There are plenty of great story lines going around the NHL right now. Vegas’ incredible start, Kucherov and Stamkos dominating, the Blues top line taking off, the Jets breaking out, etc. Even the Oilers dreadful start is a major talking point but we haven’t talked much about their best player. Connor McDavid is still only 20 years old and despite the Oilers being a dumpster fire and these other players being the talk of the town, McJesus is only 3 points from the league lead. In Edmonton’s demolition of Columbus Tuesday, McDavid had a goal and three assists with five shots. The shot rate is marginally down from last season but he’s well on track to repeat last year’s 30+70. No matter what awful set of players Peter Chiarelli fills the roster with, it’s good to know McDavid won’t be stopped. Look for him to win his second scoring title and potentially go for the Hart Trophy again if he can lead the Oilers back to the playoffs (seemingly a long shot). Let’s take a look at what else happened Tuesday night:
Robin Lehner – 24 saves on 26 shots in the 3-2 win over the Senators. A couple third period goals, including one in the last minute, hurt a bit, but Lehner has been outstanding recently. I’d roll him while he’s playing this well.
Rasmus Ristolainen – Two assists. While he is still goalless, Risto has been coming around, especially in hits and blocks. The minutes are league leading and the shot rate is good enough that I’m still bullish on a turn around.
Taylor Hall – Two goals on three shots. That’s superstar Taylor Hall to the Devils and non-superstar to the Kings. World class troll by the Devils.
— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) December 13, 2017
Brian Gibbons – Goal and an assist with four shots. Gibbons has been a huge surprise but it’s still only streamer worthy. It looks wildly unsustainable but might as well use him while he’s a hot schmotato.
Cory Schneider – 16 saves on 17 shots in the 5-1 win over the Kings. Couldn’t believe how easy the Devils had it against L.A. last night. Not going to get any easier than that for Schneids.
Claude Giroux – Goal and an assist with three shots. The first line is the only thing that’s keeping the Flyers from being a complete laughing stock.
Sean Couturier – Goal and an assist with three shots. Congrats to Couts for tying his previous career high in goals. It’s been 30 games. Amazing that they’ve used him in a defensive role for so long, then he gets a chance and just crushes.
Wayne Simmonds – Assist with a shot. He played with Giroux and Couturier in this game and is starting to play better on the whole. If you could buy low, I would.
Evgeny Kuznetsov – Three assists with two PIM. Excellent start to the year for Kuznetsov as he’s over a point per game, the shot rate is up and the penalty minutes are strong.
Madison Bowey – Two assists with two shots. Nothing here yet but I have liked what I’ve seen from Bowey on the whole. There could be something here long term.
Braden Holtby – 22 saves on 24 shots in the 5-2 win over Colorado. The goals against average is much higher than in the past few years but the save percentage is only barely down and the wins are excellent as usual.
Jesse Puljujarvi – Goal and an assist with two shots. Elite streamer at the moment while he’s on McDavid’s wing. I could definitely see the 19 year old being a hold by the end of the season.
Mark Letestu – Goal and an assist with two shots. Bottom end streamer in 12’ers, a bit more value for his boring stat line in deeper leagues.
Matt Benning – Goal and an assist with three shots. He’s okay in the deepest of leagues for the PIM, hits, SOG and blocks, but the points simply aren’t there for consideration in a normal sized league.
Darnell Nurse – Two assists with two shots. Nurse is basically the better version of Benning. He’s close to 12’er worthy and I would strongly consider using him in a 12’er with the extra categories.
Laurent Brossoit – 27 saves on 29 shots in the 7-2 win over the Blue Jackets. He’s been surprisingly good since Talbot went down so I’d more willing to use him than I expected to be.
Oliver Bjorkstrand – Goal and an assist with four shots. A favorite of yours truly, Bjorkstrand isn’t getting the minutes right now to be more than a bottom end streamer.
Andrei Vasilevskiy – 32 save shutout in the 3-0 win over the Blues. And just like that, you’re looking at the #1 goalie on the season.
Tyler Johnson – Goal and an assist with three shots. I would pick him up everywhere right now while he’s hotter than someone in NBA Jam making three straight buckets.
Brayden Point – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM. Just when he started to slow down, Point has a goal in four straight. Clear as day hold again.
Devan Dubnyk – 10 saves in the first period before not returning after the first intermission to a lower body injury. Here’s to hoping it’s not serious, but if you need somebody, Alex Stalock (16/17 in 45 minutes getting the win) will be the guy until Dubnyk returns.
Vincent Trocheck – Assist, 2 PIM, 7 SOG, 5 hits, 3 blocks, 11 faceoff wins, 23:37 played. Trocheck is doing everything across the board right now. He’s an incredible DFS play right now who consistently goes under owned. Right now, Trocheck is a slam dunk top 50 player in standard leagues and even higher with extra categories.
Evgenii Dadonov – Made his return from injury seemingly out of nowhere. Dadonov was a few weeks ahead of schedule in his return. He was a clear hold before he was injured so get Dadonov back in your lineups.
Jonathan Toews – Goal and an assist with four shots. The top line had both goals in regulation with Brandon Saad also adding a goal and an assist while Alex DeBrincat assisted on both goals. DeBrincat is right on the fence between hold and streamer. Under two shots per game and 0 PIM are the only reason why. With 10 points in the last 9, I’d lean hold right now.
Corey Crawford – 35 saves on 37 shots in the 3-2 OT win over the Panthers. Chicago being tied for a playoff spot is almost solely because of Crawford’s play. He’s easily been a top 5 goalie.
Marc-Andre Fleury – 35 saves on 37 shots in the 3-2 SO loss to the Hurricanes. Flower picked up right where he left off before his concussion. Get him back in your lineups immediately.
That’s all for now guys. With only four games tonight, my next set of daily notes won’t come until Friday. Plan on a podcast dropping Thursday afternoon. If there is anything you want Reid and I to talk about, let us know in the comments section below. Also, you can make Three Point Challenge picks for Thursday here or in that post once it’s up. If you need streaming advice for tonight, ask in this post or Lackey’s here, he has a good plan laid out for the rest of the week in that post. At a quick glance, my top choice is Kevin Fiala. Any other questions or comments you have, don’t hesitate to ask. Thanks for reading, take care!