If you would told me before the season that the Canadiens would be in a playoff spot at the halfway point of the season, I'd have guessed that Carey Price was playing at a Vezina level  Yet, here we are with Price struggling and the Canadiens succeeding.  However, we've seen a few good starts lately from Price, with his best coming on Thursday.  Price stopped all 33 Canucks shots in the 2-0 win over Vancouver.  So what do we make of Price?  Well, this game was the second of a back-to-back for Vancouver, who lost their rookie phenom, so I don't take much away from this.  His other really good games were against Arizona and Chicago; not exactly powerhouses.  I feel a little bit better about Price than I did before the season starting, but only to the point that I view him as a middling to bottom end #2 goalie.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
In the game of the night, a stealth Hart Trophy candidate led his team to glory.  Johnny Gaudreau scored a hat trick on four shots in the 4-1 win in Winnipeg.  Just like that, he's 5th in the NHL in scoring with by far the best shot rate of his career.  Couple that with a career high shooting percentage and Johnny Hockey is well on his way to a career high in goals.  I've generally been lower on Gaudreau than most, but this year he has proven me wrong.  That line is among the best in hockey and Gaudreau is at the forefront.  I don't expect him to slow down much in the second half making Gaudreau is a good bet to finish as a top 20 player in fantasy.  Let's take a look at what else happened on Thursday night:
It wasn't that long ago that people were talking about a Stanley Cup hangover for the Capitals.  Now, the defending champs have won 10 out of 12 on the backs of their captain, Alex Ovechkin.  Ovechkin recorded the 21st hat trick of his career on Tuesday extending his league lead in goals.  He now has 25 goals and 14 assists in only 30 games this season to go along with 116 shots.  That means he's below four shots per game, a rarity for The Great Eight, but still an elite rate.  Sure, his shooting percentage is going to drop a bit, but there's no reason at all to expect a regression.  I've seen a few articles on other sites that say you should sell high on Ovechkin, and I'd have to disagree.  He gets drafted in the first round for his incredibly high floor, and nothing has changed to reduce that floor.  Let the good times roll and enjoy what should be his eighth 50 goal season of his career.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
The St. Louis Blues have been one of the most disappointing teams in the league through the first two months, and that continued on Sunday.  The Canucks destroyed them 6-1 and they were led by their two young stars.  Brock Boeser scored a hat trick on four shots to go along with a +5 rating.  Boeser has had some massive games this season to along with a lot of blanks, which makes him a prime GPP target most nights.  With 9+8 in 19 games with over three shots per game, Boeser is an elite option in all formats.  The Canucks future looks very bright, especially with the California teams all on a downward trajectory, and Boeser is at the forefront with Pettersson (more on him later).  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
All of the people who have read me since I started writing here three seasons ago (it's going by quick!) knows how big of a fan I am of Dr. Bo Horvat.  In a game where the Canucks were massive underdogs in Boston, Horvat led the Canucks to a major upset, scoring two goals and two assists with four shots and six PIM in the 8-5 win over the Bruins.  That brings Horvat's totals to an outstanding 9+6 in 17 games with 19 PIM and around 2.5 shots per game.  All of the attention is going to Elias Pettersson, and he deserves plenty of it, but Pettersson's arrival finally puts Horvat in a role that he can thrive in.  Yes, Horvat has been fairly luck to this point in terms of on-ice shooting percentage, but he's doing the heavy lifting and still producing plenty offensively.  The question isn't whether Horvat is a hold or not, it's how high his ceiling is.  I don't see a top 50 player, at least not until his linemates improve, but with how the Canucks are playing, he should be a top 100 player.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Everyone knew that Elias Pettersson was an elite prospect who was going to score plenty in the NHL.  In a year where rookies around the NHL actually look like rookies, Pettersson is lighting the world on fire.  Petterson scored two goals and added three assists in the 7-6 win over Colorado on Friday, boosting his totals to an insane 9+6 in 9 games so far.  Obviously he's not going to shoot 39% all season, but after lower minutes to open the year, Pettersson has played at least 18 minutes in each of the last four games, including the last two over 20.  For redrafts, he should be a borderline top 50 player this season.  In dynasties, Pettersson is a top 20 talent.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
I generally don't like to lead posts about obvious must-holds, but a five point game deserves recognition.  Brayden Point went off on Tuesday night scoring a goal and dishing four assists.  That brings him to a whopping 7+7 in 11 games.  He's on the lethal top power play unit meaning the 22 year old looks like he can take another jump from last season's breakout.  The shot rate will determine just how good Point will be for fantasy, but he looks the part of a borderline top 50 guy for the foreseeable future.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Hey guys! Sven here with our stop in Vancouver for 31 in 31! Over the next month, I will be taking a look at each team’s players to watch out for going into the 2018-19 fantasy hockey season: The 31 in 31 daily segment. This analysis features everything from surefire studs, to sleepers, to prospects that may make an appearance at some point this season. Please let me know if you guys enjoy this type of material!  Reminder that the stat totals are from last season.
It's not exactly breaking news that John Tavares moves the needle for the Toronto Maple Leafs.  He showed why he was worth the mammoth contract on Sunday, scoring a hat trick on seven shots with two PIM in the 7-6 win over the Blackhawks.  The main thing that I want to talk about here is Toronto in general.  This offense is incredible, but they also remain a sieve defensively.  I have a hard time treating them among the truly elite teams in the league until that is tightened up, at least somewhat.  That's why I picked them to finish third in the division again.  But for us in fantasy, stream everyone you can for the Leafs, and against them for that matter.  I'd have a hard time playing any goalie against them right now; it better be someone that's damn good.  They're a fantasy gold mine on both sides.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
It wasn't that long ago that Ben Bishop was the #1 goalie for an entire season of fantasy hockey.  It's been two years since, but Bishop showed his upside on Thursday night, posting a 30 save shutout in the 3-0 win over the Coyotes.  I'm not going to overreact to one game; I think Bishop is a bottom end #1 fantasy goalie.  That said, there's a chance that the Stars make big strides with Montgomery running the show instead of Hitchcock, which would make Bishop the main beneficiary.  The Stars' play over the first few weeks of the season is worth monitoring to decide whether Bishop is worth targeting in a trade.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the first two nights of the season: