I've never seen an organization do more to sabotage their own team and coach as the Canucks have over the last six weeks.  They've been openly interviewing coaches for two months while Boudreau was still employed.  It was already reported that Rick Tocchet was going to take over the Canucks before the Canucks played on Saturday night.  It was highly emotional for the fans, players, and coaches, as Zach Hyman had a goal and three assists with five shots to lead Edmonton to a 4-2 win over the Canucks in Boudreau's last game.  He was 50-40-13 in his Vancouver, a 90 point pace per 82 games, much better than it should be with their roster.  Boudreau is one of the best coaches of the last 20 years, and I hope he gets another chance.  Fantasy wise, Tocchet steps in and well, he was really bad when he coached the Lightning and Coyotes.  His only playoff appearance was in the bubble because of an expanded playoffs.  The schedule does lighten up quite a bit for the Canucks in the short term, which obviously helps.  The distraction of the entire situation being gone also helps, but at the same time, they're going to trade Horvat sooner than later, and this could end up a slight negative for the value of their players.  If anything, I lean neutral to their values, but I really don't like the way things are trending in Vancouver.  Shame on Aquilini and Rutherford for handling this situation as poorly as possible.  As for the Oilers, they're on fire finally starting to solidify their playoff positioning being carried by their superstars.  The big thing I would say is never panic about their lines, Hyman and RNH will score plenty regardless, and will end up taking extra shifts with McDavid and Draisaitl anyways.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
It was great to see Aleksander Barkov back in the lineup on Thursday, and if you didn't get him back into your lineup off injured reserve, well, that one is going to hurt for a while.  Barkov scored a hat trick in the first period against the Canadiens and added two assists in the 7-2 win over the Canadiens.  It hasn't been Barkov's best season to this point, but I'm buying Barkov going forward to get back to being well over a point per game.  Florida has dug itself quite a hole in the playoff race and I expect Maurice to really ride their top six even more.  Barkov's shooting percentage is also much lower than his career sh% (10.3 vs 14.0) so look for some positive regression in the New Year for the Panthers captain.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
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:
Dallas locked up the last part of their core on Tuesday, signing Roope Hintz to an eight year contract extension.  Even being in the midst of a three game pointless streak, Hintz remains over a point per game and based on game score, he's a top ten forward in the league to this point of the season.  I don't expect him to maintain that pace, but his line is right there for the crown of best in the NHL.  Fantasy wise, I'd like to see the shot rate uptick 10-20%, but even with where he is, Hintz is a solid piece towards the top end of your roster.  If DeBoer played him 20+ minutes like he should instead of 17 per game, the numbers would be even better.  Congrats to Hintz for securing the bag!  Let's see what happened over the last two nights:
Mikhail Sergachev had the game of the weekend, scoring two goals and two assists on three shots in the 6-3 win over the Capitals.  However, I was starting this post with Sergachev after watching the first ten minutes of the game.  Sergachev moved to the first power play unit and immediately delivered, with one goal and one primary assist coming there.  That is a massive boon to his value.  Whether it lasts, who is to say?  I would bet against it staying that way for the whole season, which is why I wouldn't panic if I owned Victor Hedman.  However, in the short term, this is enough to make Sergachev a #2 defenseman in a 12 man league, with upside to be a #1.  Getting to feed Stamkos and Kucherov for shots over and over again is a godsend to fantasy value.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
To say the injuries are piling up on Washington is an understatement.  They have six players on IR plus Orlov missed Monday's game.  The salaries of these players combines to over $40 million.  Washington pulled off the upset over the Oilers on Monday on the back of their power play.  Four of the five Capital goals came on the power play, with Evgeny Kuznetsov leading the charge with two goals, two assists, four shots and two PIM playing over 20 minutes.  It hasn't been the best start to the season for Kuz, but this will certainly help.  It's also encouraging that he has 3+ shots in five of his last seven games.  If I owned Kuz in fantasy, I would be patient.  With the lack of depth Washington is dealing with, the minutes should get back up towards the 20:17 he averaged last season.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
With Tyler Bertuzzi injured and Jakub Vrana in the league's assistance program (best wishes to him), the Red Wings needed somebody to step up on left winger.  Dominik Kubalik, come on down!  Kubalik wasn't given a qualifying offer by the Blackhawks after last season, leaving him to sign in Detroit as a free agent.  The first two weeks couldn't have gone better, especially the last weekend.  Kubalik had a goal and an assist with 4 shots against the Blackhawks on Friday, before having a goal and two assists with six shots against the Ducks on Sunday.  With eight points in his last four games, Kubalik is in must-own territory right now.  There's no guarantee it lasts, but he's shown he can thrive next to Larkin and Kubalik has been a 30 goal scorer before, so we know he has the upside.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
One of the highest variance players for fantasy hockey this season is Logan Thompson.  You can't ask for much of a better start.  Thompson had a 27 save shutout on Thursday, and the Golden Knights needed every bit of it in the 1-0 win over the Blackhawks.  He also had 27 saves on 30 shots in the first Vegas win, 4-3 over the Kings.  I liked Thompson as a #2 this year, and this start makes me feel better about it.  It's not going to be smooth, but that happens for only a few goalies in the entire league.  Outside of the worst matchups, I feel good about rolling Thompson against everybody for the time being.  Let's see what else happened on Thursday: 
In the last few rounds of my draft, the best strategy is to take players with high ceilings.  Odds are, even if you take the "safe" guy, you end up cutting that player to stream somebody else at some point, so you might as well target somebody who could turn into a hold.  Today, I'm going to tell you the ten guys that I like the most as dart throws at the end of your draft.  Last season, among the notable late hits I highlighted were Rasmus Andersson and Noah Dobson, with Victor Olofsson's rookie breakout a big win from the past.  I'm going to use players whose ADP is after 180, which is 15 rounds in a 12 man league.  Let's get to it!
What’s poppin, Razzpimples? If you missed my Top 20 full-bangs defensemen piece (accounting for standard cats + blocks + PIMs), you can find it right here. Below, you'll see #21-#40. After that, I'll give a list of names to watch for various reasons, but I don't see much point ranking guys when you get to that range. It'll depend on personal preference and your team build when it comes to deciding who should be our #4 or #5 defenseman. Odds are they won't stick on your roster all season anyway. Keep in mind, these rankings are for categories leagues.
We move through more defensemen today going through my Top 40.  For those that didn't see my Top 20, you can check that out here.  I have some good news before I get going with these rankings.  JKJ is going to be back!  He's going to shift his focus this season towards defensemen, similar to what he does on the baseball side of things with relief pitchers.  Look for him to be writing again in the near future, with a rebuttal to my defenseman rankings the first thing coming.  And now, let's get to it!
I've been aggressive ranking Matthew Tkachuk for years, but I never expected this type of offense from him.  Tkachuk had a hat trick on Tuesday, bringing his season totals up to 37+55 in 73 games.  He has a chance for 100 points, he's +49, the PIM are strong, and his shot rate is over three per game.  Tkachuk is pretty much having a Marchand-esque season.  That's the Marchand who has been a top five player for the past 4-5 years.  Now, I'm not quite going there with Tkachuk for next season.  Gaudreau could leave and this is an outlier in terms of past performance.  That said, he's firmly in the first round pick discussion because he smashes every category.  I can't wait to see what he does in the playoffs.  Let's take a look at what else happened the last two nights: