The #1 name on most trade boards has been moved and it's still January!  Razzball favorite Dr. Bo Horvat was shipped to the Islanders on Monday for a top 12 protected 1st round pick in the 2023 draft, Anthony Beauvillier, and Aatu Raty.  With only six total games on the docket this week (four the past two nights), this gives me a chance to do a full breakdown on this trade.  I'm going to look at the move from both sides before making some final conclusions.  Let's get to it!
The Senators have been a disappointment this season despite their big forward acquisitions in the summer.  Turns out that you can't get away with completely ignoring the blue line and being forced to give bad players big minutes.  Anyways, we don't care about that for fantasy, we care about their scoring, and their top players have largely delivered.  Claude Giroux had a great weekend, totaling three goals and two assists with ten shots over two games.  Giroux is having his best goal scoring season since his monstrous 34 goal, 102 point season in 2017-18.  Unsurprisingly, that season and this season are Giroux's two highest shooting percentages, but it seems a bit more sustainable in this environment in Ottawa.  Even with an inconsistent PP1 role, Giroux has still played his way into being a bottom end hold in all formats.  The one problem is that after Ottawa's game on Tuesday, they don't play again until February 11th.  My biggest point here with bottom end holds over these bye weeks is that you need to know your league format and whether the waiver wire is strong enough that you can drop someone like Giroux to get more games.  In head to head leagues, volume is king, so you can make a case after Tuesday that you can let him go for players with a bunch of games after the All-Star break. In roto, I would hold onto Giroux without hesitation.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
It's no secret in these parts that I'm from Buffalo and root for the local teams.  I've seen plenty of devastating injuries over the years, from hockey players being severely cut, Pronger's collapse on the ice, soccer players collapsing like Eriksen in 2021, and I was at the Bills game when Kevin Everett was paralyzed.  Damar Hamlin's cardiac arrest was the first time that it felt like "life or death" on the football field.  It seemed like an eternity between first responders helping him, getting him to the hospital, and waiting for any update.  I can only imagine how it was for his family, friends, and teammates.  Here's to hoping that Hamlin continues to progress in his battle towards recovery.  The Sabres played in Washington on Tuesday night, with the entire team wearing "Love For Three" t-shirts for their Buffalo brethren.  The Sabres won the game 5-4 in the most fitting way possible.  Tage Thompson scored his third goal of the game, completing his third hat trick of the season, exactly three minutes into overtime, playing three on three, bringing him to 30 on the season, which is three off the league lead.  You can't write a better ending than that.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights while we keep Damar in our thoughts:
It feels like it's been forever since I've written daily notes.  I guess being stuck inside due to a blizzard will do that.  It was great to be able to watch the NHL on Tuesday night with a massive slate of games.  He didn't have the biggest game of the day, but Erik Gustafsson can be a huge difference maker that impacts the vast majority of fantasy leagues.  Gustafsson scored a goal and added a power play assist in the 4-0 win over the Rangers.  This is notable because John Carlson is out "long term" after taking a puck to the face last Friday against Winnipeg.  It seems like an eternity ago, but Gustafsson did have 60 points with Chicago four years ago with 18 coming on the PP.  It's his top unit to run now, and the minutes have been decent even before Carlson's injury.  The blocks are okay and the hits are below average, so in those formats he's still on the fringe, but without them, I think he's a no brainer hold.  He's available in over 90% of leagues right now, so open another tab, put a claim in for Gustafsson, and then come back and see what else happened on Tuesday night!
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:
As fun as it is to make fun of Toronto's Stanley Cup drought, it's very impressive when somebody breaks one of their major records.  On Saturday, Mitch Marner did just that, getting a point in his 19th consecutive game, scoring twice on five shots.  Toronto fans love to make Marner their whipping boy, but this should give him a respite until the playoffs come along.  The shot rate is slowly creeping back up for Marner, which is a necessity if he's going to approach last season's point total.  He's a bit behind at even strength, but he's managed to be even better on the power play.  Marner is as safe as it gets in fantasy at this point and remains in the top 20.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
With a strange schedule this week due to Thanksgiving in the United States, I'm going to be back on Tuesday recapping tonight's action.  I know it's been a bit for daily notes, but managing through this snowstorm in Buffalo has taken up a lot of time.  As a result, I'm going to change things up and talk about one player on each team that is changing my opinion about them for fantasy, for better or worse.  Let me know in the comments section if you like this type of post (or if you don't, speak the truth) so I know going forward.  Let's get to it! Things couldn't be going worse for John Klingberg with the Ducks. The team signed him in order to help out in the early part of the season and probably trade him at the deadline for assets.  Instead, he hasn't helped at all, and is even off the first power play unit now.  The shot rate is dreadful, as is the plus-minus.  You can still hold for upside later in the year, but he's no longer must-own in 12'ers and even 10'ers.
Remember when the Devils fans were chanting "Fire Lindy" two games into the season?  My, how the tides have turned.  The Devils have won 13 of 14 since, including 10 in a row.  The most recent win was 5-1 against the Canadiens on Tuesday with their star players leading the way.  Jack Hughes scored twice on seven shots and added an assist in the victory.  Hughes now has multiple points in six of his last ten games, and is pushing 4.5 shots on goal per game.  Even with a lack of penalty minutes, that's enough to be the top 20 player that I ranked him as before the season.  The future is incredibly bright in New Jersey with two elite defensemen prospects coming to support the excellent foundation in place.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
To say the injuries are piling up on Washington is an understatement.  They have six players on IR plus Orlov missed Monday's game.  The salaries of these players combines to over $40 million.  Washington pulled off the upset over the Oilers on Monday on the back of their power play.  Four of the five Capital goals came on the power play, with Evgeny Kuznetsov leading the charge with two goals, two assists, four shots and two PIM playing over 20 minutes.  It hasn't been the best start to the season for Kuz, but this will certainly help.  It's also encouraging that he has 3+ shots in five of his last seven games.  If I owned Kuz in fantasy, I would be patient.  With the lack of depth Washington is dealing with, the minutes should get back up towards the 20:17 he averaged last season.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
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:
The Sabres got off to a hot start this season despite their top line struggling to get on the scoresheet.  On Saturday, they started the turnaround against the Blackhawks, but that game paled in comparison to what they did on Monday.  Against the Red Wings, the Sabres scored eight goals, led by their $50 million man, Tage Thompson.  Thompson had the game of the early season, scoring three goals, dishing three assists, and putting nine total shots on goal.  All it took was two games for Thompson to turn his October into a monster month with 6+6 in nine games with over four shots per game.  Granato told him that he needed to start shooting the puck more, and that's turned into 25 shots in the past three games alone.  Obviously he's not going to keep up that rate, but Thompson could turn into a top 50 player if he pushes his shot rate to over four per game.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights: