The Senators have been a disappointment this season despite their big forward acquisitions in the summer.  Turns out that you can't get away with completely ignoring the blue line and being forced to give bad players big minutes.  Anyways, we don't care about that for fantasy, we care about their scoring, and their top players have largely delivered.  Claude Giroux had a great weekend, totaling three goals and two assists with ten shots over two games.  Giroux is having his best goal scoring season since his monstrous 34 goal, 102 point season in 2017-18.  Unsurprisingly, that season and this season are Giroux's two highest shooting percentages, but it seems a bit more sustainable in this environment in Ottawa.  Even with an inconsistent PP1 role, Giroux has still played his way into being a bottom end hold in all formats.  The one problem is that after Ottawa's game on Tuesday, they don't play again until February 11th.  My biggest point here with bottom end holds over these bye weeks is that you need to know your league format and whether the waiver wire is strong enough that you can drop someone like Giroux to get more games.  In head to head leagues, volume is king, so you can make a case after Tuesday that you can let him go for players with a bunch of games after the All-Star break. In roto, I would hold onto Giroux without hesitation.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
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's remarkable that Boston started off the season 19-0-3 at home, securing a point in all 22 games.  That streak ended on Thursday with the red hot Kraken in town.  Earning their 7th straight win, Seattle won 3-0, with Martin Jones posting a 27 save shutout.  The numbers for Jones aren't great, a 2.68 GAA that is decent and a .898 sv% which is quite the negative.  However, in spite of those numbers, Jones has won 20 games, having started 27.  When only Ullmark and Hellebuyck have more wins than you, that's quite the value boost.  That is an incredible win rate, and why he has to be held everywhere.  It's probably only #3 worthy, although you can make a case he's a #2 and certainly has #2 upside.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
It's no secret in these parts that I'm from Buffalo and root for the local teams.  I've seen plenty of devastating injuries over the years, from hockey players being severely cut, Pronger's collapse on the ice, soccer players collapsing like Eriksen in 2021, and I was at the Bills game when Kevin Everett was paralyzed.  Damar Hamlin's cardiac arrest was the first time that it felt like "life or death" on the football field.  It seemed like an eternity between first responders helping him, getting him to the hospital, and waiting for any update.  I can only imagine how it was for his family, friends, and teammates.  Here's to hoping that Hamlin continues to progress in his battle towards recovery.  The Sabres played in Washington on Tuesday night, with the entire team wearing "Love For Three" t-shirts for their Buffalo brethren.  The Sabres won the game 5-4 in the most fitting way possible.  Tage Thompson scored his third goal of the game, completing his third hat trick of the season, exactly three minutes into overtime, playing three on three, bringing him to 30 on the season, which is three off the league lead.  You can't write a better ending than that.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights while we keep Damar in our thoughts:
While I wasn't expecting a repeat of last season from Filip Forsberg, his drop off was a much higher level than it should have been.  Thankfully, he started the turn around in a massive way this weekend.  Against Anaheim on Friday, Forsberg had a goal and two assists.  He followed it up with an even better game, scoring a hat trick on six shots against the Golden Knights.  With those performances, Forsberg is on a 33+41 pace, which isn't amazing, but far more acceptable given Forsberg's shot rate.  Here's to hoping that Forsberg can keep building.  Nashville is going on a long road trip soon, which could lead to a bit more ice time for Forsberg when Hynes can't protect matchups as easily.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
It was great to see Aleksander Barkov back in the lineup on Thursday, and if you didn't get him back into your lineup off injured reserve, well, that one is going to hurt for a while.  Barkov scored a hat trick in the first period against the Canadiens and added two assists in the 7-2 win over the Canadiens.  It hasn't been Barkov's best season to this point, but I'm buying Barkov going forward to get back to being well over a point per game.  Florida has dug itself quite a hole in the playoff race and I expect Maurice to really ride their top six even more.  Barkov's shooting percentage is also much lower than his career sh% (10.3 vs 14.0) so look for some positive regression in the New Year for the Panthers captain.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Mats Zuccarello has gone through three separate streaks this season.  He started the season on fire, he had a cold streak, and now he's on a heater again.  Zuccarello started off the weekend with a hat trick and an assist against the Blackhawks, before adding a goal and an assist against the Senators.  That brings Zucc's point streak up to ten games.  He's well over a point per game, and pushing towards three shots per game.  The 35 year old has shown no signs of slowing down, being rejuvenated playing with Kaprizov.  Zuccarello is starting to erase his plus-minus hole as well.  Even including the plus-minus, Zuccarello has been a top 50 player, and should continue to be so.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
What better way to become the third player ever to 800 goals than to score a hat trick?  Alex Ovechkin did just that on Tuesday, scoring three times and adding an assist against the Chicago Blackhawks.  He's only one goal behind Gordie Howe for second all-time, and then the real chase towards Gretzky starts.  Ovechkin already has 20 goals this season in 31 games, a mere 53 goal pace for the 37 year old.  He's over four shots per game, and while the plus-minus is disappointing, it's starting to turn around a bit.  My love for Ovechkin is well known in these parts, so I don't need to belabor the point, but I can't wait for the greatest goal scorer ever to push towards 895.  Here's to hoping he keeps battling father time and gives hockey fans a great chase.  Let's see what else happened over the last two nights:
As fun as it is to make fun of Toronto's Stanley Cup drought, it's very impressive when somebody breaks one of their major records.  On Saturday, Mitch Marner did just that, getting a point in his 19th consecutive game, scoring twice on five shots.  Toronto fans love to make Marner their whipping boy, but this should give him a respite until the playoffs come along.  The shot rate is slowly creeping back up for Marner, which is a necessity if he's going to approach last season's point total.  He's a bit behind at even strength, but he's managed to be even better on the power play.  Marner is as safe as it gets in fantasy at this point and remains in the top 20.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
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:
Mikhail Sergachev had the game of the weekend, scoring two goals and two assists on three shots in the 6-3 win over the Capitals.  However, I was starting this post with Sergachev after watching the first ten minutes of the game.  Sergachev moved to the first power play unit and immediately delivered, with one goal and one primary assist coming there.  That is a massive boon to his value.  Whether it lasts, who is to say?  I would bet against it staying that way for the whole season, which is why I wouldn't panic if I owned Victor Hedman.  However, in the short term, this is enough to make Sergachev a #2 defenseman in a 12 man league, with upside to be a #1.  Getting to feed Stamkos and Kucherov for shots over and over again is a godsend to fantasy value.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend: