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The Oilers are peaking at the right time, as they've gone from battling for a playoff spot to battling for the Pacific Division.  It started with a 5-4 win over the Coyotes on Monday, before a dominating 7-4 win over the Golden Knights on Tuesday.  The man leading the way was Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who continued his career season.  RNH had a goal and an assist on Monday, before following that up with a goal and four assists with two shots against Vegas.  That brings RNH up to a whopping 96 points (35+61), blowing away his previous career high of 69 points.  96, much nicer than 69.  McDavid and Draisaitl justifiably get most of the attention surrounding the Oilers, but the impact that RNH has made this season can't be understated. Adding a third 100+ point player to the mix is insane, and Edmonton has as good of a set of forwards as there is in the league.  They're a bit light on games the rest of the way, but their schedule is among the softest in the league, so look for the studs to continue to crush.  As for where RNH will rank next season, that's an extremely difficult question to answer.  I have to expect some regression, but how much?  Given the mediocre shot rate, I assume I'll have RNH towards the bottom of the top 50?  If he's only a PPG guy, there's plenty of value but it would be a bit underwhelming compared to other guys in his range i.e. his floor is lower.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Surprisingly, we're having the most action ahead of the trade deadline that I can ever remember.  There were a lot of trades over thee last two days that I'll be sure to cover below, but I have to start off with a four goal game.  Anze Kopitar scored four goals in the 6-5 OT win over the Jets.  I'm shocked that this was actually Kopitar's second four goal game of his career.  Kopitar has a good chance for 30 goals now for the first time in six years.  Kopitar has played his way into being a hold in all formats as he's closing in on a point per game.  With the Kings in the thick of a playoff race, he should continue to get 20+ minutes a night.  Kopitar has shown very few signs of slowing down in his age 35 season.  He's one of the best players of his generation and doesn't get all of the credit that he deserves.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
We had a game of the year performance on Monday night by Connor Hellebuyck.  Hellebuyck saved 50 of 51 shots in the 4-1 win over the Rangers, ending their winning streak.  One of my best rankings this season over ADP was banking on Hellebuyck to bounce back after last season's disaster.  I even said in my bold prediction that he'd win the Vezina, which Ullmark will probably ruin, but his season has certainly been Vezina worthy.  But enough of patting myself on the back.  Hellebuyck is sitting with a 2.39/.926, putting him in a battle with Oettinger for the #2 overall goalie to this point (the gap to #4 is massive).  He's as good of a bet as any to finish the best goalie for the rest of the season considering the top end volume.  Bottom line, Hellebuyck is entering his prime now and since he gets to play in a Bowness system, he should stay in tier one for the indefinite future.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
It has been a terrible year for Kris Letang on and off the ice, but mostly off.  He suffered a stroke and his father passed away shortly after.  After almost a month away from the team, Letang returned on Tuesday and carried the Penguins to victory.  Letang had a vintage performance, scoring two goals and two assists with six shots, four hits, and two blocks in the 7-6 OT win over the Panthers.  I'm not going to say Letang will have a monster second half based on one game in his age 35 season.  The good news is that there's a lot of games left for him to make an impact, and we know how big the upside is.  If I said Letang was a top five defenseman the rest of the way, would you be shocked?  I wouldn't.  Now, the floor is much lower in the past, even assuming he can stay healthy.  However, Pitt is starting to round into form, offensively at least, and the opportunity is there for a big finish.  If your team is in position where you need to take a gamble, I would float some offers to the Letang owner.  If I had him and was patient through the first three months, fingers crossed that he can salvage the season.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
This Nashville Predators team plays nothing like the style we've come to expect from them over the years.  They're hemorrhaging chances left and right, especially against top competition.  So needless to say, it was always going to be difficult for them to get a result in Carolina.  Luckily for them, they have Juuse Saros.  Saros had the second most saves in a non-OT game in NHL history on Thursday saving 64(!) shots in the 5-3 win over the Hurricanes.  I bet over 30.5 saves for Saros, can I get paid double for him going over twice?  Ha!  It's going to be hard for Saros to improve in GAA considering the team in front of him, but he's been playing much better lately to the point where the save percentage should be an elite asset once again.  Saros is still a #1 fantasy goalie, both for this season and in dynasties.  Amazingly, despite making his debut seven seasons ago, he's still only 27 years old.  Let's take a look at what else happened the last two nights:
It was great to see Aleksander Barkov back in the lineup on Thursday, and if you didn't get him back into your lineup off injured reserve, well, that one is going to hurt for a while.  Barkov scored a hat trick in the first period against the Canadiens and added two assists in the 7-2 win over the Canadiens.  It hasn't been Barkov's best season to this point, but I'm buying Barkov going forward to get back to being well over a point per game.  Florida has dug itself quite a hole in the playoff race and I expect Maurice to really ride their top six even more.  Barkov's shooting percentage is also much lower than his career sh% (10.3 vs 14.0) so look for some positive regression in the New Year for the Panthers captain.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
One of the goaltending performances of the season came in the marquee showdown on Tuesday.  Toronto sure didn't make it easy on Matt Murray, taking seven penalties, but Murray stood up to the challenge and then some.  Murray had a 44 save shutout, leading Toronto to a 4-0 victory.  I thought the Toronto goaltending would be rough this season, but Murray has been very good when on the ice.  Same goes with Ilya Samsonov.  It could fall apart just like it did for Campbell last season, but the reason I liked these guys as #2 goalies is their floor is so high because of wins.  When Toronto gets this level of goaltending, it's extremely hard to beat them.  Here's to hoping Murray can stay healthy because he could be a big difference maker in fantasy.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
The Jets have been excellent to open the season, but that hasn't stopped them from tweaking things to get better.  On Friday, we saw Bowness go back to last season's duo of Pierre-Luc Dubois and Kyle Connor together, something I've been clamoring for.  They notched one goal on Friday by Connor from Dubois, but they went off against Chicago on Sunday.  Dubois had two goals on eight shots, while Connor had a goal and two assists with two shots.  I've been saying it was a matter of time for Connor to get going, and I think that time is now.  He's too talented to not pile up goals.  Dubois has been quite good across the board so far this season, but career highs are now in play.  The shot rate is fantastic, the PIM are strong, and he's playing at a 40 goal pace.  It sucks that they're missing Ehlers indefinitely so they don't have a great second winger, but even still, look for these guys to improve their even strength performance while remaining great on the power play.  Let's see what else happened over the weekend:
Patrice Bergeron became the eighth active NHL'er to reach 1,000 career points on Monday, assisting on a Marchand goal in the 5-3 win over Tampa.  The best defensive forward for the last decade, Bergeron has long since been a lock for the Hall of Fame, but being the 94th player to ever reach 1,000 points puts him in truly elite company.  It sounds crazy to say that he's underrated, but I do feel like his career is underrated.  He's never been a top five player in the league, but he was close for an extended period, his line was consistently one of the best in the league, and if you could pick any skater to be on the ice with one minute left up one to save the planet, he's the guy.  Congrats to this hockey wizard.  Let's see what else happened on Monday night:
The Canucks have been showing signs of life lately, especially offensively.  Right now, there's no better cure for early season woes than going against the Ducks.  On Thursday, Vancouver scored eight goals, and their big offseason acquisition led the way.  Andrei Kuzmenko had a hat trick and an assist, giving him eight points in his last four games.  He's found great chemistry with Pettersson (more on him later) and Kuzmenko has kept his spot on the first power play unit.  He's on the fringe, but for now, I would definitely hold while he's this hot.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
In terms of expected goals and puck possession, the Devils have been the best team in October, bar none.  They've been absolutely dominant and earned every single bit of their 6-3 record.  Their most impressive win came on Friday beating the Avalanche 1-0, and they followed that up with a complete demolition of Columbus, 7-1.  The common denominator?  Vitek Vanecek started both of these games.  Vanecek saved all 24 shots from Colorado before saving 20 of 21 shots from the Blue Jackets.  We're looking at a time share in New Jersey, but Vanecek appears to have grabbed the upper hand for now.  Before the season, I had little interest in either of their goalies.  Now, with how well they're playing, both could be owned in 12'ers, but Vanecek definitely has to be.  Ride the hot hand while you can.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend: