In non-breaking news, Connor McDavid is really good at that hockey game that millions of people enjoy. In this space, we give credit where it’s due and McDavid did something on Saturday for the first time in his young NHL career. In the 5-2 win over Dallas, McDavid had his first career hat trick scoring three goals on four shots while adding two penalty minutes. That game gives the wunderkind 22 points (8+14) in 19 games so far this season tying him for the league lead. He’s a decent bet to end up leading the league in points and he’s still only 19 years old. The future for him is so bright that it’s blinding. Here’s what else happened around the league this weekend:
Penguins 3, Islanders 2 (OT) – Kris Letang won the game early in overtime for the Pens, who bounced back from their shellacking on Wednesday but not as much as I thought. Regardless, a win is a win. Letang scored a goal and an assist with five shots as his production sits right around as expected besides being -5. Sidney Crosby also had 1+1 maintaining his incredible goal per game pace. Phil Kessel and Chris Kunitz each had two assists in the win. Since Kunitz is still on the first power play unit, he’s must own everywhere. Matt Murray had an easy night making 20 saves for the win. Brock Nelson scored a goal on five shots as he remains one of the few productive Islanders.
Capitals 1, Red Wings 0 – A late winner by Jay Beagle broke the deadlock and it was enough for the Caps to win with Braden Holtby posting a 25 save shutout. Beagle played a whopping 20 minutes in this game but I’m still not a fan for even streaming in 12’ers. Jimmy Howard was the tough luck loser saving 27 of 28 shots.
Blue Jackets 4, Rangers 2 – The Blue Jackets can’t be contained right now. Matt Calvert took a shot to the face, received 36 stitches, then came back and scored the game winning goal short handed. Cam Atkinson continued his hot streak with an assist while Boone Jenner is starting to turn things around with a goal on three shots. William Karlsson had a goal and an assist with three shots but doesn’t have the sustained role right now to be 12’er worthy. Michael Grabner‘s surreal start won’t end as he scored another goal in this game. This reminds me quite a bit of Leo Komarov‘s absurd run last season except that Grabner is getting significantly less minutes than Komarov did. I’d still hold him for now but I would be willing to cut bait really quickly.
Hurricanes 3, Canadiens 2 – Montreal dominated the shot count 33-18 but it wasn’t enough as Cam Ward stole the game. He’s on quite a hot streak right now (more on that later) but I still don’t trust it for any real length of time. Victor Rask‘s excellent season saw him have another strong game with a goal and an assist. It’s looking fairly likely that Rask will be a top 100 player come season’s end despite the lack of penalty minutes and mediocre shots. His partner in crime, Jeff Skinner, also scored a goal. Teuvo Teravainen and fellow streamer Sebastian Aho each had one point. I’m still streaming them depending on what category I’m looking for. Jeff Petry and Andrei Markov each had two points. Markov remains a great source of assists while Petry has been fairly strong across the board and should be owned for the time being. Andrew Shaw scored a goal and lost his mind with 12 seconds left accumulating 14 PIM. That gives him 34 PIM on the season making him one of the top options for streaming penalty minutes.
Blackhawks 3, Flames 2 – Sam Bennett scored a goal and an assist with six shots. His minutes are up playing on the wing on the first line (19:08 in this one) so I think he’s a good gamble if he’s on your waiver wire. Sean Monahan also had 1+1 but I’m not buying in. I’d try to sell if possible. It was a balanced attack for Chicago with nobody getting multiple points. Marian Hossa scored a goal on two shots with two PIM as his remarkable bounceback season continues. Corey Crawford was strong in the win making 28 saves.
Lightning 3, Flyers 0 – Andrei Vasilevskiy recorded his second straight shutout making 32 saves in the win. Ben Bishop has also been playing much better so I don’t think the Lightning will deviate much from their 2/1 split. Jonathan Drouin found the back of the net getting a point in both games since he returned from injury. Ondrej Palat scored a goal and an assist adding two penalty minutes. We talked about him on last Tuesday’s podcast saying that Palat should still be owned everywhere. Tyler Johnson scored a goal on three shots with two penalty minutes giving him a point in three straight. I think he’s about to take off.
Kings 4, Devils 2 – Another game with balance in the scoring with nobody getting more than one point. With Anze Kopitar still out, the load is completely on Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli. Carter had a goal on six shots while Toffoli dished an assist adding four shots. It’s going to be really good for their owners in the short term. Tanner Pearson also had a goal and should be held in the short term since he’s playing with Carter and Toffoli.
Oilers 5, Stars 2 – Outside of McDavid, Cam Talbot made 31 saves in the win. It was his first good start in five games putting his numbers right in line with last season besides the increase in wins. Talbot should end up a middling #2 goalie. Drake Caggiula made his NHL debut recording an assist. He was excellent in college and should be a nice long term play but for now, it’s a bottom end streamer at best. Jesse Puljujarvi tallied two assists but like Drake, it’s a long term thing. Anton Slepyshev also totaled two assists but there’s nothing here for fantasy. Kari Lehtonen was horrible allowing 4 goals on 13 shots while Jamie Benn and Patrick Eaves scored the goals for the Stars. You own Eaves by now, right? I certainly hope so.
Bruins 4, Jets 1 – This game was arguably the biggest blowout of the year, even more than when Columbus scored 10 goals. The Jets ended up with only 12 shots in the game scoring their lone goal with 2 minutes left. Tuukka Rask had to make 11 saves to get the win which is remarkable. Patrice Bergeron scored a goal on six shots; fingers crossed this starts the turn around. Torey Krug had an assist, two shots and two PIM as he starts to string some points together. Zdeno Chara dished two assists and added two PIM. He’s +12 on the season so combined with his 19 PIM, he’s worth owning. For the Jets, forget this game even happened. Patrik Laine recorded an assist with two shots but the others contributed nothing. And no, there’s nothing to worry about.
Sabres 2, Penguins 1 (SO) – The Sabres offense has been abysmal lately with all of their injured but one goal turned out to be enough. Anders Nilsson made a whopping 46 saves in the win stealing the game. He’s only made 5 starts but his numbers now sit at 1.74 GAA and .951 sv%. Robin Lehner has been very good in his own right but I wouldn’t be surprised if Ders gets an extra start here or there in the short term. William Carrier scored the first goal of his career and is someone I’m a fan of for deep dynasties. Sidney Crosby scored the Penguins goal which comes as quite a shock. Kidding. Nothing like leading the league in goals despite missing the first 6 games. Marc-Andre Fleury was a tough luck loser in this one making 32 saves.
Canadiens 2, Maple Leafs 1 – William Nylander and Auston Matthews each had a point and two shots which is encouraging given their droughts. Frederik Andersen made 27 saves inching his save percentage towards league average despite the dreadful start. Paul Byron scored another goal; his 7 goals are tied for his second best season total and it’s November! I’m still only streaming him though. Alex Galchenyuk scored the other goal to break his goal drought. Shea Weber and Alex Radulov each dished two assists. Radulov is on a massive heater with an assist in 6 straight and 11 points in his last 9 games. That puts him easily in the top 50 overall at the moment. I’d still try to sell Weber high; a lot of his value is from being +16 and he’s not going to finish +60. I’m hesitant to buy into his start. Carey Price was his usual excellent self with making 31 saves in the win.
Panthers 4, Senators 1 – The big boys really showed up for Florida in this one. Roberto Luongo made 39 saves making his GAA and Sv% better than last season. It doesn’t feel like he’s been great but he has been. Jaromir Jagr totaled a goal, two assists, four shots and two penalty minutes. The drop in goals for Jagr can be explained by shooting 19% last season and 5% this year. The 35ish assists is certainly realistic but there’s virtually no chance he gets to 20 goals, let alone 27 again. Aleksander Barkov dished two assists but left the game early after a big hit. Thankfully he was okay and played Sunday. Jussi Jokinen and Jonathan Marchessault each scored a goal while Vincent Trocheck and Keith Yandle each tallied an assist. Kyle Turris had an assist for Ottawa to continue his solid season.
Coyotes 3, Sharks 2 (OT) – Mike Smith stole the show with 43 saves in the win. We know the deal with Smith at this point and that’s the roller coaster ride. Martin Hanzal scored a goal and an assist with three shots; he’s widely available but I’d own him virtually everywhere. Max Domi found the back of the net once in five shots. It was nice to see him score but at least the assists have been excellent in the early going. Joe Pavelski was the main bright spot for the Sharks scoring a goal on seven shots.
Blues 3, Predators 1 – Jake Allen had his third straight strong start making 30 saves on 31 shots. He looked great again but sadly that buy low opportunity may be out of the window now. Robby Fabbri and Jaden Schwartz extended their hot streaks with a point each. David Perron scored a goal on six shots with two penalty minutes playing over 20 minutes. I think he should be held right now. Vladimir Tarasenko had a goal on three shots and while the penalty minutes have disappeared (a big 0 so far), I don’t think his owners are complaining about a point per game and almost 4 shots per. P.K. Subban had an assist with two shots so here’s to hoping this keeps up.
Avalanche 3, Wild 2 – This looked like a typical Avs game before they exploded for 3 goals in the early third period erasing a 2-0 deficit. Nathan MacKinnon was outstanding again scoring a goal and an assist with five shots. I’m all aboard the MacKinnon bandwagon; I think we are finally going to get the consistency we’ve yearned for. Mikko Rantanen also had 1+1 and is a solid streamer at the moment. Tyson Barrie dished an assist with three shots and while he’s gone through a rough stretch lately, I still like him plenty as a top end #3. Jarome Iginla and Carl Soderberg each had a point but they’re streamers right now. Calvin Pickard was a monster making 41 saves in the win. I still think he deserves to get far more starts than he’s been getting. Charlie Coyle scored a goal on three shots to snap his mini drought.
Blackhawks 4, Canucks 3 (OT) – The Canucks were up 3-0 going into the period but it was no surprise that they blew this game. Vinnie Hinostroza scored a goal and two assists with three shots stealing the spotlight. His minutes aren’t high enough for him to even be streamed right now but it’s worth seeing if things change in the short term. Duncan Keith dished another assist tying him for the league lead while Patrick Kane also had an assist but with seven shots. Marian Hossa had the game winner giving him 11 goals on the season. It’s remarkable what he’s doing after he looked completely shot last season. I want to say sell high but odds are you won’t get enough for him and you can just enjoy the ride. Loui Eriksson scored for Vancouver but he’s very fringe at the moment.
Blue Jackets 3, Capitals 2 – This is unbelievable. Columbus scored 14 seconds into the third and in the last minute of regulation to steal this game. How they’re 10-4-2 is beyond me. Alexander Wennberg and Nick Foligno continued their incredible starts with a goal and an assist with two shots each. Neither one of them is shooting the puck with regularity but that hasn’t stopped them one bit. I’m still bullish on Foligno and still believe in Wennberg. Zach Werenski and Brandon Saad each had an assist as well. Nicklas Backstrom stuffed the stat sheet with a goal, assist, three shots and four PIM. The increase in shots is really what’s boosting him up. Alex Ovechkin did his thing scoring a goal on five shots.
Hurricanes 3, Jets 1 – I spoiled it earlier but Cam Ward was solid again making 27 saves in the win. The Canes are on a four game winning streak showing what they can do with consistent goaltending but they won’t be getting that from Ward any time soon. Elias Lindholm scored a goal on three shots cementing himself in the streamer category. Mark Scheifele scored a goal on five shots with two PIM while Nikolaj Ehlers assisted the goal.
Panthers 3, Rangers 2 (SO) – Strong performance from James Reimer making 33 saves giving the Panthers 4 wins in their last 5 games. Aaron Ekblad scored a goal on his only shot. The 25 goal pace is excellent along with massive PIM and strong shots but he still has zero assists. Zero. Zilch. Nil. 0. All of the emptiness. I don’t own him anywhere but the thought of it makes me sad. Keith Yandle scored his first of the year with four shots; the slow start is far behind him at this point. Vincent Trocheck dished two assists giving him 5 assists in the last 5 games. It’s been very solid across the board for Trocheck. Bad news out of New York with Mika Zibanejad out 6-8 weeks with a broken fibula. He scored a goal on four shots before going down but this is a tough blow for the Rangers and fantasy owners; Zibanejad was playing terrific hockey. I’m interested to see who slides into his place, especially on the power play. My first guess is that it will be Kevin Hayes for both giving him a nice boost.
Flames 3, Red Wings 2 – Dougie Hamilton was the first star of the night assisting on all three goals. He had been in a long drought but with his 20 PIM and 51 shots through 20 games, he needs to be held with his 9 points. Chad Johnson was good enough stopping 21 of 23 Detroit shots. This was his fourth straight start but expect Brian Elliott to start tonight against the struggling Sabres. Perhaps this will be the game that turns things around for Elliott but if it doesn’t, expect Ochocinco to keep earning the majority of starts. For Detroit, one of my favorites Anthony Mantha scored a goal on four shots. He played over 15 minutes in this one putting him firmly in the streaming spotlight.
Kings 3, Ducks 2 – Peter Budaj was strong once again with 28 saves on 30 shots. His goals against average and wins are among the league’s best right now and should remain that way until Jonathan Quick comes back in a couple months. Jeff Carter was a monster in this game totaling two goals, an assist, eight shots and two penalty minutes. He’s hotter than a pistol right now and as I said in Saturday’s recap, I expect him to play close to a top 50 pace in the short term. Drew Doughty had a similar night to Carter with a goal, assist, four shots and two PIM. I’m still not a big dan of Doughty this year; it’ll be solid but unspectacular. Hampus Lindholm finally got on the scoreboard with two assists and a shot. Expect him to pick things up shortly, at least to the point where he’s a clear hold in 12’ers. Rickard Rakell scored a goal on four shots maintaining his point per game pace.
Monday Streamers – With Thanksgiving this week, there are a ton of games on Monday and Wednesday. Extra hockey! There are seven games to choose from tonight giving us plenty of choices. Here’s my favorite three players for streaming purposes:
Nino Niederreiter (14.9%) – Nino has stuck on the first line and a game against Dallas, especially on the road, should give him ample opportunity to get on the score sheet.
Sam Gagner (7.0%) – He’s on fire right now with a point in five straight games. With 7+3 in 14 games, Gagner has to be on the streaming radar. While this success is unsustainable, he’s getting first unit PP time and heavy offensive zone starts right now and a home game with Colorado is an excellent matchup.
Viktor Arvidsson (8.2%) – Call me crazy but I like the Preds at home tonight against the Lightning. Arvidsson is playing well lately (4.19 PR15) on the first line with a red hot James Neal. There aren’t a lot of great spots tonight so I’ll take this one.
That’s all for now guys. I’m not sure how many things will be up on the website for Tuesday but there will definitely be daily notes summarizing the seven games from tonight. A possible podcast, RCL review or something else could be in the cards. As always, feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments below. Take care!