The difference between Mark Scheifele being a first round fantasy pick and a middling to late second round pick comes down to his shot rate. He scored 32 goals last season but his 20% shooting percentage was due to regress. While the shots haven’t been coming in, they did on Thursday and the goals were flowing. Scheifele scored a hat trick on four shots in the 5-2 win over the Stars. That brings him to 7 goals and 8 assists in 12 games, an excellent start for Scheifele. Still, I have to assume the goals are going to drop since he has only 23 SOG on the season. Scheifele should be a point per game regardless but again, shots are what we need for him to jump into superstar fantasy status. Let’s take a look at what else happened around the league on Tuesday night:
Torey Krug – Two assists with two shots. Boy, Krug has been absolutely awful in the early going. He’s a buy low candidate because I’m not ignoring 4 years of data for 10 games.
Tuukka Rask – 28 saves on 29 shots in the 2-1 win over Vegas. My biggest takeaway is that Vegas is in trouble and I’d start almost any goalie against them at this point.
Josh Bailey – Two assists. He’s back on the Tavares line so Bailey should be owned everywhere.
Anders Lee – Two goals and an assist with four shots. Ders has been outstanding and continues to be overlooked in most hockey circles.
John Tavares – Goal and an assist with six shots. Hotter than a pistol doesn’t do it justice.
Lars Eller – Two goals and an assist with three shots and two PIM. He’s been scoring lately but Eller is still a fantasy afterthought outside of the deepest of leagues.
John Carlson – Two assists with two shots. He’s playing all of the minutes right now and while he’s still goalless, the assists and shots are outstanding.
Chandler Stephenson – Two assists. Nice start for him in the pros but still not fantasy relevant.
Craig Anderson – 24 saves on 25 shots in the 3-1 win over Detroit. You never know what you’re going to get on Anderson.
Erik Karlsson – Two assists with three shots and two penalty minutes. Despite the -6 game the other day, Karlsson has been terrific as expected.
Mark Stone – Goal and an assist with four shots. Dude just keep chugging along posting all of the points. Over a point per game, +10 and finally a quality shot rate.
Henrik Lundqvist – 27 saves on 28 shots in the 2-1 OT win over Tampa. Great game from Hank against an elite offensive team. I still think he bounces back along with the Rangers as a whole.
Andrei Vasilevskiy – 33 saves on 35 shots in the loss. Another great game from Vas who is arguably the fantasy MVP through the first month of the year.
Josh Anderson – Two goals on seven shots playing 18:29. If your league includes hits, own him. In standard 12’ers, he’s right on the fence and moving closer and closer to a hold.
Boone Jenner – Goal and two assists with two shots. The shots have been great since Jenner’s return but it’s still only streamer worthy.
Oliver Bjorkstrand – Two goals on four shots. He’s scoring a bunch but the minutes aren’t there and he’s not helping in the other categories. Leaning towards elite streamer but I’ve admittedly held him in a couple places so far.
Zach Werenski – Two assists with three shots. Solid start for Werenski who isn’t killing it anywhere but is solid across the board outside of PIM.
Vincent Trocheck – Goal and two assists with three shots. Monster start to the season for Trocheck who is another player who seemingly goes under the radar. I like him a lot in DFS because he’s never highly owned.
Michal Neuvirth – 33 save shutout in the 2-o win over the Blues. Another season where Neuvirth is clearly outplaying his number one but isn’t getting the lion’s share of the starts. I think he’s a nice own in 14’ers, or if you need a guy in 12’ers, because Neuvirth should start getting more playing time.
Claude Giroux – Goal and an assist with two shots. Apparently all he needed was to move to left wing to get back on track.
Sean Couturier – Two assists. I was super high on Couturier in his draft year but I never saw this kind of offense from him.
Blake Wheeler – Three assists with a shot. Wheeler is simply a beast and I will not let anybody say anything bad about him! Six category stud.
Brendan Gallagher – Two goals on four shots with two PIM. Gallagher is hotter than a pistol with 8 points in 6 games with an elite shot rate. I’ve long been a fan of Gally so while he’s playing this well, I’d own him everywhere.
Matt Dumba – Two assists with a shot. He’s had an awful start but there’s a ton of upside here. I would probably wait a bit to add him if he was dropped but I’d be ready to pounce if Dumba puts together a few more quality games.
Mikael Granlund – Two assists with two shots. Granlund has started slow but the shots are there so it should turn around.
Matt Cullen – Goal and an assist. And there’s your biannual Matt Cullen update!
Mikko Koivu – Two assists with three shots. Koivu’s shot rate has jumped up to the point where you can justify holding him.
Mike Smith – 43 saves on 44 shots in the 2-1 OT win over the Penguins. He’s been a damn monster for the Flames. If they start to score goals, watch out. Smith could be a #1 goalie if that happens.
Semyon Varlamov – 57(!) saves on 60 shots in the 5-3 win over the Hurricanes. 57 saves! Sweet Jesus. This will help fix his save percentage quite a bit but the goals against average is going to remain a disaster. You decide how desperate you are.
Carl Soderberg – Goal and an assist with four shots and two PIM. Remember when Soderberg was good? That wasn’t that long ago but he’s fallen off the edge.
Nathan MacKinnon – Two assists with two shots. The shot rate needs to go back up but the points are coming in nicely.
Robin Lehner – 25 saves on 29 shots in the 5-4 win over the Coyotes. I know it sounds crazy to give Lehner props for allowing 4 goals but having watched this game, the Coyotes should have scored 12 goals. Lehner was outstanding so hopefully he builds off this win.
Benoit Pouliot – Two goals and an assist with three shots. Benny looks great lately and probably should have buried four goals in this one. Regardless, he’s moved back into streaming status.
Ryan O’Reilly – Three assists. After a brutal start, RoR is up to 11 points in 13 games. The shot rate is solid so hopefully he can turn the plus-minus around.
Kyle Okposo – Goal and an assist. Brutal start for Okposo but like Krug, I’ll go off years of data instead of 10 games and think he’s going to turn it around. If he’s on your waiver wire, grab Okposo.
Christian Dvorak – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM. He has six points in the last six games so while he’s not helping you anywhere else, that’s enough to move Dvorak into streaming territory.
Auston Matthews – Goal and an assist with six shots. It all came in garbage time with the Leafs falling behind 5-0 but it all counts the same in fantasy!
Tanner Pearson – Three assists with a shot and two PIM. Pearson is a safe streamer but isn’t close to hold status.
Tyler Toffoli – Two goals on four shots. Love Toffoli getting that shot rate to elite levels. The bounce back looks real.
Michael Cammalleri – Goal and an assist with two shots. Cammy hasn’t taken off like I hoped since he hasn’t played on the top line. He’s an okay streamer but nothing more yet.
There are only two games on the slate for Friday so honestly, just stream the best players available in your league.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back on Monday recapping all of the weekend’s action. As always, feel free to ask any questions and leave any comments below. Enjoy your weekend and thanks for reading!