Today brings a nice 10 game slate with a lot of lopsided matchups and two marquee games.  Let’s get right into what we learned from the last two nights around the league and what to look forward to tonight:

THREE THINGS WE LEARNED ON 3/27 AND 3/28

1) Connor McDavid is the best player in hockey.  Okay, this isn’t exactly groundbreaking, but it’s worth bringing up that McDavid now has back to back 100+ point seasons at 21 years old, along with his first 40 goal season.  It’s sickening how good he is.  Almost as sickening as his GM:

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Hey guys!  I hope everyone is still alive in their fantasy hockey seasons.  In lieu of daily notes, I’m going to preview Monday’s games since at this point in the season, I’m not sure daily notes will serve much purpose.  Depending on feedback (please give some!), I will continue to do this over the last two weeks of the season or I will return to daily notes.  I am going to focus solely on the games, so if you want to plan ahead past today, use my playoff schedule breakdown here to help yourself out.  You can always ask me any questions you have as well.  Let’s get to it!

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Hi, folks

I apologize for missing my streamer column this week. I’m a college admissions counselor and my weekends have been taken up with reading applications and watching the Olympics. I stumbled into some free time and need to solve a pressing problem on one of my own fantasy hockey teams, so join me as I explore the world of goalies before the fantasy playoffs.

As some of you know I only use one goalie, and stream when necessary. This strategy gets me an additional skater to play for 3-4 games a week, and prevents me from fretting about ratios and wins- I can focus on getting offensive categories and can roll the dice on my ratios (sv% and GAA). I drafted Braden Holtby for this role, but his last few starts have been absolutely terrible: 5, 4, 6, and 4 goals allowed in his last four starts. His GAA on the season is 2.95, nearly a full goal greater than last year and a full half goal above his career average.

Because the playoffs are coming, I need to figure out why this is happening. I’ve been content to let Holtby’s performance slip and slide, but now the heat is on to get decent performances- a championship is on the line. So, I’ve built a goalie-stats spreadsheet to try and figure out where I can gain an advantage and if need be, work a trade before the end of the weekend, or decide to ride out the storm.

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It took a few injuries, but we finally had some goaltender movement.  Petr Mrazek, who appeared to be Detroit’s franchise goalie less than two years ago, is now a member of the Flyers.  In return, Detroit received two conditional draft picks.  Best case scenario, they’ll get a 2nd and 3rd round picks.  Worst case, they only get a 4th.  So what is the fantasy impact?  I’ve been writing for a few weeks that Mrazek should be owned everywhere because he was finally playing well.  That’s clear as day now going to a much better situation in Philly, so grab him if he’s still available.  As for in Detroit, it should be Jimmy Howard’s show.  He has a .910 save percentage this season, which is closer to his career norm than last season’s .927 in 26 games.  I don’t see him as being much more than a desperation play going forward outside of the best matchups.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:

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Gretzky, Lemieux, Forsberg, LaFontaine.  That’s the list of players in the last 30 seasons to have multiple five assist games in one season.  Add Mathew Barzal to the list after Friday night.  Barzal became the first rookie in 100 years to have three five point games in one season dishing five assists in the 7-6 win over the Red Wings.  That puts Barzal over a point per game on the season and makes him the prohibitive favorite for the Calder (sorry Boeser).  Our second podcast ever, which took place before last season, saw Reid and I hype up Barzal for dynasties.  Regardless, he’s blown away my expectations this season.  Now, it’s not all rosy for fantasy.  The penalty minutes are low, but more importantly the shot rate is barely over two per game.  On the other hand, he’s 20 years old and is over a point per game, so it’s hard to complain.  There’s a top 20 fantasy player in Barzal’s future if he can get that shot rate up.  Regardless, he’ll be a borderline top 50 player next year solely for the points, and it’s only going to get better from there.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the weekend:

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As always, Reid joins me to start our trade deadline previews.  We open the podcast at looking at the latest injuries and suspensions around the league with the focal points being Edmonton with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins out, Brad Marchand’s vicious elbow to Marcus Johansson, and Jonathan Quick skipping the All-Star game and getting the automatic one game suspension for it.  After that, the Atlantic Division is the first division we cover for the trade deadline.  What are the buyers at the top of the division looking for?  What will Mike Green and Evander Kane return in a trade?  Will Montreal or Ottawa move their star wingers?  It is a thorough in-depth conversation breaking down every team’s current and long-term situation.  From there, we make Three Point Challenge picks for Thursday.  Make your pick below.  All of that and more on the latest edition of the Razzball Hockey Podcast!

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In my second half predictions post, I said that Jack Eichel would be in the top 5 in scoring for the rest of the season.  He’s certainly started on the right track.  Eichel scored the OT winner on his seventh shot against the Flames on Monday before exploding against the Oilers with a goal and three assists with five shots on Tuesday.  The Sabres power play looks like last season’s unit again, the unit that was #1 in the entire NHL.  Eichel is leading the way there but has also been dominant in all phases.  He’s currently in the midst of a 7 game point streak totaling a whopping 14 points in those 7 games while averaging almost 5 shots per game.  This game put Eichel above a point per game for the season and I expect him to finish there.  Sure, the plus-minus is poor, but everything else is outstanding.  He’s a first round pick for me next season, no doubt about it.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:

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What the Vegas Golden Knights are doing in their inaugural season is nothing short of spectacular.  The only thing I’ve ever seen like it is Leicester City fighting off relegation before winning the Premier League title the next season at 5000-1 shots.  Sure, Vegas was nowhere near that big of a long shot, but to have the best record in the West is remarkable.  On Tuesday, they beat their top competition, the Nashville Predators, 3-0.  Marc-Andre Fleury led the way with a 28 save shutout.  It’s a shame Fleury was injured this season because he’s been great in 9 of 10 starts.  Fleury has won 8 of his 10 starts with a GAA below 2 and save percentage above .940.  It’s safe to say it will regress some but I’m well past the point of thinking Vegas is going to regress.  This team is real and Fleury looks like he’ll be a slam dunk #1 fantasy goalie for the rest of the season and going forward.  Just a remarkable story that I can’t get enough of.  Let’s take a look at what else happened on Tuesday night:

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Ryan Getzlaf has been killing it for the Ducks since they were known as The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.  He’s been bald for that long too!  Getzlaf missed extensive time this year due to injury but he’s been great when in the lineup.  He had his best game of the season on Thursday dishing four assists and adding two shots in the 5-4 OT win over the Islanders.  To be honest, he wasn’t even the best player on his team for fantasy (more on that guy later), but Getzlaf’s fantasy impact is much greater.  Getzlaf now has 2+13 in only 12 games so far.  He played almost 25 minutes in this game which just goes to show you, everything is in place for Getzlaf to get back to being a top 50 player for the rest of the season.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:

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