The Blues are in the middle of a brutal schedule, playing three back-to-backs in a row, including four games in six days.  They pulled off the first back-to-back through Alberta before going to Vancouver on Monday.  There, Jordan Kyrou stole the show.  Kyrou scored a hat trick on five shots while adding an assist in the 5-1 win, giving him 10 points in his previous four games.  Unfortunately for Kyrou, he was injured late in the game and missed Tuesday’s debacle against the Kraken with a UBI.  It’s unclear how serious it is, but I do find it a bit encouraging that the news that he was out came later on Tuesday instead of immediately after the game Monday or early Tuesday.  With only one game over the next week, let’s hope that he misses minimal time while he’s on a heater.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:

Monday’s Games

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen – 41 saves on 43 shots in the 3-2 win over the Golden Knights.  I know it was outshadowed by Sorokin’s dominant performance (more on that later), but UPL absolutely stole this game for the Sabres.  That’s two monster games in a row, but Comrie is practicing again.  UPL could be sent back down soon, but if not, I would definitely use him next week in favorable matchups (not Tampa on Friday if he starts).

Lawrence Pilut – Goal and an assist.  Nice to see Pilut get NHL opportunity again, and I’d argue he’s better than most of the other Sabres depth defensemen, but there’s nothing here for fantasy.

Sam Reinhart – Goal and an assist with five shots.  Massive heater for Reinhart, which I’ve been saying was coming for a while. Hopefully everyone remained patient.

Carter Verhaeghe – Goal and an assist with four shots.  Easily the best start to a season for Verhaeghe, who is an auto hold everywhere now.

Patrice Bergeron – Two goals and two assists with five shots.  Monster game from Bergeron, who is dominating across the board once again.  What a monster.

Brad Marchand – Three assists with a shot.  Marchand continues to crush all of the categories.  Props to Jimmie Johnson for picking him for three points!

Hampus Lindholm – Two assists with two shots and two PIM, +4.  The interesting thing here was that Lindholm was back on PP1 even with McAvoy in the lineup.  He’s a hold regardless, as is McAvoy, but that’s a massive boon to Lindholm’s value.

Nic Dowd – Two goals and an assist.  And there’s your annual Dowd update!

Nicolas Aube-Kubel – Two assists with a shot.  Decent depth player, but nothing for fantasy.

Erik Gustafsson – Goal and an assist with six shots.  This surge from Gustafsson has come out of nowhere.  I don’t mind a spec add for super deep leagues, but I’m just monitoring for now in anything shallow.

Jake Oettinger – 27 saves on 28 shots in the 2-1 win over Columbus.  Oettinger was 15 seconds from a shutout until his team basically stopped trying in front of him and gave up a late goal.  I had Dallas -1.5, I’m not bitter or anything!  Oettinger continues to be a top five goalie.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Two PPG on five shots, both assisted by Connor McDavid.  Sure, RNH is shooting 20%, but even with regression, he’s blowing all expectations out of the water.  He has 21 power play points already!

Cody Glass – Two assists with two shots.  Glass’ career couldn’t have started worse with injuries, so it’s nice to see him in the lineup playing regularly.  He’s still only 23 so I’m not giving up completely in dynasties.

Alexandar Georgiev – 26 save shutout in the 1-0 SO win over the Islanders, making Ilya Sorokin, who made 46 saves, the tough luck shootout loser.  Georgiev has played extremely close to his ceiling, especially considering how injured the team in front of him has been.  He’s been the 5th best goalie so far.  Sorokin is right behind him, solely because he’s lacking in the wins department.  Sorokin has played as well as any goalie in the league and would probably be leading the Vezina race right now.

Jordan Binnington – 33 saves on 34 shots in the 5-1 win over the Canucks.  In the battle of two teams in disarray, Binnington was excellent.  His overall numbers are below their version of the Mendoza Line (3.11/.897).  The wins are decent enough, and there’s still upside, that I’d lean towards holding, but it is fringe worthy.

Vladimir Tarasenko – Three assists with two shots.  The drop in shot rate has Tarasenko sitting on the fringe.  His time in STL appears to be approaching the end, so it’ll be interesting if they move him at the deadline or let him go in the offseason.

Nick Leddy – Two assists with a shot.  And there’s your biannual Leddy update!

Robert Thomas – Goal and an assist.  It feels like Thomas has massively disappointed, but his numbers are strikingly similar to last season’s.  It’s on the fringe if you’re in a SOG league just because of how terrible the shot rate is.

Tuesday’s Games

Pyotr Kochetkov – 37 saves on 38 shots in the 4-1 win over the Devils.  The 23 year old looks like a top five goalie in dynasties.  I can’t wait to see how the playing time shakes out when all three goalies are healthy, but there’s no alternative but riding it out with Kochetkov in redrafts.

Jaccob Slavin – Two assists.  Slavin’s offense has really dried up this season.  I’d only use him in super deep leagues.

Kent Johnson – Goal on three shots.  With Boone Jenner out for four weeks, Johnson has moved onto the top line with Laine and Gaudreau.  That bumps him up to solid streamer status immediately, and he’s scored a goal in each of the last two games.

Travis Konecny – Two goals on three shots.  The plus-minus is rough, but Konecny is over a point per game with elite shots and PIM.  He’s a definite hold everywhere.

Owen Tippett – Two goals on five shots.  Tippett is a middling streamer.

Cam York – Two assists.  York has a lot of long term upside, but he’s not contributing enough right now for fantasy use.  Welcome to the Razzball Database!

Chris Kreider – Two goals on five shots, both assisted by Vincent Trocheck.  The Rangers continue to shuffle their lines, and while they lost, these two clicked.  Both are holds either way, with Trocheck basically on the fringe.  Kreider wasn’t going to repeat last season’s 52 goals, but he has a chance at 40.

Sidney Crosby – Goal and an assist.  It is completely under the radar that Crosby has the most even strength points in the league.  Remarkable stuff.

Matt Murray – 18 saves on 19 shots in the 4-1 win over the Lightning.  Absolutely dominant performance from the Leafs as Tampa never really stood a chance.  Both Leafs goalies have been a godsend.

William Nylander – Goal and an assist with eight shots.  I highly doubt that it lasts, but it’s crazy that we’re almost to Christmas and Nylander leads the team in goals.

David Rittich – 35 saves on 36 shots in the 5-1 win over the Senators.  Despite the defensive system Winnipeg employs, I would only use Rittich in the best of matchups.

Kyle Connor – Two goals and an assist with three shots.  The Kyle Connor that we are used to is back!  He has a point in ten straight games in 14 of his last 15.  His playmaking is at an all-time level to go back with his usual 40+ goal pace.

Dylan DeMelo – Two assists with three shots.  Nothing for fantasy.

Josh Morrissey – Goal and an assist.  Morrissey continues to be a revelation.  I keep waiting for the bottom to drop down a bit, but it hasn’t happened.  I still think he’s more of a #2 fantasy defenseman than one, but that’s still a big step from preseason expectation.

Pierre-Luc Dubois – Two assists with two shots.  Dubois and Connor have both exploded since being reunited, which isn’t a surprise given how well they did last season.

Axel Jonsson-Fjallby – Two assists.  Decent depth piece in real life, but zero fantasy impact.  Welcome to the Razzball Database!

Brandon Tanev – Goal and an assist with two shots.  He’s a decent streamer at the end of the week in H2H leagues if you need hits and blocks from a forward.  Otherwise, Tanev is a deep league guy.

Morgan Geekie – Two assists.  Geekie is stuck on the fourth line.  He’s performed well in that role, but that leaves him as a deep league option only.

Pheonix Copley – 24 saves on 25 shots in the 4-1 win over the Ducks.  Copley is clearly the #1 goalie in L.A. at the moment.  He has allowed two goals or less in five of his six starts, with the other looking great before the Sabres scored six in the third.  Now, he’s taken advantage of juicy matchups and then had a great game against Boston.  If you need goaltending help, I would definitely add him, even if it doesn’t last.

Adrian Kempe – Two assists with four shots.  I had Kempe in the elite streamer range, but now he’s back on the fringe with a slight lean towards hold since he’s back on the first line.  As a note, I will have an updated hold/stream list coming after XMas.

Tyler Toffoli – Two goals and an assist with four shots.  Calgary piled on goals late, but the new lines seem to be working.  Dillon Dube had a goal and an assist with four shots, while Elias Lindholm dished three assists with two shots.  Dube is a solid streamer again, with Toffoli on the fringe leaning towards hold because of the shot rate.

Jonathan Huberdeau – Three assists with two shots.  Huberdeau with Nazem Kadri seems to be working, as Kadri scored two goals.  For some reason, Milan Lucic was on their wing Tuesday and he scored a goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM.  Great troll job by Sutter.

Timo Meier – Goal and an assist with four shots.  The Sharks may be a mess, but Meier continues to pile up goals.  The plus-minus isn’t so bad either given the team’s struggles.  He’s got a great chance to reach 40 goals for the first time.

Three Point Challenge:  We will do Thursday’s Games for three point picks.  You can’t take McDavid, Draisaitl, Thompson, Kucherov, Robertson, Pastrnak, Kaprizov, Crosby, Karlsson, or Panarin.  I’ll go with Zuccarello against the Sharks.

That’s all for now guys.  I’ll be back on Wednesday recapping the action of the next two nights.  As always, feel free to ask any questions, leave any comments, or give any suggestions below.  Thanks for reading, take care!

Update: With only games on Friday and nothing after that until Tuesday, there’s not going to be a post tomorrow.  I plan to be back on Tuesday with an updated hold/stream list and then on Wednesday with daily notes on the Tuesday games.  I’ll still be checking the comments section so be sure to ask any questions.  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!