The first few weeks of the season, Connor Hellebuyck was a polarizing figure in the fantasy hockey world. He made the Jets roster and was clearly the best goalie but Hellboy was struggling and splitting starts. Plenty of people were asking me if he was worth rostering and justifiably so. Well, things no longer look to be a mixed bag after the last week of games. Hellebuyck has won 4 straight starts allowing no more than 2 goals in a game. His best performance came last night recording a 27 save shutout at home against the Blackhawks. Hellebuyck is getting massive offensive support right now and the defense is gradually improving in front of him. At the end of the year, I believe he will finish as a top end #2 goaltender with the expectation that he will be a #1 in 2017-18 and beyond. Here’s what else I saw around the league in a very busy Tuesday night slate.
Craig Anderson – 33 saves on 35 shots in the 3-2 SO win over the Flyers. I am still hesitant to buy in but obviously keep rolling him for now.
Kyle Turris – Goal on his only shot. The shots are dropping lately which is a bit worrisome but the production should keep coming with these minutes.
Mark Stone – Goal on two shots. He’s started fairly slow but Stone seems to do this every season before exploding.
Steve Mason – 24 saves on 26 shots. Michal Neuvirth is out for over a month so it’s going to be Mason’s show. Perhaps the extra starts will help him get into a flow but he’s certainly in the “desperate for starts” category for now.
Cam Ward – 22 save shutout in the 1-0 win over the Sharks. Meh, I still don’t trust him at all. This was the Sharks 4th game on this road trip and they won the previous 3 setting up a letdown game. His save percentage is still barely over .900.
Aaron Dell – 32 saves in that 1-0 game. He has barely played this season but it was nice to see him do well. For those in super deep leagues that stream goalies, Dell could be a decent option, better than I expected at least.
Nicklas Backstrom – Goal on two shots. After a hot start, he has only 4 shots in his last 4 games. The assists are going to be solid but the reasons why I was lower on Backstrom than everyone are starting to come to fruition.
Sergei Bobrovsky – 21 saves on 22 shots in the 2-1 win over Washington. It was nice to see him bounce back after 2 poor starts in a row. I’d still try to sell high if possible.
Cam Atkinson – Goal on four shots. Hotter than a pistol right now and clearly deserves to be owned everywhere.
Zach Werenski – Goal on five shots. Well, it’s still early on in the season but he looks like a good bet to be this season’s Shayne Gostisbehere. Granted, Werenski was up to start the season but he wasn’t drafted anywhere and is taking the league by storm as a rookie.
Marek Mazanec – 6 goals allowed on 32 shots in the 6-2 loss against the Leafs. My god, Mazanec looked atrocious. Pekka Rinne is day-to-day so until he returns, expect Jusse Saros to receive all of the starts. If you need starts right now, grab Saros. You can find what I’ve wrote about Saros in the past clicking on the tag at the bottom but to be brief, I think he’s the goalie of the future in Nashville and an excellent talent.
James Neal – Goal on five shots. That’s at least one goal in five straight. Oh yeah!
Tyler Bozak – Four assists with two shots. Bozy is up to 5+9 in 16 games with 8 points in the last 5. At the least, he needs to be streamed but if the bottom of your roster is struggling, definitely grab him while he’s hot.
Mitch Marner – Goal and two assists with four shots finishing +4. My love for him in dynasties going into the season was apparently misplaced, it should have been in all leagues! So good.
James van Riemsdyk – Hat trick with an assist. The Charlie Conway look-alike is having another excellent season as he’s done every season in Toronto; he just needs to stay healthy.
Aaron Ekblad – Game winning goal on his fifth shot of the game. Funny goal where his stick broke on an awkward slapshot but it still found the back of the net. It’s been a dreadful start for Ekblad but I think he needs to be held even if it’s just for the shots and penalty minutes.
Jussi Jokinen – Assist with two shots and two PIM. It was his first point since returning and I expect him to pick it up in the short term. If he’s available in your league, he’s worth picking up.
Vincent Trocheck – Assist with two PIM. Trocheck quietly keeps producing at a level where he’s a clear hold.
Paul Byron – Goal on three shots. That’s a goal in four of the last five games for Byron. He’s struggled to score throughout his career but it’s still worth streaming at the moment.
David Desharnais – Goal and an assist. Wasn’t a fan in fantasy when he was the #1 center, definitely not a fan now.
Max Pacioretty – Power play goal on three shots. All it took was me complaining about his lack of goals and power play points on the podcast for him to do both!
Steven Stamkos – Goal before leaving the game early in the first after a weird collision with the boards. Here’s to hoping it’s nothing serious; Stammer has been incredible in the early going.
Nikita Kucherov – Two goals and an assist playing almost 24 minutes. Yeah, he’s pretty f****** good.
Vladislav Namestnikov – Two assists with a shot. Top end streamer even if Stamkos misses some time.
Nikita Nesterov – Goal and an assist with two shots. His goal was on the power play which is encouraging. It’s not enough for standard leagues but for deep leagues, Nesterov is playing his way onto the radar.
Mike Green – Assist and five shots with two penalty minutes. He’s slowed down from his torrid start but Green is still a clear hold everywhere.
Ryan Sproul – Goal and an assist with two shots playing almost 20 minutes. Hmm, that’s 4 points in 6 games for Sproul and the minutes are coming up. There’s not enough here yet but it’s worth monitoring.
Anthony Mantha – Power play assist playing over 13 minutes. Absolutely love him in dynasties and should be a streamer as long as his minutes are in the teens.
Sam Reinhart – Goal on two shots playing over 21 minutes. This was definitely his best game of the season offensively; Reinhart was buzzing every time he was in the offensive zone. It’s still fringe right now but I think he could take off when Jack Eichel returns.
Kyle Okposo – Assist with five shots. It’s been solid across the board as Okposo is a plus in all categories so far. It’ll only get better when the Sabres get healthy.
Robby Fabbri – Goal and a fight. He was dangerous throughout the game and with four goals in the last four games, Fabbri needs to be owned everywhere.
Colton Parayko – Two assists and six shots. I was very impressed with Parayko in this game. He picked his spots extremely well to act and was positionally sound. While he’s still goalless on the season, the shots are excellent meaning they’re coming.
Jaden Schwartz – Goal on two shots playing almost 20 minutes. Should have had a couple more goals too. Like most of this team, the goals should be coming.
Kevin Shattenkirk – Two assists with a shot. Shattenkirk doesn’t get mentioned among the elite puck movers but he deserves to be. It’s so smooth, especially on the power play.
Alex Steen – Left the game multiple times before eventually not coming back. Ugh, please just stay healthy!
Jake Allen – 23 saves on 24 shots in the 4-1 win. Despite only giving up 1 goal, I didn’t leave this game as confident in a bounce back as I was yesterday. The Sabres hit three posts and Allen just seemed a bit off. I’ll have to watch the next couple Blues games to get a more definitive picture.
Chad Johnson – 27 save shutout in the 1-0 win over the Wild. He’s had a couple great starts now and a couple duds. Play him at your own peril.
Johnny Gaudreau – Goal on two shots. He was slashed a bunch of times in this game causing him to leave early. I don’t think it’s anything serious but an update should be out Wednesday afternoon.
Mark Giordano – Assist with four shots. It’s been a struggle so far but Giordano did this last season and took off in the second half. I’m still holding tight.
Devan Dubnyk – 26 saves on 27 shots in the loss. Tough break for Dubnyk with only 1 win in his last 5 but his numbers are still out of this world. I’m definitely holding him everywhere.
Dustin Byfuglien – Assist with four shots. Everything has been great for Big Buff outside of his 0 goals. That simply can not last so be patient, I can see a 6 goal in 10 game stretch in the future.
Marko Dano – Assist with a shot. Streamer success! He’ll be one of my favorite streamers for now, I can’t contain my love for Dano!
Nikolaj Ehlers – Two assists with a shot. Hotter than a pistol right now with no signs of slowing down.
Patrik Laine – League leading 12th goal with 3 shots. It’s crazy how good this kid is at 18 years old.
Nic Petan – Goal on his only shot. Another solid streamer while he’s getting decent minutes.
Mark Scheifele – Assist with two shots to put him back in the scoring lead. Man, my love for the Jets is really paying off!
Corey Crawford – 18 saves on 22 shots before being pulled in the third period. Meh, Crawford will be fine, no worries at all. This was a 1-0 game before the Jets blitzed the Blackhawks in the 3rd, most of which wasn’t Crawford’s fault.
Cory Schneider – 23 saves on 24 shots in the 2-1 overtime win over the Stars. His numbers are outstanding but at this point in his career, it’s expected. As I’ve said before, if the wins keep up, he’ll be a top 3 goalie.
Damon Severson – Goal on two shots. He’s up to 12 points in 15 games after a very slow start.
Patrick Eaves – Goal on four shots. Streamer success! Again, he’s a must own and is available in 80% of leagues. It doesn’t make any sense to me, go grab him!
Antoine Roussel – Assist with a shot. This points streak for Roussel is absolutely unbelievable.
Dustin Brown – Goal on six shots but was -4 in the 4-1 loss to Colorado. Man, this second line, which should really be a 4th line if anything, was a complete dumpster fire at even strength. Outside of the top couple guys, I want nothing to do with L.A. players.
Tyson Barrie – Two shots and two PIM finishing +3. He’s slowed down quite a bit lately but I still expect Barrie to finish around 50 points.
Gabriel Landeskog – Goal on two shots. Nothing really stands out for the Kog but it’s solid across the board.
Nathan MacKinnon – Ten shots on goal playing over 21 minutes. Despite not scoring, the Kings had no answer for him, specifically his speed. This game made me feel great about his chances for turning things around.
Patrick Wiercoich – Goal and an assist playing almost 21 minutes. I’ve always been a big fan of his game and was baffled that Ottawa scratched him and then let him go. It’s not enough for standard leagues but he’s solidifying himself as a solid add in deep leagues.
Semyon Varlamov – 32 saves on 33 shots in the 4-1 win over the Kings. Varlamov is another goalie in the lottery ticket group right now.
Henrik Lundqvist – 36 saves on 38 shots in the 7-2 win over the Canucks. We know Lundqvist is outstanding, nothing has changed there. Goalies against the Canucks are the best because they put on so many low percentage shots boosting the opposing goalie’s save percentage.
Jesper Fast – Two assists. Every forward on this team contributes, it’s unreal!
Kevin Hayes – Two goals on two shots. Hayes looks like to be this season’s post-hype breakout player. 16 points in 17 games is unreal.
Nick Holden – Goal and an assist with a shot. He has only 9 shots in 17 games which seems impossible but he’s been excellent in the other categories, including a +14. It’s certainly worthy of anything deeper than 12’ers and it’s getting debatable for 12’ers if you can stomach the shots.
Kevin Klein – Two assists. Five assists in the last five games for Klein because why not? Everyone else on the Rangers is doing it!
Oscar Lindberg – Assist with four penalty minutes in his second game back. The rich get richer! Add another name to the streaming list.
J.T. Miller – Two goals on four shots. He’s at a point per game and +16 because of course he is. I sound like a broken record but these Rangers, man.
Brandon Pirri – Goal on four shots. Streamer success! Another 3 for 3 night, wooo.
Brady Skjei – Assist with two shots. He doesn’t do much else but with 10 assists on the season, Skjei is worth owning everywhere.
Mika Zibanejad – Two assists with two shots. That mini slump sure didn’t last long with 4 points in his last 4.
Mats Zuccarello – Goal and two assists. There’s not much else to say at this point about guys on this team.
Luca Sbisa – Two assists and two penalty minutes. And there’s your annual Luca Sbisa update!
Jacob Markstrom – 18 saves on 25 shots. Oh man. I think we can officially declare this the end of starting any Canucks goalies. Their team is just a complete mess as we expected coming into the season, it just took a little longer than expected.
Leon Draisaitl – Goal on two shots. It’s very fringe right now for Leon in 12’ers.
Cam Fowler – Goal on his only shot. His minutes have still been in the low 20’s with Hampus Lindholm (1 SOG, +2) back in the lineup so Fowler needs to held everywhere.
Ryan Kesler – Goal on three shots playing over 23 minutes. Man, these minutes are beyond absurd at this point. I watch him play and it’s very yawnstipating but he’s producing right now out of sheer volume. I don’t think he falls off a cliff just because it’s nearly impossible to do with those minutes.
Corey Perry – Two assists with three shots. The goals are down a bit but his contributions elsewhere have been better than expected.
John Gibson – 33 saves on 34 shots in the 4-1 win over the Oilers. It’s been very up and down in the early going but Gibson looked excellent in this one. The next three games for the Ducks are against struggling offenses so perhaps this is the time to buy low, if possible.
Wednesday Streamers – There are only two games on the slate so as always, if there are players who are highly owned that are available in your league, defer to them. By my usual standards, here are my top 3 streamers:
Radim Vrbata (16.9%) – I still would be holding Vrbata in 12’ers so getting to stream him in a 2 game slate is excellent. Calgary is on the second of a back to back and Vrbata has a 4 game point streak; what’s not to like?
Conor Sheary (11.7%) – He’s up to 8 points in 8 games and Sheary is on the first line again. Being on the second power play unit is merely a bonus.
Martin Hanzal (11.6%) – This isn’t a guarantee but it sounds like Hanzal will return in this game; he was activated from injured reserve. He should step right back onto the first line and since Hanzal can become a hold, I defer to streaming him in this spot.
That’s all for now guys. My next set of daily notes will be on Friday. Something will be posted on Thursday though, be it a new podcast, an update of the RCL’s (that’s coming soon regardless), or both! As always, feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments below. Take care!