The Chicago Blackhawks are in last place in their division for the first time in what seems like an eternity. They are lacking in the scoring department in a big way. There’s one easily move that Joel Quenneville can make to help their cause: play Alex DeBrincat more. The 20 year old scored his second hat trick of the season on Thursday while adding an assist. He’s now tied for third on the team in points and second in goals. However, on a per-minute basis, he scores more goals than anyone on the team by a country mile and he’s incredibly close to Kane in points per minute. DeBrincat is averaging under 15 minutes per game on the season and to be blunt, that makes no sense to me. The Blackhawks aren’t completely dead in the water, especially if Corey Crawford eventually returns (it’s been reported that he could return to the ice “soon”). Either way though, getting DeBrincat more ice time helps the team now and helps his development. He’s playing at a 28 goal pace with bottom six ice time! DeBrincat is an elite streamer in 12’ers right now but if his minutes increase as they should, I would bet he becomes a hold down the stretch. Let’s take a look at what happened in the NHL over the last two nights:
Nick Schmaltz – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM Wednesday, blanks Thursday. He’s back to the point of streamer more than hold.
Drew Doughty – Two assists with three shots and four PIM. He’s been a machine this season and with the Kings battling for their playoff lives, don’t expect Doughty’s minutes to come down any time soon.
Darcy Kuemper – 30 saves on 31 shots in the 2-1 OT win over the Flames. He’s been strong this season and will start the Kings’ next game in Dallas Tuesday. I probably wouldn’t stream Kuemper there but I would in almost all matchups.
Pekka Rinne – 27 save shutout in the 3-0 win over the Devils. Knock on wood but we haven’t had one extended rough patch for Rinne this season.
Viktor Arvidsson – Goal and an assist. He hasn’t been as good as last season but Arvidsson isn’t that far off. One decent streak and he could be back at that pace.
P.K. Subban – Goal and an assist with two shots. Six category stud once again while Subban is well on his way to a career high in goals.
Mattias Ekholm – Goal and an assist with three shots. I’d still be looking to sell Ekholm with his offensive role diminishing.
Andrei Vasilevskiy – 36 saves on 37 shots in the 5-1 win over the Flyers. It’s almost expected that Vasilevskiy will have a great game every night at this point.
Vladislav Namestnikov – Two goals on four shots and two PIM. They reunited the top line for most of the season as Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov assisted on both goals. With this line back intact, it moves Names from bottom end hold to no-brainer hold.
Eric Staal – Goal and an assist. Nice for Staal to salvage his night late in the game as the Wild were down 6-0 early in the third.
Marcus Foligno – Two assists with two shots. Nothing to see here.
Evgeni Malkin – Two goals and an assist with five shots. Just stay healthy!
Sidney Crosby – Three assists with a shot. Nine straight games with a point from Crosby with 19 total points. Back to what we expected from Crosby.
Phil Kessel – Three assists with three shots. Kessel still isn’t getting the credit he deserves for the season he’s having. Kessel is playing at a first round level in fantasy.
Dominik Simon – Two goals on three shots with two PIM. As long as he’s with Crosby, he’s a viable streamer. If he drops off that line, hard pass.
Carl Hagelin – Goal and an assist with five shots and two PIM. Hagelin is a prime example of solid fantasy player with little fantasy value.
Anthony Duclair – Goal and two assists with three shots, +4 on Thursday. He hasn’t done much to this point but the upside is definitely there. Keep monitoring the situation.
Anton Forsberg – 23 saves on 24 shots in the 5-1 win over the Red Wings. I’m okay with using Forsberg in a good matchup but that’s about it.
Teuvo Teravainen – Two goals and an assist. It’s not great across the board but the points are still good enough that Teravainen needs to be held.
Noah Hanifin – Three assists with two shots, +5. He’s going to be so damn good. I can already tell I want Hanifin on all of my teams for next season. For now, he’s a bottom end hold.
Justin Williams – Goal and an assist with three shots. Williams is a solid streamer as he’s decent enough across the board but nothing special anywhere outside of some fluky PIM.
Victor Rask – Two assists with two shots. So disappointed that Rask didn’t go to another level this season.
Derek Ryan – Goal and an assist. Bottom end streamer at best.
Jeff Petry – Goal and two assists with four shots. He’s actually even in the plus-minus department over the last ten games. Petry also has 8 points in the last 8 so I’m good with holding him on the bottom of the roster.
Max Pacioretty – Goal and an assist. Patches is really heating up; we’ve seen him going on massive tears before so I’m not ruling it out again.
Charles Hudon – Two goals and an assist with six shots. There’s a bit of long term upside here given Hudon already has a strong shot rate but for now, there’s not much to see.
Patrice Bergeron – Two assists with four shots. 17 points in the last 10 games as Bergeron keeps rolling. Such a beast.
Dion Phaneuf – Two assists with a shot. Phaneuf is useless now for fantasy outside of the deepest of leagues for hits and blocks.
Alex Ovechkin – Goal and an assist with eight shots playing almost 25 minutes. With how much the Panthers play their top six, the top Caps got big minutes as well. Ovie is rolling right now as he pushes for another 50 goal season.
Evgeny Kuznetsov – Two assists with three shots. Very steady bounce back season from Kuz after last season’s dreadful start.
Denis Malgin – Two goals on two shots and two PIM. There’s a little upside here with Malgin recently turning 21 but the minutes aren’t there at the moment.
Carter Hutton – 36 saves on 37 shots in the 3-1 win over the Avalanche. It really looks like it’s Hutton’s job now. Definitely didn’t see that coming but as I’ve been preaching for weeks, Hutton needs to be owned everywhere.
Alex Steen – Goal and an assist. He’s heating up with 10 points in his past 9. I would lean towards streaming him instead of holding but it’s close.
Alex Pietrangelo – Two assists with four shots. He’s slowed down a bit after the slow start but Pietrangelo is still looking like a bottom end #1 fantasy defenseman.
Curtis McElhinney – 39 saves on 40 shots in the 4-1 win over the Stars. The save percentage is solid but I don’t have much faith in McElhinney going forward. That said, I would stream him in good matchups, which could happen a few times down the stretch in their division.
Jake Gardiner – Three assists with a shot on Thursday following an assist on Wednesday. With Morgan Rielly out, Gardiner is worth holding.
Nazem Kadri – Three goals on eight shots over two games. Kadri has been a dumpster fire for a month before these two games. I would stream him now but it’ll take a few more games for Kadri to get back to hold status.
William Nylander – Goal and two assists with four shots over four games. This season has been somewhat discouraging for Nylander, but he’s still only 21 years old. The shot rate will have to go up long term for Nylander to be a top 50 guy given that the penalty minute are non-existent.
Matthew Tkachuk – Two goals on Thursday. He’s becoming such a force on a regular basis. The second line is being used as a shutdown line yet Tkachuk is approaching a 60 point pace.
Mikael Backlund – Two assists with three shots and two PIM Thursday after getting a ten minute misconduct Wednesday. Backlund is extremely underrated in real life and has played his way into streamer status if you need some PIM on top of reasonable points.
Brandon Davidson – Two goals on three shots. He’s been scratched lately so I don’t see much here.
Ryan Strome – Two assists with three shots. I still can’t believe he was swapped for Eberle straight up. I was lower on Strome than most going into this year but boy has he sucked.
Alexander Wennberg – Goal and an assist. Wennberg is a guy that I wouldn’t own because of how bad the shot rate and PIM are. That said, I do think the points are going to improve plenty down the stretch.
Sergei Bobrovsky – 38 saves on 39 shots in the 2-1 win over the Coyotes. Bob should get back rolling sooner than later. I would not be surprised if he’s the best goalie for the rest of the season.
Robin Lehner – 30 save shutout in the 4-0 win over the Canucks. That’s back to back shutouts for Lehner as the Sabres steamrolled through Western Canada. Reid and I talked about Lehner extensively on Thursday’s podcast.
Sam Reinhart – Goal on two shots. He’s looking pretty, pretty good lately. I’d keep streaming him while he’s playing at this level
Jack Roslovic – Goal on two shots playing on the first line. The former first round pick has a fair amount of upside going forward, he’s just been overlooked because of everyone else that the Jets have. Roslovic is a great streamer if he stays on the top line.
Adam Henrique – Goal and an assist. Five game point streak for Henrique but he doesn’t excite me, even as a streamer.
John Gibson – 24 saves on 27 shots before leaving the game with 6 minutes left in a tie game due to injury. No update at this point but Ryan Miller came in and didn’t have to make a save in regulation or OT to get the win (he did save all 5 shootout attempts). If you own Gibson and want to cover yourself or just need goaltending help, grab Miller now just in case.
Jaroslav Halak – 38 saves on 39 shots in the 2-1 win over the Golden Knights. Despite this game, Halak has brutal numbers on the season. He hasn’t faced fewer than 33 shots in his past 10 starts making it nearly impossible for Halak to have much value. Pure “desperate for starts” option.
J.T. Miller – Goal and two assists. Miller is a fine streamer but the shot rate is so poor that it’s hard for me to consider holding him.
Ryan McDonagh – Two goals on four shots. He didn’t have a goal all season before tonight and then boom, two goals in 1:12 of game time. Craziness. With Shattenkirk out, McDonagh is seeing an increased role. No brainer hold.
Mats Zuccarello – Two assists with two shots. Four game assist streak for the Norwegian Hobbit. It’s assist heavy but the shots and PIM are still decent enough to hold him.
Kevin Hayes – Goal and an assist with four shots returning from a lower body injury. Hayes has made huge strides in his shot rate lately. It’s worth monitoring going forward but regardless, he’s a decent streamer.
Brady Skjei – Goal and an assist with two shots. We talked about Skjei for a bit on the podcast linked in the Lehner section. I’d own him with Shattenkirk out.
Kevin Labanc – Three assists with two shots. Right after I said on the podcast that I like Labanc as a streamer, he gets three points! Thanks for making me look good Mr. Labanc.
Brent Burns – Two assists with four shots. Burns has been on a warpath for almost two months straight now. The plus-minus is atrocious but everything else is so damn good.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Goal and an assist with two shots. Pickles is really picking it up with 9 points in his past 8 games. If you want to grab him while he’s hot, I’m fine with it. Just don’t expect too much.
Logan Couture – Two goals. Bills Mafia representative has been consistently good all season. A new career high in goals isn’t out of the question.
That’s all for now guys. With the NHL reaching the All-Star Break, I won’t have any daily notes until next Wednesday. Don’t worry though, I’ll have a post on Monday morning, and it’s a crucial one for those who play head to head leagues. My playoff schedule manifesto will be posted then so be on the lookout for that one. As for Tuesday morning, I think I’m going to update my hold and streamer list for everyone, although I’m open to suggestions. As always, feel free to ask any questions, leave any comments, or make any suggestions below. Thanks for reading, take care!