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?
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:
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:
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:
With a strange schedule this week due to Thanksgiving in the United States, I'm going to be back on Tuesday recapping tonight's action. I know it's been a bit for daily notes, but managing through this snowstorm in Buffalo has taken up a lot of time. As a result, I'm going to change things up and talk about one player on each team that is changing my opinion about them for fantasy, for better or worse. Let me know in the comments section if you like this type of post (or if you don't, speak the truth) so I know going forward. Let's get to it! Things couldn't be going worse for John Klingberg with the Ducks. The team signed him in order to help out in the early part of the season and probably trade him at the deadline for assets. Instead, he hasn't helped at all, and is even off the first power play unit now. The shot rate is dreadful, as is the plus-minus. You can still hold for upside later in the year, but he's no longer must-own in 12'ers and even 10'ers.
Mikhail Sergachev had the game of the weekend, scoring two goals and two assists on three shots in the 6-3 win over the Capitals. However, I was starting this post with Sergachev after watching the first ten minutes of the game. Sergachev moved to the first power play unit and immediately delivered, with one goal and one primary assist coming there. That is a massive boon to his value. Whether it lasts, who is to say? I would bet against it staying that way for the whole season, which is why I wouldn't panic if I owned Victor Hedman. However, in the short term, this is enough to make Sergachev a #2 defenseman in a 12 man league, with upside to be a #1. Getting to feed Stamkos and Kucherov for shots over and over again is a godsend to fantasy value. Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
As a Sabres fan, the last decade has been bleak, to say the least. There's starting to be some light at the end of the tunnel, and the newest example came on Monday night. The Sabres did something they hadn't in 33 years: win a game after being down by four goals. The Sabres came back from 4-0 to tie the game at 4, then went down 5-4 before Alex Tuch tied the game with 2:14 left, then Tage Thompson won it with 11 seconds left. The team is 6-1-2 in the last nine games with plenty of encouraging signs. We should see Owen Power sooner than later as well. From a fantasy perspective, the biggest story has to be Thompson. He's up to 28 goals on the season and over three shots per game. The jump he's made this season while moving to center is remarkable. Thompson is still available in over 50% of leagues and quite frankly, I don't understand it at all. He's a clear hold. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
For those that didn't see part one of my recap of the trade deadline, you can read it here. I'm going to get right into Part Two below. And away, we go! Arizona acquires the right to Jack McBain from Minnesota for a second round pick. All indications were that McBain wasn't going to sign in Minnesota so the Wild tried to get something for his rights. I assume Arizona will do him the favor of burning a year off his ELC for him to sign. There's some upside here long term, but nothing for now.
David Perron had a horrible start to the season and was shaping up to being one of the biggest fantasy busts of this year. To say things have turned for the better is an understatement. Perron scored two goals on seven shots against the Predators before scoring a goal on seven shots against Winnipeg. Since Perron went back on the top line, Perron has exploded. He has eight goals and five assists in the last ten games with 35 SOG. It's good enough across the board that Perron is a clear hold in all formats again. He's only available in about 25% of leagues, but even in a shallow league, I wouldn't be cutting Perron to keep a stream spot. The schedule is a little light the next couple weeks, but it really picks up in the last week of March and early April. Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
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:
Over the past few seasons, Patrik Laine has caught plenty of his slack for his game. The goals have been on the decline and his defense has remained terrible. The good news is that Laine has completely righted the ship this season. Laine had a hat trick on Thursday, bringing him up to 16+15 in 29 games. That's the best goal and assist rate of his career. The confidence in his game seems to fully be back which is great to see. He's one of the premier offensive players in the game, and it's crazy to think that Laine is still only 23 years old. It will be very interesting to see what happens with Laine in the offseason as he's one year away from free agency, but I have to say, I love the fit in Columbus right now given their style of play. There's a great chance that Laine is back to being the 35+ goal scorer that he was shaping up to be, with 50 goal upside. The shots aren't elite which keeps his value down a bit, but I'm back to being a big believer in dynasties again. Props to Fungazi for picking him in the Three Point Challenge. If you need streamer help for the weekend, go check out JKJ's piece from yesterday here! Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Last season couldn't have been more of a disaster for Patrik Laine. Is he as good as people expected when he .came out of the draft in regards to being an overall player? Probably not. As an offensive player? He's still incredible. Laine had two goals and an assist with five shots on Tuesday, and that doesn't even count his empty net attempt in the last five seconds that somehow hit both posts and went out. Laine now has 12+12 in 25 games this season. Does 40+40 seem good to you because it does to me? Laine is an incredibly gifted offensive player who has the upside to determine fantasy leagues. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights: