While the NFL steals the spotlight during Championship Week, the Rangers started the weekend blowing out two top teams in Seattle and Carolina. They scored six goals in both games to bring their winning streak up to five. While it was a group effort on Friday, Artemi Panarin stole the show on Saturday. The Breadman scored four goals and an assist with five shots and two PIM against Carolina, after dishing an assist against the Kraken. Gallant shuffled the lines after Tarasenko’s arrival, with Vincent Trocheck and Jimmy Vesey playing with Panarin again, setting up two of his goals. It was Panarin’s third three-point game in his last eight, as he starts to heat up. While he hasn’t approached his point production of his first three seasons in New York, Panarin is still on pace for 90+ points. That shows what kind of floor he has and why he’s worthy of an early draft pick every year. Despite lower shots and PIM/hits, even his below average year (by his standards) is a top 50 player. Who knows, Panarin could finish the season on a massive heater and finally get to 100 points. Let’s take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
Oliver Bjorkstrand – Goal and an assist with two shots. Bjorkstrand has been one of the only disappointments on the Kraken so far. He does have seven points in his last seven games, so I’m bumping him back up to solid streamer.
Vince Dunn– Two assists. Dunn has been an excellent #2 defenseman this season and I don’t see any reason to expect a change.
Chris Kreider – Two assists with two shots. Kreider has regressed back to the level we were used to before last season’s 50 goal outburst. It’s on the fringe, but I lean hold.
Vincent Trocheck – Goal and an assist with five shots. Trocheck is solidified as an elite streamer now that Filip Chytil (A, 3 SOG) took his spot on the first power play unit.
Ryan Lindgren – Goal and an assist with three shots. And there’s your biannual Lindgren update!
Kappo Kakko – Goal and an assist with three shots. Kakko has eight points in the last seven games which puts him in solid streamer range. The Kid Line is doing very well for the Rangers.
Ilya Samsonov – 30 save shutout in the 3-0 win over the Blue Jackets. There’s some awful games every now and again, but overall, Samsonov has been quite good. Solid #2, especially while Murray is out.
John Tavares – Two goals on four shots, both assisted by Mitch Marner. It’s great to see Tavares’ shot rate boost back up to an elite level. His contributions in non-points categories is so good that being a point per game has him as a top 25 forward so far this season.
Clayton Keller – Goal and two assists with two shots. Keller has been fantastic for the Desert Dogs this year. He’s clicking with Nick Schmaltz (1+1) again and it got even better this weekend (spoiler alert!).
Andreas Athanasiou – Goal and two assists with eight shots. Athanasiou has incredible speed, but at this point, his 30 goal season is a huge anomaly. Easy pass.
Sam Lafferty – Two assists with two shots. I expect Lafferty to get moved at the deadline, but I have a hard time expecting him to have real fantasy value.
Pierre-Oliver Joseph – Two goals and an assist with four shots. There’s some long term value here, but unless defensemen in front of him are injured, Joseph is only for deep leagues.
Evgeni Malkin – Two assists with three shots. The shots are down a bit and he’s still bad at even strength, but Malkin’s crushing the power play and mainly, he’s stayed healthy!
Bryan Rust – Goal and an assist with three shots. Rust is still an elite streamer for me, even though he hasn’t played at that level this season.
Kasperi Kapanen – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM. This season has been a disaster for Kapanen, to be blunt. There’s nothing here, but maybe a fresh start gets him back into streamer range.
Adam Henrique – Two assists with a shot. Solid streamer while he has the big role he currently does.
Jakob Silfverberg – Two assists with two shots. Silfverberg is washed at this point. I was a big fan of his game during his prime, but that was a long time ago now.
Mason McTavish – Goal and an assist with two shots and four PIM. There haven’t been many bright spots for Anaheim this season, but McTavish is starting to show signs of his upside on a more frequent basis. I’m all in long term.
Dillon Dube – Goal and three assists with three shots. The Flames tore the Sabres apart on Saturday, with the first line leading the way. Dube moved onto the first power play unit as well, bumping him up to solid streamer.
Tyler Toffoli – Two goals and an assist with five shots. Toffoli remains on the fringe, although I lean towards holding.
Anthony Beauvillier – Goal and an assist with three shots. Beauvillier has actually gone onto the first power play unit and with Pettersson on the first line. This is the best chance he’s had to get back to his previous value and could even do better. He’s a solid streamer for now, but it could get even better.
Dylan Larkin – Two goals and an assist with five shots. Larkin is easily having his best season on the power play, and could easily set career highs. Yzerman better get ready to show Larkin the money.
Ben Chiarot – Two assists with two shots. No thank you.
Jonatan Berggren – Two goals on three shots. I really like what I’ve seen from Berggren, especially his shot. He’s a middling streamer for now, but there’s long term upside.
Moritz Seider – Two assists with two shots and two PIM. Seider has 10 assists in his last 10 games as he starts his resurgence. Thankfully the hits and blocks are massive to give Seider a high floor regardless.
Brock Nelson – Goal and an assist with five shots. All of the attention is on the first line while Nelson is piling up the points behind them. He’s been fantastic and should continue to do so.
Noah Dobson – Two assists with two shots. Nice to see Dobson healthy and back on the ice.
Mike Hoffman – Three assists with three shots and two PIM. Hoffman is getting massive minutes right now to the point where I have him as a borderline elite streamer.
Michael Matheson – Goal and an assist with five shots playing over 25 minutes. Matheson has always been a decent fantasy contributor when he gets the minutes. He’s very good for deep leagues and starting to get on the shallow league radar again.
Connor McDavid – Goal and two assists with four shots. Zach Hyman had a goal and an assist with five shots, while Leon Draisaitl dished two assists, adding eight shots and two PIM. Needless to say that the Senators have no answers for the top guys on Edmonton.
Matt Duchene – Goal and an assist. Duchene is on the fringe, and we could see a minutes boost if Filip Forsberg misses any time with his minor injury.
Juuse Saros – 23 saves on 24 shots in the 2-1 OT win over the Flyers. And just like that, Saros is up to a .919 save percentage. He’s back among the league’s elite.
Andrei Vasilevskiy – 28 saves on 29 shots in the 3-1 win over the Stars. What do you know? Vasilevskiy is a top five goalie once again. In other news, water is wet.
Anthony Cirelli – Two goals and an assist with five shots. The new second line for Tampa dominated as Alex Killorn dished two assists and Brandon Hagel had a goal and an assist with four shots. Hagel is in the elite streamer range, although perhaps he still belongs on the fringe. Cirelli and Killorn are solid streamers.
Darcy Kuemper – 27 saves on 28 shots in the 2-1 win over the Bruins. Big win for the Capitals in Boston, although they squandered that by losing to the Sharks on Sunday. Kuemper has been a top end #2 and that should continue, with the chance to be a #1.
Nathan MacKinnon – Two goals and an assist with six shots. It’s a shame MacKinnon missed time because he’s been an absolute monster when healthy. We’re talking a 118 point pace and over 400 shots over 82 games.
J.T. Compher – Two assists with three shots. Compher is getting a massive workload right now which is enough to make him an elite streamer.
Mikko Rantanen – Two assists with seven shots and two PIM. I think Rantanen has eliminated any doubt that he’s going to be a first round pick in drafts for years to come.
Sam Reinhart – Two assists with four shots playing over 23 minutes. Reinhart is taking a lot of shots lately and the points are starting to come back to his usual standard. I’m expecting a big second half.
Matthew Tkachuk – Two assists with seven shots. Even having Tkachuk ranked #8 overall in non-hits leagues was apparently too low. Monster.
Boone Jenner – Goal and an assist with nine shots playing over 23 minutes. The points are kind of weak, but Jenner is doing well everywhere else. The PPP is quite weak, which is the main problem. I see him as a solid streamer.
Kirill Marchenko – Goal and an assist with two shots. He got an assist! I’m a big fan of Marchenko long term. Solid streamer right now.
Kent Johnson – Goal and an assist with five shots. I was hoping to see more from Johnson this season, but it hasn’t really happened. Hopefully they give him big minutes down the stretch for his development.
William Nylander – Goal and an assist with four shots and two PIM. The career year for Nylander continues. He’s crushing everything but hits/PIM.
Nick Schmaltz – Goal and three assists with two shots. Clayton Keller had two goals and an assist with four shots. Keller is a clear hold now, while Schmaltz is on the fringe, but I lean towards holding in this moment.
Juuso Valimaki – Four assists with a shot and two PIM. We’re starting to see a bigger role from Valimaki. He went on the first unit with Jakob Chychrun being held out of the game for “trade related reasons.” He’s worth owning in all deep leagues for that upside, and he’s worth monitoring for 14’ers and deeper.
Pavel Buchnevich – Three assists with two shots and two PIM. Buch is over a point per game again so we just need him to stay healthy. He’s been excellent as a Blue.
Calle Rosen – Two goals on four shots. Rosen is benefitting from some good shooting luck when he’s on the ice, but he’s also looked good in his limited role. I’d like to see him get a bigger chance. For now, Rosen is a deep league guy.
Brayden Schenn – Two assists with a shot. Sschenn is an elite streamer while he’s on a line with Jordan Kyrou (2A, 4SOG) and Thomas.
Tomas Tatar – Two goals on three shots. Tatar stayed on the first power play unit, but dropped to the third line with the line shuffling due to Hughes’ absence. That’s a middling streamer.
Connor Hellebuyck – 31 saves on 32 shots in the 4-1 win over the Blackhawks. Hellebuyck has bounced back in full force to be the superstar we’re accustomed to. Love to see it.
Blake Wheeler – Two goals and an assist. Wheeler has been much better than I expected, putting him back on the fringe despite a poor shot rate.
Josh Morrissey – Goal and an assist with two shots. I always liked Morrissey, but I never saw a season like this coming. He’s a clear cut #1 fantasy defenseman now.
Pheonix Copley – 25 save shutout in the 6-0 win over the Penguins. That was quite the performance from the Kings in Dustin Brown’s retirement ceremony night. The wins are great, but the save percentage is rough. I think there’s enough here for Copley to be a #3 and bottom end hold, but it’s tenuous.
Adrian Kempe – Four goals on seven shots with two PIM. Massive hot streak from Kempe makes him worth holding for the time being.
Anze Kopitar – Three assists with a shot. Kopitar is firmly on the fringe now, but lean towards holding while he’s on fire.
Evan Bouchard – Two assists with two shots and two PIM. Bouchard’s minutes were up, but that’s because the Oilers got their asses kicked by Montreal. I’m not reaching much into this.
Jordan Harris – Two goals with three shots and two PIM. There could be something here long term, but not right now.
Evgenii Dadonov – Two assists with a shot and two PIM. Dadonov’s days of fantasy value appear to be over.
Jonathan Drouin – Two assists with two shots and two PIM. It’s nice to see Drouin playing again, but he has 0 goals in 30 games this season.
Kappo Kahkonen – 12 saves on 13 shots before getting injured in the 4-1 win over the Capitals. Aaron Dell came in and saved all eight shots he faced. Hopefully it’s not serious as Kahkonen needs the reps. I wouldn’t touch Dell with a ten foot pole.
Erik Karlsson – Goal and two assists with three shots. The 100 point season is firmly in play. Karlsson has been nothing short of spectacular.
Tomas Hertl – Goal and an assist with two shots. Hertl seems set in the elite streamer range close to the fringe.
Alexander Barabanov – Barabanov has turned into a solid second liner for the Sharks. He’s a middling streamer because the shot rate isn’t up to snuff.
Isac Lundestrom – Goal and an assist with three shots. Lundestrom looked like he was trending in the right direction last season, but this year has been a disaster. Hopefully he can get his career back on track.
Shea Theodore – Goal and an assist with two shots. Half the team had two points for Vegas as they’re in the midst of an offensive explosion, but the big thing was Theodore was back on the first power play unit where he belongs. I think he’s a nice trade target. We can’t rule out a big second half like last year.
Three Point Challenge: We will Tuesday’s Games per usual. You can’t select McDavid, Draisaitl, Kucherov, M. Tkachuk, Karlsson, Robertson, Thompson, Pastrnak, Hughes, Pettersson or Marner. I’ll go with Verhaeghe against the Blues.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back on Wednesday recapping the action from tonight’s games. As always, feel free to ask any questions, leave any comments, or give any suggestions below. Thanks for reading, take care!