Am I shocked at how well the Jets are doing?  No.  Reid and I talked about the Jets’ ceiling on the Central Division podcast and we said that second place is certainly within the realm of possibility (I guess we sold them a little short, first is in play).  Long term readers know how much I love Connor Hellebuyck.  The only reason I was scared off a bit for redrafts is that Kevin Cheveldayoff said that Steve Mason would be their starter to open the season.  Well, Mason was lit up in his first game as a Jet and the rest is history.  Hellebuyck continued his outstanding breakout season over the weekend, saving 30 of 31 shots in the 2-1 SO win over the Flames on Saturday, then a 29 save shutout in the 1-0 win against the Canucks on Sunday.  Hellebuyck is currently the #2 goalie on the season, and while there’s a chance he falls off a little bit (I’m certain he’ll finish as a #1G), I think he’s solidified himself as the #2 goalie in dynasty leagues.  The Jets are going to be really good for a long time and Hellebuyck will be a big reason and also a beneficiary of the talent around him.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the weekend:

Friday’s Games:

Antti Niemi – 24 saves on 26 shots in the 3-2 win over the Capitals.  He finally got his first win of the season!  I have zero interest in using Niemi.

Max Pacioretty – Two goals and an assist with four shots.  That’ll probably cool off the trade talk for a little bit.

Paul Byron – Goal and an assist with four shots.  There’s some deep league value here but I’m looking elsewhere for streaming in 12’ers.  Just not good enough in any specific category.

Erik Haula – Two assists with a shot.  He slowed down a bit but is starting to pile up some assists again.  He’s right on the fringe at the moment.  I think I barely lean hold.

Aleksander Barkov – Goal and two assists with five shots.  The big jump in shot rate gives some hope that Barkov can approach being a top 25 player in the future.

John Gibson – 23 saves on 24 shots in the 2-1 win over the Kings.  It’s been an up and down season for Gibson (big down on Sunday) but the save percentage is still strong enough to keep him in the conversation of a bottom end #1.

Saturday’s Games

Kari Lehtonen – 26 saves on 27 shots in the 7-1 win over the Sabres.  Doesn’t get much easier than playing the Sabres these days.  Lehtonen is a matchup-based streamer.

John Klingberg – Three assists with a shot.  Klingberg is running away from the rest of the league for most points by a defenseman.

Esa Lindell – Goal and two assists with three shots.  Decent deep league option but not quite enough offense for 12’ers.

Mattias Janmark – Two goals and an assist with three shots.  Bottom end streamer that I would only use in quality matchups.

Jason Spezza – Two assists with a shot.  He’s been better since being scratched with 4 points in 3 games.  I’m good with streaming him again, mainly for the STP.

Jamie Benn – Goal and an assist with three shots.  Beast.

Radek Faksa – Goal and an assist with three shots.  Not enough here yet for 12’ers but there’s a chance Faksa can get there next season with an increased role.

Travis Konecny – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM.  He’s up on the first line at the moment making Konecny a top end streamer.

Michal Neuvirth – 28 saves on 29 shots in the 3-1 win over the Devils.  I think Neuvirth has earned himself more starts at this point.

Mike Smith – 34 saves on 35 shots getting the shootout loss.  All winning streaks must come to an end but thankfully Smith’s quality play does not.  Look for him to get back into the win column tonight against the Sabres, assuming he doesn’t get the night off.

Erik Johnson – Goal and an assist with five shots.  He should be owned everywhere for the elite shot rate for a defenseman and the strong penalty minutes.

Nathan MacKinnon – Goal and an assist with three shots, +3, like his linemate Mikko Rantanen.  For all teams that are in the basement right now, the Avalanche should give you hope that you can turn it around quickly if you hit on your top draft picks.  MacKinnon is a legitimate Hart candidate while Rantanen looks like a true first line winger.

Cam Ward – 23 saves on 24 shots in the 3-1 win over Detroit.  The wins are nice but the ratios are awful.  Desperate for starts guy.

Justin Faulk – Two assists with four shots.  Faulk has been better of late but I’m still leaving him on the wire until he gets back to previous consistency levels.

