With how disappointing Kevin Shattenkirk has been overall in Anaheim, I wasn’t expecting any Ducks skaters to be a hold for the rest of the season. Lo and behold, a player who looked primed to be a 30 goal scorer on an annual basis looks to have finally founded his mojo again. Rickard Rakell scored two goals and an assist in the 6-5 Ducks win over the Kings on Monday. That gives Rakell a six game point streak in which he has twelve points. His shot rate is now over three on the season, and with the Ducks playing the other California teams for the rest of the week, Rakell is worth holding while he’s en fuego. Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Two assists. The shot rate has really fallen off which is a reason OEL has no goals. However, he’s still piling up assists and taking a lot of penalties which puts him as a hold in most cases depending on team needs.
Clayton Keller – Two assists. Five game point streak for Keller who looks to have settled in as a bottom end hold.
Marc-Andre Fleury – 20 saves on 21 shots as the tough luck loser in the 2-0 loss to the Wild. Fleury has played every game with Lehner out and has been outstanding, no way around it. It shows how much luck there is in hockey as Vegas was looking to move him and couldn’t for a while, and now, MAF is elite again.
Kappo Kahkonen – 26 save shutout. He’s worth holding even though Kahkonen will be splitting with Talbot.
Thomas Chabot – Two assists with a shot. Twelve assists in the past ten games for Chabot. Assist’s ain’t got no face!
Connor McDavid – Two assists with five shots. It’s crazy that this feels like the expectation for McDavid going against Ottawa.
Ryan O’Reilly – Two assists with two PIM. RoR is sitting at a point per game and has the most PIM he’s had in a decade (14!). With the elite plus-minus and approaching average shot rate, last season’s drop in shots and goals looks to be the outlier.
Ryan Donato – Two assists with a shot. I had relatively high hopes for Donato in San Jose as he looked like a natural fit for the sixth spot in the San Jose top six, but it just hasn’t happened. He’s only a bottom end streamer.
Carey Price – 28 saves on 29 shots in the 2-1 SO loss against Vancouver. I would be awfully tempted to sell high on Price on the back of three consecutive one goal outings.
Thatcher Demko – 29 saves on 30 shots earning the win. Five straight elite starts for Demko has his numbers back to a #2 goalie level. I think that’s where he’s going to settle into.
Adrian Kempe – Hat trick on six shots and two PIM. Kempe was terrific in this game despite being on the third line. When he’s on Kopitar’s wing, he’s an elite streamer that’s a borderline hold. In his current role, he’s a middling streamer because he keeps his spot on the top power play unit.
Anze Kopitar – Two assists with a shot. He’s averaging an assist a game which is mind blowing. The schedule gets rough after tonight’s game, but I don’t expect massive regression for Kopitar, he’s just that good.
Drew Doughty – Two assists. Doughty’s workload has kept him at a #3D level.
Max Comtois – Three assists with two shots. Comtois is already an elite streamer which bodes well for the future. At 22, the upside looks pretty high, especially as the Ducks improve the talent around him.
Kevin Shattenkirk – Goal and an assist. As mentioned in the intro, I thought that Shattenkirk would be a hold this season, but he’s been disappointing. I don’t see it turning around, although there’s a chance for it.
Adam Henrique – Goal and an assist with two shots. Henrique has shown some signs of life since being waived, but I’m still only comfortable using him as a bottom end streamer.
Sam Reinhart – Two goals, both assisted by Taylor Hall. Reinhart has been fantastic this season despite the massive struggles of the Sabres. The plus-minus is rough, but I’d still hold him. I’ve received a lot of questions about Hall lately. It’s a really tough spot in terms of deciding what to do with him. It’s fringe, and gun to head I guess I would lean hold still, but it’s far from automatic. Keep the questions coming if you have them about Hall as your league format will be a factor.
Sean Couturier – Two assists with two shots, as did Joel Farabee. The new first line in Philadelphia has been one of the best in the league. I did not expect this big of a role for Farabee right away this season, but he’s delivered and then some. Long term, it’s hard to say what his upside can be, but if the shot rate took another jump forward, top 50 isn’t out of the question. We know what Couts is at this point.
Sidney Crosby – Goal and an assist with two PIM. That gets Crosby right back to a point per game like we expect. He still has eight games against the Sabres to come making Crosby, and the rest of the top Penguins, guys I’m buying for the second half.
Jordan Staal – Two goals on six shots playing over 23 minutes. Every time I think about Staal slowing down, he has a big game. He’s a hold in leagues without SOG as a category, and on the fringe in leagues that include it, but lean towards a hold.
Vincent Trocheck – Two assists with a shot. The shots have dropped down a bit, but Trocheck still has a six game point streak. Really nice bounceback after two disappointing seasons.
Sebastian Aho – Goal and an assist with two PIM. He was all over the ice in this game and a bit unlucky to not have any even strength points. I would have liked one more for the Three Point Challenge!
Jaroslav Halak – 26 saves on 27 shots in the 2-1 SO loss to the Islanders. Halak was great against his old team and outside of one horrible period, has been as good as usual. He’s worth streaming in every start.
Semyon Varlamov – 32 saves on 33 shots earning the win. Varly has been a top five goalie this season and while he should regress some with how much he’s played the Sabres, I wouldn’t be trying to sell him.
Neal Pionk – Three assists with three shots and two PIM. Despite not being on PP1 for the majority of the season, Pionk has been slightly better than last season in terms of point production. However, the shot rate went from an asset to a negative. He’s an easy hold, but it’s more AAGNOF than I expected.
Andrew Copp – Goal and an assist. Copp was on a massive tear in the top six and stopped producing when he went to the third line. In his current role, he’s a bottom end streamer, but that can change quickly.
Nikolaj Ehlers – Two assists with two shots. The goal scoring and shots have dried up a bit since the torrid start, but Ehlers has still been outstanding overall. He’s looking like the top 50 player he was poised to become after his third season.
Auston Matthews – Two goals on six shots. That’s 20 goals for Matthews who has opened up a 5 goal lead for the Maurice Richard despite missing some time.
Travis Zajac – Three assists. Hard no.
Janne Kuokkanen – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM. The role is not there for Kuokkanen to be fantasy relevant at this point in his career.
Jakub Vrana – Two goals on three shots. He played only 12 minutes in this game, as did Evgeny Kuznetsov (two assists, two SOG), which isn’t a great sign. It’s pretty clear that when the Caps are up, Laviolette isn’t going to give them many minutes. That said, Vrana is probably a bottom end hold, but Kuznetsov is firmly on the fringe, and I’d lean towards leaving him on the wire.
Nicklas Backstrom – Two assists with a shot. The shots have dried up which isn’t a big surprise, but the points certainly have not. The goals will regress a bit, but the assists could be sustainable.
MacKenzie Weegar – Two assists. Nice player in real life, nothing to see in fantasy.
Tyler Johnson – Goal and an assist with three shots. Johnson has been good on a per-minute basis, but the problem is that he doesn’t get a ton of minutes. He’s only a bottom end streamer.
Blake Coleman – Goal and an assist with two shots. Coleman bounces up and down the lineup, but he’s only a bottom end streamer right now. As mentioned before, I really like him as a deep league dynasty target as he’s likely to leave Tampa after this season for a bigger role (and more money) elsewhere.
Erik Cernak – Goal and and assist with three shots and a fight. A Gordie Howe hat trick where the goal is by far the most unlikely to happen, and the assist isn’t far behind! Cernak can be a deep league streamer for hits only, but that’s it.
Filip Hronek – Two assists. Hronek’s assist rate has actually improved, but he has managed to score zero goals despite being around two shots per game. When Detroit gets better, he could turn into a valuable fantasy asset, and I would bet on that happening, but it could be a couple years.
Jason Robertson – Four assists with two shots. Nice little stretch for Robertson as he’s solidified himself as the second line left winger. He’s a bottom end streamer until the shot rate increases, but he could be a nice player long term.
Roope Hintz – Goal and an assist with two shots. Hintz has played at a bottom end hold level, but he needs to stay on the ice for that to be maintained.
Joel Kiviranta – Goal and an assist with two shots. The playoff hero for Dallas doesn’t get a lot of minutes and is under a shot per game. Easy pass right now.
Anton Khudobin – 21 saves on 22 shots in the 6-1 win over Chicago. Khudobin has been more of a #2 goalie than the bottom end #1 that I expected, but I do think we see some improvement going forward.
Three Point Challenge: We will do the Three Point Challenge on Thursday. No top 10 players in the league in points, which is currently 13 players because of a big tie. We’ll change it up to the current top 10, which means no McDavid, P. Kane, Draisaitl, Matthews, Marner, Scheifele, DeBrincat, Kopitar, Backstrom, Huberdeau, Perron, Marchand, and Boeser. I’ll go with Bryan Rust against the Sabres.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back on Friday per usual. As always, feel free to ask any questions, leave any questions, or give any suggestions below. Thanks for reading, take care!