Hello everyone. Welcome to the seventh edition of JOT This Down! Thank you to everyone who provided feedback in volume six. I appreciate it. Keep the questions, comments, and concerns coming. I’ll be here all week to answer any and everything you may have.
Hello everyone. Welcome to the fourth edition of JOT This Down! Thank you to everyone who provided feedback in volume three. I appreciate it. Keep the questions, comments, and concerns coming. I’ll be here all week to answer any and everything you may have.
If you didn't see Part One, check it out here. Let's get right into Part Two. Tier Eight: Elite Upside But Medium Floor
As good as the Jets have been, Friday was a huge boost for their team. Not only did they get Wheeler, Schmidt and Perfetti back, Nikolaj Ehlers returned for his first game since the second game of the season. He immediately went onto a line with Pierre-Luc Dubois and Kyle Connor, and it worked out as well as it has in the past. In the 4-2 win over the Lightning, Dubois scored two goals with four shots and four PIM, with Connor having a goal and an assist plus four PIM of his own. Sunday was even better with Connor scoring a hat trick, Dubois dishing four assists, and Ehlers scoring a goal and two assists. This line has the potential to be one of the best in hockey yet again, and with Dubois playing the best hockey of his career right now, it can be even better than last season. All of them are easily top 50 players with Connor in the top 20, and the other two with the potential to push towards that, but probably a step behind that. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
The Blues are in the middle of a brutal schedule, playing three back-to-backs in a row, including four games in six days. They pulled off the first back-to-back through Alberta before going to Vancouver on Monday. There, Jordan Kyrou stole the show. Kyrou scored a hat trick on five shots while adding an assist in the 5-1 win, giving him 10 points in his previous four games. Unfortunately for Kyrou, he was injured late in the game and missed Tuesday's debacle against the Kraken with a UBI. It's unclear how serious it is, but I do find it a bit encouraging that the news that he was out came later on Tuesday instead of immediately after the game Monday or early Tuesday. With only one game over the next week, let's hope that he misses minimal time while he's on a heater. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Mats Zuccarello has gone through three separate streaks this season. He started the season on fire, he had a cold streak, and now he's on a heater again. Zuccarello started off the weekend with a hat trick and an assist against the Blackhawks, before adding a goal and an assist against the Senators. That brings Zucc's point streak up to ten games. He's well over a point per game, and pushing towards three shots per game. The 35 year old has shown no signs of slowing down, being rejuvenated playing with Kaprizov. Zuccarello is starting to erase his plus-minus hole as well. Even including the plus-minus, Zuccarello has been a top 50 player, and should continue to be so. Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
Tage Thompson's nickname, as given to him by Sabres announcer Dan Dunleavy, is TNT. Safe to say that everyone who watched Wednesday's game on TNT learned the nickname. Thompson had the game of the season, scoring five times, five times, five times, five times! He scored four in the first period, becoming the 18th player to ever score four in a period, and the fourth to do it in the first period. He put nine shots on goal in total and added an assist despite playing only 13:56 in the game. Here's the list of players who have multiple 3+ goals, 6+ point games in the last 30 seasons: Thompson, Zibanejad, Lemieux, and Gretzky. And Thompson is only 1/3 of the way through the season! He now has 21+19 in 26 games with over five shots per game. Honestly, it doesn't look like a fluke at all. Sure, his shooting percentage is a little high, but marginally so. If he can maintain his shot rate, that's over 400 shots in a season, making him close to a lock for 50 goals. As far as going forward, Thompson has played his way into the top 10 discussion. His minutes could even end up increasing towards 20 per game from the 18:31 he's at now. Thompson has already turned his contract extension into a massive steal for the Sabres. Let's take a look at what else happened the last two nights:
One of the goaltending performances of the season came in the marquee showdown on Tuesday. Toronto sure didn't make it easy on Matt Murray, taking seven penalties, but Murray stood up to the challenge and then some. Murray had a 44 save shutout, leading Toronto to a 4-0 victory. I thought the Toronto goaltending would be rough this season, but Murray has been very good when on the ice. Same goes with Ilya Samsonov. It could fall apart just like it did for Campbell last season, but the reason I liked these guys as #2 goalies is their floor is so high because of wins. When Toronto gets this level of goaltending, it's extremely hard to beat them. Here's to hoping Murray can stay healthy because he could be a big difference maker in fantasy. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
The Jets have been excellent to open the season, but that hasn't stopped them from tweaking things to get better. On Friday, we saw Bowness go back to last season's duo of Pierre-Luc Dubois and Kyle Connor together, something I've been clamoring for. They notched one goal on Friday by Connor from Dubois, but they went off against Chicago on Sunday. Dubois had two goals on eight shots, while Connor had a goal and two assists with two shots. I've been saying it was a matter of time for Connor to get going, and I think that time is now. He's too talented to not pile up goals. Dubois has been quite good across the board so far this season, but career highs are now in play. The shot rate is fantastic, the PIM are strong, and he's playing at a 40 goal pace. It sucks that they're missing Ehlers indefinitely so they don't have a great second winger, but even still, look for these guys to improve their even strength performance while remaining great on the power play. Let's see what else happened over the weekend:
Patrice Bergeron became the eighth active NHL'er to reach 1,000 career points on Monday, assisting on a Marchand goal in the 5-3 win over Tampa. The best defensive forward for the last decade, Bergeron has long since been a lock for the Hall of Fame, but being the 94th player to ever reach 1,000 points puts him in truly elite company. It sounds crazy to say that he's underrated, but I do feel like his career is underrated. He's never been a top five player in the league, but he was close for an extended period, his line was consistently one of the best in the league, and if you could pick any skater to be on the ice with one minute left up one to save the planet, he's the guy. Congrats to this hockey wizard. Let's see what else happened on Monday night:
It wasn't the best start to the season for the defending Stanley Cup Champions, who were 4-4-1 in October. Time off before playing the Blue Jackets twice in Finland was just what they needed to get back on track. Colorado won 6-3 on Friday before winning 5-1 on Saturday. The stars led the way in both games. Nathan MacKinnon dished seven assists between the two games, Mikko Rantanen had a hat trick on Friday, totaling 3+2, while Cale Makar had a goal and four assists. Columbus is a complete disaster defensively, but it's great to see Colorado's stars continue to dominate. Sadly, their weekend ended on a somber note with the passing of Peter McNab. He was one of the best TV analysts in the league and he will be sorely missed. Thankfully, he survived his illness long enough to get to see the Avalanche win the Cup again. Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
The Canucks have been showing signs of life lately, especially offensively. Right now, there's no better cure for early season woes than going against the Ducks. On Thursday, Vancouver scored eight goals, and their big offseason acquisition led the way. Andrei Kuzmenko had a hat trick and an assist, giving him eight points in his last four games. He's found great chemistry with Pettersson (more on him later) and Kuzmenko has kept his spot on the first power play unit. He's on the fringe, but for now, I would definitely hold while he's this hot. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights: