Hi, folks

I apologize for missing my streamer column this week. I’m a college admissions counselor and my weekends have been taken up with reading applications and watching the Olympics. I stumbled into some free time and need to solve a pressing problem on one of my own fantasy hockey teams, so join me as I explore the world of goalies before the fantasy playoffs.

As some of you know I only use one goalie, and stream when necessary. This strategy gets me an additional skater to play for 3-4 games a week, and prevents me from fretting about ratios and wins- I can focus on getting offensive categories and can roll the dice on my ratios (sv% and GAA). I drafted Braden Holtby for this role, but his last few starts have been absolutely terrible: 5, 4, 6, and 4 goals allowed in his last four starts. His GAA on the season is 2.95, nearly a full goal greater than last year and a full half goal above his career average.

Because the playoffs are coming, I need to figure out why this is happening. I’ve been content to let Holtby’s performance slip and slide, but now the heat is on to get decent performances- a championship is on the line. So, I’ve built a goalie-stats spreadsheet to try and figure out where I can gain an advantage and if need be, work a trade before the end of the weekend, or decide to ride out the storm.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hey everyone!  While there are still a bunch of teams that have their bye this week, it’s nowhere near as many as last week.  The lack of games made it the lightest week of the season and leaving little to talk about fantasy wise.  Therefore, I’m going to use this post to make one fantasy hockey prediction for each team for the rest of the season.  We’ll be back to the usual daily notes on Wednesday and Friday this week.  Let’s get going!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

There have been a few big games by individuals this season but Patrice Bergeron’s on Saturday is the new leader for the best of the year.  Bergeron scored four goals and added an assist with seven shots in the 7-1 win over the Hurricanes.  Bergeron was the second player this year to score four goals after Alex Ovechkin.  Per usual, Bergeron is crushing all of the categories.  He’s playing around a 40+35 pace while already having a +19 rating, solid PIM and pushing four shots per game.  Bergeron is a slam dunk top 50 player for the rest of the season who should push towards the top 25.  Again, the top line in Boston is as good as it gets and Bergeron is at the forefront of their success.  That line just gave up their first goal against at even strength all season!  Remarkable stuff.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the weekend:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’ll be honest, a year ago, I never thought I’d be writing about Alex Stalock again.  After a few years of being the backup in San Jose, Stalock was shipped to Toronto, where he was immediately waived to play in the AHL.  In the summer of 2016, Stalock signed a two-way deal with the Wild but never played in Minnesota, only in Iowa.  After Kuemper’s struggles last year and Stalock recording a .926 sv% in the A, the Wild let Kuemper go and decided to sign Stalock to be their backup this year.  Sadly, Devan Dubnyk was injured on Tuesday and is week-to-week.  We discussed this on yesterday’s podcast, but Stalock becomes a clear must-own until Dubnyk returns.  He made me look good as he shut out the Maple Leafs on Thursday night stopping 28 shots he’s faced.  Grab Stalock now before somebody else.  The Wild are getting healthy and playing great defensive hockey at the moment so for at least the next week, Stalock should provide great value.  Here’s what else happened the last two nights:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Reid and I talked about Tristan Jarry extensively on last week’s podcast.  We said that he should be picked up immediately with Matt Murray out for at least a few weeks, mostly because the Penguins had a back-to-back against the hapless Sabres.  Well, Jarry delivered and then some in both games.  He started off with a 34 save shutout in Buffalo before allowing 1 goal on 33 shots in Pittsburgh on Saturday.  The schedule isn’t great this week with the Rangers, Islanders, and Maple Leafs on deck, but they’re all at home.  At the least, Jarry is a nice spec add to see how things go against better competition.  He’s still available in over 70% of leagues so go grab him now.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the weekend:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Nothing like a revenge game against your former team to get your current team back on track.  Local Razzball favorite Mike Smith saved all 28 shots against his former team leading the Flames to a 3-0 win over the Coyotes.  Smith has been outstanding this point becoming one of the greatest values in fantasy hockey to this point.  The save percentage is among the league’s best and the wins are more than solid.  Since I’m all in on the Flames this year, I don’t see why the team in front of him would get worse.  To make things better, the Flames don’t have a quality backup goalie.  Smith is going to be a massive workhorse going forward and should be a borderline #1 fantasy goalie.  Not bad for someone drafted in the very late rounds.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the previous two nights:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

After another recording issue when we recorded on Wednesday, we’re finally back! Reid joins me to run down all of the injuries around the NHL. While this is happening, a trade happens! We give you our instant analysis to the trade between the Anaheim Ducks and New Jersey Devils involving Sami Vatanen and Adam Henrique. After that, we discuss the first line for Vegas doing extremely well, the return of Carey Price, and some players who have performed admirably to start the season but haven’t received the credit they deserve. To close things, we make Three Point Challenge picks. Be sure to make your picks in the comments section below. All of that and more in the latest edition of The Razzball Hockey Podcast!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Jake Guentzel started awfully slow this season after an outstanding playoff run for the Penguins last season.  He’s started to pick things up and had his best game to date on Monday, scoring two goals and an assist with six shots in the 5-4 OT win over the Flyers.  That gives Guentzel six goals in his last six games, more than he had in his first 20 games combined.  He’s actually benefited quite a bit from Evgeni Malkin’s injury as Guentzel took his spot on the first power play unit.  That said, I’m hoping Malkin slides between Guentzel and Kessel on the second line when he returns which should really help Guentzel at even strength.  Obviously he’s a must own but here’s to hoping Guentzel keeps building on this and pushes towards being the top 50-75 player that was expected from him after leading the Stanley Cup Playoffs in goals.  Let’s take a look at what else happened on Monday night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?