Remember when the Devils fans were chanting “Fire Lindy” two games into the season? My, how the tides have turned. The Devils have won 13 of 14 since, including 10 in a row. The most recent win was 5-1 against the Canadiens on Tuesday with their star players leading the way. Jack Hughes scored twice on seven shots and added an assist in the victory. Hughes now has multiple points in six of his last ten games, and is pushing 4.5 shots on goal per game. Even with a lack of penalty minutes, that’s enough to be the top 20 player that I ranked him as before the season. The future is incredibly bright in New Jersey with two elite defensemen prospects coming to support the excellent foundation in place. Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Mathew Barzal – Two assists with two shots. No goals in 17 games. 18 assists. What a wild stat for Barzal. He’s shooting it plenty so the goals should be coming.
Noah Dobson – Goal and an assist with four shots. Dobson hasn’t lit the world on fire, but he’s been pretty good, especially in the shots department.
Claude Giroux – Goal and an assist with two shots. Ottawa’s top six has been fantastic and Giroux has been a big part of it. His goal even came with the rest of PP1 which if that holds, would be a big bonus.
Tim Stutzle – Two assists with three shots. The shot rate is a bit disappointing, but Stutzle is sitting at a point per game so it’s hard to complain.
Arthur Kaliyev – Two goals on five shots. Kaliyev is up to 13 points despite regularly playing 12 or less minutes. He’s a middling streamer with big upside if the Kings increase his role.
Kevin Fiala – Goal and an assist with two shots. It hasn’t gone as I planned for Fiala as he’s off the first line, but that hasn’t stopped him from being at a point per game. Here’s to hoping he still has his patented blow up late in the year.
Drew Doughty – Two assists with two shots. It’s been a mediocre start for Doughty despite playing all of the minutes he can handle, but it’s still enough to be a no brainer hold.
Tyler Toffoli – Goal and two assists with four shots. Toffoli has been quite good despite the relatively poor start from Calgary. Easy hold.
Elias Lindholm – Goal and two assists with five shots. We’re finally starting to see signs of life from Lindholm. The buy low window may be closing.
Nazem Kadri – Two assists with a shot and two PIM. The offense has dried up a bit after a hot start, but Kadri is still doing quite well across the board.
Adam Ruzicka – Goal and an assist. I may have been too quick to dismiss Ruzicka, but he’s still only a middling streamer on the first line.
Pyotr Kochetkov – 27 save shutout in the 3-0 win over the Blackhawks. If he’s available in a dynasty league, grab him, because there’s a good chance Kochetkov is the starting goalie for the Hurricanes next season, or at least in a platoon. Welcome to the Razzball Database!
Jordan Staal – Goal and an assist with two shots, as did Jordan Martinook. They are both hot but I still have no interest in using either outside of deep leagues.
Brent Burns – Two assists with two shots and two PIM. Burns has been fantastic again putting all of the shots on goal like the good old days.
Robert Thomas – Goal and an assist with three shots. It’s been a disappointing start for Matchbox Twenty just like most of the team, but I have faith in Thomas turning it back around.
Pavel Buchnevich – Two assists with two shots and two PIM. Same deal as Thomas, although I feel even better about Buchnevich since the shot rate is better.
Mikko Rantanen – Goal and an assist with four shots and two PIM. Absolutely insane run from Rantanen with 16 points in his last six games. He’s the #4 skater on the season now.
Cale Makar – Two assists with four shots. The only difference between Makar this season and last is he’s having worse shooting luck. Even though he has some competition, he’s still my #1 overall defenseman.
Bo Horvat – Goal and two assists with eight shots and four PIM. Back up the Brinks truck for Bo! He’s only one goal behind McDavid for the league lead. Props to Y2B for picking Horvat for three points!
Elias Pettersson – Goal and an assist. Pettersson is playing amazing hockey despite the team’s struggles. He’s not far off pace for 40 goals.
Jeff Skinner – Two goals on three shots. Alex Tuch had a goal and two assists on three shots, while Tage Thompson had two assists with six shots. Their stat lines could have been even better but Skinner hit the crossbar on what would have been a three point goal. The Buffalo depth is atrocious right now so look for these guys to get massive minutes every night, even tonight on a back to back.
Vitek Vanecek – 25 saves on 26 shots in the 5-1 win over Montreal. Vanceck is piling up the wins and has excellent numbers as well. He’s playing like a #1 right now.
Dougie Hamilton – Goal and an assist with two shots. It’s nice to see the elite Dougie back again.
Jesper Bratt – Goal and an assist with three shots. Bratt is playing his way into the league’s elite. He’s one of the best play drivers in the entire league.
Dawson Mercer – Two assists with a shot. Mercer is a bottom end streamer while he’s stuck on the third line.
Michael Bunting – Two goals and an assist with three shots. Bunting had only one point in the previous nine games. The PIM are elite so I can still see the case for holding Bunting, even though he’s not locked onto the top line.
John Tavares – Goal and an assist with three shots. William Nylander also had a goal and an assist, while Morgan Rielly and Auston Matthews each had two assists. No matter the matchup, the Toronto offense can explode at any time. The best is yet to come, especially for Rielly and Matthews. Props to Tavares for getting his 400th career goal.
Joe Pavelski – Goal and an assist with three shots, as did Jason Robertson. The Dallas elite is completely matchup proof. Robertson just got a new deal and he’s still mssively underpaid.
Miro Heiskanen – Two assists with four shots. Heiskanen is thriving offensively now that he’s getting the opportunity. There’s nothing fluky about it.
Alex Killorn – Goal and two assists with three shots. Killorn is a fine streamer because he puts up decent points, but he doesn’t really contribute anywhere now that the PIM are down.
Ian Cole – Goal and an assist. And there’s your annual Cole update!
Steven Stamkos – Goal and an assist with four shots. Stammer gets his 500th assist in this one. Up next, 500 goals and 1,000 points.
Nick Paul – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM. Paul has a point in seven of the last nine games and is locked into the second line as long as Cirelli is out. That said, he’s only a middling streamer.
Ross Colton – Goal and an assist with two shots. Bottom end streamer.
John Carlson – Goal and an assist with seven shots. The shot rate is excellent, but the assists are lacking compared to normal. It’s going to get better, no doubt.
Aleksander Barkov – Goal and two assists with four shots. Congrats to Jeff for picking Barkov for three points, giving him two correct selections on the season. It’s only a matter of time until the goals start pouring in for Barkov with his shot rate.
Matthew Tkachuk – Three assists with two PIM. Eli Man Penguin Boy picked Tkachuk, giving him a second correct pick as well. Tkachuk has been an absolute monster this season across the board.
Carter Verhaeghe – Two goals on five shots. As long as Verhaeghe is with Barkov and Tkachuk, he has top 50 player upside. He’s looked fantastic.
Kevin Hayes – Goal and an assist, as did Travis Konecny. Both are easy holds now as they’re the main horses for Torts.
Noah Cates – Goal and an assist with four shots. Cates is seeing big minutes on the second line in Philly. He’s only a bottom end streamer, but there’s a chance for better.
Boone Jenner – Two goals on five shots with four hits and four blocks. Players on Columbus are going down left and right, but thankfully Jenner has stayed healthy and is doing well across the board. I’m holding in all formats.
Vladislav Gavrikov – Goal and an assist with four shots playing almost 29 minutes. Jake Bean left this game injured. The Columbus blue line is so thin right now that it’s ugly to look at. I wouldn’t usee Gavrikov outside of deep leagues that use blocks, although that could change if he keeps playing 25+ minutes.
Eric Robinson – Goal and an assist with three shots. Nothing to see here.
Matt Duchene – Goal and an assist with four shots and two PIM. Duchene was bumped down to the second line, but kept his PP1 spot. I never expected a repeat of last season, but it should get better than it’s been.
Ryan Johansen – Two assists with two shots and four PIM. Bottom end streamer because his shot rate is so poor.
Juuse Saros – 32 saves on 33 shots in the 2-1 win over the Wild. That sound you heard was the door closing on buying low on Saros. I firmly believe in his talent as a top goalie in the league.
Cam Fowler – Two assists with three shots playing over 30 minutes. Fowler had 1 point in 15 games before this. His days of fantasy relevance appear to be behind him.
Trevor Zegras – Two assists with a shot. Very good start across the board from Zegras.
Logan Couture – Goal and an assist. Couture is picking it up a bit lately to be back into the solid streamer range.
Erik Karlsson – Two assists with two shots. It’s so fun to see Karlsson healthy again and dominating.
Alexander Barabanov – Two assists with three shots. Barabanov is on the fence between bottom end streamer and middling. The assists are solid, but that’s it.
Three Point Challenge: You can’t pick McDavid, Draisaitl, Rantanen, Robertson, Pastrnak, MacKinnon, Karlsson, Kucherov, Panarin, Thompson, or Bratt. I’ll go with Meier against the Red Wings.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back on Friday recapping the action from the next two nights. As always, feel free to ask any questions, leave any comments, or give any suggestions below. Thanks for reading, take care!
UPDATE: Buffalo weather is a disaster. Power and therefore WiFi aren’t stable, and too hard to write on WordPress on phone. No post on Friday. Ask questions in comments section since that’s easier to do on phone. Should be back Monday.