We don’t know what’s going to happen come playoff time, but the Florida Panthers have established themselves as a regular season juggernaut. After destroying the Stars 7-1 on Friday, they came back to score nine goals on Saturday, beating Columbus 9-2. Among the highlights between the two games were Sam Bennett scoring a hat trick on Friday and totaling six points between the two games, Jonathan Huberdeau having six points, and MacKenzie Weegar having a rare four point game from a defenseman on Saturday. They’re clicking on all cylinders right now and that means great things in fantasy. They have ten skaters that I consider locks to be held, and another four that are quality streamers depending on team needs. Side note, I’m going to do another hold/stream list soon. Could we see the Panthers win their first playoff series since 1996? As long as their goaltending is passable, it’s firmly in play despite being in a division with three elite teams. Let’s take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
Sergei Bobrovsky – 29 saves on 30 shots in the 7-1 win over the Stars. Bob’s numbers are excellent after two dreadful years in Florida. He’s a clear #1 again.
Anthony Duclair – Goal and two assists, +6. Duclair also had a goal and an assist on Saturday. He’s solidified himself as a hold.
Brandon Montour – Two assists with two shots. Montour is on the fringe, but I lean towards holding because he hits all of the categories at a decent rate.
Mats Zuccarello – Two goals and an assist with four shots. The top line for Minnesota played as they did for the first two months of the season as Ryan Hartman had a goal and an assist while Kirill Kaprizov dished two assists with seven shots. Today against Colorado will be tough, but after that, they have Chicago twice and Montreal. It will be an excellent spot to use this line in DFS.
Matthew Boldy – Goal and an assist with three shots. Boldy has looked the part so far with three points in three games. I wouldn’t be surprised if he stays with the team even when the Wild get healthier. For now, he’s a quality streamer. Welcome to the Razzball Database!
Trevor Zegras – Goal and an assist with three shots. Even in a blowout, Zegras played over 21 minutes. It hasn’t been great at even strength, but Zegras’ overall numbers are quite good. He’s surpassed the lofty expectations set for him for this season.
Max Comtois – Goal and an assist with five shots. After being stuck in a bit role, Comtois is getting the chance to play with Zegras. Comtois had a solid season last year so I’m hoping he can find that form again. If he does, he should be an elite streamer. For now, he’s a bottom end one, but it’s worth monitoring.
Phil Kessel – Two assists with a shot. Arizona taking Colorado to a shootout is a minor miracle. They had their doors blown off Saturday, but still. Kessel is a solid streamer whose value is bound to change once he’s moved at the deadline.
Andre Burakovsky – Goal and an assist with three shots. His spot on the top line is gone now that Gabriel Landeskog returned on Saturday, but Burakovsky still needs to be held.
Devon Toews – Two assists with three shots. It’s a shame Toews missed so much time because he’s having one of the best seasons in the league. Makar gets all the coverage and rightfully so, but Toews is over a point per game and is +29 in 24 games. Averaging better than +1 per game is mind boggling.
Alex Nedeljkovic – 22 save shutout in the 4-0 win over the Sabres. His first season in Detroit has gone about as well as possible. Nedeljkovic has a .918, become the clear #1, and the wins are decent enough. Remind me why Carolina dumped him for only a third round pick? He’s a solid #2 who should be a top 10 fantasy goalie eventually.
Tyler Bertuzzi – Goal and two assists with six shots. The top line dominated as Dylan Larkin had two assists with four shots and two PIM, while Lucas Raymond scored a goal and an assist with four shots. Raymond is starting to get a big fringy after being a hold most of the season, while the other two are playing at superstar levels.
Brad Marchand – Goal and an assist with two shots. That drops his points per game average over the last five games. Completely unstoppable at the moment.
Patrice Bergeron – Two assists with six shots. Bergeron is in the midst of a scoring drought, but the shot rate is still there. His shooting percentage is due to regress so I expect him to get back to point per game soon enough.
Taylor Hall – Goal and an assist with five shots. Hall is on the fringe, but I lean towards holding with Pasta on the other wing.
Frederik Andersen – 30 saves on 31 shots in the 4-1 win over the Canucks. Andersen has performed admirably in Carolina to make up for the Nedeljkovic error. We’re looking at a top five goaltending season at the midway point.
Vincent Trocheck – Goal and an assist with two shots. The second line combined for two, three point goals, as Martin Necas also had a goal and an assist with Andrei Svechnikov assisting on both goals. We know Svech is a slam dunk hold. The other two are far from that. Necas is an elite streamer and right now, I’m leaning towards putting Trocheck in that category as well. His shot rate has taken a big step down this season as he’s well below two per game.
Vitek Vanecek – 23 save shutout in the 2-0 win over the Islanders. Samsonov has become the clear #1, but Vanecek is worth streaming in most starts. The GAA is quite good.
Semyon Varlamov – 34 saves on 35 shots as the tough luck loser. After a rough start, Varlamov has had three monster games in a row, saving 34, 36, and 40 shots allowing one goal in each game. I don’t have him anywhere, but if I did, I’d be stubborn and hold hoping that he turned a corner.
Gustav Nyquist – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM. Great run of form with Nyquist having nine points in his last seven games, but with one shot per game on average, he’s capped at being a middling streamer.
Carter Verhaeghe – Two goals on eight shots. Verhaeghe has solidified himself as a hold again.
Anton Lundell – Two goals on eight shots. Lundell has shown more offense than I expected from him as a rookie. Some of that is the environment he’s playing in, sure, but credit where it’s due. For now, he’s stuck on the third line which makes him a solid streamer, but I’m more bullish on his long term upside for dynasties than I was coming into the season.
Adam Fox – Two assists with a shot. It’s hard to complain about somebody being a point per game, especially a defenseman, but Fox’s shot rate being under two per game keeps him from entering the top tier of fantasy defensemen.
Artemi Panarin – Two assists with a shot. His shooting percentage is down a bit from where it’s been the last few years which is hurting his goals, but Panarin is still well over a point per game because of how many assists he piles up.
Morgan Rielly – Two assists with three shots and two PIM. It’s very assist heavy, but Rielly’s shot rate going up drastically makes him a top end #2.
Pierre Engvall – Two assists with two shots. I’d like to see what Engvall could do in a bigger role, but that’s not going to happen in Toronto. He’s not on the radar for 12’ers.
Mitch Marner – Goal and an assist, as did Auston Matthews. Nice to see Marner start off strong in his first game out of COVID protocol. Marner being below a point per game is incredibly disappointing, but one hot run can change that.
Ryan O’Reilly – Two goals on three shots. He hasn’t been the offensive force we’re used to, but that can come with better linemates. Buch was on his wing until he entered COVID protocol which would do RoR wonders. He’s right on the fringe.
Brandon Saad – Goal and an assist with three shots. Saad is scoring at a decent clip in his first year in St. Louis, but with only six assists in 34 games, he’s a middling streamer.
Niko Mikkola – Goal and an assist. He’s been on the top pair, but that has come with little offense. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him lose that spot to a trade deadline acquisition either. Nothing here for fantasy.
Jordan Kyrou – Two assists with three shots and two PIM. Seven game point streak for Kyrou who is taking a big step forward in shot rate. He’s a top 50 player now.
Robert Thomas – Goal and an assist. It’s hard to leave a guy just below a point per game on the waiver wire, but he’s also at 1.5 shots per game. I’m holding, but it’s not great.
Nikita Kucherov – Two assists with four shots. Nine points in five games since coming back from injury. Seems good.
Andrei Vasilevskiy – 19 saves on 20 shots in the 3-1 win over the Stars. He’s firmly in the Vezina conversation, no surprise. He’s been the #1 fantasy goalie for years now.
Alex DeBrincat – Two assists. He’s reached superstar status.
Marc-Andre Fleury – 37 save shutout in the 3-0 win over the Ducks. MAF’s numbers are solid despite the worst start imaginable. He’s an easy hold now looking like a #2 goalie.
Darcy Kuemper – 20 save shutout in the 5-0 win over the Coyotes. It’s been a lot worse than expected for Kuemper, but the wins are clearly elite. He’s on the fringe of a bottom end #1/ top #2, but a decent run of form could see Kuemper be a top goalie.
Nathan MacKinnon – Two goals and an assist, as did Mikko Rantanen. Needless to say, the Coyotes won’t going to contain these guys two nights in a row.
Jesse Puljujarvi – Two assists with a shot. Solid streamer; pretty straightforward.
Josh Norris – Two goals. He’s been overshadowed by his two linemates, but Norris does have 16 goals in 30 games. The assist rate is quite bad so it comes down to team needs.
Alex Formenton – Goal and an assist with two shots. I’m definitely driving the Formenton bandwagon. He’s a solid streamer but I want him to get more minutes!
Cal Petersen – 17 saves on 18 shots in the 3-1 win over the Kraken. I’m grabbing Petersen where I can on the chance that he becomes the #1 in LA like we expected going into the season.
Phillip Danault – Two goals. The second line is on a tear with Trevor Moore dishing two assists. Danault’s shot rate is much better than it ever has been making him a solid streamer.
Louis Domingue – 40 saves on 41 shots in the 2-1 OT win over the Sharks. I had no clue what organization Domingue was in, let alone that he was called up to the NHL. Don’t expect him to get much action going forward.
Jake Guentzel – Goal and an assist with four PIM. Is it crazy to say he’s the best player on the Penguins now? I think you can make a pretty good case he’s passed Crosby.
Kris Letang – Goal and an assist with five shots. Monster season from Letang which should only get better when his shooting percentage regresses.
Evgeny Kuznetsov – Two assists. Kuz has managed to stay right around the point per game mark. I don’t see much reason to expect him to fall off in the second half.
J.T. Miller – Goal and an assist with four shots. Miller has been one of the most consistent players in the league the past few seasons in Vancouver. Great to see the shot rate up as well.
Bo Horvat – Goal and an assist with two shots. Dr. Bo still cutting up the competition. He’s more of an elite streamer than a hold though, but that can change quickly.
Elias Pettersson – Two goals on four shots. Pettersson has struggled in a big way this season, but the talent is still there. I see both sides, but I’m holding for the upside.
Quinn Hughes – Two assists. Hughes remains a solid #2 because the assists and PPP are top end. Everything else leaves a bit to be desired.
Three Point Challenge: We’ll do the usual with Tuesday’s games. You can not select Draisaitl, Huberdeau, Ovechkin, McDavid, Kadri, Stamkos, Rantanen, Marchand, Kaprizov, Hedman, Meier, or Matthews now with a tie for 10th. I’m going with Hintz against the Canadiens.
That’s all for now guys. As always, feel free to ask any questions, leave any comments, or give any suggestions below. I’ll be back on Wednesday per usual. Thanks for reading, take care!