It has been a terrible year for Kris Letang on and off the ice, but mostly off.  He suffered a stroke and his father passed away shortly after.  After almost a month away from the team, Letang returned on Tuesday and carried the Penguins to victory.  Letang had a vintage performance, scoring two goals and two assists with six shots, four hits, and two blocks in the 7-6 OT win over the Panthers.  I'm not going to say Letang will have a monster second half based on one game in his age 35 season.  The good news is that there's a lot of games left for him to make an impact, and we know how big the upside is.  If I said Letang was a top five defenseman the rest of the way, would you be shocked?  I wouldn't.  Now, the floor is much lower in the past, even assuming he can stay healthy.  However, Pitt is starting to round into form, offensively at least, and the opportunity is there for a big finish.  If your team is in position where you need to take a gamble, I would float some offers to the Letang owner.  If I had him and was patient through the first three months, fingers crossed that he can salvage the season.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
I've never seen an organization do more to sabotage their own team and coach as the Canucks have over the last six weeks.  They've been openly interviewing coaches for two months while Boudreau was still employed.  It was already reported that Rick Tocchet was going to take over the Canucks before the Canucks played on Saturday night.  It was highly emotional for the fans, players, and coaches, as Zach Hyman had a goal and three assists with five shots to lead Edmonton to a 4-2 win over the Canucks in Boudreau's last game.  He was 50-40-13 in his Vancouver, a 90 point pace per 82 games, much better than it should be with their roster.  Boudreau is one of the best coaches of the last 20 years, and I hope he gets another chance.  Fantasy wise, Tocchet steps in and well, he was really bad when he coached the Lightning and Coyotes.  His only playoff appearance was in the bubble because of an expanded playoffs.  The schedule does lighten up quite a bit for the Canucks in the short term, which obviously helps.  The distraction of the entire situation being gone also helps, but at the same time, they're going to trade Horvat sooner than later, and this could end up a slight negative for the value of their players.  If anything, I lean neutral to their values, but I really don't like the way things are trending in Vancouver.  Shame on Aquilini and Rutherford for handling this situation as poorly as possible.  As for the Oilers, they're on fire finally starting to solidify their playoff positioning being carried by their superstars.  The big thing I would say is never panic about their lines, Hyman and RNH will score plenty regardless, and will end up taking extra shifts with McDavid and Draisaitl anyways.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
Not a bad way for Kevin Fiala to follow up a hat trick.  In a new rivalry developing between the Kings and Oilers, Fiala scored two goals and two assists with four shots.  That brings Fiala to 10 points in his last five games with his shot rate jumping up quite a bit lately.  The new line shuffle seems to be working, and the new Los Angeles All-Star has been fantastic in his first year with the Kings.  It's a fantastic stat line across the board that has Fiala comfortably as a top 50 player with upside from there.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
As good as the Jets have been, Friday was a huge boost for their team.  Not only did they get Wheeler, Schmidt and Perfetti back, Nikolaj Ehlers returned for his first game since the second game of the season.  He immediately went onto a line with Pierre-Luc Dubois and Kyle Connor, and it worked out as well as it has in the past.  In the 4-2 win over the Lightning, Dubois scored two goals with four shots and four PIM, with Connor having a goal and an assist plus four PIM of his own.  Sunday was even better with Connor scoring a hat trick, Dubois dishing four assists, and Ehlers scoring a goal and two assists.  This line has the potential to be one of the best in hockey yet again, and with Dubois playing the best hockey of his career right now, it can be even better than last season.  All of them are easily top 50 players with Connor in the top 20, and the other two with the potential to push towards that, but probably a step behind that.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
It's no secret in these parts that I'm from Buffalo and root for the local teams.  I've seen plenty of devastating injuries over the years, from hockey players being severely cut, Pronger's collapse on the ice, soccer players collapsing like Eriksen in 2021, and I was at the Bills game when Kevin Everett was paralyzed.  Damar Hamlin's cardiac arrest was the first time that it felt like "life or death" on the football field.  It seemed like an eternity between first responders helping him, getting him to the hospital, and waiting for any update.  I can only imagine how it was for his family, friends, and teammates.  Here's to hoping that Hamlin continues to progress in his battle towards recovery.  The Sabres played in Washington on Tuesday night, with the entire team wearing "Love For Three" t-shirts for their Buffalo brethren.  The Sabres won the game 5-4 in the most fitting way possible.  Tage Thompson scored his third goal of the game, completing his third hat trick of the season, exactly three minutes into overtime, playing three on three, bringing him to 30 on the season, which is three off the league lead.  You can't write a better ending than that.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights while we keep Damar in our thoughts:
