Things can change quickly in hockey.  Matt Murray led the Pens to two Stanley Cups, then struggled mightily last season and to open this year.  Now, Murray has caught fire once again.  The netminder had a 33 save shutout on Friday against the Jets.  That means in his last 6 games, he’s allowed 6 goals total with his worst save percentage being .931.  We’ve seen the upside before, and that’s of a top 5 goaltender, if not more.  First off, he’s somehow available in 15% of leagues, which is absurd.  If you’re lucky enough to be in one, grab him immediately.   Two, if you own Casey DeSmith, you can safely drop him.  Lastly, I doubt you’ll be able to trade for him given his hot run, but I’d much rather do that than sell high.  The upside of Murray is too high to pass on, and with the Pens playing as well as they lately, the floor is fairly high too.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the weekend:

Friday’s Games

Matt Cullen – Goal and an assist.  Cullen is now irrelevant in fantasy circles.

Filip Hronek – Two assists with four shots.  There’s a small chance for something long term, but nothing here for now.

Sebastian Aho – Goal and an assist with two shots.  He keeps cruising at a top 50 player level.

Greg McKegg – Goal and an assist with two shots.  Not a bad first game of the season for McKegg.  He’s a AAAA player so there’s no reason to consider him in fantasy.

Tyler Seguin – Two goals on four shots.  That should keep the owner and CEO quiet for a while.

Alex Radulov –  Two assists with four shots and two PIM.  Radulov has been spectacular all season when on the ice.  Just stay healthy!

Tyson Barrie – Three assists with five shots.  The Avalanche absolutely dominated the Rangers on Friday and Barrie led the way on the blue line.  He’s now the highest scoring defenseman in Avs history.  Barrie is having a slightly worse year than last, but he’s still been a solid #2D.

Nathan MacKinnon – Goal and two assists with eight shots.  No surprise that the Rangers had no answer for the top line.  Mikko Rantanen had two goals and an assist with five shots and four PIM while Gabriel Landeskog scored a goal and added an assist.  They’ve fallen a bit off the league lead pace because of how well Kucherov has played, but they’re still playing at an elite level.

Philipp Grubauer – 24 saves on 25 shots in the 6-1 win over the Rangers.  The Avs have been on a downswing, but it’s not all Grubauer’s fault.  He’s had a few big games and a few duds mixed in.  I still believe long term, and I’d use him in most matchups, but there is some risk.

Tomas Nosek – Goal and an assist with five shots.  And there’s your annual Nosek update!

Saturday’s Games

Zach Parise – Goal and two assists.  Bruce Boudreau magic is real and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Charlie Coyle – Two assists with a shot.  Four game point streak for Coyle who is starting to put it together again.  He’s a solid streamer but not an elite one yet.

Jared Spurgeon – Two goals on three shots.  I’ve been saying to grab Spurgeon since Dumba went down.  Hopefully it’s not too late.

Luke Kunin – Two assists with a shot.  The former first round pick is getting a chance with Parise and Coyle.  He’s a bottom end streamer with okay long term upside.

Noah Hanifin – Two assists.  Still lean towards leaving him on the wire, but it’s super close.

Matthew Tkachuk – Goal and an assist with four shots.  He’s exceeded all expectations across the board.  He gives the Flames a real chance to make noise in the playoffs as a dominant possession player on the second line.

Tuukka Rask – 31 saves on 32 shots in the 2-1 win over the Sabres.  Nice little streak by Rask to get his numbers to respectability.  As long as Eichel is out, the Sabres are a great team to stream goalies against.

Juuse Saros – 27 saves on 28 shots in the 2-1 win over the Canadiens.  Saros continued his strong play as he gets back on track.  I’d stream him every time outside of the worst of matchups (e.g. at Winnipeg).

P.K. Subban – Two assists with a shot.  After a slow start coming back from injury, Subban has played a couple nice games in a row.

Mattias Ekholm – Goal and an assist with two shots.  I usually say leave Ekholm on the wire when the other three elite defensemen for the Predators are healthy, but I’d hold onto him right now for his all-around contribution.

Craig Smith – Two goals on three shots.  Smith remains a solid streamer but his ice time is limiting him from being more.

Michael Hutchinson – 28 save shutout in the 5-0 win over the Canucks.  One, the Canucks are going to struggle mightily without Pettersson for the next couple weeks.  Two, Hutchinson is a solid streamer in most matchups for the time being because Toronto is such a big favorite most nights.

Auston Matthews – Goal and two assists with three shots.  He’s been overshadowed lately because of the incredible play of other top guys around the league, but AM34 has continued to crush.

Andreas Johnsson – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM.  In his current role, Johnsson is a bottom end streamer at best.

Igor Ozhiganov – Goal and an assist.  He provides next to zero offense.  Welcome to the Razzball Database!

Keith Yandle – Two assists with two shots.  The top guys for Florida continue to dominate as Yandle remains right around the point per game mark.

Casey Cizikas – Two assists with a shot.  I can’t believe how many times I’ve had to mention Cizikas having a multi-point game this season.  He’s still an easy pass in fantasy.

Anders Lee – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM.  Lee hasn’t been great, but he’s been good enough to remain a hold.

Jonathan Quick – 16 save shutout in the 4-0 win over the Oilers.  Safe to say the Oilers didn’t really show up for this game.  Quick has remained dreadful for the most part making him a desperation play.

Drew Doughty – Two assists.  Doughty’s season has been a huge disappointment.  Shot rate has plummeted, +/- is a disaster, and the penalty minutes are lower than usual.  I’d probably hold him but don’t expect much of a turn around.

Brent Burns – Three assists with six shots playing over 30 minutes.  Burns is on fire right now with 12 points in his last 5 games.  Minutes are huge, massive shot totals are back, it’s everything we want from Burns.

Erik Karlsson – Two assists with a shot playing 29 minutes.  Must be nice to have either Burns or Karlsson out there virtually all of the time.  It’s no surprise that Karlsson is back to his usual form.

Evander Kane – Two goals on three shots with four PIM.  Kane is providing more assists than usual, although it’s still a net negative.  Regardless, the penalty minutes and shot rate are so damn good that he’s easily a top 100 guy.

Timo Meier – Two assists with three shots.  Meier is in the midst of a big drought but I’m not too worried about him going forward.  The shots and opportunities are still there.

Sunday’s Games

Justin Faulk – Goal and an assist with three shots.  Faulk is super frustrating in that it feels like he should always produce more than he does.  Leave him on the waiver wire.

Teuvo Teravainen – Two assists with a shot.  Teravainen is right in line with last season’s numbers which makes him an easy hold.

Brock McGinn – Goal and an assist with four shots and two PIM.  He has four points in his last three games after five in his first 37 games.  Easy pass.

Sebastian Aho – Two assists with a shot.  You almost expect him to get two points against a weak team like Ottawa.

Chris Tierney – Two assists.  Decent season from Tierney who is a bottom end streamer.  It’s no surprise he’s cooled off after a hot start but he still provides a little bit of value.

Darcy Kuemper – 23 save shutout in the 5-0 win over the Rangers.  It sure felt like the Rangers have mailed it in over the weekend.  I would consider Kuemper a small step above desperation.

Alex Galchenyuk – Goal and two assists with three shots.  I lean towards Gally being an elite streamer rather than a hold.

Conor Garland – Two goals on seven shots.  Nice run for the 22 year old with 5 goals in his last 8 games.  His minutes are somewhat low so I’m only elevating him to bottom end streamer until that goes up.  The shot rate is nice so more could be there with more minutes.  Welcome to the Razzball Database!

Ben Lovejoy – Goal and an assist with two shots.  And there’s your annual Lovejoy update!

Evgeny Kuznetsov – Two assists with five shots.  It’s been tough going for Kuznetsov who hasn’t scored a goal in almost a month.  That said, he’s just over a point per game and his shot rate is just fine.  Obviously he would cost a lot, but he’s a nice trade target as someone who has some positive regression coming in his shooting percentage.

Bryan Little – Goal and an assist with three shots.  Little is only a bottom end streamer at this point.  Before this game, he was without a point in six straight.

Jacob Trouba – Two assists with a shot.  With Big Buff out for January, Trouba will be put into a bigger role and is must own in all formats.

Josh Morrissey – Goal and an assist with five shots.  Same story as Trouba.

Connor Hellebuyck – 26 saves on 27 shots in the 5-1 win over the Stars.  He’s been somewhat disappointing but we know the upside is there if he can find his groove.

Patrick Kane – Three assists with two shots.  Kane has been a monster this season as he’s on pace for 100 points and 4 shots per game.

