Colorado has been decimated by injuries at a level we've never seen before. The return of Valeri Nichushkin makes him their second healthy top six forward. Luckily for them, Mikko Rantanen put the team on his back on Sunday. After scoring Colorado's only goal against the Rangers on Friday, Rantanen scored all three goals for Colorado on Sunday, tying the game with 7.1 seconds left before winning the game in overtime. Quietly, Rantanen is up to 19 goals on the season, playing at a higher point pace than his monster 2021-22. The shot rate is down a bit so his goal rate is a bit unsustainable, but hopefully the shots tick back up without MacKinnon. Regardless, Rantanen has cemented himself as a top 10 fantasy hockey player. Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
As fun as it is to make fun of Toronto's Stanley Cup drought, it's very impressive when somebody breaks one of their major records. On Saturday, Mitch Marner did just that, getting a point in his 19th consecutive game, scoring twice on five shots. Toronto fans love to make Marner their whipping boy, but this should give him a respite until the playoffs come along. The shot rate is slowly creeping back up for Marner, which is a necessity if he's going to approach last season's point total. He's a bit behind at even strength, but he's managed to be even better on the power play. Marner is as safe as it gets in fantasy at this point and remains in the top 20. Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
Vancouver has managed to blow multi-goal leads in each of their first four games. Pretty remarkable stuff that already has Boudreau on the hot seat. The good news is that there's still been some offensive bright spots for the Canucks, and Elias Pettersson is leading the way. Pettersson had five points over the last two nights, totaling two goals, three assists, and six shots in the two games. That brings Pettersson to 3+3 in four games, along with 3.5 shots per game. That's a good start to one of my bold predictions of the season, which is that Pettersson will score 45+ goals this year. Time will tell if that pans out, but I have no doubt that Pettersson can be a top 25 player despite the low penalty minutes. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
One of the highest variance players for fantasy hockey this season is Logan Thompson. You can't ask for much of a better start. Thompson had a 27 save shutout on Thursday, and the Golden Knights needed every bit of it in the 1-0 win over the Blackhawks. He also had 27 saves on 30 shots in the first Vegas win, 4-3 over the Kings. I liked Thompson as a #2 this year, and this start makes me feel better about it. It's not going to be smooth, but that happens for only a few goalies in the entire league. Outside of the worst matchups, I feel good about rolling Thompson against everybody for the time being. Let's see what else happened on Thursday:
Today, I’m going to look at all of the impactful offseason moves in the Western Conference. If you didn’t catch my post on the Eastern Conference, you can do that here. Please, blog, may I have some more?
If I was going to pick a team to back up an eight goal game with a nine goal game, it would obviously be The Desert Dogs! The last few weeks have been very strange as a whole in the NHL, but this takes the cake. Arizona scored eight on Ottawa before scoring a nine ball, corner pocket on Detroit Tuesday. They were led by the one, the only, Nick Schmaltz, who had two goals and two assists in this game. That's 11 points and a +11 in two games! He's the best thing since Gretzky! While I like to joke, Schmaltz was on fire a week ago and then decided to get 11 points in two games. He clearly needs to be held for the time being. Let's see what else happened over the last two nights:
Remember when the Kraken took Vitek Vanecek in the expansion draft and then traded him right back to Washington? Imagine where Washington would be if they only had Samsonov. Vanecek had a 36 save shutout in the 4-0 win over the Hurricanes. He missed some time recently, but Vanecek is approaching a 2.30/.920 line. He's been miles better than Samsonov despite Samsonov winning at a much higher clip. Amazingly, Vanecek is still available in over 70% of leagues at the time of this writing. I'm not saying that he's going to be a workhorse, but Vanecek will be splitting at the very least, and his numbers are clearly good enough to hold. This season has been quite encouraging for Vanecek's long term prospects as well. He's not a lock to be the Washington goalie of the future, but it's certainly in play now. At the least, he looks the part of a capable tandem. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Before this season, Tage Thompson was part of the punch line about how bad the Sabres were fleeced in the RoR trade. Amazingly, Thompson has come out of nowhere to play better than RoR has this season (although I'm sure the Blues are just fine with it, banners fly forever). Thompson was fantastic over the weekend, scoring a hat trick against the Avalanche before scoring a goal on four shots against the Blue Jackets on Sunday. That brings Thompson up to 20 goals and 18 assists in 47 games and over three shots per game. Thompson is right on the fringe although I lean towards grabbing him for now. Buffalo's next opponent? Montreal. Let me get some of that. Either way, Thompson's development is massive for the Sabres going forward. Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
It’s that time again. Friday/Sunday stream targets to finish out the week. Get those claims in today so you don’t miss out! Unless you’re in one of them fancy same-day adds leagues.
Since Dougie Hamilton went down with a broken jaw, the Devils have been in a massive tailspin. It got much worse over the last two nights as Toronto beat them 6-4 and 7-1 going into the All-Star Break. The hope is that Hamilton will be back after the break, and it's obvious that they need him on the blue line. Toronto was led by Mitch Marner, who had three goals and four assists with nine shots between the top games. Marner has multiple points in six of his last seven games, including a goal in all seven games. I wrote a couple weeks ago that Marner was about to get hot and get past the point per game mark, but he did it much faster than I anticipated. It helps that he moved to the top line again, as Auston Matthews had four goals and two assists between the two games. When these two are clicking, it's as dangerous of a combo that there is in the league. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Those of you that have been patient holding Evander Kane for almost four months were rewarded on Saturday night. Kane played his first game of the season with the Oilers and went right on McDavid's wing. Kane scored in the first period and finished with three shots in the 7-2 win over the Canadiens. He's still available in 50% of ESPN leagues and very close to that on other sites. Kane is a must own immediately, and if you use FAAB, you should bid a large amount of your budget. Yes, he could do something stupid and be banished, but the upside is too high for him to be on waivers. Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
It looks like I was a year early predicting Matthew Tkachuk to be a top 20 fantasy hockey player. It also looks like I sold him a bit short. Tkachuk had five assists on Monday, all of which came in the first two periods. He's playing at a 40+50 pace with well over three shots per game, elite play at even strength and the power play, and plenty of PIM. The first line in Calgary is playing just about as well as any line in the league with Tkachuk leading the way. He's a top ten skater on the season now, and while I wouldn't rank him as a first round pick i.e. the top 12, he's a slam dunk top 20 guy. Guys who absolutely dominate all of the categories are harder to come by, and the only two that have been better so far are Marchand and Kadri. For the rest of the season, I'd take Tkachuk over Kadri too, and long term, Tkachuk is the top guy. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights: