In NHL history, two teams with a 12+ game winning streak have never played each other.  That will change on Saturday as the Blue Jackets, winners of 14 straight, go to Minnesota to take on the Wild and their 12 game win streak.  Both teams extended their streaks on Thursday in a different manner than usual.  Their goalies have been the top 2 goalies to this point and it’s not even close but last night, they scored 5 and 6 goals respectively.  Their captains led the way with Nick Foligno scoring a goal and two assists with five shots while Mikko Koivu had two assists with a shot finishing +3.  Foligno has been a top 10 forward this season bouncing back from a dreadful 2015-16 while Koivu has a solid 23 points and is +18.  They’re in different tiers at the moment but regardless they both need to be in your lineups night in and night out.  I can’t wait to watch these teams battle it out on Saturday.  Here’s what else happened around the league the last two nights:

Frederik Andersen – 45 saves on 47 shots in the 3-2 SO win over the Panthers.  Andersen is now a top 1o goalie on the season.  Despite this fact, he’s still available in almost 40% of leagues.  If he’s there, go pick him.

Auston Matthews – Two goals and two assists with nine shots over two games.  He’s pushing towards the lead in goals and points for rookies.  Matthews’ game is lightyears above what I expected from him out of the gate.

William Nylander – Goal and an assist with seven shots.  He started to cool down but with a four game point streak, Nylander should be comfortably held in all leagues.

Zach Hyman – Two assists with six shots and two PIM.  He’s pushing towards being a top end streamer at the moment.

Aleksander Barkov – Left Wednesday’s game , didn’t play Thursday with a lower body injury.  Doesn’t sound too serious though so hold tight.

Vincent Trocheck – Two goals and an assist with eight shots over two games.  Huge boost to Trocheck with Barkov out but either way, I feel like a hot streak is coming.  The new line with Jonathan Marchessault (goal, two assists, ten shots) and Jussi Jokinen (assist, seven shots, two PIM) has some real potential.

Keith Yandle – Two assists with six shots.  It hasn’t been as good as I expected but Yandle should still finish as a bottom end #2.

Sebastian Aho – Assist with seven shots.  Aho is definitely worth streaming for now but I can see him being one of my favorite sleepers next season.

Matt Murray – 25 saves on 27 shots in 2 periods before he left injured.  Pens announced him as week-to-week meaning Marc-Andre Fleury (19 saves) is must-own everywhere.

Sidney Crosby – Goal on two shots.  I’ve run out of superlatives for Crosby.  Let’s just say he’s the best player on the planet and move on.

Paul Byron – Two assists with two shots over two games.  I’m still only streaming with the lack of shots and PIM.

Alex Radulov – Goal and an assist with four shots and two PIM.  He snapped out of a 6 game scoring slump with a point in each game.  I’m still holding tight.

Max Pacioretty – Goal and two assists with eight shots.  After a dreadful start, Patches’ stat line is getting back towards where we expected it.

Victor Hedman – Goal and an assist with seven shots and two PIM over two games.  I’ve mentioned it a few times lately but Hedman’s season has gone completely under the radar.  He’s the #3 overall defenseman to this point.

Tyler Johnson – Two goals with four shots.  The Triplets are back together so look for a spike in production.

Nikita Kucherov – Three assists with seven shots returning from injury.  Kucherov was a top 10 player before going down injured for almost 3 weeks and I don’t see any reason why it was unsustainable.

Ondrej Palat – Two goals and an assist with six shots.  I don’t think there was much debate but Palat is clearly a hold with Kucherov back.

Travis Konecny – Two assists with two shots.  He’s an elite streamer but I don’t think it’s worth holding in 12’ers at the moment.

Brayden Schenn – Goal and an assist with two shots.  I was hoping for a step forward from Schenn this year but he’s on pace to repeat last year’s total.  That’s perfectly fine with where most places had him ranked though.

Wayne Simmonds – Goal and an assist with four shots.  What a beast Simmonds has been.  Getting him in the mid 20’s in drafts has been incredible value to this point and I don’t see why it would slow down.  If his plus-minus can go up a bit, you’re looking at a guy who could finish as a top 5 forward (he’s there right now).

Robby Fabbri – Hat trick on five shots.  The shots still aren’t where they need to be to be a fantasy force but he’s on pace for a 25+28 season which is still fine.  Fabbri is still only 20 years old which we can’t ignore; the future is bright.

Dmitrij Jaskin – Two assists with two PIM.  There’s a little bit of upside here long term but he’s not fantasy relevant at the moment.

Colton Parayko – Two assists with a shot.  I can see two scenarios for Parayko going into next year.  One, the Blues bring back Kevin Shattenkirk (goal on five shots) and I’m lukewarm on him.  The other is that Shattenkirk leaves and he’ll be one of, if not my favorite defenseman targets in drafts next year.

Ryan Miller – 36 saves on 37 shots in the 2-1 win over the Kings.  Still firmly in the “desperate for starts” category.

David Krejci – Goal and an assist with two shots.  Krejci now has 5 points in his last 3 games.  There’s plenty of upside here as he’s shown in the past.  His production is going to come down to how well the power play does.  They’ve gone from the best in the league last season to bottom 5 this year.  If they get back to last year’s level, all of the top guys could find another gear.

Ryan Spooner – Two goals.  He’s on the first power play unit at the moment after a four game point streak.  With the minutes Spooner is getting as well, he’s an elite streamer with upside to push towards being a hold.

Frank Vatrano – Two assists with four shots.  He’s crushed in the AHL the last two seasons but hasn’t had much of an opportunity in Boston.  Vatrano is still only 22 and has a bright future for dynasties.

Matt Moulson – Two assists with three shots and two PIM.  We talked about Moulson briefly on the latest podcast; he’s back to being a solid streamer.

Tuukka Rask – 31 saves on 33 shots in the 4-2 win over the Sabres.  He’s still a top 5 goalie on the season despite the recent cold streak.

Keith Kinkaid – 43 saves on 44 shots in the 2-1 shootout win over the Capitals.  Here are the shot totals Kinkaid has faced in his last 5 starts: 44, 30, 32, 42, 49.  Not exactly what I’m looking for when I stream a goalie.

Braden Holtby – 26 saves on 27 shots taking the loss.  He’s been worth the second round pick to this point if he fell to you on the wheel or later.

Anthony Mantha – Goal on six shots playing over 20 minutes.  I’d own him everywhere right now.  The minutes are massive and the shots have been great during this four game point streak.

Thomas Vanek – Goal on four shots.  I don’t understand why he’s only 40% owned.

Jared Coreau – 26 saves on 28 shots in the 3-2 OT win over the Senators.  He’ll be back in the AHL when Jimmy Howard gets healthy so this is a pure “desperate for starts” in the short term guy.

Derick Brassard – Goal and an assist with three shots.  Right on the fringe of holding versus top end streamer.

Patrick Kane – Goal and an assist with four shots.  Looking at around a 25+55 season right now with solid contributions in the extra categories.

Corey Crawford – 36 saves on 38 shots in the 3-2 win over Smashville.  He’s as consistent as they come; hopefully the wins start to uptick towards his usual level.

Filip Forsberg – Goal on four shots.  That’s a goal in four of the last five for Forsberg.  The heater is real.

Ryan Johansen – Two assists with a shot and two PIM.  I can’t help but think these two guys are going to take off sooner rather than later.

Thomas Hickey – Two assists with a shot.  Hickey has two assists in each of the last two games and that might be the most improbable streak of the season.  Him or Ian Cole.

Brock Nelson – Two goals on four shots.  He had been ice cold so I’m fine with holding Nelson or cutting bait to stream.

Jaroslav Halak – 20 saves on 24 shots in 35:30 before getting pulled in the 6-4 loss to the Wild.  Why the hell does Capuano keep playing Halak?  I think it’s about time for him to be fired.

Ryan Suter – Two assists with three shots.  He’s +25 on the season; is that good?  Solid contributions in the other categories too make him a #1D.

Mikael Granlund – Goal and an assist with seven shots.  Boudreau has finally gotten the Granlund that people talked about as the best prospect in the world a few years ago.  He’s a must own right now.

Zach Parise – Assist with three shots.  He has a point in four of his last five as he starts to pick things up.  With how well the Wild are playing, Parise should be fine.

Alexander Wennberg – Two goals on three shots.  I mean, why not?  Wennberg has been a 3 stat player to this point but my God he crushes those categories.

Zach Werenski – Two assists with a shot and two PIM.  The shots are down drastically from the beginning of the season but Werenski has still been a monster.

Blake Wheeler – Two assists with four shots.  Six game point streak and counting for the consistent Wheeler.

Tyson Barrie – Two assists with three shots and two PIM.  He has five assists in the last three games.  We know Barrie is going to finish around 50 points; the question is whether or not you want to stomach the plus-minus.

Matt Duchene – Goal and an assist with three shots.  Snapped out of a mini-drought but the shots have been 3+ the whole way.  I have no doubts about Duchene going forward.

Jamie Benn – Three assists with three shots.  I talked about on the podcast about how the studs on the Stars are about to take off.  Well, this was a good start.  Now they need to do it against somebody better than Colorado.

Tyler Seguin – Two goals and an assist with five shots.  Back at a point per game on the season.  Can you fix your plus-minus now please?

Jason Spezza – Two assists with four shots.  Teams simply will not have an answer for these three guys together.  Please keep it together Lindy.

Ryan Kesler – Two assists with two shots playing over 24 minutes.  Saying that I whiffed on Kesler is the understatement of the century.  I still don’t understand how it’s happening but it’s real.

Antoine Vermette – Goal and an assist playing over 20 minutes.  He’s a solid deep option if you include faceoff wins but that’s about it.

John Gibson – 31 saves on 32 shots in the 3-1 win over the Flames.  The Ducks have a pretty soft schedule over the next two weeks so look for Gibson to finally string together some good starts.

Mikael Backlund – Goal on two shots with PIM playing 18 minutes after he left their last game injured.  He’s on an absolute tear with seven points in his last three games.  I’d definitely stream him on Saturday against the Coyotes.

Jordan Eberle – Two assists with five shots.  Eberle was ice cold before this game but he still needs to be held everywhere.

Cam Talbot – 28 saves on 29 shots in the 3-1 win over the Kings.  He’s been a pleasant surprise in terms of consistency making him an elite #2.

Kevin Hayes – Three assists with three shots.  While the points hadn’t been there lately before last night, Hayes has looked great on a regular basis.  I’d still be holding tight.

Nick Holden – Goal and an assist with two shots.  I’d grab him in 12’ers right now and ride the hot streak.

J.T. Miller – Goal and an assist.  He’s been colder than basically anybody in the league lately but he has too much talent to not turn it around.  If he’s available, stream him Saturday against the Avalanche.

Matt Puempel – Hat trick on five shots, all on the power play.  It won’t last once the Rangers get healthy but add Puempel to the streaming list for now.  He’s a fine short term grab in deep leagues if you need power play help.

Anthony Duclair – Goal on two shots with two PIM.  Okay, I’m starting to get intrigued again.  I’m still only streaming but that could change relatively soon.

Mike Smith – 26 saves on 31 shots in the 6-3 loss to the Rangers.  The regression fairies have made their way to the desert.

Friday Streamers – Small slate of games on Friday with only four games on the docket.  Here are my top three options:

Travis Konecny (16.2%) – While I like the Sharks to win the game over the Flyers, possibly very easily, on a small slate like this I’ll turn to the top talent.  Konecny’s top 6 role and PP time are secure.

Teuvo Teravainen (11.8%) – I’ll take the revenge game narrative for Teravainen going against his old team.  The minutes are up quite a bit lately.

Kevin Labanc (0.8%) – This is more of a deep league option but Labanc has moved into the top six which has drastically increased his minutes.

That’s all for now guys.  I’ll be back on Monday recapping all of the weekend’s action.  As always, feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments below.  I hope everyone enjoying themselves over the New Years weekend!  Take care!

  1. fleeced says:
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    Hey Viz,

    My team has the injury bug, with just 1 IR spot in my redraft league. I own Stamkos, Barkov, and Faulk. Is Stamkos worth holding on to? i have a bit of cushion in the standings so I can wait it out for a bit,

    Also, is Monahan still a hold? Im thinking of picking up Mantha or Spooner. I can also drop Schwartz or Rakell for one of them

    • fleeced says:
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      @fleeced:

      Trochek and Reinhart are also available..very tempted to dump Monahan for Trochek now that he is on the top line..

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @fleeced: I would feel pretty safe cutting Stamkos just because he probably won’t be back until mid-March anyways. You can go either way on Monahan. I would probably prefer turning that spot into a streamer spot if you’re able to make the moves. Otherwise, I’d slightly lean towards grabbing Trocheck for the short term at least.

  2. Quick Sycamore says:
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    Allen. Lehner. Gibson. I think that says all that needs to be said about my goaltending stats. At least Vasilevskiy had a good game yesterday.

    • Quick Sycamore says:
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      Oh and Happy New Year!

      • Viz

        Viz says:
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        @Quick Sycamore: Happy New Year to you! Tough break for this week, it wasn’t a good one for a bunch of my teams either.

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