Hello everyone. Welcome to the seventh edition of JOT This Down! Thank you to everyone who provided feedback in volume six. I appreciate it. Keep the questions, comments, and concerns coming. I’ll be here all week to answer any and everything you may have.
Hello everyone. Welcome to the fifth edition of JOT This Down! Thank you to everyone who provided feedback in volume four. I appreciate it. Keep the questions, comments, and concerns coming. I’ll be here all week to answer any and everything you may have.
Hello everyone. Welcome to the second edition of JOT This Down! It was so nice to have hockey back on the screens after so long without it. The NHL is in a really good place in terms of the level of talent in the league right now. In almost every game, you will see a jaw-dropping play or an unbelievable stat line, sometimes from someone you would have never expected it from. Take Brock Boeser for example (add him if he is somehow available), nobody could have predicted that on opening night, but you never know what will happen in the NHL. That’s why in a sport with a lot of luck and volatility, never get too upset if things don’t go your way. It’s a long season, and there’s always next week to bounce back. Treat it as a hobby and have some fun.
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:
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.
Carolina's offense has been a bit disappointing overall, with only Aho sitting around a point per game. The injury to Patches really put a hole in their lineup that I assume they're going to address before the trade deadline. On the bright side, their most recent high draft pick just had the game of his early career. Seth Jarvis scored a hat trick in the 6-2 win over Montreal on Thursday. Overall, Jarvis has taken a step back offensively this season which is disappointing. His points are down despite playing 2 minutes more per game on average. It's dropped him down to being a middling streamer, but it hasn't really changed my long term opinion of him. He has great speed, solid hands, and an elite compete level. Jarvis just turned 21 years old so the best is yet to come. If you owned him in a dynasty, I wouldn't panic. He's going to be a top six winger for a long time. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
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:
It has been a terrible year for Kris Letang on and off the ice, but mostly off. He suffered a stroke and his father passed away shortly after. After almost a month away from the team, Letang returned on Tuesday and carried the Penguins to victory. Letang had a vintage performance, scoring two goals and two assists with six shots, four hits, and two blocks in the 7-6 OT win over the Panthers. I'm not going to say Letang will have a monster second half based on one game in his age 35 season. The good news is that there's a lot of games left for him to make an impact, and we know how big the upside is. If I said Letang was a top five defenseman the rest of the way, would you be shocked? I wouldn't. Now, the floor is much lower in the past, even assuming he can stay healthy. However, Pitt is starting to round into form, offensively at least, and the opportunity is there for a big finish. If your team is in position where you need to take a gamble, I would float some offers to the Letang owner. If I had him and was patient through the first three months, fingers crossed that he can salvage the season. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
There used to be a time where players received a massive fantasy boost playing with Tyler Seguin. That time has now passed, but right now, he's getting the boost playing with Robertson. With Hintz injured, Seguin has moved onto the first line centering Robertson and Pavelski, and he's blown up. On Thursday against the Kings, Seguin had two goals and an assist with five shots and two PIM. In the six games since Hintz was out of the lineup, Seguin has five goals and three assists with 22 shots on goal. It's unclear when Hintz will be back, but until he does, Seguin is an automatic hold in all fantasy formats. Let's take a look at what else 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:
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: