We’ve made it! There’s four games on the slate tonight, all of which are rivalry games. And I don’t mean fake rivalries that NBCSN uses every Wednesday! I’m going to look at a few different things in this post. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Hey everyone! Last year's trade deadline post was a hit so I'm back updating all of the latest trades and providing instant analysis. Reid will also be giving his thoughts as well that I will add into this post with mine. An hour or so after the deadline, we will record a podcast that will go up Thursday morning recapping everything in more detail. Anyways, I'll recap everything that happened before 1 AM EST now and starting around 10-11 AM later today, I will start updating this post as trades happen. As always, post any questions or comments in the section below or we will answer them. Let's get to it!
For most of the season, I've talked about why I wouldn't want to own Semyon Varlamov. Long story short, I don't trust the Avalanche to play defense well enough to prevent Varlamov from having a high goals against average. Well, the counter to that is Varlamov is a very good goaltender who can carry his team to wins. It happened twice this weekend. On Friday, he stopped 33 of 34 shots to beat the Blues 2-1 in a shootout, then he came back Saturday to make 42 saves against the Stars in a 3-1 victory. Even after these games, his goals against average is below league average but his save percentage is strong and he's top 10 in the league in wins. There's still plenty of value in a goalie like Varlamov, you just need to balance it by having an elite goalie to carry you in goals against average. Here's what else I saw around the league this weekend:
For the last few years, Connor Hellebuyck has been one of the best goaltending prospects in hockey. The former fifth round pick blossomed after being drafted and starred for the United States team in the World Junior Championships last year with a record of 7-1 and a GAA of 1.37 and .948 sv%. While that's clearly unsustainable, he posted a .921 sv% last year in the AHL on an IceCaps team that played wide open. With the injury to Ondrej Pavelec, Hellebuyck was called up to Winnipeg and promptly won two games giving up one goal in each. Yesterday, he stopped 32 of 33 shots in the Jets beatdown of Toronto. I don't have much to base this off of but I have a feeling Hellebuyck takes this opportunity and runs with it. I'm picking him up everywhere I can on the chance that he does; if he doesn't, he'll at least be a great fill-in in the meantime. Here's what else I saw on a short Wednesday slate:
Out of all players, Devan Dubnyk was on the most fantasy hockey championship teams last season. Dubnyk went from waiver wire fodder to start the season to arguably the best goalie in the league once he went to Minnesota. He started off slow this season in the percentages while accumulating wins but has started to turn things around, including a 23 save shutout against the Predators on Saturday. His numbers are starting to improve and should only get better behind a strong Wild team. He won't approach last year's totals, those are completely unsustainable, but he should still push towards being a top 10 goalie come the end of the season. Here's what else happened on an action packed weekend:
Marv: Welcome back everyone, well to the six guys and one girl who read our Buy/Sell articles. I have to say it has been a pretty interesting start to the season. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, well you clearly are not taking advantage of Viz’s daily recaps & articles. The guy has something up almost every day. So what’s your plan? Do you want to win your league or just contribute to someone else’s winnings each year? Oh yeah, can you feel it coming on? I feel a rant brewing, bubbling, I probably won’t be able to keep it in much longer…
Surprise! I said yesterday that I wasn't going to have an article today but instead of posting my streamers in the comments section, I will post a short, separate article with my top options. I said here that Leon Draisaitl was a must-add right now. While his ownership is increasing rapidly, he's still only 36% owned on ESPN. He gets an amazing matchup against Philly and to make it even better, it's at home with Philly on a back to back. He's locked into the top line with Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and the top power play unit. Here's a look at some other guys who are available in most leagues that can help you out tonight:
When you look at the Montreal Canadiens' roster, I see a quality team with three superstars, but not a team that amazes you on paper. Right now, you have a team that's clicking on all cylinders, starting 9-0 with every win in regulation. Even when they get outplayed, like they did on Saturday, they have Carey Price to bail them out. Price stopped 49 of 52 shots to carry Montreal to a 5-3 in the second game of a back to back. If you were bold enough to take him in the first round, it's paying off so far. Hell, almost all Canadiens have been great so far and are carrying fantasy teams in plus-minus by themselves. Let's take a look at what happened in a busy weekend around the league:
Jaroslav Halak has had an up and down career. He broke onto the scene in Montreal carrying the eight seed to the conference finals, between powerhouses Washington and Montreal, to get there. Then, Montreal traded him to St. Louis where he always had good win totals and GAA but a poor save percentage. Last year, he ended up on the Islanders where he had a career regular season. He missed the first few games this year but came back late last week and posted a shutout last night against the 0-7 Blue Jackets. Even though they've lost every game, Columbus has been scoring goals, so a 37 save shutout is quite impressive. Expect him to be the workhorse for the Islanders now and to post great numbers across the board. Here's what else happened on Tuesday (and the one game Monday):
If it wasn't for a late injury last season, Tyler Seguin would have almost certainly led the NHL in points. Instead, his teammate and linemate for most of the year, Jamie Benn, won the Art Ross trophy. Stars coach Lindy Ruff put newly acquired Patrick Sharp on the wing with Seguin and Benn the last two games, and there were immediate dividends. On Saturday, in a 4-2 win, Seguin had 2 goals and 2 assists, Benn had 2 goals and an assist and Sharp had 2 assists. If these three stick together, and there's no reason to expect them to be separated, they're going to be the best line in hockey this season and carry the Stars back into the postseason as a legitimate threat. Here's what else I saw this weekend: