It's not too often that we get a day in the NHL where all 32 teams play. On Saturday, we were treated to sixteen games spread out over the entire day and it did not disappoint. The Oilers set a franchise record with their 10th win in a row, the Avalanche came from 3-0 down to beat Toronto, and the Flyers snapped the Jets point streak, amongst other things. There were a lot of big performances along the way, but Connor Ingram's 38 save shutout was one of the highlights. So I was right about a Coyotes goalie being a top 15 goalie, I just failed to pick the backup who showed little in the NHL before this season, whoops! Arizona continues to stay right around the wild card spots, and Ingram is the biggest reason why. Don't be surprised if they ride him more in the second half if he can maintain anything close to this .919 sv%, assuming Vejmelka doesn't turn it around. Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
It's not too often that an NHL record that's stood for over one hundred years gets broken. That happened on Wednesday night. Despite his role shrinking, Kris Letang had the period of a lifetime. Letang dished five assists in the second period in a seven minute span, becoming the first defenseman in NHL history to record five assists in a period. He finished the game with six assists, all at even strength to give him a +6 rating in the 7-0 win over the Islanders. Even with this game, Letang is far from the defenseman he used to be, partially due to age, and partially due to the arrival of Karlsson. He's under two shots per game, and has only three goals as a result. However, the assists are still very good, the hits and blocks are solid, and the PIM are much higher than they've been. He's the perfect #3/4 defenseman on most teams since he's hitting most of the categories and piling up assists.
It's been a painful 13 years as a Sabres fan, but Tuesday's game might have been the worst. There were tanking years, there were disappointing years, but for as bad as it's been, there can't be a worse loss than giving up nine goals at home to one of the worst teams in the league missing two of their best players. "Kirill Marchenko is a lone bright spot lately. I’m not holding, but the minutes are going up, the goals and shots are decent enough, and he currently is a key figure on their PP. He’s a solid streamer." And that's me quoting me from yesterday! Well, it's time to give Marchenko a boost. Marchenko had a natural hat trick in this game. One of his goals was on the power play, he put four shots on goal, and he played 15 minutes despite the game being a blow out. Marchenko is now an elite streamer. Let's take a look at what else happened on Tuesday night:
Vincent Trocheck was off to an awful start this season with only four points in his first ten games with no positive signs. Well, Chytil went down injured, and that set Trocheck off on a resurgence. Trocheck had a goal and two assists with two shots in the 4-1 win over the Wild. That give Trocheck six points in his last three games, but more importantly, the playing time has skyrocketed. He played only 16:46 on Thursday because the game was in hand, but before that, Trocheck had topped 20 minutes in four of the last five games. Now, it hasn't been perfect. The shot rate is down quite a bit, and it hasn't changed that much with more playing time. I lean towards holding him again in all formats, but if you include SOG, Trocheck is on the very bottom end of holds towards the fringe. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
I was extremely bullish on Tyler Toffoli's fit with the Devils, even though he wasn't a lock to be on PP1. "Before last season, Toffoli had never topped 31 goals or 29 assists, so expecting a repeat for a guy entering his 11th season in the league seems farfetched. That said, it’s hard to pick a better spot to be in than New Jersey right now for even strength play. People were worried about Toffoli’s power play role to open, but it looks like the Devils are starting with the two balanced unit approach. Personally, I hate it, but it’s a big boost to the value of the guy who normally would be on PP2, which Toffoli looked to be. I’m all the way in." And that's me quoting me in my bold predictions saying Toffoli averages at least a point per game. He was off to a solid start, but he had his first big game on Tuesday. Toffoli scored a hat trick on six shots in a revenge game against the Canadiens. That brings Toffoli to 4+2 in five games with 4.5 shots per game. There's a real chance that he ends up as a top 50 player. Let's take a look at what else happened in the Monday game and the Frozen Frenzy.
You guys know I like to start my posts about players who could be available in a large percentage of leagues that you can target on the waiver wire. After all, being aggressive at the bottom of your roster is a huge factor in fantasy hockey. However, sometimes a player has a weekend so good that you have to give him his due. This time, that player is Auston Matthews. Matthews scored three goals on Saturday, recording his second hat trick in as many games. Look, everybody knows the upside. We're talking about a guy who scored 60 goals two seasons ago on his way to the Hart trophy. He's obviously in that tier right behind McDavid, and the only reason I had him towards the bottom of the tier is that he tends to miss 10-15 games a season. If Matthews can play 75+ games, a repeat of 60 goals is well within reason. Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
Hello everyone. Welcome to the first edition of JOT This Down! For those who do not know me, my name is Julian Tarevski (Jules) and I am a fantasy sports content contributor from London, Ontario. (I may be an Ontarian but please do not assume I am a Maple Leafs fan.) I will be here every week with a newsletter, think of it like a message to start your Monday and help you prepare for your weekly matchup. I will cover notable line changes, guys who jumped up on the top powerplay unit, category fillers to watch, and sleepers to stream with favorable schedules.
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:
The rich keep getting richer. The Boston Bruins acquired Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway from the Capitals on Thursday, sending draft picks and Craig Smith to Washington, and a pick to the Wild for retaining salary. I think this trade is far more interesting from the Washington perspective. They couldn't agree to a contract with Orlov, with the dispute being over the term of his next deal. Until a few days ago, it seemed farfetched that they would weaken their team for this season, but I actually think it's a smart move. Even if they snuck into the playoffs, they weren't going anywhere. They gained some additional ammo that they can flip in the offseason to make a push again next season. They have a lot of additional pending UFA's that could be on the way out, so it's hard to figure out who will be there in a week to benefit from this move. My guess is Trevor van Riemsdyk takes Orlov's spot on PP2, but he's also a UFA making 950k so he's a logical target for a lot of teams at that price, so he could be on the move too. Smith should crack the lineup, but I'm not expecting much at all. He's off the radar until we see him play. As for Boston, Orlov won't be getting PP time there with Lindholm holding down PP2, so he takes a slight hit to his value. The Bruins are so good that Orlov should stumble into enough points to be valuable in deeper leagues, but we're talking 14+ teams. Hathaway should do what he usually does, and that is pile up a bunch of hits and PIM with an okay goal rate for a fourth liner. All in all, this trade impacts real life more than fantasy. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Another star player has made his way to the Eastern Conference well ahead of the trade deadline. We already had Horvat and Tarasenko move, and now we have a former Conn Smythe winner. Ryan O'Reilly was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs, along with Noel Acciari, for a bevy of draft picks. The Wild also acquired a pick for retaining salary, and there were prospects involved, but none of them are particularly relevant. For fantasy, we care about RoR and Acciari. Let's start with Acciari because it's easier. Acciari moved right onto Toronto's fourth line. He scored a goal against the Blackhawks on Sunday, and is piling up hits. He'll be a deep league value for his hits and decent goal rate. O'Reilly is an interesting debate. He's easily having the worst offensive season in the last decade. On the other hand, RoR has been playing much better lately, and he went right onto the second line with Tavares and Marner. He dished an assist in his debut on Saturday playing just over 16 minutes in the 5-1 blowout against Montreal. He also won 12 of 14 draws, which is notable that he bumped Tavares from the faceoff circle most of the time. I'm not rushing to pick up RoR, mostly because we know that he's not cracking Toronto's first power play unit. That said, there's upside in Toronto that he couldn't touch in St. Louis again. If you want to stream him on Tuesday against the Sabres and see where it goes, I can get behind that.
While the NFL steals the spotlight during Championship Week, the Rangers started the weekend blowing out two top teams in Seattle and Carolina. They scored six goals in both games to bring their winning streak up to five. While it was a group effort on Friday, Artemi Panarin stole the show on Saturday. The Breadman scored four goals and an assist with five shots and two PIM against Carolina, after dishing an assist against the Kraken. Gallant shuffled the lines after Tarasenko's arrival, with Vincent Trocheck and Jimmy Vesey playing with Panarin again, setting up two of his goals. It was Panarin's third three-point game in his last eight, as he starts to heat up. While he hasn't approached his point production of his first three seasons in New York, Panarin is still on pace for 90+ points. That shows what kind of floor he has and why he's worthy of an early draft pick every year. Despite lower shots and PIM/hits, even his below average year (by his standards) is a top 50 player. Who knows, Panarin could finish the season on a massive heater and finally get to 100 points. Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
With the All-Star Break coming to a close and the schedule ready to pick up for the home stretch, it's time for an update to my hold/stream list. The one thing that I want to add is that for head to head leagues, I would be far more aggressive in cutting players that are missing time if you're in a battle for a playoff spot, and if you are locked into the top of your standings, I would be more focused on setting up my team for once the playoffs begin. In roto, it all depends where you are in terms of your starts. Let's get to it!