The National Hockey League draft came and went while I was on vacation, but I heard no one took my future boyfriend Mikhail Grigorenko until the 12th pick. What? Oh, I’m sorry, I guess the Islanders don’t need offense, my bad. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Howdy, it's me, LackeyDrinksOnMe!! As much as we love hockey and fantasy hockey, we don’t always have time to catch all the games we want. Viz is a champion at giving an impression of the player situation league-wide, but my plan is to narrow in on a game or two a week to cover two teams from top to bottom. I’m going to watch a game or two each week and will take a deep dive on each team, moving period by period Twitter-update style with a wrap-up and then following that stream of thought with a few league-wide notes. This works better with my schedule and will be something I’ll be able to continue into the spring when things start getting crazy at work. Hopefully doing this gives my fellow Razzball readers a good impression of what some games are like, even if you have no interest in viewing them yourself, and depending on the depth of your league I hope this can provide some useful insights. I’m watching the opening NHL game tonight, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens. I’m looking specifically for how Auston Matthews and John Tavares are used, how the defense in front of Frederik Anderson stacks up, how Montreal handles any power-play opportunities they are given, and how Carey Price looks in goal after a shaky campaign last year.
For most of the season, I've talked about why I wouldn't want to own Semyon Varlamov. Long story short, I don't trust the Avalanche to play defense well enough to prevent Varlamov from having a high goals against average. Well, the counter to that is Varlamov is a very good goaltender who can carry his team to wins. It happened twice this weekend. On Friday, he stopped 33 of 34 shots to beat the Blues 2-1 in a shootout, then he came back Saturday to make 42 saves against the Stars in a 3-1 victory. Even after these games, his goals against average is below league average but his save percentage is strong and he's top 10 in the league in wins. There's still plenty of value in a goalie like Varlamov, you just need to balance it by having an elite goalie to carry you in goals against average. Here's what else I saw around the league this weekend:
If you're a frequent reader of my articles, then you know the player I streamed the most this year has been Vladislav Namestnikov. Well, I'm not streaming him anymore because he's terrible. Kidding! That's because he's a clear hold now. He's centering the first line in Tampa (Steven Stamkos is playing RW) and he's coming off a hat trick on five shots in the 5-4 win over the Penguins Friday night. He only had one shot in Sunday's game but still, the role we look to stream him in looks secured now. Names (I'm sticking with that nickname, thanks commenters!) now has 23 points in 44 games and that's with being shuffled throughout the lineup and with little PP time (he has 4 PPP). There's no guarantee that he lasts in this role all season but now, he's must own in 12'ers. Here's what else I saw around the league this weekend:
I've made my fair share of bold predictions and statements this year on Razzball but this one might be the boldest of them all; Tyler Seguin is the best hockey player in the world. No, not Sidney Crosby or Alex Ovechkin. Instead, it's a 23 year old who was drafted by the Bruins second overall only to be shipped to Dallas because they thought he partied too much or they simply don't like guys who have a lot of talent. On Tuesday night, Seguin returned to Boston and scored a hat trick on six shots. He also had an assist and eight shots Monday night in Toronto, the team who could have drafted Seguin but they traded that pick to Boston for Phil Kessel who is no longer in their organization. He's up to 20 points in 13 games, tied for the league lead with his linemate Jamie Benn (Goal, two assists, six shots, two PIM the last two days). He also has 60 shots in 13 games which is at an Ovechkin-like level. Bottom line, he's the number one player for me going forward. Man am I pumped to have the Stars to win the Cup at 66-1! Here's what else I saw the last two days: