For years, I’ve been predicting the big breakout from Filip Forsberg. All of the talent is there, but for whatever reason, be it injury or just inconsistency, it hasn’t happened yet. Can it still happen? Absolutely. Forsberg is still only 25 years old and we’ve seen the upside over long stretches. Forsberg dished two assists against Washington on Wednesday before scoring two goals on four shots against the Devils on Thursday. That gives Forsberg nine points in his last nine games. The shot rate is elite and the points are around a 70 point pace. I’m still hopeful that he can have a season where he stays healthy and goes for 35+45 or even better. Nashville is about to start a crucial road trip so I’m expecting Forsberg’s minutes to increase and the points to keep flowing. Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two days:
Alex Radulov – Two goals. Radulov is back to the fringe, but I’m still holding him because of the quality PIM. He’s a plus in every category, even if it’s a small one, so that’s enough to keep him.
Tyson Barrie – Goal and an assist. Barrie has been on a tear since Rielly went down and I expect that to continue.
Andreas Johnsson – Goal and an assist. Johnsson is a bottom end streamer at this point, although that could change quickly depending on his role.
Auston Matthews – Goal and an assist with three shots. Matthews is going to destroy his previous career highs assuming he can stay healthy.
Mitch Marner – Two assists with a shot. The shot rate has really dropped which is keeping his goals down. That said, he’s playing at a 75 assist pace per 82 games which is obviously top tier.
Ryan Johansen – Goal and two assists with four shots and four PIM. Haven’t been a fan of Johansen for quite some time, and right now he’s at his nadir. Middling streamer at best.
Alex Ovechkin – Goal and an assist with five shots playing over 24 minutes. That’s nine goals in his past four games as Ovechkin continues to pass all-time greats in the goal scoring race. He’s a great bet to get to 50+ goals again.
Richard Panik – Two goals with two PIM. The offense hasn’t been there in Washington for Panik. Easy pass.
Andrew Mangiapane – Two goals. He was pointless in the previous nine games. Moving on…
Leon Draisaitl – Two assists with five shots and two PIM playing almost 27 minutes. He has the same number of goals and assists as McDavid. Just incredible stuff.
Steven Stamkos – Two goals and an assist with five shots. Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point each dished two assists. The top guys on Tampa are rolling right now as Tampa surges up the standings.
Adam Henrique – Two goals on four shots. Henrique only played 12 minutes in this game and the points have dried up. Bottom end streamer.
Derek Grant – Two assists with two shots. And there’s your annual Grant update!
Quinn Hughes – Goal and an assist with two shots. Hughes has been excellent in terms of assists and PPP. The shot rate will get better with time but for now, Hughes should be a solid #3.
J.T. Miller – Two assists with a shot. Miller has arguably had the biggest impact of all offseason acquisitions. Sure, Panarin has been much better, but in terms of what Miller has done to elevate the Canucks in the standings, he’s been incredible.
Tanner Pearson – Goal and an assist. Still can’t believe Pearson is playing at this level. He’s an elite streamer who arguably could be held.
Carey Price – 20 saves on 21 shots in the 3-1 win over the Sabres. Doesn’t get much easier for Price. He’s a bottom end #2 goalie.
Tomas Tatar – Goal and an assist with two shots. Tatar is on pace for the best season of his career. Easy hold in all formats.
Joel Armia – Two assists with three shots and two PIM. Revenge game for Armia against the team that drafted him. Armia has been terrific this season, although an injury derailed him for a month. The shot rate has reached an elite level making Armia a strong to elite streamer.
Nick Suzuki – Two assists with three shots. The prized return for Patches, Suzuki has shown signs of his future upside this season. With 28 points in 51 games, he’s only a bottom end streamer, but Suzuki is still only 20 years old. I wouldn’t go quite as far as elite upside, but Suzuki has the chance to be a damn good player for a long time.
Roman Josi – Three assists with five shots over two games. Do as the Roman does!
Kyle Turris – Three assists with two shots and two PIM over two games. Turris is getting a chance on the first power play unit and with Forsberg at even strength. Even still, that only makes him a bottom end streamer at best.
Pavel Zacha – Two goals and an assist with three shots. He’s getting every opportunity for success as the Devils are having a rough season. He still hasn’t done much with it, so leave Zacha on the waiver wire.
Nikita Gusev – Goal and an assist with two shots. Gusev has picked it up lately after a slow start. He’s a solid streamer.
Alex Iafallo – Four goals on seven shots in two games, including a hat trick. Iafallo is only one goals and one assist away from career highs in both categories. The Kings have been a disaster, but his season has been respectable. Iafallo is an okay streamer.
Anze Kopitar – Three assists with two shots over two games. Kopitar has bounced back extremely well from last season’s big dropoff.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back on Monday recapping the big weekend of hockey, especially Saturday. As always, feel free to ask questions, leave any comments, or give any suggestions below. Thanks for reading, take care!