If you would told me before the season that the Canadiens would be in a playoff spot at the halfway point of the season, I'd have guessed that Carey Price was playing at a Vezina level Yet, here we are with Price struggling and the Canadiens succeeding. However, we've seen a few good starts lately from Price, with his best coming on Thursday. Price stopped all 33 Canucks shots in the 2-0 win over Vancouver. So what do we make of Price? Well, this game was the second of a back-to-back for Vancouver, who lost their rookie phenom, so I don't take much away from this. His other really good games were against Arizona and Chicago; not exactly powerhouses. I feel a little bit better about Price than I did before the season starting, but only to the point that I view him as a middling to bottom end #2 goalie. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
It took a few injuries, but we finally had some goaltender movement. Petr Mrazek, who appeared to be Detroit's franchise goalie less than two years ago, is now a member of the Flyers. In return, Detroit received two conditional draft picks. Best case scenario, they'll get a 2nd and 3rd round picks. Worst case, they only get a 4th. So what is the fantasy impact? I've been writing for a few weeks that Mrazek should be owned everywhere because he was finally playing well. That's clear as day now going to a much better situation in Philly, so grab him if he's still available. As for in Detroit, it should be Jimmy Howard's show. He has a .910 save percentage this season, which is closer to his career norm than last season's .927 in 26 games. I don't see him as being much more than a desperation play going forward outside of the best matchups. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
The Razzball ranking committee of one (yours truly) has long been a fan of Brayden Schenn. Mid 20's in goals, about 30 assists, solid PIM, and elite special teams points made Schenn a main stay around the 100 overall mark in his time in Philadelphia. With the move to St. Louis in the offseason, I wrote the following about Schenn in my preseason rankings: "Schenn’s success will come down to two things: can he improve his even strength play in St. Louis while sustaining his power play prowess?" Well, the power play points are slightly behind the past, but my god is Schenn crushing at even strength. Schenn scored a hat trick on Tuesday night leading the Blues to a 4-3 win over Montreal. That gives Schenn 13+20 in 28 games this season, along with a mind-blowing +22 rating and elite penalty minutes. Schenn's career high in a season is 37 even strength points; he already has 25 this year! Even the biggest of Schenn optimists couldn't have seen this coming as he's pushing for the #1 forward spot in all of fantasy hockey. Kudos to everyone who drafted Schenn in the early to middle rounds and here's to continued success for the top six in St. Louis. Here's what else happened the last two nights around the league:
The Tampa Bay Lightning head into the 2017-18 season looking to get back into the playoffs following an extremely disappointing 2016-17. After two deep runs in the playoffs, the Lightning couldn't overcome a plethora of injuries, causing them to miss the playoffs by a single point. Picking them to make the Stanley Cup Finals in the presesason didn't work out so well for me. Anyways, a healthy team should have no problem making the playoffs again but some puzzling offseason moves leave me a bit concerned of their overall upside. From a fantasy perspective, Tampa has their usual set of elite options with some new supplemental pieces. Additionally, we finally have a clear goaltending situation with Andrei Vasilevskiy, one of my favorite targets, getting full time duties. Let's take a look at what Tampa Bay is working with:
I have a question for everyone reading this. Is two 4 point games in a week good? That's what Nikita Kucherov has done after Tampa's blowout of the Islanders on Tuesday. Kucherov stuffed the stat sheet with two goals, two assists, five shots and two penalty minutes in the 6-1 win. That now puts him in a tie for the league lead in points with 12 in 9 games. Yeah, this kid is really good and at 23 years old, it's only going to get better. That's why he was 18th overall for me in the preseason and is a borderline top 10 player in dynasties. With his time on ice and the power of the Lightning offense, it's going to be a great year for Kucherov owners. Let's take a look at what happened around the league on Tuesday night before we close things out with Wednesday streamers.
A season after making the Stanley Cup finals, the Tampa Bay Lightning put up a valiant effort in their attempt to return. Unfortunately, they ran into the buzzsaw that was the Pittsburgh Penguins and fell in the Conference Finals. Nevertheless, I think that last season was a rousing success for them. They didn't have Steven Stamkos throughout the playoffs due to a blood clot and now they have him locked up for 8 more seasons at a very good price. The emergence of Jonathan Drouin following a holdout also brings optimism for a return to the Cup finals. They still have some work to do figuring out parts of the roster but they're positioned to be a contender for years to come. As expected with a contender, there are plenty of fantasy options to choose from so let's take a look!
Today is the NHL trade deadline (more on that later!) but there’s a good chance that the biggest name that moves went yesterday. After being with Carolina since they drafted him in 2003, Eric Staal was traded away from his brother Jordan to join up with his brother Marc for the New York Rangers. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Brad Marchand is really good at his job. He looks like a troll, plays like a troll by starting things while teetering on the edge of dirty and now, he’s trolling us all with his offensive prowess. Please, blog, may I have some more?
At this point, it's about time we recognize that Artemi Panarin isn't just riding Patrick Kane's coattails. On Wednesday, the rookie vaulted himself into a tie for 5th in the league in points, scoring a hat trick to lead the Blackhawks to a 5-3 victory against the Rangers. It was a 3-3 game with 3 minutes left until Panarin scored to take the lead and then he sealed it with an empty netter. He now has 22 goals and 35 assists with solid numbers in the other categories. As long as voters don't punish him for being 24 years old, Panarin should run away with the Calder. He's gone from a late round flier this year to a slam dunk top 50 asset going forward that's probably closer to the top 25 than 50. Here's what else I saw around the league the last two nights:
On Wednesday, one of my streamers for the day was Beau Bennett with his recent promotion to the first line. Well, Beau knows! Bennett buried two goals on six shots in the Penguins win over the Oilers. He's available in almost all leagues and I'd look to stream him again tonight against the Kings. He has a ton of upside that he's shown in flashes in the past and if this role sticks, this streamer could turn into somebody you keep on your roster for the rest of the season. Here's what else I saw the last two nights: