Brad Marchand is really good at his job. He looks like a troll, plays like a troll by starting things while teetering on the edge of dirty and now, he’s trolling us all with his offensive prowess. In the 7-3 win over Dallas on Saturday, Marchand scored two goals and an assist with six shots on goal. He’s already set a career high in goals with 30, putting him tied for 4th in the NHL. There’s one reason why Marchand has exploded offensively and that’s his shot rate. After years of being around 2 per game with last year being his highest at 2.5, Marchand has taken 177 shots in 54 games putting him well over 3 per game. Add in his +18 rating and 72 PIM and you have the #4 skater on the player rater. Pretty remarkable. Here’s what else I saw around the league this weekend:
Islanders 1, Devils 0 – Cazey Cizikas scored a goal 2 minutes in on a lucky carom and that was all Jaroslav Halak needed to get the victory. Halak stopped all 27 shots outdueling Cory Schneider, who stopped 23 of 24 Islanders shots. Halak’s numbers are decent outside of wins and he’s entrenched in a timeshare with Thomas Greiss. Both should be owned in 12’ers at this point.
Hurricanes 5, Sharks 2 – Carolina got the Sharks on a back to back after playing through a shootout the night before and took full advantage. Jeff Skinner led the way with two goals on four shots putting him up to 21 goals on the season. He has an outside shot of hitting 30 goals again and as crazy as it sounds, Skinner is still 23 years old. Skinner is still quite valuable in dynasties for the goals and shots. Jordan Staal had a goal and an assist with two PIM putting him in the midst of a hot streak. The shots and PIM are poor so I’m still leaving him to stream. All of the young defensemen for Carolina recorded an assist as Noah Hanifin, Brett Pesce and Jacoob Slavin got on the scoresheet. In dynasties, they’re all worth consideration but with Justin Faulk returning soon, I’d leave them on the waiver wire in redrafts outside of the deepest of leagues. Brent Burns did Brent Burns things with a goal on five shots plus three hits and three blocks for those who care about those things. Tomas Hertl kept up his solid play on the first line with a goal on four shots and two PIM. He’s another guy who tends to be overlooked after struggling the past couple years but he’s still 22 years old and looks great on the first line.
Sabres 4, Blue Jackets 0 – Robin Lehner continued his excellent play with a 38 save shutout in the victory. He’s already owned in most places but he should be owned everywhere. Jamie McGinn scored two goals and is a name to watch at the trade deadline. He’s a solid streamer in 12’ers now but could be a nice pickup if he ended up in the right place. Jack Eichel had two assists and two shots as he takes the league by storm. Evander Kane had an assist with six shots and two PIM after his one game suspension. Sam Reinhart scored a goal on two shots putting him at 18 on the season; not bad for a 19 year old. David Legwand also scored a shorthanded goal from his own end in a moment Joonas Korpisalo would like to forget.
Canadiens 3, Flyers 2 (SO) – The story here for Philly was Shayne Gostisbehere extending his point streak to 14 games with an assist and three shots. Kid is unreal. P.K. Subban hopefully put an end to this nonsensical trade talk with two assists and three shots playing 31 minutes. Dale Weise scored a goal and an assist with three shots; he has some decent value in deep leagues, especially those that count hits. Max Pacioretty scored a goal on five shots and has the chance for a strong second half, even by his standards. His shooting percentage is much lower than usual.
Flames 5, Canucks 2 – Vancouver is a mess right now and is a strong contender to bomb out the rest of the season. Daniel Sedin had an assist with a shot and is one of the only guys I like on their team for the rest of the season in redrafts. I like a lot of their guys long term but for now, it’s a disaster. Jannik Hansen had an assist and remains firmly on the streaming radar. T.J. Brodie led the way for Calgary with three assists and should be owned everywhere right now with Kris Russell and Dennis Wideman out of the lineup. The secondary players did well for Calgary with Michael Frolik, Mikael Backlund and Joe Colborne all getting a goal and an assist. They’re all streamers at best in standard 12’ers.
Lightning 4, Penguins 2 – Ben Bishop was outstanding in this game stopping 37 of 39 shots in the win. While he’s fallen off a bit lately, he’s still firmly in the top 10 for goaltenders. Matt Carle and Jonathan Marchessault each had two points; Carle is of little use now and Marchessault needs a role increase. Steven Stamkos and Tyler Johnson each scored a goal on two shots; Stamkos is starting to heat up while I’m betting on Johnson having a big ROS. Kris Letang had an assist with seven shots and six PIM playing over 30 minutes doing what he does. Scott Wilson scored for the second straight game and could be worth considering in super deep leagues (more on that later).
Flyers 5, Maple Leafs 4 (OT) – Shayne Gostisbehere was in danger of losing his point streak so naturally he scored the overtime winner to bring the streak to 15 games. It’s just amazing at this point. Brayden Schenn had a goal and an assist and is somebody I’d hold right now. Claude Giroux was out injured putting Schenn as the center on the first line. Schenn was already on the first line on the wing so clearly the Flyers are giving him prime opportunity right now. Jakub Voracek had a goal and an assist with three shots continuing his surge while Wayne Simmonds keeps crushing with two assists, six shots and two PIM. The depth guys also chipped in for Philly as Scott Laughton and Michael Raffl each had two assists. For Toronto, they have very little of fantasy relevant but their main guy, Nazem Kadri, had two assists with three shots. If you can stomach the plus-minus, the shots are outstanding while some extra PIM.
Senators 3, Red Wings 2 (SO) – Brad Richards scored a goal on six shots; he’s still on the streaming radar. Petr Mrazek had a solid start stopping 25 of 27 shots. I think he’s the real deal so I wouldn’t be selling him. Craig Anderson stopped 29 of 31 shots in the win as you still don’t know what you’re going to get from him on a nightly basis. Dion Phaneuf scored his first Ottawa goal on four shots and he’s right on the fringe of 12’ers. It’s completely dependent on what categories you need from your last guy.
Panthers 3, Jets 1 – Andrew Ladd scored the lone Jets goal from Dustin Byfuglien. Most people expected the Jets to lock up Ladd and lose Big Buff but with Big Buff locked up, Ladd could be the biggest name moved at the deadline. He’s probably a hold right now in 12’ers, it’s very close, but Ladd’s value could get a big boost if he goes to the right place. Roberto Luongo stopped 29 of 30 shots in the win maintaining his excellent play on the season. Jaromir Jagr scored twice on three shots passing Brett Hull for 3rd all-time in goals. Legend. Jussi Jokinen had two assists with a shot playing 22 minutes and is a clear hold right now.
Capitals 4, Devils 3 – The second line was huge for the Devils on Saturday providing all of their goals. Kyle Palmieri‘s incredible season keeps going with a goal and an assist, Travis Zajac scored a goal and an assist and Reid Boucher had a goal and two assists with two shots. I still wouldn’t hold Zajac in 12’ers because of the lack of shots. Boucher is getting interesting for deep leagues if he can stick in the top 6. Alex Ovechkin is hotter than a pistol right now and Saturday didn’t change a thing with a goal and an assist with a modest six shots on goal. Evgeny Kuznetsov also had a goal and an assist with four shots. Kuznetsov is really coming into his own right now; he’s currently the #6 forward on the player rater. Dmitry Orlov has two assists with two shots and was +4; if his role increases, he will be of value. T.J. Oshie scored a goal on three shots and I still like him for a strong second half.
Kings 2, Predators 1 (OT) – Jonathan Quick stopped 33 of 34 shots in the win in another strong start. He’s right on the edge of the top 5 goalies right now. Tanner Pearson scored the overtime winner on his third shot; if his minutes go up, he’ll be of value. Right now, I’m leaving him on the wire to occasionally stream. Ryan Ellis scored the Predators goal and is firmly a hold right now. James Neal had an assist with two shots as he continues to have an excellent season across the board.
Bruins 7, Stars 3 – On top of Marchand’s three point game, 7 different Bruins had two points. Most of them are the fantasy relevant guys; Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron each had two assists while David Krejci, Matt Beleskey and Brett Connolly each had a goal and an assist. The first three are obvious holds. Beleskey is fringe in 12’ers if you want someone who gives you a PIM boost and +/- while Connolly is a streamer at best. Antoine Roussel had a goal and an assist with five PIM. The PIM aren’t as good as in the past but he’s still someone you can turn to when you’re desperate for penalty minutes and don’t want a total blank offensively. Jason Demers had two assists with two PIM and a shot. He’s a PIM and plus-minus boost while being solid in hits and blocks for those who count those categories.
Blues 6, Coyotes 4 – Brian Elliott had his first bad game since taking over, allowing 4 goals on 22 shots, but still got the win. That’s running good! Jake Allen has been activated off IR so expect this to be a timeshare going forward. Alex Steen, David Backes and Vladimir Tarasenko each had a goal and an assist. The bad news is the thing that I’ve been begging for all season couldn’t happen. All of my “Just stay healthy!” lines didn’t help Steen who is out at least 4 weeks with an upper body injury. Ugh, just brutal. Colton Parayko had two assists with five shots continuing to play great with Alex Pietrangelo out. Jaden Schwartz scored a goal on three shots playing almost 19 minutes solidifying my thoughts on him; he’s going to be really good for the rest of the season. Oliver Ekman-Larsson played 34 seconds before leaving the game injured but thankfully it sounds minor. In his absence, Kevin Connauton and Michael Stone were both excellent. Connauton had a goal and two assists with six shots playing over 31 minutes while Stone had two assists with a shot. Stone should probably be owned in 12’ers at this point; the minutes are up, he has points in 3 straight and the PIM and shots are solid. I’m a big fan of Connauton’s game so hopefully this game lets him get more opportunity going forward. I still wouldn’t own him right now outside of the deepest of leagues. Max Domi scored two goals on three shots; he’s heating up big time.
Avalanche 3, Oilers 2 – Tyson Barrie was the man for Colorado Saturday night scoring two goals on seven shots and adding an assist. He’s up to 40 points on the season making him a great bet to get over 50 points again. Gabriel Landeskog, Matt Duchene and Jarome Iginla all had an assist in the game. The first two are obvious but I’m holding Iginla right now as he’s playing very well lately since being bumped to the first line. Benoit Pouliot scored a goal on four shots making my bold call look better and better. Naturally the goal was assisted by Connor McDavid putting him at 27 points in 24 games. Kid is ridiculous. Taylor Hall also got in on the action scoring a goal on two shots with two PIM; naturally his goal was assisted by Leon Draisaitl.
Penguins 4, Sabres 3 – Kris Letang led the way again for the Penguins with three assists and five shots. He’s a top 10 defenseman on the season now despite missing double digit games. Ranking him #3 in preseason looks pretty good now. Remember when ESPN had him outside of the top 100? All of the lulz. Matt Cullen scored a goal on four shots and while he’s playing more minutes with Evgeni Malkin out, he can be streamed. Phil Kessel kept his hot streak going with a goal on four shots whiel Patric Hornqvist also scored a goal on three shots with two PIM. I like both of these guys plenty rest of the season. Scott Wilson scored for the third consecutive game and he was amazingly getting playing time at 4 on 4 with Sidney Crosby (assist with a shot). The minutes aren’t there right now but in super deep leagues he could be worth a look in the short term. The worst news for the Sabres was that Ryan O’Reilly is out 3-4 weeks with a lower body injury. He’s been amazing in his first year in Buffalo and with little incentive down the stretch, expect the Sabres to be careful with him. Zach Bogosian had a monster game with two goals and an assist, all from booming slapshots from the point. He doesn’t have monster offensive potential but I expected more from him with the cannon he possesses. In deep leagues, there’s value in the big minutes, especially with the hits and blocks. Brian Gionta had a goal and an assist but is still horrible. Rasmus Ristolainen had slowed down recently but recorded an assist in the second straight game with three shots. He’s got an outside shot at 50 points which is quite the leap from 20 last year.
Wild 6, Blackhawks 1 – It was a massive beatdown in the outdoor game in Minnesota with the Wild crushing Chicago. Devan Dubnyk was very good in this game stopping 31 of 32 shots. The Wild are heating up lately under their new coach; I’m looking for a strong second half from these guys, including Dubnyk. Jason Pominville and Erik Haula each had a goal and two assists. I mentioned it on Friday but it’s firm now; I’m grabbing Pominville again and holding him in 12’ers. Haula has been outstanding the last few weeks but I’m only streaming him in 12’ers. Nino Niederreiter had a goal and an assist with two shots also firming up his streaming status. Thomas Vanek and Matt Dumba each scored a goal both solidifying my stance on both as holds. In a shocking display of events, Patrick Kane scored the Blackhawks goal #notshocked
Rangers 1, Red Wings 0 (OT) – It was a goaltending battle in the Big Apple with Kevin Klein breaking the deadlock with 2 minutes left in overtime. Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 22 shots he faced bouncing back from his dud against the Blackhawks. He’s a master of consistency year in and year out showing why he’s the King. Jimmy Howard was magnificent in this game stopping 29 shots until the Klein winner. He’s been awful this year and clearly surpassed by Petr Mrazek but it was good to see him play well. More games like this will give Howard a chance to build up some trade value and secure a starting role elsewhere next year.
Lightning 4, Hurricanes 2 – Ben Bishop was very strong once again stopping 29 of 31 shots in the win. Ryan Callahan scored twice giving him multiple points for the second time in three games. Cally’s time as a ownable player in 12’ers is over; he only contributes hits at this point. Steven Stamkos scored for the third straight game and added an assist. Tyler Johnson had an assist with four shots as he starts to play better. Jordan Staal and Jeff Skinner each had an assist for Carolina.
Ducks 5, Flames 2 – Mark Giordano scored for the second time this weekend and stuffed the stat sheer on Sunday, taking three shots and adding 4 PIM, 3 hits and 2 blocks. He’s been outstanding for the last two months. Johnny Gaudreau had an assist for the fourth straight game doing what Johnny Hockey does. For the Ducks, Ryan Kesler led the way with two goals and an assist with two PIM. He’s fallen off mightily from his prime days in Vancouver but he should be owned everywhere right now since he’s hotter than hell. Hampus Lindholm had two assists with a shot as he starts to show his offensive potential. Ryan Getzlaf scored again as his shooting percentage starts to fix itself.
Canucks 5, Avalanche 1 – Ryan Miller recorded another Ryan Miller shutout on Sunday night. For those who aren’t aware, a Ryan Miller shutout is when a goaltender loses his shutout in the last few minutes of a game. Miller stopped 37 of 38 shots losing the shutout to Matt Duchene with 42 seconds left. I’m not a fan of Miller going forward as I expect the Canucks to tank down the stretch. The first line was outstanding for the Canucks in this one. Jannik Hansen scored two goals on three shots getting him up to 19 goals on the year. Just play him on the power play already Vancouver! Hansen would be outstanding if he received that opportunity. The Cyborgs did their thing on Sunday night with Henrik Sedin tallying four assists with a shot while Daniel Sedin had three assists and three shots with two PIM.
Monday Streamers: There are four games on the slate tonight so there will be plenty of streaming per usual on Monday. Here are my top three options:
Anthony Duclair (16.5%) – While the matchup is tough, it’s slim pickings tonight and Duclair is hot right now with 7 points in his last 6 games.
David Pastrnak (10.2%) – Going back to the well here; Boston should have their way offensively against Columbus and Pastrnak is still in the top 6.
Calle Jarnkrok (0.4%) – The minutes are big right now playing on the first line with Ryan Johansen and James Neal. They get a great matchup tonight against a Montreal team giving up a ton of goals.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back on Tuesday with a quick recap of the four games taking place tonight. As always, feel free to ask any questions and post any comments below. Take care everyone!