Injuries this time of year are the main thing we are trying to avoid.  This season probably hasn't been as bad as last year, but unfortunately two of the best players in the world are going to be out for a while.  Steven Stamkos needed core muscle surgery which will put him out for 6-8 weeks.  That's right into the first round of the playoffs, so for those of you in redrafts, you can safely cut Stamkos at this point.  Stone is week-to-week with a lower body injury, but DeBoer could only say that he is hopeful that Stone will be back before the regular season ends.  In other words, I'm not counting on it and it would be a bonus if Stone does return.  So who are the beneficiaries?  In Tampa, it's clearly Ondrej Palat right now as he took Stamkos' place with Point and Kucherov.  I would own Palat in all formats.  In Vegas, Nicolas Roy is currently with Patches and Karlsson.  Will it stick?  Who knows, but he did score a goal against the Sabres on Friday.  He's a solid streamer for the time being until we see if he keeps that role.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last few nights:
The first big trade deadline move happened two weeks early.  Jason Zucker was sent to Pittsburgh in Bill Guerin's first big move as Wild GM, in exchange for Alex Galchenyuk, Calen Addison, and a first round pick.  So what does this do for Zucker's fantasy value?  It puts it through the roof.  Zucker immediately went on Crosby's wing in his first game, registering five shots on goals against the Lightning in 15 minutes.  Sure, he's not going to get PP1 time, but the upside is tremendous given this opportunity.  I grabbed Zucker in every league that I could just in case that it clicks with Crosby.  We've seen Zucker score 30 goals in a season before and generate a ton of chances; now it'll be even easier with Crosby.  As for the Wild side of things, it's a really good return.  Addison was the Penguins' top prospect, and while their system wasn't loaded, he safely projects as a second pair, potential PP defenseman.  I don't see huge upside, but there's value there.  As for Galchenyuk, it can't get any worse than it was in Pittsburgh.  He only received 12 minutes in his first game, and I'm certainly not rushing to use him, but it's worth monitoring to see if that changes.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last three nights:
The player with the most points this weekend was Connor.  No, not McDavid.  Kyle Connor continued his terrific season with two amazing games.  First, he scored a goal and dished three assists against the Senators.  Then, he followed it up on Sunday by scoring two goals and an assist with five shots in the win against the Blackhawks.  That brings Connor up to a point per game on the season, 26+30 in 56 games.  Connor is developing into one of the unheralded stars in the league.  Overshadowed by Scheifele and Laine on his own team, this will be Connor's third straight 30 goal season at age 23.  His shot rate is over three per game now and the penalty minutes have jumped quite a bit.  I'm not sure how much higher his ceiling is, if at all, but it doesn't have to get higher.  Connor has established himself as a player whose floor is 30+30 with plenty of upside from there.  He's going to be a top 50 player (conservatively) for a long time, mixing in seasons where he's a top 25 player overall when he has some good fortune.  The Jets are in terrific shape going forward offensively, now they have to do whatever they can to improve their blue line.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
Andre Burakovsky has gone back and forth between bottom end hold and elite streamer for most of the season.  Right now, we're in one of his upswings again.  Burakovsky had a goal and three assists in the 6-1 Colorado win over the Sabres on Tuesday.  That's a whopping 10 points in the last 4 games and 14 in the past 8 for Burakovsky.  He also has Ottawa, the Kings twice, and Buffalo again over the next three weeks.  He's an easy hold while he's on fire and the schedule remains incredibly soft.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
For years, I've been predicting the big breakout from Filip Forsberg.  All of the talent is there, but for whatever reason, be it injury or just inconsistency, it hasn't happened yet.  Can it still happen?  Absolutely.  Forsberg is still only 25 years old and we've seen the upside over long stretches.  Forsberg dished two assists against Washington on Wednesday before scoring two goals on four shots against the Devils on Thursday.  That gives Forsberg nine points in his last nine games.  The shot rate is elite and the points are around a 70 point pace.  I'm still hopeful that he can have a season where he stays healthy and goes for 35+45 or even better.  Nashville is about to start a crucial road trip so I'm expecting Forsberg's minutes to increase and the points to keep flowing.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two days:
He's backkkk.  Justin Williams made his return on Sunday, totaling three shots on goal in 13 minutes of action before scoring the shootout winner for the Hurricanes.  So what should we expect from him going forward?  Well, the Hurricanes are in a bigger dog fight for the playoffs than expected, so I do expect Williams' workload to ramp up sooner than later.  He skated on the fourth line in this game, but there's a spot for him right now in the top six that's currently occupied by Foegele.  It should only be a matter of time until he fills that role.  How much does that matter?  Well, we know that Williams is a great source of shots.  He pushed close to three per game last season while totaling 53 points and 44 PIM.  That sounds like a guy firmly on the fringe to me.  I wouldn't be rushing to grab Williams, especially with Carolina only having one game between now and January 31st, but he's back to elite streamer status with the upside of being a bottom end hold.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
I'm a big fan of the revenge game and Semyon Varlamov had one on Monday night against his old team in Colorado.  Varlamov had a 32 save shutout to earn the 1-0 victory.  I have a few points on Varly.  One, he's proving to be the #1 goalie we hoped he would be when he went to the Islanders.  Barry Trotz has the best defensive system in the league.  Two, how the hell wasn't he an All-Star?  He's clearly had the best season for goalies in his division.  I get having Korpisalo because the Jackets need a representative, but Holtby?  Come on, Varly has been much better.  Anyways, keep rolling the Isles goalies.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
I talked a lot about Taylor Hall in Monday's post (you can read that here).  The trade that I was talking about happened on Monday with Hall moving to Arizona.  In the trade, Hall and Blake Speers went to Arizona for a 2020 conditional first-round draft pick, a conditional 2021 third-rounder, along with forward prospects Nate Schnarr, Nick Merkley and defenseman Kevin Bahl.  First, let's look at this from Arizona's perspective.  It's a steep price to pay for a rental, but Hall is the best player traded in quite some time, and Arizona is looking to snap a long playoff drought in a weak division.  I totally get the move given their strong defensive talent but lack of overall offensive talent.  Hall played on Tuesday dishing an assist and adding a shot in 18 minutes.  He played with Christian Dvorak and Clayton Keller.  In Monday's piece linked above, I said to buy Keller going forward due to his recent play.  This only enhances his value.  Same goes with Dvorak, but he moves up to an elite streamer for now.  As for New Jersey, it's hard to complain about this return.  You have potentially two first round picks in this deal, but at least a 1 and 3.  Bahl is a monster coming in at 6'7 and can skate fairly well.  I don't see a PP guy there, but he should be a modern stay-at-home who is strong on the PK.  For those in deep leagues, he should be a very good hits/blocks guy down the line.  Merkley has decent upside, but he has already had reconstructive knee surgery.  He's not the best skater, but he has great hockey IQ and should end up as a playmaking center in the middle six.  Schnarr was a third round pick in 2018 who didn't show a ton of offense until after he was drafted.  He then exploded in Guelph last season, but he's struggled in the AHL so far.  That isn't a surprise as many 20 year olds struggle in their first pro season.  I don't expect a ton, but there's a decent chance he ends up an NHL'er.  All in all, seems like this trade has the potential to be a win-win once you consider that Hall seemingly didn't want to stay in New Jersey.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Since returning from injury, David Krecji has been on a tear.  That continued on Saturday with two goals on five shots in the win against the Wild.  That brings him up to 4+11 in 17 games this season.  We know the deal with Krejci by now.  He is always on the fringe of holding and streaming because of his shot rate.  Right now, the shot rate is still poor with 28 SOG in 17 games.  However, he's +15 and 15 points in 17 games is too good to ignore.  Obviously it can change, but for now, I'm holding Krejci since he has four games in six nights, including a back to back on tuesday and Wednesday this week.  It's hard to ask for better opponents to play than Ottawa, the Rangers, and Montreal twice.  It's not going to be exciting, but Krejci's on the first power play and that puts him over the edge.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
Hat tricks aren't that uncommon in the NHL.  First period hat tricks are.  Evander Kane became the first player in Sharks history to do so, scoring three goals and adding an assist with five shots in the 5-2 win over the Hurricanes on Wednesday.  Kane has long been a player that I rate higher than consensus because of his shot rate and penalty minutes.  Kane has four goals and two assists in four games since returning from suspension to go along with four PIM and 13 shots.  Pretty, pretty good.  I don't think it's a coincidence that the Sharks went 0-3 without Kane and are 3-1 since.  With their current depth issues, Kane should be leaned on heavily giving him a great chance at a top 50 fantasy season.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights: