It’s no secret that coming into the season, I loved the best players on the Jets. While the team itself is of to a mediocre start, the forward in my top 50 that I was highest on compared to consensus was Mark Scheifele. After a monstrous second half last season, I wrote repeatedly how much I liked him for 2016-17 and dynasties going forward. It was evident looking at Fantasy Pros where I was 16 spots higher than anyone else and 19 spots above consensus, quite a margin for a player who I had ranked 32nd overall. Well, it’s been a terrific start to the season for Scheifele and it continued over the weekend. On Friday, Scheifele had a goal, two assists and two shots while being +3 in the 5-3 win over Detroit. He followed that up with a goal and an assist with two shots and +1 on Sunday despite the Jets losing 5-2 to the red hot Rangers. That gives Scheifele a total of 7 goals and 7 assists in 13 games with a +5 rating, 10 PIM and almost 3 shots per game. It puts him easily in the top 20 skaters on the season in the player rater and is making me look smart! I salute you, Mr. Scheifele. With the workload that he’s receiving, I have little doubt that he will produce going forward at an elite rate. Let’s take a look at what else went on around the league over the weekend.
Blue Jackets 10, Canadiens 0 – Well, this certainly qualifies as the “WTF” score of the weekend. Montreal was undefeated in regulation going into this game so naturally they give up a 10 spot to CBus. From a Montreal POV, all I can say is congrats to the players, most notably Shea Weber, who found a way to avoid being minus in a 10-0 loss. Also, my sincere condolences to anyone who had Al Montoya in their lineup who was the sacrificial lamb allowing all 10 goals on 40 shots. Good lord. For Columbus, there was a ton so I’ll hit the notables and I’m sure Reid and I will talk about this on Tuesday’s podcast. Sergei Bobrovsky had a 30 save shutout and continues to be the man. Josh Anderson had two goals and an assist with three shots to play his way onto the the streaming radar. Cam Atkinson started to wake up with two goals on seven shots. Nick Foligno scored twice and added an assist to alleviate any doubt that he’s a hold. Scott Hartnell found the back of the net twice to reach 7 points in 9 games. Boone Jenner had an assist but was even in a game where they scored 10 goals, 6 at even strength. My boys on Columbus did work with Alexander Wennberg dishing 4 assists (ultimate streamer success!), Zach Werenski had two dimes while Brandon Saad extended the point streak with an assist. Also, Ryan Murray and Lukas Sedlak get a shoutout for being the only damn players on the team to not get a point when they scored 10 goals.
Jets 5, Red Wings 3 – Some late drama in this one with the Jets taking the lead with 1:16 left before sealing it with an empty netter. Connor Hellebuyck was decent with 30 saves on 33 shots. He started again on Sunday in the death matchup and to nobody’s surprise he was lit up. I still like him as a #2 though. Marko Dano had an assist; I still love the kid’s upside. Nikolaj Ehlers racked up 4 points with a goal and 3 assists while Patrik Laine scored a goal and an assist with four shots to tie him for the league lead in goals. Man I love me some Jets! Brandon Tanev found the back of the net twice but I still don’t see much here. For Detroit, Tomas Tatar had two assists while Henrik Zetterberg totaled 1+1. Neither has done particularly well in the early going and I’m not convinced it gets any better.
Ducks 5, Coyotes 1 – Absolute beatdown so I won’t elaborate too much. Ryan Kesler had an assist with seven PIM giving you what you hope for if you have him. Antoine Vermette gave me some more streamer success with 1+1; I don’t see much here though with Ryan Getzlaf coming back Sunday. Rickard Rakell extended his incredible start with another 3 point game totaling 2+1 with 5 SOG. Obviously he’s a must own right now. Corey Perry dished two assists as the assists pile up at an elite rate. That’s a pleasant surprise for a guy who is known for goals and PIM. John Gibson played well with 22 saves on 23 shots in the win.
Avalanche 1, Wild 0 -This is an easy one to write about. Calvin Pickard recorded a 32 save shutout while Devan Dubnyk was a tough luck loser allowing the one goal on 32 shots. Gabriel Landeskog scored the power play winner from Matt Duchene and recent first round pick Mikko Rantanen. Really, there’s not much else to add, it was quite the dud from a fantasy perspective unless you own the goalies.
Blues 2, Blue Jackets 1 (OT) – Josh Anderson scored again on his only shot with two PIM. As mentioned above, he’s an interesting name worth discussing but I’m still not buying in. Carter Hutton received the spot start and saved 20 of 21 shots. He’s worth a stream in most starts. Kevin Shattenkirk recoreded an assist with Vladimir Tarasenko scored the overtime winner on his fourth shot. This was another game without much impact from a fantasy perspective.
Rangers 5, Bruins 2 – This Rangers team is unreal and looks like a true contender. Antti Raanta made 35 saves on 37 shots solidifying himself as a guy you stream every time he starts. Derek Stepan scored a goal and added two assists to give him 10 points on the season. Kevin Hayes scored to make him a hold, Pavel Buchnevich scored to strengthen my belief in him as a top end streamer while Michael Grabner had 1+1 to complicate things in regards to his value. I’d keep streaming him right now but I’m still hesitant to hold in standard 12’ers. For Boston, Tuukka Rask allowed 5 goals on 24 shots but I’m dismissing this game since the Rangers are the worst matchup in the league. David Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron scored the goals in this game as they continue to provide plenty of value.
Maple Leafs 6, Canucks 3 – Man, this game was insane. Tons of goals, huge brawls, threats in the tunnel, it had everything. I’ll be sure to talk about this on the podcast. For Vancouver, each of the Cyborgs scored with Daniel Sedin scoring once on five shots while Henrik Sedin scored on his only shot. For those in deep leagues, Jannik Hansen had two assists and 19 PIM swinging head to head leagues in a big way. Ryan Miller allowed 6 goals on 42 shots before being tossed after being the third man into a fight. The highlights for Toronto including Nazem Kadri scoring a goal while adding 20 PIM, Tyler Bozak totaling 2+1 with 6 SOG, Mitch Marner with another multi point game (1+1) and James van Riemsdyk dishing 3 assists with 5 SOG. I don’t this game changes much in my mind outside of feeling even better about Kadri, another guy I was highest on among the experts on Fantasy Pros.
Canadiens 5, Flyers 4 – While the defense was still poor after the 10 goal debacle, Montreal’s offense woke up to find a way to win this game. There are a few things from a Philly perspective. Michal Neuvirth was absolutely awful allowing 5 goals on 17 shots. Man, Philly goalies are a mess. Shayne Gostisbehere scored a goal and an assist with three shots but the most encouraging thing to me was playing over 24 minutes. The overall numbers outside of +/- are starting to look great for Ghost. Jakub Voracek stays hot as hell with two assists, two shots and two PIM. Honestly, nothing really changed for me for Montreal. Andrei Markov had 1+1 but he’s still firmly on the fringe for me, otherwise it’s more of the same.
Sabres 2, Senators 1 – Revenge game for Robin Lehner was in full force as he stole 2 points in this game. He made 32 saves in the win and looks to be the #2 goalie I expected. Please stay healthy! Sam Reinhart scored the game winner and added three shots as he starts to show some signs of a breakout, Kyle Okposo buried the other goal on five shots while Rasmus Ristolainen tallied his eighth assist of the season in this game. Mike Hoffman is firmly heating up with a goal on four shots while Erik Karlsson did what he does adding a power play assist.
Lightning 4, Devils 1 – For the Devils, this is easy. Damon Severson scored their goal to give him 9 points in 10 games. Clear hold right now. Taylor Hall had an assist with eight shots as he continues to dominate. Ben Bishop was a monster (finally!) stopping 37 of 38 shots for the win. Victor Hedman was terrific totaling a goal, assist, five shots and four PIM while Nikita Kucherov now leads the league in points after a goal and assist.
