Cory Schneider has been a mainstay among the top of goaltending rankings for the past few years in fantasy hockey.  To say this year has been a disappointment to this point would be quite the understatement.  The good thing is that there’s plenty of time for him to turn the tide.  Schneider had his first shutout of the season on Thursday making 16 saves in the 4-0 win over the Flyers.  Yes, it was a great spot for the Devils but regardless, they took it to the Flyers and Schneider stepped up when called upon.  I would ask Schneider’s owner about a trade and see if you can buy low on him.  He’s established himself as a true #1 fantasy goalie for years and I think he plays that way the rest of the season.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two days:

Andre Burakovsky – Goal and an assist with five shots.  Only played 12:32 in a shootout game so I’m still hesitant.  The upside is definitely there though so streaming is still worth it.

Lars Eller – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM.  He’s one of those guys who leaves me wanting for more all the time.  Nothing here for fantasy at the moment.

Braden Holtby – 36 saves on 38 shots in the 3-2 SO loss to Philly.  Five straight quality starts for Holtby who is starting to come on big time.

Claude Giroux – Goal on eight shots with two PIM over two games.  The stat line is strong across the board.

Steve Mason – 36 saves on 38 shots getting the win Wednesday, 6 saves on 8 shots before getting pulled in the 4-0 loss to the Devils.  He’s been overworked lately so I’m not surprised he laid an egg on Thursday.  The break here should do him wonders.

Cam Talbot – 34 saves on 36 shots in the 3-2 win over Arizona.  The Oilers finally beat the Coyotes!  25 game skid without the Oilers winning in regulation snapped.  Talbot is a clear as day #2 goalie.

Zack Kassian – Two assists with two shots and twelve PIM.  He’s a solid deep league option for PIM and hits but that’s it.

Mark Letestu – Goal and two assists with seven PIM.  Gordie Howe hat trick!  Letestu played over 17 minutes and is getting big time on special teams so he’s a solid streamer.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Goal and an assist with four shots.  I feel like the best has to be yet to come for OEL.  The biggest key is getting those shots back up.

Martin Hanzal – Goal on four shots with nine penalty minutes.  I thought it would be a better overall line for Hanzal if he was healthy but he’s still a solid streamer.

Radim Vrbata – Two assists with five shots and two PIM.  I’m still holding tight for the big shot totals and solid assists.

Cam Ward – 22 saves on 23 shots in the 3-1 win over the Sabres.  Yawnstipating effort from Buffalo with Ward being the beneficiary.  It’s still bottom end but worth owning.

Jeff Skinner – Goal on three shots.  He’ll be a top 30 forward at the end of the calendar year becoming one of the best mid round values.

Robin Lehner – 31 saves on 33 shots taking the loss.  Can a brother get some goal support?  Except in the shootout, it wouldn’t do Lehner any good because he’s stopped as many shots as I have in the shootout this year.  No, that’s not good.

Michael Cammalleri – Assist and four shots with five penalty minutes.  He’s slowed down quite a bit but it’s still worth holding for the time being.

Adam Henrique – Goal and an assist with four shots and ten PIM.  Man, Philly really brings it out in guys, huh?  Henrique and Cammy with big PIM?  I talked about Henrique being worth grabbing a week ago and this solidifies things.

P.A. Parenteau – Goal and an assist.  Definitely worth streaming as long as he’s in the top six.

Sidney Crosby – Goal on five shots.  He seems good at hockey.  Hot take from me.

Matt Murray – 17 saves on 23 shots in 43:35 before getting pulled in the 7-1 loss to Columbus.  This game was 1-1 halfway through before CBus just steamrolled the Pens.  I have no concerns going forward.

Brandon Dubinsky – Two assists with three shots.  That’s five assists in his last three games but I’m still only streaming.

Sam Gagner – Two assists with four shots.  I still can’t explain how Columbus is doing this but Gagner needs to be held in fantasy at this point.

Scott Hartnell – Hat trick on four shots with four PIM.  He’s been one of the rare disappointing Blue Jackets with a dropoff in shots and PIM. It’s okay to stream but that’s it right now.

Brandon Saad – Goal and an assist with two shots.  Five category beast.

Alexander Wennberg – Two assists with a shot.  Nothing has changed for Wennberg, he’s excellent in assists but the shots are dreadful.

Sergei Bobrovsky – 25 saves on 26 shots in the win.  Yessiree Bob!  His numbers are even better than his Vezina winning year at the moment.

Devan Dubnyk – 32 saves on 34 shots in the 4-2 win over the Canadiens.  What a bum, 2 goals against and a .941 sv% lowers his season totals.

Mikael Granlund – Two assists with a shot.  With 23 points in 32 games, you can definitely hold him if you can stomach the low shots and near-zero PIM.

Jason Zucker – Goal and an assist with six shots.  Zucker is up to +20 on the season with solid points.  I prefer to stream but it’s not the worst hold in the world.

John Gibson – 16 saves on 18 shots in the 2-1 OT loss to the Sens.  The New Year brings 5 straight home games for the Ducks, 8 of 10 and 10 of 14 total in January.  Looks like a great buy low spot for Gibson.

Mike Hoffman – Overtime winner on his only shot.  He was back in the top 6 and should return to his previous value in no time.

Mike Condon – 24 saves on 25 shots earning the win.  The Condom Condon has been strong lately but it’s still only “desperate for starts” in my mind.

Andrei Vasilevskiy – 21 saves on 23 shots in the 5-2 win over the Blues.  It’s his job for 3-4 weeks so make sure to pick him up and roll him.

Jonathan Drouin – Two goals and an assist with five shots.  Oh baby, the time is now.  I’ve wrote about it for a while but this opportunity to be the focal point offensively is massive for his value.  Like I said earlier in the week, it should push top 50 the rest of the year.

Valtteri Filppula – Two assists with two shots and two PIM playing almost 22 minutes.  It’s really not far off from Wennberg at this point.  If you need assists, he’s an excellent option.

Victor Hedman – Three assists with a shot.  Talked about him on the podcast in my Norris discussion; it’s under the radar but Hedman has been terrific.

Anton Stralman – Two assists with a shot.  I wouldn’t hold right now but he could play to the point where he’s bottom end again.

Tuukka Rask – 29 saves on 30 shots in the 3-1 win over the Panthers.  Nice bounceback from Rask who has been struggling quite a bit lately. I’m perfectly fine holding and fine trying to sell high.

Patrice Bergeron – Goal on two shots.  Please turn it up in the second half for the owners you’ve buried to this point.  Signed, everyone who owns Bergeron.

Torey Krug – Two assists.  The stat line would be incredible if he could just score at a rate normal to his shot totals.

Jaromir Jagr – Assist and four shots moving to #2 all-time in points by himself.  The heater is real for the Panthers first line.

James Reimer – 30 saves on 32 shots in the loss.  Two strong games in a row for Reimer who could become the goalie I hoped for in the preseason in the second half.

Peter Budaj – 28 save shutout in the 4-0 win over the Predators.  Roll the man until he loses his job, plain and simple.

Michael Hutchinson – 22 saves on 23 shots in the 4-1 win over the Canucks.  Hutchinson is still bad at hockey and I discount performances against the Canucks.

Nikolaj Ehlers – Two goals and an assist with three shots.  He’s the forgotten man in Winnipeg but damn, he’s pretty f***in good.

Mathieu Perreault – Assist with three shots and six PIM.  Great streamer at the moment with the upside to be a hold as he’s been in the past.  At this point, it’s mostly a matter of staying healthy.

Friday Streamers – Not much of a need with 12 games on the slate but if you have an empty slot or two and need a push on the last day of the week, here are my top three options:

Martin Hanzal (13.5%) – If you’re in a battle for plus-minus, look elsewhere but otherwise Hanzal is an excellent option.

Mark Letestu (7.9%) – It’s not the best spot against the Sharks but his minutes / role / heat are enough for me to stream him.

Sven Baertschi (3.3%) – Hit on him the other day so I’m going back to the well hoping for a revenge game on the team that drafted him.

That’s all for now guys.  With no games on Saturday through Monday, I will probably put out my daily notes on Friday’s games plus other recent news on Tuesday morning.  Then I’ll be back on Wednesday recapping Tuesday’s action.  I’m also unsure of the podcast schedule yet; I need to figure out with Reid if it’ll be only one podcast next week or two.  You can find Friday’s podcast here Anyways, as always, feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments below.  Most importantly, I want to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas.  I’m very thankful for all of the people who read these posts and make me feel like everything I do here is worthwhile.  Take care everyone and enjoy the holiday weekend!

  1. Rob says:

    The correct answer is Draisaitl for the three! Merry Christmas guys!

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Rob: thanks Rob! You too. Good luck

  2. Steve says:

    Merry Christmas Viz thanks for your sage advice!

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Steve: merry Christmas to you too Steve! No problem at all

  3. Veritas says:

    Merry Christmas everyone

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Veritas: thanks Veritas, merry Christmas to you!

  4. Mr. Rickey says:

    Merry Christmas all. I’ve got a real log jam on my bench with injured players I don’t want to drop, e.g. Letang, Galchenyuk and Quick. I also have Mike Green who is injured now but I’m inclined to drop him for someone who’s producing – which do you like better of Petry, Vlasic, Gudas, Ouelette, or stick with Green?

    Also, Conor Sheary or Vrbata? I can use boosts in G, A, SOG.

    Thanks and thanks for all the great work – I really enjoy reading your notes and I don’t see anything like this anywhere else.

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Mr. Rickey: thanks, merry Christmas to you too! With that many injuries, I’d be fine with dropping Green and I’d grab Petry while he’s hot. Sheary and vrbata are very close; if you need shots more I would go with vrbata and otherwise I’d go with Sheary. Thanks a lot, I appreciate it!

  5. Shitwolf says:

    hey man have a good Christmas and thanks for all the help this year. Is it OK to drop Bishop like I do my cats? Or would it be a mistake to drop him like the time I was drunk and holding my friends tiny yorky and dropped her like a cat… She did not land gracefully like my cats do and the owners were kind of annoyed, but in my defense that dog did remind me of a cat. Ron Swanson has said that any Dog under 50 pounds is a cat and cats are pointless….

    I got cold feet on Kuznetsov cuz I didnt wanna drop kadri and bergeron (who both scored for my loyalty) Im thinking Parise is dtd right now and doesn’t seem 100% himself so maybe I should stash parise and pick up kuzybum. Wow that’s a way easier name to work with…. I just Americanized Kuznetsovs name to Kuzybum are you ok with that?

    All your help is a wonderful Xmas present for me, and I’m hoping my humor can give you a laugh and be a Xmas present for you. Happy holidays man!

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Shitwolf: Hahahaha definitely gave me a chuckle. Man, if you need the spot I guess you can drop bishop. If you can make it work, it’ll probably be worth grabbing the one known as Kuzybum 🙂

      Merry Christmas to you too man, I do appreciate the frequent comments

      • Shitwolf says:


        haha thanks man… was sitting here thinking goalies in my league have much more value atm and I’m stacked at LW… Whos the drop for Kuzybum: Parise/krieder/Shultz

        My gut says Parise… what say you!?

      • Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey says:

        @Viz: i always went with kuzn his nuts off since last year he did that all the time (even though i owned him in zero leagues last year, also this year, not that i don’t like him somewhat, but hits/blocks leagues and mostly keepers he wasn’t added early enough by me last year)

  6. Tweak says:

    Thanks for the write-ups, Viz.

    I’m sitting in 1st place in both of my leagues thanks to you, but feel like I need to make a few changes. In both leagues, I have Lehner and was thinking of trying to swap him for Schneider. We’ll see if another owner is silly enough to bite.

    Also, I’m currently sitting on:

    C – Eichel
    C – Seguin
    LW – Marchand
    LW – Drouin
    RW – Voracek
    RW – Eberle

    with Ehlers and Hoffman floating around and Anisimov on the IR. Do you drop any of these guys for Kadri or Draisaitl? Goalies are currently Lehner, Allen, Hellebuyck, Vasilevskiy.

