It was quite the weekend for last season's Calder Trophy winner.  Mathew Barzal entered Friday's game against the Senators with five goals on the season, and he matched that in two games.  Barzal scored two goals and an assist against the Senators before scoring a hat trick against the Maple Leafs on Saturday.  That brings Barzal up to 10+25 in 37 games with solid PIM and an improved shot rate.  He's still only 21 years old so clearly the best is to come.  For the rest of this season, I think he's just inside the top 50 now that his shot rate isn't far from average.  If he can eventually get that up towards three a game, it's game over.  Barzal has top 20 player upside down the line; hopefully the Isles get some more talent around him.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
I'll be honest, David Krejci has always been a Guy to me.  Not a guy, not a GUY, just a guy.  I even cut him on Thursday morning to stream a goalie, proof that I am human.  Krejci scored a hat trick on Thursday, scoring on all three of his shots in the 8-4 win over Pittsburgh.  That brings him to 14+19 on the season in 44 games.  He doesn't quite need that pace to be fantasy worthy, but it's close because his PIM and SOG are well below average.  In a 12'er, I probably lean towards holding but it's super close.  Shallower, he's a streamer, deeper it's an easy hold.  His playoff schedule is also great so use that to your advantage.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
The best line in hockey from last season is at it again.  Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron each had five points in the two Boston wins over the last two nights.  Marchand started off with a goal and an assist with three shots in the 4-1 win over Montreal, then bettered that with a goal and two assists with three shots against the Islanders.  Bergeron dished two assists on Wednesday before getting his second hat trick in the last two weeks on Thursday.  Bergeron is now one point short of being at a point per game while Marchand is well over that, sitting at 1.28 ppg, third in the league.  Marchand has provided slam dunk first down value, just exactly what you hoped for when you selected him this year.  Bergeron has managed to surpass expectations on a per-game basis.  If he didn't miss time, he'd be a top ten forward on the season.  These guys are the main reason why the Bruins are one of the best teams in the league and a major Stanley Cup threat if they can manage to upset the Lightning.  For our purposes, keep rolling them in seasonal formats, and if you're someone who fires multiple DFS lineups every night, I would make sure to have a Bruins stack on at least one team every night.  The upside is simply too high to ignore.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Reid and I talked about John Tavares extensively on Tuesday's podcast.  We both saw him as a viable option for The Three Point Challenge but decided to go elsewhere since it's rare for someone to post consecutive three point games.  Well, Tavares shoved it up both of our you-know-wheres!  He scored a hat trick and added an assist in the 5-3 win over the Coyotes.  All of a sudden, a slow start (3 points in 7 games) has been erased with Tavares at 10 points in 9 games.  This is why we wait at least a month before we panic about players, especially studs like Tavares.  Look for him to be his usual self going forward, which means being a top 20 forward.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
First off, I want to apologize for not having notes on Friday. I wrote them up Thursday night, scheduled the post and then when I logged on Friday afternoon, it was nowhere to be found. I have no idea what happened so hopefully it's a one-time incident. Anyways, the first two major trade dominoes fell on Sunday night. We'll get to the Wild's big move later but the first trade of the night was Ben Bishop getting moved. I'm not shocked that he was traded but I am pretty shocked that it was to the Kings. There are a few players impacted by this move. First, Bishop's value takes a massive hit. If you are in a redraft, I think you can just cut Bishop. He probably gets one out of three games down the stretch for the Kings barring another Jonathan Quick injury. That's seven games the rest of the season. I would stream Bishop in all of those games but I don't think it's worth holding. If you're in a dynasty and out of contention, I think it makes a lot of sense to buy low on Bishop on the hopes he lands somewhere nice in the offseason. Peter Budaj goes to Tampa in the trade and he loses all of his value; you can safely drop him. The real winner is Andrei Vasilevskiy who should be the workhorse down the stretch. We know that he's been up and down all season but he should be owned in all leagues now for the upside. Here's what else happened around the league the last few nights:
Hello fellow Fantasy Hockey players! My name is Reid and I'll be posting some fantasy hockey insight on Razzball throughout the season. Almost every year now the hype comes along for the top 1 or 2 picks in any given draft as being "generational" or "elite" or "a franchise cornerstone." That's great and everything, but what does it mean for fantasy purposes? The last player to come out of the draft with the "generational" tag is Connor McDavid aka McJesus. In Viz's 'Top 50' rankings, he has McJesus at 5th overall, behind Alex Ovechkin, Jamie Benn, Sidney Crosby, and Tyler Seguin. I believe the best way to project the 2nd year production of a "generational" talent is to identify other players of the same claim coming out of the draft and see how they did in their 2nd seasons.
As far as top heavy teams go, the Colorado Avalanche may be at the top of the pack. They have their three young studs at forward leading the way offensively but then a bunch of question marks behind them. Same goes with the defense where they have a few strong players, some aging guys and more question marks. As I've talked about in this space multiple times, Patrick Roy was clueless behind the bench and he abruptly quit his job in the summer. He's been replaced by Jared Bednar who won the AHL championship with the Lake Erie Monsters (Columbus affiliate) last season. Bednar rose through the ranks and was a winning coach every season in the AHL and ECHL making me think the Avs made a fairly big coaching upgrade. The help of a system can only help the players so let's take a look at the players Bednar are working with:
It's been very up and down this year for Sean Monahan but as we approach the end of the year, his numbers are exactly in line with last season. After scoring a goal and adding two assists on Monday night against the Coyotes, Monahan is sitting at 27+32 with 184 shots on goal after 31+31 and 191 last season. With six games left, it looks like he will slightly best last season's big breakout. The 21 year old isn't going to end up a top 20 player, that's not his offensive ceiling and he doesn't contribute in penalty minutes (16 this year is a career high) but he should be around 50th overall in drafts next year since there's a good chance he can get to 70 points with some progression. Here's what else I saw around the league on Monday night:
It's an unpopular opinion but for my money, Erik Karlsson is the best player in the NHL. He makes a bigger impact on a game to game basis than any other skater in the league; it's scary to think about where the Senators would be without him. Karlsson had another one of his big games on Tuesday night with the game winning goal in overtime on his third shot while adding two assists in regulation. The Swede now has 60 assists (60!) to lead the league and 13 goals in 71 games with over three shots per game. He's even been a bit unlucky; his shooting percentage is its lowest since his rookie season. Karlsson came into this year as somebody to go around the turn in 12'ers but he's a slam dunk first rounder now. Here's what else I saw around the league Tuesday night:
Goals were extremely hard to come by in the NHL on Tuesday night. Four of the eight games finished 2-1, 3 of which were 1-1 through 60 minutes and needed overtime. Surprisingly, the one game that had a lot of goals was in New Jersey where the Flyers exploded in the 3rd period to beat the Devils 6-3. Their best player, Claude Giroux, led the way with three assists and one shot on goal. After a slow start, Giroux is now in the top 20 in the league in points with 49 (16+33) in 56 games. The first line and first power play unit for the Flyers has been completely unstoppable for the last 4-6 weeks and is keeping the Flyers in the playoff race. If you own any of their big four, enjoy the ride. Here's what else I saw around the league on Tuesday night: