It’s been a while since I wrote a quick piece recapping the standings in the RCL and how things are shaping up. Now that we hit the halfway point, it’s time to take another look and see how things are shaping up. Let’s get right to it!
RCL 1 – The K-Town Hawks are currently on top of the standings with 86 out of a possible 108 points. The Hawks are crushing all of the true offensive based categories, leading goals, assists, shots on goals and special teams points. The depth of his is outstanding in a 12’er with Leo Komarov his 9th forward and Radim Vrbata plus Brock Nelson unable to crack his starting lineup. If there’s a potential downfall, it’s that his 3rd goalie is Al Montoya. If Marc-Andre Fleury or Corey Crawford miss time, he’s in trouble.
Ice Road Truckers are currently in second and would be my pick to win it. His top ten forwards are absolutely insane in a 12’er ( Alex Ovechkin, Henrik Zetterberg, Wayne Simmonds, Brandon Saad, Bryan Little, Dylan Larkin, James Neal, Artemi Panarin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Mathieu Perreault) while he has three great goalies in Jonathan Quick, Martin Jones and Sergei Bobrovsky when he returns later. A decent run in goals should get him to the top.
Paul Before Swine is currently in third 10.5 points behind Ice Road Truckers so there’s a big gap there. Brent Burns is the driving force of his attack. The biggest downfall has been the goalies. John Gibson has been outstanding but Pekka Rinne has been, by and large, a disappointment. If he picks it up in the second half, there’s a lot of ground for him to gain in wins and save percentage.
RCL 2 – Team Codo is leading the way in RCL 2 with 89 points, strongly based out of a ridiculous offense that has 68 out of 72 points. He’s leading 5 categories and has an 8 in PIM! It helps to have Patrick Kane in that regard. To make it even better, he should be getting Connor McDavid back in a couple weeks.
Lord of the Rinks is 5 points back of Codo and with over 60 starts in hand, is in great shape to make up the ground. He has 9 points or better in 7 of the 9 categories showing great balance across the board. His defensemen are amazing with P.K. Subban, John Carlson, Justin Faulk, Drew Doughty and Dion Phaneuf. He’s built up such a large lead in PIM he can afford to put Wayne Simmonds on the bench for a better offensive threat.
Team Conklin is in third and while he’s 11 points back of LotR, he has 30 starts on him meaning he has almost 100 on Team Codo. His team is clearly strongest in net with Braden Holtby and Cory Schneider carrying him to a whopping 35 out of 36 goaltending points, only behind Lord of the Rinks in wins who has made 18 more starts with his goalies. His biggest downfall is in goals where he’s second last. If he can make a trade to get goals or his current forwards get hot, he has an outside shot.
RCL 3 – SK EpicTravels is way out in front in this league with 92 points. He’s leading 5 categories and has 9 or more points in everything but penalty minutes. Time to stream some PIM man! The addition of Connor Hellebuyck has given him a strong 3rd goalie to go with Roberto Luongo and Martin Jones. In every league, the team that has Tyler Seguin is right or near the top which is no surprise. Johnny Gaudreau is also on this team and I’m surprised he isn’t on more contending teams.
In second with 73 points is Team Fulmer. The lack of shots is what’s preventing his team from winning with only 3 points in goals and shots on goal. He doesn’t have one player taking over 3 shots per game; that’s not going to get it done. Ben Bishop and John Gibson in net will though.
In third with 65.5 points is Team Teller. His offense is great outside of assists where he’s second last even with Patrick Kane on his roster. Guys like Alex Ovechkin and James Neal are outstanding to have but need somebody to make up the assists. Teller is behind in starts so if he starts to play a bunch of assist guys, or makes a trade for a great assists guy, he has a shot to at least get to second place, if not push SK EpicTravels.
RCL 4- Our current first place team, and leader of all the RCL’s with 96 points, is Team Bruins. He’s also on pace to make his starts, unlike the other first place teams who are ahead, making him the clear front runner for first overall at the halfway point. He has 10 or more points in 8 categories, only short in PIM. Patrick Kane, Steven Stamkos and Max Pacioretty (Patches is on a top 3 team in all leagues) lead the way for his offense. The emergence of Petr Mrazek gave him an excellent combo with Jonathan Quick.
Possibly the biggest threat to Team Bruins is the second place team in his own league, the Madison E-Men. He has 85 points and if he can raise his 2.5 points in PIM, he’s got a real shot. Braden Holtby and Devan Dubnyk are leading the way between the pipes. John Carlson needs to come back soon though because his defensive corps is pretty thin.
In third with 78.5 points is Team Miller. He has great forward depth which should get an immediate boost with Ryan Johansen‘s trade and the return of Logan Couture. His defensive corps is the weakest spot but that should also get a boost in the form of Ryan Ellis. He really needs Connor Hellebuyck to hold onto the job there as his third and fourth goalies behind Roberto Luongo are really thin.
Thursday Streamers: There’s an eight game slate tonight which is a smaller than usual for a Thursday. Here are my top three streaming options:
Tomas Hertl (11%) – I’d pick him up everywhere right now. We’ve seen the upside in the past and now he’s playing on the first line. They get a prime matchup with the Oilers tonight so at the least, stream him tonight. He’s arguably the best stream of the season tonight and if he’s not, it’s because it’s the next guy.
Teuvo Teravainen (18.4%) – With the injury to Artem Anisimov, Teravainen is getting first crack to start at center between Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin. Even better, he gets to go against the Canadiens who are still getting mediocre goaltending. Streaming him gives you the benefit of seeing how he does but he will almost certainly be a hold.
Alex Tanguay (2.5%) – The Devils are starting Keith Kinkaid in net tonight and Tanguay gets to skate with Nathan MacKinnon and Matt Duchene tonight.
That’s all for now guys. I hope you enjoyed the recap of the RCLs, especially if you are in one. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. I’ll be back tomorrow recapping last night’s games along with tonight’s. I bet you can guess who I’ll be opening with (*cough Sam Bennett cough*). Take care everyone!