I was expecting a big bounce back from Nazem Kadri this season in Colorado after being stuck on the third line in Toronto last season.  It hasn't been spectacular, but Kadri has been a hold all season.  He was going through a rough patch with only one point in seven games before Monday, but he broke out in a big way.  Kadri scored two goals on four shots and added an assist in the Colorado victory over Detroit.  Sure, it's Detroit, but three points is three points.  Kadri has already surpassed last season's goal total in 27 less games and the penalty minutes are through the roof.  His spot on the top power play unit appears locked in, therefore making him a hold for the foreseeable future.  The big offseason trade has been a huge win for the Avalanche, no doubt about it.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Tony DeAngelo grew up in New Jersey and on Thursday, he had the best game of his career against the Devils.  DeAngelo scored a hat trick on seven shots while adding two assists to have the best game of the NHL season by a defenseman.  In the preseason, I ranked DeAngelo 32nd at defensemen, way above consensus.  Here's what I said: "Alright, somebody I really like!  Now, that’s not to say there’s concern here with DeAngelo.  One, he’s still unsigned and I’m not sure if a deal gets done sooner than later.  Two, it’s possible that Fox takes his PP time.  I think the two play together on PP2 but we’ll have to wait and see.  However, if DeAngelo is playing on opening night getting PP2 time, he could get 40 points and 100 PIM.  Yes, the shot rate is slightly below average, but it’s extremely difficult to get that out of anyone on the blue line.  You won’t need to take him this early, but I’m targeting DeAngelo because he fits so many team builds."  And that's me quoting me copying what Grey does!  Well, I may have overshot the PIM, but I was way under on the points.  DeAngelo now has 11+25 in 42 games and he worked his shot rate up to over two per game, a solid number for a defenseman.  Hopefully you guys checked out my preseason rankings and you own DeAngelo everywhere because I'm not expecting a drop off given the style the Rangers play.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Who had Noel Acciari scoring seven goals in one week this season?  Alright, who had Acciari scoring more than seven goals this season?  After Acciari scored a hat trick last Monday against the Senators, Acciari managed to follow it up with another hat trick plus an assist against the Stars on Friday.  Acciari scored again on Saturday against Carolina completing one of the craziest weeks we've ever seen from a depth hockey player.  So should we care?  Probably, yes.  He's playing with Jonathan Huberdeau who is piling up assists looking to feed Acciari at the moment.  The problem is that Acciari isn't getting power play time yet, but he could get PP2 time sooner than later.  However, he still played over 17 minutes last game without the power play time which is enough to have value.  He's the epitome of a hot schmotato so I would look to stream him against Tampa on Monday and carrying that into Saturday's game against Detroit.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
I talked a lot about Taylor Hall in Monday's post (you can read that here).  The trade that I was talking about happened on Monday with Hall moving to Arizona.  In the trade, Hall and Blake Speers went to Arizona for a 2020 conditional first-round draft pick, a conditional 2021 third-rounder, along with forward prospects Nate Schnarr, Nick Merkley and defenseman Kevin Bahl.  First, let's look at this from Arizona's perspective.  It's a steep price to pay for a rental, but Hall is the best player traded in quite some time, and Arizona is looking to snap a long playoff drought in a weak division.  I totally get the move given their strong defensive talent but lack of overall offensive talent.  Hall played on Tuesday dishing an assist and adding a shot in 18 minutes.  He played with Christian Dvorak and Clayton Keller.  In Monday's piece linked above, I said to buy Keller going forward due to his recent play.  This only enhances his value.  Same goes with Dvorak, but he moves up to an elite streamer for now.  As for New Jersey, it's hard to complain about this return.  You have potentially two first round picks in this deal, but at least a 1 and 3.  Bahl is a monster coming in at 6'7 and can skate fairly well.  I don't see a PP guy there, but he should be a modern stay-at-home who is strong on the PK.  For those in deep leagues, he should be a very good hits/blocks guy down the line.  Merkley has decent upside, but he has already had reconstructive knee surgery.  He's not the best skater, but he has great hockey IQ and should end up as a playmaking center in the middle six.  Schnarr was a third round pick in 2018 who didn't show a ton of offense until after he was drafted.  He then exploded in Guelph last season, but he's struggled in the AHL so far.  That isn't a surprise as many 20 year olds struggle in their first pro season.  I don't expect a ton, but there's a decent chance he ends up an NHL'er.  All in all, seems like this trade has the potential to be a win-win once you consider that Hall seemingly didn't want to stay in New Jersey.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
To say the start of the season for Dallas has been disappointing is an understatement.  It looked like it was going to continue being 3-0 late in the second against Minnesota.  To quote Lee Corso, "not so far my friend!"  The Wild scored six goals over the last 21 minutes of the game to win 6-3, and they were led by Alexander Radulov.  Radulov entered the game with only 1+3 in 13 games, and he managed to match those four points in this one.  Radulov had three goals and an assist with a whopping 10 shots on goal.  This game might have blown the chance to buy low on Dallas players, but I would still attempt to do so given the opportunity.  These guys are too talented to not have strong seasons, Radulov included.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
While general sports fans were watching playoff baseball (Go Braves!) or Sunday Night Baseball, hockey fans saw one of the best performances of the season take place on the first weekend.  Anthony Mantha scored four goals on eight shot, including the winner in the last minute of the game, to beat the Stars 4-3.  This comes after an incredible performance in his season opener in which he scored a goal and two assists with five shots and four penalty minutes in the upset win over Nashville.  In both games, the players on the top line were at or above 20 minutes each.  That's extremely encouraging for their long-term success.  Obviously we're not expecting Mantha to be a top 25 player all of a sudden, but the potential is there for 30 goals, 50 PIM and a very good shot rate.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
The first draft pick in Vegas history, Cody Glass, scored the first goal of his career in his first game, a 4-1 win over the Sharks.  First, the good news.  He played with Mark Stone (G+A) and Max Pacioretty (A, 5 SOG) which puts Glass in a great position to succeed going forward.  He also played with these guys on the power play.  The bad news: his minutes were down because Gallant doesn't trust him defensively yet.  Whenever they had a defensive zone start, Stastny started on the ice and would go off for Glass if they exited the zone.  Yes, it's only a defensive zone start, but on a team that transitions as well as Vegas does, the more minutes the better, and Glass didn't cross the 15 minute mark.  I'm good with picking him up if you want the upside, but let's not go crazy spending a lot of FAAB on Glass.  I like him plenty long term, and perhaps Stone drags him into be a hold all season, but it's far from a guarantee.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the first two nights of the season:
We're pushing through the halfway point today in terms of forwards as I get through the top 60.  To see my posts for the top 40 forwards, you can check that out here.  Let's get to it! 41) Jake Guentzel - Guentzel had his big regular season breakout with 40 goals and 36 assists last season.  At first, I was a little hesitant to rank Guentzel this high, but now I feel really good about.  One, he was stapled onto Crosby's wing all season.  I don't expect that to change.  Two, the shot rate took a huge jump forward in year three.  I wouldn't be surprised if he gets to 3+ per game this year.  Three, and the biggest thing, is that there's a spot for him on the first power play unit with Kessel's departure.  Guentzel had only 6 PPG and 5 PPA last season.  He could easily get to 20 PPP if he earns that spot in the preseason (his competition is Galchenyuk I guess?).  Sure, we can't expect 17.6% shooting again, but I don't expect much regression getting to play with Crosby.  I think Guentzel is a solid bet to get back to 40 goals again and boosts his assists to get up to a point per game.  He should be a solid value at this point, especially if he falls between last season's 26 PIM and his 42 in 2017-18.
Hey everyone!  I'll be starting my rankings next week, but for now, I'll be writing a post on offseason winners.  Losers will be coming tomorrow.  There has been plenty of player movement that I haven't broken down yet so we might as well get right to it! WINNERS Mikhail Sergachev - I already wrote a sleeper post on Sergachev that you can read here.
For those of you doing well in your head to head leagues, this is the most important post of the year.  This is my annual playoff manifesto where I break down every team's schedule for the last four weeks of the season.  I tell you who are the best teams and players to stream from, who you should look to trade for or away if your deadline hasn't passed, and it allows you to plan ahead with ease.  For those who haven't read it in the past, the numbers in the parentheses are how many games the team plays in each of those weeks, with the last number being the last week in the season and preceding accordingly.  This is going to be a massive post so let's get right to the 2019 Playoff Manifesto!