Jonathan Toews – Goal and an assist with seven shots.  Very nice bounce back from Toews who has been a solid hold all season despite a rotating group of wingers on his side.

Cam Talbot – 39 save shutout in the 4-0 win over the Ducks.  Talbot has been extremely inconsistent this season, and most of the time it’s been poor play.  I’d only stream him in the best of matchups.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Two assists.  Like Toews, RNH has been very steady all-season as a tier above a bottom end hold.

Caleb Jones – Two assists with a shot and two PIM.  He was showing some offense in the AHL for the first time this season before his callup to the big squad.  I don’t see a lot here long term fantasy-wise, but he might be able to become a bottom end guy eventually.  I wouldn’t use him in any formats now, but he’s worth keeping an eye on for those in dynasties.  Welcome to the Razzball Database!

Monday Streamers:

Charlie Coyle (15.2%) – He’s playing well as mentioned above and a matchup with the Canadiens should be decent on this short slate.

Sam Bennett (0.0%) – Chicago is a great matchup while Bennett has become a huge PIM boost.  He could get you a big total to open your week in head to head leagues.

Joonas Donskoi (3.0%) – Getting some Sharks action against the Kings seems like a must.  Donskoi is their best streamer at the moment unless Labanc is available in your league.

That’s all for now guys.  I’ll be back on Wednesday recapping the action from 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!

  1. BlackTomato says:
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    I look forward to your analysis and a fine piece as always.
    I do have to ask though, is Quick really THAT big of a desperation play?
    Hes 6-4 with a 2.44/.915 with a Shutout in his last 30 days.
    We have a 10 team league and needless to say, goalies are pretty thin since we employ a 3 min start per week.
    My best options are Quick, Blackwood, Kinkaid, Kuemper, or Hill. (who would you take)
    I am also in need of a 3rd dman (only 3 spots in this league). Trouba, Spurgeon, Schmidt (who would you take?)

    Thanks in advance!

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @BlackTomato: Thanks, appreciate it! He’s certainly been a lot better, but the Kings are still a bad team and they’re only going to get worse as they trade players away as the deadline approaches. I guess he’s a step above desperation, and I would take him out of the guys in that group unless you wanted to gamble on Blackwood.

      As for a defenseman, I think I’d go with Spurgeon, he looks great since Dumba was injured.

  2. Dubjay says:
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    Hey viz,
    So I reluctantly dropped Voracek. Trying to decide between Morrissey, Spurgeon or ghost to replace Dumba. Is there one you recommend over the others?

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Dubjay: Are you looking for rest of season or the short term? I would lean Morrissey until Buff is back, but Spurgeon ROS. I have no idea how to count Gostisbehere at this point and he comes down completely whether or not you want to gamble on that upside.

  3. Jon says:
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    Which goalie would you want to own? Luongo, Saros, Koskinen, Brossoit, Grubauer, Khudobin, Kuemper, Mrazek, Blackwood, Ullmark

    League has moves max so streaming isn’t really an option. That being said, this is a 3rd goalie behind Bobrovsky and Rask, so I don’t need a heavy workload guy. Goalie categories are W GAA and SV%.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Jon: Hmm, if you don’t need a big workload, I would lean towards Ullmark or Saros. Koskinen and Luongo are worth considering, but the Oilers D is starting to scare me which worries me about Koskinen and Luongo is getting terrible play in front of him (and he doesn’t look great in his own right).

  4. LG Hockey says:
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    Viz,

    Awesome write up! I recently traded Dubnyk for Forsberg. I’m in a 10 team H2H with G,A,P,+/-, PIM, PPP, SOG and W, Sv%, GAA and SO. I can keep 6 guys.

    C – Schiefele
    C – Bergeron
    LW – Forsberg
    LW – Marchessault
    RW – Kucherov
    RW – Pastrnak
    D – Carlson
    D – Chabot
    D- Hedman
    D – Risto
    Bn: Larkin, Hoffman, Edler, DeBrincat
    IR: Trocheck

    G – Hellebuyck
    G – Saros

    Was just offered Holtby for Hedman. Would you make this move? If not what goalies would you try and target as a good goalie #2?

    Thanks,
    LG

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @LG Hockey: Thanks! Yeah, I think I would go ahead and do that. You are loaded on the blue line as is and pairing Hellboy with Holtby will give you a pretty good chance every week in goalie stats when you should crush offensively.

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