How good is Joe Thornton? The answer is pretty, pretty good <Larry David voice>. The future Hall of Famer is back in the top 10 in the league in scoring after a big night against the Blues on Monday. Thornton had two goals, two assists and three shots to lead the Sharks in their 6-3 victory. He’s a top 20 forward on the season now despite only taking 1.5 shots per game. That’s because Jumbo Joe is now tied for 4th in the league in assists, has a respectable 14 goals, is +19 and is on pace for 60 PIM. Not bad for a 36 year old. It would be ironic if the Sharks finally make some noise in the playoffs this year when they had no expectations. They’re not being talked about because of the Kings in their division but with Logan Couture (more on him later)in the lineup, the Sharks are 18-6-4. They may be a bit too top heavy to be real contenders but they have plenty of superstars to surprise. Here’s what else I saw around the league on the short slate Monday night:
Scott Hartnell – Goal and an assist with four shots. The shots have really fallen off this year but with 19 goals, 20 assists and 92 PIM already, he’s going to meet predraft value with relative ease.
Boone Jenner – Two goals on five shots with 2 PIM. He’s up to 21 goals now and 65 PIM with a solid shot rate. Why is he still available in over 55% of leagues? I have no idea.
Alexander Wennberg – Two assists with a shot. We’ve seen flashes from the 21 year old and he’s a big reason why they were comfortable trading Ryan Johansen away. There’s value in dynasties but he’s not doing enough right now, mostly in the shot department, to be owned in redrafts outside of the deepest of leagues.
Brandon Dubinsky – Assist with two shots. He has 15 points in 18 games since the Johansen trade. Great stuff.
Ryan Murray – Two assists. Still not doing enough and at this point, you’d like to see more from a guy who was a 2nd overall pick.
Loui Eriksson – Two goals on three shots. Loui is having a massive resurgence at the perfect time being an impending free agent. It’s a tough decision for Boston to decide what to do with Eriksson with the trade deadline next Monday. I assume they hold him being in the playoffs if the season ended today but with so few sellers, they could get a premium for Eriksson, even as a rental.
Matt Beleskey – Two goals on three shots. He’s on the streaming radar but Beleskey is out of the top 6 right now which hurts his value.
Joe Morrow – Two assists and two shots. This was the second straight game Morrow had two assists and he’s starting to get power play time on the second unit. The rookie is worth monitoring for the next week or so to see if his minutes start to increase along with his role.
David Pastrnak – Two assists playing 17:30. Easy stream call delivered. I know the shots aren’t great but I still think he should be owned in more leagues than he is. At the least, keep streaming him.
Jonas Gustavsson – 29 saves on 34 shots in the 6-4 loss to Columbus. Boston goalies, they’re all a mess.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Assist and four shots. Good to see him play right away after leaving the last Coyotes game in the first period.
Kevin Connauton – Goal on four shots. Only played 11:35 with OEL playing so he’s not of much service in 12’ers unless his role changes.
Alex Ovechkin – Goal and an assist with nine shots and four PIM. He’s starting to pull away with the goal lead as The Great Eight is up to 39 goals. Ovechkin also has 49 more shots than the next guy (Brent Burns). Best goal scorer ever, period.
Evgeny Kuznetsov – Goal and an assist with three shots. I don’t know if the guy who is 5th in the league in points can have more upside but now that he’s centering Ovechkin, maybe he does?
Justin Williams – Assist with a shot and four PIM. Playing with the Russians which should increase his production.
Pekka Rinne – 28 saves on 29 shots in the 2-1 shootout win over the Canadiens. That’s three straight strong starts for Rinne to get his save percentage up to a whopping .906! I’d sell if I owned him anywhere (disclaimer: I don’t.)
James Neal – Assist and four shots. His numbers won’t reach the level they were at in Pittsburgh on a per game basis but as long as he stays healthy, Neal can finish as a top 20 forward. Great value for where he was drafted.
Brendan Gallagher – Goal on five shots. He’s been very good when healthy this year and is somebody I’ll be targeting in drafts next season.
Andrei Markov – Assist and four shots. He’s putting together a nice point streak and is a great source of assists if you can stomach the lack of shots.
Tomas Plekanec – Assist with three shots. He’s not going to reach last year’s insane production but Turtleneck has still been solid this year.
Logan Couture – Two goals and an assist with eight shots and two PIM. It’s a shame he was hurt for a large portion of the season but Couture is going to be extremely valuable in the playoffs of head to head leagues. Couture should be a top 50 player for the rest of the season, possibly towards the top 20.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Two assists with a shot. He hits all of the categories enough to be a hold in 12’ers.
Tomas Hertl – Two goals on three shots. He had his spot back on the first line and Hertl delivered. Honestly, I didn’t realize he was only 14% owned until I just looked. I think he’s a hold in 12’ers right now on the first line and clearly a hold in anything deeper.
Vladimir Tarasenko – Goal and two assists with four shots. Now that Jaden Schwartz (assist and four shots) is back, I think these two could go on a big run down the stretch.
Jori Lehtera – Two assists. The STL line is united again meaning Lehtera is in prime position to succeed. The problem? He doesn’t have a shot on goal in his last 5 games. He’s unownable unless he starts shooting the puck. That said, Lehtera can be a stream late in the week if you need assists.
David Backes – Goal on four shots. Everything is down across the board for Backes. He’s one of my favorite players but could be seeing the beginning of the end? Backes will have plenty of value in real life but he’ll have to be on the first power play unit going forward to have real offensive value.
Brian Elliott – Left the game injured. Ugh. Expect Jake Allen, who came into the game in relief, to be the workhorse again if Elliott misses time.
Tuesday Streamers – There’s a solid 9 game slate tonight but as always, there is opportunity to stream. Here are my top 3 streamers:
Charlie Coyle (17.5%) – Everyone who reads me regularly knows how much I like Coyle so I’ll just say nothing has changed, he’s still on the first line and getting great opportunity.
Teddy Purcell (4.7%) – He was on a massive cold streak until getting an assist in the last Oilers games. I can see the Oilers-Senators games being the highest scoring game of the night so I’d like an extra piece of it. The Senators don’t have good streaming options right now so Purcell is our best option.
Alex Killorn (5.4%) – He has 4 points in his last 4 games and is back on the first line and second power play unit. Getting Arizona on the second of a back to back makes Killorn a solid option.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back on Wednesday recapping all of Tuesday’s action. As always, feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments below. Take care everyone!