Tony DeAngelo grew up in New Jersey and on Thursday, he had the best game of his career against the Devils.  DeAngelo scored a hat trick on seven shots while adding two assists to have the best game of the NHL season by a defenseman.  In the preseason, I ranked DeAngelo 32nd at defensemen, way above consensus.  Here’s what I said: “Alright, somebody I really like!  Now, that’s not to say there’s concern here with DeAngelo.  One, he’s still unsigned and I’m not sure if a deal gets done sooner than later.  Two, it’s possible that Fox takes his PP time.  I think the two play together on PP2 but we’ll have to wait and see.  However, if DeAngelo is playing on opening night getting PP2 time, he could get 40 points and 100 PIM.  Yes, the shot rate is slightly below average, but it’s extremely difficult to get that out of anyone on the blue line.  You won’t need to take him this early, but I’m targeting DeAngelo because he fits so many team builds.”  And that’s me quoting me copying what Grey does!  Well, I may have overshot the PIM, but I was way under on the points.  DeAngelo now has 11+25 in 42 games and he worked his shot rate up to over two per game, a solid number for a defenseman.  Hopefully you guys checked out my preseason rankings and you own DeAngelo everywhere because I’m not expecting a drop off given the style the Rangers play.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:

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I’m a big fan of the revenge game and Semyon Varlamov had one on Monday night against his old team in Colorado.  Varlamov had a 32 save shutout to earn the 1-0 victory.  I have a few points on Varly.  One, he’s proving to be the #1 goalie we hoped he would be when he went to the Islanders.  Barry Trotz has the best defensive system in the league.  Two, how the hell wasn’t he an All-Star?  He’s clearly had the best season for goalies in his division.  I get having Korpisalo because the Jackets need a representative, but Holtby?  Come on, Varly has been much better.  Anyways, keep rolling the Isles goalies.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:

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For years, Patric Hornqvist has been an easy hold in fantasy, but last season brought some doubt if the 32 year old would get back to that level.  Injuries have set back Honrqvist this season, but his first three games back have been strong, namely the last two.  On Thursday, Hornqvist scored two goals on eight shots in the 3-2 loss to the Sharks.  So why am I excited for Hornqvist?  One is the shots.  He’s pushing three per game which brings plenty of value.  Two is the top power play time on a strong unit.  Three, and this is the main one, is that Sidney Crosby should be returning within a week or so, and given the injuries Pittsburgh has suffered, it seems likely that Hornqvist ends up playing on his wing.  This would do wonders for his value and give him the chance to be a solid hold again.  Hornqvist is available in almost two-thirds of leagues right now which makes him an incredible speculation add in all formats.  If he can stay healthy and plays with Crosby, we could get borderline top 100 value the rest of the way from Hornqvist.  Let’s take a look at what else happened on Thursday night:

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James Neal opened the season on an absolute tear, a stretch that included a four goal game.  He fell off dramatically over the last two months, but he had another massive game on Tuesday.  Neal had a hat trick and an assist in the 7-5 win over the Rangers.  So should we care?  I mean, the Rangers are a disaster defensively.  And the answer is… yes and no.  What great advice!  It all comes down to your team needs.  Neal has been excellent on the power play and should continue to do so on Edmonton’s first unit.  The goals are going to keep coming in.  On the other hand, he’s -23 and has only eight assists on the season.  If you’re desperate for goals and power play points, or are in a league with extra categories that include PPG, then there’s a case to hold Neal.  Otherwise, I would prefer to stream him so he doesn’t tank my plus-minus while also giving less assists than any other fantasy relevant player.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last three nights:

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I hope that all Razzballers had a great festive period!  It’s time for an updated hold/stream list, so I’m going to get right to it!

ANAHEIM DUCKS

Hold: Getzlaf, Gibson, Fowler

Stream: Rakell, Silfverberg, Lindholm, Kase

Rickard Rakell is right on the fringe, but he has missed the last three games.  He’s not good enough that he’s a must hold, so I cut him on one of my teams.  I will probably look to stream him when he returns, but if someone else picks him up, it’s not the end of the world.  Cam Fowler is super boring but he’s doing just enough to be a bottom end hold.

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Who had Noel Acciari scoring seven goals in one week this season?  Alright, who had Acciari scoring more than seven goals this season?  After Acciari scored a hat trick last Monday against the Senators, Acciari managed to follow it up with another hat trick plus an assist against the Stars on Friday.  Acciari scored again on Saturday against Carolina completing one of the craziest weeks we’ve ever seen from a depth hockey player.  So should we care?  Probably, yes.  He’s playing with Jonathan Huberdeau who is piling up assists looking to feed Acciari at the moment.  The problem is that Acciari isn’t getting power play time yet, but he could get PP2 time sooner than later.  However, he still played over 17 minutes last game without the power play time which is enough to have value.  He’s the epitome of a hot schmotato so I would look to stream him against Tampa on Monday and carrying that into Saturday’s game against Detroit.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the weekend:

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I talked a lot about Taylor Hall in Monday’s post (you can read that here).  The trade that I was talking about happened on Monday with Hall moving to Arizona.  In the trade, Hall and Blake Speers went to Arizona for a 2020 conditional first-round draft pick, a conditional 2021 third-rounder, along with forward prospects Nate Schnarr, Nick Merkley and defenseman Kevin Bahl.  First, let’s look at this from Arizona’s perspective.  It’s a steep price to pay for a rental, but Hall is the best player traded in quite some time, and Arizona is looking to snap a long playoff drought in a weak division.  I totally get the move given their strong defensive talent but lack of overall offensive talent.  Hall played on Tuesday dishing an assist and adding a shot in 18 minutes.  He played with Christian Dvorak and Clayton Keller.  In Monday’s piece linked above, I said to buy Keller going forward due to his recent play.  This only enhances his value.  Same goes with Dvorak, but he moves up to an elite streamer for now.  As for New Jersey, it’s hard to complain about this return.  You have potentially two first round picks in this deal, but at least a 1 and 3.  Bahl is a monster coming in at 6’7 and can skate fairly well.  I don’t see a PP guy there, but he should be a modern stay-at-home who is strong on the PK.  For those in deep leagues, he should be a very good hits/blocks guy down the line.  Merkley has decent upside, but he has already had reconstructive knee surgery.  He’s not the best skater, but he has great hockey IQ and should end up as a playmaking center in the middle six.  Schnarr was a third round pick in 2018 who didn’t show a ton of offense until after he was drafted.  He then exploded in Guelph last season, but he’s struggled in the AHL so far.  That isn’t a surprise as many 20 year olds struggle in their first pro season.  I don’t expect a ton, but there’s a decent chance he ends up an NHL’er.  All in all, seems like this trade has the potential to be a win-win once you consider that Hall seemingly didn’t want to stay in New Jersey.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:

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Things escalated over the weekend with the Devils holding out Taylor Hall from two games due to precautionary reasons.  A trade is on the horizon, and all indications are that the team wants to get a deal done before the trade freeze on the 19th.  There’s no guarantee that it happens, but Shero seems to want to make the big move now.  So what does that do for Hall owners in fantasy?  Well, if you’re in a weekly lineup league, you have to bench him this week.  The Devils already don’t play until Wednesday this week, and if Hall is still on the team then, I highly doubt that he plays.  There’s also the chance that there are some visa issues for Hall when he is traded which causes him to miss a game.  This is a clear blow to the rest of the Devils.  Nico Hischier, Jack Hughes, and Kyle Palmieri all lose a big chunk of value.  I would still hold Palmieri, but in redrafts, I think I would cut the other two guys and only look to stream them.  The Devils are really devoid of talent on the wings and as good as Hischier and Hughes are going to be, I doubt it will be consistently good for this entire season.  Let’s take a look at some other things going on around the NHL:

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Hey guys! Sven back with the Buy, Sell, Hold segment for the second year. It’s pretty straight forward, players who are buys: you should pick up. Players who are sells, you should think about dropping. Players who are holds, you may be thinking about dropping but don’t just yet! Just for clarification, the % I am going to put next to the players’ stat line is their %own on ESPN. For Buys, I usually focus on guys with a %own less than 50%. Let’s get started! This is a quick one today as I have been very busy, but I will try to start pumping these out every week again.

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