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!