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:
Hi, everyone, it’s LackeyDrinksOnMe! It’s been a crazy application season with a ton of great kids deciding to apply early decision. Unfortunately this means I’ve been busy even on weekends, but things are finally slowing down a little bit and I can get back to a weekly long-run streamer column. These pickups are meant for filling more than just a single spot start, looking at days that have fewer games being played so you can gain an additional three or four starts a week from a single skater. Not a lot of truly slow games this week, but Monday, Wednesday, and Friday all have only ten games, so there’s a few teams we can take advantage of.
There wasn't a ton of goal scoring over the last two nights, but the most notable performance came from the reigning MVP.  Taylor Hall won the game against the Penguins virtually by himself, scoring two goals and two assists with six shots in the 4-2 win.  That brings Hall up to 5+14 in 16 games with over 3.5 shots per game.  Can we expect a repeat of last season?  That would be a stretch.  Hall shot 14% last season while for the majority of the rest of his career, he's been in the 8-11% range.  This year he's at 8.6, a little low but not an outlier.  I would say 25-30 goals seems likely, but a new career high in assists (54) is certainly within range.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Hey guys, Sven again with our stop in the Motor City for 31 in 31! Over the next month, I will be taking a look at each team’s players to watch out for going into the 2018-19 fantasy hockey season: The 31 in 31 daily segment. This analysis features everything from surefire studs, to sleepers, to 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.
Instead of my usual Monday daily notes, I am going to update my list of holds and streams for every NHL team.  This should help everyone out quite a bit in companion with my Playoff Schedule Manifesto.  I will also add in some notes where I feel like they're necessary, either to explain myself, or some quick thoughts on a player.  Let's get right to it!
Gretzky, Lemieux, Forsberg, LaFontaine.  That's the list of players in the last 30 seasons to have multiple five assist games in one season.  Add Mathew Barzal to the list after Friday night.  Barzal became the first rookie in 100 years to have three five point games in one season dishing five assists in the 7-6 win over the Red Wings.  That puts Barzal over a point per game on the season and makes him the prohibitive favorite for the Calder (sorry Boeser).  Our second podcast ever, which took place before last season, saw Reid and I hype up Barzal for dynasties.  Regardless, he's blown away my expectations this season.  Now, it's not all rosy for fantasy.  The penalty minutes are low, but more importantly the shot rate is barely over two per game.  On the other hand, he's 20 years old and is over a point per game, so it's hard to complain.  There's a top 20 fantasy player in Barzal's future if he can get that shot rate up.  Regardless, he'll be a borderline top 50 player next year solely for the points, and it's only going to get better from there.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
As always, Reid joins me to start our trade deadline previews.  We open the podcast at looking at the latest injuries and suspensions around the league with the focal points being Edmonton with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins out, Brad Marchand's vicious elbow to Marcus Johansson, and Jonathan Quick skipping the All-Star game and getting the automatic one game suspension for it.  After that, the Atlantic Division is the first division we cover for the trade deadline.  What are the buyers at the top of the division looking for?  What will Mike Green and Evander Kane return in a trade?  Will Montreal or Ottawa move their star wingers?  It is a thorough in-depth conversation breaking down every team's current and long-term situation.  From there, we make Three Point Challenge picks for Thursday.  Make your pick below.  All of that and more on the latest edition of the Razzball Hockey Podcast!