I've been pumping Ondrej Kase's tires for a while now.  The former 7th round pick scored his first career hat trick on Wednesday, putting five shots on goal against the Stars with a +4 rating.  That brings the 23 year old Dane to 8+6 in 15 games with well over three shots per game.  He's eliminated any doubt as to whether or not he's a hold; Kase needs to be owned in all formats.  Sure, he's bounced around the first line and other spots, but it doesn't really matter at this point.  There's no penalty minutes, but everything else looks great.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Good Evening! I’m Lackeydrinksonme! It’s the third issue of my weekly long-run streamer column. I’m here to offer some pickups for the short-slate games in the upcoming week, with a focus on putting more players on the ice than your opponent. ESPN has changed everything, so I don’t have “Games Started” data for the 18-19 season, but bear in mind that the odds of coming out with a win are strongly related to the number of players you put on the ice. It’s worth taking a moment to go day by day to add up starts to make sure you’re on top.
The scores of some of the games over the last two days may have been surprising, but nothing compares to Mike Smith going into Smashville and shutting out the Predators.  Smith stopped 43 shots he faced in the 3-0 win over the NHL's Stanley Cup favorite.  So what do we make of Smith?  Well, facing 43 shots isn't a recipe for success.  On the other hand, the Flames have a lot of star power, and Bill Peters has a system that generally leads to puck possession (the downfall in Carolina was goaltending, plain and simple).  Smith gave up a bunch of goals to Vancouver last week, so these three games sum him up perfectly.  You never know what you're going to get, and it's going to make for a wild ride in head to head leagues.  At the end of the day in roto leagues, he should be a solid #2, especially given the volume he's likely to get.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the past two nights:
Hey guys, Sven here with a look at the Carolina Hurricanes! 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.
He won't win the Hart, but Anze Kopitar's season should not go unnoticed.  He had his best game of the season scoring four goals on seven shots in the 7-1 win over the Avalanche.  That brings Kopitar to 33 goals and 53 assists in 75 games.  That's a new career high in assists and points, and goals may not be too far behind.  Not so bad for a guy people were worried about after last season's 52 points.  He'll never be in the top tier of fantasy players because of the lack of PIM and average shot rate, but Kopitar has reestablished himself as a fringe top 25 guy.  Here's to hoping he keeps it rolling over the last two weeks.  Let's take a look at what else happened on Thursday night:
Evander Kane is a player that I aggressively rank every season.  The shot rate is always elite, the penalty minutes are great, and the goals should come along with those shots.  Thankfully for his owners this year, Kane has managed to stay healthy.  Kane had the best game of his career on Friday, scoring four goals on seven shots and adding two penalty minutes.  He followed that up with eight shots on goal and two PIM on Saturday.  That brings Kane's totals to 25+25 with 65 PIM and almost 4 shots per game.  Obviously he's must own, but what is his ceiling going forward?  I don't think his point totals are going to change much depending on where he signs in the offseason.  What can change is his plus-minus.  Sure, plus-minus is generally hard to predict, but there are some situations that you can feel better about.  Obviously Buffalo was almost worst case for that, and Kane is +5 in San Jose to this point.  Yes, it's a small sample, but we've seen around the league this year that a lot of teams are loaded with big plus-minus totals.  Kane has never been much of a power play guy either, but maybe he goes somewhere that he plays on the top unit and improves.  I feel like he'll be in the bottom of my top 50, but obviously things can change between now and then.  For those who have him for this year, enjoy him down the stretch.  With his shot volume, Kane can be a massive difference maker if he has some good fortune.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
If I had to pick a team to break out this year like Columbus did last season, it would be the Carolina Hurricanes.  They have an excellent young core in place, especially on the blue line, and now they may finally an answer in net.  After being dragged down by a few different goalies (mostly Cam Ward), Scott Darling now gets his chance to be a #1 goalie.  If his performance in Chicago is a predictor for the future, Darling should be just what the Hurricanes need to make the jump.  Let's take a look at what Carolina is working with:
As talked about repeatedly for the last couple weeks in this internet space, this week is the dream for Blues players. Getting three games against Arizona and Colorado is what you hope for. The top line for St. Louis ravished the Coyotes on Monday with all three of them getting at least three points. My focus is going to be on Jaden Schwartz. Schwartz scored two goals and an assist with three shots finishing +4 in the 4-1 win. That gives him 50 points (18+32) in 71 games. Two seasons ago, Schwartz finished with 28+35 in 75 games before last season was ruined with injuries. So which player is he going forward, the one on the verge of 30+40 or this season's 20+35? I would bet on him being closer to 2014-15 than 2016-17. He's still only 24 years old and should continue to play with one of the best players in the game. The shot rate is average and the penalty minutes aren't there but on the assumption he's back in the 60-65 point range, I'll have Schwartz right around the 100 overall mark. My guess it's just outside that number but he's a great target in the middle rounds because we've already seen the upside. Here's what else happened around the league on Monday night:
We're back and after one funny mishap in the beginning, we're all business. As always, we run down the recent injuries, focusing on Henrik Lundqvist and Aaron Ekblad. From there, we debate whether Brad Marchand is a first round pick next season, talk about Jaccob Slavin's huge game, some wingers in Pittsburgh that are must-own, a new streamer in Vancouver and Brayden Point's emergence. The cold streak for the Capitals and the red hot Flames garner our attention before we make our Three Point Challenge picks. Be sure to make your pick in the comments section below. All of that and more on the latest edition of the Razzball Hockey Podcast brought to you by Harry's Razors, SeatGeek and Draft!