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In the marquee match of the night in Washington, both goalies played extremely well.  At the end of the game, Braden Holtby came out on top saving 29 of 30 shots in the 2-1 win over the Blue Jackets.  He’s managed to find a way to improve his goals against and save percentage the season after winning the Vezina Trophy.  His counterpart in this game may be the favorite to win the Vezina this year but Holtby has solidified himself as the #1 goalie in hockey, both in real life and fantasy.  I highly doubt that I will draft him next season solely because I’m anti-goalie in the first round but there’s no doubt that Holtby will be the first goalie on my board.  It looks like this will be the second season in a row that he finishes as the #2 overall goalie and that consistency is exactly what you’re looking for in your top goalie.  If you can find an issue with Holtby, let me know because he’s seemingly perfect.  Here’s what else happened around the league the last two nights:

Anders Lee – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM.  I’m not sure what player Lee actually is.  His goal totals the last three seasons are 25,15 and 27 (and counting).  His shooting percentage is at 16.8% after 8.2 last year.  Lee is still only 26 and contributes in penalty minutes so he’s definitely worth drafting next season even if he doesn’t top 50 points this year.  It’s going to take some deeper digging (or an offseason JT trade) to decide where to slot him.

Anthony Beauvillier – Two assists with two shots.  He has five points in the past five games which is obviously encouraging.  My guess is that he’s a consistent streamer next season and becomes a hold starting in 2018-19.  This season hasn’t changed my mind on him in dynasties; I’m still a huge fan.

Frederik Andersen – 32 saves on 34 shots in the 5-2 win over the Blue Jackets.  He definitely has upside to be a #1 goalie starting next season.  I’m probably rank him as a bottom end #1 with the hopes of getting him as my #2.

Nazem Kadri – Goal and two assists with five shots over two games.  What an incredible season.  Kadri has to be pushing, if not inside the top 50 next season.

Auston Matthews – Same line as Kadri.  No surprise that he’s snapped out of his scoring drought.  We’ve talked about him a bunch of the podcast lately but the cliff notes version is I expect to rank him as a high 2nd rounder next season.

William Nylander – Two goals and two assists with seven shots and two PIM.  That’s a 10 game point streak for Nylander who was a focal point of Thursday’s podcast.

Nikita Zaitsev – Goal and two assists with seven shots.  There’s a lot of value in deep leagues due to the hits and blocks but I’m hesitant to even say he’s worth a late pick in 12’ers next year.

Sergei Bobrovsky – 44 saves on 45 shots taking the tough luck loss.  As talked about in the intro, I expect Bob to win the Vezina.  That said, I’ll have him as a #1 goalie next season but I’m not sure he’ll be in my top 5.  We’ve seen the downside last season and it’s ugly.

Ryan Getzlaf – Three assists with a shot.  It’s almost exclusively assists with some minor contributions to PIM and STP but man, those assists are great.  I’m generally down on assists guys so I don’t expect to be high on Getzlaf next season but he’s a great fit in the 5th or 6th round of most teams.

Hampus Lindholm – Goal and two assists with two shots and two PIM.  Lindholm’s fantasy value comes down to what the Ducks do in the offseason.  If they start depending on him offensively due to a trade of one of their other top defensemen, Lindholm could be worth drafting in 12’ers next year.  Otherwise, he seems destined to be one of those guys you grab when someone is hurt but drop him right after.

Rickard Rakell – Goal and an assist with three shots.  Look at how absurd this goal is:

Tumescent.

Nikita Kucherov – Hat trick on six shots.  The more time goes by, the more I want to rank Kucherov higher than 6th overall next year.  He’s the total package and is only going to get better.

Victor Hedman – Two assists with three shots.  Speaking of the total package, Hedman is going to top 50 assists with 15+ goals.  Add in the PIM and it’s another top 50 player.  I feel like there’s 70 guys I’m going to rank top 50 at this point!  So many developing stars this season.

Ondrej Palat – Three assists with three shots and two PIM.  He seemed locked into being a bottom end hold or elite streamer.

Jonathan Drouin – Goal and two assists.  It hasn’t been spectacular but this season was still a great stepping stone for Drouin.  Add in that he should play with a healthy Stamkos next season and I wouldn’t be shocked to see him push 70 points next year.

Brayden Point – Goal and an assist with three shots for some streamer success.  I’m still unconvinced on his long term value but there’s obviously a ton of value for him the rest of the season playing with Kucherov.

Riley Nash – Goal and an assist.  And there’s your once in a lifetime Riley Nash update!

Eddie Lack – 21 saves on 22 shots in the 4-1 win over the Canadiens.  That’s five straight excellent starts for Lack making him a viable goalie down the stretch run.

Jeff Skinner – Goal and an assist with two shots.  He’s surpassed his goals and assist totals from last season in 13 less games.  Skinner is a lock for the top 100 but closer to the back end.

Lee Stempniak – Two goals on four shots.  The prototype of “hot schmotato,” Stempniak is a great streamer while he’s hot before going irrelevant for a month or longer at a time.

John Moore – Two goals on five shots.  Considering how poor the Devils blue line is, I wish they gave Moore more of a chance to produce offensively.  Moore more!  I’ll see myself out… Just kidding, I want to talk some Moore.  Okay, now I’m going.

James Reimer – 22 saves on 23 shots in the 3-1 win over Arizona.  If Reimer is the #1 goalie for the Panthers going into next season, I’m going to be all in on Reimer.  I’ll have him at least an elite #2 goalie that could be ranked later.  I don’t expect him to be a hot name like a few others e.g. Andersen will be.

Jonathan Marchessault – Two goals on six shots.  On the Atlantic Division preview podcast, I talked about Marchessault being a nice sleeper for deep leagues.  I never expected this type of season.  It’s still only worthy of a late round selection next season but that’s excellent for an undrafted player who bounced around.

Magnus Paajarvi – Two goals on four shots.  The former top ten pick has been surprisingly good this season with 8+3 in 23 games in very limited ice time.  I kind of like him right now for deep leagues if you include hits.

Alex Pietrangelo – Goal and an assist with two shots.  Another guy I’m going to be all in on next season, I expect Pietrangelo to push towards being a top 10 defenseman.

Jake Allen – 27 saves on 28 shots in the 4-1 win over the Canucks.  Allen is going to be a difficult case for next season.  On one hand, people ranked him as a top 10 goalie going into this season and he certainly hasn’t been that.  On the other hand, if this is his floor, that gamble could be worth taking again.

Pekka Rinne – 24 saves on 25 shots in the 3-1 win over the Flames.  That’s three consecutive games for Rinne allowing only one goal.  Rinne is one of the most polarizing figures around the league and I don’t expect that to change.

Colin Wilson – Two assists with a shot and two PIM.  After looking like a potential breakout two seasons ago, Wilson never took that step.  He’s a bottom end streamer at best.

Steve Mason – 24 saves on 25 shots in the 3-1 win over the Wild.  It’s “desperate for starts” all the way.

Ales Hemsky – Two goals on seven shots.  Talk about rising from the dead.  I don’t mind streaming Hemsky in the best matchups the rest of the season.

Corey Crawford – 42 saves on 44 shots in the 3-2 SO win over the Stars.  If Crawford can maintain this level of play, it’s going to be incredibly difficult for anyone to beat the Blackhawks in the playoffs.

Leon Draisaitl – Two goals and two assists with six shots and two PIM over two games.  This is just getting absurd.  Draisaitl has made his way into the top 10 in the league in scoring now and he’s still only 20 years old.

Jordan Eberle – Two goals and an assist with seven shots.  I feel like Eberle has another gear past this season but he’s still a later round pick at best at this point.

Connor McDavid – Goal and four assists with three shots and two PIM.  Like I’ve said repeatedly throughout the season, any time someone gets close to McDavid for the league lead in points, he pulls away with a couple multi-point games.  On Tuesday’s podcast, we debated whether McDavid goes 1st or 2nd next season.  Check that out here.

Andrej Sekera – Goal and two assists with three shots.  It’s bottom end so you can go either way on Sekera right now.

Joe Colborne – Two assists.  Remember when Colborne had a hat trick in the season opener?  He has 1 goal and 4 assists in 58 games since.

Mikko Rantanen – Two goals on four shots.  He’s one of the few bright spots going forward for Colorado.  I think he starts next season as a streamer again but could play his way into a hold by the end of the year.

Mathieu Perreault – Goal and an assist with three shots.  That’s his third straight multi-point game so keep streaming him.  See below!

Drew Doughty – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM.  As expected, Doughty isn’t going to reach last season’s totals.  He’s an okay #2 but nothing special.

Anze Kopitar – Goal and an assist with two shots.  He’s been much better down the stretch but it’s still incredibly disappointing.  The upside is there but I still think Kopitar is fringe top 100 next year.

Jake Muzzin – Goal and an assist with five shots.  Another King who has been a big disappointment, Muzzin has played his way into waiver wire material in a season where defensemen are atrocious on the whole.

Tyler Toffoli – Two assists with two shots.  I was much lower on Toffoli than everyone else on Fantasy Pros but I didn’t expect it to be this poor.  He looks like a nice bounceback candidate for next season.

Friday’s Streamers:

Brayden Point (12.9%) – I don’t understand why he’s still only 12.9% owned.  A matchup with Detroit is just what the doctor ordered to keep the heater going.

Mathieu Perreault (17.4%) – Keep riding the hot hand.  It’s that simple.

Nick Bonino (16.1%) – The minutes are through the roof and he has a goal in three of the past four games.  After losing last night to Ottawa, I expect the Pens to come out firing making this a nice spot for Bonino.

That’s all for now guys.  I’ll be back on Monday recapping all of the weekend’s action.  Please leave any questions, comments or podcast topics in the comments section below and I’ll be sure to take care of everyone.  Best of luck to everyone in their playoffs this weekend.  Thanks for reading, take care!

  1. Quick Sycamore says:
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    I’m responding to yesterday’s comment here. Anyway I went with Mcelhinney, but I didn’t move Vasilevskiy out of the starters spot and I was definitely going to play Allen against Vancouver. So not only did I lose a win, but I also lost a valuable pick up in a move limited league. What a rookie move.

    • Quick Sycamore says:
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      @Quick Sycamore: Now Buff is apparently injured? I just wish Malkin would come back tonight

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Quick Sycamore: Damn, that sucks. Nothing you can do about it now. Yeah I have no idea what the hell happened with Buff, hopefully he’s back tomorrow

      • Quick Sycamore says:
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        @Viz: Yeah I’m up 8-3 but it’s tight. Goalie stats now are 3ws 199 gaa 134 sv% for me. 2ws 200 gaa and 943 sv% for my opponent. Tonight I have Allen and Lehner going and he has Andersen and Anderson going. So two of our goalies are facing each other but again, I feel like I have to play my guys instead of just hoping his get blown up. I have no idea what to expect from the leafs game. Buffalo has nothing to play for and the leafs are red hot, but the leafs always lose in Buffalo.

  2. Mr. Rickey says:
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    Great write up as usual. How do you rank Letang next season – he’s great when he plays but the injuries are ridiculous.

    Unrelated but if I have another son, I’m naming him Hampus.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Mr. Rickey: Thanks! Man, he’s going to be an incredibly tough case. I’ll probably still have him in the 30’s as a third round pick? It might be in the 4th round but he definitely has to be top 50. Even if you get 70 games, it’s going to be great, probably top 20-25 great, but this season we haven’t obviously haven’t gotten that. The upside is so high that it depends who I get as my first couple picks as to whether or not I take the risk. For example, if you took a goalie early or took Malkin, I’m way less likely to take the risk on Letang.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Mr. Rickey: Also I love it, hope you can convince your wife!

  3. distant_station says:
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    Start one..
    Backes @ NYI or Wennberg vs PHI

      • distant_station says:
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        @Viz: @Viz:Thanks Viz, I missed out on Wennberg’s GWG but 8 hits and 2 PIMs from Backes proved more valuable in the matchup. On to the finals!

        • Viz

          Viz says:
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          Excellent, good luck!

  4. Paul says:
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    Viz- I’m losing save % by .04 and I need to win it. I have Howard and Murray today. He doesn’t have anyone. What’s the move?

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Paul: Sorry for late response but I definitely would have played Howard and then only play Murray if Howard didn’t put you in the lead for save percentage. Nice bonus of the game times being staggered.

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