Oilers 4, Islanders 3 (SO) – A lot of randomness in this game. For fantasy purposes, Leon Draisaitl snapped a 7 game point streak with a goal. If possible, I’d try to buy low. Milan Lucic also scored while Patrick Maroon looks like a strong streamer with 1+1 and 2 SOG and PIM. Shane Prince is the story to me for the Islanders as he had another goal and an assist. That’s his third 1+1 in his last 5 games and while he’s firmly on the streaming radar, I still don’t think it’s enough to hold. The shots just aren’t good enough.
Capitals 4, Panthers 2 – This was a tight boring game before things exploded in the middle of the third period with 3 Caps goals to go from 2-1 down to up 4-2. There wasn’t much to see from a Panthers perspective outside of another Vincent Trocheck point. For Washington, T.J. Oshie found the back of the net twice to reach 6 goals on the season with 10 PIM and over 2.5 shots per game. He only has 1 assist but he’s a top 100 player to this point without question. Alex Ovechkin also had 2 points with a goal and an assist while Nate Schmidt gets his annual update with two assists in this game.
Hurricanes 3, Predators 2 (SO) – Ugh, as someone rooting for Nashville this was another brutal loss. Another third period blown lead, another power play in overtime that they don’t score on. James Neal scored once on four shots and is still someone I’m trying to buy low on while Matt Irwin scored a goal and an assist. Him and his partner Yannick Weber were +2. Since I talked about them on the podcast, they’ve been outstanding. I feel like they’re going to cut into the top 4’s minutes soon giving them deep league value. For Carolina, Elias Lindholm moved onto the right wing on the first line and dished an assist plus three shots giving him top streamer status.
Blackhawks 3, Stars 2 – This was a wide open game early that really tightened up in time. Corey Crawford kept up his terrific stretch of hockey saving 31 of 33 shots. Patrick Kane did his normal thing with 1+1 and 4 SOG while the rest of the top Blackhawks forwards each had a point. There really isn’t anything to report for the Stars. Antoine Roussel had an assist to stay as the best PIM streamer who can chip in a point.
Kings 5, Flames 0 – Finally a regulation win for the Kings! Man, the Flames are a mess and I’m glad I only very few of these guys across all of my teams. Peter Budaj had a nice 24 save shutout to remain a solid #2 option as long as he’s the workhorse. The Kings with multi points were Devin Setoguchi and Dustin Brown. It’s 2009 all over again! Don’t let this game fool you, the Kings are still full of issues.
Penguins 5, Sharks 0 – Just like in the playoffs last season, including the Stanley Cup Finals, Matt Murray was a beast saving all 32 shots he faced. I’ll be sure to talk about the Pens goalie situation with Reid for the podcast. I think Murray works his way into the better of the timeshare but that’s far from a certainty. Sidney Crosby scored two goals on four shots as he alleviates all doubt that he’s the best player in the league. Carl Hagelin dished three assists but I still prefer him as a top end streamer in standard leagues. Conor Sheary had two assists in his return from injury. I’d look to stream him in the short term but I could see him becoming a hold. I’m just dismissing this game for the Sharks.
Blues 5, Avalanche 1 – This was a very easy game for the Blues who put this game away at the end of the second period scoring 3 goals in the last 5 minutes and change. Jake Allen made 22 saves; I’d still looking to buy low. Robby Fabbri scored his first goal of the season which is nice but also extremely frustrating. I still love him in dynasties but you can justify cutting bait in standard redrafts. Kevin Shattenkirk tallied three more assists while Alex Steen won some weeks in head to head leagues on Sunday with an assist, four shots and 17 PIM after he instigated a fight late in the third. Semyon Varlamov didn’t get much help but allowed 5 goals on 25 shots through 2 periods before being pulled. I have to imagine Pickard starts Tuesday against the Coyotes and becomes a top end stream if your need a goalie that night.
Oilers 2, Red Wings 1 – Jonas Gustavsson had a nice revenge game saving 22 of 23 shots in the win. I still don’t trust the Oilers goalies but considering that they are 9-3-1, perhaps it’s time to! Talbot will certainly have a nice win total but I’m still not convinced in the other stats. Anyways, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored the winner on the power play as he starts to pick things up. It’s bottom end but he’s worth owning everywhere. Jimmy Howard was decent with 26 saves on 28 shots but the Red Wings are starting to regress as we expected. I’ll do a big picture look at things with Reid on the Tuesday podcast which I’m sure will focus on the Red Wings overachieving (at least in my mind) being 6-6-1 looking at their underlying numbers.
Devils 4, Hurricanes 1 – Keith Kinkaid got the rare nod saving 33 of 34 shots in the win. He’s an okay stream most of the time but I’d be surprised if he gets 15 starts this year. The real story was Michael Cammalleri as he opened the game with a natural hat trick. After an excellent first half last season that was eventually ruined by injury, these were the first three goals of the season for Cammy. It’s right on the fringe of 12’ers since the minutes are down quite a bit. Beau Bennett had two assists but he’s only worth streaming in deep leagues. Eddie Lack allowed 3 goals on 20 shots to give Carolina another dreadful start between the pipes. It’s a joke how poor their goaltending is.
Blackhawks 4, Stars 3 (OT) – The big guns for Dallas each had one point which doesn’t do anything to their overall value. Gemel Smith, a rookie who generally hasn’t provided much offense through juniors and the minors, scored two goals on six shots. He hadn’t done much in his first six NHL games but it’ll be something I monitor for deep leagues. Scott Darling started game two of the home and home and got the win saving 32 of 35 shots. He’s a strong stream in virtually all starts. Jonathan Toews scored a goal and two assists with seven shots playing over 23 minutes. After a really slow start, he’s really heating up offensively getting to 10 points in 13 games. Marian Hossa found the fountain of youth this offseason with a goal and an assist with three shots. I did not expect 11 points in 12 games by any stretch. Artem Anisimov continued his incredible first month of the season with 1+1 while Brent Seabrook dished two assists. The assists and +/- are nice but man, the other numbers are really bad. If you’re solid in those spots, I’d try to sell him.
Rangers 5, Jets 2 – Nothing can be done to stop the Rangers right now. Besides Scheifele, Patrik Laine scored again while Nikolaj Ehlers had another assist. For the Rangers, it was another balanced attack. Kevin Klein had two assists but only matters for the deepest leagues while Brandon Pirri also had two assists solidifying his streamer status. I’ve talked about it plenty but this depth is incredible. I can easily make the argument that the Rangers are up to 8 holds and 3 streamers in their forward group. The only guy I didn’t count is Jesper Fast who I streamed plenty last year and had 6 points in 13 games, including a goal in this game. Craziness.
Ducks 4, Flames 1 – Again, not to pile on but the Flames are a disaster. Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan each had an assist but I don’t feel great about either of them finding last year’s status let alone improving. I’m glad that I don’t have stock in either especially Gaudreau. Ryan Getzlaf came back and tallied three assists with four shots. His partner in crime Corey Perry had three assists as well including two on the power play. Ryan Kesler scored both of those power play goals on his only two shots. It’s starting to look much better but I still don’t believe. It’s extremely dependent on a role with big usage. Jonathan Bernier received the spot start saving 25 of 26 shots. He’s been pretty good when he’s played this year but I’m still not feeling great about streaming him.
Monday Streamers – There are only three games on the slate so streaming will be prevalent to start the week. Here’s what I’m looking at:
Sam Reinhart (23.5%) – I’m slightly cheating by my rules but it’s a small slate and his ownership percentage keeps dropping. Options are thin but a top power play guy who has a point in two straight is good enough with only 3 games.
Shane Prince (0.9%) – Get on Islanders against the massively slumping Canucks. A lot of their guys are slightly above 20% so I’ll highlight Prince again. Six points in five games since he returned from injury is plenty to be streamer worthy.
Brayden Point (0.7%) – He moved into the top six and is on the second power play unit. That’s all that I’m looking for with three games. Again, if there are higher end Isles, use them, but Point is a solid option.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back on Wednesday with daily notes and Tuesday morning with the latest podcast. As always, feel free to ask any questions and leave any comments below. Take care!