There wasn’t a ton of goal scoring over the last two nights, but the most notable performance came from the reigning MVP. Taylor Hall won the game against the Penguins virtually by himself, scoring two goals and two assists with six shots in the 4-2 win. That brings Hall up to 5+14 in 16 games with over 3.5 shots per game. Can we expect a repeat of last season? That would be a stretch. Hall shot 14% last season while for the majority of the rest of his career, he’s been in the 8-11% range. This year he’s at 8.6, a little low but not an outlier. I would say 25-30 goals seems likely, but a new career high in assists (54) is certainly within range. Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Henrik Lundqvist – 25 saves on 26 shots in the 2-1 win over the Canucks. Don’t look now but the Rangers are playing solid hockey. The King stay The King!
Scott Darling – 33 saves on 35 shots in the 3-2 OT win over the Blackhawks. Revenge game for Darling, who appears to be the #1 at the moment. If you need goaltending help, there are worse options because of his upside. Just know it could get ugly e.g. last season.
Sebastian Aho – Goal and an assist with five shots. He’s almost halfway to a new career high in assists and he’s played 18 games. I don’t expect Aho to maintain this pace, but he’s certainly a top 50 player at this point.
Andrei Svechnikov – Two assists with three shots. He left the game briefly but did return. The minutes aren’t great right now so I probably wouldn’t hold him, but it’s close. The shot rate is solid so the goals should come.
Cam Atkinson – Goal and an assist with four shots. Atkinson has been great with 8+6 and pushing four shots per game. No reason to expect a step back, maybe if they trade Panarin.
Sergei Bobrovsky – 26 saves on 27 shots in the 2-1 win over the Stars. Safe to say that the buy low window for Bob has slammed shut.
Alexander Radulov – Goal on five shots with two PIM playing over 24 minutes in his return. Obviously activate Radulov immediately.
Pekka Rinne – 29 saves on 30 shots in the 2-1 SO loss to the Ducks. The numbers are fantastic for Rinne as expected, he just needs to stay healthy.
John Gibson – 34 saves on 35 shots earning the win. It’s absolutely mind boggling how well Gibson is playing. Even after two rough games, he’s sitting at a .931. He’s the clear front runner for the Vezina.
Sidney Crosby – Two assists with three shots. He’s been his usual self.
Phil Kessel – Goal and an assist with two shots and four PIM. Don’t expect the PIM to continue, but Kessel looks like a good bet to repeat last season’s 92 points.
Travis Zajac – Goal and an assist. He played on the top line with Nico Hischier out (it’s not serious) making Zajac an okay streamer if you need assists. Just know that you won’t be getting anything else.
Damon Severson – Goal and an assist with four shots. I guess we have to take him seriously with 12 points in 16 games. I’m not really buying in, but defensemen are so bad on the whole that I don’t mind grabbing him.
Brendan Leipsic – Goal and an assist with six shots. Leipsic has looked good when he gets the minutes, and right now he’s with Horvat. I’m a big fan for DPS as a cheap option and as a solid streamer.
Jordan Eberle – Goal and an assist with two shots. Despite the Islanders playing very well, Eberle isn’t playing at his best. He’s a decent streamer but that’s it for now.
Brock Nelson – Two assists with a shot and two PIM. Nelson’s numbers are great but we can’t expect him to shoot 23.5% all season. He’s a solid streamer.
Tom Kuhnhackl – Two goals on four shots. And there’s your annual Kuhnhackl update!
Mathew Barzal – Two assists with three shots. He’s almost at a point per game, but I’m not a big fan of Barzal’s season. I had him ranked lower going into the season but I saw the upside in year two. However, he’s trending the wrong direction in shot rate (well under two per game) and now he’s off the top PP unit. If you could sell high, I probably would.
Roberto Luongo -30 saves on 31 shots in the 2-1 win over the Flyers. Luongo has been fabulous since returning with six goals against in four games. Expect the Panthers to roll him with Reimer struggling.
Nathan Beaulieu – Two assists. He looks pretty good, but the minutes aren’t there to have any fantasy use.
Carter Hutton – 29 saves on 30 shots in the 2-1 win over the Lightning. Hutton has been solid on the whole for the Sabres. He’s not going to be incredible, but it’s pretty clear that the Sabres were right to buy into Hutton’s last two seasons as a backup in St. Louis. I’m comfortable using him in almost all matchups.
Jimmy Howard – 24 saves on 25 shots in the 6-1 win over the Coyotes. It’s not going to last but the Red Wings are on fire right now. Howard has a .920 sv% and a 2.69 GAA. If he falls off some, that GAA will be pushing 3. User beware.
Mike Green – Goal and two assists with two shots. Green has been great to this point. While I don’t expect it to last, he should be held as long as he’s healthy.
Frans Nielsen – Two assists with three shots. Easy pass. Lot of assists but little shots and zero goals.
Andreas Athanasiou – Goal and an assist with five shots and two PIM. Athanasiou has been fantastic and should be held right now. The shot rate is excellent.
Dmitry Orlov – Two goals and an assist with four shots and two PIM. You see the flashes offensively from Orlov which made me get suckered in last season, but not again. He’s fine for deep leagues with the big blocks and hits, but that’s it.
Lars Eller – Two assists with two shots. Bottom end streamer.
Andre Burakovsky – Goal and an assist with two shots. I thought Burakovsky would going to be a very good offensive player but it just hasn’t happened for him yet. Pass.
Mikko Koivu – Goal and an assist. He’s solid enough across the board that you can hold him, but I’d prefer to stream him.
Andrew Shaw – Goal and an assist with two shots. He’s been producing offensively lately but we know what Shaw is.
Leon Draisaitl – Goal and two assists with four shots. Draisaitl played with Connor McDavid (three assists) Tuesday and it’s safe to say that it worked well. Draisaitl gets a nice bump up if he stays with McDavid.
Kris Russell – Goal and an assist. Hard pass.
Matt Benning – Goal and an assist with two shots. Nope.
Mikko Koskinen – 27 saves on 29 shots in the 6-2 win over Montreal. He’s at least in a timeshare at this point, if not the #1. If you want to take a chance on Koskinen, I won’t tell you it’s a mistake. It’s hard to say what he is given his career path, but it could be worth it.
Frederik Andersen – 22 saves on 23 shots in the 5-1 win over the Kings. The Kings suck. /end
John Tavares – Goal and two assists with four shots. Tavares has been amazing with 11+11 in 18 games and almost four shots per game. He’s playing even better than he did when he won the Hart.
Mitch Marner – Two assists with three shots and two PIM. Life with Tavares has been great for Marner as expected.
Morgan Rielly – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM. Rielly has been unbelievable and as mentioned last week, there’s a real chance he finishes the season as a top 5 defenseman.
Nazem Kadri – Two goals on four shots. Kadri has seven goals in the last nine games so I’d hold Kadri for the time being.
Filip Forsberg – Two goals and an assist with three shots and two PIM. After a cold streak with one point in six games, Forsberg is back up to 12+6 in 18 games with a +13 rating, 10 PIM and 61 shots. Absolute beast.
Craig Smith – Goal and an assist with six shots. Smith has looked great the last two nights and is near the top of my streaming list for the time being.
Marcus Sorensen – Goal and two assists with two shots. He’s getting some shifts on the top line every night but the minutes aren’t good enough yet. If they get there, there could be something here.
Joe Pavelski – Two goals on four shots. It doesn’t seem like he’s doing well with only two assists on the season, but Pavelski has 10 goals and is right at 3 shots per game. I don’t love him, but he still needs to be held.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back on Friday recapping the action for the next two nights. As always, feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments below. Thanks for reading, take care!