Yes, I know Ondrej Kase‘s name is pronounced like case, but let me be punny, will you!?  I dug back into the Razzball Hockey archives to find what I first wrote about Kase.  And by dug into the archives, I mean I used the simple search bar at the top.  The first time I wrote about him was early last season in 2016.  “I’ve been impressed with his play and while it’s not enough for now, Kase’s an intriguing dynasty option in deep leagues.”  And that’s me quoting me copying what Grey does!  Go check out the baseball side of Razzball and sign up for an RCL.  Anyways, a month later, I said Kase has shown enough long-term upside that he should be on the radar moving forward.  Well, the seventh round pick is breaking out before our eyes.  Kase scored a goal and two assists with three shots in the 3-2 win over the Blackhawks on Thursday, giving him 16 goals and 14 assists on the season, along with a +17 rating in 43 games.  It’s not all great; the PIM are non-existent and the minutes are quite low at the moment (despite the big game, Kase played only 12:13).  Regardless, the 22 year old is already a solid third liner for the Ducks and there could be a bit more here long term.  His minutes keep him from being a hold in 12’ers, but I’m definitely streaming him.  The hits are awful this season which hurts in deep leagues, but they were fine last season so I think it’s a bit of an anomaly.  Kase has already exceeded expectations as a 7th round pick, but I think he can turn into a solid 50-60 point player for those of you in dynasties.  Let’s take a look at what others did around the NHL the last two nights:

Nick Foligno – Two goals and an assist with three shots and four PIM.  He’s a fine streamer but he’s not good enough in any category besides PIM to even consider holding.

Alexander Wennberg – Two assists with a shot.  Wennberg is a guy I’m simply never going to own.  That’s not to say he doesn’t have value, but the shot rate is to the point where it’s very detrimental, especially in roto leagues.  He’s better than he’s been this season, but this is the downside of owning a player like Wennberg.  When they go through a slump, they’re completely unplayable.

Nazem Kadri – Three goals, two assists, four shots, two PIM.  I’ll be honest, I remembered Kadri had a hat trick when I wrote the intro for Kase, but forgot about the assists and all-around contribution.  Otherwise, I’d probably have started with Kadri.  Anyways, I said last week that Kadri was due for a turn around so he should be owned everywhere.  I think this game eliminated any doubt.

Patrick Marleau – Goal and two assists with three shots.  Fine to stream but Marleau isn’t in hold territory.

Mitch Marner – Goal and an assist with three shots.  It’s nice to see Marner turn his season around.  Hopefully you were patient with the 20 year old, or at least grabbed him back once he started to play well again.

Travis Dermott – Two assists.  He’s played well since he made his NHL debut, but Dermott has to do a bit more to consider using him in standard leagues.  In deep leagues, I’d use him right now given the quality hits and blocks while being decent enough in the other categories.

Semyon Varlamov – 44 save shutout in the 2-0 win over the Canadiens.  Both Colorado goalies have been solid this season, especially Bernier in Varlamov’s absence.  I feel like their luck is going to run out sooner than later, but for now, I’d use both of them in all but the worst matchups.

Aleksander Barkov – Two assists with two shots.  I feel like Barkov hasn’t had a bad stretch all season long.  Scary that he’s going to get better than he is right now at 22.

Nick Bjugstad – Goal and an assist with four shots and two PIM.  It feels like an eternity ago that Bjugstad scored 24 goals in 72 games with almost three shots per game.  The good news is the shot rate is back.  The bad news is that his shooting percentage of 11.6% looks like an outlier (despite it being a low number) and the PIM dried up.  Bjugstad’s a bottom end streamer.

Bo Horvat – Goal and two assists with two shots on Wednesday, .  Horvat hasn’t had the massive breakout, partially due to injury, but he’s been solid while in the lineup.  I’m still driving the Dr. Bo bandwagon long term.

Sven Baertschi – Two assists with three shots Wednesday, missed Thursday’s game with an illness.  He’s an okay streamer as long as he’s on Horvat’s wing.

Justin Williams – Two assists with three shots.  We talked about Williams, and Carolina in general, on Thursday’s podcast.  Somehow my voice was warped by the microphone which makes things interesting!

Nico Hischier – Goal and two assists with two shots.  He hasn’t been spectacular but Hischier has been solid in his rookie season.  He’s on the fringe of redraft 12’ers, and I’d lean towards streaming him, but I wouldn’t put a big finish past Hischier.

Stefan Noesen – Two goals.  And there’s your biannual Noesen update!

Damon Severson – Goal and an assist with two shots.  I remember when Devils fans thought Severson was going to be the next great thing.  That has certainly not happened.

Keith Kinkaid – 27 saves on 29 shots in the 5-2 win over the Hurricanes.  Cory Schneider went on injured reserve with groin and hip injuries, so it’s Kinkaid’s show.  Their schedule is brutal for the rest of the month so he’s in the “desperate for starts” category.

Jaroslav Halak – 50(!) save shutout in the 3-0 win over the Rangers.  Good lord.  The Islanders duo in net have an abortion and then Halak posts a 50 save shutout.  He’s firmly a desperation play with the Islanders defensive play being poor, and that’s being nice.

Mathew Barzal – Three assists with a shot.  Just amazing how good Barzal has been this season.  It completely changes the landscape of the Islanders organization going forward.

Nick Leddy – Two assists with three shots.  I did not realize that Leddy was -30 before writing this.  Good lord.  He’s still right on the fringe given that he’s on pace for career highs offensively.

Dion Phaneuf – Goal on three shots in his Kings debut.  He was also covered extensively on the podcast linked above.  He was on the second PP unit which did answer one of our questions.  I could see him being usable in 12’ers on the right team.

Matt Murray – 34 saves on 35 shots in the 3-1 win over the Kings.  I still don’t trust him for this season because of the shot volume Pittsburgh is allowing.  That said, there’s no denying the upside.

Marian Gaborik – Goal and an assist with two shots playing 18 minutes in his Sens debut.  He played on the top line, but I have zero interest in Gaborik moving forward.  That is talked about on the pod.

Matt Duchene – Three assists with four shots.  He’s finally starting to play better with 11 points in his past 10 games.  I’d still only stream him but at least it’s progress.

Erik Karlsson – Two assists with six shots.  I’m sure he will close the season just fine.

Nikita Kucherov – Goal and three assists with six shots.  I’d say we were due for a game like this, but the fact that it sounds reasonable shows just how absurd Kuch has been all season.  It’s not if, but when he gets to 100 points (barring injury *knocks on wood*).

Victor Hedman – Three assists with two shots.  He’s the #1 fantasy defenseman on the season and he missed a few weeks.  That sums it up perfectly.

Steven Stamkos – Two goals on five shots with two PIM.  He’s overdue for a goal scoring streak given the low shooting percentage.

Andrei Vasilevskiy – 38 saves on 39 shots in the 4-1 win over Detroit.  Tampa is going to have the #1 guy at each position.  Seems good.

Dougie Hamilton – Goal and an assist with three shots and four PIM.  It was nice to see Dougie play 23 minutes but I wish that number was even higher.

Sean Monahan – Two assists with six shots and four PIM.  The jump in shot rate along with a career high shooting percentage has been the perfect recipe for Monahan to dominate.  Even his 20 PIM are a career high!

Matthew Tkachuk – Goal and an assist.  I may have underestimate how good Tkachuk was going to be, and I’ve been driving the bandwagon since his draft.  His offensive ability is off the charts.

Ryan Johansen – Goal and an assist with three shots.  I watched a large portion of this game and it infuriates me that Johansen can’t play at this level on a regular basis.  He was incredible, point blank.  Here’s to hoping he builds off this one.

Alex Ovechkin – Goal and three assists with seven shots.  Boy, there were some monster games over the last two nights.  Ovechkin is straight slaying right now.

Tom Wilson – Two goals and an assist with three shots and two PIM.  The brilliant man that I am left Wilson on my bench since I had a full lineup.  Whoops!  He’s a fine streamer for those who need PIM because the points are decent enough with Ovie.

Nicklas Backstrom – Goal and an assist with two shots.  That’s a goal in 5 of 6 games for Backs.  He’s been okay but still a disappointment given his ADP.

Andre Burakovsky – Goal and an assist.  He played 11:31 in this game which makes him virtually useless for our purposes.

Adam Henrique – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM.  Being relegated to the third line in Anaheim leaves Henrique as a streamer.

Nick Ritchie – Goal and an assist with three shots.  I don’t have much to add on Ritchie that I didn’t say the other day.  Not completely hopeless, but not counting on the offense coming around.  Usable in deep leagues with hits though.

John Gibson – 42 saves on 44 shots in the 3-2 win over Chicago.  He’s been great this season so here’s to hoping Gibson can stay healthy.

Clayton Keller – Goal and three assists with two PIM.  If anyone wants to troll Reid, tweet him @ReidKash17.  In our money league, he left one Clayton Keller on the bench tonight.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Three assists.  Still can’t bring myself to use OEL sitting at -37.

Tobias Rieder – Goal and an assist.  Not enough to change my outlook on Rieder.

Brendan Perlini – Two goals on three shots.  There’s been some marginal improvement by Perlini this season at age 21.  There is 25-30 goal potential here, but not sure the other categories are ever good enough for him to be a valuable fantasy asset.

Antti Raanta – 34 saves on 36 shots in the 5-2 win over the Canadiens.  We also talked about Raanta on the podcast.  As mentioned over the last week, he’s played some really good hockey this season and should be used right now, if only to boost the ratios.

David Perron – Two assists.  I still don’t buy into Perron but he’s getting a point in seemingly every game.  If you told me Perron was over a point per game in February before the season started, I would have guessed he was hurt and played 5 games on the year.

Marc-Andre Fleury – 28 saves on 29 shots in the 4-1 win over the Oilers.  He regressed a bit over the last couple weeks but that had to happen given how well Fleury was playing.  His numbers are still bonkers through 26 starts.

Brent Burns – Goal and an assist with three shots.  The sideshow of whether Burns was going to stick at forward or go back to the blue line was pretty funny on Twitter over the last day.  He played both in this game but I have no doubt that he’ll settle back in on defense.

Mikkel Boedker – Goal and an assist with two shots.  Once upon a time, I cared about Mikkel Boedker for fantasy.  That time was a few years ago.  The end.

Chris Tierney – Goal and an assist.  The minutes are huge making him usable in deeper leagues.

Martin Jones – 43 saves on 44 shots in the 4-1 win over the Canucks.  He might be the most yawnstipating goaltender in fantasy hockey.

That’s all for now guys.  I’ll be back on Monday recapping all of the weekend’s action.  Be sure to check out yesterday’s podcast as well.  Be sure to ask any questions, leave any comments, or give any suggestions below.  Thanks for reading, take care!

  1. LG Hockey says:
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    Viz!

    Great write up and also congrats on the poker finish!

    I wanted to get your thoughts on Holtby ROS and keeper outlook. He has been brutal lately. My skaters are at a level to win now (Kucheov, Scheifele, Bergeron, Pastrnak, Burns, Ghost, Marchessault, Trocheck, Rantanen, Reilly Smith, Krug) and I have Hellebucyk and Lenher also in net.

    Do you think Holtby turns it around this year and he is a viable keeper for me next year (I can only keep 6) or would you try and trade him and upgrade in net for the playoff run? The Dubnyk owner is rebuilding so I could maybe deal him Holtby plus someone for Dubnyk.

    Thanks!
    LG

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @LG Hockey: Hey LG, thanks for rewriting your question. Thanks again for the congratulations too, I appreciate it.

      So in the long term, I’m not really concerned about Holtby. Their young defenseman are going to get better, Orpik will be done soon, and the Caps have some defensive forwards coming up. I don’t think he gets back to a GAA in the low 2’s, that’s not how the game is trending, but the save percentage should be in the .920’s again.

      That said, for the rest of this season, I’m a bit concerned. The Caps don’t have to push him to lock up a playoff spot, or really the division again. The team is playing a wide open style, which is working because of their top end talent, but it’s not great for Holtby. That said, keeping 6, I definitely want to keep one or two goalies. Obviously you can keep Hellebuyck which makes trading him a little easier. If you want to get Dubnyk to potentially be better off for the rest of the season, I’m fine with that move. However, I wouldn’t be adding anything to Holtby, if anything, he should add to you because Holtby is a better long term keeper. I think it would be fine straight up, but I’d try to get him to add something to your side.

      • LG Hockey says:
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        @Viz: thanks Viz! The Dubnyk owner is a difficult trading partner so I’m going to stick with Holtby. Hope Lehner gets moved and gives me another good option down the stretch. Have a great weekend

        • Viz

          Viz says:
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          @LG Hockey: Gotcha, that’s perfectly fine. I mean, the variance is so high over 20ish starts, Holtby could easily be better than Dubnyk anyways. Certainly in play, even as a Sabres fan who follows the team very closely, I don’t know what Botterill is going to do with Lehner. Thanks LG, you too!

  2. Hard to believe he has digressed this far but someone dropped Carey Price to waivers for Raanta in our 10 teamer. We have a 3 goalie max. I have Andrei Vasilevskiy, Martin Jones & Carter Hutton. Would you drop either Hutton or Jones for Price? Price has just one win in his last 7 starts, falling to 15-21-5 on the season with a .904 save percentage. Hard to believe Price & the Habs have become this much of a dumpster fire, but I suppose they are… We all know Price is / has been much better than this. Thanks Viz!

    • @madden_curser: I have been concerned Allen might displace Hutton, but I see he made just 14 saves on 16 shots Friday, taking a 2-1 loss against Dallas. He has now dropped 7 of his last 8 decisions, so it would seem Hutton is still in the drivers seat. Jones has been inconsistent overall, but he just tied a season high with 43 saves on 44 shots in Thursday’s win over Vancouver, so maybe he will be solid going forward.

    • @madden_curser: Allen started for the third time in four games against the Dallas Stars on Friday, so maybe they are trying to get him back to No. 1 over Hutton?

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @madden_curser: Man, this is tough, but I honestly think I’d hold. It is a bit worrisome with Hutton, but I do think it ends up being close to an even split one way or the other in STL the rest of the season, and those Hutton starts will be more valuable than Price’s. Jones has been better lately as well

  3. Mordacious Levator says:
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    is that you i’m reading about on the deal controversy, and you got 99,477 in $? without looking up anything i was going to guess around 88 dimes, which is damn close. i won’t out your actual name if so. if it was you started final table with 25 blinds (barely shortest to a 28 blinds stack)

    • Mordacious Levator says:
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      @Mordacious Levator: i don’t mean YOU were part of the controversy, but that you got 5th at that table. other weird parts of this final table:
      – they have you, the 2nd shortest stack for the pre-final table picture, sitting at a stack that is pretty clearly not yours from the size of it.
      – the guy who went out 6th basically gave you around 24 dimes, and the long haired short stack guy even more when he punted his 58 blinds (3rd place) off to chip leader with AJ preflop 4 bet. had more than double 5th and 6th place and went out last. jeebus, i guess he was going only for 1st and/or never read kill everyone.

      • Mordacious Levator says:
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        @Mordacious Levator: oops, shortest stack, but clearly sitting for the picture at a seat that had more than last in chips (yes i had to do other research to be sure which one of them you are)

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Mordacious Levator: No, that was not me. I got 4th in the $1100 , the deal controversy was in the $5k you’re referring to a few days later. My friend Dan finished 5th in that $5k, so I was on the rail watching that whole final table. You’re right though, that was an epic punt by the guy in 6th place. The controversy is a messy situation for a few reasons I can get into if you want (I don’t mind them making a deal, it’s what happens because Mike became the “winner”).

      • Mordacious Levator says:
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        @Viz: i read about the whole thing, yeah while deals are normal, giving away championships are NOT ok behavior in the industry, and even if they WERE going to do that, there are easy ways TO do that without looking like you are doing that (i’m SURE that’s happened before without a controversy, you just have to do it well). you don’t raise to 80% of a guys’ stack then fold. it has to look real. yeah i though 5 dimes seemed high. funny, dan your friend, is the guy i thought you were. saw dan’s results at hendonmob (other sites too have that) and he killed it at end of 2016-17.

        – honestly, with how agro poker is now with the 3 bet-4 bet dynamics if you are playing for first (rather than just equity), raising, then 4 betting all in a (possibly) aggressive chip leader with a healthy mid stack would be defendable. but you will miss out on a lot of money sometimes doing that (like here). i didn’t see it, but maybe chip leader was leaning on the guy with 58 blinds and he had good reason to think it was happening again. hell proper strategy even tells chip leaders to do this if the assumption is that the mid stacks don’t go to war to preserve their equity.

        • Viz

          Viz says:
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          @Mordacious Levator: See, I actually think it was best for them to make it so obvious, because they need to change that in the future for the WPT and WSOP. EPT sanctions deals all the time, makes the players leave some money and the title to play for, which I think is best. But it is stupid that Mike is the winner when Ryan (who final tabled mine as well 3 days before, as did Tim who got 3rd), had a 2-1 chip lead. Dan is a savage, got 2nd in Cleveland a month ago too. He’s on fire.

          Definitely an aggressive dynamic, but it was pretty obvious that the guy who got 6th was the weak spot and was going to make a big mistake. But he snap called off AJ, it wasn’t like he shoved over Leah. Calling it off is a disaster having no fold equity.

          • Mordacious Levator says:
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            @Viz: wasn’t aware that he snap called it. all pokernews.com mentioned was it was a 4 bet pot and he had AJ vs AQ. good night it’s bad if he snap called it off. this is egregious if he had 58 blinds to do that with while 3 guys were in the 25-35ish blind range, or at all. so HE was the 3 bettor then called an all in. that’s pretty bad. damn shame pokernews.com didn’t report that part of it.

            -i mean for THEM (those 2 players) it’s stupid to do that so obviously to have the one guy tank it off to give the title away. even in like $20-$50 buy ins i always do a semi chop and play for something (IF any chop), if a title was involved i’d do the same.

  4. Maverick says:
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    Hey Viz
    In an 18 Teamer and in 1st place currently despite drafting Darling! I have Bernier right now but was offered Raanta for Keller.. Thoughts please? Much appreciated!!

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Maverick: Damn, well done! No keeper implications right? What categories are you using? What other goalies do you have besides Bernier? I’d probably prefer to hold Keller but I can see some situations where I’d make the move, so let me know and I’ll get back to you.

      • Maverick says:
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        @Viz: Thanks Viz! I have no other goalie options other than the wire and in an 18-Teamer…it’s pretty bare lol. I don’t feel desperate to go out and trade for a goalie as my weekly H2H totals are solid. Just looking for another opinion. Thanks man!!

        • Maverick says:
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          @Maverick: No Keeper Implications either. 9-F Pos; 4-D pos; 1-G. 4-Bench Spots

          • Viz

            Viz says:
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            @Maverick: Gotcha, then yeah, I’d make that trade. You need the help desperately and it’s like Keller is still lighting the world on fire. Raanta is definitely a decent option at this point.

  5. Jon says:
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    Need to drop someone to activate MacKinnon…

    Ehlers, Skinner, Stepan, Aho, Arvidsson, Toffoli, Larkin, Mantha

    G A +/- PPP FOW SOG HIT

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Jon: I’m between Toffoli and Mantha, probably go with Mantha with PIM not being a category. Depends on how much you need the difference in hits between the two.

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