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Tweak: no problem at all, glad I can help! Hopefully it keeps up. If you can get Schneider for Lehner or Lehner + a little piece, id do it. I feel like draisaitl should be owned but I’m hesitant on telling you who to cut. My first thought is eberle

      • Tweak says:

        @Viz: I had the same first thought. It feels mostly like a lateral move, but Draisaitl qualifies at C/RW, whereas Eberle is just RW. If the ROS numbers are going to be the same, I might just add Draisaitl for the roster flexibility. Then again, maybe I can add Eberle to a trade offer to improve at G, and add Draisaitl after.

        • Shitwolf says:


          that sounds like smart thinking to me Tweak I like your style

  7. karlsson says:

    Hey Viz,

    do you like marner @arizona, jagr vs detroit (coreau), dubinksy/wennberg vs montreal (montoya), sheary vs NJ, or drouin @washington for a last start of the week. mainly need assists and power play points; sog are a bonus.

    thanks & happy holidays!

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @karlsson: Sorry that I didn’t see this in time… hopefully it didn’t hurt you :/

  8. Fungazi says:

    Going old-school for 3 pnt – Ovi.

    Merry Christmas, great work this yr!

  9. Quick Sycamore says:

    Merry Christmas!
    Lets go with Auston Matthews for 3 points in his first hometown game!

  10. Brad says:

    I follow your blogs daily Viz. keep up the great work!

    Quick question for you. I’m in a 12 team H2H keeper pool and I was offered John Tavares for Taylor Hall and a 4th round pick.

    We keep 7 players and the offensive categories are: G, A, +\-, PIMs, Shots, PPP, GWG.

    I like Tavares more but the team he’s on is terrible so I’m thinking for this season alone it may not be a good deal. I’m competitive this year and will very likely make the playoffs. Long term I like it for sure but need it to work short term too.

    Thanks a lot.


    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Brad: Sorry for the late response… I assume that’s a 4th round pick after keepers so really like the 11th round? I think it’s a pretty even deal in both the short term and long term and you can go either way on this one. I’d lean towards just keeping Hall but it’s really close.

      • Brad says:

        thanks for your advice. I did end up making the deal for Tavares. I just couldn’t help myself. You’re right on the draft pick. It’s essentially an 11th round pick. I then made a deal to get Skinner for a 2nd round pick, which I thought was good value. Team for this year looking strong as it is as follows:
        Eric Staal

        A lot of those guys were inspired by your preseason ranks so thanks for that! Sitting in 3rd currently but not far out of 2nd and 1st for that matter.

        It’ll be tough to pick my 7 keepers from this list!


        • Viz

          Viz says:

          @Brad: It’s definitely not a big mistake if it even is one making the trade. Definitely like the Skinner deal too. No problem at all; I think you’d be looking at something like Tavares, Panarin ,Barkov and Bob as locks with the other three to be determined.

  11. Surfer dude says:

    Hello and Merry Christmas, 10 team h2h pts, which 2 for ROS, Elliott, Johnson, Gibson, Nieni, Smith, Lehner, Greiss, or Schneider – thanks and Happy New Year too!

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Surfer dude: Hope your Christmas went well dude! I would still go with Gibson and Schneider although Johnson is certainly in the discussion.

  12. I have Kuznetsov. Kopitar & Bergeron are still on waivers in our 10 teamer. Maybe because our scoring; G 3, A 2, PIM 0.5, PPG 2, PPA 1, SOG 0.5, HIT 1, DEF 0.5 and of course their crappy 1st half. Drop Kuznetsov for Kopitar or Bergeron? Who has the better 2nd half Viz? I am leaning to drop him for Kopitar, especially since I already have Pasta & Marchand. Happy New Year holiday!

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @madden_curser: Man, these guys are all so close. I’d probably lean towards Bergeron in a vacuum just because the shots and hits are at the highest rate giving him more consistent production. That said, if you don’t want to go all in on that line, I’d probably just hold Kuznetsov. I don’t like Kopitar right now given his lack of linemate.

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