Yes, the Sabres are still a bad hockey team, but the good news for long suffering fans like me, is there are finally some signs of hope. One of the best signs is how well the first line has performed since Tuch returned from injury after the trade. They single-handedly won the game for the Sabres on Sunday against Montreal, and it started with their highest paid player. Jeff Skinner was left floundering on the fourth line or scratched by Ralph Kreuger last season because, well, Krueger had no clue about coaching hockey. Skinner had one of the games of the season on Sunday afternoon, scoring four goals and an assist on six shots in the 5-3 win over the Canadiens. That bring Skinner up to 20 goals with 14 assists in 45 games. Is he worth his massive contract? No, but he’s proving once again that he’s still a damn good hockey player. I’ve had him on the fringe for a while, but I feel good about holding him now. His shot rate is back over three per game on the season so that’s plenty good enough given his contribution in points. Let’s take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
Mark Scheifele – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM. This wasn’t his best game of the weekend… spoiler alert! Scheifele is starting to get back on track.
Jamie Benn – Goal and an assist with two shots and seven PIM. Gordie Howe hat trick! Benn has still been bad this season and is only a middling streamer for me.
Connor McDavid – Two assists with three shots. I thought about leading with the Oilers since Tippett was fired. The big takeaway was Zach Hyman and Jesse Puljujarvi played on the first line with McJesus, and both scored a goal. Hyman is must own again and Puljujarvi is right on the fringe bordering on a hold.
Mike Smith – 37 saves on 38 shots in the 3-1 win over the Islanders. Maybe we get a hot run with the new coach, but keep expectations in check.
Steven Stamkos – Two goals on four shots. Just stay healthy!
Clayton Keller – Goal and an assist with two shots. Yes, Arizona has been terrible, and there’s little to be excited about there. Keller looking like a first liner is a rare bright spot. I actually lean towards hold now, but he’s firmly on the fringe.
Ryan Donato – Two goals on five shots. Donato is a guy who if he was given consistently good ice time, could be pretty good for fantasy, but he’s stuck with low minutes making him a bottom end streamer.
Yanni Gourde – Two assists with two PIM. Middling streamer.
Isac Lundestrom – Two goals. He’s somewhat of a forgotton guy in Anaheim because of their other young guys, but I’m a fan of his game. He’s someone who is probably better in real life than fantasy, but I still like his long term upside quite a bit.
Scott Laughton – Goal and an assist with six shots playing 20 minutes. Yeo is giving him a big role right now, but he’s still only a middling streamer at the moment, and is generally a bottom end one.
Dylan Larkin – Three assists. Absolute monstrous season across the board from Larkin.
Patrik Laine – Goal and an assist with three shots. What’s hotter than a pistol? Patrik Laine!
Elvis Merzlikins – 30 saves on 31 shots in the 2-1 win over the Canadiens. Elvis is damn good, but the problem is how bad CBus is defensively. He’s probably worth holding as a #3 because the wins are decent but the GAA is ugly.
Jeremy Swayman – 30 save shutout in the 2-0 win over Ottawa. Swayman is the big winner of the Rask retirement. He’s worth streaming in almost every matchup now, and could be worth holding depending on league format.
J.T. Miller – Goal and an assist, as did Brock Boeser. They’ve bounced back in a big way under Bruce. Both are easy holds regardless of whether or not they’re traded at the deadline.
Blake Wheeler – Two goals and three assists with eight shots. To quote the infamous Noob Noob, “god damn!” Wheeler has really struggled this season but he thrived on Saturday getting three PPP plus an empty netter. I still don’t love him going forward, but it’s still enough to hold.
Mark Scheifele – Goal and two assists with three shots and two PIM. Spoiler alert confirmed. Here’s to hoping he keeps building off this.
Josh Morrissey – Two assists with a shot. He was on PP1 with Pionk being eased back in. If he stays, he’s worth holding. If he doesn’t, probably not.
Kyle Connor – Goal and an assist with eight shots. Dude is an animal who doesn’t get the credit he deserves.
Ville Husso – 15 saves on 16 shots in the 5-1 win over Chicago. If for some reason you’ve been sleeping at the wheel, and the people in your league have too, grab Husso now.
Brayden Schenn – Two assists with two shots. Schenn is on fire right now and since the Blues play Ottawa and Montreal Tuesday and Thursday respectively, I’d actually grab him and see what happens.
Oskar Sundqvist – Goal and an assist with two shots. Given STL’s depth, Sundqvist is stuck on the fourth line. No thanks.
Andrei Svechnikov – Two goals on seven shots. Now just imagine if Rod the Bod played Svech the 20 minutes he deserves! He’s a top 20 player regardless.
Tony DeAngelo – Two assists with three shots. I took some crap ranking Tony Dawgs as a top 20 D in the preseason. Sure, it was risky. Yes, he’s scum. He’s also a borderline top 10 fantasy defenseman.
Kevin Fiala – Goal and an assist with two shots, as did Frederick Gaudreau. Boldy’s arrival has helped this line a ton. Fiala is a no brainer hold now while Gaudreau falls into the solid streamer category, above middling but not quite elite.
Alex Tuch – Three assists with five shots. Things couldn’t be going better for Tuch in Buffalo. He’s playing at a 33+60 pace. Will he keep that up? No. Was the trade great for his fantasy value. You’re damn right. No brainer hold everywhere.
Anton Forsberg – 33 saves on 34 shots in the 4-1 win over Washington. Forsberg has a lot of big games but a lot of duds. In massive field DFS tournaments, he’s worth a dart throw. In season long, tempt your own fate.
Chris Tierney – Two assists. Meh, pass in his current role.
Connor Brown – Goal and an assist. Brown has been in a pretty good role since returning from injury. He’s a solid streamer.
Brady Tkachuk – Goal and an assist with five shots and two PIM. He keeps getting better, as is expected at 21 years old, but the sky is the limit. I don’t see him reaching Marchand status where he’s a top five pick for his prime, but I can see Brady pushing towards the fringe of a first rounder.
Brian Boyle – Goal and an assist with two shots. Glad to see Boyle contributing again in the NHL, but he’s nowhere near the fantasy radar.
Sidney Crosby – Two assists with four shots. Goal #500 is next. Can’t wait to see it for him.
Bryan Rust – Goal and an assist with two shots. If Rust played every game, we’d be talking about him like he was a top 20 guy. Completely dominant season.
Mike Matheson – Goal and an assist with four shots. If Matheson was a bad team, he would pile up a bunch of bad shots and be better in fantasy. As is, he’s a dep league only guy.
Darcy Kuemper – 23 save shutout in the 4-0 win over the Stars. When the Avs get good goaltending, it’s game over. They’re 30-3-3 in their last 36. Absolute wagon.
Gabriel Landeskog – Two goals on three shots with two PIM. Landeskog has been unbelievable with a 47+56 pace. Elite plus-minus, elite PIM, elite shots, borderline elite hits. He’s doing it all.
Cale Makar – Two assists with two shots and two PIM. It’s a season worthy of awe from Makar. No defenseman in my lifetime has been capable of doing what he does.
Three Point Challenge: We’ll do Tuesday per usual. No Draisaitl, Huberdeau, McDavid, Kadri, Ovechkin, Gaudreau, Matthews, Rantanen, Kaprizov, or Stamkos. I’ll go with Matt Tkachuk against the Blue Jackets.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back on Wednesday recapping the action of the next two nights. As always, feel free to ask any questions, leave any comments, or give any suggestions below. Thanks for reading, take care!
Viz, I grabbed Husso last week. Thanks for your input. Binner had another rough outing after the all star break. Husso has to be the #1 from this point on, right? I know binnington has the contract and husso will be a ufa, but the team needs to win and they don’t have the luxury of waiting for binnington There’s still a lot of hockey left to play. Stl is the #1 wildcard team now and is in a very tight race. Husso has just been been so much better. This situation kind of feels like 2019 all over again when binnington took over the net. Thanks
I really think Husso needs to be the workhorse for the time being. The team clearly belongs in tier two for me for Western teams. They have three very good lines and a decent enough defense, and there’s a lot of talk about them swinging big in a trade for a defenseman to play with Parayko (Chychrun?), so they simply have to play the better goalie right now which is Husso. Don’t forget, Husso was the goalie of the future before Binnington came of nowhere and had his God run, so this could easily be getting to where it was supposed to be all along, albeit 3 years late.
Brayden Point gets 3 points.
Sounds good, good luck!
Your boy Skinner is back!
Just picked him up one league
What a blow to Vegas, no timetable for stone return. At least they get eichel healthy.
Do you think batherson and stone are out for year
I mean, I think it’s pretty clear that they’re doing this with Stone just to be able to fit Eichel into the lineup. I don’t question that he’s hurt, but they’re being abundantly cautious because it’s the only way the lineup can be cap compliant.
I believe Batherson should be back at some point towards the end of the season. Stone, we’ll know at the trade deadline because if they don’t move anybody out, he has to stay on LTIR barring another injury. They’re so far over the cap that they really don’t have other alternatives but to leave Stone on until the playoffs start. The league really needs to change their rules.
Tyler toffoli traded to flames, reunites with coach suter. They won a cup together with kings
Will start Wednesday’s post, but he should be a fairly big boost to the Calgary middle six.
What are your Thoughts on the Toffoli trade for roto ROS? Boost? His season has been very unimpressive so far.
I’ll start Wednesday’s post with him once I get a better idea of what his role will be. Does he go with Backlund or Monahan? Does he play PP1 or 2? Very hard to say right now. It’s a boost, I’m just not sure how much of one. We saw how good he can be last season and how bad it can be too
Rust for 3 pnt!
panarin vs BOS for 3 pt tues
already used this period: kucherov
here we go the often seen “when can cal petersen cough up this shutout” game. i’m typing this with 8:07 left in 2nd, so lots of time left to guess. i’m going with the 3 minute mark of the 3rd (time left)
gaa i was a whole period off. EDM is better than most of these teams at scoring of course than cal petersen’s closer near misses on shutouts.
Got out of hand after a good start.