Man, the Kings could be in trouble very soon. Yes, they still have their superstar players but the roster gets thin very quickly. They were absolutely destroyed by their rival San Jose in the first round last season and it shouldn't come as much surprise. The Sharks neutralized their top 6 and killed the Kings with their depth. While the actual team has question marks because Dean Lombardi can't fill out a roster (just his team USA decisions), there are still plenty of fantasy studs on this team along with a couple interesting players. Let's take a look at what they're working with:
Both players talked about how the game was bigger than them but all eyes were on Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel on Tuesday night. McDavid stole the show scoring 22 seconds into the game and then scoring the overtime winner to lead the McDavids over the Eichels Oilers over the Sabres 2-1. McDavid added five shots and pushed his total to 31 points in 28 games. It's remarkable how good the wunderkind is already and I think it's fair to say he'll be a first round pick in fantasy drafts starting next year already. Here's what I saw around the league on Tuesday night:
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?
We are only a few days away from the trade deadline and the first big trade piece is off the market. The Jets moved their captain Andrew Ladd and sent him to the team they acquired him from in 2010, Chicago. The Blackhawks paid a massive price for the rental sending a first round pick, a conditional third, and Marko Dano. If you remember in the preseason, Dano was my favorite sleeper after he came on strong at the end of last season in Columbus. With Bryan Little out for the season, I expect Dano to be in Winnipeg right away. If that's the case, he's immediately worth consideration in 12'ers because his upside is through the roof. Ladd will go on the first line in Chicago on Jonathan Toews' wing which is also a big boost to his value. This is another trade, like the Columbus and Nashville blockbuster, that is a win for all players from a fantasy perspective. Here's what I saw on the ice the last two nights around the league:
How good is Joe Thornton? The answer is pretty, pretty good <Larry David voice>. The future Hall of Famer is back in the top 10 in the league in scoring after a big night against the Blues on Monday. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Say the title five times fast, you won't! Alliteration aside, Ben Bishop brought an end to the Blackhawks 12 game winning streak on Thursday, stopping 17 of 18 shots to extend the Lightning's winning streak to 7. Despite all of their struggles, the Lightning are only one point out of first place in the Atlantic and they have Bishop to thank. He's top 10 in the league in goals against, save percentage and wins, including 2nd in the leagues in goals against average. He hasn't been mentioned as a Vezina candidate but he has earned the right to be in the conversation. Here's what else I saw the last two nights around the league:
Unfortunately for the hockey world, the biggest news to come out of Monday's games was that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will be out for "a long time" after blocking a shot with his hand against the Panthers. He managed to get an assist before the injury putting him at 30 points on the year, not great but solid. It's terrible for the Oilers as they were about to get healthy with Connor McDavid close to returning. In redrafts, you can stash RNH on IR but if you don't have the IR spots, you can safely cut him. Obviously hold onto him in dynasties. As far as the value of the other Oilers, I don't think anyone takes a hit since McDavid will slide right into that slot. If anything, I would argue there's a winner here and it's Leon Draisaitl. The German should have kept a role in the top 6 even with McDavid back but now it's a certainty that he remains at center on the top line. Here's some info on the players who did something fantasy relevant last night:
Okay, halfway point coming up. Which means it’s time to give some serious thought toward certain players who had either a terrible or amazing first half, and ask yourself whether or not the cold player will improve, the hot player will decline, or if they will simply keep up the same pace. I’ll be focusing on the forward lines this week, with goalies and defenseman articles coming up as we near the All-Star break.
I talked about Leo Komarov at length in two places yesterday here. In the stream section of my article, I said the following: "He’s much more highly owned than my normal stream calls but I don’t understand why he’s available in over 60% of leagues. The Leafs should control the game against the Avs (everyone does against the Avs) so Uncle Leo should get some chances." Then he went out and had his best game of the season, scoring two goals on five shots while adding an assist and two PIM. I love it when I'm right! If you didn't do so, grab Komarov immediately because he has another prime matchup tonight against the Coyotes. Here's what else I saw on a busy Monday night:
It wasn't that long ago that Jeff Skinner scored 30 goals in a season. The 23 year old has already done it twice; in his rookie year and two seasons ago. Skinner was off to a dreadful start this year with 5 goals and 2 assists in his first 25 games. Now, Skinner is on fire, scoring a hat trick on Friday against the Ducks and dishing an assist on Saturday against the Coyotes. With 9 shots total in the two games, Skinner is almost up to 3 shots per game and has more goals in the last 5 games (6) than in the previous 25. He's a must own right now given his history of goal scoring in bunches. Here's what else I saw in a busy weekend: