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!

 

  1. Montezuma's Revenge...right now says:
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    12 team dynasty with 10 man minor lists. PPP/SHP/GWG/hits/blocks/shot % added.
    2 of each specific forward spot, 2 W spots, 1 F spot, 5 D and large benches. 2 goalies a day
    C kadri/carter/horvat/jenner/dubinsky
    LW baertschi/n.richie/skinner/o’reilly
    RW tarasenko/oshie/eberle/eaves/sheary (also LW)
    D karsson/mcdonagh/petry/gudas/spurgeon/ellis/a.martinez
    G rinne/lehner/lundqvist
    IR/IR+ sharp/ennis/zibanejad/hansen/namestnikov
    have one open roster hole.
    MINORS: (farms can be up to 10, i forgot this somewhere along the line)
    marner C/RW TOR
    n.gusev LW TB
    n.schmaltz C CHI
    sprong RW PIT
    hudon LW MTL
    skjei D NYR
    pulock D NYI
    guhle D BUF
    matheson D FLA
    montembault G FLA
    for sure next year skjei/matheson/schmaltz and probably pulock cannot be in minors to start year (25 games). marner i want to call up now, but i’d have to drop some people later when others get healthy.
    here’s a list of players seeing if i could improve by dropping any for any (midseason i can only add people that are in yahoo, how neat for me, it’s not close to as bad the number of players that don’t exist in yahoo as in baseball, but still annoying that there’s any at all missing, i mean it’s a fantasy site supposedly):
    C – nattinen ANA, r.macinnis ARI, pu BUF, dickinson DAL, khaira EDM, hawryluk FLA, treinen NAS
    quenneville NJ, sundqvist PIT, stephens TB, t.boyd WAS
    LW – kerdiles ANA, zykov CAR, compher COL, mascherin FLA, mersch LA, gropp NYR, paul OTT,
    leipsic TOR,
    RW -t.thompson STL (can’t add yet), c.fischer ARI, mccarron MTL, speers NJ, gagne OTT
    aube-kubel PHI, lindberg TOR, barber WAS, lipon WIN
    D- j.larsson ANA, zboril BOS, r.andersson CGY, mccoshen FLA, olofsson MIN, dougherty NAS,
    jacobs NJ, somerby NYI, masin TB, l.johansen WAS,
    G – shesterkin NYR (can’t add him yet not in yahoo, just checking), parsons CGY, soderstrom NYI
    halverson NYG, jarry PIT

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Montezuma’s Revenge…right now: Honestly, nobody really stands out as somebody you need to grab. Maybe Jarry because odds are he backs up Murray next year and down the line? I’d feel pretty safe dropping Baertschi to get Marner on your real squad but if you think it’ll cause issues when your team gets healthy, you can hold tight. The only guy you’ll really need to keep on your IR spots is Zibanejad; Ennis isn’t worthy of a league like this, Hansen is fringe at best, same with Namestnikov and who knows how Sharp will be.

      • Montezuma's Revenge...right now says:
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        @Viz: yeah hansen added while he was already on IR, in case he played with twins like he had before. he wasn’t even activated at all when he was healthy for a while. i was thinking namesnikov was the drop before baertschi also.

        was thinking zboril over somebody maybe, or a forward over hudon (or maybe hudon was the drop for jarry), but it wasn’t obvious.

  2. jon says:
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    whats your projections on Bryan Rust rest of season?

    Thinking about grabbing him and holding as a depth forward.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @jon: It’s hard to say because he hasn’t been on a line consistently all year and an injury could potential boost his value quite a bit because he currently doesn’t get power play time. Pittsburgh has 46 games left so something like 12-14 goals, 8-10 assists with upside for more if he gets PP time? The penalty minutes will be poor and the shots are average at best so considering you aren’t getting PP points, this is a question for how deep your league is

  3. I see you have 2 Kings against the Canucks. Kopitar is on the waiver wire in our 10 teamer. I take it he would be a good streamer tonight as well? I already have Galchenyuk & Craig Anderson srashed in my 2 IR slots, so I was thinking to drop ROR to waivers. I don’t want to tie up a slot for 2 to 3 weeks. Thanks Viz.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @madden_curser: Yeah I would definitely make the move to stream Kopitar. Sucks cutting bait on RoR but I’m okay with it. I do think Anderson is going to fall off a bit when he gets back but I still wouldn’t be comfortable cutting him loose completely.

      • @Viz: Ya, my 3rd goalie is Vasilevskiy. His chance is likely over in a couple weeks or so. Condon was just dropped to waivers today. Is he a better option than Vasilevskiy since I have Craig Anderson stashed? I can always stream my 3rd goalie slot if needed. Thanks Viz!

        • Viz

          Viz says:
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          @madden_curser: I think I’d rather just go with Vasilevskiy, he’s much better in the short term, Condon just isn’t good.

      • Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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        @Viz: i love these complete non-updates that just suddenly become decently many week injuries (RoR and brouwer). seriously, these guys last played like on friday before the break and we go to set lineups on tuesday and they’re just OUT that long? so brouwer had a broken finger/hand on friday but it’s just not mentioned for 5 days, and RoR just suddenly got that (the 2nd is actually believable). either hockey is even worse than the worst in baseball (STL/LAA) or football (NE/CHI) at giving real info here or these 2 guys had some kind of interesting christmas breaks.

        • Viz

          Viz says:
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          @Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo: The RoR one I can defend; nobody can predict when an appendix is going to burst. We actually talked about that on the podcast that will go up in the morning, the Sabres tweeted it out in the afternoon but none of the local or national media mentioned it so it went a bit under the radar. The Brouwer one makes no sense to me, why the Flames didn’t say anything is beyond me. Hahaha, you gave me a good laugh with the interesting Xmas breaks comments, sadly I just assume the Flames were hiding it for God knows what reason.

    • @madden_curser: Marner or Connor Brown @ FLA are options. Also, Dan & Henrik Sedin, Steen, Jagr, Stastny and Plekanec are options.

      • Viz

        Viz says:
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        @madden_curser: Marner and Jagr are my favorite of the bunch

  4. JJ says:
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    Hey Viz,

    I have debating picking a couple of players up lately and was looking for some feedback. Toews is still in my IR slot so I would have to drop 2 players to pick up one if that makes sense to you. Darling is one of the obvious drops. Not sure about any others.
    What do you think?
    Available FAs
    E.KANE
    D.BACKES
    G.LANDESKOG
    R.RAKELL
    J.SPEZZA
    S.JONES

    My squad looks like this
    C-T.SEGUIN
    C-J.EICHEL
    LW-M.LUCIC
    LW-M.HOFFMAN
    RW-N.KUCHEROV
    RW-N.EHLERS
    D-E.KARLSSON
    D-R.JOSI
    D-K.YANDLE
    D-T.KRUG
    BENCH-M.DUCHENE, R.JOHANSEN
    IR-J.TOEWS

    G-H.LUNDQVIST
    G-J.ALLEN
    BENCH-C.HELLEBUYCK,S. DARLING

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @JJ: I guess I would just drop Darling for Toews and hold tight otherwise. With short rosters, there is bound to be some top end talent on the waiver wire which is clearly the case here. You could just drop Toews for one of those guys or even Hoffman but it seems like a lateral move that wouldn’t serve much purpose unless you’re looking for someone who has different position eligibility.

  5. Fleeced says:
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    My team isn’t scoring goals, and Rakell and Schwartz are lowest on the totem pole.

    I have my eye on Evander Kane,Kyle Palmieri, Anthony Mantha, Conor Sheary and Adam Henrique.

    Should I make a move on one of these guys or am I reaching?

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Fleeced: Man, if those guys are the low men on the totem pole, I’m surprised you need goals. I’d say that you’re probably just in a mini drought, just hold tight and it should turn around.

  6. Gfhyde says:
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    Viz thank you for another write up. I love these things.

    I’ve got a trade question, like most ppl:)

    Ekblad for Monahan

    20tm dynasty (no contracts or anything). I’m in dead last after taking over a rebuild. Start a full NHL team worth of players every day.

    G, A, PPP, SOG, PIM, Hits, Blocks, +-, FOW

    My defense is: Ekblad, Parayko, Muzzin, Niskanen, Skjei, Slavin, Connor Murphy. I have Jake Bean in the minors.

    My centers are either old or….not good. Dowd, Faksa, Fisher, Plekanec. Marner C eligible but no FOW. Barzal and Dubois in the minors.

    Hate losing Ekblad on defense considering we start 6 a day, but holy hell are my Centers sub par lol. Would you make the swap??

    Much appreciated!

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Gfhyde: The extra categories and starting 6 D make this closer, I would definitely prefer Monahan in standard leagues. That said, I think I would still pull the trigger on this. Your C are a disaster right now and you have great depth on the blueline, especially for 20 man. When you consider Marner is going to lose C eligibility (at least I assume he will) after the season, you’ll be in even bigger need of a center. I’ll say make the move for Monahan.

      • Gfhyde says:
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        @Viz:

        Thanks Viz. I made the move. Feels good. Was then offered another deal right after. Sorry… i gotta ask lol Same league anyway.

        My Barzal, Vrana, Kyrou and a 2nd round pick in next year’s rookie draft for Duchene (C/RW)

        Again, helps with my Center problem. Not that I’m in any rush to fix it, being in dead last. But I doooo like Duchene. Little afraid Barzal is going to be a huge deal though.

        • Viz

          Viz says:
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          @Gfhyde: Hopefully Monahan works out. No need to apologize, that’s what I’m here for! Man, that’s a pretty fair offer to both sides. I don’t want to cop out and say that you can do what you want because it’s that even but I think it is. Gun to head, I guess I would stand pat because the extra categories, especially hits, hurt him a little bit. Given that you’re in last and don’t need the help now, I’d probably just stay the course. That said, you’re going to want to piece some of these guys for better players eventually but I think Barzal’s upside is so high that I’d lean towards holding tight on him.

          • Gfhyde says:
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            @Viz:

            Thank you kindly! I think I will hold on then. It was a pretty close call to begin with but this put me over the edge to stand pat.

            He also loves Jake Bean so I might see if he’ll do Beaner for him.

            Thanks again and keep up the excellent work.

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