The Razzball ranking committee of one (yours truly) has long been a fan of Brayden Schenn. Mid 20’s in goals, about 30 assists, solid PIM, and elite special teams points made Schenn a main stay around the 100 overall mark in his time in Philadelphia. With the move to St. Louis in the offseason, I wrote the following about Schenn in my preseason rankings: “Schenn’s success will come down to two things: can he improve his even strength play in St. Louis while sustaining his power play prowess?” Well, the power play points are slightly behind the past, but my god is Schenn crushing at even strength. Schenn scored a hat trick on Tuesday night leading the Blues to a 4-3 win over Montreal. That gives Schenn 13+20 in 28 games this season, along with a mind-blowing +22 rating and elite penalty minutes. Schenn’s career high in a season is 37 even strength points; he already has 25 this year! Even the biggest of Schenn optimists couldn’t have seen this coming as he’s pushing for the #1 forward spot in all of fantasy hockey. Kudos to everyone who drafted Schenn in the early to middle rounds and here’s to continued success for the top six in St. Louis. Here’s what else happened the last two nights around the league:
Philipp Grubauer – 24 saves on 25 shots in the 4-1 win over the Sharks. That’s two strong starts in a row, against Tampa and San Jose no less, for Grubauer after a horrible start. I’d be open to streaming him again in most matchups.
Alex Ovechkin – Goal and an assist with four shots. Ovechkin is back to his usual goal scoring prowess.
Keith Yandle – Three assists with four shots. It’s nice to see Yandle have a nice plus-minus for a change giving him a nice stat line across the board.
Vincent Trocheck – Three assists with six shots. Trocheck is quietly at a point per game with elite shots and solid PIM. This is the breakout I was predicted last year, damn it for being a year late! Huge fan of Trocheck in season long leagues and as a one-off option in DFS.
Craig Smith – Two goals and an assist on Monday, just a shot on Tuesday. Definitely a great streamer right now but I wouldn’t hold him yet.
Kyle Turris – Two assists on Monday, goal and an assist with two shots on Tuesday. I wish the minutes and shot rate would go up but Turris is still producing right now.
Kevin Fiala – Goal and an assist with two shots on Monday, goal on four shots Tuesday. Big fan of Fiala right now and would definitely own him in anything deeper than a 12’er. Keep streaming him and it wouldn’t surprise me if he develops into a hold.
Calle Jarnkrok – Goal and an assist with three shots. He’s a nice streamer while Ryan Johansen is out but virtually useless otherwise.
Mattias Ekholm – Two assists with two shots Tuesday. As much as I love Ekholm in real life, I did not see this offense coming. I don’t know if this lasts when Ellis returns but Ekholm is must own for now.
Juuse Saros – 43 saves on 45 shots in the 5-2 win over Dallas. Excellent performance from Saros who still is my favorite goaltending prospect.
Jakub Voracek – Three assists with three shots. The monster year for Voracek sees no end. He’s giving you first round value at the moment.
Valtteri Filppula – Goal and an assist. He’s irrelevant in the fantasy spectrum at this point in his career. Scott Laughton and Michael Raffl also had two points but this is an aberration.
Jamie Oleksiak – Goal and an assist with two shots and five PIM. That’s more points than he’s had in the first 18 games of the season in case you wondering about Oleksiak’s value.
Cory Schneider – 41 saves on 42 shots in the 4-1 win over the Blue Jackets. Man, it’s nice for this Schneider to be back. The save percentage is back to elite levels and the wins are there for the first time since his Vancouver days.
Taylor Hall – Goal and an assist with four shots. Nothing is slowing down the top line at the moment with Nico Hischier and Jesper Bratt also scoring two points. Bratt is right on the fringe although I’d lean hold right now while the others are holds.
Jimmy Howard – 25 saves on 26 shots in the 5-1 win over the Jets. I still have nearly zero faith in Howard going forward, call me crazy.
Gustav Nyquist – Two goals and an assist. Okay streamer but sadly Nyquist never reached the level I had hoped after his breakout 2014-15.
Jaden Schwartz – Two assists with two shots. He’s been Schenn without the PIM and a bit behind in shots. That seems negative but 34 points in 28 games is incredible.
Shea Weber – Two goals on six shots. Get the man back in your lineups if you haven’t done so already.
Andrew Shaw – Two assists with two PIM. I’m more inclined to stream Shaw now with his minutes up for the time being.
Mats Zuccarello – Goal and an assist with three shots. The Norwegian Hobbit has picked it up lately with 11 points in the past 10. It’s not great outside of points but still worth owning.
Patric Hornqvist – Goal and an assist with five shots playing 20 minutes. As long as he’s with Crosby, he’s must own in all leagues. There’s a chance Hornqvist can push top 50 status if he sticks there with his outstanding shot rate.
Mathew Barzal – Goal and an assist over two games. I know the Islanders got smoked on Tuesday but the minutes should be higher than they are.
Joshua Ho-Sang – Two assists with a shot over two games. He’s piling up assists but until he starts to shoot (under one shot per game in his career), JHS isn’t usable in standard leagues. I also just typed out JHS so now from now on I will refer to Ho-Sang as Junior High School.
Nikita Kucherov – Two assists with two shots. A change in lines hasn’t hurt Kucherov in the slightest as he’s already up to 40 points on the year.
Chris Kunitz – Goal and an assist. He’s playing on the geezer fourth line in Tampa with Big Tom Callahan’s son, Ryan Callahan. Neither are fantasy relevant anymore.
Yanni Gourde – Two goals on three shots. Gourde is an okay deep league option but there are better streaming options for 12’ers.
Benoit Pouliot – Goal and an assist with two shots. Benny has been solid for the Sabres all year. He’s a nice deep league option and middling streamer as long as the minutes are up.
Ryan O’Reilly – Two assists with four shots against his old team. He shouldn’t be owned right now but RoR can turn it around at any time. Keep monitoring him.
Jake McCabe – Goal and an assist. I included this not because McCabe matters in fantasy but that his goal was the first by a Sabres defenseman all season! Sigh.
Jack Eichel – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM. His numbers are strong across the board, I just have higher hopes that he can get to another level. Eichel’s skating was the best it’s been in a while during this game so hopefully it’s a building block to a hot streak.
Robin Lehner – 35 saves on 37 shots in the 4-2 win over the Avalanche. A healthy Sabres blue line could help Lehner a fair amount but I’m done being suckered in by the Sabres.
Nathan MacKinnon – Two goals on seven shots. He was absolutely dominant in this game and has been for the last months. MacKinnon has 26 points in his last 16 games.
Alexander Kerfoot – Two assists with two shots. Excellent streamer right now; hopefully he keeps his spot on the first power play unit.
Anze Kopitar – Goal and two assists with three shots. I’m going to keep singing Kopitar’s praises as a Hart Trophy candidate. Monster year so far.
Drew Doughty – Three assists. God knows the Kings need Doughty a ton too. He’s been a bit better than his usual stat line. Importantly, he’s remained a plus player in all categories.
Marian Gaborik – Two goals. He’s on Kopitar’s line right now which automatically makes him a viable streamer.
Jake Muzzin – Goal and an assist with three shots as he keeps chugging along helping in every category.
Jacob Markstrom – 30 save shutout in the 3-0 win over the Hurricanes. That’s two excellent starts in a row after his grip on the starting job was weakening. I still think he ends the season getting about 55 starts.
Derrick Pouliot – Goal and two assists. Hopefully the change in scenery helps get Pouliot back on track. Amazingly, he’s still only 23 years old.
Francois Beauchemin – Goal and an assist with four shots and seven blocked shots. He’s not great in fantasy by any stretch but he’s certainly better in fantasy than in real life. The hits and blocks are great since he gets hemmed in his zone for the majority of the game. I can’t believe Beauchemin found his way down the ice to score at even strength.
Erik Haula – Goal and two assists with six shots playing 22 minutes. I’ve said for years that Haula just needed the opportunity, specifically on the power play, to become a 12’er worthy guy. He’s getting it now and is a great streamer at the very least.
James Neal – Goal and an assist with three shots. He’s about to get that paper in the offseason.
For streamers, check out Lackeydrinksonme’s first post here.
That’s all for now guys. With a small slate tonight, my next set of daily notes will be on Friday. Expect a podcast to drop Thursday in the morning or afternoon. As always, feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments below. You can also make Three Point Challenge picks for Thursday here if you don’t want to wait for Thursday’s post to go live. Thanks for reading, take care!