Life without Couturier hasn't been as good without Claude Giroux.  He started the turnaround on Thursday night.  Giroux scored two goals and two assists with three shots and two PIM in the 5-3 win over Carolina.  That brings Giroux up to 17 points in 22 games, not exactly lighting the world on fire, but the shot rate is the best of his career.  75 shots in 22 games is a huge step forward, and if that continues, we could be looking at a new career high in goals.  Yes, he only has 7 to this point, but we could be on the verge of a heater.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Brayden Point made his season debut on Thursday for a big showdown with the Maple Leafs.  Unsurprisingly, he started right where he left off, scoring two goals and adding an assist with five shots in the 7-3 win.  The Bucs beat the Argonauts!  Anyways, we know how good Point is and that he's an elite options in all formats.  A couple other takeaways from this game.  One, Point went on the first line with Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov, who had four points each.  If that line sticks together, watch out.  Two, the new fifth person on the top power play unit was Anthony Cirelli, who ended up with three assists, two on the power play.  I'm a big fan of Cirelli's game but he didn't get the opportunity.  Now, he is centering the second line and on the top power play unit.  He's a must own in all formats.  Three, Tampa Bay really is the better version of Toronto.  The defensemen on Toronto just can't keep up.  I mean, Cody Ceci?  Even Rielly and Barrie aren't good defensively.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
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 are reaching the end of my forward rankings as I complete the top 100 today.  Drafts are starting to approach, so my plan is to power through defensemen and goaltending by the middle of next week so everyone has my rankings available.  Again, for those who haven't seen my earlier rankings, you can see them here.  Let's get to it! 81) Jonathan Toews - I'll be sliding up Toews 5-10 spots forward spots from here when I update as this was an oversight on my part.  Toews set a career high in both goals and assists last season with 35+46.  The PIM are always solid and the shot rate is better than average.  The question is how sustainable are the points?  The previous three seasons he had 58, 58, and 52 points in 80, 72, 74 games respectively.  An increase in shot rate also came with a big jump in shooting percentage over the last two seasons, so color me a bit skeptical.  That said, 65ish points with solid secondary numbers has plenty of value in the middle rounds.
Hey guys! Over the next month, I will be taking a look at each team’s players to watch out for going into the 2019-20 fantasy hockey season. This analysis features everything from surefire studs, to sleepers, to streamers, deeper league holds, even to rookie-eligible prospects that may make an appearance at some point this season. Please let me know if you guys enjoy this type of material! Reminder that the stat totals are from last season. Last year my previews went alphabetically, but this year we’re going to go division-by-division, starting with the top team. On our ninth stop on the 31 in 31 tour, we start up our Central Division breakdown in Music City with the Nashville Predators. The Preds are still on the cusp of something great, but their results have only regressed since their 2017 Finals appearance. To land one of the free-agent big fish, they had to salary dump a big fish of their own. In a Central that looks as competitive as ever, here’s who the Preds will rely on to finish back on top.
Welcome to my favorite post of the year, my live trade deadline post!  From now until all of the trades come through later today, I will provide all of the details for each trade with my instant analysis.  I will launch this post with everything from over the weekend as well since I haven't given my thoughts on those at this point.  Be sure to keep checking this page as I will be constantly updating it.  Any questions can be asked in the comments section and I'll get to them as soon as I get a chance.  Here we go!
On January 3rd, the St. Louis Blues were in last place of the entire NHL.  Here we are six weeks later and they're safely in a playoff position.  The Blues have matched the longest winning streak in the NHL this season at 10, winning two games this weekend in convincing fashion.  First, Jake Allen shutout the Avalanche, then Jordan Binnington shut out the Wild on a back to back.  Right now, Binnington is as hot as it gets in the league.  I don't expect this to continue, but for now, he's a must start every time out.  I still view Allen as somewhat of a desperation play, but with how well the team is playing in front of him, I'm fine with streaming him for the time being.  Looks like a coaching change was what they needed to right the ship.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
In my Monday post, I called Frank Vatrano the best streamer of the night.  As simple as my rationale was, getting to play with Barkov does wonders for anyone.  Vatrano has been playing well lately, but the jump to the first line helps tremendously, and he showed how on Monday.  Vatrano scored a goal and dished three assists in the 6-2 win over the Sharks, putting five shots on goal in the process.  Normally, I'd say go get Vatrano right now to see what happens.  There's definitely upside going forward.  The problem is that the Panthers don't play again until next Friday.  For those in roto leagues, I would grab Vatrano now and stash him on your bench.  In head to head leagues, I would wait until the middle of next week unless a spot opens up on your roster due to someone going on injured reserve.  However, I definitely want Vatrano for the back-to-back next weekend, so don't wait until last minute so you avoid somebody else sniping you on him.  There's a real chance Vatrano, who was a prolific AHL goal scorer and showed upside before in Boston, could become a hold for the rest of the season.  Let's take a look at what else happened this week: