Evander Kane has been a polarizing player for years. The talent is noticeable on a regular basis but inconsistency and off-ice issues have plagued him during his career. Kane started off the season slowly but right now, he’s on quite the hot streak. In Tuesday’s game against the Red Wings, Kane scored two goals on four shots and added a fight for good measure. That gives Kane 7 goals and an assist in the last 9 games with elite shots and strong PIM. Given that he’s an elite option in PIM and SOG with the potential for strong goals, I ranked Kane in my top 100 going into the season because the player raters always love him for his contributions across all categories. We’re starting to see why yet Kane is still available in 59% of leagues. He’s carrying the third line for the Sabres right now and the change in role has been a good thing for him. It allows him to have the puck on his stick more often and his linemates do a great job cycling the puck. I’d definitely own him in all 12’ers and I have been rolling him in some 10 man leagues as well. Here’s what else happened around the league on Tuesday night:
Sidney Crosby – Goal and two assists with two shots. Humans should not be able to do the things that Crosby can do while playing hockey.
Carl Hagelin – Goal and an assist with three shots. He hasn’t been worthy of streaming this year. Hagelin’s role makes him somebody who is more valuable in real life than fantasy.
Evgeni Malkin – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM. I’m running out of things to say about Malkin. He’s a true six category monster at the moment. Just stay healthy!
Justin Schultz – Goal on two shots with two PIM while being +3. He’s finally owned in the majority of leagues but he’s still available in over 25%. There’s no reason for him to be available anywhere at this point.
Adam Henrique – Goal on three shots. While the Devils are struggling, the top line is stringing some solid games together. I mentioned Henrique a few weeks ago as a guy who is ready to take off. He hasn’t done it yet but there have been signs.
Evgeny Kuznetsov – Assist with four shots and two PIM playing over 19 minutes. The shots have been consistent in recent weeks and the minutes are back. I’m still expecting a big second half.
Alex Ovechkin – Goal and an assist with nine shots. Speaking of big second halves, Ovechkin has a long goal streak in him.
Justin Williams – Goal and an assist with five shots and two PIM. He’s been pretty awful this year but WIlliams has 4 points in his last 5 games and recently moved up to the top line with Kuznetsov and Ovechkin. That puts him back on the streaming radar.
Thomas Hickey – Two assists with a shot and two PIM. And there’s your annual Thomas Hickey update!
Andrew Ladd – Two goals with two PIM. I didn’t like the signing but I never expected Ladd to be this horrible. Until the minutes go back, I wouldn’t even stream him.
Anders Lee – Goal on five shots. He needs to be owned everywhere right now given that he is hotter than a pistol.
Alan Quine – Two assists. His minutes have been increasing which has resulted in 4 points in his last 5. There’s not enough here yet but it’s worth monitoring.
Mike Hoffman – Two assists with four shots. Don’t hassle the Hoff, man! The stat line is looking outstanding outside of +/-.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau – Two assists with a shot and two PIM. He’s used in a defensive capacity but Pageau has shown flashes offensively. I’d love to own him if one of their top six centers went down but for now, leave him for the deep leagues.
Zack Smith – Goal on two shots before leaving with an injury. Tough break for Smith who has been playing very well lately. Here’s to hoping it isn’t serious.
Nick Holden – Two goals. It’s bottom end due to the lack of shots but if you can stomach it, Holden is providing sold value elsewhere.
Ryan McDonagh – Three assists with a shot. It’s only elite in plus-minus and assists but it’s solid enough everywhere to be a bottom end #2D as expected.
Derek Stepan – Two goals on four shots. He’s quietly had a nice season and Stepan is peaking at the moment with 7 points in his last 5 games.
Mats Zuccarello – Assist with two shots and four PIM. Same story as Stepan except 6 points in his last 5.
Henrik Lundqvist – Missed the game due to the flu. Shouldn’t cause him to miss more time.
David Backes – Goal and an assist with four shots. The shots are through the roof right now with 24 in the past 5 games. The totals aren’t gaudy but Backes is doing what we expected for the most part.
David Krejci – Goal and an assist with eight shots. The assists have dropped off tremendously from last season’s pace but at least Krejci has balanced things out by taking a lot more shots.
Torey Krug – Assist with five shots. It’s finally starting to come together for Krug.
Scott Hartnell – Goal and an assist. Only played 10 minutes in this one (minutes have been down a ton lately) but he keeps producing. I still have no idea where the penalty minutes have gone.
Sergei Bobrovsky – 37 saves on 40 shots in the 4-3 win over the Bruins. Even when he gives up 3 goals, Bob still posts a strong sv% and gets the win.
Jack Eichel – Goal and an assist with five shots. He had been looking rough for a while but Eichel broke out in a big way in this game. I have no doubts that he’ll be a force in the second half.
Brian Gionta – Two assists with a shot. Since Kane moved onto a line with Gionta, Gionta has looked much better. I think he’s worthy of streaming at this point.
Sam Reinhart – Goal with two PIM. Played center with Ryan O’Reilly out 2-3 weeks after an appendectomy and looked great. I’ve been holding Reinhart for the majority of the season but with this 4 game point streak, I’d be sure to grab him in 12’ers.
Rasmus Ristolainen – Assist with four shots. I don’t think he gets there this year but there’s top 5 D upside for Risto going forward.
Robin Lehner – 40 saves on 43 shots in the 4-3 win over Detroit. The save percentage has been outstanding all season so hopefully the team supports him more to get in the win column on a frequent basis.
Dylan Larkin – Assist with five shots. He was buzzing in this game earning him almost 18 minutes of ice time. That said, he only had 2 shots total in the previous 4 games so you can go either way with Larkin at this point.
Thomas Vanek – Goal on six shots. Vanek was a consistent threat all night and is somebody who should definitely be owned in 12’ers. That said, TV is only 40% owned so go out and grab him.
Devan Dubnyk – 28 saves on 30 shots in the 3-2 OT win over the Predators. You know you’ve been a monster when allowing 2 goals and making 28 saves lowers both your GAA and sv%.
Charlie Coyle – Two assists with two shots. I’m sitting at home and I have to resist the urge to chant “Charlie” repeatedly like when Conway takes the penalty shot at the end of “The Mighty Ducks.” So damn good right now.
Filip Forsberg – Goal on four shots. He’s heating up as expected.
Connor Hellebuyck – 34 saves on 35 shots in the 3-1 win in Chicago. It’s been very up and down for Hellboy this year and I don’t expect that to change. I’m still holding tight though as my 3rd goalie.
Blake Wheeler – Goal on five shots with two PIM. Five game point streak for Wheeler who continues to be one of the most under-appreciated stars of the league.
Jacob Trouba – Two assists with three shots playing almost 27 minutes. There’s definitely some offensive upside here but until the Jets let him loose, Trouba isn’t fantasy relevant.
Artem Anisimov – Goal on two shots. Get the man back in your lineups.
Mikael Backlund – Two goals and an assist. You don’t see back to back three point games too often let alone from someone of Backlund’s caliber. I still prefer to stream him in 12’ers although I’m fine with holding him during this heater.
T.J. Brodie – Two assists with two PIM. He has four points in his last four but I still don’t want anything to do with Brodie.
Johnny Gaudreau – Two goals and an assist with six shots. The bottom line here is that it’s nice to play Colorado. The plus-minus is a disaster and he has 0 PIM but Gaudreau is starting to produce offensively at a level we’re accustomed to.
Kris Versteeg – Goal and an assist. Nothing is changed, he’s still a solid streamer.
Dennis Wideman – Two assists. Still not worthy of standard league rostering.
Cody Goloubef – Two assists. Nothing here for fantasy no matter how deep your league is.
Gabriel Landeskog – Two goals on four shots playing 23 minutes. This is what I like to see. There’s potential for a strong second half for the Kog.
Nathan MacKinnon – Two assists with two shots. It’s obvious at this point that I’m all aboard the MacKinnon bandwagon. It’s scary to think that he just turned 21 years old. For this year, the plus-minus will be rough but the points should reach a career high.
Jamie Benn – Goal on two shots playing 21 minutes. I’m still patiently waiting for Benn to go on a massive tear.
John Klingberg – Goal on his only shot, a clear with the goalie pulled that took a crazy carom resulting in a goal. They all count for us! That’s a point in four consecutive games giving us some hope.
Jason Spezza – Goal and an assist. He played on the first line with Benn and Tyler Seguin (assist, 3 SOG) which puts all three of them in prime position to dominate games.
Kari Lehtonen – 35 saves on 37 shots in the 3-2 win over the Coyotes. Another strong game for a Stars goalie and while I don’t trust either of them one bit, I would stream whichever one starts on Thursday against the Avalanche.
Anthony Duclair – Goal on five shots playing almost 20 minutes. Easily his best game of the year and while he’s certainly on the waiver wire at this point, it’s worth monitoring over the next few games.
Radim Vrbata – Goal on three shots. I’m still holding strong for the shot volume but you can go either way with Vrbata.
Brent Burns – Goal and an assist with two shots. Brent Bruns doing Brent Burns things! He’s pretty damn good.
Martin Jones – 34 saves on 36 shots in the 3-2 OT win over the Ducks. Elite goalie is elite.
Wednesday’s Streamers – Slightly bigger slate on Wednesday than usual with 5 games on the docket. Here are my top three streamers:
Tanner Pearson (14.8%) – He’s playing with a red hot Jeff Carter and more importantly the Kings play the Canucks. Excellent spot for Pearson.
Bryan Rust (8.8%) – Rust scored a goal on Tuesday and also has a great spot playing against the Hurricanes at home.
Marian Gaborik (10.3%) – He’s been poor but I’ll take more exposure against the Canucks from Gaborik playing on the first line.
That’s all for now guys. Reid and I will be recording a podcast this afternoon so I will be sure to have it posted on Thursday morning. As always, feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments below. Take care!