I’ve always been a huge Peyton Manning fan and thought he was the G.O.A.T. before last night. Even though he didn’t play well, it was great to see him win a second Super Bowl. I’m glad he said was going to have a bunch of beers after the game as well, although he should pick something better than Budweiser. Wait, I’m supposed to talk about hockey here. Whoops… The weekend had less action than normal due to the Super Bowl but that didn’t stop me from writing one of the longest recaps of the season; there was still plenty going on. Kyle Okposo had the best weekend of everyone. On Saturday, he had an assist in the blowout loss but on Sunday, Okposo went off with a hat trick, assist and eight shots in the 8-1 massacre of the Oilers. He now has a good chance of setting a career high in points, penalty minutes and power play points which is outstanding. At 27 years old, Okposo is about to enter his prime and as long as he stays healthy, he should be a 60-70 point player for the next couple years. Here’s what else I saw around the league this weekend:
Lightning 6, Penguins 3 – Marc-Andre Fleury was an epic disaster allowing 4 goals on 14 shots in less than 30 minutes before getting pulled. Evgeni Malkin was out injured but the top line really came through in the blowout loss. Sidney Crosby scored again with three shots, Patric Hornqvist had a goal and an assist with six shots and Chris Kunitz had two assists, albeit with no shots. Kunitz probably should be owned in 12’ers now despite the lack of shots because the points have been good and the plus-minus is elite. For Tampa, their big guys game through as well. Tyler Johnson is finally starting to look like the playoff stud again with a goal and two assists with five shots. Try to buy low if possible. Alex Killorn is enjoying life on the first line as he scored a goal on two shots and added an assist. He’s currently a top end streamer. Nikita Kucherov is on NBA Jam fire with two more assists with two shots and two PIM. Ondrej Palat had goals on both of his shots and could definitely get rolling like he did last season. Steven Stamkos maintained his recent stretch with two assists and two shots while Anton Stralman had two goals on three shots. Stralman is a beast in real life and is a solid last defenseman to own in 12’ers since he contributes fairly well in all categories.
Hurricanes 5, Jets 3 – The Canes scored 4 goals in the first on, 3 on Connor Hellebuyck before he was pulled (Yikes!), and held on for the last two periods to come out with the victory. Cam Ward came back and stopped 33 of 36 shots. It sucks that he is back because he is going to cut into Eddie Lack‘s workload now and I’m not sure either is more than a streamer in 12’ers now. Justin Faulk has been ice cold but scored a goal on four shots on Friday. The shots and points, especially power play points, are still elite so don’t sell low here. Andrej Nestrasil scored twice on six shots and is a solid streamer in 14+ man leagues; in 12’ers there will be better options out there most nights. Jeff Skinner had an assist with a shot and two PIM and should be owned everywhere, mostly for the shots on goal. Jordan Staal had a goal and two assists with two shots but is still bottom end for me due to the lack of shots and PIM. Dustin Byfuglien had two assists, two shots and four PIM in another standard Big Buff line. Nikolaj Ehlers continued his good play on the first line with an assist with three shots; I still think he should be owned in all 12’ers and I’ve been holding him in a 10’er as well. Mark Scheifele had an assist with a shot and has been great across the board. There’s even upside here with some more power play points. Blake Wheeler had a goal on two shots and I’m glad I had him ranked as high as I did. I won’t stop making fun of ESPN for having him ranked as low as they did.
Blue Jackets 2, Flames 1 – Joonas Korpisalo has the hot hand right now as he stopped 30 of 31 shots he faced in the victory. If you’re streaming a goalie spot right now, he’s a solid option. The third line came through for Columbus with William Karlsson scoring twice, both assisted by Matt Calvert. I’m a fan of Karlsson’s game and in deep dynasties, I would take the chance on his upside. Seth Jones also kept up his strong offensive game since he went to Ohio’s capital tallying an assist with three shots. For Calgary, Jiri Hudler scored on his only shot and is probably a bottom end hold right now, although I wouldn’t blame you for letting him go. T.J. Brodie had an assist with a shot and is a nice pickup since his role is increased due to the suspension of Dennis Wideman.
Ducks 5, Coyotes 2 – The Coyotes gave up 5 goals for the 4th consecutive game which made me happy seeing as I predicted a defensive collapse for a while now. Avoid their goalies like the plague. Shane Doan‘s outstanding season kept going with a goal and an assist with three shots. Oliver Ekman-Larsson is making the case that he’s a top 5 defenseman now with another assist and two shots. The secondary players for the Ducks really stepped up in this one. Ryan Kesler had two assists with three shots keeping up his fine form. Own him everywhere while he’s playing big minutes and producing. Hampus Lindholm had a goal on seven shots and I love his game in real life. He’s a great target in deep dynasties. Patrick Maroon had a goal and two assists with two shots and two PIM. The bad thing is he’s off the first line and only played 11 minutes so it’s hard to count on him producing. He’s currently unownable outside the deepest of leagues. Rickard Rakell tallied two assists with three shots. Now that he’s off the first line, Rakell shouldn’t be owned in 12’ers but should be in anything deeper.
Capitals 3, Devils 2 (SO) – Andre Burakovsky scored another goal in this game with two shots and is a firm hold in all leagues right now. Evgeny Kuznetsov assisted on the goal and added five shots as his elite season continues. All it’s going to take is a slight increase in his shot rate to be a firm second round pick in redrafts next season. For the Devils, Joseph Blandisi had a goal and an assist with three shots. I recently dismissed him in the comments in 12’ers and I still don’t think he’s a great prospect in the long term. That said, he’s currently on the first line and there is some value there. The lack of shots really hurts so for now, Blandisi can be considered a streamer in 12’ers but worth the flier in deeper leagues. Adam Henrique scored the other Devils goal as his production stays steady across the board.
Rangers 3, Flyers 2 (SO) – Keith Yandle tied the game up with 13 seconds left to push the Rangers into overtime before they won it in a shootout. Yandle had four shots on goal and added two PIM playing over 27 minutes. It’s a great sign that he played this much. I mentioned him as a buy low in case he was moved but his value would be great in New York if he gets these minutes on a regular basis. Chris Kreider scored for the second straight game and should be owned in 12’ers because of his upside and the stable PIM. For Philly, Wayne Simmonds was tossed early for punching out Ryan McDonagh. Simmonds has been on fire offensively and now he gives his owners 20 penalty minutes!? What can’t this guy do? Shayne Gostisbehere is making the case for waiver acquisition of the year scoring a goal and adding an assist with five shots. Jakub Voracek also had an assist and seven shots playing almost 28 minutes; he’s been a monster for the last 6 weeks or so.
Canadiens 5, Oilers 1 – This weekend was an epic disaster for the Oilers. Cam Talbot has been playing great but he gave up 4 goals on 23 shots in 2 periods before being benched. Benoit Pouliot scored the Oilers goal as he continues to make me look like a genius saying he would go from <1% owned to 100% before the end of the season. For Montreal, Ben Scrivens stopped 23 of 24 shots in the win. More on him later… Spoiler alert!!! The big guns led the way for Montreal in this one. Alex Galchenyuk had an assist with four shots as the second line did major work. The upside is there and with two quality linemates for the first time all season, I think he’s a nice trade target. Brendan Gallagher scored a goal and an assist with two shots and Tomas “Turtleneck” Plekanec had a goal, three assists and three shots despite receiving average minutes in the blowout. P.K. Subban had a goal and an assist with five shots as his expected second half surge continues as he now has points in 5 of his last 6, 11 of his 12 and 14 of his last 16. Not bad for a defenseman…
Red Wings 5, Islanders 1 – Jaroslav Halak was lit up in this one allowing 4 goals on 13 shots in 30 minutes before getting yanked. John Tavares‘ surge kept momentum as he scored the lone Isles goal on four shots, assisted by Okposo as mentioned in the opening. Petr Mrazek stopped 28 of 29 Islanders shots. Quick, guess how good Mrazek has been this year? If you said the #3 overall goalie, you’re right. I hope you followed my preseason plan of drafting both Wings goalies because even though Jimmy Howard has been bad, Mrazek has definitely made it worth it. Like most of the games this week, the top 6 really carried teams and it was no different in Detroit. Pavel Datsyuk had two assists, Mike Green had a goal on three shots with two PIM, Dylan Larkin had a goal and an assist with two shots, Gustav Nyqvist had two assists and three shots while Tomas Tatar had a goal and an assist with a shot and four PIM. All of these guys should be owned everywhere.
Bruins 2, Sabres 1 (OT) – I’m admittedly biased as a Sabres fan but this was one of the worst officiated games I’ve ever seen both ways. In the third period, Jamie McGinn had a partial breakaway and was hauled down, very close to a penalty shot but the Sabres received a two minute power play. Then in overtime, Brad Marchand was neck in neck with Rasmus Ristolainen, Marchand knocked the stick out of Risto’s hands, Risto grabbed him and Marchand was given a penalty shot and buried it. It was a disgrace because if Marchand’s was a penalty shot, McGinn’s definitely was and if only one of them was, it should have been for Buffalo. Oh well, I digress. Sam Reinhart scored for the second straight game and remained a top end streamer. Robin Lehner was great again stopping 36 of 38 shots and he threw a world class tantrum after the goal in overtime. He should be owned everywhere. Ryan O’Reilly‘s great season continued with an assist and three shots. Remember when people laughed at Buffalo for giving him the big contract after the trade? Those people are currently hiding or talking about how good they thought RoR was all along. Tuukka Rask stopped 37 of 38 shots in the win; he’s been great for 4-6 weeks but I still don’t trust him for the rest of the season. Loui Eriksson scored the other Bruins goal on three shots as he thrives in a contract year. David Pastrnak added an assist with a shot and now has 12 points in 21 games. I stand by my stance that he’s must own in 12’ers and have no idea why he’s widely available.
Senators 6, Leafs 1 – Both Leafs goalies were a disaster in this one as Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer gave up 3 goals, Reimer on 8 shots and Bernier on 17. I don’t trust either of them going forward. Craig Anderson
stopped 26 of 27 shots in the win but I don’t trust him either. Don’t let this game fool you, the Sens are a mess. The Sens had a nice balance but their MVP candidate, Erik Karlsson, led the way with four assists and a shot plus two PIM. He’s now tied for second in the league in points and leads the league in assists. He won’t get the votes because Ottawa won’t make the playoffs but he’d be my Hart winner; the Norris is a no-brainer. Mark Stone is on fire with a goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM. Curtis Lazar scored twice on three shots and is a great target in dynasties. The minutes should be there starting next year for the recently turned 21 year old.
Penguins 3, Panthers 2 (OT) – Jeff Zatkoff played great in the spot start stopping 42 of 44 shots. Fleury has struggled lately so perhaps Zatkoff will get a couple extra starts down the stretch; he’s a solid streamer when he does start. Sidney Crosby scored a goal and two assists with six shots and two PIM as he starts to look like the best player in the league again. Kris Letang was even better than Crosby scoring twice on seven shots while adding an assist. He’s an absolute stud firmly settled in the top 5 defensemen going forward. Aleksander Barkov scored a goal on two shots as the 20 year old crushes all comers. The second line of borderline holds / top end streamers all came through in this one with Jussi Jokinen getting 1+1 with 3 SOG and 2 PIM and Vincent Trocheck tallying an assist and six shots.
Blues 4, Wild 1 – Charlie Coyle had another assist in over 19 minutes as he pushes for holding status in 12’ers. Zach Parise also had an assist adding seven shots and two PIM. Brian Elliott was incredible again stopping 38 of 39 shots in the win. Taking both Blues goalies turned out to be even better than I expected as both Elliott and Jake Allen are both currently top 10 goalies for the season. The Blues had a wide range of contributions offensively. Troy Brouwer had a goal and an assist with two shots despite only playing 13:30. Brouwer is best left as a streamer in 12’ers at this point. Same goes with Robby Fabbri who had two assists, two shots and two PIM. I’m a huge fan in dynasties though as Fabbri just turned 20 years old a couple weeks ago and is close to a 20+20 pace with little power play time. Jori Lehtera had the same line as Brouwer but is unownable in 12’ers due to the lack of shots. Paul Stastny also had a goal and an assist and should be owned everywhere with the big minutes; he now has 26 points in 37 games. Vladimir Tarasenko also had a goal on five shots and is elite across the board outside of plus-minus which seems a bit lower than it should be.
Predators 6, Sharks 2 – For the Sharks, Logan Couture scored a goal and an assist playing almost 19 minutes. Don’t worry about what line he’s on, Couture is a beast no matter what. Jumbo Joe Thornton continued his great season with a goal and an assist and two shots. For Smashville, Pekka Rinne stopped 28 of 30 shots and I still wouldn’t want to own him. Viktor Arvidsson scored twice on four shots and would be interesting if the minutes increase. The big guns also came through for Nashville as Filip Forsberg had a goal and two assists with two shots, Ryan Johansen had two assists with two shots as did Mike Ribeiro while Shea Weber tallied 1+1 with 3 SOG and 2 PIM.
Blackhawks 5, Stars 1 – Chicago made a statement in this one going into Dallas’ house and showing the best team in the division. Corey Crawford is now the #1 goalie on the season after he stopped 36 of 37 shots. Artem Anisimov led the way for Chicago scoring a goal on two shots and adding three assists. Niklas Hjalmarsson had two assists but as good as he is in real life, he has little fantasy value. Marian Hossa‘s turnaround built more momentum with a goal on three shots and two PIM. Patrick Kane scored once on two shots to lower his season totals, what a bum. Artemi Panarin had two assists, three shots and two PIM and at this point, he should win the Calder Trophy unless people hold it against him that he’s 24 when Dylan Larkin is 19. No surprise, Tyler Seguin scored the Stars goal (on 6 shots) and was assisted from Jamie Benn (three shots).
Jets 4, Avalanche 2 – Drew Stafford led the way for the Jets scoring twice on six shots and adding an assist. As discussed before, he’s incredibly streaky so I usually grab him when he’s hot and drop him after a couple games of 0’s. Andrew Ladd scored once on three shots and could receive a big value boost if he’s traded at the deadline. Mathieu Perreault had a goal and an assist with three shots and is right on the edge of 12’ers right now. If your team has plenty of shots, I’d hold him. Mark Scheifele had an assist and 12 PIM and keeps reinforcing that he is somebody I want on all of my teams next year. Matt Duchene had a goal on four shots while Nathan MacKinnon had an assist and five shots. As far as deeper guys go, Mikhail Grigorenko had a goal on four shots playing almost 18 minutes. He’s still only 21 years old but for him to have value in the future, he has to start shooting the puck more.
Flames 4, Canucks 1 – Jonas Hiller played great in the win stopping 34 of 35 shots. I still expect him to be the backup to Karri Ramo going forward although he may get a few more extra starts than the normal backup. My guy Sam Bennett had a goal, assist, three shots and two PIM as the 19 year old starts to string some solid games together. T.J. Brodie had two more assists and as I discussed before, is a solid pickup. Boring Sean Monahan had another goal on four shots while Michael Frolik showed why I stream him in good matchups scoring a goal and an assist with two shots. Ryan Miller started again for the Canucks stopping 26 of 28 shots and despite what Willie Desjardins said a couple weeks ago, Miller looks to be the Canucks workhorse. You can safely drop Jacob Markstrom in 12’ers now.
Capitals 3, Flyers 2 – Shayne Gostisbehere had another assist with two shots extending his point streak to 8 games. What a beast. Braden Holtby stopped 33 of 35 shots as he makes a push to set the record for the most wins in a season in NHL history. Andre Burakovsky had an assist with two shots as the soon to be 21 year old can’t be stopped right now. Still a firm hold everywhere. Alex Ovechkin had a goal on five shots as he makes another push for the Rocket Richard trophy.
Canadiens 2, Hurricanes 1 (SO) – Cam Ward played great again in the loss stopping 33 of 34 shots. His numbers are still below average and I don’t trust him outside of deep leagues. Jeff Skinner scored the Carolina goal on seven shots showing why he showed be owned in 10’ers and deeper. Ben Scrivens stopped 34 of 35 shots in the win. That’s two great starts in a row and now I expect Scrivens to get the majority of Montreal starts until Carey Price returns (we haven’t heard a return date). I’m taking the chance in 12’ers now because despite how bad Montreal has been for two months, it’s mostly because of goaltending play. If Scrivens plays decent, he should rack up some wins. P.K. Subban had another assist while Max Pacioretty scored the Montreal goal on five shots.
Islanders 8, Oilers 1 – Another massive beatdown that Edmonton took. Connor McDavid scored the Oilers goal on three shots with two PIM as the wunderkind continues to play outstanding hockey. Outside of Okposo, a bunch of Islanders obviously had great games considering they scored 8 goals. Thomas Greiss came back from injury stopping 30 of 31 shots. The Isles’ goalie situation is a mess now so I don’t really know what to make of it. Johnny Boychuk scored a goal on three shots and probably should be owned in 12’ers now that he’s back from injury. Nick Leddy had three assists with a shot and is a good source of assists and power play points if you need them. Frans Nielsen‘s solid year continued with two assists and a shot. John Tavares is looking like the superstar he is again scoring a goal and two assists with two PIM.
Monday Streamers: There are only four games on Monday night so there should be a lot of streaming to start the week. Here are my top three options:
J.T Miller (24.6%) – You guys all know he’s my boy by now. Even though he’s above my normal ownership percentage threshold, he’s still widely available and quite frankly, he shouldn’t be. Stream him tonight and you should probably hold him going forward.
Alex Killorn (6.3%) – He’s a top end streamer now as discussed above and gets an elite matchup against the Senators.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau (1.1%) – He has points in 3 straight and 5 total points in the last 5 games. He’s currently centering the second line and second power play unit and has 14 shots in the last 5 as well. As bad as the Senators have been playing, the offense is producing and Pageau is a reason why. On a small slate, he’s a solid option to stream.
That’s all for now guys; this turned out a lot longer than I expected so I hope this helps all of you out in some way or another. I’ll be back with daily notes on Tuesday morning recapping the short Monday slate. As always, please ask any questions or post any comments below. Take care everyone!