It’s been quite a while since we’ve seen a shutout streak like the Blues are on. On Friday, Brian Elliott had one of the easiest shutouts of the season making 15 saves in the 4-0 win over the Canucks. The next day, Jake Allen recorded the fourth consecutive Blues shutout, stopping all 32 Capitals shots in the 4-0 win. Both have been outstanding this season and should be started every game the rest of the way. Get them in your lineup every time they start; the Blues will be highly motivated down the stretch to get home ice throughout the Western Conference Playoffs. Here’s what else I saw around the league this weekend:
Capitals 1, Devils 0 (OT) – John Carlson scored the overtime winner on his fourth shot of the game. He’s had a horrible second half riddled with injury and offensive struggles but you have to roll him every game going forward. Braden Holtby had a 22 save shutout to push his Vezina campaign forward. Scott Wedgewood played well again stopping 25 of 26 shots. He looks to be getting an audition for the rest of this season. Sunday’s start wasn’t as good but if you’re desperate for starts or play in a league where saves is a category, Wedgewood is a decent option.
Lightning 7, Islanders 4 – The Lightning were incredible offensively in this one looking like the team from last season. Jason Garrison had a big game with a goal, two assists and two PIM. Anton Stralman suffered an injury early in the game and is out for an extended period. This could boost Garrison’s value but probably only to the point where he’s relevant in deep leagues. Ondrej Palat dished three assists and eight shots to maintain his hot streak. Nikita Kucherov scored a goal and an assist with three shots as he matched last season’s goal total of 29. Jonathan Marchessault tallied two assists and four shots but doesn’t have the role right now to be fantasy relevant. Same goes with Andrej Sustr who also had 1+1. Josh Bailey was the lone Islander with multiple points with two assists. He’s a top notch streamer when with John Tavares (assist and four shots).
Blues 4, Canucks 0 – The Canucks are an epic disaster right now, plain and simple. Troy Brouwer and Paul Stastny each had two assists as they heat up at the end of the season. Robby Fabbri scored a goal on three shots for some streamer success. 18 goals and 19 assists for Fabbri is outstanding considering the limited role he’s had.
Sabres 3, Jets 2 – The first line was the bright spot for the Jets again as Nikolaj Ehlers scored an excellent goal from Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler. I’m almost certainly going to be higher on all three of them next year than ADP. My favorite streamer Sam Reinhart was the best player on the ice scoring a goal and adding an amazing assist with five shots. The lack of PIM will cap his fantasy ceiling but it wouldn’t shock me next year if Reinhart finished with 25+35. Jack Eichel scored a goal on two shots to reach 50 points. Great stuff from the rookie. Hudson Fasching scored a goal on two shots while Casey Nelson had an assist and a shot in their NHL debuts. In dynasties, Fasching is an interesting name because of his power forward skill set. In deep dynasties, I really like the potential of Nelson, particularly on the power play. He should be completely off the radar but Nelson has some very clear offensive abilities and the fact that he’s 23 means he’s closer to sticking in the NHL than most.
Penguins 7, Red Wings 2 – Hard to believe the Red Wings were winning 1-0 after the first period. Talk about laying an egg in the midst of a playoff race. Phil Kessel has caught fire lately with a goal and four assists with six shots. Here’s to hoping this hot streak still matters for your team. Nick Bonino also had a goal and four assists, adding four shots and two PIM. He’s up on the second line with Evgeni Malkin out so Bonino is a decent streamer. Carl Hagelin scored twice on five shots and added two PIM to stay on the streaming radar. Kris Letang did what he normally does scoring a goal and an assist with three shots. The Pens also got a rare Eric Fehr contribution with a goal and an assist. For the Red Wings, the only takeaway I had was from Andreas Athanasiou. The 21 year old scored a goal on two shots. If he gets more playing time in the future, he could be a sneaky contributor in deep leagues.
Wild 4, Avalanche 0 – Both teams are fighting for the last playoff spot in the West and the Wild came into Colorado’s building and dominated. Devan Dubnyk recorded a 29 save shutout; he’s been outstanding during the Wild’s 5 game win streak. Zach Parise followed up his hat trick with two goals on seven shots. Seems decent. Mikael Granlund scored a goal and an assist with four shots; he might be my #1 player in the league who leaves me wanting more. I feel like he should be a 70 point player. Semyon Varlamov made 31 saves on 34 shots but that doesn’t do justice to how well he played.