Elias Lindholm – Two goals on five shots.  He’s on the first line with Sebastian Aho injured making Lindholm a solid streamer.

Tuukka Rask – 24 saves on 25 shots in the 4-1 win over Montreal.  Things are very easy for Boston goaltenders at the moment.

David Pastrnak – Two goals and an assist with eight shots.  He’s also up to a point per game and while Pastrnak’s shot rate is down, I do think that in the future, he’s more of last year’s 3.5+ shot rate than this year’s.  It’s scary to think how good the 21 year old can be.

Torey Krug – Goal and two assists with two shots.  Disappointing year for Krug given how well the Bruins have played but he’s still a slam-dunk hold.

Brad Marchand – Two assists with three shots.  The troll just keeps chugging along putting up points.

Jake Gardiner – Three assists with two shots, one of which was on this slick goal by Mitch Marner:

Gardiner is very similar to last season from a fantasy perspective except that he’s -2 after finishing +24 last year.  That’s enough to make him a waiver wire guy in 12’ers instead of a hold.

Zach Hyman – Goal and an assist with three shots.  As long as he’s with Auston Matthews (1+1, 4 SOG, 2 PIM), Hyman is a viable streamer.  Not even in the ballpark of hold though.

Mark Stone – Two assists with two shots.  In what looks like a wasted year for Ottawa, Stone has himself in position to set career highs across the board.

Aaron Dell – 31 saves on 32 shots in the 2-1 win over the Pens.  Martin Jones is DTD with a minor injury making Dell must-own in the short term.

Brent Burns – Two assists, five shots, 2 PIM.  Brent Burns doing Brent Burns things!

Joe Pavelski – Two assists with two shots.  He still needs to be owned but I have a feeling that I’m going to be far lower on Pavelski than consensus next season.

Carter Hutton – 9 saves on 12 shots in 7 minutes before being pulled in the 5-2 loss to the Coyotes.  Naturally Hutton, who has been on fire, gets killed by the Coyotes.  I’m still holding tight despite this game as Jake Allen played well in relief stopping 30 of 32 shots.

Max Domi – Two assists with a shot.  I’m not giving up long term hope but he’s not even usable at the moment.

Christian Dvorak – Two goals on five shots with two PIM.  He has six points in his last six games but I have a hard time streaming anyone on Arizona right now.  I am encouraged by the 21 year old’s development this season for dynasty formats.

Christian Fischer – Goal and an assist with four shots and two PIM.  I’m even more encouraged by Fischer than I am for Dvorak.  If he can get up the shot rate a bit, Fischer could be looking at 22-25 goals as a 20 year old.  That said, I don’t see any value in standard leagues right now.

Clayton Keller – Two assists with five shots.  He’s slowed down a bit but he’s also +1 in his last 10 games which is a major step in the right direction.  I’d lean towards still holding him in H2H formats.

Evgenii Dadonov – Two assists with four shots.  I’m feeling pretty, pretty good about my prediction that Dadonov tops 35 points in the second half.

Keith Yandle – Goal on two shots.  I’m including Keith Yandle here, who is yawnstipating for fantasy, because of how badly he tricked Pekka Rinne on his goal.

Well played sir, well played.

Nick Bonino – Goal and two assists.  Nice player in real life but little fantasy value.

Calle Jarnkrok – Three assists.  Meh, the plus-minus is great but everything else is underwhelming.

Kevin Fiala – Two goals on three shots.  He’s been super streaky one way or the other this season.  With three goals in the last three, I’m good with streaming Fiala again and seeing what develops.

Patrick Kane – Two goals and an assist with five shots.  The Blackhawks were destroyed in this game but it certainly wasn’t Kane’s fault.  He’s been his usual self but it’ll take Kane’s god mode from two seasons to get Chicago back into the playoffs.

Erik Gustafsson – Goal and an assist with four shots.  Quenneville keeps throwing shit at the wall hoping it sticks but really the Blackhawks blueline just sucks.  In super deep leagues, maybe Gustafsson puts together a decent stretch, but that seems optimistic.

Ryan Pulock – Goal and four assists with four shots.  If you had Pulock for five points in a game this weekend, congrats, you’re a bold faced liar!  That was more than 50% of his previous total on the season.  The shot rate is encouraging for the 23 year old but he has a ways to go to be more than a deep league guy for hits and blocks.

Brock Nelson – Goal and two assists with six shots.  He’s been mentioned in trade rumors and I think he’d be a nice add for someone if they can make the move.  For now, Nelson is waiver wire material after a brutal cold streak and a reduced role.

Anthony Beauvillier – Two goals on four shots.  He’s put together a nice stretch with 6 goals in his last 6 games.  The 20 year old is a great dynasty option and has played his way into a top end streamer while he’s this hot.

Josh Bailey – Two assists with a shot.  After a brief absence, Bailey is back to piling up the assists.  AAGNOF!

John Tavares – Goal and an assist with six shots.  Straight killing it.

Tyler Johnson – Two assists with a shot.  Nice to see Johnson back in 2014 form making him a clear must own.

Brayden Point – Two goals with five shots.  I’m a little hesitant to buy into Point long term at his current level but he’s definitely in great position to put up a 65ish point season.  With the great plus-minus, he’s a no-brainer hold in all formats.

Eric Staal – Two assists with a shot.  He keeps chugging along hitting all of the categories.

Jesse Puljujarvi – Goal and two assists with six shots and two PIM.  I’m really hoping Puljujarvi doesn’t have a big second half so I can write a sleeper post on him over the summer.  He’s a strong streamer right now with his shot rate and great plus-minus.

Milan Lucic – Two assists with three shots.  Lucic has been solid for my preseason expectations, it just sucks his shooting percentage is down.

Patrick Maroon – Two goals on four shots.  He makes a very interesting trade deadline target for teams given his impending free agency.  Maroon is right on the edge of streaming and holding and it depends if you need the PIM.

Leon Draisaitl – Goal and an assist with two shots.  I’m glad the shot rate has increased but last year’s 29 goals could be an outlier given the 17% shooting.  That’s not to say Draisaitl is overrated, but I think he is in the eyes of some.  I just don’t see him ever being a top 25 guy on an annual basis.

Cam Talbot – 25 saves on 27 shots in the 5-2 win over the Canucks.  At this point, I’m playing Talbot strictly based on matchups.

Sunday’s Games

Brian Elliott – 27 saves on 28 shots in the 2-1 OT win over the Capitals.  Nice start from Elliott but I still think Neuvirth is the better option for the Flyera (twitter joke for those who don’t know).

Anders Nilsson – 35 saves on 36 shots taking the tough luck loss against the Jets and Hellboy.  Nilsson is purely a “desperate for starts” guy when he does get the nod for the Canucks.

Colin Miller – Goal and two assists with seven shots.  Miller has been super steady this season in a wildly-average sort of way.  He’s marginally above average in every category but not particularly good in any.  If you want the stability for the bottom of your roster, I’m fine with holding him.

Marc-Andre Fleury – 27 saves on 28 shots in the 5-1 win over the Hurricanes.  Nothing can keep Fleury down.  Well, as long as he’s on the ice.  His numbers are absurd in his 16 starts this season.

Aaron Dell – 33 saves on 35 shots in the 6-2 win over the Ducks.  While he wasn’t as good as Hellboy, I could have easily led this post with Dell.  Pick him up for this week.  It’s that simple.

Mikkel Boedker – Two goals and an assist with three shots.  Boedker has been disappointing in San Jose, no way around it.  I have no interest in using him despite his recent upswing in points.

Joe Thornton – Goal and an assist with two shots.  He even has 5 goals in his last 6 games!  And over 1.5 shots per game!  Thornton has done enough to be held despite the improved but still very poor shot rate and -9 rating, especially if you just need points and some PIM.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Goal and an assist with three shots.  If you want to hope Vlasic can maintain his recent uptick, I’m fine with grabbing him for the short term.  I don’t have much faith in that though so I’d probably leave him on the wire.

Chris Tierney – Two assists with two shots.  Like Boedker, I’m not buying into this at all.

Melker Karlsson – Goal and an assist with two shots.  No thanks.

Ryan Getzlaf – Goal and an assist with four shots, as did his linemate Rickard Rakell.  I’m not a big fan of this Ducks team despite their new found health, but these two should continue to be fantasy difference makers.

Alec Martinez – Two assists.  Martinez has taken a huge step back this season.  Leave him solely for super deep leagues for his massive block totals.

Drew Doughty – Two assists with four shots.  This could easily turn into Doughty’s best season of his career.  Sucks for me because I have zero stock of him since he’s generally been massively overrated in the fantasy world (and real life too for that matter).

Michael Amadio – Goal and an assist with two shots.  To be honest, when he scored his goal, I was thinking, “who?”  I didn’t realize that Amadio, the former third round pick, was recalled last week.  Amadio was a big time scorer in the OHL and was over a point per game in the AHL this season.  There’s some nice long term potential here, although there’s going to be virtually no PIM (he’s taken 8 penalties in 98 AHL games).  That said, Amadio doesn’t have the role now for redrafts.

That’s all for now guys.  With the All-Star next Sunday, there are more games this week than usual, especially on Monday (tonight).  For that reason, I will have daily notes tomorrow morning.  The plan is to have notes on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday with a podcast on Thursday.  Then, with the All-Star game on Sunday, I’m going to try and build my playoff schedule manifesto for Monday morning.  As always, feel free to ask any questions, leave any comments, or give any suggestions below.  Thanks for reading, take care!

UPDATE: With so few goals on Monday night, I will wait for my next set of notes until Wednesday.  I’d struggle to get even 500 words with under 4 goals per game on the day.  Keep the questions coming in the comments section!

  1. Brad says:
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    Hey Viz,

    I hope you had a great weekend. Solid write up!

    I took the plunge in my h2h, 7 keeper 12er and made a big trade (one that I mentioned to you last week), which was Tarasenko for Pasternak and Barzal. I ultimately had to throw in a 1st round pick for next years draft but did also get Gostisbehere in the deal as well.

    I have been chirped hard for this deal but in my mind I won this trade. The guys have a hard on for Tank. I love him too but I think that Pasternak isn’t far off and has potential to be better than Tank given he’s only 21. Do you agree?

    They don’t buy into Barzal either; however, everything I have read about him suggests he’s definitely the real deal. His sustainable high level of success could hinge a bit on Tavares resigning there but he’s still highly skilled and a stud in his own right.

    What kind if upside do you see for Pasternak and Barzal ultimately?

    Thanks a lot.

    Cersy

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Brad: Thanks! I feel like we hit on this when you asked me about the trade, but if not, both definitely can be great fantasy players. Pastrnak is already a top 20 player in my mind, I don’t know how much better he gets, but I think being a second round pick most years in sustainable. I don’t think he’ll end up being better than Tarasenko but it’ll be close enough that you still made out here. Barzal probably has that upside, but I’d drop him a little lower because of the uncertainty in shot rate and lack of PIM. Regardless, they’re both extremely young so I like your side.

  2. LG Hockey says:
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    Viz!

    Great write up and thanks for your advice over the weekend. Pulled the trigger on the Gaudreau trade and now have Burns and Rantanen!

    I’m trying to win now and wondering if you would you trade Barzal for Bergeron? I can only keep 6 and Barzal is close but likely outside my top 6 especially since he is centre only position eligibility.

    Thanks,
    LG

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @LG Hockey: Depends what categories you are looking for now. I’d lean towards no given that your team is already loaded and Barzal is a much better keeper (I think he would be in your top 6 if I recall) but if you really want to push this year and want Bergeron’s +/- and better shot rate, I’m fine with it

  3. Paul says:
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    Hey Viz

    I have an offer on the table—his Kessel at $35 to keep (8) and Lee at $15 for my Boeser at $5. Yay or nay?

    Cats are G, A, STP, BLK, SOG

    Thank you

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Paul: Hard pass for me. I’d rather have Boeser for $5 than Kessel for $35 and I wouldn’t hesitate on that, having to add in Lee makes this pretty bad for you. I know Kessel has been incredible this season but I doubt it makes you better now having Kessel + waiver guy instead of Lee and Boeser and you’re taking a big hit in terms of salary long term.

      • Paul says:
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        @Viz: Oh sorry, I meant I would be getting Lee in additoon to Kessel but I imagine your pass stands

        Thanks!

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Paul: Whoops, my fault, I misread that. So now this completely comes down to how much you want to go for it this year. You are getting a pretty nice extra piece here (Lee) and an upgrade now in Kessel. What place are you in in your league?

      • Paul says:
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        @Viz: I am in 7th of 14. 19 points back or a playoff spot. 9 points up for grab each week. 7 weeks of the regular season left including this week. 4 teams make the playoffs

        • Viz

          Viz says:
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          @Paul: That’s a lot to overcome in only 7 weeks. I probably don’t bother but it’s up to you if you want to go for it

  4. Chris says:
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    Need some trade advice, Viz
    I give: Gibson, Monahan, Names, Staal
    I get: Holtby, Rantanen, Toffoli, Grubauer

    I’m In first place, 12 teams, H2H, G/A/+-/PPP/PIM/GWG

    Thanks

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Chris: Meh, I don’t see the point in making a move like this when you’re already in first unless you really want Holtby. Toffoli loses a fair chunk of his value without SOG being included and Grubauer is basically irrelevant in this, it’s not worth holding a backup goalie in H2H who might get one start a week. Monahan and Rantanen are close to a wash so you’re giving up Gibson for Holtby (while Gibson has actually been better this year, I would marginally prefer Holtby ROS) while taking a decent hit from Staal to Toffoli while giving up Names. Kind of feels like a trade for the sake of making a trade so I wouldn’t bother.

      • Chris says:
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        @Viz: Alright, thanks a lot Viz, I appreciate it!

        • Viz

          Viz says:
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          @Chris: No problem!

  5. Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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    remember that price injury we all knew he had at the start of the year that he sat out for a short time then came back strong (well at least as strong as being on a team that bad can be, thanks bergevin or bergeron)

    http://rotoworld.com/player/nhl/1798/carey-price

    this usually is one of those things that come out after the season when it would be easily missed by me as i’d be balls deep in baseball news and would likely miss.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow: Very true on all counts. Explains a lot although Montreal is just bad defensively

  6. Ron says:
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    Who is better to own in Vegas, Theodore or Miller? Hits, BS, and Points are added categories.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Ron: I’ll take Miller since he’s more well rounded. The big hits total helps a decent amount

  7. fleeced says:
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    Barrie is on the verge of being activated, so I need to make some adjustments.

    Current D-men are Ristolainen, Faulk, Butcher and Yandle. Who should I drop?

    Cats are (G), (A), (+/-), (PIM), (PPP), (SOG)

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @fleeced: I’m dumping Faulk, he has only 16 points and is a huge minus. The shots are great but that’s it and I’m not buying a turn around

      • fleeced says:
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        @Viz:

        Thanks Viz, will do.

        OEL was just dropped. Would you drop any of the guys left him?

        • Eli Man Penguin Boy says:
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          @fleeced: butcher or faulk for OEL easily.

        • Viz

          Viz says:
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          @fleeced: Depends if you want to deal with the poor plus-minus. Personally, I would say screw it and grab him for Butcher. The assists are nice for Butcher as are the power play points but everything else is brutal, especially the shot rate. I wouldn’t blame you if you don’t want to eat OEL’s +/- though

  8. Quack Attack is Back says:
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    Deep dynasty league:

    Please rank these 3 for ROS and future success for fantasy purposes only.

    Colin White, JT Compher, Brendan Perlini

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Quack Attack is Back: ROS, I’ll go Perlini, Compher, White. Compher’s minutes are on the decline and with Colorado’s recent success, I don’t see that changing. Perlini is the one guy locked into a bigger role for the rest of the season. I could see White getting a boost post trade deadline but he’s too far behind right now to match the other two.

      Long term, White is far and away the best. He has all of the makings of being a top 6 center that is a possession monster and generates a ton of chances. He’s an elite prospect. I’d go Perlini second since I think he’ll be a better goal scorer than Compher. Compher looks like a 3C long term who is better in real life than fantasy.

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