I've felt that Thomas Greiss was underrated for years.  When I started at Razzball, he was battling Halak for playing time and should have received more than he did.  Last season, when I was fully buying in, he was a mess.  This year, his value was so low that he was a nice gamble and he paid off handsomely.  Greiss had a 31 save shutout on Thursday beating Columbus 3-0.  Greiss is pushing a .930 save percentage and it's deserved; he's third in the league in goals saved about expectation.  The bad news is that his teammate is #2 in that category.  Look, Greiss isn't going to get the majority of starts, right around half of the Isles remaining games.  However, those starts are going to be extremely valuable.  He's only owned in 23% of leagues right now which is far too low.  That reason alone is why I'm starting this post with Greiss.  I've been saying for over a month that he should be owned in all formats, but if you're lucky enough for him to still be on the wire, go and get him.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
The best line in hockey from last season is at it again.  Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron each had five points in the two Boston wins over the last two nights.  Marchand started off with a goal and an assist with three shots in the 4-1 win over Montreal, then bettered that with a goal and two assists with three shots against the Islanders.  Bergeron dished two assists on Wednesday before getting his second hat trick in the last two weeks on Thursday.  Bergeron is now one point short of being at a point per game while Marchand is well over that, sitting at 1.28 ppg, third in the league.  Marchand has provided slam dunk first down value, just exactly what you hoped for when you selected him this year.  Bergeron has managed to surpass expectations on a per-game basis.  If he didn't miss time, he'd be a top ten forward on the season.  These guys are the main reason why the Bruins are one of the best teams in the league and a major Stanley Cup threat if they can manage to upset the Lightning.  For our purposes, keep rolling them in seasonal formats, and if you're someone who fires multiple DFS lineups every night, I would make sure to have a Bruins stack on at least one team every night.  The upside is simply too high to ignore.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Reid and I talked about John Tavares extensively on Tuesday's podcast.  We both saw him as a viable option for The Three Point Challenge but decided to go elsewhere since it's rare for someone to post consecutive three point games.  Well, Tavares shoved it up both of our you-know-wheres!  He scored a hat trick and added an assist in the 5-3 win over the Coyotes.  All of a sudden, a slow start (3 points in 7 games) has been erased with Tavares at 10 points in 9 games.  This is why we wait at least a month before we panic about players, especially studs like Tavares.  Look for him to be his usual self going forward, which means being a top 20 forward.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
First off, I want to apologize for not having notes on Friday. I wrote them up Thursday night, scheduled the post and then when I logged on Friday afternoon, it was nowhere to be found. I have no idea what happened so hopefully it's a one-time incident. Anyways, the first two major trade dominoes fell on Sunday night. We'll get to the Wild's big move later but the first trade of the night was Ben Bishop getting moved. I'm not shocked that he was traded but I am pretty shocked that it was to the Kings. There are a few players impacted by this move. First, Bishop's value takes a massive hit. If you are in a redraft, I think you can just cut Bishop. He probably gets one out of three games down the stretch for the Kings barring another Jonathan Quick injury. That's seven games the rest of the season. I would stream Bishop in all of those games but I don't think it's worth holding. If you're in a dynasty and out of contention, I think it makes a lot of sense to buy low on Bishop on the hopes he lands somewhere nice in the offseason. Peter Budaj goes to Tampa in the trade and he loses all of his value; you can safely drop him. The real winner is Andrei Vasilevskiy who should be the workhorse down the stretch. We know that he's been up and down all season but he should be owned in all leagues now for the upside. Here's what else happened around the league the last few nights:
We talked about Mikael Granlund on last Friday's podcast for a few minutes. Granlund was on an 11 game point streak, the longest of any player during this season, going into Saturday's game. You can say that he extended it in style. Against the Canucks, Granlund scored his first career hat trick on six shots while also having an assist and finishing +4. That brings his totals to a ridiculous 15+33 in 51 games while being +30. He's now a top 10 forward on the season based on RCL categories finally delivering on the hype surrounding him entering the league. As for where he'll be ranked going into next season, check out the podcast. Here's what else happened around the league this weekend:
Goals were extremely hard to come by in the NHL on Tuesday night. Four of the eight games finished 2-1, 3 of which were 1-1 through 60 minutes and needed overtime. Surprisingly, the one game that had a lot of goals was in New Jersey where the Flyers exploded in the 3rd period to beat the Devils 6-3. Their best player, Claude Giroux, led the way with three assists and one shot on goal. After a slow start, Giroux is now in the top 20 in the league in points with 49 (16+33) in 56 games. The first line and first power play unit for the Flyers has been completely unstoppable for the last 4-6 weeks and is keeping the Flyers in the playoff race. If you own any of their big four, enjoy the ride. Here's what else I saw around the league on Tuesday night:
Jack Eichel's return to Boston couldn't have gone any better. The 19 year old wunderkind scored two goals and two assists with three shots in the 6-3 win over the Bruins Saturday night. While he's done well by rookie standards, the expectations were so high that 20 points (11+9) is disappointing at this stage. However, the return of Tyler Ennis (assist and two shots) has brought some life back into Eichel's game. Expect Eichel to start picking up the pace push a 30+25 season come the end of the year. Here's what else I saw the last two nights around the league:
When Jason Spezza signed with the Stars in the off-season it seemed like a perfect fit. The Stars already had two superstars anchoring their top line and they needed someone to take over the second line and make it a respectable unit. Beyond that, the Stars were looking for the last piece that would help tie together what looked like the most dangerous power play unit in the league after he signed. The situation looked even brighter for Spezza after the club added Ales Hemsky, a guy who Spazz clicked with Spazz in a big way in Ottawa late last season and, again, it seemed like a perfect fit. The Stars now had the core of a second line and two more key top power play pieces to help catapult them to the next level, perhaps even good enough to make a cup run in 2015. Naturally fantasy owners pounced on Spezza early in drafts looking for a big season on a high octane offense, usually somewhere in the the third, fourth or fifth rounds, but the first half of the 2015 season has been a disaster for Spezza who posted a dismal line of 6/21/27/-8 in 38 games so far and it doesn’t look like the second half is going to be any better.
I’m pretty big on shooting percentage as a solid indicator of whether or not a guy is playing over his head offensively in a given season. Quality of competition is another number that I put a lot of stock in. Combine these two metrics and you’ve got yourself a recipe for understanding some shiz about why a player does what he does and why he won’t do what you’d like him to later. Make sense? No? Perfect! Carl Soderberg (2 A, 1 SOG, even) is a player that a lot of folks were high on going into this season because of a seemingly strong rookie campaign (48 points in 73 games? Yes please!). I submit to you, dear reader, that his campaign was not as solid as it seemed, at least from a fantasy standpoint. Last year he looked great, right? Well, he sported a shooting percent of 20%. That’s way too high and it’s going to come down, and so too should your expectations for him this season. His QoC TOI was 27.7% and he began in the offensive zone 55.5% of the time. That’s what you call “sheltered minutes” and baby, those minutes can be deceiving. Mostly what his QoC TOI and starting zone % have to say is that he spent much of his time playing against the opposition’s third and fourth lines. Third lowest on the B’s, in fact. Sods is a solid support guy with decent offensive upside, but don’t get carried away thinking he’s going to give you more than 15 goals and 40 some points. Yes, that means last season was likely his offensive ceiling. What do you want? The guy is already 28! Anyway, here’s what else I saw in fantasy hockey last night:
The race for the Calder trophy has been razor thin from the start of the season. Early on it looked like the Sharks’ Tomas Hertl was well on his way, but then he blew out a knee and that opened the door for the Rangers’ Chris Kreider, but he has since cooled, though he’s still getting good minutes with Rick Nash and Derek Stepan and remains valuable in deeper leagues. Ondrej Palat jumps into the mix with his recent surge of 15 points in his last 16 games giving him 31 points, which actually puts him ahead of Kreider’s 30. Regardless, it’s Nathan MacKinnon’s (1 A, 5 SOG, +1) turn to be the front runner and this time the edge might not be so razor thin. MacKinnon has eight points in his last five games with goals in three straight until last night, but he figured he’d keep the trend going and chipped in a helper. With less than 30 games to play MacKinnon leads all rookies in goals (20), assists (21) and points (41) putting him on pace to finish with a Bobby Ryan-esque 30 goals and 31 assists in 82 games. It’s not every day that you get a rookie that can score 30 goals, it’s even more rare to find a kid who will match his goal scoring with assists and a decent plus/minus to boot!  You’d think given his recent streak and general good play all year he’d be owned in 100% of leagues everywhere, but alas, Yahoo fails us once again and his ownership sits a platry 68% as we approach the stretch run to the playoffs with Palat coming in at just 16%. ESPN sits at 100% for MacKinnon but just 81% for Palat. These are the guys that give you the edge moving forward, so if you’re in a league where either is available, do yourself a favor and pick them up yesterday. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in the world o’ fantasy hockey last night: