Remember when the Kraken took Vitek Vanecek in the expansion draft and then traded him right back to Washington?  Imagine where Washington would be if they only had Samsonov.  Vanecek had a 36 save shutout in the 4-0 win over the Hurricanes.  He missed some time recently, but Vanecek is approaching a 2.30/.920 line.  He's been miles better than Samsonov despite Samsonov winning at a much higher clip.  Amazingly, Vanecek is still available in over 70% of leagues at the time of this writing.  I'm not saying that he's going to be a workhorse, but Vanecek will be splitting at the very least, and his numbers are clearly good enough to hold.  This season has been quite encouraging for Vanecek's long term prospects as well.  He's not a lock to be the Washington goalie of the future, but it's certainly in play now.  At the least, he looks the part of a capable tandem.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
We don't know what's going to happen come playoff time, but the Florida Panthers have established themselves as a regular season juggernaut.  After destroying the Stars 7-1 on Friday, they came back to score nine goals on Saturday, beating Columbus 9-2.  Among the highlights between the two games were Sam Bennett scoring a hat trick on Friday and totaling six points between the two games, Jonathan Huberdeau having six points, and MacKenzie Weegar having a rare four point game from a defenseman on Saturday.  They're clicking on all cylinders right now and that means great things in fantasy.  They have ten skaters that I consider locks to be held, and another four that are quality streamers depending on team needs.  Side note, I'm going to do another hold/stream list soon.  Could we see the Panthers win their first playoff series since 1996?  As long as their goaltending is passable, it's firmly in play despite being in a division with three elite teams.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
It wasn't hard to figure out who to feature in the opening paragraph tonight.  Andre Burakovsky started off the weekend with two goals on six shots against the Red Wings and finished it off with a hat trick on six shots against the Panthers.  That brings Burakovsky to 12+8 in 24 games on the season, quite the respectable total.  He's still available in 40% of leagues and that needs to change immediately.  With Gabriel Landeskog out for two weeks, Burakovsky is playing on the top line and top power play unit.  That's enough to make him must own in all formats, and he showed why on Sunday, getting a hat trick in a tough matchup.  It should be an excellent December for Burakovsky and hopefully it continues into the New Year.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
The Maple Leafs went into the season wanting to limit the workload of their goaltending duo, but things have gone off the rails in the first month.  The good news is that if you own Jack Campbell in fantasy, you're reaping all of the benefits.  Campbell had a shutout against Nashville on Wednesday, saving 24 shots.  Is a 1.68/.943 good?  I had Campbell ranked as a top 10 goalie going into the season, but now, he's looking like a top 5 guy.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
It's no secret that I think Nikolaj Ehlers is the best forward on the Jets and it's not much of a debate.  Ehlers stole the show on Tuesday night, tying the game with the goalie pulled, only to score 19 seconds later and win the game for Winnipeg.  Ehlers had an assist earlier in the game bringing him up to 2+2 in six games.  The big thing is that he has 25 shots in six games.  Ehlers is an absolute stud and the points are going to keep flowing in.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Razzball favorite Oliver Bjorkstrand had his second 3+ point game of the young season on Thursday, dishing three assists and adding two shots in the 3-2 OT win over the Islanders.  That's seven points in four games and the equally encouraging sign is that Bjorkstrand played over 20 minutes in this game.  He's owned in almost every league like he should be, but the upside may be even higher than I gave Bjorkstrand credit for.  I have no doubt that the goals are going to come, but the playmaking has improved leaps and bounds over the last season plus.  I don't think he can quite get to being a top 50 player in a best case scenario, but top 75 is attainable.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
I certainly won't be doing any victory laps after the first weekend, but Sam Bennett made me look good on Saturday, scoring a hat trick on six shots in the 5-1 win over the Islanders.  Bennett finds himself in the same role as last season when he blew up after the trade deadline.  Remarkably, he's still available in 40% of leagues on ESPN.  I assume nobody that reads my posts would be in a league where Bennett is on the waiver wire, but if he is, grab him right now.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
Hey, Razzballers! We've made it to our final round of stops: the Atlantic Division. It's a two-day journey, where today I'll be taking you through Boston, Buffalo, Detroit, and then circle back southeast for Florida. Lot of ground to cover in one day but thankfully we won't stay long in Buffalo or Detroit. Not much to see. Tomorrow, our final four stops together shall commence: Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, and Tampa Bay. Need a refresher on all the previews thus far? Have at it:
Things have changed quite a bit with goaltending in the NHL since I started writing at Razzball. When I started, there were tons of workhorses with very few teams using a platoon.  Now, more than half of the teams have a duo where the backup is getting at least 1/3 of the starts, if not a complete split.  Among the few workhorses that we have left, there are only six that I completely trust to be a #1 goalie this year.  I am breaking down all of the goalies in the NHL into tiers (and ranking them within in each tier), but be sure to understand how your league format can change the value of certain players.  For example, if you're in a head to head league, Marc-Andre Fleury is going to be more valuable than in a roto league because the volume should be there.  In a roto league where you have a set number of starts, someone like Ilya Sorokin, who, barring injury, should start 35-40 games, gets a boost because the quality of starts matters a lot more than volume.  If you have specific questions, ask them in the comments section, but I'll have a quick note on everyone when necessary.  Let's get to it!
Injuries have robbed us of an amazing Cale Makar season.  The good news is that he's back now and dominating games on a consistent basis.  Makar had three assists with four shots in Colorado's 5-2 win over the Ducks on Monday.  That brings Makar up to a point per game on the season with a +12 rating in 22 games that isn't a fluke at all.  We've seen a slight uptick in his shot rate this season, but a big jump there is what it will take for Makar to move into being a top five defenseman instead of being a middling to bottom end #1.  With how well he plays in his age 22 season, I have no doubt that it's coming.  For dynasties, I think he has to be the top defenseman.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
One of my bold predictions from the season that already looks awful is that Chicago would be the worst team in the league.  Their season has turned around on the back of somebody who was expected to be a tertiary option.  Kevin Lankinen was third fiddle going into the season behind Delia and Subban, but that has changed quickly.  Lankinen stopped 34 of 35 shots that he faced on Tuesday in the 2-1 OT win over the Stars.  That brings Lankinen's save percentage to above .930 and a GAA approaching two.  I didn't imagine a Chicago goalie would even be worth streaming this season outside of playing against Detroit, but Lankinen has played his way into being an easy hold.  Will it last?  It's impossible to say with goalies.  Either way, he should he held until he cools off, assuming that eventually happens.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
It's time to get rolling with my fantasy hockey rankings.  Instead of starting with my top 10 and going from there, I'm going to be starting with goaltenders today, defensemen Tuesday, and then forwards and my top 200 by the end of the week.  I will be ranking the guys in order, but I am putting more focus on tiers than the exact rankings of players.  I will be writing in detail about guys that I aggressive with in my rankings, either because I like them a lot or also don't want anything to do with them.  Let's get to it!