With Tyler Bertuzzi injured and Jakub Vrana in the league's assistance program (best wishes to him), the Red Wings needed somebody to step up on left winger. Dominik Kubalik, come on down! Kubalik wasn't given a qualifying offer by the Blackhawks after last season, leaving him to sign in Detroit as a free agent. The first two weeks couldn't have gone better, especially the last weekend. Kubalik had a goal and an assist with 4 shots against the Blackhawks on Friday, before having a goal and two assists with six shots against the Ducks on Sunday. With eight points in his last four games, Kubalik is in must-own territory right now. There's no guarantee it lasts, but he's shown he can thrive next to Larkin and Kubalik has been a 30 goal scorer before, so we know he has the upside. Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
Kevin Fiala's first two games for the Kings left a lot to be desired. He didn't generate much in terms of chances, he took a stupid penalty in their opener against Vegas, and his ice time suffered as a result. His old team, the Wild, were coming off giving up seven goals against the Rangers and were big favorites to get their first win of the season. Instead, the Wild gave up seven goals again, with the Los Angeles top line leading the way. Fiala scored a goal and two assists with six shots in the 7-6 win, while Anze Kopitar dished three assists and Adrian Kempe scored two goals and an assist with three shots and four PIM. My biggest takeaway from this trio in the early going is that I was too low on Kempe this season. While he's not the focal point of the power play anymore, he's still vital to its success, and the addition of Fiala strengthened the top line. All of them are easy holds at the moment and I don't expect that to change. Let's take a look at what else happened on Friday and Saturday:
In the last few rounds of my draft, the best strategy is to take players with high ceilings. Odds are, even if you take the "safe" guy, you end up cutting that player to stream somebody else at some point, so you might as well target somebody who could turn into a hold. Today, I'm going to tell you the ten guys that I like the most as dart throws at the end of your draft. Last season, among the notable late hits I highlighted were Rasmus Andersson and Noah Dobson, with Victor Olofsson's rookie breakout a big win from the past. I'm going to use players whose ADP is after 180, which is 15 rounds in a 12 man league. Let's get to it!
The Panthers have won 11 in a row, and 14 of their past 15 games. There's been plenty of crazy games in this stretch that has them tied for the league lead in points. On Tuesday, they tied the game with less than four minutes left before they won it 20 seconds into overtime, and it was the usual suspects. Aleksander Barkov scored all three goals in the 3-2 OT win, with Jonathan Huberdeau assisting on all three goals. Barkov has a new career high in goals, 37, despite playing in only 63 games to this point. Additionally, Huberdeau now leads the league in points. Yes, that's correct, he leads the league in points. Both of them will be in the discussion to be first round picks in drafts next season. It's going to be great to see them in the playoffs, hopefully for longer than last time around. Let's see what else happened on Tuesday:
There's been plenty of bounce back players this season across the NHL. One of them who hasn't received the attention of others is Ryan Johansen. Johansen's career was strongly trending in the wrong direction the previous two seasons, including only 22 points in 48 games last season. He has been decent most of the season, but really took once he moved to the top line. His best game of the season was on Tuesday night, scoring his first career hat trick on seven shots in the 6-2 win over the Wild. Johansen now has 20+34 on the season with 51 PIM. Yes, Johansen's career has turned out to be a big disappointment with the way it was trending early on in Columbus, but it's nice to see him score 20 goals for the first time since 2014. Remarkably, he's still 29 years old, so this level of play can be repeated next season. For the rest of this one, Johansen is an elite streamer in standard leagues and a hold if your league doesn't include SOG as a category. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
It's that time of the year again. For those of you who haven't seen this post in the past, I will break down every team's schedule for fantasy hockey playoffs i.e. starting on this coming Monday, 4/4. I will note when a team has a back to back or a light day. A light day is a day where there are four or less games on the schedule, with the exception of Wednesday, 4/27. I am including that day where there are five games because it's the last day of the season where you'll need streaming, as the last two days both have a lot of games. I will do the teams in alphabetical order so it's easy to find everyone, and next to each team, there will be (A,B,C,D). Those numbers will be how many games the team has in each of the four weeks left in the season. For example, (4,2,3,3) means they have four games from 4/4 - 4/10, two games from 4/11 -4/17, etc. This post is going to be extremely long, so it will be broken into two parts, with part two coming on Monday. If you have a specific question about a team next week that will be in part two and you need it answered immediately, please let it be known in the comments section and I'll answer it for you. And away we go!
This will be the last hold/stream list of the season as we're about a month away from the end of the regular season. My plan is to start working on the Playoff Manifesto on Tuesday with the hopes of having it ready on Friday for everybody. Per usual, there will be notes in the list where necessary. Assume a 12 team league and I'm holding the starting goalie only unless noted. Let's get to it!
We've seen every team since the Trade Deadline occurred, which means we have information on what has changed for each team. Today, I'm going to the players whose value has changed, either by being traded, or by replacing somebody who was traded. Let's get to it!
Claude Giroux stepped right on the first line and first power play unit for Florida. Giroux had two assists and four shots on goal playing 17 minutes in the 4-3 win over Montreal. Giroux is obviously a hold, but there's top 50 upside getting to play with Barkov.
Remember a month ago when it was a foregone conclusion J.T. Miller was going to get traded? It sure seems like he played the Canucks into close enough contention that it’s no longer a consideration. Please, blog, may I have some more?
We've made it to our final round of stops: the Atlantic Division. It's a two-day journey, where today I'll be taking you through Boston, Buffalo, Detroit, and then circle back southeast for Florida. Lot of ground to cover in one day but thankfully we won't stay long in Buffalo or Detroit. Not much to see. Tomorrow, our final four stops together shall commence: Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, and Tampa Bay.
Need a refresher on all the previews thus far? Have at it:
While he's not getting the attention that he received in Vegas' inaugural season, Jonathan Marchessault has quietly had a terrific campaign. His best game came on Wednesday, where Marchessault had two goals, two assists, and five shots leading Vegas to a 5-2 victory over the Sharks. This let Vegas become the first team to clinch the playoffs this season, something that has been a formality for months already. Marchessault now had 13 goals and 22 assists in 46 games, along with a +12 rating, 37 PIM, and 147 shots. In other words, he's a plus across the board with elite PIM and a strong shot rate. At 30 years old, Marchessault has shown no signs of slowing down. He's getting easier matchups now which is helping him thrive on the second line. He looks every bit of a top 100 player going forward, with the upside of being top 50 if he has some shooting luck in a season like he did in his one season in Florida. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
The day has finally come! The NHL Trade Deadline is here, and per usual, I will be updating this post throughout Monday with every trade that happens, minor or blockbuster. I’m going to start off with recapping everything that happened before Monday, and then starting around 11 AM on Monday, I’ll be back for all of your trade deadline analysis. Please, blog, may I have some more?