Life without Couturier hasn't been as good without Claude Giroux.  He started the turnaround on Thursday night.  Giroux scored two goals and two assists with three shots and two PIM in the 5-3 win over Carolina.  That brings Giroux up to 17 points in 22 games, not exactly lighting the world on fire, but the shot rate is the best of his career.  75 shots in 22 games is a huge step forward, and if that continues, we could be looking at a new career high in goals.  Yes, he only has 7 to this point, but we could be on the verge of a heater.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
The last lottery pick for the Washington Capitals has really come into his own.  Jakub Vrana had an incredible weekend, starting with two goals on eight shots against the Sabres.  He followed it up with a hat trick on five shots against the Flames on Sunday.  That brings Vrana to 9+5 in 16 games with just under three shots per game.  He's a main stay on the second line and second power play unit, so the question is whether or not he's a hold.  For now, I lean towards yes.  I don't think it'll last all season, but Vrana is playing excellent hockey right now and I want to take advantage of it.  The 23 year old has made a jump in every season of his career and looks to be down that path again.  Given that he had 24+23 last season, another slight improvement will get right right onto the fringe.  Vrana isn't an automatic add given that Washington has only two games this week, but I'm holding onto him while Vrana has his foot on the accelerator.  Let's take a look at what else happened this weekend:
Hey guys! Sven back with the Buy, Sell, Hold segment for the second year. It’s pretty straight forward, players who are buys: you should pick up. Players who are sells, you should think about dropping. Players who are holds, you may be thinking about dropping but don’t just yet! Just for clarification, the % I am going to put next to the players’ stat line is their %own on ESPN. For Buys, I usually focus on guys with a %own less than 50%. Let’s get started!
Hey guys! Over the next month, I will be taking a look at each team’s players to watch out for going into the 2019-20 fantasy hockey season. This analysis features everything from surefire studs, to sleepers, to streamers, deeper league holds, even to rookie-eligible prospects that may make an appearance at some point this season. Please let me know if you guys enjoy this type of material! Reminder that the stat totals are from last season. Last year my previews went alphabetically, but this year we’re going to go division-by-division, starting with the top team. On our 22nd stop on the 31 in 31 tour, we’re headed right to the Michigan/Ontario border – Detroit Rock City baby! The wings have former players such as Stevie Y at the helm, and boy is this team going to be young and skilled. We saw glimpses of what some of these kids can do last season, will they bring it this season?
We are reaching the end of my forward rankings as I complete the top 100 today.  Drafts are starting to approach, so my plan is to power through defensemen and goaltending by the middle of next week so everyone has my rankings available.  Again, for those who haven't seen my earlier rankings, you can see them here.  Let's get to it! 81) Jonathan Toews - I'll be sliding up Toews 5-10 spots forward spots from here when I update as this was an oversight on my part.  Toews set a career high in both goals and assists last season with 35+46.  The PIM are always solid and the shot rate is better than average.  The question is how sustainable are the points?  The previous three seasons he had 58, 58, and 52 points in 80, 72, 74 games respectively.  An increase in shot rate also came with a big jump in shooting percentage over the last two seasons, so color me a bit skeptical.  That said, 65ish points with solid secondary numbers has plenty of value in the middle rounds.
We've reached the finals in almost all formats making this the best time of the year in fantasy hockey.  That's if you're still in, of course.  I will continue the weekly previews that I've been doing over the last few weeks to provide some strategy and planning ahead in regards to streaming.  Again, this is meant to be a compliment to the Playoff Manifesto, not a replacement, so be sure to check that out as well here.  Let's get to it!
After their situation looked murky earlier in the season causing public turmoil between the front office and their superstars, the Dallas Stars are close to becoming a lock for the postseason.  Their super Stars (corny, I know) won the game for them on Tuesday against the Panthers.  In the 4-2 win, Tyler Seguin dished four assists while putting six shots on goal and providing two PIM.  Alexander Radulov scored two goals and an assist with five shots, while Jamie Benn scored a goal and two assists with two shots.  The Stars have a great playoff schedule and these three guys should be massive difference makers in the fantasy playoffs.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
We are at the point in the season where it's more important to lead my posts off with the things that have the biggest impact going forward and not the best performances.  Robin Lehner is currently day-to-day with what Barry Trotz called an upper-body injury.  When asked if it was a concussion, Trotz wouldn't give an answer.  Best wishes to Lehner to a speedy recovery no matter what the issue is, but he does have concussion history.  Thomas Greiss started on Thursday and made 35 saves on 37 shots in the 4-2 win over the Senators.  I wouldn't expect anything else against the Senators.  I have been saying Greiss is must-own for a few months now, but for some reason he's still only 27% owned!  If Lehner does miss time, Greiss has a legitimate chance to not only be a #1 goalie the rest of the way, but a top 5 goalie overall.  Pick him up immediately if he's still available in your league.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two days: