A week without hockey in December did not seem right at all. Thankfully, the NHL is back up and running. Sure, there are plenty of postponements, but I’ll take what we can get. There’s not a lot of games over the past two nights, but I’m going to do a quick recap of everything that happened. Goaltending was mostly optional, especially in Wednesday’s games. The highlight was a 8-7 SO win by the Sharks over the Coyotes, where Arizona scored two goals in the last three minutes of the game to send it to overtime. Phil Kessel had four assists and four shots in the game, and was dominant throughout the entire game. He’s an elite streamer for now, but he can end up a hold depending where he goes at the trade deadline. Yes, I’m assuming he’s traded, but that seems like a formality. Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two nights. I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays!
Brayden Point – Two goals and an assist with six shots in his return. Pretty, pretty, pretty good. You probably don’t even have to cut someone to clear room for Point on your roster because somebody you have is on the COVID list, or just injured.
Corey Perry – Goal and an assist with three shots. Perry has been better than expected in a limited role. There’s some deep league value here.
Alex Killorn – Two assists with three shots playing over 26 minutes. Killorn benefits greatly from Point’s return. I have elite streamer for now, but he could turn into a hold.
Victor Hedman – Two assists with four shots. Hedman is smashing all of the categories and is over a point per game. He’s the favorite to be the top fantasy defenseman now.
Jonathan Marchessault – Two goals and an assist with three shots. Marchessault in on the best goal pace of his career by a mile. Sure, it’ll regress some, but the assists should improve too. Slam dunk hold.
Reilly Smith – Goal and an assist with three shots. With Mark Stone on IR, the second line is getting more run while also being the first power play unit with Patches and Theodore. I have been holding Smith anyways, but now, it’s not close.
Chandler Stephenson – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM. Even with the lower power play role for now, Stephenson is an easy hold. You can’t be dropping guys over a point per game.
Adrian Kempe – Goal and an assist with three shots. The assists are weak, but Kempe is pushing three shots per game and over a 30 goal pace. That makes him an elite streamer, bare minimum. He’s on the fringe for me.
Lawson Crouse – Two goals and two assists with five shots. Crouse is easily having the best offensive season of his career. The hits are elite and he’s a solid contributor elsewhere. His value is very dependent on league format.
Johan Larsson – Three assists with three shots. And there’s your biannual Larsson update!
Shayne Gostisbehere – Goal and an assist with five shots. Ghost Bear is getting all of the minutes he can handle with Chychrun out. He needs to be held in all formats.
Janis Moser – Tow goals. Not bad for his third career game. He’s getting a decent amount of minutes, but I’m not looking to use him now. Long term, there’s some promise here. Welcome to the Razzball Database!
Logan Couture – Goal and an assist, as did both of his linemates, Timo Meier and Alexander Barabanov. Couture and Meier are both givens in terms of fantasy. Having watched this whole game, Barabanov was the best Shark on the ice without a doubt. The shot rate is dreadful, but I really liked the way he played on this line. I see deep league value, and a bottom end streamer with upside.
Jesper Bratt – Goal and two assists. Bratt has played his way onto the fringe as he could have a new career high in points by the end of January.
Jack Hughes – Goal and two assists with six shots. There’s the Hughes we’ve been waiting for! I lean towards holding him for the upside. Ruff seems intent on giving Hughes the first line center role and embracing the ups and downs.
Yegor Sharangovich – Goal and an assist with four shots. I have Sharangovich as a bottom end streamer until he locks into a top role and starts producing.
Tage Thompson – Two goals on three shots. Even with two new linemates, Thompson looked excellent. That includes less support behind him than usual. I’m still holding.
Rasmus Dahlin – Two assists with two shots. Dahlin has been excellent offensively in recent games. I wouldn’t be surprised if he pushes 60 points at the end of the year.
Alex Tuch – Assist in his Sabres debut. No shots is upsetting, but that will come. He’s an elite streamer who can easily be a hold if you want to take a chance on the upside.
Dante Fabbro – Two assists with a shot and two PIM. If you need short term help, Fabbro is a viable option as long as Roman Josi is out.
John Carlson – Goal and three assists with five shots. This hasn’t been Carlson’s best season, yet he’s rapidly approaching a point per game. He’s close to a lock to being a top five defenseman.
Dmitry Orlov – Two assists with a shot and two PIM. Solid player in real life, but Orlov is a deep league option at best.
Carl Hagelin – Goal and an assist with two shots. And there’s your annual Swagelin update!
Mika Zibanejad – Goal and an assist with five shots. Nice to see Zibanejad continue the tear that he was on before this brief hiatus.
Artemi Panarin – Goal and an assist with three shots. The Breadman should stay well above a point per game. As long as their depth continues to suck, Gallant will roll the top six massive minutes.
Gustav Forsling – Two assists with a shot. The assists are strong, but everything else besides plus-minus is very bad. I don’t like one dimensional guys at the bottom of my roster, especially in assists, so Forsling is a pass for me.
Vladimir Tarasenko – Goal and two assists, as did Jordan Kyrou. Tarasenko is a slam dunk hold who is thriving more than anyone could have expected. Kyrou received a huge boost as Pavel Buchnevich missed the game due to a non-COVID illness. When he returns, Kyrou could be on the third line. I’d hold anyways because I like the player so much, but that would dent Kyrou’s value quite a bit.
Torey Krug – Two assists with a shot. Krug’s offense hasn’t translated to St. Louis as well as did in Boston. He’s still a hold, but we have to keep expectations in check.
James van Riemsdyk – Two goals. Some games, JVR plays 19 minutes like Wednesday. Others, he plays 12. You have no clue what you’re going to get. He’s hot at the moment, but he’s still only a middling streamer.
J.T. Miller – Goal and an assist with five shots and two PIM. The minutes are going up and down for all of the Vancouver forwards, but Miller’s is the most consistent. He’s their #1 and should push a point per game.
Thatcher Demko – 22 saves on 23 shots in the 2-1 OT win over the Ducks. “Thatcher Demko had a 31 save shutout and looks to be the biggest beneficiary of the coaching change. Boudreau has always had a great defensive system that inflated the numbers of his goaltenders. Dubnyk was never that good of a goalie, but he was great in fantasy. Same goes with the Washington guys earlier, or the other Wild goaltenders. Demko has the chance to be a bottom end #1 now.” And that’s me quoting me from three weeks ago! I sold Demko short; he can be a top five goalie the rest of the way with the workload he’s receiving.
That’s all for now guys. If there’s enough action in Thursday’s games that is worth writing up, I’ll be back on Friday. If not, I’ll be back on Monday morning. As always, feel free to ask any questions, leave any comments, or give any suggestions below. If I don’t have a post on Friday, Happy New Year to all of you loyal Razzballers! Thanks for reading, take care!