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Yes, the Sabres are still a bad hockey team, but the good news for long suffering fans like me, is there are finally some signs of hope.  One of the best signs is how well the first line has performed since Tuch returned from injury after the trade.  They single-handedly won the game for the Sabres on Sunday against Montreal, and it started with their highest paid player.  Jeff Skinner was left floundering on the fourth line or scratched by Ralph Kreuger last season because, well, Krueger had no clue about coaching hockey.  Skinner had one of the games of the season on Sunday afternoon, scoring four goals and an assist on six shots in the 5-3 win over the Canadiens. That bring Skinner up to 20 goals with 14 assists in 45 games.  Is he worth his massive contract?  No, but he's proving once again that he's still a damn good hockey player.  I've had him on the fringe for a while, but I feel good about holding him now.  His shot rate is back over three per game on the season so that's plenty good enough given his contribution in points.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
Injuries are a part of the game, but always terrible to see.  Unfortunately, a Razzball favorite went down on Monday night.  Brendan Gallagher broke his thumb and is out multiple weeks.  If you have an IR spot, definitely stash him, but if you don't, you can sadly let him go.  So who gets the boost in Montreal?  Jesperi Kotkaniemi moved to the wing and took Gallagher's spot which boosts him up to a solid streamer from a middling one.  Eric Staal scored the overtime winner in his Canadiens debut and is now centering Toffoli and Drouin.  He looked completely shot in Buffalo, but maybe the trade plus the easier division rejuvenate him.  Let's see how he looks over the next couple games before we use him.  I also really like what I've seen from Josh Anderson lately who is playing more minutes.  The assists are brutal, but the goals and shots should be quite good.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Injuries have robbed us of an amazing Cale Makar season.  The good news is that he's back now and dominating games on a consistent basis.  Makar had three assists with four shots in Colorado's 5-2 win over the Ducks on Monday.  That brings Makar up to a point per game on the season with a +12 rating in 22 games that isn't a fluke at all.  We've seen a slight uptick in his shot rate this season, but a big jump there is what it will take for Makar to move into being a top five defenseman instead of being a middling to bottom end #1.  With how well he plays in his age 22 season, I have no doubt that it's coming.  For dynasties, I think he has to be the top defenseman.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
The first big trade deadline move happened two weeks early.  Jason Zucker was sent to Pittsburgh in Bill Guerin's first big move as Wild GM, in exchange for Alex Galchenyuk, Calen Addison, and a first round pick.  So what does this do for Zucker's fantasy value?  It puts it through the roof.  Zucker immediately went on Crosby's wing in his first game, registering five shots on goals against the Lightning in 15 minutes.  Sure, he's not going to get PP1 time, but the upside is tremendous given this opportunity.  I grabbed Zucker in every league that I could just in case that it clicks with Crosby.  We've seen Zucker score 30 goals in a season before and generate a ton of chances; now it'll be even easier with Crosby.  As for the Wild side of things, it's a really good return.  Addison was the Penguins' top prospect, and while their system wasn't loaded, he safely projects as a second pair, potential PP defenseman.  I don't see huge upside, but there's value there.  As for Galchenyuk, it can't get any worse than it was in Pittsburgh.  He only received 12 minutes in his first game, and I'm certainly not rushing to use him, but it's worth monitoring to see if that changes.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last three nights:
Andre Burakovsky has gone back and forth between bottom end hold and elite streamer for most of the season.  Right now, we're in one of his upswings again.  Burakovsky had a goal and three assists in the 6-1 Colorado win over the Sabres on Tuesday.  That's a whopping 10 points in the last 4 games and 14 in the past 8 for Burakovsky.  He also has Ottawa, the Kings twice, and Buffalo again over the next three weeks.  He's an easy hold while he's on fire and the schedule remains incredibly soft.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
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 20th stop on the 31 in 31 tour, we’re making our second stop in Florida – it’s Panther time baby! The Panthers entered last season with one of the best top-six forward groups on paper, but bad injury luck and terrible defending left them on the outside looking in. With a new coach, new goalie and some new-found depth, how to the Cats look this season? Let’s take a look!
It's no secret that the Ducks are a mess right now.  I said in a post last week that they're the worst team in the league at the moment, but last night's game took the cake.  Getting shutout by the Senators is as low as it gets.  Sure, Anders Nilsson played great stopping 45 shots, but a lot of them were low quality like the team taking them.  This isn't a post about Nilsson, he's barely usable.  This is a reminder that you should stream against the Ducks every time you get.  Anaheim plays against plenty of bad teams this month (Vancouver 2x, Edmonton, Chicago) yet I still wouldn't hesitate to use any of their goaltenders.  Take advantage of the Ducks every opportunity that you get.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Hey, everyone. I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas, wonderful time with family and friends, and solid New Year’s Eve plans lined up. Your extended-play streamer column is here, albeit a little reduced due to the holidays. We’re on the downhill stretch for most fantasy seasons, and for most leagues this is a short week. As you might know by now, my managing style and what I discuss in my advice column is maximizing games played and putting more skaters on the ice that your opponent. I don’t have access to my desktop right now, but the abbreviated version of what I want to reiterate every thread is this:
Halloween is always a good reminder to do a check in with your team, and in particular the rookies, to see who is the real deal and who is just a dude walking around with an ax and wearing a cheap goalie mask. One reason to look at the rookies at this point is because of the Collective Bargain Agreement rules on entry level contracts. Essentially, once a rookie plays 10 games for the big league club, their entry level contract begins. If, however, the team decides to send them to their minor league team (or to Juniors), then the contract start slides to next year. At this point, most of the rookies have hit around eight games played, so it’s the perfect time to assess whether or not they can help your team out. The first few guys here aren’t going anywhere, obviously. But what about those closer to the fringe…?
The Florida Panthers were the biggest surprise of last regular season, riding breakouts from their elite young talent along with the resurgence of some veterans to win the Atlantic Division. Despite bowing out in the first round, last season's success has the Panthers facing the most pressure they have in years. Many consider them as a sneaky Stanley Cup contender this year. They have plenty of fantasy options at all positions worthy of our attention so let's take a look at their roster: