To say the injuries are piling up on Washington is an understatement.  They have six players on IR plus Orlov missed Monday's game.  The salaries of these players combines to over $40 million.  Washington pulled off the upset over the Oilers on Monday on the back of their power play.  Four of the five Capital goals came on the power play, with Evgeny Kuznetsov leading the charge with two goals, two assists, four shots and two PIM playing over 20 minutes.  It hasn't been the best start to the season for Kuz, but this will certainly help.  It's also encouraging that he has 3+ shots in five of his last seven games.  If I owned Kuz in fantasy, I would be patient.  With the lack of depth Washington is dealing with, the minutes should get back up towards the 20:17 he averaged last season.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
I've been aggressive ranking Matthew Tkachuk for years, but I never expected this type of offense from him.  Tkachuk had a hat trick on Tuesday, bringing his season totals up to 37+55 in 73 games.  He has a chance for 100 points, he's +49, the PIM are strong, and his shot rate is over three per game.  Tkachuk is pretty much having a Marchand-esque season.  That's the Marchand who has been a top five player for the past 4-5 years.  Now, I'm not quite going there with Tkachuk for next season.  Gaudreau could leave and this is an outlier in terms of past performance.  That said, he's firmly in the first round pick discussion because he smashes every category.  I can't wait to see what he does in the playoffs.  Let's take a look at what else happened the last two nights:
Fifty-six goals.  That's how many Auston Matthews has on the season after another two goal performance on Thursday.  Not only does he have the most goals in a season in Maple Leafs history, he now holds the record for most goals in a season by an US-born player.  Matthews has 49 goals on 49 games, a run that hasn't happened in this millennium.  He's locking up the Hart Trophy with this run, and the fantasy question is where he goes in drafts next season.  I still couldn't bring myself to take Matthews over McDavid because the floor for McDavid is the highest we've seen in the fantasy hockey era, but I think Matthews has played himself into tier one being worthy of the second pick overall.  Can't wait to see how Toronto performs in the playoffs this year.  Let's take a look at what happened over the last two nights:
Before this season, Tage Thompson was part of the punch line about how bad the Sabres were fleeced in the RoR trade.  Amazingly, Thompson has come out of nowhere to play better than RoR has this season (although I'm sure the Blues are just fine with it, banners fly forever).  Thompson was fantastic over the weekend, scoring a hat trick against the Avalanche before scoring a goal on four shots against the Blue Jackets on Sunday.  That brings Thompson up to 20 goals and 18 assists in 47 games and over three shots per game.  Thompson is right on the fringe although I lean towards grabbing him for now.  Buffalo's next opponent?  Montreal.  Let me get some of that.  Either way, Thompson's development is massive for the Sabres going forward.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
It's no surprise that an ex-Sabre destroyed the Sabres in their first game against their former team.  I've seen it for the better part of the decade.  The surprise was that the Sabres stormed out to a 3-0 and 4-1 lead, only to blow the game.  Sam Reinhart had a goal and three assists with two shots in the comeback, but that's not what makes me excited.  Four points doesn't make me excited?  Well, it does, but what really excites me is that Reinhart moved onto the first line once the game was 4-1.  The line change sparked the Florida comeback, and I'd have to think they keep Reinhart there to start next game.  I've already been holding Reinhart, but he is available in a fairly large number of leagues.  I'd grab him now because if he stays on the top line, we could see him push towards a point per game. 
It's about time that I update my hold/stream list.  In this version, I included all goalies I would use or stream instead of assuming to hold the starting goalies.  Additionally, for injured players, I am assuming that they are healthy / worth stashing on an IR spot.  I'll add a select few comments in here, but if you have any specific questions, please ask them in the comments section.  Let's get to it!
Razzball favorite Oliver Bjorkstrand had his second 3+ point game of the young season on Thursday, dishing three assists and adding two shots in the 3-2 OT win over the Islanders.  That's seven points in four games and the equally encouraging sign is that Bjorkstrand played over 20 minutes in this game.  He's owned in almost every league like he should be, but the upside may be even higher than I gave Bjorkstrand credit for.  I have no doubt that the goals are going to come, but the playmaking has improved leaps and bounds over the last season plus.  I don't think he can quite get to being a top 50 player in a best case scenario, but top 75 is attainable.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
For my last scheduled post outside of the bracket challenge for the next few months, I'm going to review my bold predictions from before the season.  My goal was to get three or more, did that happen?  Let's find out!  For those that want to read the entire post, click here.  1) Evgeni Malkin leads the league in points.  And a massive whiff to start!  Malkin was injured a lot (what else is new) and wasn't as good as usual when he played.  Even if he was, he was never catching McJesus.
Connor Hellebuyck hasn't been as good as in the past, but he's capable of stealing playoff series for the Jets.  He'll probably have to do that this year, especially if Ehlers isn't back.  He had a peak performance on Wednesday with a 32 save shutout in the 4-0 win over the Flames.  Even with Hellebuyck being below expectation, he's still been a bottom end #1 goalie.  That's why we take him as a top 5 goalie: safety.  As I have preached for years, goalies are voodoo, but Hellebuyck is one of the only exceptions.  Here's what else happened the last two nights:
With only a couple weeks left in the season, it's time to lock down and make that final push.  In this post, I'm going to highlight some notable things around the NHL and their fantasy impact, along with looking at the schedule for the week ahead and what we can do with that.  Let's get to it! Alex Nedeljkovic is only three games away from becoming a restricted free agent instead of an unrestricted free agent.  It's easier for Carolina to do with Petr Mrazek banged up (he could play if necessary, but Carolina won't push him), so expect Nedeljkovic to start at least three times down the stretch.  He's still available in almost 70% of leagues which I do not understand.  I would add him immediately if he's available.
Injuries are a part of the game, but always terrible to see.  Unfortunately, a Razzball favorite went down on Monday night.  Brendan Gallagher broke his thumb and is out multiple weeks.  If you have an IR spot, definitely stash him, but if you don't, you can sadly let him go.  So who gets the boost in Montreal?  Jesperi Kotkaniemi moved to the wing and took Gallagher's spot which boosts him up to a solid streamer from a middling one.  Eric Staal scored the overtime winner in his Canadiens debut and is now centering Toffoli and Drouin.  He looked completely shot in Buffalo, but maybe the trade plus the easier division rejuvenate him.  Let's see how he looks over the next couple games before we use him.  I also really like what I've seen from Josh Anderson lately who is playing more minutes.  The assists are brutal, but the goals and shots should be quite good.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights: