As a change of pace from my usual daily notes, I'm going to focus on one player on each NHL team whose value has changed recently, or could as the trade deadline approaches. Let's get to it! In his last four games, Mason McTavish has four goals and three assists. His line has dominated despite Anaheim's overall struggles. McTavish is still available in over 50% of leagues, and if anything, his minutes should increase down the stretch once Henrique is moved out. I have confidence in McTavish becoming a top 50 player sooner than later, potentially next season. For now, I would definitely own him if your league doesn't have plus-minus. If it does, he's on the fringe.
There was a lot of craziness around the NHL on President's Day, but nothing topped the game in Minnesota. At one point late in the second period, the Canucks looked in complete control up 5-2. Two minutes and seventeen seconds of game time later, Minnesota was up 6-5. And if that wasn't enough, there were still six more goals! The Wild beat the Canucks 10-7, and to wash it down, they played a paltry 6-3 game on Tuesday, a loss to the Jets. Nothing like 13-13 aggregate over two nights. On Monday, it was all of the stars for the Wild, as those four goals in a 2:17 span were all on the power play, three of which were 5 on 3. Joel Eriksson Ek and Kirill Kaprizov had three goals and three assists... each! Mats Zuccarello and Matt Boldy had a goal and three assists... each! On Tuesday, Kaprizov had a goal and an assist, while Marco Rossi had two goals on five shots. Both goalies were shelled, and right now, it's hard to trust either of them. For the moment, the Wild look like a four star team, Faber is a clear hold, and Brodin is on the fringe. Rossi is a solid streamer, and gamble if you'd like on their goalies. 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 been a disastrous season for the Wild, and it's hard to imagine them digging out of this hole. Monday was a lone bright spot, both for the team and their oldest player. The Wild beat the Islanders 5-0, with Marc-Andre Fleury posting a 21 save shutout. The win gave Fleury the second most wins in NHL history, passing Patrick Roy. It's been a very up and down career for Fleury. He was incredible in the 2008 playoffs getting Pittsburgh to the finals. His most iconic moment clinched the Cup the year after. There were a handful of years right after that where his poor play was the reason the Penguins were eliminated early in the playoffs. They won a Stanley Cup with him as the backup. He also saved them the next year when Murray struggled early in the playoffs to lead Pittsburgh to back-to-back cups. He carried Vegas to the Cup finals in their inaugural season. That's how I'm going to remember MAF. There were too many down years for him to be in that inner circle of all-time goalies, and his best generally wasn't among the current elite, as evidenced by him being a Vezina finalist once in 20 seasons. However, when he was at his best, it was incredible to watch, and that will put him in the Hockey Hall of Fame sooner than later. For this season, Gustavsson is back, so I expect them to split the games fairly evenly. He's a streamer in good matchups for now, but like most goalies, MAF can turn into a hold sooner than later, or be complete unusable. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
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:
Nobody was expecting much from the Ducks this season, but they're currently on a five game winning streak to get them to a 6-4 record. On Wednesday, their best player (for now) carried them, as Troy Terry scored a hat trick and an assist with six shots in the 4-3 OT win. That brings Terry to 5+4 in ten games, averaging exactly three shots per game. Terry is one of those guys who is always close to the fringe one way or the other. Right now, I have him as a bottom end hold, but I don't expect that to hold for the rest of the season. However, unlike the past few seasons, the talent around him is at such a higher level that he has more upside than usual. While it probably won't last, you can see the core coming together for the Ducks, and it's only a matter of time until they become a force again. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Mason McTavish had an ADP of 250 this season. I had him ranked at 176th overall. While I wasn't fully convinced he would make a huge leap in his sophomore season, his upside is so high that I thought he was a worthwhile gamble towards the end of your drafts. It's paid massive dividends in the early going, and McTavish had his best game to date on Monday. He scored two goals and an assist with five shots and two PIM, including the shorthanded winner with 13 seconds left in the game. McTavish now has 5+6 in 11 games with a good shot rate, plus-minus and PIM. McTavish is still available in almost 70% of leagues, which is blasphemous. I've been holding onto him since the draft in a ten man league, and think it's become clear that he needs to be held everywhere. In dynasties, he's a top 50 keeper. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
I was extremely bullish on Tyler Toffoli's fit with the Devils, even though he wasn't a lock to be on PP1. "Before last season, Toffoli had never topped 31 goals or 29 assists, so expecting a repeat for a guy entering his 11th season in the league seems farfetched. That said, it’s hard to pick a better spot to be in than New Jersey right now for even strength play. People were worried about Toffoli’s power play role to open, but it looks like the Devils are starting with the two balanced unit approach. Personally, I hate it, but it’s a big boost to the value of the guy who normally would be on PP2, which Toffoli looked to be. I’m all the way in." And that's me quoting me in my bold predictions saying Toffoli averages at least a point per game. He was off to a solid start, but he had his first big game on Tuesday. Toffoli scored a hat trick on six shots in a revenge game against the Canadiens. That brings Toffoli to 4+2 in five games with 4.5 shots per game. There's a real chance that he ends up as a top 50 player. Let's take a look at what else happened in the Monday game and the Frozen Frenzy.
If you didn't see Part One, check it out here. Let's get right into Part Two. Tier Eight: Elite Upside But Medium Floor
Two teams that have had massive up and downs clinched a playoff berth on Tuesday. The Jets did it by themselves, beating the Wild 3-1 on the back of Connor Hellebuyck. The Panthers clinched because the Penguins had the worst loss of my time at Razzball, losing to the tanking Chicago Blackhawks. Petr Mrazek made 38 saves in a game that made the fans of both teams furious, and a bunch of other fans happy. Now, the Penguins need the Islanders to lose to Montreal tomorrow to make the playoffs. It would be crazy for Washington and Pittsburgh's playoff streaks to end in the same year. Here's a quick rundown of what happened over the last two nights:
The Devils have built arguably the best young core in the league. There's a lot of talk about Hughes and Hischier leading the way now, with Nemec and L. Hughes on the way. There's Meier and Bratt also playing a huge role. However, there's another former first round pick making a huge charge in his sophomore season. Dawson Mercer scored a hat trick on Tuesday in the 5-1 win over the Penguins. I had to do a double check because I did not realize this, but Mercer now has 27 goals on the season. I knew he was having a good year, but man, that's a huge jump for the 21 year old. Mercer is a natural center, but with the two former #1 picks in the fold, there's no reason to put Mercer on the third line right now. He's thriving on Hischier's wing, and is definitely worth a middle to late round pick in drafts next season. I'm not sure how much better it will get other than a potential increase in ice time because his skating is below NHL average, but his playmaking in traffic is so good and his compete level is so high that incremental increases help a lot to get into the 70 point range. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Apologies to all of you DFS faithful for the absence last week! Mrs. MarmosDad had an unfortunate mishap at work and ended up at the hospital, so your fearless “penner of puckmovers” ended up much busier than expected. But, fret not! I’m back again today to get us all set up to cash in some Classic NHL lineups on a much fuller main slate than we’ve had for a few weeks. (And if you're worried, I'm glad to report that the Mrs. still has 9 1/2 fingers in tact). With a shout out to the Beastie Boys and their best album (although this is like picking the best chocolate bar, they're all pretty awesome), Check Your Head, we’re going with Vitek Vanecek, G (DK: $8,400) on the road as our lede today. Vanecek heads to Montreal with the Devils for this one and brings a 27-7-3 record with him. The 2.55 GAA and .907 SV% are pretty impressive on the surface, but some might be quick to point out that Vanecek is just 4-2 in his last 6 games, with one of those losses at home against these same Habs. He’s put up a 3.67 GAA over that last half a dozen, but with the Devils reinforcements at the deadline and the Habs mired in a 5 game losing skid, I think it’s a safe bet to play him on the road tonight.