When Johnny Gaudreau underwent surgery for his finger injury, the expectation was that he was going to miss six weeks.  Flames fans and fantasy owners had to be thrilled when he came back on Sunday in less than three weeks.  The team did surprisingly well in the 10 games Gaudreau missed, mostly due to Chad Johnson between the pipes, but they didn’t score than 3 goals in any game during that stretch.  That changed in a big way Sunday night against a strong Ducks team.  The Flames scored a whopping 8 goals beating the Ducks 8-3 with Gaudreau scoring the opener and adding an assist later on.  He was finally playing well before his injury so hopefully this is a sign of things to come.  We know that he’s a top end player but the impact of his return will be felt throughout the lineup.  More on those guys later in the Sunday section, let’s get to the games!

Friday’s Games:

Jared Spurgeon – Two assists and five shots.  He’s producing at a career high rate to this point.  Right now, he’s on the first power play unit so if you’re one of the people cycling their last defenseman riding the hot hand, I’d grab Spurgeon for now.  In deep leagues or leagues that count blocked shots, I’d definitely own him.

Devan Dubnyk – 29 saves on 31 shots in the 3-2 SO loss to the Flames.  His numbers through his first 19 games are incredible.

Mikael Backlund – Goal on six shots with two PIM playing almost 22 minutes.  He’s an okay streamer in that he’s decent in all categories but he’s so boring that I usually go with someone else.

Chad Johnson – 23 saves on 25 shots in the win.  Hotter than hell right now and if you look at his career numbers, it’s not a complete shock.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he stays as the workhorse.

Martin Jones – 31 saves on 32 shots in the 2-1 win over the Canadiens.  That’s three straight games allowing one goal for Jones who is prospering in his second year as a full time starter.

Brent Burns – Goal on eight shots.  Brent Burns doing Brent Burns things!

Joe Pavelski – Goal and an assist with five shots.  The goals are down a bit but he’s still paying off first round value with great numbers across the board.  Before this season, Pavelski’s shooting percentages were 17, 14.2 and 18.2.  This year?  9.8.  It’s going to get even better.

Joe Thornton – Two assists.  He has fewer shots than games played to this point.  This is why I was much lower on Thornton than consensus (as noted here).

Carey Price – 28 saves on 30 shots.  Must be rough when allowing 2 goals on 30 shots lowers your GAA and SV%.

Alex Galchenyuk – Assist and three shots.  Even though it happened on Sunday, I’m adding it in here that Galchenyuk left the Kings game early with a lower body injury and did not return.  Here’s to hoping it’s nothing serious because the top line was rolling.

Saturday’s Games:

Tuukka Rask – 35 saves on 36 shots in the 2-1 win over the Sabres.  Rask currently sits as the #2 overall goalie showing that last season was an outlier, not the new norm.

Patrice Bergeron – Goal on two shots with two PIM.  Here’s to hoping this game sparks him because this has been a brutal start to the year.

Robin Lehner – 31 saves on 33 shots taking the loss.  It’s good to see Lehner back this quickly after leaving Tuesday’s game with a hip injury.

Evander Kane – Goal on two shots.  That’s points in three straight for Kane who needs to get back to shooting the puck at will like in past seasons.  He’s an elite streamer at the least because of the PIM but I’m still holding.

Sam Reinhart – Assist and three shots.  Points in four straight now for Reinhart and if you had any doubt about him being a hold, you shouldn’t anymore.

Victor Rask – Goal on three shots.  Rask was going through his first mini drought of the season so it was nice for him to get back on track.

Michael Leighton – 19 saves on 23 shots in the 4-2 loss to the Rangers.  I know Eddie Lack is injured but really, Carolina, you don’t have anyone better than Leighton to be on the roster?

Michael Grabner – Goal on his only shot.  He also was in a drought before this game but unlike Rask, Grabner should continue to decline.  The minutes are down, the shooting percentage has to drop and the power play time isn’t there.  It was fun while he was hot and if you want to hold him for a plus-minus boost, you can, but I feel safe dropping Grabner in 12’ers.

Chris Kreider – Two goals on four shots.  Kreider is showing signs of life again but inconsistency is part of the package when you own him.

Derek Stepan – Goal and two assists with five shots.  He’s been overlooked with everyone else in New York going off but Stepan has quietly put up a solid line across the board.

Mats Zuccarello – Two assists with three shots.  Same story as Stepan; Zucc isn’t on a 60 point pace again but he should get back in the 50’s with relative ease.

Scott Darling – 27 saves on 30 shots in the 3-1 loss to the Flyers.  Corey Crawford is out 2-3 weeks after an appendectomy so Darling should start almost all of the games in the meantime.  Grab him for the time being.

Travis Konecny – Assist and a shot.  He’s right on the fringe right now; we talked about him on the last podcast.

Ivan Provorov – Two goals on four shots.  Despite this game, I think I’m probably dropping him in 12’ers although I think it’s close.  It’s not particularly good in any category, it’s all average to slightly below.

Steve Mason – 26 saves on 27 shots getting the win.  He’s on fire lately with 4 straight wins allowing two goals or less in all of them.  If he’s still available in your league, grab Mason.

Taylor Hall – Goal and two assists with two PIM in his second game back from injury.  Hall has been a monster as expected and should continue to be so.

Michael Cammalleri – Two goals on three shots.  Since returning, Cammalleri is up to six goals and five assists in six games.  Seems decent.

Travis Zajac – Two assists.  Another guy who I’ve been saying is a hold for a while and it’s actually gotten even better.

Andy Greene – Goal and an assist with two shots.  It’s okay for deep leagues because of the blocked shots but that’s about it.

Kevin Fiala – Two goals on seven shots.  He’s totaled 15 shots in his last 3 games scoring 3 goals.  That puts him firmly back on the streaming radar.

Mike Ribeiro – Two assists.  He’s played in 23 games and has 19 shots on goal.  I don’t even understand how that’s possible.  He makes Joe Thornton look like a big time shooter!

P.K. Subban – Goal on five shots. I wish the plus-minus was better but otherwise he’s been strong everywhere else.

Matt Irwin – Assist and two shots playing 24 minutes.  A personal favorite of mine as discussed on the podcast, Irwin becomes a decent option until Ryan Ellis comes back.

Pekka Rinne – 17 saves on 22 shots in the 5-4 OT loss to the Devils.  It looked strong until the third period went miserably.  He got the day off in Sunday’s game so here’s to hoping it’s only one bad game.

Auston Matthews – Goal on five shots.  I’m not sure why the minutes have been down a bit lately but that needs to change.  Matthews should not be playing 15:45 in any game, let alone one that goes to a shootout.

James van Riemsdyk – Goal on six shots.  Excellent stuff from JVR to this point who is playing the best hockey of his career.

Frederik Andersen – 22 saves on 24 shots in the 3-2 SO loss to the Canucks.  He’s allowed 2 goals in 5 straight games which is plenty good enough to be play Andersen every time out.

Ryan Miller – 38 saves on 40 shots getting the win.  I still don’t want anything to do with either Canuck goalie.

Sven Baertschi – Goal on four shots.  After being a fairly frequent streamer for stretches last season, Baertschi is back on the radar with six points in his last five.

Henrik Sedin – Assist, a shot and two PIM.  Sedin has 29 shots in 25 games which just blows Thornton and Riberio out of the water.  It’s amazing that this is possible.

Bryan Little – Goal and an assist.  He’s centering the first line right now with Mark Scheifele day to day.  It doesn’t matter either way though; Little is worth owning in my mind if he’s in the top six.

Patrik Laine – Goal and an assist with four shots.  He’s tied with some Crosby fellow for the league lead in goals.  Not bad for 18 years old.

Alex Pietrangelo – Two assists with a shot.  Given the other defensemen on the team, I didn’t expect a resurgence from Pietrangelo yet to this point, he’s having one of his best seasons.  It’s come with a -9 which is unexpected but the offensive production is great.

Mike Condon – 24 save shutout in the 2-0 win over Florida.  Condon covered the net as well as a con… never mind, I won’t go there.  I still don’t trust him though.

Erik Karlsson – Goal on two shots.  I really wish the shots would go back up but everything else has been fine.

Braden Holtby – 32 saves on 33 shots in the 2-1 shootout loss to Tampa Bay.  Last year’s top two goalies were in a battle with Ben Bishop making 34 saves.  The wins are down but Holtby’s save percentage is the exact same as last year’s.

Nicklas Backstrom – Goal on three shots with two PIM.  He hasn’t topped 20 goals since 2009-10 but at his current shot rate, Backstorm should get there.

John Carlson – Assist and six shots.  He’s still stuck on 0 goals; it’s remarkable how many players have had these massive goal droughts.  I’d look to buy low on Carlson with the big minutes (27 in this one).

Jonathan Drouin – Assist and a shot.  He was on the first power play unit which was great to see but Drouin missed Sunday’s game with an undisclosed injury.  Hopefully news comes out on Monday.

Nikita Kucherov – Goal on five shots.  What an incredible start to the season for Kucherov who sits as the #1 skater in the player rater to this point, even ahead of McJesus.

Dylan Larkin – Goal.  He’s on pace for over 25 goals yet he’s stuck on 1 assist.  Larkin’s shots on the season are solid but he only has 6 shots in the last 5 games.  That’s not a good sign.

Henrik Zetterberg – Goal on two shots with two PIM.  It’s been a good stretch of games including Sunday (spoiler alert) but it’s still yawnstipating.

Ian Cole – Two assists, two shots and two PIM.  Cole has 5 points in his last 3 games which is usually about 2 months of production for him.  I still don’t have any interest in standard leagues.

Carl Hagelin – Two assists with two shots.  I prefer to look elsewhere for streamers simply because Hagelin doesn’t get power play time.

Phil Kessel – Two goals on four shots.  He’s another guy who I want to shoot the puck more but Fat Face Phil is almost at a point per game so no complaints.

Evgeni Malkin – Two assists with three shots.  Just stay healthy!

Mike Smith – 58 saves on 60 shots in the 3-2 SO loss to Columbus.  Yes, that’s right, 58 saves!  He gave up a goal on the first shot 13 seconds in, then almost made it the rest of the way for a win but allowed a goal with 2 minutes left.  He put up a dud in the game before against the Kings but I’m still calling Smith a hot schmotato.  If you want to gamble on starts, he’s your guy right now.

Anthony DeAngelo – Assist and a shot before going back to the AHL.  I was going to say DeAngelo was worth picking up right now before this shocking news.  Obviously let him go for now in standard leagues but I saw some impressive things offensively from DeAngelo that encourages me for dynasties.  I’ll bring it up to Reid for Tuesday’s podcast.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Assist, a shot and two penalty minutes.  He’s had four assists in his last five games but the shots are down a lot.  That said, I’m not worried yet.

Radim Vrbata – Goal on three shots giving him points in five straight.  Hopefully you’ve been holding and riding the hot streak.

Alexander Wennberg – Goal on four shots.  He’s put nine shots on goal over the last three games which will go a long way towards improving his fantasy value.

Brandon Saad – Assist, two penalty minutes, nine shots.  Saad’s assist rate blows his previous career high out of the water.

Boone Jenner – Goal on six shots with two PIM.  He’s heating up!

Nick Foligno – Assist with five shots and four PIM.  After this recent stretch, Foligno’s shot rate is at a career high.  He’s currently a top 10 player and I would have been shocked in the preseason if you told me he’d be top 100.

Kari Lehtonen – 23 save shutout in the 3-0 win over Colorado.  He’s been even worse than last season and now Lehtonen isn’t even giving you the wins.  I don’t want anything to do with him.

Tyler Seguin – Goal and an assist with four shots.  He’s another guy in the unexpected awful plus-minus category but Seguin sits at over a point per game now.

Jamie Benn – Assist with three shots and two PIM.  I’m still eagerly waiting for Benn to get on a massive tear.

Ryan Getzlaf – Two assists with two shots.  He’s had 19 assists in only 22 games.  Now if the goals go up from 2…

Rickard Rakell – Goal on two shots.  Rakell already has 10 goals and he’s only played 16 games because of the holdout.  Pretty, pretty good.

Drake Caggiula – Goal on three shots.  The goal came on the second power play unit making him an okay streamer.

Leon Draisaitl – Goal on two shots playing over 20 minutes.  The heater is going to be big time.

Jordan Eberle – Three assists with a shot.  Another guy we talked about on the podcast, Eberle showed there’s no reason to worry about him dropping to the second line.

Cam Talbot – 31 saves on 33 shots in the 3-2 overtime win over the Ducks.  His goals against average and save percentage now sit right at last year’s numbers.

Sunday’s Games:

Alexander Radulov – Goal and two assists with three shots.  He looks great right now; hopefully Galchenyuk’s injury isn’t serious because those two and Patches could be a dominant first line.

Max Pacioretty – Two goals and an assist with three shots. There’s the good Patches!  His shots the last four games are 3,3,4,3.  Progress!

David Desharnais – Two assists with three shots.  Another guy who is sitting at under one shot per game.  How the hell is this possible!?

Brendan Gallagher – Assist.  He was in a rough patch but now has a point in four of five games.  If for some reason Gallagher is available in your league, grab him.

Anze Kopitar – Three assists and two shots playing over 25 minutes.  That’s five assists in the past two games for Kopitar who looks to be finally ready to take off.

Jeff Carter – Goal and an assist.  So good across the board.

Drew Doughty – Goal and an assist with four shots and two PIM.  Yes, he stuffed the stat sheet in this one, but it’s been merely okay to this point.  I still feel strongly that there’s no way he approaches last season’s totals.

Cam Ward – 30 save shutout in the 1-0 OT win over Tampa.  He hasn’t slowed down much despite the Canes losing his previous four starts.  I still don’t trust it at all but I’m still going with it for the time being.

Ben Bishop – 29 saves on 30 shots taking the tough loss.  It’s nice to see the other other Big Ben playing great in his last two starts.  I still believe he turns things around.

Wayne Simmonds – Two goals on four shots with two PIM.  He’s pushing towards being a top 10 forward despite the plus-minus.  His overall line is remarkable.

Mike Green – Two goals.  It’s been a nice bounce back from Green to this point.  The goals won’t last unless the shots start to go back up but regardless, it’s been solid.  Just stay healthy!

Josh Bailey – Goal on four shots.  He’s had a point in five straight pushing him towards fringe hold over elite streamer.

John Tavares – Assist with four shots.  Maybe it’s just me but it feels like Tavares isn’t doing much but then you look at the numbers and he’s been fine.  It’s a bit underwhelming given his preseason ADP but a good mini-streak would change that.

Connor Hellebuyck – 25 saves on 26 shots in the 2-1 win over Chicago.  It’s a bit up and down right now but I still feel fine about playing him almost every time out.

Bryan Little – Goal on two shots.  To reiterate, pick the man up.

Blake Wheeler – Assist and three shots.  He played some center with Scheifele being out which was interesting to see.  Wheeler has a point in five straight as he quietly puts together another excellent season in all categories.

Dustin Byfuglien – Assist with six shots and two PIM.  Big Buff doing Big Buff things!  He has an assist in four straight and the goals should go up (2 on 78 shots).

Marko Dano – Assist with three shots.  It’s bottom end stream in 12’ers with everyone healthy but I still love the kid in dynasties.

Patrick Kane – Assist with a shot and two PIM.  The points are right where I expected (almost exactly 1 per game) and there’s been some bonus penalty minutes as well.

Scott Darling – 30 saves on 32 shots taking the loss.  He was strong between the pipes and should continue to be so going forward.

Jonathan Bernier – 17 saves on 25 shots in the 8-3 loss to Calgary.  Good lord, he found a way to top Al Montoya for worst start of the season.  What a disaster.

Ryan Kesler – Two goals.  Man, he was my biggest whiff by a mile.  Most of it is because of an absurd shooting percentage but regardless, I should have assumed Randy Carlyle would give him this massive role.

Sam Bennett – Goal and two assists with two shots and four PIM.  Oh baby!  Bennett played with Gaudreau and looked outstanding.  Again, it’s the same thing where we just need consistency but I hope he sticks with Gaudreau because it makes that more likely.

Alex Chiasson – Goal and two assists with five PIM.  The Gordie Howe hat trick plus an assist!  Chiasson played with Gaudreau and Bennett along with the second power play unit putting him on the streaming radar.

Troy Brouwer – Goal and an assist with two shots.  He’s an okay streamer but I’d go with Chiasson over Brouwer at the moment.

Garnet Hathaway – Two assists with 12 PIM.  Hathaway gets all of the penalty minutes and that’s about it.

Sean Monahan – Goal and an assist with two shots.  He has a point in four straight so we may finally be seeing him get back to normalcy.

Matt Stajan – Goal and two assists with two shots.  Remember when Stajan had 55 points with the Leafs?  Ah, the good old days when he was a main piece for Toronto acquiring superstar Dion Phaneuf.

Kris Versteeg – Two assists playing with Monahan.  Another Flames streamer who I’d rank ahead of Brouwer but behind Chiasson at the moment.  For deep leagues rest of season, I’d reverse the order.

Devan Dubnyk – 28 saves on 29 shots in the 2-1 OT win over the Oilers.  He’s pretty good at stopping the puck.  World class analysis right there.

Charlie Coyle – Goal and an assist with three shots.  He’s on pace for a 30+30 season.  Seems pretty good to me.

Mikko Koivu – Goal on two shots.  I’d still rather stream him due to the poor shots.  Not poor like Thornton poor but it’s not good nonetheless.

Nino Niederreiter – Assist with two shots.  Nothing can changed for Nino in my mind, great streamer but not enough to hold.

Monday Streamers – There are four games on the slate giving us some options yet making streaming prevalent.  Here are my top three options:

Conor Sheary (12.7%) – Going back to the well a lot today.  Sheary’s minutes are up as he remains on the first line.  I expect Pittsburgh to take it to Ottawa tonight.

Martin Hanzal (13.5%) – I know Arizona isn’t great but I have to imagine they play better against Columbus this time around.  Hanzal has been mediocre but the minutes are huge and it’s been okay across the board.  The chance for some bonus PIM and getting a first line center to stream is enough for me.

Sam Gagner (15.9%) – I admittedly don’t like this call but Gagner is still on the first power play unit and the shots have gone up.

That’s all for now guys; these daily notes are getting lengthy!  I’ll be back on Wednesday with daily notes and a new podcast will go up on Tuesday.  As always, feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments below.  Take care!

  1. Eli Man Penguin Boy says:

    oh my i love me some hanzal in every hits/blocks/faceoffs leagues i’m in (which are like 90% of the leagues i’m in), he does some of all of those. just make sure you have lots of IR/IR+ slots.

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Eli Man Penguin Boy: Right, he’s definitely another guy in the “just stay healthy!” category. He just does everything at average or above, great filler guy.

  2. Quick Sycamore says:

    So this season in my league there is(at least up to this point) a significant gap in the quality of teams at the top and everyone else. This is causing the lower teams to drop struggling players out of impatience/desperation which I am using to improve my team. Anyway the latest player would be Spezza. I’m going to pick him up because Drouins injury gives me an extra roster spot. The question is, when Drouin returns which one do I keep? Spezza seems to be back on track while I just get a meh feeling on Drouin. I’ve drafted Drouin every year, and dropped him every year lol.

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Quick Sycamore: Gotcha, yeah that seems to be a frequent occurrence around leagues and it’s better for the top teams even though they don’t realize it. Man, those two are close. Is it cheap of me to say it depends how Spezza does until Drouin gets back? It’s so marginal that I think I’d rather keep Spezza if he does well and keep Drouin if Spezza doesn’t.

  3. Sheldon says:

    Should I trade El Nino in a points only Keeper league, for Donskoi, Milano or Athanasiou?
    I appreciate El Nino but I’m not convince about his ceiling…

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Sheldon: The only guy I would consider doing it for is Milano because of his upside. Nino is better than Donskoi and Athanasiou right now and going forward and I don’t think it’s particularly close. So it depends if you want more help now or long term, my lean would be towards just holding Nino.

  4. Mr. Rickey says:

    Drop Budaj for Mrarek? Or hold – I also have Bob and Hellboy after losing Quick. Tied for the lead in W’s but my GAA and Sv% are garbage. Budja has looked terrible the last few games but I’m not sure Mzarek is all that much help.

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Mr. Rickey: Meh, I think I’d rather hold Budaj because I don’t think Mrazek will be any better (I would be shocked if he had a better GAA) and Budaj will definitely get more starts.

  5. Man Of Steel says:

    Hey Viz,

    Looking to get Byfuligen and Bergeron from a team. Thinking of selling high on Laine. We use PTS=3, PP PTS =2, SOG =.4 and I am currently in 2nd place. Just picked up Carlson and Kustenov. Eight team league. What would be a good trade offer to get Byfuglien and Bergeron? Here is my team:

    Forwards: Ovechkin, Hall, Stone, Hornqvist, Laine, Perry, Radulov, Marner, Kustenov, Reinhart, Nylander.

    Defense: Josi, Giordano, Werenski, Carlson (we use 5 spots for D, I use 5th to stream forwards)

    Goalies: Bishop/Vasilesky, Luongo, Rinne

    Thanks Viz!

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Man Of Steel: I wouldn’t really want to sell high on Laine, he’s really this good. I would definitely want something added to either of those guys but I don’t think you can get both. I’d much rather try to sell high on say, Radulov, than Laine. Either that or even selling high on Rinne. Honestly, I don’t see much need for making a move on your team, you’re in great shape already. I would at least be hesitant to add Bergeron since you already have a case of a struggling guy in Kuznetsov.

      • Man Of Steel says:

        @Viz: Thanks Viz I will go with your advice you da man!

        • Viz

          Viz says:

          @Man Of Steel: No problem, you’re the man, your team is loaded!

  6. Mal says:

    Thanks as always for the write-ups, Viz. Much appreciated, and you do fine work.

    Any thoughts on Kuznetsov? I don’t feel like I can straight up drop him, although no one is going to want to trade for him, either. Maybe it is time to cut him to the wire? Or float some trade offers for a 4th d-man or something?

    He’s got to turn it around at some point, I would think. But man, it’s been rough.

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Mal: Thanks a lot, I appreciate it. Man, he’s the toughest case of any player to this point. I’m still hesitant to outright cut him but at the same time, I wouldn’t be looking to buy low on him either. I would probably aim higher than a 4th D just for his name value, see if anyone bites on a #2 D for example. I’m in the same boat thinking that he will turn it around but it’s definitely been a drain. The one team I have him on I’ve been holding on to him but my patience is wearing thin.

  7. Mike Reno says:

    Epic write-up, Viz. Thanks for this and the podcast.

    bark bark meow meow

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Mike Reno: Thanks a lot, I appreciate it!

  8. Shitwolf says:

    Hey man thanks for the scouting report… Parise was just dropped in my league what are your thoughts on him right now?

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Shitwolf: No problem. Man, that’s a shock to me even though he’s pointless in his last 4. I’d have to bet on him being a top 100 player the rest of the way so I’d probably grab him.

  9. DumpsterFire says:

    Another great write up, thanks Viz. I need to cut someone to bring Hall off the IR, and I’m between Hoffman and Fabbri. I’ve been on the fence with Fabbri all season and Hoffman is a recent add, but he’s been helping in all categories, and I know you’ve been a fan of him on here. It’s a 12 team standard redraft with G,A,+/-, PIM, PPP, GWG, and SOG. Anything wrong with holding the Hoff and letting Fabbri go? I have B. Schenn holding a LW spot too, but he’s been putting up points on the power play and adding a healthy dose of PIM.


    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @DumpsterFire: No problem! I’d definitely drop Fabbri, I’m a fan of his as well but he’s a tier below Hoffman and Schenn for that matter.

  10. fleeced says:

    Do you see Monahan turning it around?

    Would you prefer him over Schwartz?

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @fleeced: I think he will somewhat but given the slow start, he’ll struggle to get back to last year’s totals. I would take Schwartz over him, I trust his consistency more and his upside is higher.

Comments are closed.