The biggest fantasy hockey news yesterday had nothing to do with the five games that were played. The Blue Jackets and Predators made a massive one for one swap with Ryan Johansen headed to Smashville while Seth Jones is going to Columbus. Both of these players should benefit from this trade. Jones is the easier case. He’s going to play on the top pair, get more minutes (presumably including PP time) and if he’s available in your league, I’d grab him for the upside that he has. Johansen makes out like a bandit here. He’s been getting jerked around all over the lineup by Torts and now he gets to Nashville to center their first line. Peter Laviolette is known from playing his studs big minutes so Johansen’s minutes could increase by close to 50% from where it’s been under Torts. He should also get Filip Forsberg or James Neal (possibly both) on his wing to start so these guys get a bump in value as well. Look for Johansen to have a monster second half, Forsberg to keep up his current form to get close to last year’s totals and for Neal to keep up his current rate. It might be tough to trade for Johansen because his owners have been hoping for this to happen but the other Predators make great trade targets as well. The departure of Jones should also benefit Ryan Ellis and he should be grabbed in all 12’ers as well. Here’s what I saw in the games last night:
Mike Condon – 19 saves on 20 shots in the 2-1 win over the Devils. That’s two great starts in a row but I still don’t trust him. You can gamble on him in 12’ers if you need the starts, it looks like he’ll get more starts now with his recent play, but it’s definitely a risk.
Max Pacioretty – Goal on four shots. The return of Brendan Gallagher looks to have sparked Patches. The shots are coming in large numbers so look for the goals to keep coming.
Marc-Andre Fleury – 34 saves on 36 shots in the 3-1 loss to the Blackhawks. Who would have thought going into the year that Fleury would have a great GAA and sv% and be average in wins? Funny how things work out. His owners can’t complain with his numbers at all.
Kris Letang – Assist with two shots and two PIM. This heater is great and I think it’s only the beginning.
Evgeni Malkin – Goal on two shots. Malkin is almost on pace for a 40+40 season with 100 PIM. If he pulls that off, that’s insane.
Artemi Panarin – Two goals on four shots. Starting to get going again; it was only a matter of time playing with Patrick Kane (assist with four shots).
David Backes – Goal on seven shots. He was dropped onto the third line but stuck on the first power play unit, where he scored his goal. He’s going to play big minutes regardless of his line and playing on the third line let him be more of a shooter first. I don’t see a change in value for Backes no matter what line he’s on as long as he sticks on the first power play unit.
Alex Pietrangelo – Assist on six shots. I wouldn’t just cut him in 12’ers but he’s nowhere near as good in fantasy as he is in real life.
Vladimir Tarasenko – Goal and an assist with two shots. His goal ties him for the league lead in goals. He’s on pace for 48; can one of these guys get to 50? I think somebody will but I’m not sure who it will be.
Jordan Staal – Goal and an assist with two shots. Still wouldn’t touch him in a 12’er, even as a streamer. Simply better options out there.
Jacob Markstrom – 26 saves on 28 shots in the 3-2 win over the Hurricanes. He should have the job to himself for a while longer so I’d grab him if he’s out there for the time being.
Sven Baertschi – Goal and an assist with a shot. In deep leagues, he’s somebody I’d consider because of his upside and his recent role on the second line.
Bo Horvat – Two goals on five shots. He’s amazingly -19 on the season which is stunning to me considering his defensive game is fairly polished for his age. The offense is starting to come along which is exciting. I don’t see him as relevant in 12’ers at any point this year but I think he’ll be somebody I’ll want to take in drafts next year as a late round flier.
Jonathan Bernier – 39 save shutout in the 4-0 win over the Ducks. This is three straight starts where Bernier saved 39 shots; he’s given up 3 goals on 120 shots. Before that, he gave up 6 goals on 15 shots and was awful for the vast majority of games before that so I still have no idea what to think of Bernier. I think I’m leaving him out there for somebody else to gamble on.
Tyler Bozak – Two assists with a shot. Still has more points than his best buddy Phil Kessel. What the hell is going on around here?
Nazem Kadri – Goal on eight shots. A lot of people were impatient with Kadri so I have him in a bunch of places now. The shots are incredible, the PIM are very good and the points are coming in on a regular basis now. If for some reason he’s still available in your league, grab him.
P.A. Parenteau – Two goals on four shots. He’s a solid streamer if he’s in the Leafs top 6 that night, which he is most nights right now.
James van Riemsdyk – Assist with five shots and two PIM. He’s on pace for a 30+30 season and amazingly is +6 so far. And I was worried about him being -20 or worse again in the preseason, whoops.
John Gibson – Left the game injured. Yikes. He was just named to the All-Star team and was leading the league in goals against average. Here’s to hoping it isn’t serious.
Thursday Streamers – There are seven games tonight, not as much as usual on a Thursday night so there should be some more streaming. Here are my top three options:
Mattias Janmark (0.6%) -Lindy Ruff is separating Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn tonight and the biggest beneficiary looks to be Janmark. He’s going to play left wing with Seguin and Patrick Sharp against the Jets. After getting killed by the Rangers, look for the Stars to bounce back big tonight.
Tanner Pearson (5.2%) – Pearson will be on a line with Jeff Carter (back from injury) and Marian Gaborik. The Leafs will be on the second game of a back to back so look for the Kings to dominate the possession and the offensive line to get on the scoreboard.
Joe Colborne (0.0%) – He’s playing on the first line with Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan tonight against the Coyotes who are due for massive regression from their goalies.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back on Friday recapping tonight’s action. As always, feel free to ask any questions and post any comments below. Take care everyone!