Stars 4, Sharks 2 – Antti Niemi had his best game in a while against his old team stopping 34 of 36 shots in the win. He’s a wins only guy at this point. Mattias Janmark scored twice with two PIM and looks to be a nice piece going forward. Right now, he’s a streaming option. Patrick Sharp scored a goal and an assist with two shots to reach the 50 point plateau. Jason Spezza dished two assists with a shot. Tomas Hertl scored a goal on three shots; he’s now at 19 goals on the season. He broke out 3 years ago but we can’t forget that he’s just 22 years old still. Brent Burns did Brent Burns things recording an assist and ten shots on goal.
Bruins 3, Maple Leafs 1 – Boston snapped their season long five game losing streak with the win in Toronto. Former Leaf draft pick Tuukka Rask was the first start stopping 29 of 30 shots. Zdeno Chara scored his first goal in 20 games; most of his value comes from PIM at this point. David Krejci tallied two assists and four shots while Matt Beleskey scored a goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM. Beleskey is a decent streamer in 12’ers right now.
Rangers 5, Canadiens 2 – If Granlund isn’t the guy who frustrates me the most, it’s Chris Kreider. Kreider scored two goals and an assist with four PIM. He’s close to 20+20 but it feels like it could be so much better. Derick Brassard had 1+2 with two shots as he smashes his previous career high in goals; Brassard has 27 on the season now. Derek Stepan scored a goal and an assist with four shots as his big second half continues. Keith Yandle dished two assists with a shot and two PIM to approach 40 assists on the season. Still frustrating that his role isn’t bigger.
Ducks 4, Senators 3 (OT) – The Senators were up 3-0 after the second period only to find another way to blow a game this year. Ryan Getzlaf and Rickard Rakell each had a goal and an assist with 5+ shots to lead the way for the Ducks. Rakell is a must-own at this point. Cam Fowler dished two assists; too bad he doesn’t have the role. Hampus Lindholm scored a goal on seven shots with four PIM; I love me some Lindholm going forward. Jamie McGinn had an assist and three shots to stay on the streaming radar. Another Sens game, another goal for Erik Karlsson and Mike Hoffman.
Panthers 5, Lightning 2 – Huge win for Florida going into Tampa to get first place in the division. Roberto Luongo was strong like usual stopping 33 of 35 shots. The first line for Florida led the way again with Jaromir Jagr, Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov each scoring two points. Jussi Jokinen also had two points with a goal and an assist while Vincent Trocheck remained hotter than a pistol with a goal on three shots. Steven Stamkos scored a goal on eight shots with four PIM; amazing that he has a chance at 40 goals this year after how poorly he started. Tyler Johnson scored a goal on seven shots to stay hot as well. Nikita Nesterov tallied two assists but doesn’t have the role to be fantasy relevant.
Blues 4, Capitals 0 – Paul Stastny had two more assists with two shots and two PIM. Vladimir Tarasenko scored a goal on three shots to stay right in line with last year’s total. Not much else of value in this one.
Islanders 4, Hurricanes 3 (OT) – Cal Clutterbuck scored twice, including the game winner to lead the Isles to victory. Amazing that he has 15 goals on the fourth line. Nikolay Kulemin scored a goal and an assist but his role is nowhere near the point necessary for fantasy value. Jeff Skinner scored a goal on seven shots to get up to 26 goals on the season. Skinner is shockingly still 23 years old and brings a ton of value in goals and shots. Victor Rask scored a goal on four shots to continue his last season surge. Jaccob Slavin had an assist with three shots while Brett Pesce dished an assist and five shots. Both have some nice long term potential.
Predators 5, Blue Jackets 1 – The Predators absolutely dominated this game outshooting Columbus 48-19. It was an incredibly easy night for Pekka Rinne in the win. The big guns led the way for Smashville. Roman Josi tallied three assists and four shots, Shea Weber had 1+1 with 4 SOG, James Neal had 1+1 with 5 SOG and Mike Ribeiro dished two assists. Ryan Johansen also had an assist with four shots and two PIM. Boone Jenner scored again to get up to 28 goals on the season. With 28 goals and 71 PIM, he’s a clear top 100 player next season.
