When talking about the Carolina Hurricanes schedule in my Playoff Breakdown piece, I said the following: “The Godfather of playoff schedules, the Hurricanes are going to be great on volume alone.  They don’t have three games in three nights like Detroit but there’s a pile of back to backs here.  There has to be with 17(!!!) games in 28 nights to close the season.  That’s two more games than anyone else in the league.  Jeff Skinner and Victor Rask should be monsters in the playoffs while Sebastian Aho and Elias Lindholm will be among the best streamers in the league.”  And that’s me quoting me!  All of this had held true except for Rask being mediocre.  Not bad.  Skinner has been the best of the bunch and that continued on Tuesday night.  Skinner had two goals and an assist with five shots in the 5-3 loss to the Wild.  He’s been hotter than a pistol bringing his totals to 35 goals and 26 assists on the season.  With the elite shot rate, Skinner is pushing towards a top 50 player going forward.  The team around him is getting much better and Skinner is nearing his prime as he turns 25 in May.  I don’t think we’ve seen his best yet.  Here’s what else happened around the league the last two nights:

Nazem Kadri – Goal and an assist with three shots and four PIM.  Good chance at 30/30/100 which is remarkable.  He’s extremely close to the top 50 if he’s not in.

Robin Lehner – 2 saves on 5 shots before getting pulled in the 4-2 loss to the Maple Leafs.  I’m embarrassed at how poor the Sabres played defensively in the early going.  I still like Lehner plenty for next season.

Erik Karlsson – Two goals and an assist with ten shots over two games.  His return on Monday night came as a surprise so hopefully you had him in your lineup.  He left the game on Tuesday and didn’t come back although he claimed he could have if the game was in the balance.  The Sens are fighting for home ice so hopefully he’ll be okay.

Kyle Turris – Goal and three assists with six shots and two PIM.  As Reid talked about on Tuesday’s podcast, Turris has finished incredibly well.  He’s a great option in the middle rounds.

Craig Anderson – 24 save shutout in the 2-0 win over the Red Wings on Tuesday.  Amazing year that resulted in a surprise playoff berth for his team.  I see him as an elite #2 next year with upside from there.

Charlie Lindgren – 31 saves on 32 shots in the 4-1 win over the Panthers.  His second career start was great clinching the division for Montreal.  Given that they’re locked into playing the Rangers, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Lindgren get another game this week.

Artturi Lehkonen – Two goals and an assist with five shots.  Lehkonen has come on strong down the stretch.  I suspect he’ll be a decent streamer in 12’ers next year with some deep league value.

Tuukka Rask – 28 save shutout clinching a Bruins playoff berth in the 4-0 win over the Lightning.  A big finish to the season for Rask may have won some people their fantasy leagues.  I suspect he’ll play one of their two last games.

David Krejci – Two assists with a shot.  The goals are at a career high rate but everything else has regressed.  I’m fine with taking him later in drafts for assists but don’t reach.

Brad Marchand – Fifteen penalty minutes for being a scumbag.  How many instances like this will it take for the league to suspend him?

David Pastrnak – Two goals on five shots.  He’s not getting mentioned with the other incredible young talents in the league but Pastrnak’s 34+36 with elite shots deserves to be talked about.  We’ll be doing a way-too-early mock draft on Thursday’s podcast but I suspect Pastrnak cracks my top 30.

Keith Kinkaid – 35 save shutout in the 1-0 OT win over the Flyers.  He’s a serviceable backup in this league but I don’t see more.

Steve Mason – 26 saves on 27 shots taking the tough luck loss.  I think whoever is in net for Philly next season is an easy fade.

Matt Murray – 38 saves on 39 shots in the 4-1 win over Columbus.  This comes close to clinching home ice for the Pens in the series between these two teams making Pittsburgh a big favorite in my mind.  Murray has been terrific this season and should be one of the first goalies off the board next season.

Jake Guentzel – Goal and an assist.  As talked about in the open Monday, Guentzel should be owned everywhere right now.

Sidney Crosby – Two assists with two shots.  Not much else to say about him anymore, he’s simply the best player on the planet.

Philipp Grubauer – 27 saves on 28 shots in the 4-1 win over Toronto.  I expect him to get at least one of these last three games for the Caps.  No matter who it’s against, stream Grubauer.

Nikolaj Ehlers – Goal and an assist with three shots.  The Jets are such a blast to watch that if I do a Center Ice list on which teams I enjoy watching the most, they’d be #1.  Ehlers’ sophomore season has been terrific and there’s plenty of upside from here.

Patrik Laine – Two goals on four shots.  He didn’t even turn 18 yet which is insane.  My guess is that he’s more high second rounder than first in our mock only because of the shot rate.  If it jumps, look out.

Bryan Little – Two assists with three shots.  Assuming the Jets don’t add a center in the offseason, I’m going to love Little in the middle rounds.

