At least once a season, Nick Schmaltz has a monster game for the Desert Dogs.  One of those games came on Thursday.  The Coyotes buried the Blues 5-0, with Schmaltz recording a hat trick and adding a power play assist.  The minutes are through the roof right now, playing over 18 minutes in every game in 2023, and averaging over 20 per game.  That's enough to put him in the elite streamer range, if not on the fringe.  I can't quite get to hold with poor PIM/hits and a below average shot rate, but I can see holding him for stretches while he's playing this well.  The first line looks really good for Arizona (more on the other two later) and the Coyotes are actually above real .500 at home, plus their schedule is super home heavy the rest of the way.  Schmaltz should at least be near the top of your streaming priority list.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
I've never seen an organization do more to sabotage their own team and coach as the Canucks have over the last six weeks.  They've been openly interviewing coaches for two months while Boudreau was still employed.  It was already reported that Rick Tocchet was going to take over the Canucks before the Canucks played on Saturday night.  It was highly emotional for the fans, players, and coaches, as Zach Hyman had a goal and three assists with five shots to lead Edmonton to a 4-2 win over the Canucks in Boudreau's last game.  He was 50-40-13 in his Vancouver, a 90 point pace per 82 games, much better than it should be with their roster.  Boudreau is one of the best coaches of the last 20 years, and I hope he gets another chance.  Fantasy wise, Tocchet steps in and well, he was really bad when he coached the Lightning and Coyotes.  His only playoff appearance was in the bubble because of an expanded playoffs.  The schedule does lighten up quite a bit for the Canucks in the short term, which obviously helps.  The distraction of the entire situation being gone also helps, but at the same time, they're going to trade Horvat sooner than later, and this could end up a slight negative for the value of their players.  If anything, I lean neutral to their values, but I really don't like the way things are trending in Vancouver.  Shame on Aquilini and Rutherford for handling this situation as poorly as possible.  As for the Oilers, they're on fire finally starting to solidify their playoff positioning being carried by their superstars.  The big thing I would say is never panic about their lines, Hyman and RNH will score plenty regardless, and will end up taking extra shifts with McDavid and Draisaitl anyways.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
Tage Thompson's nickname, as given to him by Sabres announcer Dan Dunleavy, is TNT.  Safe to say that everyone who watched Wednesday's game on TNT learned the nickname.  Thompson had the game of the season, scoring five times, five times, five times, five times!  He scored four in the first period, becoming the 18th player to ever score four in a period, and the fourth to do it in the first period.  He put nine shots on goal in total and added an assist despite playing only 13:56 in the game.  Here's the list of players who have multiple 3+ goals, 6+ point games in the last 30 seasons: Thompson, Zibanejad, Lemieux, and Gretzky.  And Thompson is only 1/3 of the way through the season!  He now has 21+19 in 26 games with over five shots per game.  Honestly, it doesn't look like a fluke at all.  Sure, his shooting percentage is a little high, but marginally so.  If he can maintain his shot rate, that's over 400 shots in a season, making him close to a lock for 50 goals.  As far as going forward, Thompson has played his way into the top 10 discussion.  His minutes could even end up increasing towards 20 per game from the 18:31 he's at now.  Thompson has already turned his contract extension into a massive steal for the Sabres.  Let's take a look at what else happened the last two nights:
Dallas locked up the last part of their core on Tuesday, signing Roope Hintz to an eight year contract extension.  Even being in the midst of a three game pointless streak, Hintz remains over a point per game and based on game score, he's a top ten forward in the league to this point of the season.  I don't expect him to maintain that pace, but his line is right there for the crown of best in the NHL.  Fantasy wise, I'd like to see the shot rate uptick 10-20%, but even with where he is, Hintz is a solid piece towards the top end of your roster.  If DeBoer played him 20+ minutes like he should instead of 17 per game, the numbers would be even better.  Congrats to Hintz for securing the bag!  Let's see what 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:
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:
In stunning fashion, the Coyotes have won six of seven games this month, including games against the Avalanche and Maple Leafs.  In their last six games, they have goal totals of 8, 9, 5, 5, and 6.  Just as we all expected, an offensive juggernaut in the desert.  Wait, that's not Vegas...  Arizona won both games in a back-to-back on Monday and Tuesday, winning 5-3 in Ottawa and 6-3 in Montreal.  Their lead man was Lawson Crouse.  Crouse had a hat trick on four shots in the win over Ottawa before scoring a goal and an assist with three shots in Montreal.  That brings Crouse to 19+13 on the season, easily a career high in goals and one off his career high in assists.  For the time being, Crouse is an elite streamer.  You can even make a case for holding him in hits leagues given his gaudy total, and the PIM are great as well.  Crouse looked on the path to being a massive bust, and while he still has a way to go, this is an incredible encouraging season from the 24 year old.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
If I was going to pick a team to back up an eight goal game with a nine goal game, it would obviously be The Desert Dogs!  The last few weeks have been very strange as a whole in the NHL, but this takes the cake.  Arizona scored eight on Ottawa before scoring a nine ball, corner pocket on Detroit Tuesday.  They were led by the one, the only, Nick Schmaltz, who had two goals and two assists in this game.  That's 11 points and a +11 in two games!  He's the best thing since Gretzky!  While I like to joke, Schmaltz was on fire a week ago and then decided to get 11 points in two games.  He clearly needs to be held for the time being.  Let's see what else happened over the last two nights:
Over the past few seasons, Patrik Laine has caught plenty of his slack for his game.  The goals have been on the decline and his defense has remained terrible.  The good news is that Laine has completely righted the ship this season.  Laine had a hat trick on Thursday, bringing him up to 16+15 in 29 games.  That's the best goal and assist rate of his career.  The confidence in his game seems to fully be back which is great to see.  He's one of the premier offensive players in the game, and it's crazy to think that Laine is still only 23 years old.  It will be very interesting to see what happens with Laine in the offseason as he's one year away from free agency, but I have to say, I love the fit in Columbus right now given their style of play.  There's a great chance that Laine is back to being the 35+ goal scorer that he was shaping up to be, with 50 goal upside.  The shots aren't elite which keeps his value down a bit, but I'm back to being a big believer in dynasties again.  Props to Fungazi for picking him in the Three Point Challenge.  If you need streamer help for the weekend, go check out JKJ's piece from yesterday here!  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Yes, the Sabres are still a bad hockey team, but the good news for long suffering fans like me, is there are finally some signs of hope.  One of the best signs is how well the first line has performed since Tuch returned from injury after the trade.  They single-handedly won the game for the Sabres on Sunday against Montreal, and it started with their highest paid player.  Jeff Skinner was left floundering on the fourth line or scratched by Ralph Kreuger last season because, well, Krueger had no clue about coaching hockey.  Skinner had one of the games of the season on Sunday afternoon, scoring four goals and an assist on six shots in the 5-3 win over the Canadiens. That bring Skinner up to 20 goals with 14 assists in 45 games.  Is he worth his massive contract?  No, but he's proving once again that he's still a damn good hockey player.  I've had him on the fringe for a while, but I feel good about holding him now.  His shot rate is back over three per game on the season so that's plenty good enough given his contribution in points.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
It wasn't hard to figure out who to feature in the opening paragraph tonight.  Andre Burakovsky started off the weekend with two goals on six shots against the Red Wings and finished it off with a hat trick on six shots against the Panthers.  That brings Burakovsky to 12+8 in 24 games on the season, quite the respectable total.  He's still available in 40% of leagues and that needs to change immediately.  With Gabriel Landeskog out for two weeks, Burakovsky is playing on the top line and top power play unit.  That's enough to make him must own in all formats, and he showed why on Sunday, getting a hat trick in a tough matchup.  It should be an excellent December for Burakovsky and hopefully it continues into the New Year.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend: