I'm a big fan of the revenge game and Semyon Varlamov had one on Monday night against his old team in Colorado.  Varlamov had a 32 save shutout to earn the 1-0 victory.  I have a few points on Varly.  One, he's proving to be the #1 goalie we hoped he would be when he went to the Islanders.  Barry Trotz has the best defensive system in the league.  Two, how the hell wasn't he an All-Star?  He's clearly had the best season for goalies in his division.  I get having Korpisalo because the Jackets need a representative, but Holtby?  Come on, Varly has been much better.  Anyways, keep rolling the Isles goalies.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
James Neal opened the season on an absolute tear, a stretch that included a four goal game.  He fell off dramatically over the last two months, but he had another massive game on Tuesday.  Neal had a hat trick and an assist in the 7-5 win over the Rangers.  So should we care?  I mean, the Rangers are a disaster defensively.  And the answer is... yes and no.  What great advice!  It all comes down to your team needs.  Neal has been excellent on the power play and should continue to do so on Edmonton's first unit.  The goals are going to keep coming in.  On the other hand, he's -23 and has only eight assists on the season.  If you're desperate for goals and power play points, or are in a league with extra categories that include PPG, then there's a case to hold Neal.  Otherwise, I would prefer to stream him so he doesn't tank my plus-minus while also giving less assists than any other fantasy relevant player.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last three nights:
I talked a lot about Taylor Hall in Monday's post (you can read that here).  The trade that I was talking about happened on Monday with Hall moving to Arizona.  In the trade, Hall and Blake Speers went to Arizona for a 2020 conditional first-round draft pick, a conditional 2021 third-rounder, along with forward prospects Nate Schnarr, Nick Merkley and defenseman Kevin Bahl.  First, let's look at this from Arizona's perspective.  It's a steep price to pay for a rental, but Hall is the best player traded in quite some time, and Arizona is looking to snap a long playoff drought in a weak division.  I totally get the move given their strong defensive talent but lack of overall offensive talent.  Hall played on Tuesday dishing an assist and adding a shot in 18 minutes.  He played with Christian Dvorak and Clayton Keller.  In Monday's piece linked above, I said to buy Keller going forward due to his recent play.  This only enhances his value.  Same goes with Dvorak, but he moves up to an elite streamer for now.  As for New Jersey, it's hard to complain about this return.  You have potentially two first round picks in this deal, but at least a 1 and 3.  Bahl is a monster coming in at 6'7 and can skate fairly well.  I don't see a PP guy there, but he should be a modern stay-at-home who is strong on the PK.  For those in deep leagues, he should be a very good hits/blocks guy down the line.  Merkley has decent upside, but he has already had reconstructive knee surgery.  He's not the best skater, but he has great hockey IQ and should end up as a playmaking center in the middle six.  Schnarr was a third round pick in 2018 who didn't show a ton of offense until after he was drafted.  He then exploded in Guelph last season, but he's struggled in the AHL so far.  That isn't a surprise as many 20 year olds struggle in their first pro season.  I don't expect a ton, but there's a decent chance he ends up an NHL'er.  All in all, seems like this trade has the potential to be a win-win once you consider that Hall seemingly didn't want to stay in New Jersey.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Things escalated over the weekend with the Devils holding out Taylor Hall from two games due to precautionary reasons.  A trade is on the horizon, and all indications are that the team wants to get a deal done before the trade freeze on the 19th.  There's no guarantee that it happens, but Shero seems to want to make the big move now.  So what does that do for Hall owners in fantasy?  Well, if you're in a weekly lineup league, you have to bench him this week.  The Devils already don't play until Wednesday this week, and if Hall is still on the team then, I highly doubt that he plays.  There's also the chance that there are some visa issues for Hall when he is traded which causes him to miss a game.  This is a clear blow to the rest of the Devils.  Nico Hischier, Jack Hughes, and Kyle Palmieri all lose a big chunk of value.  I would still hold Palmieri, but in redrafts, I think I would cut the other two guys and only look to stream them.  The Devils are really devoid of talent on the wings and as good as Hischier and Hughes are going to be, I doubt it will be consistently good for this entire season.  Let's take a look at some other things going on around the NHL:
I wrote in this space two seasons ago that Nathan MacKinnon deserved the Hart Trophy.  While he didn't ultimately win, he's been one of the best players in the league for a few years now.  Right now, he's making a legitimate case again in the early going.  With both of his star linemates injured, MacKinnon has continued to dominate.  His best game yet came on Thursday, where he scored a goal on ten shots and added three assists.  In his last four games, he has 34 SOG!  MacKinnon now has 9+13 in 16 games with over five shots per game.  We haven't seen a shot rate like this since prime Ovechkin.  Obviously there's a long way to go, but MacKinnon has a great chance to finally get to 100 points this season.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Yesterday, I wrote about the winners of the NHL Offseason, so I think you can see where this is going.  For those that missed yesterday's post, you can check that out here.  Now let's go to the other side of the spectrum and get some Beck in here, or Three Doors Down if you're into that kind of thing.  Here's a breakdown of the biggest losers!
Welcome to my favorite post of the year, my live trade deadline post!  From now until all of the trades come through later today, I will provide all of the details for each trade with my instant analysis.  I will launch this post with everything from over the weekend as well since I haven't given my thoughts on those at this point.  Be sure to keep checking this page as I will be constantly updating it.  Any questions can be asked in the comments section and I'll get to them as soon as I get a chance.  Here we go!
The Penguins have been on quite a tear lately, and it's not just their All-Stars.  Over the weekend, Jake Guentzel destroyed the Ducks and Kings.  In the Penguins comeback against the Ducks, Guentzel had a hat trick on seven shots with two penalty minutes, before scoring two more goals on six shots against the Kings.  That brings Guentzel to 23 goals, which is already a career high.  The shot rate has taken a big jump as well, although we can't expect him to shoot 19% all season.  Regardless, Guentzel has settled into being a top 100 player who is a clear hold in all formats.  As long as he continues to play with Crosby, things will be just fine.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend: