It certainly hasn’t been consistent on a game to game basis but T.J. Oshie‘s overall production can’t be denied.  He had his best game of the season on Wednesday with two goals and two assists (one shorthanded, two power play points) with three shots in Washington’s 7-1 beatdown of the Penguins.  That brings Oshie’s totals on the season to 8 goals, 2 assists, 10 PIM, +10, 6 STP (4 PPP, 2 SHP) and 37 shots in 16 games.  The big games have been there; 10 of Oshie’s points are in his 4 multi-point games while he was 2 in the other 12.  If he starts to put some games together, which I expect with the Capitals power play due for a hot streak, Oshie owners will get a guy who easily settles in the top 75 with the potential to push the top 50 if the plus-minus keeps progressing.  Here’s what else I saw around the league the last two nights:

Nicklas Backstrom – Two goals, three assists, four shots on goal.  The most encouraging thing to me is that Backstrom is up to 2 shots per game, which would be his best in 3 years.  Obviously the assists are going to be there; where Backstrom’s value will vary depends on the other categories.

Braden Holtby – 25 saves on 26 shots in the win.  His goals against average and save percentage are currently better than last year.  Pretty, pretty good.

Alex Ovechkin – Goal on three shots.  I wish the guy would start to get the credit he deserves.  The things he does offensively get taken for granted.

John Carlson – Assist with four shots.  Matt Niskanen (assist, three shots) took some power play shifts on the first unit at the end of the game.  This could have been just to reduce Carlson’s workload but it’s worth monitoring in tonight’s game because if that holds, it would be a drastic change in value for both,

Marcus Johansson – Assist, four shots, two PIM.  He’s starting to cool off despite this game.  Johansson has been an elite streamer for years, that’s what he is, so you can hold him a little while longer but I think you can safely cut him soon enough.

Mike Smith – 24 saves on 26 shots in the 2-1 overtime loss to the Flames.  This was Smith’s first game back from injury.  We know what he is at this point as one of the poster boys of the “desperate for starts” category.

Jordan Martinook – Assist and two penalty minutes.  He’s become a decent streamer out of nowhere with his play this year.

Michael Frolik – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM.  Frolik looks to be a top end streamer with some upside for more if his minutes increase after the Johnny Gaudreau injury.

Matthew Tkachuk – Goal on two shots with two PIM.  Same story as Frolik although I do prefer Tkachuk due to the extra PIM.

Ben Bishop – 32 saves on 33 shots in the 4-1 win over the Sabres.  Buy low if you can; I know the volume won’t be what is what in the past but his starts are going to be great going forward.

Nikita Nesterov – Power play goal on his only shot.  He’s on the first power play unit right now so he’s a must own in deep leagues and if you need power play points, Nesterov should be decent in 12’ers.

Jonathan Drouin – Assist with two shots in his return from injury.  It won’t make up for Steven Stamkos being out for 4 months (cut him if you don’t have IR spots) but at least it lessens the blow for Tampa.

Valtteri Filppula – Two assists with a shot.  He moves up the streamer radar with an increased role but the lack of shots keep him from being a hold for me.

Alex Killorn – Goal and an assist with seven shots.  Minutes were very low but still a top end streamer.

Brayden Point – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM.  Low end streamer in 12’ers but a nice deep league option and someone I like going forward in dynasties.

Evander Kane – Assist and three shots.  He’s looked better lately but the Sabres really need to get healthy for Kane to potentially take off.

Dustin Byfuglien – Goal on three shots.  I’ve talked about it a ton recently but a hot streak is coming for Big Buff.  See if you can buy low.

Marko Dano – Assist with a shot.  Streamer success!  I can’t help myself, I love me some Marko Dano!  It’s still only worth streaming for now but I will keep going back to the well.

Blake Wheeler – Goal on four shots; he went back to the first line with Mark Scheifele and Nikolaj Ehlers (assist each) while Patrik Laine struggled (-4, 2 SOG).  This will continue to be a fluid situation but all of them will be beasts regardless.

Nic Petan – Assist and a shot.  Great deep league value and okay streamer as long as he remains in the top 6.

Shayne Gostisbehere – Healthy scratch against the Jets.  Facepalm.  I really don’t get it but hopefully it lasts only for this one game.

Mark Streit – Goal playing the first power play unit with Ghost out.  He should be held in 12’ers regardless right now but obviously it would be a big boost if this role sticks.

Radko Gudas – Two assists with a shot along with six hits and three blocks for some excellent value. When you add the extra categories, Gudas becomes an elite option.  In standard leagues, it’s generally just for PIM, although somehow he only has 2 PIM so far this year.  It seems like it’s only a matter of time until he gets 17+ PIM doing something scummy.

Wayne Simmonds – Goal.  His shots are down lately but I’m not overly concerned.

Steve Mason – 30 saves on 32 shots in the 5-2 win over the Jets.  Perhaps this is the start to a solid run by Mason but I’m not convinced of anything yet.

James Reimer – 24 saves on 30 shots in the 6-1 loss to the Leafs. Yikes, so much for the revenge game!  Florida looks pretty poor at the moment meaning I won’t be looking to stream Reimer in the short term.

Aaron Ekblad – Goal on three shots with six penalty minutes.  It was a very good line for fantasy owners but he looked really rough out there.  If you can sell him based on his name value, I would do it in a heartbeat.

Connor Brown – Two goals and two assists with three shots.  This is more points than he had in the first 16 games of the season.  If Brown started to get PP time, something could be here.  The problem is that they have so much firepower that it seems unlikely.

Leo Komarov – Goal and an assist.  Uncle Leo is starting to get hot with three goals in the last four games.  This puts him back on the streaming radar except in hits leagues where he’s a clear must own.

Mitch Marner – Goal and two PIM.  His goal was a thing of beauty leaving Reimer’s jockstrap on the ice.  The kid is scary good offensively.

James van Riemsdyk – Goal and an assist with four shots.  After today, JVR is at one point per game.  I wouldn’t even want to sell high on him.

Frederik Andersen – 26 saves on 27 shots with the win.  The wins have actually been solid but the other stats, not so much.

Pekka Rinne – 30 saves on 31 shots in the 5-1 win over the Senators.  Thankfully for fantasy owners he only missed one game and thankfully for the Preds they don’t have to play Marek Mazanec for the time being.  Hopefully good Rinne keeps showing up.

Mattias Ekholm – Assist with three shots.  It’s pretty bottom end but with an assist in three straight, he’s an okay option for assists.

Ryan Ellis – Goal on four shots.  Same story on Ekholm but for goals (3 in the last 5).

Ryan Johansen – Assist, five shots and six penalty minutes.  That’s three games in a row with an assist for RyJo and the other stats are starting to come around outside of goals.  Call me bullish but I still think it’s coming for Nashville.

James Neal – Goal on three shots with 4 PIM.  Hotter than a pistol right now with a goal in six straight.  That buy low opportunity has gone completely out of the window.

Mike Ribeiro – Goal and an assist.  16 games, 14 shots on goal.  You now know what I think about Ribeiro’s fantasy value.

P.K. Subban – Two assists with four shots.  It’s been a horrible start for Subban yet he sits at 10 points, 16 PIM and almost 2.5 shots per game.  Things are going to be just fine.

Derick Brassard – Goal on six shots.  It’s been a slow start for Brassard in Ottawa and while I said that his goal total last year was a fluke due to a high shooting percentage, it’s going to get better than this.  He played almost 20 minutes in this one and the minutes have been there all year for him to succeed.

Logan Couture – Goal on five shots playing over 20 minutes.  We talked about Couture on the latest podcast; it was nice to see him score his first 5 on 5 goal of the season.

Robby Fabbri – Assist, shot on goal and two PIM.  That’s five points in five games for Fabbri who surprisingly has contributed 15 PIM already.  He looks settled into the first line giving him ample opportunity to continue this recent success.

Jaden Schwartz – Two goals on four shots playing over 20 minutes.  All I had to do was call out Schwartz and he took off!  Thanks for listening Jaden, signed, fantasy owners.

Jake Allen – 29 saves on 31 shots in the 3-2 win over the Sharks.  He looked much better than on Tuesday against Buffalo despite giving up one more goal.  I’m back to calling him a buy low with 4 of 5 strong starts.

Tuukka Rask – 28 saves on 29 shots in the 1-0 loss to the Wild.  Rask was the tough luck loser on the night but with his goals against at 1.5 and save percentage nearing .950, I think his owners are okay with it.

Devan Dubnyk – 25 save shutout.  It’s been a dream start for Dubnyk and while it has to slow down some, I’m betting on him finishing as a top 5 goalie.

Mikael Granlund – Goal on three shots.  It’s bottom end right now with 9 points in 16 games, 2 PIM and right around 2 shots per game.  I’d prefer to stream him.

Nathan MacKinnon – Goal and an assist with six shots.  He played over 22 minutes and was clearly the best player on the ice again.  Fingers are crossed that this is the breakout I’ve been waiting for.  If somehow you’re in one of the 11% of leagues that MacKinnon is available in, grab him immediately.

Kari Lehtonen – 34 saves on 36 shots in the 3-2 win over the Avs.  He’s been getting the majority of starts lately so if you want to gamble on a Stars goalie, he’s the one for the time being.

Patrick Eaves – Goal on three shots.  He’s still available in 60% of ESPN leagues.  Thankfully, the loyal Razzballers have owned him for weeks… I hope.

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

Ryan Kesler – Goal on three shots.  I’m about to accept defeat when it comes to my preseason prediction of Kesler.  He’s been a bit lucky and he’s still a shell of his former self but we talk about opportunity all of the time in this space and Kesler has that in spades.  He’s the 5th wheel on the first power play unit and played over 22 minutes a game on a regular basis.  While Kesler isn’t great, he’s still good enough to produce in this massive role.

Ryan Getzlaf – Assist and a shot playing a whopping 24:09.  The fourth line played less than 6 minutes each, 2 of them playing 3 minutes.  This just shows how much the Ducks are depending on their top six, specifically their top 2 centers.

Jakob Silfverberg – Goal and an assist with three shots.  Hot schmotato alert!  With seven points in the last four games, Silfverberg can either be held for Sunday’s game against the Kings or you can cut him to stream somebody else and them stream him on Sunday if your waivers clear in enough time.

Jonathan Bernier – 27 saves on 29 shots in the 3-2 win over the Devils.  Well, last season’s nightmare with the tanking Leafs seems to be a thing of the past.  He’s still the clear backup but there’s a chance it could end up streamer worthy when he does play.

Anthony DeAngelo – Goal on two shots.  The former first round pick has 3 points in 5 games since his recall and looks like he belongs.  For now, it’s only deep league worthy but there’s a chance for more here.

Martin Hanzal – Assist and three shots playing 20 minutes in his second game back.  I’m a big fan of Hanzal’s game; he’s an elite streamer at the least.

Jacob Markstrom – 34 saves on 36 shots in the 3-2 overtime win against the Coyotes.  Ryan Miller has the flu so if you want to gamble it up, Markstrom should start Saturday against the Blackhawks.  I love to gamble but this is not a gamble I will be taking.

Brandon Sutter – Goal on five shots playing over 23 minutes.  He’s the right winger on the first line with the Cyborgs (more on them next).  Sutter has scored in three straight games and the shots are great so I’m perfectly fine with streaming him.  I could see him playing his way into a hold soon enough.

Daniel Sedin – Goal and an assist with four shots and two PIM.  He’s really heating up with points in 5 straight.  Can’t slow the Cyborgs down!

Henrik Sedin – Assist and two shots.  Last season’s 55 point total seems perfectly reasonable for the passing Cyborg.  His 5 goals in the early going is, umm, unsustainable.

Alex Edler – Two assists with four shots.  Somehow these are the first two assists for Edler this year.  He’s on the first power play unit and provides a great shot total for a defenseman so if you can stomach the poor plus-minus, Edler is a nice option.

Darnell Nurse – Goal on seven shots with three hits and four blocked shots.  Plenty of deep league value here with the contributions in extra categories but the offense still isn’t there.  

Peter Budaj – 28 saves on 30 shots in the 4-2 win over the Oilers.  He’s the guy for now and should be owned everywhere.

Tyler Toffoli – Goal and an assist with three shots.  It’s nice to see the shots take another jump up towards the elite group.

Jeff Carter – Goal and an assist with five shots.  It’s been solid so far but I think Carter is going to kick it into another gear with increased minutes lately.

Derek Forbort – Goal and an assist with two shots.  So Forbort is a former first round pick who’s taken 6 years to stick in the NHL.  He has 30 PIM already and the hits plus blocks are massive.  Forbort should be owned in 16’ers or deeper with those categories with the potential for more down the line if these minutes stick.

Friday Streamers – There are five games on the docket giving us a decent amount of options to choose from.  Here are my top three:

Conor Sheary (15.7%) – He’s back on the first line and after the beatdown they received against the Capitals on Wednesday, I think the Pens destroy the Islanders tonight.

Andre Burakovsky (12.3%) – Trotz came to his senses early on Wednesday; now Burakovsky is on the first line with Ovechkin and Kuznetsov.  Home against Detroit makes this a great spot.

Matthew Tkachuk (7.2%) – This one is a little bit out of the box but here me out.  One, this has potential for a nice PIM boost.  Two, the minutes are up with the Flames injuries.  Three, the Blackhawks have the worst PK in the league by a mile.  Like 67% awful.  Getting a chance against that can pay dividends.  There is no four.

That’s all for now guys.  I’ll be back on Monday recapping all of the weekend’s action.  Matt’s newest Assume The Position post should be set to go up Friday afternoon so be on the lookout for that!  As always, feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments below.  Have a great weekend, take care!

  1. Surfer dude says:
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    Help please – h2h pts 12 team league, which 3 to keep for ROS, Kopitar, Roussel, Atkinson, van Riemsdyk, Eaves, Wheeler, J.T. Miller – thanks!

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Surfer dude: wheeler is in a class among himself here and Kopitar is in the second tier by himself. After that, it’s close, but I lean JVR over Miller. No problem

  2. Mr. Rickey says:
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    Any point holding Stamkos in a non-keeper league? Same question for Quick.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Mr. Rickey: definitely not stamkos, 4 months is too long. Quick is kind of close and it depends on how you’re doing now. If you’re doing well I’d hold tight but if you aren’t and need to do well now, I’d cut bait

  3. Scott says:
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    Lovely, Stamkos is done for the year, and he’s undroppable in ESPN leagues.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Scott: that’ll be changed very soon, at least I hope so

  4. RickJamesBetch says:
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    By Odin’s beard, would you drop Gustav Nyquist for Silfverberg? Goals/Assists/Plus minus/PP/Hits/Blocks.

    • Quick Sycamore says:
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      @RickJamesBetch: Are you the guy who only uses “viking” players?

      • RickJamesBetch says:
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        @Quick Sycamore:

        haha totally, you got me. its been a wild wild ride returning to fantasy hockey after like 10 years

        • Quick Sycamore says:
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          @RickJamesBetch: Yeah no kidding. But that is such a hilarious concept. And you really do seem committed to it.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @RickJamesBetch: it’s very close either way, rest of season I’d take Nyqvust but right now I’d take Silfverberg so it depends on what you’re looking for

  5. Scott says:
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    So it sounds like I should sit Halak today?

    • Scott says:
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      Here’s the matchup:

      Me: 1 Win, GAA 2.468, SV% .9048
      Opp: 1 Win, GAA 2.673 SV% .9192

      • Viz

        Viz says:
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        @Scott: no id play him in that spot. there’s no reason to sit a goalie when the categories are 1-1-1. Worse case you lose GAA, best case you get wins and save %, more to gain than lose

  6. Quick Sycamore says:
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    Oh man I am having a roster crunch!
    Drouin is back from IR so I have to drop someone. Eaves is taking up my streamer spot and the only other one I have would be vasilevskiy. Right now I have Allen and Lehner as my goalies. I just don’t know who to drop. I guess it’d have to be eaves but I’d hate to let him go.

    • Quick Sycamore says:
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      @Quick Sycamore: Oh and someone dropped fowler, you’d take him over Hamilton? He’s my weakest dman.

      • Viz

        Viz says:
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        @Quick Sycamore: definitely Fowler over DOugie right now. That sounds brutal; I guess you have to cut Eaves

        • Quick Sycamore says:
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          @Viz: *sigh* the owner dropped him by accident which makes sense. Yeah that’s where I’m at with eaves right now too. I do also have Gallagher, who hasnt scored in 13 games, but I feel like he’s a hold. Thoughts?

  7. Scott says:
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    Good Steve Mason showed up, so no 3 pt challenge winners yesterday.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Scott: yep, nobody all week

  8. Man Of Steel says:
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    Hey Viz,

    Great stuff as always. Can you put these guys in tiers for ROS with PTS=3, PP PTS = 2, SOG=.4
    Hanzal (assuming he stays healthy)
    Teravinen
    Eaves
    Bozak
    Trocheck
    Fabbri

    Thanks!

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Man Of Steel: Ummm, something like Trocheck, Fabbri / Eaves, Hanzal, Bozak / Teravainen

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