Matthew Tkachuk entered the All-Star break on a massive hot streak.  He continued it at the All-Star Game, winning MVP honors.  Needless to say, it was continued on Monday night against their rivals, the Tampa Bay Lightning.  Tkachuk had two goals and three assists with six shots in the 7-1 win over Tampa, going +5 in the process.  Tkachuk has managed to blow last season's 42+62 out of the water to this point.  He's the #3 forward overall on the season and has the most balanced stat line of everyone in the entire league.  Marchand was a top five forward for years because of his all-around contribution.  Now, that spot is Tkachuk's.  He's every bit of a top five player now and going forward.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
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:
It has been a terrible year for Kris Letang on and off the ice, but mostly off.  He suffered a stroke and his father passed away shortly after.  After almost a month away from the team, Letang returned on Tuesday and carried the Penguins to victory.  Letang had a vintage performance, scoring two goals and two assists with six shots, four hits, and two blocks in the 7-6 OT win over the Panthers.  I'm not going to say Letang will have a monster second half based on one game in his age 35 season.  The good news is that there's a lot of games left for him to make an impact, and we know how big the upside is.  If I said Letang was a top five defenseman the rest of the way, would you be shocked?  I wouldn't.  Now, the floor is much lower in the past, even assuming he can stay healthy.  However, Pitt is starting to round into form, offensively at least, and the opportunity is there for a big finish.  If your team is in position where you need to take a gamble, I would float some offers to the Letang owner.  If I had him and was patient through the first three months, fingers crossed that he can salvage the season.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
There used to be a time where players received a massive fantasy boost playing with Tyler Seguin.  That time has now passed, but right now, he's getting the boost playing with Robertson.  With Hintz injured, Seguin has moved onto the first line centering Robertson and Pavelski, and he's blown up.  On Thursday against the Kings, Seguin had two goals and an assist with five shots and two PIM.  In the six games since Hintz was out of the lineup, Seguin has five goals and three assists with 22 shots on goal.  It's unclear when Hintz will be back, but until he does, Seguin is an automatic hold in all fantasy formats.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
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:
It feels like it's been forever since I've written daily notes.  I guess being stuck inside due to a blizzard will do that.  It was great to be able to watch the NHL on Tuesday night with a massive slate of games.  He didn't have the biggest game of the day, but Erik Gustafsson can be a huge difference maker that impacts the vast majority of fantasy leagues.  Gustafsson scored a goal and added a power play assist in the 4-0 win over the Rangers.  This is notable because John Carlson is out "long term" after taking a puck to the face last Friday against Winnipeg.  It seems like an eternity ago, but Gustafsson did have 60 points with Chicago four years ago with 18 coming on the PP.  It's his top unit to run now, and the minutes have been decent even before Carlson's injury.  The blocks are okay and the hits are below average, so in those formats he's still on the fringe, but without them, I think he's a no brainer hold.  He's available in over 90% of leagues right now, so open another tab, put a claim in for Gustafsson, and then come back and see what else happened on Tuesday night!
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:
Colorado has been decimated by injuries at a level we've never seen before.  The return of Valeri Nichushkin makes him their second healthy top six forward.  Luckily for them, Mikko Rantanen put the team on his back on Sunday.  After scoring Colorado's only goal against the Rangers on Friday, Rantanen scored all three goals for Colorado on Sunday, tying the game with 7.1 seconds left before winning the game in overtime.  Quietly, Rantanen is up to 19 goals on the season, playing at a higher point pace than his monster 2021-22.  The shot rate is down a bit so his goal rate is a bit unsustainable, but hopefully the shots tick back up without MacKinnon.  Regardless, Rantanen has cemented himself as a top 10 fantasy hockey player.  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:
With a strange schedule this week due to Thanksgiving in the United States, I'm going to be back on Tuesday recapping tonight's action.  I know it's been a bit for daily notes, but managing through this snowstorm in Buffalo has taken up a lot of time.  As a result, I'm going to change things up and talk about one player on each team that is changing my opinion about them for fantasy, for better or worse.  Let me know in the comments section if you like this type of post (or if you don't, speak the truth) so I know going forward.  Let's get to it! Things couldn't be going worse for John Klingberg with the Ducks. The team signed him in order to help out in the early part of the season and probably trade him at the deadline for assets.  Instead, he hasn't helped at all, and is even off the first power play unit now.  The shot rate is dreadful, as is the plus-minus.  You can still hold for upside later in the year, but he's no longer must-own in 12'ers and even 10'ers.
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: