There’s been plenty of bounce back players this season across the NHL. One of them who hasn’t received the attention of others is Ryan Johansen. Johansen’s career was strongly trending in the wrong direction the previous two seasons, including only 22 points in 48 games last season. He has been decent most of the season, but really took once he moved to the top line. His best game of the season was on Tuesday night, scoring his first career hat trick on seven shots in the 6-2 win over the Wild. Johansen now has 20+34 on the season with 51 PIM. Yes, Johansen’s career has turned out to be a big disappointment with the way it was trending early on in Columbus, but it’s nice to see him score 20 goals for the first time since 2014. Remarkably, he’s still 29 years old, so this level of play can be repeated next season. For the rest of this one, Johansen is an elite streamer in standard leagues and a hold if your league doesn’t include SOG as a category. Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Auston Matthews – Three goals and four assists with 15 shots over two games. Safe to say that Matthews is starting to distance himself in the Hart race.
Mitch Marner – Three goals and four assists with eight shots and two PIM over two games. Eleven game point streak for Marner has him blowing his previous career high points pace out of the water, and we’re talking about a guy who scored 94 points before. He could get to 100 even though he missed a chunk of time this season.
Jake DeBrusk – Two goals on eight shots over two games. The opportunity is as good as it’s going to get right now. DeBrusk is an elite streamer.
Charlie McAvoy – Three assists with four shots and four PIM over two games. McAvoy is a jump in shot rate from being a top 10 fantasy defenseman. He’s probably there if you include hits and blocks in your league. I’ll be targeting him as a #2 next season because the floor is so high.
Steven Stamkos – Two assists with three shots. It’s been great to see Stammer stay healthy for a full season <knocks on wood>.
Ville Husso – 21 saves on 22 shots in the 5-1 win over the Coyotes. It’s great to see Berube reward Husso for his quality play. He should get almost all the starts until they clinch. The Blues are going to be in a big predicament in the offseason with Husso being a UFA.
Pavel Buchnevich – Goal and two assists with three shots. Vladimir Tarasenko scored two goals on three shots, while Robert Thomas dished two assists, adding two PIM and two shots. This line is one of the best in the league offensively and it seems like they’ll be kept together going forward. All of them are easy holds.
David Perron – Two assists. Perron has had quite the second half surge. His stat line is great across the board.
Johnny Gaudreau – Two goals and an assist with three shots and two PIM. Gaudreau is on pace to have the most points at even strength in a season since Jagr in 95-96. He’s +50 on the season! Absolutely insane.
Adrian Kempe – Two goals on seven shots, both assisted by Anze Kopitar. Kempe’s step forward isn’t as shocking as say, Tage Thompson’s, but Kempe having 31 goals is remarkable. He’s still only 25 years old so hopefully it’s a sign of things to come in the future. Kopitar remains a wizard.
Jordan Staal – Two assists with a shot. Staal’s offense has dried up this season. No thanks.
Nino Niederreiter – Goal and an assist with five shots. Nino is a middling streamer in his current role.
Victor Olofsson – Goal an an assist. That’s nine goals in the past 17 games for Olofsson, who finally looks back to his normal self. He’s a solid streamer with upside for more if he goes back to PP1 (I doubt that happens given Buffalo’s current form).
Brady Tkachuk – Goal and two assists with three shots. Nice to see career highs for Tkachuk, who still has upside from his current level. I never see him having his brother’s offense, but Tkachuk should be a fantasy stud for years.
Austin Watson – Two goals on three shots. And there’s your annual Watson update!
Mathieu Joseph – Two assists. I really like the Senators taking a chance on Joseph. He’s been fantastic in Ottawa so far and could be a nice sleeper for next season. He’s an elite streamer at the moment while he’s a hot schmotato.
Josh Norris – Two assists with five shots. While he’s have some shooting regression next season, an increase in shot rate should balance that out a bit. He’s a stud.
Drake Batherson – Goal and an assist with four shots and ten PIM. Nice to see Batherson get back in the goals column after his long injury absence.
Brendan Gallagher – Goal and an assist with twelve PIM and two shots in his return from injury. This season has been the year from hell for Gallagher. I don’t have any interest in streaming him the rest of the way.
Alexandar Georgiev – 20 saves on 21 shots in the 3-1 win over the Devils. Georgiev has been better in the second half, but I still have little interest in streaming him.
Chris Kreider – Goal and an assist with four shots. He has a real chance at 50 goals. He’d be one of the biggest surprise 50 goal scorers in a long time, probably Cheechoo? Not that Kreider is a one year wonder in terms of being a good player, but man, nobody saw this coming.
Artemi Panarin – Two assists with a shot. Panarin has a good shot of setting a new career high in points (he already set one in assists).
Jack Hughes – Out for the season. Tough break for Hughes who was really coming into his own. In redrafts, you can obviously move on.
Devon Toews – Three assists with a shot. Toews continues to blow his previous career highs out of the water. He’s just a damn good player in all facets.
Darren Helm – Goal and an assist. And there’s your annual Helm update!
Nathan MacKinnon – Two goals on three shots and two PIM. MacKinnon has been as good as ever this season.
Andre Burakovsky – Two assists with four shots playing 20 minutes. Burakovsky has been on the top line the last two games which makes him an elite streamer by default. The Avs don’t play again until Friday, but I’d look to grab Burakovsky then for their back-to-back.
Mikko Rantanen – Two assists with a shot. Like MacKinnon, Rantanen is having a career season and he’s already been elite. He’s proven himself to be a clear first round draft pick next season.
J.T. Compher – Goal and an assist with two shots. Bottom end streamer.
Jake Guentzel – Goal and an assist with seven shots. Guentzel is on pace for better than 40+40 over 82 games. He’s also at 3.5 shots per game and the PIM are strong too. Guentzel is a borderline top 20 player next season.
Jonathan Huberdeau – Two goals and three assists with seven shots. Aleksander Barkov had a goal and three assists with three shots. The studs on Florida carried them to a comeback from four goals down again, and their two best players led the way. Huberdeau is already over 100 points where Barkov would have had a real chance to get there if he didn’t miss time.
Sam Reinhart – Two goals and an assist with five shots. As a Sabres fan, I can’t wait to see Reinhart finally get some playoff time. Despite playing a large chunk of the season on the third line, Reinhart is still above a point per game. Love to see it.
Claude Giroux – Goal and an assist with seven shots. Nice to see Giroux finally get a goal for the Panthers.
MacKenzie Weegar – Two assists with three shots and two PIM. Weegar was getting some time on the first power play unit in this game. If that holds, he can be a top 20 defenseman the rest of the way, if not top 10.
Jakub Vrana – Goal and an assist with two shots. Vrana has eight goals in 14 games since returning from injury. He could be in line for a huge season next season if Detroit can improve his linemates.
Kirill Kaprizov – Goal and an assist with five shots, as did Mats Zuccarello. Kaprizov looks like a borderline first round pick in drafts next season. I don’t know how much I buy into Zucc being above a point per game, but his chemistry is undeniable with Kaprizov. I’m sure he’ll be a hold either way, but I’ll be a little cautious in his ranking.
Roman Josi – Goal and two assists with three shots. I really want Josi to get to 100 points. He’d be the first since Leetch almost 30 years ago. What a monster season and he’s not even the Norris favorite. Incredible.
Filip Forsberg – Three assists with four shots. His timing couldn’t be better as Forsberg is going to get all of the money this offseason. A true superstar through and through.
Phillip Tomasino – Goal and two assists with two shots. Nice rookie season from the former first round pick. I’m not sure how much his ice time will go up next season, but Tomasino is something to keep an eye on.
Matt Duchene – Goal and an assist with three shots. That gives Duchene a new career high in goals and points. Credit to him for getting his career back on track.
Mattias Ekholm – Two assists. Ekholm has been better lately. He’s on the fringe in 12’ers again.
Noah Dobson – Two assists with a shot. I’ve said it before, but I expect to be all in on Dobson next year.
Mike Smith – 31 saves on 32 shots in the 2-1 OT win over the Sharks. Smith was solid all game, but the play of the game was his pass in overtime to send McDavid on a breakaway for the winner. The Oilers are playing well lately so I’d be willing to use both of their goalies in most matchups. The assist is below:
MIKE SMITH ➡️ CONNOR MCDAVID FOR THE WIN 😱
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) April 6, 2022
We’ll do Thursday’s games this week. No McDavid, Draisaitl, Huberdeau, Gaudreau, Matthews, Kaprizov, Tkachuk, Kadri, Rantanen, Panarin, or Josi. I’ll go with J.T. Miller against the Coyotes.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back on Friday recapping the action of the last two nights. As always, feel free to ask any questions, leave any comments, or give any suggestions below. Thanks for reading, take care!