On Monday, I wrote the following about James Neal: "As long as he’s on the first power play unit, Neal has a real chance to bounce back.  I wouldn’t hold him yet, but he’s a solid streaming option." And that's me quoting me copying what Grey does! Well, I hope that you streamed him on Tuesday.  Neal stayed on the first power play unit, and the time to hold him is now.  Neal scored four goals on eight shots on Tuesday, playing almost 21 minutes, in the 5-2 win over the Islanders.  Two of those goals came on the power play where it's clear Edmonton is using him as one of their primary shooters.  Am I saying Neal is going to score 40 goals again?  Definitely not.  However, the upside is too high to leave him on the waiver wire.  He's always had a quality shot rate and there's a chance of good penalty minutes on top of the goals.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
We're pushing through the halfway point today in terms of forwards as I get through the top 60.  To see my posts for the top 40 forwards, you can check that out here.  Let's get to it! 41) Jake Guentzel - Guentzel had his big regular season breakout with 40 goals and 36 assists last season.  At first, I was a little hesitant to rank Guentzel this high, but now I feel really good about.  One, he was stapled onto Crosby's wing all season.  I don't expect that to change.  Two, the shot rate took a huge jump forward in year three.  I wouldn't be surprised if he gets to 3+ per game this year.  Three, and the biggest thing, is that there's a spot for him on the first power play unit with Kessel's departure.  Guentzel had only 6 PPG and 5 PPA last season.  He could easily get to 20 PPP if he earns that spot in the preseason (his competition is Galchenyuk I guess?).  Sure, we can't expect 17.6% shooting again, but I don't expect much regression getting to play with Crosby.  I think Guentzel is a solid bet to get back to 40 goals again and boosts his assists to get up to a point per game.  He should be a solid value at this point, especially if he falls between last season's 26 PIM and his 42 in 2017-18.
Max Domi slowed down quite a bit in the middle of the schedule, but he's found his game once again.  Domi had a massive game on Tuesday, scoring two goals and three assists with three shots in the 8-1 beatdown of Detroit.  Obviously I don't want to put too much stock into one game against one of the league's bottom teams.  My guess is that this is the best season we ever seen from Domi, but he's become an easy top 100 player.  The penalty minutes are outstanding and now the shot rate has inched towards an average level, 70 points is all Domi needs to become a strong fantasy asset.  With the Canadiens battling for the playoffs, look for Domi to get big minutes down the stretch and continue to produce.  Let's take a look at what else happened on Tuesday:
The Bruins split up their first line recently and there's been one massive winner: Danton Heinen.  Heinen had a great rookie season in 2017-18 with 47 points in 77 games.  He's struggled mightily this season but Heinen has taken off since moving onto a line with Marchand and Bergeron.  Heinen had a goal and two assists with three shots against the Blackhawks on Tuesday.  That gives him three goals and three assists in the past four games, with at least three shots on goal in every game.  If you're in a 16+ teamer, Heinen should be owned no matter the format.  Even in 12'ers, I am good with holding onto Heinen while he's hot and the Bruins have three games in four nights starting on Friday.  At the least, he's moved up to elite streamer status as he's as hot of a schmotato as they come.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
It's no secret that the Ducks are a mess right now.  I said in a post last week that they're the worst team in the league at the moment, but last night's game took the cake.  Getting shutout by the Senators is as low as it gets.  Sure, Anders Nilsson played great stopping 45 shots, but a lot of them were low quality like the team taking them.  This isn't a post about Nilsson, he's barely usable.  This is a reminder that you should stream against the Ducks every time you get.  Anaheim plays against plenty of bad teams this month (Vancouver 2x, Edmonton, Chicago) yet I still wouldn't hesitate to use any of their goaltenders.  Take advantage of the Ducks every opportunity that you get.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
The trade deadline is rapidly approaching and we saw our first big move happen over the weekend.  Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann were traded to Pittsburgh for Derick Brassard, Riley Sheahan, and three draft picks.  So what does this do to their values?  Well, let's start with the easy ones.  Sheahan is fantasy irrelevant as a fourth line center.  McCann is currently playing as the third line center for Pittsburgh with Malkin down, having Pearson and Hornqvist on his wings.  With no power play time, he's a bottom end streamer, but there is some upside here.  Bjugstad is centering the second line, but even when Malkin comes back, the plan is for Kessel to be on his wing.  I'd say this gives him a small boost to his value, but I wouldn't rush to own him.  Bjugstad's situation in Florida was pretty good from a fantasy perspective.  Brassard gets the biggest boost here, but to what level?  Obviously he was a disaster in Pittsburgh since they acquired him.  Florida is starting him on the wing with Trocheck and Hoffman.  This is a huge upgrade for Brassard who becomes an elite streamer.  However, this might only last for a while as I expect Florida to flip Brassard closer to the deadline.  That means big minutes for now which is obviously great, but who knows where he gets moved.  Maybe it's somewhere that would be good for his value (e.g. Winnipeg, who tried to get him last year before Pitt did), but it could also be somewhere like Colorado or Boston which wouldn't be great.  In a deep league, I would grab Brassard immediately.  In standard leagues, I'd use him tonight against the Blues and go from here.  Here's some other observations I've made over the last few days:
In my Monday post, I called Frank Vatrano the best streamer of the night.  As simple as my rationale was, getting to play with Barkov does wonders for anyone.  Vatrano has been playing well lately, but the jump to the first line helps tremendously, and he showed how on Monday.  Vatrano scored a goal and dished three assists in the 6-2 win over the Sharks, putting five shots on goal in the process.  Normally, I'd say go get Vatrano right now to see what happens.  There's definitely upside going forward.  The problem is that the Panthers don't play again until next Friday.  For those in roto leagues, I would grab Vatrano now and stash him on your bench.  In head to head leagues, I would wait until the middle of next week unless a spot opens up on your roster due to someone going on injured reserve.  However, I definitely want Vatrano for the back-to-back next weekend, so don't wait until last minute so you avoid somebody else sniping you on him.  There's a real chance Vatrano, who was a prolific AHL goal scorer and showed upside before in Boston, could become a hold for the rest of the season.  Let's take a look at what else happened this week:
The Penguins have been on quite a tear lately, and it's not just their All-Stars.  Over the weekend, Jake Guentzel destroyed the Ducks and Kings.  In the Penguins comeback against the Ducks, Guentzel had a hat trick on seven shots with two penalty minutes, before scoring two more goals on six shots against the Kings.  That brings Guentzel to 23 goals, which is already a career high.  The shot rate has taken a big jump as well, although we can't expect him to shoot 19% all season.  Regardless, Guentzel has settled into being a top 100 player who is a clear hold in all formats.  As long as he continues to play with Crosby, things will be just fine.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
Things can change quickly in hockey.  Matt Murray led the Pens to two Stanley Cups, then struggled mightily last season and to open this year.  Now, Murray has caught fire once again.  The netminder had a 33 save shutout on Friday against the Jets.  That means in his last 6 games, he's allowed 6 goals total with his worst save percentage being .931.  We've seen the upside before, and that's of a top 5 goaltender, if not more.  First off, he's somehow available in 15% of leagues, which is absurd.  If you're lucky enough to be in one, grab him immediately.   Two, if you own Casey DeSmith, you can safely drop him.  Lastly, I doubt you'll be able to trade for him given his hot run, but I'd much rather do that than sell high.  The upside of Murray is too high to pass on, and with the Pens playing as well as they lately, the floor is fairly high too.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
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: