I remember watching Thomas Vanek playing for the Golden Gophers in college winning the Frozen For in Buffalo and falling in love with him as a player.  Luckily for me, he was drafted by the Sabres and I was able to watch him dominate games for years in a Sabres uniform.  Now, Vanek’s moved on to the Wild but still dominating games in stretches.  Tuesday night, Vanek showed flashes of his old game scoring a goal on two shots and adding three assists in the 6-2 win against the Canucks.  Despite playing on the third line for most of the year, Vanek now has 11 goals and 13 assists in 29 games providing great value to people who drafted him in the middle rounds.  He won’t match his 40 goals from the past but his odds look pretty good for a 25+30 season or better. Here’s what else I saw on a busy Tuesday slate:

Mikko Koivu – Goal and three assists with a shot.  One shot short of Vanek, what a bum.  The shot rate has drastically fallen off the last few years but the assists are still coming at an elite rate.

Zach Parise – Goal and two assists with eight shots.  He’s back in form and his owners should be thrilled.  He’s at almost 4 shots per game with 10+8 in 21 games.

Darcy Kuemper – 29 saves on 31 shots in the win.  Devan Dubnyk was healthy enough to back him up so if you can trade Kuemper for anything, I would.  That is, if you don’t own Dubnyk as well so you don’t need the insurance.

Henrik Sedin – Two assists and a shot.  Can’t keep a Cyborg down!

Cory Schneider – 25 save shutout.  Fully took advantage of the Sabres on a back to back.  His numbers on the year are amazing and while I don’t expect the wins to hold, Schneider is a sure fire top 10 goalie the rest of the season pushing the top 5.

Roberto Luongo – 33 saves on 34 shots in the win over the Islanders.  Inevitable bounceback but great to see nonetheless.

Aaron Ekblad – Goal on his only shot.  Is he still heating up or is he on fire?  I need a ruling!

Aleksander Barkov – Goal and two assists with four shots.  He had slowed down big time until the explosion Tuesday.  Where does he rank going into next season?  He’s clearly top 100 but how far in is he?  The 20 year old is already dominating games in stretches so the upside is quite high.

Brock Nelson – Goal on seven shots.  He’s been on the first line for weeks so if for some reason he’s available in your league, grab him.

Jaroslav Halak – 12 saves on 16 shots.  Yikes.  This isn’t going to help him getting the better part of his timeshare.

Dylan McIlrath – Goal on his only shot and two PIM.  Mostly writing about him because it was his first career goal and in the role he’s used, he won’t have much fantasy relevance outside of hits and blocks leagues.  Nonetheless, congrats!

Mats Zuccarello – Goal and an assist with three shots.  Can’t keep a good Hobbit down!

Rick Nash – Goal and an assist with four shots.  Just better than a Hobbit!  Can’t keep Fat Rick down!

Keith Yandle – Two assists and a shot.  He’s disappointed a bit this year but the assists are still elite.  It’s worth repeating so in dynasties, if you’re out of it, Yandle is a great target.  It’s unlikely he stays in New York after the season and that should get him more ice time and improvement across the board.

Jeff Skinner – Hat trick on six shots.  That’s two hat tricks in six games.  I hope you read my Monday article here because I told you how streaky Skinner is and that you need to grab him.

Justin Faulk – Assist with three shots and two PIM.  That’s a five game point streak for Faulk and his line is bonkers outside of his plus-minus.

Shayne Gostisbehere – Goal and an assist with two shots.  Hopefully you grabbed him right away as I suggested. Elite special teams points are a certainty and as he keeps playing well, the minutes should increase boosting his other stats.

Jakub Voracek – Goal and two assists with seven shots.  Finally, a night his owners could appreciate after drafting him in presumably the second round.

Nikita Kucherov – Goal and an assist with two shots.  He’s moved up to the first line so the minutes are up.  He has the best chance to approach last year’s value of any of the Lightning studs.

Vladislav Namestnikov – Goal and an assist with two shots.  As long as the minutes are there, he’s going to produce.  I’d probably own him in the short term but at the least, he’s a top notch streamer.

P.A. Parenteau – Two assists with three shots.  He’s moved up to the first line with the next two guys.  He has a history of producing with big minutes so I’d grab him in 12’ers or stream him at the very least.

James van Riemsdyk – Goal and an assist with seven shots.  I figured his numbers would be better but he’s avoided a brutal plus-minus and has taken 18 shots in the last 3 games so this could be the start of a turnaround.

Tyler Bozak – Goal and an assist with two shots.  The new first line center, Bozak took advantage on Tuesday.  I’m still not owning him as he’s simply not a good hockey player.

Joe Pavelski – Goal and an assist with four shots.  The Big Pavelski keeps rolling and the Sharks power play should improve with the return of Logan Couture which should only help Joe.

Justin Braun – Two assists with a shot.  He’s starting to get interesting in deep leagues with the minutes he’s getting.  He has 5 points in the last 4 games and has played over 22 minutes in all of them.  If you’re in need of assists, you could do worse than Braun for your last defenseman.

Martin Jones  – 26 saves on 27 shots in the win.  Will Jones ever put up a generic start?  It seems like he always has a shutout or solid one save outing on the good side of the spectrum or gives up 4 goals on 22 shots on the bad side.

Karri Ramo – 21 saves on 22 shots in the win over Smashville.  He’s getting all of the starts and Calgary is heating up so he’s worth grabbing if he’s still available anywhere.

Alex Steen – Goal and two assists with four shots. He’s just short of a point per game with three shots and a PIM a game.  Just stay healthy!

Kevin Shattenkirk – Two assists with a shot.  He’s definitely on fire, the only question is whether it’s the standard fire or the blue NBA Jam fire?  He’s had 7 points the last 5 games averaging 3 shots per.

Vladimir Tarasenko – Goal and two assists with two shots.  He’s firmly in the top 10.  He’s one goal behind the league leader, over a point per game and almost taking four shots per game with a solid PIM total.

Mark Scheifele – Goal and an assist with three shots and four PIM.  I don’t have enough stock of Scheifele for this year because I thought the breakout was coming next year.  I hope he slows down not only because it’s hurting me for this year but it’s boosting his stock for next year blowing up my hopes of getting him.

Tyler Myers – Two assists.  I don’t think there’s a player who’s frustrated me more in my life as a hockey fan than Myers.  So much potential and doesn’t look like he’ll ever be able to sustain it over a significant stretch of time.

Mathieu Perreault – Two assists and six shots.  Just stay healthy! And that’s me repeating me!

Semyon Varlamov – 29 save shutout ending Patrick Kane’s streak at 26 games.  I said I thought Monday was the best sell high opportunity you can get for Varlamov but I was wrong, right now is.  His ratios won’t be good enough behind that defense.

Nathan MacKinnon – Two assists with a shot.  He’s slowed down but is still on pace for 70 points with over 3 shots per game; no complaints here.

Gabriel Landeskog – Goal and an assist with four shots and two PIM.  Like MacKinnon, he’s slowed down a bit but he’s on pace for 65 points and close to 100 PIM.  That’s extremely rare.

Kari Lehtonen – 34 saves on 35 shots moving to 11-1 on the season.  His ratios aren’t great but he’s been excellent in his starts from the wins alone.

Tyler Seguin – Two goals on three shots.  Beast mode, plain and simple.

Wednesday Streamers:  There are only two games on Wednesday so options are limited.  Here’s my top choices:

Marcus Johansson (32.9% owned) – He has a higher owned percentage than most people I list as streamers but he’s the clear cut top option in a 2 game slate.  He’s on the second line and first power play unit against the team who gives up the most shots per game.

David Perron (20.8% ) – Moved to the first line with all of the injuries.  Can’t really ask for more on a 2 game slate.

David Warsofsky (0.7%) – He’s on the first pair and more importantly first power play unit with the injury to Kris Letang.  Can’t ask for more than that.

