It wasn’t that long ago that people were talking about a Stanley Cup hangover for the Capitals. Now, the defending champs have won 10 out of 12 on the backs of their captain, Alex Ovechkin. Ovechkin recorded the 21st hat trick of his career on Tuesday extending his league lead in goals. He now has 25 goals and 14 assists in only 30 games this season to go along with 116 shots. That means he’s below four shots per game, a rarity for The Great Eight, but still an elite rate. Sure, his shooting percentage is going to drop a bit, but there’s no reason at all to expect a regression. I’ve seen a few articles on other sites that say you should sell high on Ovechkin, and I’d have to disagree. He gets drafted in the first round for his incredibly high floor, and nothing has changed to reduce that floor. Let the good times roll and enjoy what should be his eighth 50 goal season of his career. Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Casey DeSmith – 25 saves on 26 shots in the 2-1 SO win over the Islanders. He’s helped the Pens turn their season around and should be owned everywhere.
Robin Lehner – 23 saves on 24 shots as the tough luck loser. That’s two great starts in a row after struggling for a couple weeks. This is what we’ve come to expect from Lehner. Looking at his game log, the opponent isn’t even affecting his performance that much. I’d stream him in most matchups knowing that there’s downside.
Jimmy Howard – 42 saves on 43 shots in the 3-1 win over the Kings. Great matchup for Howard that he took advantage of. His numbers are outstanding, and while I don’t expect them to last, he should be held.
Kevin Hayes – Two goals on five shots playing over 20 minutes. I’ve said it a few times lately, but Hayes is right on the fringe and I lean towards hold right now. The minutes are just too good.
Steven Stamkos – Hat trick on six shots. Stamkos is hotter than a pistol right now as he pushes past a point per game.
Victor Hedman – Two assists with two shots and two PIM. Disappointing start to the season for Hedman, but I expect a bounce back. He’s too good and the team is too loaded to expect no change.
J.T. Miller – Two assists with a shot. Strong streamer but not holding at this point.
Brayden Point – Two assists with a shot. I did not see Point finding another level from last season, but he has blown past anyone’s expectations.
Anthony Cirelli – Two goals on five shots. I like Cirelli’s game and could see something here if his role were to increase. That makes him a nice target in deep dynasties, but there’s not enough here yet in redrafts to be anything but a low end streamer.
Andy Greene – Goal and an assist. Easy pass.
Joe Pavelski – Goal and an assist with two shots. Little Joe has dominated this season after a slow start getting up to 20 goals and 7 assists. I was worried early on, but he’s alleviated all doubt.
Tomas Hertl – Goal and an assist. He’s right on the fence between hold and stream because he doesn’t give anything outside of points, but I lean towards hold.
Timo Meier – Two goals on four shots. The PIM have dried up after a hot start, but Meier is over a point per game and three shots per. Pretty, pretty, pretty good.
David Krejci – Three assists with a shot. Krejci is centering the first line right now (Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak each had three points) so Krejci should be owned. It’ll be assist heavy, but Krejci will do enough to be held.
Jake Muzzin – Goal and an assist with three shots over two games. Drew Doughty left Tuesday’s game against the Sabres and did not return. If Doughty misses any time, and they have no reason to rush him back given how bad they are, Muzzin could be an interesting add.
Anze Kopitar – Goal and an assist with six shots over two games. I feel bad for Kopitar that he has to suffer on his dreadful roster. I’m holding him still but I am not excited about it.
Carter Hutton – Returned as the backup Tuesday night. He should start Thursday so no need to worry about his injury lingering.
Rasmus Ristolainen – Two assists with six shots playing over 31 minutes. Eight power plays certainly increased his playing time but Risto has been great lately with 9 points in his past 10. He’s doing enough to be a no-doubt hold.
Jack Eichel – Goal and an assist with ten shots. Eichel is playing at a truly elite level right now. Very few guys in the league playing better than him.
William Nylander – Two assists with a shot and six PIM. First points of the season for Nylander who should pick things up very quickly.
Frederik Andersen – 29 saves on 30 shots in the 4-1 win over the Hurricanes. Andersen has been facing a ton of shots lately which has made his GAA creep up. However, his save percentage is still over .925 making him among the best goalies in fantasy.
Josh Leivo – Goal and an assist with two PIM. Leivo is playing with Elias Pettersson (G+A) and Boeser right now making him an elite streamer. He put up points in the past when given the opportunity in Toronto. Therefore, I wouldn’t be surprised if Leivo puts together a nice stretch of games now.
Nicklas Backstrom – Four assists with two shots. Spectacular season from Backstrom who has kept his shot rate at a respectable level while crushing every other category.
John Carlson – Two assists. Carlson remains over a point per game and while the shot rate has dropped down from last season, he’s doing just fine.
Evgeny Kuznetsov – Two assists. Don’t expect the PIM to last, but Kuznetsov should stay over a point per game.
Gustav Nyquist – Goal and an assist with four shots. Nyquist is playing the best hockey of his career with 8+21 in 32 games. It would be smart of the Red Wings to sell high on Nyquist at the deadline, which could help or hurt his value depending on where he goes. I’d hold for now, but it’s tenuous.
Jonathan Huberdeau – Two assists with a shot. I sound like a broken record at this point, but Huberdeau is going to continue crushing as long as he’s on the first line.
David Perron – Two goals on four shots. His first season back in St. Louis has been a disappointment. He’s a fine streamer but that’s it.
Brayden Schenn – Goal and an assist with two shots. Like most of the Blues, Schenn has taken a big step back from last season. He’s still a hold but it’s not great.
Jaden Schwartz – Two assists with two shots. This was Schwartz’ first game back in a month. If he’s available in your league, grab him now and see how it goes.
Pekka Rinne – 25 saves on 26 shots in the 3-1 win over the Senators. Business as usual for Rinne who has distanced himself from the rest of the pack in the Vezina race.
Patrick Kane – Two assists with three shots and two PIM. The Blackhawks are arguably the worst team in the league but Kane is playing even better than last season.
Dustin Byfuglien – Three assists with four shots and two PIM. Big Buff doing Big Buff things!
Tyler Myers – Goal and an assist with two shots. Nothing to see here with how Myers has played this season.
Mark Scheifele – Goal and an assist with two shots. Nobody has an answer for Scheifele right now. Expect the first line to continue to crush.
Kyle Connor – Two goals on five shots. Connor getting his shot rate up to three per game is doing wonders for his fantasy value. Topping last season’s 31+26 is almost a formality at this point.
Devan Dubnyk – 29 saves on 30 shots in the 7-1 win over the Canadiens. Nice to see Dubnyk finally put a good game together. The Wild are going on a nice home stand which should hopefully let Dubnyk build off this game.
Zach Parise – Goal and two assists with three shots. Parise looked like he was done last season and now he’s bounced back in a big way. Clear hold.
Mikael Granlund – Three assists with a shot. Not the flashiest guy but here we are with Granlund sitting at a point per game in mid-December. He’s giving us virtually everything we expected.
Ryan Suter – Two assists. His shot rate has dropped which sucks, but Suter could put up a career high in points at this rate.
Nino Niederreiter – Goal and an assist with four shots. Nino has fallen down to a streamer after it looked like he would make a jump towards being a top 50 player two seasons ago.
Jared Spurgeon – Goal and an assist. He’s not great but Spurgeon looks like a bottom end hold.
Matt Dumba – Two goals on three shots. Dumba has taken the next step forward that we had hoped. He’s a #1D at this point.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Two goals and an assist with five shots. Playing on the second line hasn’t really hurt RNH’s value too much because of how well he’s doing on the power play. Still a clear hold.
Leon Draisaitl – Goal and two assists with two shots. Absolute killer with McJesus.
Kyle Brodziak – Goal and an assist. He played 20 minutes in this game which is ridiculous. He had 3 points in 28 games before this one so nothing to see here.
Darnell Nurse – Goal and an assist with six shots playing over 30 minutes. Nurse’s goal came on the first power play unit. If you want to make a spec add on the blue line, Nurse is your guy.
Gabriel Landeskog – Two goals and two assists with five shots. Same old story for the Avalanche: the top line went off. Mikko Rantanen had a goal and three assists with three shots, while Nathan MacKinnon dished two assists and added five shots and four PIM. They’ve clearly been the best line in hockey to this point, and I hope the Avs add some scoring to their middle six for a playoff run.
Pontus Aberg (3.3%) – Aberg is on the top line right now and first power play unit. He’s one of the hottest players in the league over the last two weeks so use him tonight.
Cody Eakin (3.5%) – Eakin is still centering the second line which is playing well right now for Vegas. On a small slate, he’s a strong option against the Islanders.
Sam Bennett (0.3%) – Bennett is up on the second line and the Flyers have been a mess defensively.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back on Friday recapping the action for 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!