Before Wednesday, three of Cory Schneider‘s last four starts have been disappointing, especially factoring in for the opposition. Naturally, when he goes against one of the highest scoring teams in the league, he locks it down completely. Schneider had a 36 save shutout against the Senators on Wednesday night placing him in the top 10 in the NHL in wins, GAA and sv%. The Devils can thank Schneider for being in a playoff spot at the new year. Here’s what else I saw on Wednesday night:
Jonathan Bernier – 39 saves on 41 shots in the 3-2 shootout win over the Penguins. One night he gives up 6 goals, the next he steals the game for the Leafs. He started last minute because James Reimer had an injury setback. What a mess. Even with this start, Bernier has a save percentage under .900 and a goals against well over 3. Pass.
Tyler Bozak – Assist with four shots and two PIM. Absolutely unbelievable that he has 25 points in 32 games and a positive plus-minus. He now has 11 points in his last 10 games and probably has become a must-own in 12’ers.
Nazem Kadri – Assist with six shots. Still grabbing Kadri where he is available.
Leo Komarov – Assist with four shots and two PIM. Somehow Uncle Leo is still available in plenty of leagues as well.
Dion Phaneuf – Goal on six shots and four PIM. Phaneuf has been a great defenseman for the bottom of your roster this season. Lots of assists, great PIM total and an above average shot rate for a defenseman.
Sidney Crosby – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM. It feels like January could be a month where Crosby averages 1.5+ points per game. Then again, that could be indigestion. I’ll bet on the former.
Chris Kunitz – Goal on three shots. Meh. He’s on the first line but he’s not on the first power play unit and that really hurts his value. I’m leaving him on the wire in 12’ers unless your league counts hits.
Jack Eichel – Two assists and six shots. Oh baby, he’s heating up as the assists are starting to come in (as they inevitably would). That’s eight points in his last five games with the shots steadily increasing. I like Eich.
Zemgus Girgensons – Goal and an assist with three shots. He’s been used in a shutdown role this year so the offense has been very disappointing. However, he was put on a line with Eichel yesterday and on the power play so this situation is worth monitoring. He was on a 20 goal pace last season on one of the worst offensive teams in NHL history before a late season injury. There’s potential here.
Marcus Johansson – Goal and an assist with seven shots and two PIM. He looked great throughout the game and was rewarded playing over 20 minutes. He’s right on the fringe of 12’ers solely because of the lack of penalty minutes.
Alex Ovechkin – Two goals on ten shots with four PIM. Greatest goal scorer ever. Period.
Evgeny Kuznetsov – Two assists with six shots. He’s now top 10 in the league in assists with a +18 and career best shot rate. Yay for having him ranked high in the preseason.
Michael Cammalleri – Two goals on his two shots. He had been ice cold so it was great to see him score both non-empty net goals for the Devils. The drop in shot rate is alarming but it shouldn’t last.
Travis Zajac – Assist with a shot. Not the greatest stream ever but you’ll take getting a point from a streamer.
Dan Boyle – Goal and an assist with a shot. I’m still holding him (I said he was must-own last week) despite the return of the injured Rangers defenseman until I see how the minutes are dispersed now. Boyle still played 19 minutes yesterday which would be plenty for him to maintain value.
J.T. Miller – Assist and a shot. Not the greatest stream ever but you’ll take getting a point from a streamer. And that’s me repeating me!
Rick Nash – Goal on his only shot plus two PIM. I’m expecting a big second half from Nash. With his shot rate, not getting to 30 goals would be a big disappointment.
Viktor Stalberg – Goal and an assist with five shots. And here’s your Viktor Stalberg note for the year!
Keith Yandle – Assist with three shots. Only played 13:44 which is incredibly disappointing. There’s a ton of talent there but with the way the Rangers have played defensively lately, it’s not a surprise that an offensive first guy like Yandle is getting less minutes.
Mats Zuccarello – Goal on two shots. Zucc now has more goals than last season. In 40 less games. I guess that will happen when you shoot 25% on the season.
Nikita Kucherov – Two assists with a shot. He’s on fire <NBA Jam voice>!
Anton Stralman – Goal and an assist with two shots. The Rangers must be kicking themselves for resigning Dan Girardi instead of Stralman. Girardi has fallen off a cliff (expected by pretty much everyone given his style) but Stralman is playing outstanding. Unless Victor Hedman goes down, I’m not owning him in 12’ers. If Hedman does go down, he’s immediately must own.
Claude Giroux – Goal on three shots. Right after he starts to find consistency, he goes pointless in five straight until last night. I’m not worried about Giroux, it just doesn’t look like this will be a point per game season.
Brent Burns – Goal on five shots. You beautiful bearded bastard you.
Logan Couture – Two assists on four shots in his return from injury. If for some reason he’s available, immediately grab him. He’s a good trade target if his owner is frustrated by the injuries this year.
Joe Pavelski – Two goals on four shots. There’s no stopping the Big Pavelski right now. He’s already up to 20 goals on the season.
Joe Thornton – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM. Jumbo Joe is almost on pace for another 60 point season. What a career he’s had and his playmaking abilities are still top notch at 36.
Patrick Marleau – Two assists with three shots. The return of Couture should help out Marleau immensely as almost half of his points this year have been on the power play.
Thursday Streamers: There’s a nine game slate on New Years Eve including some games at 6 PM EST so make sure your lineup is set ahead of time. Here are my top streamers of the night:
Marcus Johansson (47%) – This is much a higher percentage than I usually go with but with Johansson being available in over half of ESPN leagues, he’s worth mentioning as the clear top option. He looked great last night and gets to play a Carolina team that the Capitals should surely dominate.
Rickard Rakell (1.1%) – He’s still on the first line and first power play unit and gets to play an Oilers team who’s struggling defensively right now.
Zemgus Girgensons (0.7%) – I talked about him above. I’ll take the chance that he gets the same opportunities tonight.
That’s all for now guys. I will be back on Monday with a massive recap of the action from Thursday through Sunday. As always, please ask any questions you have or leave any comments below. I hope everyone has an excellent New Years Eve tonight. Hopefully you can sneak some hockey in (I’ll be going to Sabres vs Islanders, Go Sabres!) either tonight or tomorrow for the Winter Classic. Take care everyone!