Look, to be honest with you, there wasn’t a ton of eventful things that happened in the NHL on Thursday night. We’re leading off with Sam Gagner for a couple reasons. One, he had a trick on four shots in the 5-2 win for the Red Wings. Sure, one was an empty netter, but a hat trick is a hat trick and that deserves recognition. Never mind that Gagner came into the game with zero goals on the season and the three points in this game were more than he had all season. The other reason I started off with Gagner is to give him some appreciation. He had a solid career for over a decade now, constantly as an elite streamer while having a few years where he was a bottom end hold. With all of the big games McJesus is having lately, you can try to stump your friends with a trivia question in terms of who the last player was that had seven points or more in a game? As you could guess, it was Gagner, but did you know he actually had 8!? He’s one of only eleven players in history to have eight points in a game and for that, I thank Gagner for the memory of that wild night in Chicago. Let’s take a look at what else happened on Thursday:
Linus Ullmark – 15 saves on 15 shots before leaving the game after the first period. He made an absolutely ridiculous save but appeared to tweak his groin in the process. Ullmark stayed in for the rest of the period but didn’t return. Horrible break for him and the Sabres as Ullmark was playing great hockey. Even if it’s long term, do not pick up Carter Hutton. I can’t imagine there being a worse goalie in the league.
Pavel Zacha – Goal and two assists with three shots. It took longer than anticipated, but Zacha is finally showing the offensive potential that Reid and I preached about back during our podcasting days. He has a point in eight straight games bumping him to elite streamer status for the time being.
Jesper Bratt – Goal and an assist with five shots. Really like Bratt as a player; he’s turned into a great find for the Devils in the sixth round. He’s a solid streamer with some upside if it starts to click.
Anders Lee – Goal and an assist, as did Mathew Barzal. The game was 2-2 going into the third and then boom, five goals in the period for the Isles! Nice stretch from Lee and his shot rate is through the roof. That gives Lee the potential to push the top 50 if the PIM increase to their usual level.
David Rittich – 16 saves on 20 shots in 32 minutes before being pulled in the 6-1 loss to the Senators. Naturally, after two elite games against the Maple Leafs, Rittich gets lit up by the Sens.
Thomas Chabot – Two assists with a shot. I think things will improve for Chabot from where it was to open the season. There’s big upside long term as the Sens stockpile young talent.
Colin White – Two goals on four shots. White is down to being a bottom end streamer while the minutes are low.
Curtis McElhinney – 31 saves on 32 shots in the 3-1 win over the Hurricanes. An unexpected revenge game from McElhinney. I still do not trust him, but if you want to stream him for wins, it’s understandable, just be weary of the downside.
T.J. Oshie – Goal and an assist with three shots. Oshie is starting to turn it around with seven points in the past six games. He’s back to being a solid hold.
Nicklas Backstrom – Goal and an assist with five shots. While I don’t expect it to be sustained, Backstrom is scoring at the best rate of his career by a large margin. There’s a real chance of a point per game season at age 33.
Lars Eller – Goal and an assist with two PIM. The lines are shifting constantly, but Eller has been playing with better linemates than usual lately. He’s a middling streamer because of that, but I don’t expect much here, even if one of the big two centers goes down.
John Carlson – Two assists with two shots and two PIM. It feels like Carlson has been extremely disappointing, but he’s not far off from being at a point per game. Nothing to worry about.
Malcolm Subban – 26 save shutout in the 2-0 win over Columbus. Goalies do not make any sense. I still have no faith in Subban, but Chicago goaltending apparently has voodoo magic so if you want to stream him, so be it.
Darren Helm – Two assists with a shot. I can’t believe Helm is still in the NHL. And there’s your annual Helm update!
Bobby Ryan – Two assists with a shot. Ryan has cooled off unsurprisingly. He’s a bottom end streamer who is carrying decent value in deep leagues for the PIMs with decent points.
Joel Armia – Two goals. Armia had five points in eleven games before this one, with four in one game. Clearly they’re coming in bunches, but Armia is only a middling streamer.
Jeff Petry – Two assists with two shots and two PIM. Monster season from Petry who is still hovering around a point per game almost 20 games into his season.
Blake Wheeler – Goal and two assists with two shots and two PIM. Mark Scheifele, Kyle Connor, and Pierre-Luc Dubois all had two points in this game. Safe to say that the studs on Winnipeg are pushing them towards a playoff spot in a big way.
Andrew Copp – Two assists with three shots. Copp was pointless in his previous six games and the workload has dropped dramatically lately. He’s trusted late in games, but without being in the top six, he’s a decent streamer at best. That can change very quickly though so Copp should be monitored.
Mike Smith – 32 save shutout in the 3-0 win over the Canucks. I guess Smith needs to held everywhere right now? I don’t buy it, but he’s been absolutely incredible since returning from injury.
Connor McDavid – Goal and an assist with eight shots. Just another day on the ice for McJesus as he pushes towards averaging two points per game.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back on Monday recapping the action from the weekend. As always, feel free to ask any questions, leave any comments, or give any suggestions below. Thanks for reading, take care!