Every season, Kevin Fiala finishes on an absolute tear. This season, he’s found another level. Fiala had a goal and three assists on Sunday against the Sharks, bringing his totals to 29+44 in 75 games with over three shots per game, all career highs. I’ve been driving the Fiala bandwagon forever, and I still think it could even get better. He’s still only averaging 17:23 per game, a number that’s low for a player of his caliber. The Wild have a massive decision this summer with Fiala. They will have to trade players away in order to be able to keep him, and it seems like Guerin has been hesitant to do that since he’s taken over. What if Fiala goes somewhere and plays for 20 minutes on somebody’s first line? To my amazement, Fiala is still only 25 years old. There are a lot of things that are working in Fiala’s favor. Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last few days:
Two more games, three more goals for Tage Thompson. That brings him up to 36 goals, which matches Troy Terry, another massive surprise. Could either of these guys get to 40? Crazy to even think about when they had 18 and 15 goals in their respective careers before this season. I don’t see either of them as one year wonders either.
Our first matchup for the playoffs is virtually locked in with the Blues taking on the Wild. The Blues have held over the Wild since Berube took over, but who knows what happens in the playoffs? One thing is for certain, there will be plenty of goals. St. Louis scored another 8 goals on Sunday after 6 on Saturday against the Wild. Brayden Schenn totaled five points and is a clear hold if he wasn’t already.
Back to back shutouts for Mike Smith, who has allowed four goals total in the past five games. It’s great to see Smith making a difference, although I don’t know how much the Oilers play him down the stretch since they’re close to being locked into second in the Pacific.
Before Monday night, Tim Stuetzle was on an eight game point streak. Stuetzle is going to be the obvious breakout candidate next season, and just because it’s obvious doesn’t mean that it should be ignored. Here’s to hoping that the Senators add players in the offseason that Stuetzle can play with.
Three games, three points for Matty Beniers. Safe to say that he has looked the part of a #1 center in the early going. It will be interesting to see what Seattle’s offseason plan is. I don’t have massive expectations for Beniers in fantasy next season, but he’ll worth a late round pick because of his long term upside and role.
On Saturday and Sunday, the betting favorites in their games were 22-0. Absolutely insane run. So of course, Vegas loses to New Jersey on Monday and Colorado also lost as a big favorite to Washington. It really looks like Vegas is going to miss the playoffs now. Remarkable.
Johnny Gaudreau scored two goals on Saturday and Sunday, bringing his totals to 38+69. Matthew Tkachuk had two goals and four assists in these two games to reach 39+59. I don’t know what the hell got into this line this season, but it’s nothing short of remarkable. Gaudreau is +61!
Great to see Carey Price playing again, saving 17 of 19 shots in the 3-0 loss to the Islanders. Could he possibly play on another team next season? I find it incredibly hard to believe that somebody would take that contract, but Friedman mentioned it as a possibility. Also in this game, Ilya Sorokin had a 44 save shutout. Could he be a top 5 goalie next season? It’s not out of the question.
Three Point Challenge: We’ll do Tuesday’s games. No McDavid, Huberdeau, Draisaitl, Matthews, Gaudreau, Tkachuk, Marner, Kaprizov, Miller, or Rantanen. I’ll take Nylander against the Flyers.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back tomorrow recapping the action from Tuesday night. As always, feel free to ask any questions, leave any comments, or give any suggestions below. Thanks for reading, take care!