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?
It’s very early in the season but¬†Anze Kopitar¬†is playing at an MVP level for the Kings.¬† Kopitar had another monster game on Tuesday scoring two goals on three shots and adding an assist in the 4-1 win over Detroit.¬† Kopitar now has 12 goals and 16 assists in 25 games with an above average shot rate.¬† The Slovenian is averaging over 22 minutes per night carrying a massive workload with¬†Jeff Carter¬†injured.¬† It comes as no surprise that the Kings are much better with Kopitar on the ice and that he’s a top 50 fantasy player again.¬† Right now, I’d say Kopitar is the Selke favorite and even belongs in the MVP discussion; he’s been that good.¬† Let’s take a look at what else happened on Tuesday night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
All everyone talked about in the preseason was wondering how bad Vegas was going to be in their expansion year.¬† Sure, it’s only two games, but boy did they have some excitement.¬† On Friday, Dallas was dominating Vegas in their franchise opener but was only up 1-0 in the third.¬† Down goes¬†Ben Bishop¬†which opened up the door for¬†James Neal¬†to give the people of Las Vegas some relief in an awful time.¬† Neal scored two goals in the third period to propel the Golden Knights to victory.¬† To top off the weekend, Neal scored another goal, this time the game winner in overtime, to give Vegas two wins to start the season.¬† Neal is still available in over 40% of leagues and if you are in one of them, grab him.¬† The shot rate is going to be elite along with solid penalty minutes and goals.¬† At least for now, I’m not overly concerned about the top guys on Vegas having bad plus-minuses either.¬† Let’s take a look at what else happened in the first (long) weekend of the NHL season:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Since it’s almost Labor Day, it’s time for me to pick up the pace with my rankings. ¬†For those who haven’t seen them, you can check out my Top 50 here. ¬†I’m not going to bore you with an intro, everybody wants to see my top 100 and this is going to be incredibly long as is, so let’s get right to it!
51)¬†Ben Bishop¬†– The more research that I do, the more I’m tempted to move Bishop up even higher. ¬†Yes, last season was a disaster, but Bishop was the #1 overall player in 2015-16. ¬†But Viz, Dallas has been a train wreck defensively for years! ¬†This is true, but with¬†Marc Methot¬†coming on board and the growth of their young blueliners, they could take a step forward. ¬†More importantly, we’ve seen some goalies with far less talent than Bishop succeed in Ken Hitchcock’s system *cough*¬†Brian Elliott¬†*cough*. ¬†It’s a little risky but I’m expecting Dallas to push for the Central Division title giving Bishop massive upside across the board.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Last season for the New York Rangers was both a success and disappointment. ¬†The Rangers were the 4th team in a 4 team race in the Metro division last season but that was a huge boost to their playoff chances since that meant they would cross over into the Atlantic Division. ¬†After beating the Canadiens in the first round, the Rangers were upset by the Senators in Round 2. ¬†A few big offseason moves give the Rangers a different feel than in the past. ¬†Off went mainstays¬†Derek Stepan¬†and¬†Dan Girardi, in comes¬†Kevin Shattenkirk. ¬†A few forwards will be placed into bigger roles giving us a few potential value forwards. ¬†Let’s take a look at what Alain “The Brain” Vigneault has to work with:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Loyal Razzballers know the love that the writer, editor and chief of Razzball Hockey has for Sebastian Aho long term. He hasn’t taken the league by storm but his rookie season has been incredibly impressive for a 19 year old. Aho had his second best game to date on Thursday scoring two goals and an assist with six shots in the win over the Rangers. That gives him 19+19 on the season with over 2.5 shots per game. He’s been a great streamer most of the season but right now I would grab him for the rest of the season. Why? If you recall, the Hurricanes have the best schedule over the last four weeks by a country mile (schedule breakdown here). Aho will be a solid contributor at his current pace given the volume but as we’ve seen, there is plenty of upside as well. He’s still available in over 75% of leagues so go pick up that Aho! Here’s what else happened around the league the last two nights:Please, blog, may I have some more?
For the majority of his professional career, Connor Hellebuyck has gone up and down more than an elevator. He’s bounced around the NHL and AHL along with starting and being the backup in Winnipeg despite the fact that he’s clearly their best option between the pipes. That’s not to say Hellboy has been a great goalie throughout. In fact, he’s had plenty of times where he looks rough. That’s simply the nature of the beast in the NHL being a young goalie. Hellboy was at the bottom last week allowing five goals in consecutive starts. Naturally, he turns things around this weekend with a 29 save shutout against the Blues and saving 22 of 23 shots in the 6-1 win over the Avalanche. The numbers are poor on the whole but he has won half of his games. Should he be owned right now? I think you have to gamble on the upside in 12’ers. The main point is that this season has done nothing to dissuade me from loving Hellebuyck in dynasties. We all know that the Jets are loaded with offensive talent that is only going to get better and Hellebuyck will be a beneficiary. The prospect cupboard remains full despite all of their recent graduates and most importantly, there are a bunch on the blue line. What do I expect him next season? Probably a #2 goalie with upside to be a #1 who should be owned in all leagues. Long term? He should eventually develop into a guy who is a middling to bottom end #1 year in and year out. Bottom line, I’m still driving the Hellboy bandwagon! Here’s what else happened around the league last weekend:Please, blog, may I have some more?
First off, I want to apologize for not having notes on Friday. I wrote them up Thursday night, scheduled the post and then when I logged on Friday afternoon, it was nowhere to be found. I have no idea what happened so hopefully it’s a one-time incident. Anyways, the first two major trade dominoes fell on Sunday night. We’ll get to the Wild’s big move later but the first trade of the night was Ben Bishop getting moved. I’m not shocked that he was traded but I am pretty shocked that it was to the Kings. There are a few players impacted by this move. First, Bishop’s value takes a massive hit. If you are in a redraft, I think you can just cut Bishop. He probably gets one out of three games down the stretch for the Kings barring another Jonathan Quick injury. That’s seven games the rest of the season. I would stream Bishop in all of those games but I don’t think it’s worth holding. If you’re in a dynasty and out of contention, I think it makes a lot of sense to buy low on Bishop on the hopes he lands somewhere nice in the offseason. Peter Budaj goes to Tampa in the trade and he loses all of his value; you can safely drop him. The real winner is Andrei Vasilevskiy who should be the workhorse down the stretch. We know that he’s been up and down all season but he should be owned in all leagues now for the upside. Here’s what else happened around the league the last few nights:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Remember how poor Max Pacioretty was playing the first six weeks of the season? Despite the incredible start from the Canadiens, Patches was struggling to find the back of the net, mostly due to his shot rate falling off a cliff. While he’s not at his normal levels, he’s back over three shots per game and on Tuesday, Patches had a huge night. He scored on all three of his shots leading the way in Montreal’s destruction of the Sabres. All of a sudden, Pacioretty is tied for second in the league in goals (at the time of this writing) being a plus contributor in all categories. While he’s not pushing the top 25 like he was a couple years ago, Patches is firmly in the top 50 going forward. Here’s what else I saw around the league on a massive Tuesday slate:Please, blog, may I have some more?
After an amazing start, Patrick Eaves has slowed down quite a bit lately. Despite being in the league since 2005, Eaves never topped 32 points so it wasn’t a surprise. That said, he’s been given the best opportunity to produce points he’s ever had in his career this season and Eaves has taken advantage on the whole. Eaves had his strongest game in over a month on Tuesday scoring a goal and two assists with three shots. He’s been on the first power play unit all season (his goal was on the PP) and Eaves moved back to the first line during this game. It’s time to stop dropping Eaves and hold him in 12’ers. I’m okay with using him as a streamer if you don’t have the room but Eaves has an outside shot of scoring 30 goals this year. Here’s what else happened around the league on Tuesday night:Please, blog, may I have some more?