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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!

  1. Just my luck says:
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    My goalies have been underperforming – I now hold Darling, Craig Andersen, Raanta, and Jarry. Which two are going to perform well going forward?

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Just my luck: Odds are it’s one of them randomly, and I would pick Darling from that group. There’s probably a better chance none of them turn it around than two of them. It’s hard to count on Jarry because he might only have the job for a couple weeks. I guess it would be Anderson because he’s had prolonged hot streaks in the past.

  2. Jacob says:
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    Morning Viz,
    Hope all is well!
    Quick question about Center choice, whom you would go with from this trio: barkov, mackinon, trochek going forward?
    And is it time to drop ristolainen and pick up schults or a forward (gaborik?)
    Thanks

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Jacob: Morning Jacob, hope the same for you! I’d have to go with the first two. MacKinnon is on another level right now and Barkov is a bit safer than Trocheck. That said, it wouldn’t completely shock me if Trocheck finishes barely ahead of Barkov at the end of the year.

      I wouldn’t drop Risto for either of those guys. Having watched all the Sabres games this year, yesterday was probably his best this season and as a result, he played over 30 minutes. Gaborik is a short term streamer and Schultz is trending in the wrong direction (0 points in last 3, no more than 16 minutes played, including just 9 yesterday)

      • Mantis Toboggan MD says:
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        @Viz: schultz played that many minutes from being injured.

  3. I see you did not mention Darling, but there is nothing good to say right now. 4th loss in last 5 starts. I still believe, but I haven’t been getting anything out of him for awhile now. I am ready to start streaming guys in my 3rd goalie slot (5 moves/week). Ryan Miller is projected in goal for the Ducks. The team is struggling and their goalies are facing plenty of rubber. They deliver some quality rate stats, but victories seem hard to come by. That said, the Ottawa Senators have been in a struggle lately as well and the game is in Ana. Miller has been good this season. Would you stream him tonight, or should I hold off for a different match-up? I see Anton Forsberg is also projected in net tonight, but they play the Capitols @ Wsh. That does not seem like a scenario for a W. W 5, L -5, GA -2, SV 0.5, SO 6. Thank you Viz.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @madden_curser: I actually bet the Blackhawks to win tonight at +125 so I do think they have a realistic chance to win that game. That said, I will still probably go Miller instead, although Forsberg does have higher upside, even in this matchup. The problem in a points league with Darling is he doesn’t face the big volume of shots to rack up the saves. Granted, he hasn’t been good to any format, but it’s even worse in points.

  4. Chris says:
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    Hey Viz!

    The Getzlaf owner is selling him for a 9th round pick in our next year’s draft! I’ve heard that he should be back in the Ducks lineup around mid-december. Would you try to acquire him for a 9th rounder?
    12 teams G/A/+-/PPP/GWG
    Thanks

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Chris: Hey Chris! Yes, the expectation is that he’s back within the next two weeks. Is it a keeper league? If so, is it a 9th pre or post keepers? Also, are you in contention already? I’d probably do this move as long as you aren’t out of it completely at the moment.

      • Chris says:
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        @Viz: It’s a 4 player keeper league so it’s a 5th after the keepers and a 9th in non-keeper league. Yeah, I’m in third place right now with a pretty good group of players. Also, I’d have to drop one player if I acquire Getzlaf, would you drop Buch?

        • Viz

          Viz says:
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          @Chris: If that’s the type of player you have to drop to get Getzlaf, then it might not be worth it actually. Not sure the upgrade to Getzlaf from Buch is that big, especially without PIM as a category and the addition of GWG hurts Getzlaf as well since he doesn’t score a ton of goals.

  5. jump on it says:
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    What is your outlook on Duchene going forward? He does not have many points since coming to Ottawa.

    I am considering the following trade (14 team, H2H with hits/blocks):
    Trading away Eichel, Zibenajad, C. Andersen for Duchene, Arvidsson, Crawford
    Is this a fair trade?

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @jump on it: I assume it’s going to get better but I wouldn’t be itching to grab him. I assume there are no keeper ramifications here? Assuming there isn’t, it all comes down to how badly you need Crawford in net because you’re taking a big hit offensively but getting a massive upgrade in net. If you need a big goaltending upgrade, I’m good with it. If you don’t, then it’s an easy pass.

      • jump on it says:
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        @Viz:

        Gotcha – I have Darling and C Andersen so my goaltending is pretty bad. No keeper ramifications.

  6. Fungazi says:
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    Tarasenko 3 pnt!

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Fungazi: Got it, good luck!

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