Despite the Stars coming up short, Jake Oettinger had arguably the best goaltending performance in a playoff series ever last season against the Flames.  Oettinger was at that level again on Thursday, stopping 45 of 46 Washington shots in the 2-1 win. While the wins are a little lower than you'd expect given Dallas' record, Oettinger has established himself as a clear #1 in fantasy.  It's not quite in the top tier in redrafts, but it's not far off.  Oettinger, who turns 24 on Sunday, is right near the top in dynasties.  Dallas has their entire core locked up, including Oettinger, and they're thriving under DeBoer.  Let's take a look at what else happened the last two nights:
One of the goaltending performances of the season came in the marquee showdown on Tuesday.  Toronto sure didn't make it easy on Matt Murray, taking seven penalties, but Murray stood up to the challenge and then some.  Murray had a 44 save shutout, leading Toronto to a 4-0 victory.  I thought the Toronto goaltending would be rough this season, but Murray has been very good when on the ice.  Same goes with Ilya Samsonov.  It could fall apart just like it did for Campbell last season, but the reason I liked these guys as #2 goalies is their floor is so high because of wins.  When Toronto gets this level of goaltending, it's extremely hard to beat them.  Here's to hoping Murray can stay healthy because he could be a big difference maker in fantasy.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
As someone who is a big believer in Jason Robertson and had him ranked 32nd overall, a bit ahead of consensus, I did not see this coming.  Robertson scored a hat trick on Thursday versus the Ducks, bringing him to 22+17 in 24 games.  Is that good?  Then you see Robertson is averaging under 18 minutes per game and realize that given a normal superstar workload, it would be even better!  He's been absolutely incredible to this point and if the season ended today, he'd be the Hart Trophy winner.  Is it going to last like this?  Probably not.  But he's clearly a top 10 player at this point, which is insane considering that two seasons ago, he was a second round pick rookie.  Whatever scout led Dallas to picking Robertson deserves all of the money.  Let's see what else happened over the last two nights:
Dallas locked up the last part of their core on Tuesday, signing Roope Hintz to an eight year contract extension.  Even being in the midst of a three game pointless streak, Hintz remains over a point per game and based on game score, he's a top ten forward in the league to this point of the season.  I don't expect him to maintain that pace, but his line is right there for the crown of best in the NHL.  Fantasy wise, I'd like to see the shot rate uptick 10-20%, but even with where he is, Hintz is a solid piece towards the top end of your roster.  If DeBoer played him 20+ minutes like he should instead of 17 per game, the numbers would be even better.  Congrats to Hintz for securing the bag!  Let's see what happened over the last two nights:
Remember when the Devils fans were chanting "Fire Lindy" two games into the season?  My, how the tides have turned.  The Devils have won 13 of 14 since, including 10 in a row.  The most recent win was 5-1 against the Canadiens on Tuesday with their star players leading the way.  Jack Hughes scored twice on seven shots and added an assist in the victory.  Hughes now has multiple points in six of his last ten games, and is pushing 4.5 shots on goal per game.  Even with a lack of penalty minutes, that's enough to be the top 20 player that I ranked him as before the season.  The future is incredibly bright in New Jersey with two elite defensemen prospects coming to support the excellent foundation in place.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
The Sabres got off to a hot start this season despite their top line struggling to get on the scoresheet.  On Saturday, they started the turnaround against the Blackhawks, but that game paled in comparison to what they did on Monday.  Against the Red Wings, the Sabres scored eight goals, led by their $50 million man, Tage Thompson.  Thompson had the game of the early season, scoring three goals, dishing three assists, and putting nine total shots on goal.  All it took was two games for Thompson to turn his October into a monster month with 6+6 in nine games with over four shots per game.  Granato told him that he needed to start shooting the puck more, and that's turned into 25 shots in the past three games alone.  Obviously he's not going to keep up that rate, but Thompson could turn into a top 50 player if he pushes his shot rate to over four per game.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
In terms of expected goals and puck possession, the Devils have been the best team in October, bar none.  They've been absolutely dominant and earned every single bit of their 6-3 record.  Their most impressive win came on Friday beating the Avalanche 1-0, and they followed that up with a complete demolition of Columbus, 7-1.  The common denominator?  Vitek Vanecek started both of these games.  Vanecek saved all 24 shots from Colorado before saving 20 of 21 shots from the Blue Jackets.  We're looking at a time share in New Jersey, but Vanecek appears to have grabbed the upper hand for now.  Before the season, I had little interest in either of their goalies.  Now, with how well they're playing, both could be owned in 12'ers, but Vanecek definitely has to be.  Ride the hot hand while you can.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend: