The Senators have been a disappointment this season despite their big forward acquisitions in the summer.  Turns out that you can't get away with completely ignoring the blue line and being forced to give bad players big minutes.  Anyways, we don't care about that for fantasy, we care about their scoring, and their top players have largely delivered.  Claude Giroux had a great weekend, totaling three goals and two assists with ten shots over two games.  Giroux is having his best goal scoring season since his monstrous 34 goal, 102 point season in 2017-18.  Unsurprisingly, that season and this season are Giroux's two highest shooting percentages, but it seems a bit more sustainable in this environment in Ottawa.  Even with an inconsistent PP1 role, Giroux has still played his way into being a bottom end hold in all formats.  The one problem is that after Ottawa's game on Tuesday, they don't play again until February 11th.  My biggest point here with bottom end holds over these bye weeks is that you need to know your league format and whether the waiver wire is strong enough that you can drop someone like Giroux to get more games.  In head to head leagues, volume is king, so you can make a case after Tuesday that you can let him go for players with a bunch of games after the All-Star break. In roto, I would hold onto Giroux without hesitation.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
There used to be a time where players received a massive fantasy boost playing with Tyler Seguin.  That time has now passed, but right now, he's getting the boost playing with Robertson.  With Hintz injured, Seguin has moved onto the first line centering Robertson and Pavelski, and he's blown up.  On Thursday against the Kings, Seguin had two goals and an assist with five shots and two PIM.  In the six games since Hintz was out of the lineup, Seguin has five goals and three assists with 22 shots on goal.  It's unclear when Hintz will be back, but until he does, Seguin is an automatic hold in all fantasy formats.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
As good as the Jets have been, Friday was a huge boost for their team.  Not only did they get Wheeler, Schmidt and Perfetti back, Nikolaj Ehlers returned for his first game since the second game of the season.  He immediately went onto a line with Pierre-Luc Dubois and Kyle Connor, and it worked out as well as it has in the past.  In the 4-2 win over the Lightning, Dubois scored two goals with four shots and four PIM, with Connor having a goal and an assist plus four PIM of his own.  Sunday was even better with Connor scoring a hat trick, Dubois dishing four assists, and Ehlers scoring a goal and two assists.  This line has the potential to be one of the best in hockey yet again, and with Dubois playing the best hockey of his career right now, it can be even better than last season.  All of them are easily top 50 players with Connor in the top 20, and the other two with the potential to push towards that, but probably a step behind that.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
It's no secret in these parts that I'm from Buffalo and root for the local teams.  I've seen plenty of devastating injuries over the years, from hockey players being severely cut, Pronger's collapse on the ice, soccer players collapsing like Eriksen in 2021, and I was at the Bills game when Kevin Everett was paralyzed.  Damar Hamlin's cardiac arrest was the first time that it felt like "life or death" on the football field.  It seemed like an eternity between first responders helping him, getting him to the hospital, and waiting for any update.  I can only imagine how it was for his family, friends, and teammates.  Here's to hoping that Hamlin continues to progress in his battle towards recovery.  The Sabres played in Washington on Tuesday night, with the entire team wearing "Love For Three" t-shirts for their Buffalo brethren.  The Sabres won the game 5-4 in the most fitting way possible.  Tage Thompson scored his third goal of the game, completing his third hat trick of the season, exactly three minutes into overtime, playing three on three, bringing him to 30 on the season, which is three off the league lead.  You can't write a better ending than that.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights while we keep Damar in our thoughts:
While I wasn't expecting a repeat of last season from Filip Forsberg, his drop off was a much higher level than it should have been.  Thankfully, he started the turn around in a massive way this weekend.  Against Anaheim on Friday, Forsberg had a goal and two assists.  He followed it up with an even better game, scoring a hat trick on six shots against the Golden Knights.  With those performances, Forsberg is on a 33+41 pace, which isn't amazing, but far more acceptable given Forsberg's shot rate.  Here's to hoping that Forsberg can keep building.  Nashville is going on a long road trip soon, which could lead to a bit more ice time for Forsberg when Hynes can't protect matchups as easily.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
What better way to become the third player ever to 800 goals than to score a hat trick?  Alex Ovechkin did just that on Tuesday, scoring three times and adding an assist against the Chicago Blackhawks.  He's only one goal behind Gordie Howe for second all-time, and then the real chase towards Gretzky starts.  Ovechkin already has 20 goals this season in 31 games, a mere 53 goal pace for the 37 year old.  He's over four shots per game, and while the plus-minus is disappointing, it's starting to turn around a bit.  My love for Ovechkin is well known in these parts, so I don't need to belabor the point, but I can't wait for the greatest goal scorer ever to push towards 895.  Here's to hoping he keeps battling father time and gives hockey fans a great chase.  Let's see what else happened over the last two nights:
One of the goaltending performances of the season came in the marquee showdown on Tuesday.  Toronto sure didn't make it easy on Matt Murray, taking seven penalties, but Murray stood up to the challenge and then some.  Murray had a 44 save shutout, leading Toronto to a 4-0 victory.  I thought the Toronto goaltending would be rough this season, but Murray has been very good when on the ice.  Same goes with Ilya Samsonov.  It could fall apart just like it did for Campbell last season, but the reason I liked these guys as #2 goalies is their floor is so high because of wins.  When Toronto gets this level of goaltending, it's extremely hard to beat them.  Here's to hoping Murray can stay healthy because he could be a big difference maker in fantasy.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
As fun as it is to make fun of Toronto's Stanley Cup drought, it's very impressive when somebody breaks one of their major records.  On Saturday, Mitch Marner did just that, getting a point in his 19th consecutive game, scoring twice on five shots.  Toronto fans love to make Marner their whipping boy, but this should give him a respite until the playoffs come along.  The shot rate is slowly creeping back up for Marner, which is a necessity if he's going to approach last season's point total.  He's a bit behind at even strength, but he's managed to be even better on the power play.  Marner is as safe as it gets in fantasy at this point and remains in the top 20.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
The Jets have been excellent to open the season, but that hasn't stopped them from tweaking things to get better.  On Friday, we saw Bowness go back to last season's duo of Pierre-Luc Dubois and Kyle Connor together, something I've been clamoring for.  They notched one goal on Friday by Connor from Dubois, but they went off against Chicago on Sunday.  Dubois had two goals on eight shots, while Connor had a goal and two assists with two shots.  I've been saying it was a matter of time for Connor to get going, and I think that time is now.  He's too talented to not pile up goals.  Dubois has been quite good across the board so far this season, but career highs are now in play.  The shot rate is fantastic, the PIM are strong, and he's playing at a 40 goal pace.  It sucks that they're missing Ehlers indefinitely so they don't have a great second winger, but even still, look for these guys to improve their even strength performance while remaining great on the power play.  Let's see what else happened over the weekend:
Remember when the Devils fans were chanting "Fire Lindy" two games into the season?  My, how the tides have turned.  The Devils have won 13 of 14 since, including 10 in a row.  The most recent win was 5-1 against the Canadiens on Tuesday with their star players leading the way.  Jack Hughes scored twice on seven shots and added an assist in the victory.  Hughes now has multiple points in six of his last ten games, and is pushing 4.5 shots on goal per game.  Even with a lack of penalty minutes, that's enough to be the top 20 player that I ranked him as before the season.  The future is incredibly bright in New Jersey with two elite defensemen prospects coming to support the excellent foundation in place.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Mikhail Sergachev had the game of the weekend, scoring two goals and two assists on three shots in the 6-3 win over the Capitals.  However, I was starting this post with Sergachev after watching the first ten minutes of the game.  Sergachev moved to the first power play unit and immediately delivered, with one goal and one primary assist coming there.  That is a massive boon to his value.  Whether it lasts, who is to say?  I would bet against it staying that way for the whole season, which is why I wouldn't panic if I owned Victor Hedman.  However, in the short term, this is enough to make Sergachev a #2 defenseman in a 12 man league, with upside to be a #1.  Getting to feed Stamkos and Kucherov for shots over and over again is a godsend to fantasy value.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
To say the injuries are piling up on Washington is an understatement.  They have six players on IR plus Orlov missed Monday's game.  The salaries of these players combines to over $40 million.  Washington pulled off the upset over the Oilers on Monday on the back of their power play.  Four of the five Capital goals came on the power play, with Evgeny Kuznetsov leading the charge with two goals, two assists, four shots and two PIM playing over 20 minutes.  It hasn't been the best start to the season for Kuz, but this will certainly help.  It's also encouraging that he has 3+ shots in five of his last seven games.  If I owned Kuz in fantasy, I would be patient.  With the lack of depth Washington is dealing with, the minutes should get back up towards the 20:17 he averaged last season.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights: