Goalies are voodoo.  Outside of a handful of goalies, and maybe even less, their performance has a wide range from season to season.  This is why I tell everyone to not draft a goalie early, similar to Grey’s strategy with pitchers in baseball.  I think it’s even more pronounced in hockey, but either way, Marc-Andre Fleury is case in point right now.  Last season, Fleury was absolutely atrocious.  In terms of expected goals, Fleury was one of the worst goalies in the league.  At 36 years old, there was plenty of reason to believe that he was done.  Nobody wanted to trade for him in the offseason with two seasons remaining at 7 million dollars.  So what’s happening this year?  Fleury is elite again, of course.  He had a 34 save shutout in the 3-0 win over the Avalanche on Monday.  He has 8 wins in 11 starts with a GAA approaching 1.5 and a sv% approaching .940.  Would I sell high?  Odds are you won’t be able to get anything in return that is worth risking that.  Lehner will be back within a week or two, but Fleury will at least maintain a split while he’s playing at this level.  If you’re lucky enough to own this hot streak, enjoy it while it lasts.  Let’s take a look at what else happened on Monday:

Alex Tuch – Two goals.  DeBoer shuffled the lines which gave Tuch more minutes.  If this holds, and it’s far from a guarantee, but if it does, I suspect Tuch will become a hold in all formats.

William Karlsson – Two assists with two shots.  I prefer Karlsson as a streamer, but he’s still firmly on the fringe.

Steven Stamkos – Goal and an assist with two PIM.  Stamkos is crushing across the board so far.  Just stay healthy!

Victor Hedman – Goal and an assist with five shots.  He’s over a point per game with his secondary stats at his usual place.  He’s as safe as it comes for defensemen.

Ondrej Palat – Goal and an assist with four shots.  The shot rate is poor despite this game, but Palat still needs to be held as he pushes towards a point per game.

Jesper Fast – Two goals.  Quickie is actually getting power play time for the first time in his career.  That said, he only has eight shots in twelve games so he’s an easy pass.

David Rittich – 34 save shutout in the 3-0 win over the Maple Leafs.  Jacob Markstrom will be “day to day for a few days” according to Ward, who apparently is a member of the department of redundancy department.  If you need short term help, add Rittich because the Flames have two games with Ottawa coming up this week.

Frederik Andersen – Also day to day.  I have no faith in Michael Hutchinson.  If you need wins, you can take the gamble, but it’s a big risk.

Rasmus Andersson – Two assists with two shots.  His minutes are back up as well as his power play role so he’s must own everywhere.

Sean Monahan – Goal and an assist with two shots.  Monahan has been his usual boring self.  Don’t expect a repeat of 2018-19, but it should be better than last season.

Matthew Tkachuk – Goal and an assist with six shots.  Thackuk has been disappointing this season, but the shot rate is excellent so I’m expecting a positive regression.  I’m a big fan of his game.

Anton Khudobin – 49 saves on 51 shots as a tough luck loser.  The Panthers put 29 shots on goal in the second period alone!  After a really rough stretch, nice to see Khudobin get back on track.

Chris Driedger – 24 saves on 25 shots in the 3-1 win over the Stars.  I’ve been holding Driedger for a week or two now and haven’t let go.  The volume won’t be big, but the quality is surely there.

Jonathan Quick – 31 save shutout in the 3-0 win over the Blues.  Maybe I’m just being stubborn, but I just can’t buy into Quick at all.  Petersen, sure, but not Quick.

Dustin Brown – Two goals.  Remember when Brown was dead in the water?  That was seven years ago!  Brown had three straight seasons of 27-28 points, then 36, but somehow found a resurgence three seasons ago and he’s still producing.  Doesn’t make any sense, but he has to be held for the time being while he’s a hot schmotato.

Trevor Zegras – Two shots in his NHL.  Kuemper made a huge save on him with two minutes left to rob him of his first career goal.  He was trusted with PP time but still only played 13 minutes.  Zegras has world class hockey sense and playmaking ability.  He has a great chance to be a superstar in the league and a very good fantasy player.  The problem for this year is that the Ducks are limited with their offensive talent and Zegras needs finishers to capitalize on the opportunities he creates.  I suspect his minutes go up as the season goes on, but I would leave him on the waiver wire for now outside of dynasties.  Welcome to the Razzball Database!

Cam Fowler – Goal and an assist with two shots.  Fowler’s offense has really dried up this season.  I wouldn’t use him outside of deep leagues.

Max Comtois – Two assists with three shots.  I would like to see Comtois with Zegras as he’s the best finisher on the team at this point.  The shot rate keeps Comtois from being an elite streamer, but he’s still a solid option.

Christian Dvorak – Two goals.  After going pointless for five straight games, it was nice to see Dvorak get back on track.  I’m still holding but it’s tenuous.

Clayton Keller – Two assists with two shots.  Keller isn’t quite at his rookie level, but it’s the closest he’s been to that.  He’s right on the fringe but I lean towards holding.

Jakob Chychrun – Goal and an assist with three shots.  OEL’s return hasn’t hurt impacted Chychrun’s minutes.  He’s an easy hold.

Mats Zuccarello – Goal and three assists.  Zucc looks revitalized since coming back into the lineup.  That’s seven points in four games which puts him in elite streamer status for the time being.

Victor Rask – Goal and two assists.  He’s found chemistry with Zuccarello and Kirill Kaprizov (goal and an assist, two shots) but he’s still only a bottom end streamer.  He does have four goals in the past four games, but he’s under a shot per game.

Ian Cole – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM.  His goal took a ridiculous deflection which is pretty much what it takes for Cole to score.  Easy pass.

Marcus Foligno – Gordie Howe hat trick.  Easy pass in all formats.

Ryan Hartman – Two assists.  It looked like Hartman has some fantasy upside as a rookie in Chicago, but ever since then, nothing has materialized.

Three Point Challenge: With a shortened slate on Tuesday, we’re going to change things up a bit for the Three Point Challenge.  You can pick anyone you want for either of the next two days, Tuesday or Wednesday.  There are no back-to-backs so don’t worry about specifying which day for the player you select.  It can’t be anyone in the Top 10 in points.  From now, we will use last season’s top 10 (we will change that in March), so that means no Draisaitl, McDavid, Panarin, Pastrnak, MacKinnon, Marchand, Kucherov, P. Kane, Matthews, Huberdeau, or Eichel.  Eli Man Penguin Boy has tied me on top of the standings with one a piece.  I’ll go with Mikko Rantanen on Wednesday against the Wild.

That’s all for now guys.  With the change in schedule this week, I’ll be back on Thursday recapping the action from 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!

  1. Veritas says:
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    Great Read Viz! What are your thoughts on Mantha?

    I’ll take Laine for the three point challenge

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Thanks! I like the player, but I see him more as elite streamer than a hold right now. He’s back on Larkin’s wing, but it keeps changing, where in the past he was stapled on the first line. Sounds good on Laine.

    • Eli Man Penguin Boy says:
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      tied us

      • Eli Man Penguin Boy says:
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        i’m getting freerolled by viz now for tonight’s rantanen vs MIN. go kahkonen! (own rantanen in 2 spots, so losing helps)

        • Veritas says:
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          Hahaha. Finally playing with the big boys

          • Eli Man Penguin Boy says:
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            well, we all have ONE right pick so far. this is the top so far though i guess. we’re both getting freerolled by viz (1/3 of game over though and so far so good for you and me).

  2. Chet says:
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    Atkinson vs CHI. Thanks.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Sounds good, no problem

  3. Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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    20 teamer with hits/blocks/shots/PPP/SHP added dynasty h2h. start 6 D i have:
    krug, gudas, severson, edmundson, vatanen, m.roy (2nd PP time now, 2nd most minutes most nights to doughty most nights, decent hits/blocks totals shot rate not horrible), irwin (streamer, as he was benched a few games back and i’d bet is the big loser when risto is back)
    IR/IR+ e.johnson, dumoulin, parayko, c.murphy (back today)

    gotta drop somebody for murphy back today, (not irwin since he’s a streamer anyway and that roster will likely stop being a streamer slot when parayko’s back), vatanen vs roy it looks like. vatanen no PP (but he had long layoff so it’s hard to tell if his minutes thusly indicate much going forward) yet. it’s hard to take much from vatanen so far with that long of a layoff though (obv if he retains 3rd pairing and no PP he’s a drop).

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      I think Vatanen gets that spot back sooner than later so I would lean towards dropping Roy

  4. LG Hockey says:
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    Hi Viz,

    Looking to do some in season management. Rasmus Anderson and Kaprizov are both available. Would you add them over anyone of my current squad. Categories are G, A, P, +/-, PPP, SOG and Hits so guys like Faulk are valuable.

    C – Eichel
    C – Trochek
    LW – Svech
    LW – Fiala
    RW – Marner
    RW – Pasta
    D – Makar
    D – Hamilton
    D – Pietrangelo
    D – Faulk
    Bench: Evander Kane, Nino, Chabot

    G – Blackwood
    G – Mrazek
    Bench: Demko, Talbot

    Thanks!
    LG

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      I would grab Andersson over Faulk, Faulk already lost his PP1 spot back to Krug while Andersson is pushing 25 minutes with top PP time at the moment. I think your forwards are all better than Kaprizov at the moment

  5. Peter Parker says:
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    Good morning Viz!

    I am curious on your thoughts with regards to the either Calvin Petersen and/or Kaapo Kahkonen?? Will either take over the starting crease for their respective teams?

    I am getting a little tired of Linus Ullmark… as I do not see the Sabres getting better??

    Thank you!!!

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      I like both a decent amount, but I see no path to Kahkonen becoming the #1 over Talbot. Maybe it’s a split, but I have doubts over that too. Petersen should be the #1 without a doubt, but Quick is randomly on fire right now leaving Petersen on the bench. I assume it’ll get back to a split, but still, his upside is capped quite a bit. I hear you on the Sabres, but he’s been passable despite the team being bad, so I prefer him to those two.

      • Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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        it’s been a long while since quick was good in a season, and even some of those great playoff years his season stats weren’t even very good (one of them they were the 8th seed partially from his season play, then destroyed everybody in the playoffs, i can’t remember if that was the cup run were he had the best goalie stats ever in a playoff run or not; he’s similar to fleury in that, big name value in real life from the numerous cup runs while being on great teams etc. fleury though he went back and forth being good or sometimes terrible in different PIT playoff seasons too, i’m a huge PIT fan and i remember fleury some postseasons was truly awesome, others could be argued he was the reason they went out in like the 2nd round. fleury also had bad seasons mixed in between good ones, it helped being on a team with what for a long time were the 2 best centers (for scoring anyway) in the entire league)

        • Viz

          Viz says:
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          Yep, they are both very comparable. There’s so few goalies that are consistently at the top of the game, that’s why I’ll argue to the death that Lundqvist is the best goalie of this generation, no Cups and only one Vezina notwithstanding. He’s a to 5 goalie for a decade with no downside, and it took career years from other guys to stop him for winning a handful of Vezinas.

          • Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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            vezinas are voted in and cups aren’t won by goalies alone (even in quick’s best goalie stats ever year that was a good team he was on, albeit there i guess are instances of a goalie almost by himself winning a cup), his stats vs everybody else tell what you are saying though. super either elite or at least top 10 for a LONG time.

  6. VeniceCanuck says:
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    Boeser in the 3-pt challenge against Edmonton. I believe it will be a high-scoring affair. I was going to say Q. Hughes, but I chose him earlier this season, and I like to go with someone different each time.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Sounds good, the Canucks did look better offensively against the Jets so hopefully it continues.

  7. jw says:
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    Hi Viz,

    Curious on your thoughts regarding Kopitar. 21 points in 17 games played (almost 100 points at a full 82 game season), with 11 PPP. I think his pace is unsustainable. Where do you think Kopitar ultimately lands at the end of the season?

    On the side, in one league, I have an offer of Kopitar for Tavares and my gut says yes… (g=2, a=1, ppp=1, +/- = 0.25, hit=0.25. PIM=0.25, hit=0.3, block=0.4)

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Hey JW,

      I have to give Kopitar a ton of credit, he’s been incredible carrying the Kings to relevance. I would agree that this is unsustainable, I’m just trying to decide by how much. I’d say he ends up somewhere around 50 points in 56 games? I could see him push a point per game, but somewhere in that general range. I think I would make the move for Tavares, I think it’s pretty close, but I feel like there’s no downside with Tavares in Toronto, where I can see the Kings falling off sooner than later.

  8. Eli Man Penguin Boy says:
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    stamkos wed vs CAR for 3 pt wed (or tues).

  9. Eli Man Penguin Boy says:
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    yeah i didn’t think streaming soderberg (for a 16 teamer) no small part of which was since CLB’s garbage D, it would end up like this (3 pts so far). and dailyfaceoff/leftwinglock appears to have those lines wrong on him with who are getting these goals/assists on his goals/assist, it’s better. he moved up with strome out. or he’s getting real lucky on line changes. should’ve gotten crazy and picked him for 3 pt tues (that would only happen like if we could only use each name exactly once of course)

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      If it wasn’t so much work to keep track of, that would be an interesting idea. The lines in Chicago are all over the place, I wouldn’t be shocked if Soderberg is buried again soon.

      • Eli Man Penguin Boy says:
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        oh yeah i’m not suggesting we’d have to do that, just that it’s probably only way any sane person would’ve chosen soderberg for that.

  10. The Harrow says:
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    wow i remember bergevin being if not much else a very steady D man for a long time. now he’s going through coaches like sweet tarts, a guy goes 2-3-2 over 7 games and the coaches are out.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Yeah, I have to say I didn’t expect that firing coming.

      • dubjay says:
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        Bergevin is the one who should be fired. Worried that the same ill placed blame will happen in Vancouver.
        Benning has to go

        • Viz

          Viz says:
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          Benning is the absolute worst, that’s for sure.

  11. Gerald says:
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    Viz my goalie situation looking a little messy

    Wins losses GAA Save % Shut outs Rotisserie

    I have Serg Bob Gibson and shestirkin Kinda concerned about serg bob

    Would you drop anyone for Pikka rinne, Sarros ,Demko ,Ullmark Cal pettereson

    • Gerald says:
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      or roll with 2 goaltenders?

      • Viz

        Viz says:
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        It’s tough in roto to roll with only two goaltenders. Do you have unlimited moves? That will depend a lot on my decision here, because I think you may be best off streaming that spot if you can. Out of the whole group, I’m not really sure who I like most, maybe Demko? Om a per-game basis it may be Petersen, but he doesn’t play as much as he should. Linus is clearly going to get the most volume, so depends what you’re looking for.

        • Gerald says:
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          Yupp unlimited moves… thats a pretty good idea, i may be better off streaming the spot lol what do you think?

          • Viz

            Viz says:
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            Yeah I think I would cut Bob for whatever goalie starts for Nashville tomorrow against the Red Wings, and then go from there streaming the best matchups.

  12. dubjay says:
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    Hey Viz,
    Im desperate to upgrade my D. I have Hughes and Barrie who have been great so far. But Hughes is killing me in the +/- and neither hit worth a damn. My 3rd D is Heiskanen. He hasnt played much so I want to give him time. LOVE the talent but man hes been invisible. I grabbed Dumba recently for my 4th D. I thought he would be perfect. Could use some more G, Hits and better +/-. He hasnt done much in his limited games either.
    Would you drop Dumba for
    R.Dahlin-minutes/shots/PPP are up lately
    R.Andersson
    R.Gudas-LOVE his hits. May be able to almost single handedly gain me a couple of points there. 8 more tonight

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      I really can’t believe how bad Heiskanen has been, I don’t understand it. I think I would grab Andersson right now, but I think you can make a case for all 3. If you really want the huge hits, Gudas is reasonable, and Dahlin is starting to play well too. Andersson has the most risk as his role has already changed twice this season, but right now, I think he’s playing the best.

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