That’s all for now guys.  With only two games tomorrow, I won’t have daily notes on Thursday so I’ll be back on Friday.  No need to worry though!  Marv and Pesos will have a big buy and sell article being at the quarter point of the season posted on Thursday so be sure to check that out.  As always, feel free to ask any questions or post any comments below.  Take care everyone!

  1. Alex says:
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    Morning Viz:
    Great recap as always. You mentioned JSkinner is streaky. I am in a points league, nonkeeper. Forwards are Getzlaf, THall, DSedin, Scheifele, Nyquist, MStone, Hoffman, Barkov and Gallagher (IR). Should I drop one for Skinner? I don’t think so, but would like your thoughts. Much appreciated!

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Alex: I agree with you, I wouldn’t drop anyone of your team for Skinner, as hot as he’s been. No problem, any time!

  2. Nate says:
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    Hi Viz,

    I have to pick two of the following three. Which do you keep?

    M. Scheifele
    V. Rask
    D. Brassard

    Thanks!!

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Nate: I’m definitely keeping Scheifele. The other two are really close but I’d lean towards keeping Brassard and throwing Rask back. No problem!

  3. Ben says:
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    League: G, A, PPP, GWG, Hits. Would you drop Phil Kessel for anyone of these guys: Perreault, Skinner, Pominville, Domi, Stafford, Barkov, Nugent-hopkins, Jagr, Marcus Johansson, Galchenyuk, Datsyuk, Spezza, E. kane or Toffoli?

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Ben: I think I’m still holding Kessel as disappointing as he’s been. He should score the most goals out of all of those guys meaning it’s most likely he has the most GWG as well. If you’re in desperate need of hits, I could see you making the move for Evander Kane but I’d probably hold off.

  4. “Yandle is a great target. It’s unlikely he stays in New York after the season and that should get him more ice time and improvement across the board.”

    I am not arguing the accuracy of that statement, as it is very likely will be true, but it sounds ironic to me, as I thought that for years when he was stuck on the Coyotes team.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @madden_curser: It does go against basic thought; naturally you’d think a player being on a better team would be better for his value. Clearly that hasn’t been the case with Yandle given how his stats have dropped across the board outside of plus-minus. A big part of this is the minutes decrease.

  5. Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
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    wow, Torts was right about Joey. Damn. starting to believe this effort thing on his part that’s been stated ALL YEAR, even pre Torts. whole expose on Joey post-game show after [email protected] BOS just now.

    • Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
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      @Montezuma’s Revenge… right now: biggest point made at the end, when/why did this start? he wasn’t like this in previous seasons, all of this one. he got his holdout money at start of last year.

      • Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
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        @Montezuma’s Revenge… right now: in this expose about Joey were about 12 or so plays this year where he just showed absolutely no effort in each one. commentators were lamenting/wondering about this.

        • Viz

          Viz says:
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          @Montezuma’s Revenge… right now: He’s definitely quit on some plays and while I don’t necessarily agree with the scratch tonight (I thought benching him was enough last game), it’s defensible. However, if they trade him away they’re idiots. He’s by far the best talent that they have and he’s 23 years old.

          • Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
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            @Viz: unless somebody else wants to give up somebody else nearly as good as him along with other stuff. but trading him RIGHT NOW is certainly stupid, bad value time. If you watched those 12 or so plays you’ll have seen just how awful his effort has been (and those 12 plays weren’t just from last week or so, from all year). Those would’ve been bad play for a 14 year old, much less a top 30 paid NHL player.

  6. Lenny says:
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    What to do with Plekanec?? He’s cooled down a bit since his hot start, and in my 10 teamer points league there’s some talent out there. Most of WPG’s top 6 is available, as well as Barkov, JVR, Hossa. Tough to tell if Plucky’s even still on the top line with Patch.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Lenny: It looks Galchenyuk is going to stick with Patches in the short term. Given who is out there, I think I’m dropping Plekanec for Barkov.

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