Mathieu Perreault – Two assists.  Perreault is the guy who you constantly stream, end up holding for a few weeks, cut bait when he gets cold, avoid him for a while after then, and then the cycle repeats.

Mark Scheifele – Goal and an assist with two shots.  Does Scheifele deserve first round consideration?  I think he at least should be in the discussion although I suspect he settles as a second rounder.

Mark Stuart – Goal and an assist with three shots.  And there’s your annual Mark Stuart update!

Blake Wheeler – Two assists with four shots.  He’s clinched back to back 70 point seasons and has a decent chance of finishing top 10 in points for the second straight season.  Where is the love?

Jaroslav Halak – 22 saves on 23 shots in the 2-1 OT win over the Predators.  Remember when he was sent to the minors for a couple months and the Isles had horrible backup goaltending?  Good times.

Pekka Rinne – 30 saves on 32 shots in the loss.  The bright spot for Nashville is that Rinne is in form right now.  Here’s to hoping that carries into the playoffs.

Nino Niederreiter – Two goals and an assist with three shots.  Nino has progressed for the third straight season to the point where he’s a no-brainer hold.  I think we see another jump next season so I plan on ranking him aggressively.

Zach Parise – Goal and two assists with four shots.  Reid and I are both down on Parise for next season but I must admit that he’s looked a lot better over the last couple weeks.

Eric Staal – Two assists with two shots.  Staal hasn’t slowed down all season bouncing back even more than I expected.

Julius Honka – Goal on five shots, his first NHL goal.  I could see taking a shot on him as my last defenseman in 12’ers.  I love him in dynasties but he may not be ready to be 12’er worthy yet.  Probably worth the gamble though.

Matt Duchene – Goal and two assists with five shots.  I just want to note that Chicago gave up 51 shots to Colorado and there is something completely wrong with that picture.  Anyways, this has been the year from hell for Duchene and what happens this offseason will determine his value.

Patrick Eaves – Goal on two shots.  This improbable goal scoring season just won’t end.  Like Duchene, what happens with Eaves in the offseason could drastically change his value.

John Gibson – 26 saves on 27 shots in the 3-1 win over the Flames.  This game basically clinched home ice for the Ducks in the first round and gives them a upper hand for the division.  It’s been a solid year for Gibson outside of the injuries.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Two goals.  Meh, just not enough here anymore.

Darnell Nurse – Goal and an assist with two shots.  He’s still only 22 but it’s scary to think he went ahead of Risto and just after Seth Jones in that draft.  The potential is there but I’m not banking on it.

Nick Shore – Goal and three assists with two shots.  I don’t see much upside here in the long term for dynasties.

Brock Boeser – Assist with three shots.  He’s been very impressive in the early going solidifying my belief that he can become an elite fantasy asset.

Joonas Donskoi – Two assists with two shots.  I thought Donskoi was going to be a solid streamer at the least this season but it never materialized.

Martin Jones – 33 saves on 34 shots in the 3-1 win over the Canucks.  He’s had a brutal stretch over the last month but if Jones rounds back into form, the Sharks will be extremely dangerous again.

Wednesday Streamers – It’s a two game slate so I don’t see much need going into detail.  Use the best guys available in your league but all things considered, I’d lean towards Montreal guys because they play on Friday also when there is only one game on the slate. My top choices under 20% are:

Phillip Danault, Artturi LehkonenAndre BurakovskyAlex Nylander

That’s all for now guys.  I’ll have my next set of daily notes up Friday morning and a podcast go up on Thursday afternoon.  Be sure to leave any questions or comments on anything below.  Thanks for reading, take care!

  1. Mr. Rickey says:

    Thanks Craig Anderson – you spend two weeks dragging down my numbers, I drop you for Halak and you pitch a shut out. Jerk. I’m keeping Halak.

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Mr. Rickey: Ugh, brutal :/

    • Eli Man Penguin Boy says:

      @Mr. Rickey: try being so completely awful last year that i didn’t keep him in 20 team dynasty (do have the PIT guys, and now some twit dropped lehner too, so i have him as well).

      i have been constantly wondering just how the fuck OTT (with really only roster differences being dzingel and few extra months of healthy turris) was that awful last year and this year this good. then i went and noticed that their goal differential is -3. that’s worse than TB (zero, dead even), and LA (-1). so they got a little better, and a LOT more lucky this year.

  2. Jermaine says:

    Great work as usual Viz!

    In need to keep one goalie for next year. Who would you choose between Gibson, Rinne and Quick?

    12 teams league, W/GAA/SV%/SHO


    • Viz

      Viz says:

      @Jermaine: Thanks! My first thought is Gibson although Quick is close. I mostly lean towards Gibson because of age and that the Kings are on the decline.

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