Blackhawks 4, Flames 1 – Scott Darling bounced back from his dud against Dallas to save 31 of 32 Flames shots. I’d keep playing him while he starts. Andrew Ladd has his best game in his second go around with Chicago with two goals and an assist with three shots. His value for next season will greatly depend on where he ends up in free agency. Patrick Kane had an assist with four shots as he pushes for 100 points. Dougie Hamilton scored a goal on six shots with two PIM. He’s been outstanding for the second half of this season and I’ll be back on his bandwagon going into next season. I can’t help myself!
Coyotes 2, Flyers 1 – Mike Smith was a monster stopping 34 of 35 Flyers shots to put a pretty big hurting on the Flyers’ playoff push. He’s been great since coming back from injury but I don’t trust him. Martin Hanzal dished an assist with two shots and 15 PIM. He’s quietly had a very good season. Oliver Ekman-Larsson had 14 PIM and 2 shots. He’s at 20+31 with 90 PIM and 213 shots. Absolutely incredible. Shayne Gostisbehere had an assist with five shots to keep up his amazing rookie season.
Kings 6, Oilers 4 – Shockingly, Connor McDavid had a goal and an assist with two shots. Just kidding, it’s not a shock at all. He’ll probably be the best player in the league next season and for fantasy purposes, I think he’ll end up in my top 5. Patrick Maroon is my top streamer at the moment playing with McDavid and he delivered again with two goals on three shots with five PIM. The only reason he’s not a hold is the lack of games for the Oilers. Jordan Eberle also had two points on that line with a goal and an assist with seven shots. The second line was incredible for the Kings in this one. Tyler Toffoli scored two goals and two assists with five shots and two PIM. It’s been a very nice season for Toffoli who should find his way around the top 50 going into next year, probably in it. Jeff Carter scored two goals and an assist with four shots to reach 20+35 in 70 games. Milan Lucic dished three assists with two shots and five PIM. His numbers are slightly better than last season but not by too much. He’s another interesting guy in terms of what happens in unrestricted free agency. Brayden McNabb tallied two assists with a shot and two PIM. In really deep leagues, there’s value in McNabb’s PIM, hits and blocks but the points have fallen off quite a bit from last season.
Hurricanes 3, Devils 2 – Victor Rask led the way with his first career multi goal game, scoring twice on seven shots to reach 20 on the season. Very nice year for Rask who should benefit next season with improved talent to the Carolina forward corps. Kyle Palmieri had an assist with four shots to extend his amazing breakout season.
Penguins 3, Rangers 2 (OT) – Sidney Crosby scored the overtime winner on his fourth shot to position these teams for a first round rematch from last year. Phil Kessel scored a goal and an assist with five shots to give him 18 points in his last 20 games. Finally Phil, finally. Kris Letang had an assist with four shots and two PIM in almost 32 minutes, standard. Marc-Andre Fleury was solid stopping 25 of 27 shots in the win. The rearranged third line for the Rangers delivered the offense on Sunday with Eric Staal scoring twice, both from Kevin Hayes and Jesper Fast. Fast is an okay streamer in deep leagues, Hayes is a decent streamer in 12’ers (he’s one of my biggest disappointments after a great rookie year) and Staal is a hold still. He’s another guy on the UFA market who will have a chance in his fantasy value depending on his landing spot.
Blackhawks 3, Canucks 2 – The biggest story in this game is that the Canucks actually scored two goals! It’s a modern day miracle! Sven Baertschi scored one of the goals as he stays on my radar for deep leagues next season, say 16’ers. Emerson Etem dished two assists but doesn’t bring enough value even in the deepest of leagues. Scott Darling was solid again stopping 26 of 28 shots. Andrew Ladd scored a goal on two shots with two PIM to extend his heater. Trevor Van Riemsdyk dished two assists with three shots playing almost 20 minutes. There just isn’t enough here right now for fantasy relevance.
Monday Streamers – Hopefully you guys playing head to head leagues were lucky enough to make the finals. For all of you plus the roto players, here are my top three streamers on an eight game Monday slate:
Alex Killorn (19.7%) – He’s in the middle of a goal drought but the shots have been very good as have the minutes. The assists are solid and the Lightning get the Leafs tonight. Tampa laid an egg against Toronto two weeks ago so I don’t expect that to happen again.
Patrick Maroon (5.5%) – See above. Revenge game as well against the Ducks.
Rickard Rakell (17.2%) – Big game in the comeback Saturday and he gets to play the Oilers tonight in what should be a wide open affair.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back on Tuesday recapping the action from tonight. As always, feel free to ask any questions and leave any comments below. Best of luck to everybody in the last two weeks of their season. Take care everyone!