Hey everyone! Hopefully your fantasy seasons are still going as we enter the last month of the season. Instead of normal daily notes, I’m going to discuss at least one situation for every team throughout the league. We’ll get back to normal notes on Wednesday morning, but I feel like this was a good chance of pace to highlight some new developments around the NHL. Let’s get to it!
Ryan Getzlaf is in the midst of an incredible season. In 45 games, he has 10+41 with a +16 rating, 36 PIM, 106 SOG and 13 STP. That’s a top 20 forward over a full season at that pace. Given that a lot of the Ducks depth is disappointing, Getzlaf has kept the team afloat.
Antti Raanta is out with a nagging injury in Arizona, making Darcy Kuemper the starter for the foreseeable future. Kuemper has been outstanding all season in L.A. and Arizona with a 2.22/.927. Arizona has been playing well for a while, especially at home, so I would use Kuemper outside of the worst of matchups on the road.
Jake DeBrusk is on fire with 10 points in his last 9 games. We are starting to see the minutes increase, even ignoring their last game when Brad Marchand was out. I’d move him up towards the elite streamer level right now.
Kyle Okposo is out indefinitely with a concussion, which is even worse than normal given Okposo’s issues last season. Here’s to hoping that he recovers normally. Brendan Guhle isn’t fantasy relevant at this point in his career, but he’s going to be eventually. His speed is incredible and he’s been better defensively than expected. Guhle is a great deep dynasty target as he could make an impact as soon as next season.
Mike Smith returned on Sunday night from his groin injury. To be blunt, he looked awful, but I’d still feel comfortable using him tonight and going forward. Smith has been too good on the whole this season to not use him right now.
The Hurricanes looked like they’d be a team with eight or nine fantasy relevant forwards, but that number is six at best right now. They have fallen apart over the last six weeks. The only guy I would stream is Justin Williams.
I don’t really want to talk about Chicago. This team is a disaster and it’s only going to get worse going forward. I am still confused as to why people are owning Duncan Keith. He isn’t even close to 12’er worthy at the moment.
Nathan MacKinnon has been the best player in fantasy over the last two weeks by a country mile. He’s playing at a 110 point pace per 82 games which is other-worldly. It’s a damn shame MacKinnon was injured because he’d have had a great shot at the Art Ross.
Seth Jones left Monday’s game with an upper body injury and did not return. It did not look good, but here’s to hoping it ends up being a minor issue. Jones has 13 points in his last 9 games, including three before being injured Monday, showing more upside than I thought he had. If Jones does miss time, my guess is that David Savard gets a bigger opportunity.
Talk about a team with one line, the Stars have become absurdly top heavy. They’ll have 4 guys with 65+ points, and then there’s a chance nobody else on the team reaches 40. As Reid and I talked about on last week’s podcast, Tyler Seguin has been a beast for the last month. A new career high in goals is a near-formality.
Detroit does not have one player who is playing well over the last two weeks. I have never seen a team fail to have a player without a 2+ PR15 in a decade plus of fantasy hockey before Detroit (this was before their game on Monday night). They are quite a mess and without a true elite talent, it’s not going to get better soon for the Red Wings.
For the last month, Cam Talbot has a .917 save percentage. Not amazing, but solid. For reference, he had a .919 last season during his big breakout. However, his goals against average over the last month is 2.83 instead of last season’s 2.39. That just goes to show you how much worse the Oilers are defensively this season.
Florida has 11 players who are better than Detroit’s best (Larkin) over the last fifteen days. They had a bad loss on Monday night, but I still like their chances of making the playoffs. Vincent Trocheck still isn’t receiving the credit that he deserves. 30+45 is within reach.
Los Angeles might be the most yawnstipating team from a fantasy perspective. They have a bunch of clear holds and nobody that’s worth streaming at the moment. Adrian Kempe and Tanner Pearson both lack the minutes to consistently produce.
Mikael Granlund has a shot at topping last season’s nice total of 69 points (he should finish better on a per game basis). The shot rate made such a big jump (just over 2 to pushing 2.75 per game) that he’ll be a no-brainer top 50 guy for the next few seasons. This is probably the best Wild team over the last 5 years but odds are they’re going to the Jets in the first round which is a brutal beat.
Montreal is a dumpster fire right now. I honestly wouldn’t hold one player on this team in a 12’er outside of Brendan Gallagher.
Nashville is at 15 players better than Larkin over the past 15 days which is insane. At this exact moment, I think they’re playing the best hockey in the league. Ryan Ellis has been tremendous since returning from his injury. He’s at 22 points in 30 games with a +19 rating and a solid shot rate. Those are #1D numbers, albeit over only 30 games. It’s only for one more season, but Ellis at a 2.5 million cap hit is the best non-rookie contract in the league.
Sami Vatanen has turned into the #1 defenseman for the Devils. The minutes are through the roof and it’s resulted in 8 points in the last 9 games. He’s still available in over 50% of leagues but Vatanen should be owned everywhere.
Christopher Gibson has been playing out of his mind lately. In his three starts, he’s made an absurd 132 saves on 138 shots. With how he’s playing, I’d expect Gibson to get some more starts in the short term, especially because the Isles are virtually out of it now. It’s a hot schmotato play but I’m not against it.
Ryan Spooner might end up with the points for anyone that was moved at the trade deadline. He’s had an absurd 13 points in 8 games as a Ranger. I said on the trade deadline podcast that Spooner could turn into a bottom end hold but I did not expect this type of explosion. The minutes are there so Spoonman needs to be held while he’s hotter than a pistol.
Mark Stone suffered a leg injury and missed Monday’s game against the Panthers. He’s already been ruled out for the game against Tampa tonight, so the soonest he’ll be back is Friday. I’d probably just cut him in head to head leagues if you’re in the playoffs, which sounds crazy, but you need to get as many starts as possible. Ottawa has no incentive to rush Stone back so I wouldn’t be surprised if he misses the entire week, if not more.
The Flyers have been the same old story besides Nolan Patrick rounding into form. The second overall pick has seven points in the last ten games giving the Flyers an extra option. With Wayne Simmonds back in the fold, we could see the Flyers become a bigger playoff threat, even in a tough first round matchup.
Knock on wood, Evgeni Malkin has stayed healthy to this point in the season. He’s the #1 skater on the player rater on the season and it’s not even close anymore. Malkin is elite in all six categories and while he won’t win the Hart because of the narratives around Hall and MacKinnon, Malkin deserves serious consideration.
The Sharks seem like they’re in a holding pattern. Nobody new is emerging for fantasy, their top guys have been producing. I guess Joonas Donskoi is playing well enough again to be a middling streamer.
Jake Allen has played three strong games in a row while Carter Hutton is out due to injury. The Blues have surprisingly put together a decent stretch to get back in the playoff race and Allen should start every game until Hutton is back. He’s not available in a ton of leagues (about one third) but I’d grab him while he’s playing well again.
J.T. Miller is getting huge minutes in Tampa and has six points in six games for the Bolts. The shot rate is rough, but Miller should be held despite that. Everything else should be a clear plus and nothing is better than playing for Tampa. Miller was on the fringe for the Rangers so this move is enough to move him to a hold.
It’s kind of crazy that Nazem Kadri is on pace for 30 goals despite an awful two months in the middle of the season. Kadri is going to be nowhere near last season’s totals, especially in PIM and shots, but the fact that he’s still having this season makes him a top 100 player next season. The floor is so high and we’ve seen the upside.
Brendan Leipsic has shown some upside since being acquired from Vegas. He looks like a nice deep league option right now, although there’s a chance he becomes 12’er relevant in the future. The former third round pick has been a point per game player in the AHL, and he’s started to round out his overall game. Leipsic is worth monitoring going forward.
Congrats to Marc-Andre Fleury on his 400th career win. He’d have a great chance for the Vezina if he wasn’t injured. I still have worries about him come playoff time because we’ve seen Flower wilt so many times before. Even if that happens, it doesn’t take away from Vegas’ storybook season.
Alex Ovechkin reached 600 career goals in his career on Monday night. I’ve said multiple times over my years at Razzball that he’s the greatest goal scorer of all-time, and I firmly believe that. There’s an outside chance that he reaches 50 goals again. And to think he was ranked outside the top 10 in multiple places that I’ve made fun of all season.
Paul Stastny is in the same boat as J.T. Miller except another step higher. Stastny has 8 points in 7 games as a Jet with a +8 rating. They are rolling at the moment and while the shot rate isn’t good, Stastny will do more than enough to hold.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back tomorrow recapping all of the night’s action. As always, feel free to ask any questions and leave any comments below. Thanks for reading, take care!