There was a lot of craziness around the NHL on President's Day, but nothing topped the game in Minnesota. At one point late in the second period, the Canucks looked in complete control up 5-2. Two minutes and seventeen seconds of game time later, Minnesota was up 6-5. And if that wasn't enough, there were still six more goals! The Wild beat the Canucks 10-7, and to wash it down, they played a paltry 6-3 game on Tuesday, a loss to the Jets. Nothing like 13-13 aggregate over two nights. On Monday, it was all of the stars for the Wild, as those four goals in a 2:17 span were all on the power play, three of which were 5 on 3. Joel Eriksson Ek and Kirill Kaprizov had three goals and three assists... each! Mats Zuccarello and Matt Boldy had a goal and three assists... each! On Tuesday, Kaprizov had a goal and an assist, while Marco Rossi had two goals on five shots. Both goalies were shelled, and right now, it's hard to trust either of them. For the moment, the Wild look like a four star team, Faber is a clear hold, and Brodin is on the fringe. Rossi is a solid streamer, and gamble if you'd like on their goalies. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
We're very close to the All-Star break with most teams starting their extended break on Sunday. If you look at defensemen production, specifically in goals, you see notable names at the top. Dahlin leads defensemen in goals, and then there's a four way tie behind him with notables like Makar and Hughes. None of that is a surprise. Weegar is one of those tied with Makar and Hughes, which is very surprising, but he went into the season locked into a big role, so let's assume he had some good fortune. But Thomas Harley? He's a player I really liked in dynasties, but to be one goal off the league lead for defensemen? Not even close to my radar. Harley scored two goals on Saturday, including the overtime winner for a second straight game, in the 5-4 win over the Capitals. That gives Harley a whopping 12 goals in 46 games. "Even with Heiskanen back, Harley was a factor. I’m still holding Harley even though I wasn’t expecting to when Heiskanen came back. He’s been that good for the Stars." And that's me quoting me from three days ago copying what Grey does! Somehow, Harley is still available in almost two-thirds of fantasy leagues. With the pool of defensemen dropping off hard at the bottom, Harley should be owned in all formats. Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
It's not too often that we get a day in the NHL where all 32 teams play. On Saturday, we were treated to sixteen games spread out over the entire day and it did not disappoint. The Oilers set a franchise record with their 10th win in a row, the Avalanche came from 3-0 down to beat Toronto, and the Flyers snapped the Jets point streak, amongst other things. There were a lot of big performances along the way, but Connor Ingram's 38 save shutout was one of the highlights. So I was right about a Coyotes goalie being a top 15 goalie, I just failed to pick the backup who showed little in the NHL before this season, whoops! Arizona continues to stay right around the wild card spots, and Ingram is the biggest reason why. Don't be surprised if they ride him more in the second half if he can maintain anything close to this .919 sv%, assuming Vejmelka doesn't turn it around. Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
Hello everyone. Welcome to the tenth edition of JOT This Down! Keep the questions, comments, and concerns coming. I’ll be here all week to answer any and everything you may have.
It's safe to say that we've reached the point that nobody doubts Boston anymore. Their two top centers retired, and yet the team is chugging along at 16-4-3. Their new captain was the reason they won both games over the weekend. Brad Marchand scored the overtime winner against the Leafs on Saturday, his eighth shot on goal in the contest. He followed it up with a natural hat trick, scoring all three goals for the Bruins in their 3-1 win over the Blue Jackets. That gives Marchand 11+12 in 24 games, almost exactly a point per game. The big thing is his shot rate is at an all-time high. In my preseason rankings, I was uncertain on Marchand's ceiling, but speculated his shot rate could improve without Bergeron. He's at exactly 3.5 per game, and with his elite PIM as always, Marchand is still in the conversation for a top 20 player. At 35 years old, Marchand is showing no signs of slowing down. Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
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.
How does Sidney Crosby keep getting better at 36 years old? Crosby had a hat trick and an assist on Tuesday, leading the Penguins to a 5-3 win over the Blue Jackets. He opened the scoring in the game, he got the lead back in the last six minuets and then sealed the game with an empty netter. That brings Crosby to 10 goals and 9 assists in 14 games while pushing four shots per game. He's on a nine game point streak and is a top 20 forward again. With the arrival of Erik Karlsson (goal and an assist, two shots), Crosby has a great chance of getting to 100 points for the first time in five seasons and 40 goals for the first time since 2016-17. I think at this point, he has to be considered a top five player of all-time. If you have him in fantasy, enjoy it, because there's no reason to expect regression. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
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.
Mason McTavish had an ADP of 250 this season. I had him ranked at 176th overall. While I wasn't fully convinced he would make a huge leap in his sophomore season, his upside is so high that I thought he was a worthwhile gamble towards the end of your drafts. It's paid massive dividends in the early going, and McTavish had his best game to date on Monday. He scored two goals and an assist with five shots and two PIM, including the shorthanded winner with 13 seconds left in the game. McTavish now has 5+6 in 11 games with a good shot rate, plus-minus and PIM. McTavish is still available in almost 70% of leagues, which is blasphemous. I've been holding onto him since the draft in a ten man league, and think it's become clear that he needs to be held everywhere. In dynasties, he's a top 50 keeper. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
It was quite the low scoring day on Thursday, with eight of the eleven games going under their betting total, two of which needed overtime to do so, plus there was a miracle in Boston (more on that later). There were four shutouts on the night, all of which were quite surprising. I'll go in chronological order. The Avalanche were undefeated on the season, so naturally Tristan Jarry shut them out, making 31 saves. Jarry now has two shutouts, two dreadful starts, and one mediocre start. He's one of the highest variance goalies around. I'm lower on him than most, but I acknowledge that he could be a bottom end #1. Next, Jonas Johansson had his second consecutive shutout, making 23 saves against the Sharks. He's clearly must own for now, although like Jarry, the downside is undeniable. Joel Hofer shutout the Flames, making 27 saves. I was high on him because I don't believe in Binnington. Both have been off to a hot start, but I'm skeptical of the Blues being good defensively. I'm bullish in Hofer for dynasties, but in redrafts, he's a selective streamer with upside. Lastly, Jonathan Quick shut out the Oilers, making 29 saves. He made a couple spectacular saves, but color me skeptical. I think this says more about the Oilers without McJesus than anything. Quick is a reasonable streamer in plus matchups for now, but know that it could blow up in your face. Let's see what else happened on Wednesday and Thursday night:
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:
We’re keeping it moving with my fantasy hockey rankings today with my defensemen rankings. My plan is to do two posts of tiers, with another post at the end of guys I like as lottery tickets for your last couple picks. Please, blog, may I have some more?