unlikeliest shutout of the season.  Kinkaid has played more than I expected with Igor out, mostly because Georgiev has struggled.  The only game coming up I would stream Kinkaid in is against the Sabres.

Artemi Panarin – Assist and a shot in his return to the lineup.  Great to see Panarin back on the ice.

Chris Kreider – Goal and an assist with three shots.  Kreider would be on a 40 goal pace over a full season, and the PIM are very good.  That makes him an easy hold even if the goals will regress due to shooting 25% so far.

Mika Zibanejad – Two assists with two shots.  Zibanejad has been a combo of bad and unlucky this season.  He wasn’t going to shoot 20% again like last season, but he’s not going to keep shooting 4% either.  I think he’s still worth holding for the upside, but I can understand having some hesitiation.

Pavel Buchnevich – Goal and an assist with three shots.  Buchnevich is on the fringe, but he’s been good enough overall that I think he’s worth holding.

Andrew Cogliano – Goal and an assist with two shots.  And there’s your annual Cogliano update!

Jack Roslovic – Three assists with a shot.  After a great start in Columbus, Roslovic has slowed down quite a bit.  Because the shot rate is so poor, I lean towards elite streamer, but if you need the assists, you can hold him.

Max Domi – Goal and an assist with two shots.  To say Domi’s season in Columbus has disappointed is an understatement.  I’m leaving him on the wire for now until he shows some consistency.

Zach Werenski – Goal and an assist with two shots.  Werenski has also been a huge disappointment, but he’s started to turn it around with a four game point streak.  He’s still an easy hold so we just have to hope he turns it around.

Jacob Markstrom – 24 saves on 25 shots in the 3-1 win over the Canadiens.  Markstrom has been fine, but we have to keep expectations in check because of the division.

Sean Monahan – Two goals on six shots.  Boring Sean Monahan remains a boring hold.

Kieffer Bellows – Two goals on three shots.  Bellows moved onto the first line as Anders Lee is out for the regular season due to injury.  Bellows scored again on Sunday, granted it was shot off of his body into the net.  I liked Bellows a lot as a prospect, but he’s kind of stalled out the past couple years.  Here’s to hoping the chance to play with Barzal and Jordan Eberle (two assists, five shots) gets him on track.  For now, he’s a bottom end streamer but with real upside.

John Carlson – Two assists with two shots.  Business as usual.

Carl Hagelin – Goal and an assist.  The days of Swagelin being valuable in fantasy are in the past.

Nick Jensen – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM.  Jensen has some value in deep leagues as he’s decent enough in everything, but there’s nothing for 12’ers.

Garnet Hathaway – Two assists.  You can stream Hathaway for hits in deep leagues but that’s it.

Jakub Voracek – Two assists.  Voracek has turned into a pure AAGNOF.  Hold him if you need assists, leave him as a streamer if you don’t.

Travis Sanheim – Two assists with two shots and two PIM.  While Sanheim is a decent offensive player as he showed two seasons ago, Gostisbehere’s resurgence keeps Sanheim off the PP, and Gustafsson would play there before Sanheim would.  There’s nothing here for fantasy, but if he’s the defenseman they use as a trade piece, that could change on a new team.

Yakov Trenin – Goal and an assist with four shots.  The Predators are absolutely decimated with injury at the moment.  Trenin scored 20 goals in 32 games last season in Milwaukee so there’s some offensive potential here.  Before I stream him, I want to see how he looks over the next week.

Tyler Johnson – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM.  Nice little stretch from Johnson who is a middling streamer at the moment.

Blake Coleman – Goal and an assist with two shots.  Coleman is a middling streamer as well, although I do prefer him over Johnson because of the PIM.  As mentioned before, I really like Coleman in deep dynasties because he could thrive offensively on a new team next season.

Ondrej Palat – Two assists with three shots.  Palat might be having the quietest point per game season around.  It feels like I’m writing about him having multiple points in a game at least once a week, but he’s not getting a lot of credit for it nationally.

Erik Cernak – Two assists with three shots and two PIM.  He’s a defensive defenseman in real life but that doesn’t translate into fantasy success.  Cernak is only useful in deep leagues.

Mark Scheifele – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM.  Scheifele has been off the charts good this season; he’d be on a 110 point pace over 82 games.  What a monster.

Adam Lowry – Goal and an assist.  Mason Appleton also had a goal and an assist while Andrew Copp dished two assists.  The third line for Winnipeg delivered in this one.  Lowry and Appleton are bottom end streamers while Copp is a middling one in his current role.  That can change quickly if he moves back into the top six for whatever reason.

Aleksander Barkov – Two goals and an assist with five shots.  Barkov going from a 2.5 shot per game guy to a 3.5 shot per game guy has done wonders.  Everything that he’s doing looks completely legit.

Anthony Duclair – Two assists with four shots and two PIM in his return to the lineup.  He went right back onto Barkov’s wing elevating Duclair back to elite streamer status.

Carter Verhaeghe – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM.  I could have never seen this season from Verhaeghe coming.  He’s right on the fringe but I lean towards holding as he’s hitting all of the categories.

MacKenzie Weegar – Two assists with three shots.  Four game point streak for Weegar who keeps stumbling into offensive production as the Panthers keep scoring.  I didn’t see this coming, but he’s on the fringe now depending on team needs.

Marc-Andre Fleury – 34 saves on 35 shots in the 5-1 win over the Blues.  It looked like MAF was going to be out for a while, but it turned out he had a false positive.  Get him back in your lineups.

Max Pacioretty – Goal and two assists with four shots.  Patches has been a borderline top 10 player.  Who saw that coming?

Mark Stone – Two goals on five shots.  Despite being American, I can’t wait to see Stone play with McDavid in the Olympics.  As hockey fans, we deserve to see that.  Stone is well over a point per game and while the shot rate is poor, he’s simply a monster in every other category.

Chandler Stephenson – Two assists with two PIM.  Stephenson remains a decent streamer but it’s hard to see him being a hold with a dreadful shot rate.

Shea Theodore – Goal and an assist.  Theodore has cooled off quite a bit, but his overall numbers are still very good.  I do think he’ll finish as a #1D, but it’s closer than I figured it would be.

Thatcher Demko – 34 saves on 35 shots in the 2-1 win over the Oilers.  Demko is up to a .917 sv% despite the awful start.  He’s clearly the #1 now and while the division is brutal, Demko should still end up being a #2.

Martin Jones – 26 saves on 27 shots in the 3-1 win over the Ducks.  Somehow Jones has won half his starts despite a 3.64/.884.  I have no clue how this is possible and he remains a desperation play.

Sunday’s Games:

Phillip Grubauer – 27 saves on 28 shots in the 4-1 win over the Kings.  At this rate, he could end up playing his way into the Vezina conversation even though Vasilevskiy and Fleury have been outstanding.

Nazem Kadri – Goal and an assist with four shots and four PIM.  Kadri is having some poor shooting luck, but if he stays over three shots per game, that’s going to turn sooner than later.  He’s an easy hold for me.

Andre Burakovsky – Goal and an assist with three shots.  Burakovsky is back to being an elite streamer.  If he gets on a tear, he can be a temporary hold again, but I don’t think the minutes are good enough right now to be holding.

Dan Renouf – Two assists with two shots.  The Avs have been decimated by injuries giving playing time to Renouf.  There’s nothing here for fantasy.  Welcome to the Razzball Database!

Cam Talbot – 21 saves on 22 shots in the 4-1 win over the Coyotes.  I talked about Talbot above.

Zach Parise – Two assists with two shots.  Parise is only a bottom end streamer at this point in his career as plenty of Wild players have passed him in the pecking order.

Kevin Fiala – Goal and an assist with two shots.  Fiala has been disappointing, but if anything, I would target him in a trade.  The shot rate and PIM are fantastic, and he’s too good of a player to have only four assists.  He has some positive regression incoming.

Alex Nedeljkovic – 25 saves on 26 shots in the 2-1 win over the Red Wings.  Nedeljkovic was 9 seconds away from a shutout but a horrible bounce off Aho cost him that shutout.  Mrazek should be back sooner than later, but I would stream Nedeljkovic right now against anybody but Tampa.

Jake Oettinger – 29 saves on 30 shots in the 2-1 SO win over the Blue Jackets.  Oettinger’s numbers are very good, especially the GAA, but five OTL in 10 starts are hurting his wins.  I also feel good about streaming him against everyone but Tampa, although I do have a little pause with Florida and Carolina.

Joonas Korpisalo – 34 saves on 35 shots as the tough luck loser.  He’s been a bit better lately, but Korpisalo is still below both Mendoza lines of a 3 GAA and .900 sv%.  I think he’s dropped into desperation territory, although there is a bit more upside here than the rest of the goalies in that tier.

Zach Hyman – Two goals on four shots with two PIM.  Hyman is back on the first line making him an automatic hold in all formats.

John Tavares – Goal and an assist with five shots.  It hasn’t been as good as usual, but Tavares is still a top 50 player.

Morgan Rielly – Two assists with four shots.  All your assists are belong to Rielly!

Drake Batherson – Two goals on four shots.  I’m all in on Batherson long term, but for now, he’s an elite streamer.  The shot rate taking a jump is the next step for him to improve his long term stock.

Brady Tkachuk – Goal and an assist with six shots.  Very few players are having the offensive impact that Tkachuk is at 5 on 5.  There’s more offensive upside here than I thought there was when he was drafted.  Long term, there’s a chance he ends up a top 20 player even if you don’t include hits.

Three Point Challenge: Monday is a bigger slate than usual so we are going to do tonight’s games.  You can’t take anyone in the top 10 in points, which means no McDavid, Draisaitl, Kane, Marner, Matthews, Scheifele, Huberdeau, Kopitar, Marchand, Barkov, or Stone.  I’m going to go with Max Pacioretty against the Sharks.  I have two correct picks, while Eli Man Penguin Boy, Veritas, and Shitwolf all having one correct pick.

That’s all for now guys.  With ten games on the slate tonight, I plan on having a post for tomorrow, then Thursday and Friday this week.  As always, feel free to ask any questions, leave any comments, or give any suggestions below.  Thanks for reading, take care!

  1. No bueno says:
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    Great write up as always, Viz. The Kirill lead got me thinking about next year. I’ve acquired a lot of draft capital already and debating moving Patrick Kane in our keeper league for a front end dynasty piece. Just off the top of your head who would be your top 10-12 skaters in a keeper/dynasty going into next year?

    I feel like Kane should fetch me a great return. McJesus and Leon are both off the table and I own McKinnon and Svetch. Thanks

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Thanks! This is a good question. McDavid, Draisaitl, MacKinnon, Pastrnak, and Matthews are the clear top 5 in some order, they’re the top 5 players now IMO and are still very young. After that, it gets a bit dicey. We can consider the following guys in no particular order:

      Marner, Svechnikov, Barkov, Eichel, Rantanen as younger guys who are stars already

      Scheifele, Connor, Aho, Ehlers, Marchand, P Kane, Stone, both Tkachuks, Pettersson, Point as guys who are either a bit older, struggling a bit, or this is their first big season (in Ehlers’ case). Connor is the one who doesn’t fit into those categories, but I wouldn’t group him with the guys above. Something like those 20 guys at the top without putting a ton of time into it.

  2. Peter Parker says:
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    Good morning Viz! I am so tired of Rasmus Dahlin and his -2 every night. I never thought I would ever contemplate dropping him, but Matt Dumba looks pretty good right now!

    Your thoughts please?

    Thank you!

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Hey Peter, yeah if you can’t stomach the plus-minus I’m good with making the swap. I’m more frustrated with the Sabres than ever before and they went through a ridiculous tank. Ralph’s system has completely neutered and it’s driving me insane. Unless he gets fired like he should have been weeks ago, I don’t see a big turnaround from Dahlin.

      • The Harrow says:
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        yeah same league the MTL guy is getting canned but the BUF guy still has a job. re he heally.

        • Viz

          Viz says:
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          Owners are being cheap, I don’t see any other explanation.

  3. dubjay says:
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    Hey Viz,
    I drafted Hart, Grubauer and Gibson this year but have gotten to the point where im only starting Grubauer with regularity. Gibson has been brutal and Hart has somehow been even worse. I wont cut bait on Hart yet but Gibson has to go right?
    I have an empty slot due to Pettersson being on the IR. So which 2 goalies would you go with out of
    GIBSON(pretty droppable at this point)
    REIMER
    OETTINGER
    NEDELJKOVIC(love his stats but figure that he is the odd man out when Mrazek returns)

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      I agree that you can let go of Gibson in general, his team is sinking him. Reimer would definitely be one of the guys. Can you turn the other one into a stream spot? I guess you can go both Carolina goalies, but you’re definitely right about Mrazek bumping out Nedeljkovic sooner than later. Oettinger has a good chance of getting a game against Detroit this week, so I would prefer him to Nedeljkovic for that reason.

      • dubjay says:
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        Would you even start Hart tonight @NYR? Im not even sure when/if to play my number 1 goalie anymore. Last year I drafted Bobrovsky and suffered the same fate.

        • dubjay says:
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          Looks like i got my answer. NO!
          Man he looks bad this year.
          Heiskanen really looks pretty pedestrian as well. Keep waiting for him to break out. Hes playing monster minutes. Hoping they trade Klingberg so at least he will finish strong.

          • Viz

            Viz says:
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            I probably would have and it would have hurt. This is why I don’t draft goalies early, just a complete mess from guys who seem to be safe.

            I admittedly haven’t watched much of Dallas so far, but I don’t understand why Heiskanen dropped off so much. It seems crazy to me that they’d trade Klingberg, but can’t rule it out.

  4. Steve says:
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    Hey Viz,

    I’m trying to figure out who I should be holding from a group of guys I perceive to be really close, so could you rank these guys for me? My cats are G, A, +/-, PIM, PPP, SHP, SOG, FW.

    Kubalik, Tuch, Dvorak (really only holding for the FW), Bjorkstrand, Fiala, Zuccarello

    I currently have the first four there and the other two are on waivers. Thanks!

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      I can’t believe those other two are on waivers. This depends a bit on team needs. If you really need the PPP, you can hold Kubalik, but if not, you can let him go. Same goes for Dvorak but with faceoffs. I think the Wild guys are the best two here so I would definitely grab them both and decide who to cut based on what you need. With Stone back, I would lean towards Tuch being one of them, but he’s also a plus-minus boost. It really comes down to how well the rest of your players hit the other categories.

  5. Eli Man Penguin Boy says:
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    drat stone JUST doesn’t make the cut (bozak STILL out from that stone dirty hit from late jan or early feb to the head from behind). would’ve probably gone stamkos or point if that game didn’t start weirdly early. patches for the block tie to at least not go behind 2 wins vs SJ for 3 point monday

  6. Veritas says:
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    I’ll take Sean Couturier vs NYR for the Three Point Challenge

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      So close!

      • Eli Man Penguin Boy says:
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        holy crap, he had 55 minutes of game + OT to get that 3rd point too

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