While I’ve talked about the Flames being a major disappointment in this space multiple times this year, Johnny Gaudreau certainly doesn’t belong in that category. The young gun is keeping a point per game this season and he had his best game to date on Friday, scoring a hat trick, adding an assist with five shots and two PIM in the 5-4 OT win against the Bruins. The shots are a little lower than you’d like for Gaudreau to reach true superstar status but he’s probably pushing the top 25 overall at this point. Not bad for a fifth round pick who most thought was too small to make it in the league. Here’s what else I saw on a busy weekend, going game by game. I will leave the late Sunday night games for the Tuesday recap so there is more than three games to discuss; I will break those games down more thoroughly because not much stood out in terms of fantasy relevance on the face of things:
Sabres 5, Coyotes 2 – The Sabres are showing major strides, dominating teams that they should. It started with the first line with Evander Kane scoring twice on his only shots with two PIM, Ryan O’Reilly adding an assist with two shots and Sam Reinhart scoring on four shots. At this point, Reinhart is a must own. Jack Eichel and Rasmus Ristolainen both added an assist. For the Coyotes, Max Domi scored both goals on three shots showing why he’s a future star in this league.
Flyers 4, Devils 3 (OT) – The big guns stepped up for Philly with Claude Giroux tallying a goal and an assist on four shots and Jakub Voracek adding two assists with two shots. Wayne Simmonds kept his hot streak going with a goal on two shots with two PIM. For the Devils, Michael Cammalleri kept his amazing season rolling with a goal and an assist on three shots.
Panthers 2, Blue Jackets 1 (SO) – This was a defensive battle with Al Montoya getting the better of Sergei Bobrovsky. Bob was an excellent buy low if you did it a few weeks into the season. Vincent Trocheck scored the lone goal for Florida and was the only fantasy relevant player to get on the score sheet. Trocheck is fringe in 12’ers still, preferably an excellent streamer.
Islanders 2, Blues 1 (SO) – Another goaltender battle, this time between backups Brian Elliott and Thomas Greiss. Greiss is getting a lot of action and is getting closer to being owned in 12’ers. Kevin Shattenkirk kept his run going with the Blues goal while the third line scored for the Islanders; Mikhail Grabovski evened the game up in the third period.
Flames 5, Bruins 4 (OT) – All of the Flames studs got on the scoresheet this week. Outside of Gaudreau, Mark Giordano scored on three shots, Jiri Hudler had a goal and an assist with three shots, Dougie Hamilton had an assist with three shots and Sean Monahan had an assist with six shots. For the Bruins, both goalies played and struggled (no surprise). Matt Beleskey had a goal and an assist with three shots and is finally starting to fit in in Boston. Zdeno Chara‘s bounceback year continued with a goal and an assist with four shots and two PIM. Loui Eriksson keeps killing it with two assists and a shot while Brad Marchand scored twice on four shots with two PIM.
Oilers 2, Stars 1 (OT) – Jordan Eberle is starting to show signs of life, scoring the OT winner from Leon Draisaitl with three total shots. Taylor Hall kept his top 5 season going with a goal on three shots. Both scored against Buffalo on Sunday as well (more on that Tuesday). The Oilers were carried by Anders Nilsson, who stopped 42 of 43 shots in the win keeping the Stars studs off the score sheet.
Ducks 1, Sharks 0 – Mike Santorelli scored the lone goal early in the third period to push the Ducks over the top. John Gibson had a 23 save shutout keeping his hot streak going. Martin Jones played extremely well in the loss stopping 25 of 26 shots.
Jets 2, Capitals 1 (OT) – Connor Hellebuyck maintained his excellent start to his NHL career stopping 37 of 38 shots. He’s definitely must own at this point. The first line scored the first goal (Andrew Ladd scored with 5 total shots) while Mark Scheifele scored the OT winner on his sixth shot of the game. Scheifele is playing amazing right now and should only get better from here on out. Braden Holtby played great again in the loss stopping 34 of 36 shots. Nicklas Backstrom scored the Capitals goal.
Kings 5, Penguins 3 – The defenseman led the way for the Kings in this one. Drew Doughty scored a goal with an assist on three shots, Christian Ehrhoff scored a goal on four shots and Jake Muzzin added a goal with two assists on three shots. Milan Lucic scored two goals on four shots leading the way for the Kings forwards. Kris Letang missed this game for the Penguins but his injury doesn’t appear to be serious. In his absence, Olli Maatta scored on two shots and is a solid short term add. Chris Kunitz showed signs of his former self scoring a goal with two assists but I still wouldn’t own him in 12’ers. Arguably the biggest disappointment of them all this season, Sidney Crosby, had a goal and an assist with four shots.
Senators 3, Islanders 2 (OT) – Erik Karlsson is starting to put himself in the Hart discussion with his recent play pushing him over a point per game. He scored the OT winner and added two assists with three shots proving worthy of his selection in the back end of the first round in drafts this fall. Mike Hoffman kept up his goal streak scoring one on seven shots while Mark Stone scored the other Senators goal on three shots. The Islanders goals were scored by Matt Martin (fantasy irrelevant) and Josh Bailey who should be unowned in 12’ers unless his role changes.
Red Wings 5, Predators 4 (OT) – Despite his team losing, Shea Weber was the star of the game scoring a hat trick on his only three shots. The assists are still poor for an elite defenseman (which is why I ranked him lower than most) but his owners can’t complain now with 9 goals in 26 games. His partner Roman Josi had two assists as did Filip Forsberg. Calle Jarnkrok has stuck on the first line and played over 21 minutes tallying an assist. He’s a great short term add who has the upside to be someone you roster for the whole season. For Detroit, the young guns led the way with Dylan Larkin, Gustav Nyqvist and Tomas Tatar all scoring a goal and adding an assist. Mike Green is starting to gel with his teammates in Detroit putting up an assist with six shots. If he’s available in your league, I’d grab him.
Hurricanes 3, Canadiens 2 – It figures that the Canes win this game when they are outshot after consistently outshooting their opponents and losing so far this year. Jeff Skinner finally had a good game scoring two goals on three shots, both assisted from Andrej Nestrasil. They both still have to do more to be considered owning. For Montreal, Daniel Carr scored on his first shift and first shot in his NHL career; congrats!
Leafs 4, Blues 1 – Vladimir Tarasenko scored in the second minute of the game and it looked like the Blues were going to blow the Leafs out of the building. Instead, the Leafs dominated the last two periods led by Nazem Kadri‘s two goals on four shots with five PIM. His shooting percentage is still far too low so he’s a great buy low candidate. Garret Sparks stopped 27 of 28 shots; he’s had two outstanding performances so far and a complete dud. I have no idea what to expect from him except to be backing up more often than not soon.
Blue Jackets 4, Flyers 1 – Bob had another stellar game stopping 27 of 28 shots against his former team. The second line dominated for the Blue Jackets with Nick Foligno scoring twice on six shots plus an assist, Scott Hartnell scored a goal with two assists and three shots and Alexander Wennberg had two assists and two shots. Hartnell has been a steal so far this year while Foligno has disappointed. Maybe putting the two together will spark Foligno. Wennberg is an interesting add in deep leagues; there’s a ton of talent there and now he has the opportunity. Shayne Gostisbehere continued his great run since entering the lead adding another assist on two shots.
Wild 3, Avalanche 0 – The Wild own the Avalanche the last few years and did again on Saturday outshooting the Avs 44-20. Devan Dubnyk stopped 11 shots before leaving with a minor injury; Darcy Kuemper finished the game off. Kuemper will start the Wild’s next game with Dubnyk’s wife likely to have their second child so Kuemper is a great stream Monday against the Avs again. The Wild had a balanced attack with eight players getting points. Most notably, Jason Pominville scored again on six shots while Zach Parise had an assist with five shots and four PIM.
Bruins 4, Canucks 0 – The Bruins gave Canucks fans another reason to hate them dominating the Canucks on Saturday. Tuukka Rask had one of the easiest shutouts of the year stopping 17 shots. Ten different players had a point for the Bruins while Landon Ferraro was the only player with two.
Lightning 4, Sharks 3 – The Lightning’s offense finally broke out Saturday with Nikita Kucherov leading the way with two goals on three shots. Victor Hedman looked great most of the game leading the Lightning breakouts, tallying an assist with three shots and two PIM. For the Sharks, Brent Burns did Brent Burns things scoring a goal with an assist on seven shots. Man, I love that man and his filthy beard. Joel Ward continued his best offensive season to date scoring a goal on six shots with two PIM while Joe Pavelski added an assist with two shots and two PIM.
Hurricanes 5, Coyotes 4 – The goaltenders in this game were an absolute disaster allowing 9 goals on 41 total shots. That’s mind numbing. Good job Anders Lindback and Cam Ward. Justin Faulk scored the game winning goal on his third shot of the game. He also added two PIM. Eric Staal had a goal and an assist with five shots while Kris Versteeg bounced back from his healthy scratch to score a goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM. It was a balanced attack for the Oilers. The notables who had a point were Mikkel Boedker, Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Tobias Rieder.
Blackhawks 3, Jets 1 – Patrick Kane kept his point streak alive with an assist. Marian Hossa‘s disappointing year improved with a goal and an assist with five shots. Artemi Panarin scored again while Teuvo Teravainen finally scored. I wish Quenneville would play him more minutes.
Devils 4, Panthers 2 – Roberto Luongo put up a rare dud allowing 4 goals on 18 shots bailing the Devils out for getting outshot 36-18. Cory Schneider had another great game stopping 34 of 36 shots. The first line killed it again for the Devils with Michael Cammalleri scoring a goal with an assist on three shots, Adam Henrique had a goal and two assists and Lee Stempniak scored a goal on his only shot. For Florida, the young guns came to play with Aaron Ekblad scoring a goal and an assist with seven shots, Aleksander Barkov adding an assist with two shots and Jonathan Huberdeau scoring once on four shots. I mentioned it at the end of last week; there could be a hot streak coming for Huberdeau soon.
Rangers 4, Senators 1 – Henrik Lundqvist put up another solid performance stopping 23 of 24 shots in the win. The Rangers were carried by Derick Brassard‘s two goal on five shots and Ryan McDonagh‘s goal plus two assists.
Monday’s Streamers: There are three games on Monday with a few excellent streaming options. As mentioned above, Darcy Kuemper is in an excellent spot to pick up a win against the Avalanche. I said Sam Reinhart is must own above but he’s still widely available and the Canucks are a disaster right now. For my third team, I’m going to go a little deeper and nominate Justin Fontaine. He’s playing well right now and the Wild should dominate the Avs again.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back on Tuesday with a recap of the late Sunday games and Monday night games. I’ll dig deeper into them looking at the Corsi numbers as well. There will be an article coming from Matt plus a Marv and Pesos article either today or tomorrow so be on the lookout for both. As always, feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments below. Take care everyone!