Fifty-six goals.  That’s how many Auston Matthews has on the season after another two goal performance on Thursday.  Not only does he have the most goals in a season in Maple Leafs history, he now holds the record for most goals in a season by an US-born player.  Matthews has 49 goals on 49 games, a run that hasn’t happened in this millennium.  He’s locking up the Hart Trophy with this run, and the fantasy question is where he goes in drafts next season.  I still couldn’t bring myself to take Matthews over McDavid because the floor for McDavid is the highest we’ve seen in the fantasy hockey era, but I think Matthews has played himself into tier one being worthy of the second pick overall.  Can’t wait to see how Toronto performs in the playoffs this year.  Let’s take a look at what happened over the last two nights:

Wednesday’s Games:

John Carlson – Two goals and two assists with three shots.  Carlson has been his usual self as a bottom end #1.  Two seasons ago looks like an outlier, but that was him being the #1 overall defenseman.

Alex Ovechkin – Goal and an assist with four shots.  Ovechkin became the fourth person ever to score 1,400 points with one team.  I won’t give away the answer if you want to guess it in the comments section below.  Crosby will be the fifth by the end of the season.

Evgeny Kuznetsov – Two assists with three shots and two PIM.  Kuznetsov has managed to stay above a point per game throughout the season.  Great bounceback.

Thomas Greiss – 32 saves on 33 shots in the 3-1 win over the Jets.  Greiss’ numbers are rough, mostly because of the team in front of him, but also his play has fallen off.  He’s a desperation play.

Sam Gagner – Two goals on three shots.  Gagner now has over 500 points and will reach 1,000 games next season.  He’s managed to carve out a nice career after having some bad injuries and his game falling off.

Dylan Larkin – Two assists with five shots.  Larkin has been fantastic across the board.  As the team around him continues to improve, Larkin’s success should sustain itself.

Ville Husso – 28 saves on 29 shots in the 4-1 win over the Kraken.  I can not wait to see what happens with Husso in the offseason.  Incredibly intriguing free agency case.

Brayden Schenn – Two assists with a shot.  Six game point streak has Schenn firmly on the fringe.  The St. Louis schedule is great for streaming so at the least, Schenn is a great target.

Michael Stone – Goal and an assist with two shots.  Stone is a great deep league guy when he’s in the lineup because he hits all of the categories.

Johnny Gaudreau – Two assists with four shots.  Back up the Brinks truck!

Andrew Mangiapane – Two assists with three shots.  Mangiapane has cooled off quite a bit and the minutes are way down.  I would not be holding anymore.

Thatcher Demko – 33 saves on 34 shots in the 5-1 win over the Golden Knights.  Demko has been outstanding since Boudreau took over.  Whether Bruce stays as the coach or not will have a fairly big impact on Demko’s fantasy value for next season.

Elias Pettersson – Two goals and two assists with three shots.  Pettersson is flourishing to end the season.  He could still get to 30 goals which seemed like an impossibility six weeks ago.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Two assists with two shots.  He’s worth holding if Hughes is out of the lineup and belongs on waivers if Hughes is playing.  It’s that simple.

J.T. Miller – Two assists with two shots and two PIM.  Absolutely bonkers season from Miller.  He’ll be one of the bigger names in the offseason discussed in trades since he’ll be one year away from free agency.

Thursday’s Games

Tage Thompson – Goal and an assist.  Alex Tuch also had a goal and an assist, while Jeff Skinner had excellent assists on both goals.  This line gives so much hope to the Sabres going forward.  They all have to be held.

Jordan Staal – Two goals.  Still no.

Sebastian Aho – Two goals on three shots.  Aho has been his usual self, slightly above a point per game hitting all of the categories well.

Andrei Svechnikov -Two assists with two shots.  That’s a new career high in points for Svechnikov.  Despite cooling off a bit down the stretch, he’s been fantastic on the season.  And he just turned 22!

Seth Jarvis – Two assists.  Very solid rookie campaign from Jarvis.  I don’t see a huge breakout next season, mostly because Rod the Bod keeps the minutes down for almost everybody, but I do like Jarvis’ long term upside.

Chris Wideman – Goal and two assists.  The moral of the story in the Montreal – New Jersey game is New Jersey is a complete dumpster fire defensively. Wideman has been a solid contributor down the stretch.  He should be held in deep leagues right now.

Christian Dvorak – Goal and two assists with two shots.  Just a completely lost season for Dvorak.  Hopefully he can stay healthy next year and contribute.

Kale Clague – Goal and two assists with two PIM.  That’s more points than Clague had in his first 23 Montreal games.  When I see his name, all I can think of is Clegg from Eastbound and Down.  RIP Ben Best.

Nick Suzuki – Goal and an assist, as did Cole Caufield.  The end to this season has me legitimately excited about these two for next season.

Tomas Tatar – Goal and an assist.  I was hoping for Tatar to play at the level he was at with Montreal, but it did not happen.  Bad fit in New Jersey.

Jesper Bratt – Goal and an assist with two shots.  Bratt’s breakout is one of the best stories of the season.  He now has more points this season than his previous two best seasons combined!

Nico Hischier – Two assists with a shot.  Offensively, Hischier to start to look the best he has in his young career.  Hopefully his wingers next season improve and he takes the next step.  Paging Alexander Holtz!

Igor Shesterkin – 30 save shutout in the 3-0 win over the Penguins.  After a bit of a rough stretch, great to see Igor get back on track.

Mika Zibanejad – Two assists with a shot.  The shot rate took a huge drop this season which is a bit concerning going forward.  Even with that, Zibanejad is over a point per game so it’s hard to complain.

Roman Josi – Three assists with a shot.  Josi now has the franchise record for points in a season.  100 points still isn’t out of the question!

Matt Duchene – Goal and an assist with three shots.  Duchene has managed to stay hot for the entire season.  He’s playing at a 46+46 pace over 82 games.  Props to him for righting the ship.

Martin Jones – 26 saves on 27 shots in the 4-1 win over the Blue Jackets.  For the team being a dumpster fire in front of him, Jones has actually been better than I expected.  Granted, the bar was super low after not having above a .900 sv% in three seasons, but being above that in Philly this year is an accomplishment.

Travis Sanheim – Two assists with a shot.  Sanheim’s offense never developed to the point where he’s a hold in 12’ers.  He could be an offseason trade target for other teams now that Philly committed to Ristolainen (ha!).

Philipp Grubauer – 29 save shutout in the 2-0 win over the Blackhawks.  It figures now that Seattle is playing out the season that they start to get some quality goaltending.  Grubauer is right up there for biggest disappointment of the season for me.  I really don’t know what to expect from Seattle in the offseason, and Grubauer could obviously bounce back regardless because goalies are voodoo.

Jordan Eberle – Goal and an assist with four shots.  He started off the season well, but even with a bigger role, Eberle probably won’t get to 50 points.  Middling streamer who can be used in the great spots to stream Kraken players outlined in the Playoff Manifesto.

William Nylander – Goal and an assist with three shots.  Nylander is on pace to set career highs across the board.  He’ll be a nice, safe pick somewhere in the 50-75 range next season.

Joe Pavelski – Goal and an assist with two shots.  Jason Robertson dished two assists.  They haven’t been lighting the world on fire down the stretch, but expect the top line to get all of the work they can handle as Dallas pushes for a playoff spot.  Hopefully they destroy New Jersey Saturday afternoon.

Jaroslav Halak – 27 saves on 28 shots in the 5-1 win over Arizona.  This says more about Arizona than Halak.  I’d stream anyone against Arizona right now.  I’d expect Halak to play two more games the rest of the season, only one if Vancouver somehow manages to still be in playoff contention on the last day of the season.

Alex Chiasson – Two goals and an assist with four shots and two PIM.  I really don’t get why coaches keep giving him opportunity, but he finally delivered on Thursday.  Again, this says more about Arizona for me.

Bo Horvat – Two goals and an assist with five shots and two PIM.  Horvat also went 17-0 at the faceoff dot.  Nobody can stop Dr. Bo!  He’s been on an absolute tear to get to 30 goals.

Elias Pettersson – Goal and two assists with four shots.  Can’t stop, won’t stop!

Conor Garland – Two assists with three shots.  After a strong start, Garland really fell off.  I do think he could do better next season in Vancouver, but given the GM change, he could also be traded in the offseason.  Vancouver’s offseason may be the most fascinating in the entire league.

Vasily Podkolzin – Two assists.  To be honest, I don’t really see it with Podkolzin.  I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt being a rookie in his first season in North America, but I’ll have to see more next season to buy in long term.

Evan Bouchard – Goal and two assists with three shots.  Bouchard’s first big game since Woodcroft took over. I’m very bullish long term, but still skeptical for the rest of this season.

Connor McDavid – Goal and an assist with four shots.  Here’s that massive run I’ve been expected from McDavid to will the Oilers into the playoffs.

Trevor Moore – Goal and an assist with three shots.  What a great season from Moore coming in with low expectations, presumably past by a lot of Los Angeles prospects.

Matthew Tkachuk – Goal and two assists with three shots.  Elias Lindholm scored twice, while Johnny Gaudreau had two assists.  I think it’s safe to say that this line has been the best line in hockey from start to finish this year.  As mentioned on Wednesday, we haven’t seen this kind of dominance at even strength since 1995.

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

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LG Hockey
LG Hockey
9 months ago

Awesome write up Viz and the manifesto has me in great shape for the semi finals. My opponent in H2H just realized I have 8 more games played in hand next week so wish me luck!