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It's been a long road to recovery for Artturi Lehkonen.  With Big Val in the player assistance program, it couldn't have happened at a better time.  After being eased back into the lineup, Lehkonen moved onto the top line the game before Tuesday night.  While he went to the second line to open the game, Lehkonen blew up against the Capitals, scoring two goals and adding two assists putting five shots on goal in the 6-3 win.  There's a few encouraging things here.  One, Lehkonen was on the first power play unit.  That alone is massive for his value.  Additionally, it was Lehkonen, not Drouin, closing the game for the Avs, as Lehkonen scored an empty netter with a minute left from MacKinnon and Rantanen.  Even in this role, Lehkonen received 18 minutes, which is plenty to succeed.  This puts him right back on the fringe.  Gun to head, I lean towards holding, but his schedule in the near term is heavy on busy days, so I see the case for leaving him as an elite streamer.  Let's take a look at what else happened the last two nights:
Out of the top ranked goalies in the preseason, only Hellebuyck has played at an elite level.  This is a big reason why I don't take goalies in the first two rounds, if not longer, because the variance is too high.  My #1 goalie going into the season was Jake Oettinger.  He didn't play well in the first half and also missed time due to injury.  The All-Star break proved to be a good reset, as Oettinger was out of his mind on Tuesday.  Oettinger made 47 saves in the 2-1 win over the Sabres, stealing the game for the Stars.  After tomorrow, there's only two back-to-backs in the next four weeks for the Stars.  We should see Oettinger get plenty of action, and I'd bet on him finishing the season strong.  I don't do midseason rankings because I don't see a lot of value for the time it takes.  You have the team you have, and if you are making trades, you need to target your weaknesses to improve.  That said, if I was ranking for the rest of the season, Oettinger would still be a top five goalie.  I'm not betting against him.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
We're very close to the All-Star break with most teams starting their extended break on Sunday.  If you look at defensemen production, specifically in goals, you see notable names at the top.  Dahlin leads defensemen in goals, and then there's a four way tie behind him with notables like Makar and Hughes.  None of that is a surprise.  Weegar is one of those tied with Makar and Hughes, which is very surprising, but he went into the season locked into a big role, so let's assume he had some good fortune.  But Thomas Harley?  He's a player I really liked in dynasties, but to be one goal off the league lead for defensemen?  Not even close to my radar.  Harley scored two goals on Saturday, including the overtime winner for a second straight game, in the 5-4 win over the Capitals.  That gives Harley a whopping 12 goals in 46 games.  "Even with Heiskanen back, Harley was a factor.  I’m still holding Harley even though I wasn’t expecting to when Heiskanen came back.  He’s been that good for the Stars."  And that's me quoting me from three days ago copying what Grey does!  Somehow, Harley is still available in almost two-thirds of fantasy leagues.  With the pool of defensemen dropping off hard at the bottom, Harley should be owned in all formats.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
It's not too often that we get a day in the NHL where all 32 teams play.  On Saturday, we were treated to sixteen games spread out over the entire day and it did not disappoint.  The Oilers set a franchise record with their 10th win in a row, the Avalanche came from 3-0 down to beat Toronto, and the Flyers snapped the Jets point streak, amongst other things.  There were a lot of big performances along the way, but Connor Ingram's 38 save shutout was one of the highlights.  So I was right about a Coyotes goalie being a top 15 goalie, I just failed to pick the backup who showed little in the NHL before this season, whoops!  Arizona continues to stay right around the wild card spots, and Ingram is the biggest reason why.  Don't be surprised if they ride him more in the second half if he can maintain anything close to this .919 sv%, assuming Vejmelka doesn't turn it around.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
Before we start, I just wanted to highlight two posts that came out on Monday much later than scheduled because of technical difficulties with the website.  Jules' weekly streaming post can be read here, while I also updated my hold/stream list.  Now back to the scheduled daily notes... It looks worse because of their record, but in reality, Carolina is playing very close to the same level as last season.  The difference is that their goaltending has been dreadful for the better part of three months, and that's from all three goalies.  Thankfully, when they needed it most as Andersen was out with blood clots and Raanta completely lost his game, Pyotr Kochetkov has rounded back into form.  On Tuesday, Kochetkov saved 28 of 29 shots in the Carolina 6-1 win over the Rangers.  Going back to Kochetkov's last ten starts, he's allowed only one goal five times, and has only one game allowing more than three.  Kochetkov has a 2.00 GAA in that stretch so it's no surprise to see Carolina back in second place in the division.  There's a very reasonable chance they finish atop the division again.  Kochetkov is still owned in less than 50% of leagues, and that doesn't make any sense to me.  He's a top five goalie for the last month and should be owned in all leagues.  Let's take a look at what else happened on Tuesday night:
It wouldn't be this Buffalo Sabres season if they didn't blow out an elite team after getting buried by a bottom feeder.  The Sabres beat Toronto 9-3 on Thursday, becoming the first team in 40 years to score 9 goals in a game after conceding 9 in their previous game.  Does this change my opinion on anyone on the Sabres?  No, not really, they're just going to be an up and down team.  The one notable thing is that Jack Quinn scored a goal on three shots with four PIM in his second game of the season.  Quinn had a solid rookie season but suffered an Achilles injury in the offseason, setting back his sophomore season.  It's encouraging that even with a fully healthy lineup, Quinn's line was getting plenty of usage.  He's a middling streamer for now, but there's upside to an elite streamer this season, while Quinn has clear potential to be a permanent hold for years in dynasties.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Hello everyone. Welcome to the seventh edition of JOT This Down! Thank you to everyone who provided feedback in volume six. I appreciate it.  Keep the questions, comments, and concerns coming. I’ll be here all week to answer any and everything you may have.
How does Sidney Crosby keep getting better at 36 years old?  Crosby had a hat trick and an assist on Tuesday, leading the Penguins to a 5-3 win over the Blue Jackets.  He opened the scoring in the game, he got the lead back in the last six minuets and then sealed the game with an empty netter.  That brings Crosby to 10 goals and 9 assists in 14 games while pushing four shots per game.  He's on a nine game point streak and is a top 20 forward again.  With the arrival of Erik Karlsson (goal and an assist, two shots), Crosby has a great chance of getting to 100 points for the first time in five seasons and 40 goals for the first time since 2016-17.  I think at this point, he has to be considered a top five player of all-time.  If you have him in fantasy, enjoy it, because there's no reason to expect regression.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
The hockey season is underway with nine total games in the books so far.  In this post, I will cover those games quickly at the end highlighting some notables, and will have the same for Friday despite a shortened Thursday schedule.  Monday morning will have my first big set of daily notes from the weekend.  This post will open with 10 Bold Predictions for the season.  These are all meant to be bold; I'd be glad to hit on three of them.  Last season, we had some awful whiffs (thanks Cole Sillinger) but also hit on Dahlin being a top 5 defenseman and predicting massive failure for Chicago and Philly from a fantasy (and real) perspective.  Let's get to it!
We're keeping things moving in the preseason with goaltending rankings coming today.  All that I factor into rankings goaltenders are wins, GAA, and SV%.  A big factor into determining wins is potential workload, so I give more value to workhorses than players in time shares.   As I always preach in these parts, in head to head leagues, volume is king. In you're in a roto league where starts are capped, then you can give more value to the Gustavsson's of the hockey world.  Let's get to it!
Even with Columbus up 4-0 halfway through the game, it never felt remotely close to over.  In the span of the first four minutes of the third period, the Penguins turned a 4-1 deficit into a 4-4 battle.  A careless overtime penalty set the stage for Sidney Crosby to score the overtime game winner to complete the comeback.  Crosby had a goal and two assists with four shots in the win, setting up a game on Thursday with the Islanders for the first wild card spot.  While he's not at his peak anymore, Crosby still has a chance for 100 points again.  You don't need me to tell you how good Crosby is, but where he'll rank going into next season is an interesting debate.  My guess is that it's somewhere around 20th overall, a clear second rounder in drafts, but perhaps it's a few spots above that.  Even at 36, he's given us no reason to expect him to slow down.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights: