After a massive breakout in which he scored 72 points in 77 games and Tampa Bay made the Cup Finals in 2014-15, everyone expected Tyler Johnson to push his way into superstardom.  Then he struggled massively in 2015-16 scoring 38 points in 69 not-so-nice games.  “It’s okay, he’ll bounce back!”  Kind of, but 45 points in 66 games wasn’t necessarily what people hoped.  “Write him off, that was a fluke!”  Nope, Johnson is back on track.  Johnson scored a hat trick on Tuesday putting six shots on goal in the 5-4 win over Carolina.  He now has 16 goals and 18 assists in 42 games with a +11 rating.  The shot rate on the whole doesn’t look great, but Johnson has 33 shots on goal in his past 9 games, in which he has 8 goals.  The player that was tied for the team lead in points during the regular season and led a Cup finalist in points in the playoffs looks to be back.  If he is, Tampa is going to be even more unstoppable.  Johnson is available in around 25% of leagues and if you’re lucky enough to be in, grab him immediately.  If you own him, props for grabbing him and don’t look to sell high because we know the upside.  Let’s take a look at what else happened the last two nights:

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Hey, everyone.

This is being written before my Buffalo Bills face the Jacksonville Jaguars in the playoffs. I’m predicting 17-14 Bills.

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 use data pulled from my own league as well as the two RCL’s to give this idea some supporting data, so let’s hop to it.

Using the Active Stats tabs from my most competitive league as well as the two RCL’s, I’ve compiled a table of every matchup we’ve played this year (I finally added weeks 11-13 to my master sheet!) Out of 580 data points, managers who have played ten or more skaters (as of the end of week 13) than their opponents are 65-5-6. 65 wins, 5 losses, 6 ties. Even 5 more players on-ice than your opponent moves your meter considerably closer to the Wins column (from a coin-flip to winning 62% of the time). Yes, some teams might have better players, or might put up more points (G+A), but nothing correlates more accurately to a Win than the difference of games played between teams. Points, goalie starts, you name it… the bottom line is, you want to put more decent skaters on the ice per week than your opponent, and wins will follow.

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Hey guys!  I’m very sick at the moment so I’m going to keep this short and sweet.  I’m going to focus on players who aren’t trivial holds in this set of daily notes.  In other words, sorry Jakub Voracek, but this is the extent of me writing about you.  Let’s focus on Nino Niederreiter for a minute.  El Nino killed it last season; he was a borderline top 50 player, definitely top 75.  He hasn’t started off that well and then was injured.  Niederreiter returned on Thursday and had a hat trick before the midway point of the second period.  He scored three goals on four shots as the Wild cruised to victory over the Sabres.  We know his upside and after this game, he’s up to 13 goals in 30 games.  The penalty minutes are strong, he’s +11, and he’s only 48.5% owned because of his injury.  Go pick him up now if he’s available.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the past two nights:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hey, everyone.

I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year’s, and that you’re geared up for 2018. My Buffalo Bills made the playoffs for the first time since 1999, so I’ve been a little distracted. I also have had work off, so I haven’t been able to update my spreadsheets. Luckily, we have a pretty straightforward streaming slate this week, so let’s hop to it.

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First off, I hope everyone had a Happy New Year’s!  As much as I personally don’t care for New Year’s Eve, this year was different because of the Buffalo Bills making the playoffs.  I wish I had video of me celebrating with my dad or an audio recording of my friend, who is in Paris, who heard us yelling on speaker phone and him celebrating in the Paris streets. Couple that with an amazing USA win in the WJC outdoor game against Canada that I was at and things in the sports world couldn’t be better.  Even the Sabres looked competent today despite the loss!  Anyways, let’s get to what you’re here for…

I’ve talked about Josh Bailey being the waiver wire pickup of the year on multiple occasions over the last couple weeks because, well, the Isles top line is on fire.  That said, William Karlsson is easily #2 in this department.  Wild Bill, a Razzball favorite from the past (aka favorite of mine), scored the first hat trick in Vegas history on Sunday, scoring three goals and an assist in the 6-3 win over the Maple Leafs.  That brings Karlsson’s totals to 20+13 in 33 games with a +15 rating.  Sure, it will regress some because he’s not going to shoot 26.3% all season, but let’s give Karlsson his due.  In the first 183 games of his career, Karlsson scored 18 goals.  He has that beat for the Golden Knights in 37 games.  His emergence is a huge part of Vegas shocking the world as they sit atop the Western Conference.  Karlsson will drop off some in the second half, at least in the goals department, but make no mistake about it, it’s not a complete fluke.  Karlsson should be a hold for the rest of the season.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last three days of the old year:

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I’ll be honest, a year ago, I never thought I’d be writing about Alex Stalock again.  After a few years of being the backup in San Jose, Stalock was shipped to Toronto, where he was immediately waived to play in the AHL.  In the summer of 2016, Stalock signed a two-way deal with the Wild but never played in Minnesota, only in Iowa.  After Kuemper’s struggles last year and Stalock recording a .926 sv% in the A, the Wild let Kuemper go and decided to sign Stalock to be their backup this year.  Sadly, Devan Dubnyk was injured on Tuesday and is week-to-week.  We discussed this on yesterday’s podcast, but Stalock becomes a clear must-own until Dubnyk returns.  He made me look good as he shut out the Maple Leafs on Thursday night stopping 28 shots he’s faced.  Grab Stalock now before somebody else.  The Wild are getting healthy and playing great defensive hockey at the moment so for at least the next week, Stalock should provide great value.  Here’s what else happened the last two nights:

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Nothing like a revenge game against your former team to get your current team back on track.  Local Razzball favorite Mike Smith saved all 28 shots against his former team leading the Flames to a 3-0 win over the Coyotes.  Smith has been outstanding this point becoming one of the greatest values in fantasy hockey to this point.  The save percentage is among the league’s best and the wins are more than solid.  Since I’m all in on the Flames this year, I don’t see why the team in front of him would get worse.  To make things better, the Flames don’t have a quality backup goalie.  Smith is going to be a massive workhorse going forward and should be a borderline #1 fantasy goalie.  Not bad for someone drafted in the very late rounds.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the previous two nights:

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After another recording issue when we recorded on Wednesday, we’re finally back! Reid joins me to run down all of the injuries around the NHL. While this is happening, a trade happens! We give you our instant analysis to the trade between the Anaheim Ducks and New Jersey Devils involving Sami Vatanen and Adam Henrique. After that, we discuss the first line for Vegas doing extremely well, the return of Carey Price, and some players who have performed admirably to start the season but haven’t received the credit they deserve. To close things, we make Three Point Challenge picks. Be sure to make your picks in the comments section below. All of that and more in the latest edition of The Razzball Hockey Podcast!

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Jake Guentzel started awfully slow this season after an outstanding playoff run for the Penguins last season.  He’s started to pick things up and had his best game to date on Monday, scoring two goals and an assist with six shots in the 5-4 OT win over the Flyers.  That gives Guentzel six goals in his last six games, more than he had in his first 20 games combined.  He’s actually benefited quite a bit from Evgeni Malkin’s injury as Guentzel took his spot on the first power play unit.  That said, I’m hoping Malkin slides between Guentzel and Kessel on the second line when he returns which should really help Guentzel at even strength.  Obviously he’s a must own but here’s to hoping Guentzel keeps building on this and pushes towards being the top 50-75 player that was expected from him after leading the Stanley Cup Playoffs in goals.  Let’s take a look at what else happened on Monday night:

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I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  Well, everyone who celebrated last Thursday, you Canadians had theirs last month!  In this post, I’m going to focus on the top 50 players from the last week along with some players who returned from injury.  The biggest story is Jonathan Marchessault.  The best bargain in the NHL (salary of $750k this season), Marchessault has a goal and two assists in each of the last three games.  Just like that, he’s a top 50 player on the season despite missing a few games!  Marchessault now has an absurd stat line of 8/13/+5/16/66/5 in 19 games (for those unfamiliar with my normal format, that’s G/A/+/- / PIM / SOG / STP.  And somehow he’s still available in over 60% of leagues!  If you’re lucky enough to be in one of those, grab him immediately.  Let’s take a look at the other players on fire lately:

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