Quick, who is second in the NHL in points? The question would be harder to answer if you guys couldn’t see the title of this post. Phil Kessel has been absolutely incredible all season and he’s certainly not getting the credit he deserves. Hell, he’s at best the third guy mentioned on his own team. In Friday’s wild game with the Capitals, Kessel scored two goals on four shots and added an assist, before dishing an assist in Saturday’s loss to the Devils. That gives Kessel a whopping 63 points (23 + 40) in 54 games this season. Add in well over three shots per game and 32 PIM and Kessel sits as the #3 overall skater on the player rater, and he’s not far out of first. The only negative thing about Kessel going forward is his awful schedule in the fantasy playoffs because there is no reason to expect Kessel to slow down. Let’s take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
Petr Mrazek – 36 saves on 37 shots in the 4-1 win over the Hurricanes. Even after allowing three goals on Saturday, Mrazek has allowed 9 goals in his past 7 games, all of which he’s had above a .900 save percentage. He needs to be owned everywhere right now.
Darren Helm – Goal and two assists with four shots and two penalty minutes. Even when Helm was a good NHL player, he wasn’t much of a fantasy asset. He’s not even that anymore.
Alex Ovechkin – Two goals and an assist with five shots. Amazing season across the board from Ovechkin. Remember when multiple major websites ranked him outside of the first round in drafts? Ha!
Evgeny Kuznetsov – Goal and an assist with four shots. He’s rolling right now as he approached a point per game on the season. If Kuznetsov can get his shot rate up, he’s a slam dunk second round pick. If it stays barely above two, then he’s top 50 but towards the middle to back end.
Dmitry Orlov – Goal and an assist with two shots. I took Orlov late in a ton of drafts thinking the role increase would pay dividends. Sadly, it has not, and he should be on waivers outside of the deepest of leagues.
Evgeni Malkin – Two goals and two assists with five shots and two PIM. Nothing can slow down Malkin right now outside of a potential health scare. Just stay healthy! He’s the best player over the last month by a country mile.
Sidney Crosby – Two assists with four shots and two PIM. Why has Pittsburgh been on fire? Well, Malkin is #1 by a mile over the last month, Crosby is #3 and Kessel is #4. Seems decent.
Riley Sheahan – Two assists with two shots. I had hopes in his draft year that Sheahan would develop into a solid #2 center, but sadly he’s become a nice third liner. That makes him near irrelevant for our purposes.
Carl Hagelin – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM. Swagelin is much more valuable in real life than fantasy. The lack of power play time completely zaps his value.
Jake Guentzel – Two assists with four shots. Man, what a disappointing season for Guentzel after his rookie season and playoffs. He’s an okay streamer but I wouldn’t be holding him right now.
Logan Couture – Goal and an assist. He took a puck to the mouth but he’s okay, he’s a hockey player. Couture has quietly had a strong season playing at close to a 40 goal pace.
Kevin Labanc – Goal and an assist with two shots. Labanc has been on a strong run since Thornton went down. With nine points in his last nine, he’s moved to elite streamer status.
Martin Jones – 28 saves on 29 shots in the 3-1 win over the Blue Jackets. I’m cautiously optimistic about Jones going forward after these two great starts in a row. That said, he was never a great goalie in terms of save percentage, so Jones getting back on track gets him to bottom end #1 level again, not among the elite.
David Perron – Two assists with two shots. I still can’t really explain how Perron is having such an outstanding season. Marchessault and the other first liners, sure. Perron and Erik Haula (1+1), not so much. That said, I doubt you’d be able to get a quality return for either and you didn’t need to draft them so just roll with them as they play at an extraordinary level.
Eric Staal – Two goals and an assist with one shot. Yes, you read that right, two goals on one shot! The ultra-rare game with more goals than shots as his second goal was the result of him being hooked going towards an empty net. Staal has been very steady all season as a borderline top 50 player.
Jonas Brodin – Three assists with three shots. Very nice player in real life but does little to nothing for us in the fantasy realm.
Matt Dumba – Two assists with two shots and five PIM. Dumba should be owned in 12’ers as it’s solid across the board and strong in goals for a defenseman.
Cam Fowler – Two assists with three shots playing over 25 minutes. I still don’t love him, but at this point, he’s my preferred defenseman in fantasy of the Ducks quartet.
Antti Niemi – 43 saves on 45 shots in the 5-2 win over the Ducks. O faith, where art thou? Certainly not in Niemi.
Jeff Petry – Two goals on five shots playing 27:32. He’s on fire right now but the story is the same. Can you stomach the plus-minus? He’s bottom end. Do you care about plus-minus? Forget him.
Brendan Gallagher – Two assists with two shots. Gally is a great streamer if you need shots but there’s not enough to hold.
Joe Morrow – Goal and an assist. Morrow was a nice prospect once upon a time but he has not developed into anything worth mentioning.
Alex Galchenyuk – Two assists with a shot. I still think he’s eventually going to get moved in a horrible trade by Montreal. He’s a fine streamer but Gally definitely isn’t a hold right now.
Ryan Dzingel – Two assists with two PIM. Meh, Dzingel was a decent streamer at points last season but not right now.
Travis Konecny – Three assists with two shots. Konecny is at the top of the streaming list while the minutes are up, the power play time is there, and he’s getting shifts on the first line.
Torey Krug – Goal and an assist with four shots. Krug has finally had some overdue positive regression in his shooting percentage. The shot rate has dropped off but Krug has still been a solid #3 in fantasy.
Dalton Heinen – Two assists. Speaking of top end streamers, Heinen is mostly a points guy but with 35 points in 46 games, he’s definitely worth using.
Tuukka Rask – 23 saves on 24 shots in the 4-1 win over Toronto. Revenge games are always nice. Rask has been nothing short of outstanding for 3 months straight.
Carter Hutton – 27 save shutout in the 1-0 win over the Sabres. He made some great saves, he caught a few breaks, but Hutton is rocking and a rollin’ right now. Hopefully Razzball Nation is cleaning up with Hutton as I am.
Robin Lehner – 32 saves on 33 shots as the tough luck loser. I would use Lehner at home in all matchups and on the road in top end matchups.
Keith Kinkaid – 15 saves on 16 shots in the 3-1 win over the Penguins. Not going to get any easier than that for Kinkaid. I still have little faith in him but I’d put him slightly above desperate for starts status.
Travis Zajac – Two goals and an assist with five shots. He’s been awful this season and it’ll take more than one game for that to change.
Stefan Noesen – Two assists with four shots and a fight. The former first round pick has been solid in the bottom six but he’s about to turn 25 so I’m passing on him.
Blake Coleman – Goal and an assist with two shots. In a super deep league with hits and blocks, I can see using Coleman. Solid in all of the non-points categories.
Mathew Barzal – Two assists with five shots. This was definitely ahead of schedule but Reid and I have talked about Barzal’s upside for two years now. At this point, I have no idea where to rank him next season, but just inside the top 50 seems about right.
Ryan Pulock – Two assists with four shots. He’s had a decent season but the PIM or shot rate isn’t quite good enough for serious consideration in 12’ers.
Danny DeKeyser – Two goals, both assisted by Frans Nielsen and Helm. I talked about Helm earlier and I still don’t buy into him at all. DeKeyser isn’t even worth considering in any format and that contract is a dumpster fire. That Nielsen contract isn’t any better. Man, Detroit’s books are a mess.
Aaron Ekblad – Goal and an assist with three shots. The assists suck again but the goals and PIM are great. He’s still only 21 (for one more day, then 22) so the upside is still here.
Keith Yandle – Two assists with four shots. He’s on a nice heater with 10 points in 10 games. It’s not great anywhere but assists but it’s plenty good enough to be a #3D.
Jonathan Huberdeau – Goal and an assist with two shots. Huberdeau has been extremely consistent all season resulting in him sitting over a point per game. No reason to expect him to slow down either.
Blake Wheeler – Two assists with two shots. Wheeler is crushing all of the categories despite a down season in shooting percentage. He’s a beast.
Connor Hellebuyck – 25 save shutout in the 3-0 win over the Avalanche. He managed to avoid taking a slash to the face in this game! Hellboy should be a top 10 goalie for the foreseeable future with years (like this one) in the top 5.
Kari Lehtonen – 30 saves on 31 shots in the 6-1 win over the Wild. He’s on a nice run with 9 quality starts in his past 10. I’d use him in all but the worst matchups right now.
Tyler Seguin – Goal and two assists with four shots and two PIM. He hasn’t been setting the world on fire like others around the league but Seguin has been his usual strong, steady self, as has his linemates Jamie Benn and Alexander Radulov (1+1 each).
Ryan McDonagh – Two assists with a shot. There is a chance that McDonagh gets traded at the deadline which could potentially boost his value. I think there’s some upside here down the stretch, whether he’s in New York or not.
P.K. Subban – Goal and an assist with five shots, +4. Subban is back to being among the league’s elite on the blueline.
Filip Forsberg – Two assists with four shots. That’s the good news. The bad news is that he threw a dirty elbow and connected with Vesey resulting in a three game suspension. Not much you can do but have him be on your bench for the next week.
Kevin Fiala – Two goals. He’s rolling again moving back up to elite streamer status.
Viktor Arvidsson – Goal and an assist with three shots. With this recent upswing, he’s not far off last season’s 31+30 season. The plus-minus is still strong, the PIM are there, and he’s right at 3 shots per game, so Arvidsson has been a decent value this year.
Patrick Kane – Two assists with four shots. Like Seguin, he’s not lighting the world on fire, but Kane is still sitting right at a point per game.
T.J. Brodie – Two assists with four shots. I’m not a big Brodie fan and would elsewhere outside of the deepest of leagues.
Nikita Kucherov – Two assists with three shots. Just when Kessel gets on his ass for the points lead, Kuch opens up a little lead again. So damn good.
Brock Boeser – Goal and an assist with five shots. Boeser keeps rolling as he’s on pace for 40+35 as a rookie. Seems decent.
Darcy Kuemper – 27 save shutout in the 6-0 win over the Coyotes. Automatic streamer every time he gets the start.
Jake Muzzin – Goal and two assists with two shots. Muzzin is on fire with 11 points in his past 10 games. Given he’s a plus in the extra categories, Muzzin is a solid #3/4 right now.
Dustin Brown – Goal and an assist with two shots. He’s slowed down offensively as expected but with the shots, PIM and +/-, Brown still needs to be held.
Anze Kopitar – Goal and an assist with three shots. Wizard.
Adrian Kempe – Goal and an assist with two shots. We’re seeing the upside in flashes, and Kempe has plenty of long term potential, but he’s a middling streamer at best right now.
Alex Iafallo – Goal and an assist with four shots. Same deal as Kempe although it’s on a lower scale than Kempe.
Reilly Smith – Two goals on eight shots. The question isn’t whether or not Smith is going to set career highs in goals and assists, it’s far how he’s going to blow past his previous marks. He’s not getting the same amount of credit as the other two guys on his line but Smith is crucial to their success.
Jonathan Marchessault – Two assists with a shot. Corsi God is conservatively a top 25 forward in the NHL and I don’t think there’s any debate about it. Still over a point per game crushing across the board.
Ryan Carpenter – Goal and an assist with two shots. Even the fourth line was getting into it today!
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare -Two assists with two shots. Nothing to see here.
Alex Tuch – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM. Now here is something to see. I’ve long been a Tuch fan and still believe in his long term upside. The 21 year old should see his role increased in the coming seasons making him a strong dynasty option. For now, he’s a bottom end streamer.
Matt Niskanen – Goal and an assist with two shots. Disappointing season for Niskanen to this point between injuries and decreased production. At this point, I’d rather look elsewhere and try someone with more upside.
Brent Burns – Goal and an assist with three shots. The plus-minus remains dreadful but Burns has been hotter than hell in every other category. It’s looking like Burns will set a new career high in assists with 50+ and he’s overdue for some positive regression in his shooting percentage. Burns owners should continue to reap the rewards in the second half.
Aaron Dell – 29 saves on 30 shots in the 3-1 win over the Hurricanes. Dell was coming off two awful starts but he still deserves some faith for how well he’s played on the whole. I think DeBoer wants to get Jones rolling but Dell remains a quality streamer when he starts.
Carey Price – 25 saves on 26 shots in the 4-1 win over the Canadiens. Meh, this is more of a testament to Ottawa being a mess than anything else. I can’t see myself having any Price stock anytime soon, including seasons to come. I do not like where this Montreal team is going.
Tomas Plekanec – Goal and an assist with two shots. His days of fantasy relevance are over, so how about a random factoid about Turtleneck? He’s 8th all-time in career games for Montreal. That seems crazy to me. If he plays the rest of the season there, he’ll be 6th only 3 games out of the top 5.
Artturi Lehkonen – Two goals on four shots with two PIM. I had hopes for Lehkonen developing into a consistent streamer this season, but instead he had 2 goals in 36 games before this one. I’m not completely giving up on him long term but he’s useless in fantasy for the time being.
That’s all for now guys. With only four games on the slate tonight, I’ll be back on Wednesday recapping all of the action for the next two days. As always, please leave any questions, comments, or suggestions below. Thanks for reading, take care!