After a massive breakout in which he scored 72 points in 77 games and Tampa Bay made the Cup Finals in 2014-15, everyone expected Tyler Johnson to push his way into superstardom.  Then he struggled massively in 2015-16 scoring 38 points in 69 not-so-nice games.  “It’s okay, he’ll bounce back!”  Kind of, but 45 points in 66 games wasn’t necessarily what people hoped.  “Write him off, that was a fluke!”  Nope, Johnson is back on track.  Johnson scored a hat trick on Tuesday putting six shots on goal in the 5-4 win over Carolina.  He now has 16 goals and 18 assists in 42 games with a +11 rating.  The shot rate on the whole doesn’t look great, but Johnson has 33 shots on goal in his past 9 games, in which he has 8 goals.  The player that was tied for the team lead in points during the regular season and led a Cup finalist in points in the playoffs looks to be back.  If he is, Tampa is going to be even more unstoppable.  Johnson is available in around 25% of leagues and if you’re lucky enough to be in, grab him immediately.  If you own him, props for grabbing him and don’t look to sell high because we know the upside.  Let’s take a look at what else happened the last two nights:

Sergei Bobrovsky – 35 saves on 37 shots in the 3-2 OT win over Toronto.  No surprise but Bob is firmly back on track.

Seth Jones – Two assists with three shots.  Jones is rolling right now with 11 points in his past 10 games.  Firmly a #2 fantasy D now.

Kyle Connor – Two goals and an assist with three shots.  I’ve been clamoring for Connor to be held since his recall.  However, he’s still available in 70% of ESPN leagues.  That seems crazy to me.

Blake Wheeler – Two assists with two shots.  Beast.

Mathieu Perreault – Two assists.  Solid streamer again.

Jacob Trouba – Two assists with two shots and two PIM.  Six points in the past six games (5 in last 3) has Trouba firmly back in play.  He is right on the fringe in a league that holds five D.

Nikolaj Ehlers – Two goals on five shots.  I don’t think Ehlers gets enough credit for being as good as he is at 21 years old.  He’s going to be a full blown superstar with his offensive ability.

Jack Eichel – Two goals and an assist with six shots.  He looks great again despite the team being a mess.  The shot rate is back and the points are inching back towards a point per game.

Kyle Okposo – Three assists with three shots.  Okposo was on Eichel’s wing in this game and looked like the player we knew before this season.  With a small slate Thursday, I’d definitely stream him to see how if there’s anything here.

Ryan O’Reilly – Goal and two assists with six shots.  Eight points in his last eight has RoR right back on the fringe.  I’d lean towards elite stream if only because of the lack of PIM and the poor plus-minus.

Philipp Grubauer – 37 saves on 38 shots in the 3-1 win over the Canucks.  Grubauer appears to be back on track so I’d stream him every start again.

Patrick Kane – Goal and four assists with three shots.  Ottawa is a dumpster fire.  This gets Kane back over a point per game on the season.

Nick Schmaltz – Two goals and an assist with three shots.  Nothing new with Schmaltz, he’s a strong streamer in most matchups.  He has 11 points in his last 7 games so you can hold through the rest of this week but Schmaltz isn’t good enough to hold through his bye week next week.

Patrick Sharp – Goal and an assist with three shots.  Sharp’s days of fantasy relevance appear to be over.

Duncan Keith – Two assists with two shots.  Keith still doesn’t have a goal this season which is quite remarkable.

Jonathan Toews – Two goals on seven shots.  After a slow start, Toews has 9 points in his past 5 games.  He had an incredible run last season so it could happen again.

Jordan Oesterle – Two assists with three shots.  He’s on a decent run right now playing with Keith so I’m okay with grabbing Oesterle if you want to gamble on this being anywhere near sustainable.

Mark Stone – Goal and an assist with seven shots and two PIM.  Like the rest of the season, Stone remains a major bright spot on a team that is in a dark place.

Justin Faulk – Goal and an assist with four shots.  I’ve basically given up on Faulk.  The plus-minus is bad and the points aren’t good.  Unless you’re in a 16’er or deeper, I’d leave him on the waiver wire for now.

Teuvo Teravainen – Two assists.  Teravainen is having a nice breakout season with 35 points in 42 games.  Sure, the PIM are non-existent and the shot rate is below average, but that’s okay when you’re on pace for a nice 69 points.

Brayden Point – Three assists with a shot.  Point is one point shy of setting a new career high in points!  Okay, I’ll stop using the word point about Point.  Point has gone from fantasy streamer out of nowhere as a 20 year old last season to pushing a point per game at 21.  Crazy stuff.

Victor Hedman – Goal and an assist with four shots, +3.  Hedman is rolling right now as he sits as the #1 overall defenseman in the player rater.

Jake Dotchin – Goal and an assist, +4.  He’s playing with Hedman but the elite hits are down a bit.  I also think Tampa looks to trade for a defenseman to play with Hedman at the deadline so even though I like Dotchin, I don’t think his value lasts.

Jonathan Huberdeau – Goal and two assists as did his linemate Aleksander Barkov.  While they look like they are dead this season in terms of the playoffs, I could definitely see the Panthers making a big run next season.  Their core is so damn good, they just need to supplement them properly.  You know, with guys like Marchessault and R. Smith…

Vincent Trocheck – Two goals and an assist with nine shots.  Might be the most underrated player in the league.  Not sure if it’ll be Thursday or in the coming weeks but when Reid and I do a podcast about which players would be on Olympic teams if the NHL was participating, I’m pretty sure Trocheck will make my USA team.  That’s how good he is.

Jake Allen – 18 saves on 23 shots in 36:37 before being pulled in the 7-4 loss to Florida.  Allen is really struggling right now so I’d grab Carter Hutton (10/11 in relief) if he’s available.

Paul Stastny – Goal and an assist with two shots.  Stastny remains right on the fringe but I’d lean towards elite streamer.

Ivan Barbashev – Two assists.  Bottom end streamer until the minutes increase.

Vladimir Tarasenko – Goal and an assist with four shots.  Tarasenko remains a master of consistency.  The improvement this year is in his shot rate from elite to among the best handful in the league.  He’s well over four per game on the season.

Viktor Arvidsson – Goal and an assist with two shots.  He’s off last season’s pace but not by a drastic amount.  Given the decent PIM and elite shot rate, I’m still holding Arvidsson.

Pekka Rinne – 25 saves on 26 shots in the 2-1 win over the Oilers.  It’s nice to have elite Rinne back in the fold after a few seasons of mediocre play.

Johnny Gaudreau – Three assists with a shot.  The shot rate is down a bit lately but with 49 points in 42 games, I don’t think anyone is complaining about Jonathan Hockey Player.

Michael Ferland – Goal and an assist with three shots.  I must say I didn’t expect this kind of season from Ferland; he already has a new career high in goals and points.  I’d lean hold because he’s playing at a 36 goal pace and the PIM should be coming back.

Sean Monahan – Goal and an assist with two shots.  Nice for Monahan to get back on track after somewhat of a prolonged goal drought.

Dougie Hamilton – Goal on three shots.  He needs to be playing more, there’s no way around it.  It’s frustrating that Brodie and even Giordano to an extent get more minutes than him.  While the points are down, I’m still holding Hamilton without hesitant because of the help across the board.

Mike Smith – 33 saves on 35 shots in the 3-2 OT win over the Wild.  That’s four wins in a row for the Flames with Smith at the helm for all of them.  To this point, this is the second best season of Smith’s career and by a fairly big margin.  Nice for him to get out of the desert.

Ryan Suter – Two assists with four shots.  It’s yawnstipating but at the end of the season, we know what Suter is going to give us.  There’s something nice about having that security blanket on the blue line.

Mikael Granlund – Goal and an assist with four shots.  He’s firmly back on track after a slow start scoring 10 points in his past 7, granted they all came in four games.

That’s all for now guys.  I plan on having daily notes on Friday morning although it will be a small set of notes given that there are only five games over the next two nights.  I’m planning on recording a podcast with Reid as well so look for that to drop Thursday at some point.  As always, feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments below.  Thanks for reading, take care!

  1. Chris says:

    Great work, Viz!

    Skinner is killing me with a terrible +/-, lack of PP points, and an average offensive production by his standards. I’m considering dropping him for his teammate, Teravainen or Bryan Little.

    Would you pull the trigger on this move or would you just hold into Skinner?
    12 teams, tied for the first place, G/A/+-/PPP/GWG

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Chris: Thanks! I think I would grab Teravainen. Teravainen gets a huge boost in this format because his weaknesses (PIM, SOG) aren’t categories, while Skinner’s biggest strength (SOG ) isn’t a category. I do think Skinner gets going a bit more in the goals department but with your settings, I’d rather go with Teravainen

  2. Jeff says:

    Would you consider selling high on Namestnikov since he’s out of the top line? If so, which players would you target in return?
    12 teams, G-A-PPP-+/-shots

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Jeff: I don’t think you have to but if you can get a top 50 player, I would consider it. Namestnikov is still getting the occasional shift with Stamkos and Kucherov and Tampa’s top three lines are all fire anyways. As for who to target, any of those guys who are in the bottom part of the top 50 seems fine. Guys like Ehlers, Radulov, Boeser, Kuznetsov would make some sense. My main point is I’d rather hold than trade Namestnikov for someone like Larkin or guys in that tier.

  3. W 5, L -5, GA -2, SV 0.5, SO 6. Would you go with Jeff Glass at home against Dubnyk or am I reaching too much there? Five games over the next two nights. You know how it is. Ha ha

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