It wouldn't be this Buffalo Sabres season if they didn't blow out an elite team after getting buried by a bottom feeder. The Sabres beat Toronto 9-3 on Thursday, becoming the first team in 40 years to score 9 goals in a game after conceding 9 in their previous game. Does this change my opinion on anyone on the Sabres? No, not really, they're just going to be an up and down team. The one notable thing is that Jack Quinn scored a goal on three shots with four PIM in his second game of the season. Quinn had a solid rookie season but suffered an Achilles injury in the offseason, setting back his sophomore season. It's encouraging that even with a fully healthy lineup, Quinn's line was getting plenty of usage. He's a middling streamer for now, but there's upside to an elite streamer this season, while Quinn has clear potential to be a permanent hold for years in dynasties. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Before the season, if you told me I was going to be writing about an Ingram, I would have assumed I was needed to write about basketball in an emergency. Instead, we're two months into the season, and the #3 overall goalie is a 26 year old who played 30 mediocre to bad games in his NHL career. Connor Ingram posted a 26 save shutout in the 6-0 win over the Capitals on Monday. Ingram now has an 11-3 record with a 2.23/.930. I was bullish on an Arizona goalie in preseason, turns out I should have looked at the backup. Do I expect it to last? I would lean towards no, but crazier things have happened. Arizona is playing excellent hockey, and it's not only because of Ingram. Somehow, he's still available in over 50% of leagues. Even if he turns into a pumpkin in two weeks, it was worth the speculative add, because the upside is through the roof. Let's see what else happened over the last two nights:
It's safe to say that we've reached the point that nobody doubts Boston anymore. Their two top centers retired, and yet the team is chugging along at 16-4-3. Their new captain was the reason they won both games over the weekend. Brad Marchand scored the overtime winner against the Leafs on Saturday, his eighth shot on goal in the contest. He followed it up with a natural hat trick, scoring all three goals for the Bruins in their 3-1 win over the Blue Jackets. That gives Marchand 11+12 in 24 games, almost exactly a point per game. The big thing is his shot rate is at an all-time high. In my preseason rankings, I was uncertain on Marchand's ceiling, but speculated his shot rate could improve without Bergeron. He's at exactly 3.5 per game, and with his elite PIM as always, Marchand is still in the conversation for a top 20 player. At 35 years old, Marchand is showing no signs of slowing down. Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
At the end of the day, Patrick Kane chose playing with a former linemate over his best chance to win a Cup, and his hometown. Kane signed a one year deal with the Red Wings, the rival of the team he's most known for, the Blackhawks. Boy, it's going to look weird seeing him in that jersey. Anyways, most would assume that Kane will play on the wing with DeBrincat and Larkin because of his connection with DeBrincat. I'm a little skeptical, except on the power play. No matter how Kane looks physically, Kane is a lock for Detroit's top power play unit. That alone puts him on the fantasy radar. However, there hasn't been one skater that has returned to peak form after a hip resurfacing. It would not surprise me if Kane struggles at even strength, and at the least, I expect Detroit to ease him back in. That means cushy minutes in a limited even strength role, plus the power play time. How good is that going to be for fantasy? I wouldn't be spending a ton of FAAB to get him if he's available. If you have nothing to lose, I'm fine with making a spec add on him if you're in a 12'er or deeper, but keep expectations in check. I would guess the most likely outcome is Kane is a solid streamer who goes back and forth between a bottom end hold and slightly usable. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Mason McTavish had an ADP of 250 this season. I had him ranked at 176th overall. While I wasn't fully convinced he would make a huge leap in his sophomore season, his upside is so high that I thought he was a worthwhile gamble towards the end of your drafts. It's paid massive dividends in the early going, and McTavish had his best game to date on Monday. He scored two goals and an assist with five shots and two PIM, including the shorthanded winner with 13 seconds left in the game. McTavish now has 5+6 in 11 games with a good shot rate, plus-minus and PIM. McTavish is still available in almost 70% of leagues, which is blasphemous. I've been holding onto him since the draft in a ten man league, and think it's become clear that he needs to be held everywhere. In dynasties, he's a top 50 keeper. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
As someone who is a big believer in Jason Robertson and had him ranked 32nd overall, a bit ahead of consensus, I did not see this coming. Robertson scored a hat trick on Thursday versus the Ducks, bringing him to 22+17 in 24 games. Is that good? Then you see Robertson is averaging under 18 minutes per game and realize that given a normal superstar workload, it would be even better! He's been absolutely incredible to this point and if the season ended today, he'd be the Hart Trophy winner. Is it going to last like this? Probably not. But he's clearly a top 10 player at this point, which is insane considering that two seasons ago, he was a second round pick rookie. Whatever scout led Dallas to picking Robertson deserves all of the money. Let's see what else happened over the last two nights:
Before this season, Tage Thompson was part of the punch line about how bad the Sabres were fleeced in the RoR trade. Amazingly, Thompson has come out of nowhere to play better than RoR has this season (although I'm sure the Blues are just fine with it, banners fly forever). Thompson was fantastic over the weekend, scoring a hat trick against the Avalanche before scoring a goal on four shots against the Blue Jackets on Sunday. That brings Thompson up to 20 goals and 18 assists in 47 games and over three shots per game. Thompson is right on the fringe although I lean towards grabbing him for now. Buffalo's next opponent? Montreal. Let me get some of that. Either way, Thompson's development is massive for the Sabres going forward. Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
Since Dougie Hamilton went down with a broken jaw, the Devils have been in a massive tailspin. It got much worse over the last two nights as Toronto beat them 6-4 and 7-1 going into the All-Star Break. The hope is that Hamilton will be back after the break, and it's obvious that they need him on the blue line. Toronto was led by Mitch Marner, who had three goals and four assists with nine shots between the top games. Marner has multiple points in six of his last seven games, including a goal in all seven games. I wrote a couple weeks ago that Marner was about to get hot and get past the point per game mark, but he did it much faster than I anticipated. It helps that he moved to the top line again, as Auston Matthews had four goals and two assists between the two games. When these two are clicking, it's as dangerous of a combo that there is in the league. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Outside of more COVID cases and postponements, there wasn't a lot that went on over the weekend in the NHL, at least with a fantasy impact. The big story was Marc-Andre Fleury returning to Vegas, the first face of the franchise. Fleury was excellent, stopping 30 of 31 shots to win the game 2-1 for the Blackhawks. MAF's overall numbers are more of a top end #3 goalie, but the volume is really good. I'm indifferent towards holding him or not, but I'd lean that way since it's been better after the brutal first month. There's also some additional upside if he moves somewhere at the trade deadline as a rental. I assume Chicago will ask him what he wants at this point in his career but they're well out of the playoffs so for a couple months, I could see him going to a team for a few months before retirement. The schedule for Chicago over the next 10 days is quite appealing before it gets ugly at the end of the month, which is more reason to hold Fleury for now.
Pittsburgh is absolutely rolling right now, winning their ninth and tenth straight over the past two nights. The total line has dominated on both nights, being sparked by the return of Bryan Rust. In both games, Rust scored two goals and an assist, bringing his total to 11 points in 3 games since returning from injury. Bonkers. Jake Guentzel had two assists with four shots while Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM. All three of these guys are top 50 players rest of season, with Guentzel being a top 20 guy and the other two probably just outside of it. They're a viable DFS stack every time they play. I wouldn't be surprised to see an uptick in minutes in the short term with the team heading to the West Coast. If you have any of these guys on your team, you have to be thrilled. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Not everybody can step into the league and score 105 points like Crosby or 52 goals like Ovechkin did. Even for #1 overall picks, it can take some time for them to learn the league and figure out how to play to their strengths. If the last week is any indication, it looks like Jack Hughes has started to figure it out. After a three point game earlier in the week, Hughes followed that up with another three point game; two goals and an assist with seven shots against the Oilers. On Sunday, Hughes kept the multi-point streak going with two assists against the Capitals. That brings to 8+8 in 16 games. You don't need a math major like me to tell you that's a 41+41 pace over 82 games. The minutes are starting to reach first line minutes on a regular basis. Missing a lot of time will keep his overall value down, but Hughes has a reasonable chance to be a top 50 player this season on a per-game basis, and he'll be ranked extremely high from yours truly in 2022-23. Let's take a look at what else happened over what was hopefully a great New Years weekend for everyone!
The Blues have cooled off a bit since their hot start, but that doesn't mean that all of their players have. Pavel Buchnevich tore it up over the weekend, scoring a goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM on Friday before coming back with two goals and an assist with five shots on Saturday. Buch is crushing it across the board on the seasons now with 8+8, 18 PIM and 58 shots in 19 games. Add in a +8 rating and he's a top 20 forward at the moment. Do I expect that to last? No, but his fit in St. Louis couldn't be better and now he's getting plenty of minutes, especially with David Perron out of the lineup. Somehow, he's still available in over 20% of leagues which is blasphemous. He has a real chance at being a top 50 player this year. Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend: