It’s been a disastrous season for the Wild, and it’s hard to imagine them digging out of this hole. Monday was a lone bright spot, both for the team and their oldest player. The Wild beat the Islanders 5-0, with Marc-Andre Fleury posting a 21 save shutout. The win gave Fleury the second most wins in NHL history, passing Patrick Roy. It’s been a very up and down career for Fleury. He was incredible in the 2008 playoffs getting Pittsburgh to the finals. His most iconic moment clinched the Cup the year after. There were a handful of years right after that where his poor play was the reason the Penguins were eliminated early in the playoffs. They won a Stanley Cup with him as the backup. He also saved them the next year when Murray struggled early in the playoffs to lead Pittsburgh to back-to-back cups. He carried Vegas to the Cup finals in their inaugural season. That’s how I’m going to remember MAF. There were too many down years for him to be in that inner circle of all-time goalies, and his best generally wasn’t among the current elite, as evidenced by him being a Vezina finalist once in 20 seasons. However, when he was at his best, it was incredible to watch, and that will put him in the Hockey Hall of Fame sooner than later. For this season, Gustavsson is back, so I expect them to split the games fairly evenly. He’s a streamer in good matchups for now, but like most goalies, MAF can turn into a hold sooner than later, or be complete unusable. Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen – 28 save shutout in the 3-0 win over the Sharks. I talked about UPL extensively on Monday, but the cliff notes version is it’s his crease right now, and he’s playing very well. He should start tonight and is an auto start against Chicago, who is on a back-to-back going back a time zone.
Casey Mittelstadt – Goal and two assists with four shots. He’s quietly had a fantastic season for a team who has struggled mightily. Mittelstadt is on the fringe because of the poor shot rate.
J.T. Miller – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM. While the shot rate is back down to where it was when he first got to Vancouver, Miller’s crushing it across the board. He’s easily been a top 10 player.
Dmitri Voronkov – Two goals on nine shots. Voronkov only had twelve shots combined in his previous nine games. He’s a huge physical presence, but we’ll have to see him get a bigger workload to be more than a middling streamer.
Johnny Gaudreau – Two assists with three shots. It was only two seasons ago that Gaudreau put up 115 points. Now, he’s only a solid streamer.
Adam Henrique – Goal and an assist with two shots. Henrique is only a bottom end streamer. If he’s traded into a better spot come the deadline, then there could be a boost, but it all depends where he’s slotted into that lineup.
Alex Killorn – Two goals on five shots with four PIM. I can’t blame Killorn for taking the money after winning a couple Cups in Tampa. I still expect him to be playing on Anaheim’s next truly good team. For now, he’s a nice deep league option, but it’s a middling streamer at best for 12’ers.
Frank Vatrano – Two assists with two PIM. The Tank should easily set career highs this year. If your league doesn’t have PIM, I think he’s an easy hold. If it does, he’s on the fringe.
Sam Bennett – Two goals on four shots with four PIM. It hasn’t clicked yet for Bennett, but as long as he’s with Carter Verhaeghe (1+1) and Tkachuk, he’s an elite streamer with upside.
Tristan Jarry – 22 save shutout in the 3-0 win over the Kraken. The Kraken have taken a beating with injuries lately, and the Penguins took advantage. Jarry has been good despite the team’s struggles. He’s a #2.
Sidney Crosby – Two goals on four shots. Both goals were assisted by Rickard Rakell. Crosby has been a monster once again, while Rakell is finally showing signs of life. He’s on the fringe with a lean towards holding while he’s on PP1.
Jeremy Swayman – 31 save shutout in the 3-0 win over the Devils. Swayman has a shutout in over 11% of his career starts. How absurd is that? Ullmark dodged a real injury so Swayman should stay in his platoon and continuing to crush.
David Pastrnak – Goal and an assist with three shots. Brad Marchand (2A) is back on Pasta’s wing so it’s no surprise that they continue to dominate.
Phillip Danault – Goal and two assists with two shots. Danault is on a nice hot streak, but he’s only a middling streamer. He’s fine at everything, but not great at anything that matters for fantasy.
Vladislav Gavrikov – Two assists with two shots and two PIM. And here’s your biannual Gavrikov update!
Matt Roy – Two assists with a shot. Roy has developed into quite a good player in real life, but he’s only a hits/blocks option.
Pierre-Luc Dubois – Goal and an assist with three shots. I was hoping for Dubois to take a jump upon arrival like Fiala did, but it’s been a real struggle. He’s a fine streamer, but I’m not expecting a big turnaround.
Trevor Moore – Two goals on four shots. Moore is up to 20 goals already, a career high halfway through the season. With over three shots per game, Moore is on the fringe.
Mikey Anderson – Two assists. See Roy, Matt above.
Logan Thompson – 34 saves on 35 shots in the 4-1 win over the Predators. Nice to see Thompson get back in track over the last 10 days or so.
Mark Stone – Hat trick on five shots with two PIM. It’s great to see Stone stay healthy because he’s been fantastic. He’s sitting at a point per game which is great to see.
Pavel Dorofeyev – Two assists with two shots. He’s on the first line right now which makes Dorofeyev a solid streamer.
Chandler Stephenson – Two assists with two shots and two PIM. With Jack Eichel out week-to-week, Stephenson is going to have a massive workload. That’s enough to put him on the fringe.
Joel Eriksson Ek – Two goals on four shots with two PIM. JEEK was very good defensively quickly in the NHL, but it’s great to see his offense really develop in his mid 20’s. He’s a clear hold everywhere.
Mats Zuccarello – Goal and an assist. Zucc sits right around a point per game per usual.
Marcus Foligno – Goal and an assist with four shots and two PIM. His offense has been better this season than last, but that’s because he’s shooting an absurd percentage again. Foligno is at one shot per game so I’m out completely outside of hits streaming.
Cale Makar – Goal and two assists with six shots. Makar is playing at over a 20+80 pace. Seems decent.
Cole Caufield – Goal and an assist with three shots. Nick Suzuki had two assists with four shots as the top PP was a factor against the Avalanche. It’s very easy to like both players and it would be great for the Canadiens to get another stud to play with them.
Brayden Schenn – Two assists with a shot. Schenn has been getting dominated at even strength for the second straight season. He’s a bottom end streamer at best now.
Darcy Kuemper – 24 save shutout in the 2-0 win over the Ducks. Kuemper has struggled mightily this season, but has managed to win half of his starts. I think this says more about the Ducks than him, so I’d only use him in good matchups for now. That win rate does put him on the fringe of being a #3 though.
Samuel Girard – Three assists with a shot. The Deputy has points in three straight and was active through the game. The blocks have been very good lately too. I think he can work his way back towards the fringe of 12’ers, but he’s a step outside for now.
Miles Wood – Goal and an assist with three shots in his return from bein sick. With all of their guys out right now, Wood is on the second line. That makes him a solid streamer.
Devon Toews – Goal and an assist with seven shots. Toews has been very good across the board again, just as we’ve come to expect. He’s a stud.
Logan O’Connor – Goal and an assist with two shots. Same as Wood, although I prefer LoC.
Sam Malinski – Goal and an assist with two shots. He doesn’t get many minutes because it’s Colorado, but I have to say that I’m pretty impressed with Malinski. He would have had two goals, but a spectacular solo effort was overturned for offsides. It’ll take a injury to get Malinski on the fantasy radar. Welcome to the Razzball Database!
Val Nichushkin – Entered the league’s assistance program. Here’s to hoping Big Val gets straightened out and gets back on the ice like Girard did. I think you have to hold him for now. Ross Colton went onto PP1 which makes him an elite streamer.
Claude Giroux – Three assists with four shots, as did Brady Tkachuk. The top line was excellent in this game, but it wasn’t enough. Ridly Greig had two goals on four shots playing with Giroux and Tkachuk, giving him five points in the last four games. He’s a solid streamer for the time being.
Jake Sanderson – Goal and an assist with six shots and two PIM. I suspect that I’m going to be all in on Sanderson next year. His talent level is undeniable, so the third year leap is in play. Even at his current level, he’s a hold.
Jordan Eberle – Goal and an assist with three shots. Middling streamer.
Jared McCann – Goal and an assist with five shots. I’d like to see Hakstol give McCann big minutes while they’re down a few forwards. As is, he’s on the fringe.
Blake Wheeler – Two goals. Wheeler played under 10 minutes in this game so I have zero interest.
Mika Zibanejad – Two assists with two shots. Zibanejad has been fine, sitting around a point per game, but it’s a pretty step drop off from the previous two seasons. That shot rate needs to get back up.
Adam Fox – Two assists. Fox has been fine, but that shot rate is pretty rough. That keeps him more in the #2 range for fantasy instead of the #1 that we’re used to.
Anders Lee – Two goals on six shots and two PIM. The team captain has really fallen off a cliff this season. The goals aren’t far off from last year, but the shot rate is down and he has six assists on the season. Six! No thanks.
Jake Oettinger – 31 saves on 32 shots in the 5-1 win over the Kings. It’s been a rough half for Oettinger, but I expect a big second half from him. He’s too good of a goalie to struggle for too long.
Roope Hintz – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM. Hintz is only a good week’s work behind last season’s pace. I wish he would get the minutes that other first liners do because that line can be unstoppable.
Jason Robertson – Two assists with two shots. Robertson has a point in nine of the last ten games as he gets back to the Robertson we’re used to. The schedule for the rest of the month is extremely soft so I’m expecting Dallas to go on a tear.
Wyatt Johnston – Goal and an assist with four shots. The full breakout hasn’t happened yet, but Johnston is still only 20 years old. I’m convinced he’s going to be a stud down the line, but he’s a middling streamer for the time being.
Evgenii Dadonov – Goal and an assist with two shots. Even with shooting an unsustainable percentage, Dadonov is a bottom end streamer.
Petr Mrazek – 37 saves on 38 shots in the 2-1 SO win over the Sharks. In the battle of goalies who have played well behind horrible teams, Mrazek came out on top against MacKenzie Blackwood (24/25). Both are capable of big games, but the downside on a nightly basis is massive.
Auston Matthews – Goal and an assist with two shots. All your goals are belong to Matthews!
Pontus Holmberg – Two assists with a shot. He’s a solid streamer right now as Holmberg is playing with Matthews and Marner. He actually playing over 18 minutes in this game too.
Evan Bouchard – Goal and an assist. The amazing year for Bouchard continues. He’s a top five fantasy defenseman now.
Ryan McLeod – Goal and an assist. It was nice to see McLeod back in the lineup after missing a game due to illness, although he lost his spot on the second line to Kane. That makes him a bottom end streamer again.
Sean Durzi – Goal and an assist with six shots. Durzi has been fantastic in his first season in the desert. He’s a clear hold in all formats and the 25 year old could do even better over the next couple of seasons. The Coyotes should only continue to improve around him.
Nazem Kadri – Goal and an assist with eight shots. Kadri played almost 22 minutes in this one. I’ve been saying that Kadri is a hold all season despite his struggles. My stubbornness has paid off as Kadri is on an eight game point streak and is hitting all of the categories well.
Three Point Challenge: We will do Thursday’s games per usual. You can’t select Kucherov, MacKinnon, Nylander, Panarin, Pastrnak, Miller, McDavid, Pettersson, Reinhart, or Rantanen. I’ll go with Stamkos against the Wild.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back on Friday recapping the action from the next two nights. As always, feel free to leave any comments, give any suggestions, or make any comments below. Thanks for reading, take care!