The Blues have cooled off a bit since their hot start, but that doesn't mean that all of their players have. Pavel Buchnevich tore it up over the weekend, scoring a goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM on Friday before coming back with two goals and an assist with five shots on Saturday. Buch is crushing it across the board on the seasons now with 8+8, 18 PIM and 58 shots in 19 games. Add in a +8 rating and he's a top 20 forward at the moment. Do I expect that to last? No, but his fit in St. Louis couldn't be better and now he's getting plenty of minutes, especially with David Perron out of the lineup. Somehow, he's still available in over 20% of leagues which is blasphemous. He has a real chance at being a top 50 player this year. Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
Jeff Skinner scored 40 goals in 2018-19 playing on the first line with the Sabres. Then, for no reason at all, Ralph Krueger decided that Skinner shouldn't play on the first line anymore. Last season, Krueger thought that Skinner, on a team devoid of talent, should play on the fourth line, or even be scratched. Needless to say, Krueger was one of the worst coaches in the league and quickly lost his job. Since Don Granato took over, Skinner has been back in the role he should be, and he's been thriving in the early part of this season. Skinner scored two goals and added an assist on Saturday against the Maple Leafs. He has 5+4 in 14 games so far with a whopping 47 shots on goal. The shot volume will go a long way towards Skinner finding his goal scoring touch again. I don't think he's a slam dunk hold in 12'ers just yet, but he's an elite streamer with clear upside in his role. Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
To say Jacob Markstrom finished October on fire would be an understatement. Markstrom had a 20 save shutout against the Flyers on Saturday, his third in the past four games. The Flames are off to a great start with Markstrom at the forefront. He's saved nine goals above expected over in the last four. He's a clear workhorse which is why I had him a bottom end #1 goalie going into the season, but the upside is higher than that because of the volume. Who knows, maybe he puts together a top five season because of how Sutter wants to play. Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
There was plenty of craziness on Thursday night, but the Detroit-Tampa game takes the cake. The Red Wings took the lead 6-3 in the third on the back of four, count them four, Tyler Bertuzzi goals, only to blow the game and lose in overtime 7-6. Bertuzzi looks to be a solid streamer, but it's going to take a lot more to hold him. He's been inconsistent in the past, and he's unvaccinated. That means he won't be able to play any games in Canada. The Red Wings already have a one off in Montreal next Saturday and another game in Toronto the week after. It's simply too hard to hold a player that's missing games for something other than an injury. Let's take a look at what else happened on the ice on Thursday night:
With the season less than a week away, it's time to give some bold predictions. I have 5 from JKJ that I'll start with and comment on then italics before I do 10 predictions of my own. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section on any of these! JKJ's Five Bold Predictions: 1) Philipp Grubauer finishes outside fantasy's Top 10 goalies (standard formats). Riding the Colorado coattails last season and playing for an expansion team this season will catch up to him.
Howdy, hockey nerds! We're off to the Eastern Conference team previews now, and on tap today we've got the Canes, the Jackets, the Devils, and the Isles. The rest of the Metro will come tomorrow, then it'll be the Atlantic to close out the week and the series. If you wanna refresh the ol' noggin on all teams Western Conference, links are right down yonder:
We're moving out from the crease to the blue liners in my rankings. Today, I'll be going through the top 20 defensemen with the Top 40 coming out later in the week. Let's get right to it! 1) Cale Makar - Covered in the Top 20 overall here. 2) Dougie Hamilton - The top defenseman last season by a fairly wide margin, Hamilton moved from Carolina to New Jersey. It's a little worrisome, but I still expect big things from Dougie. I wouldn't be surprised if Hamilton ends up getting more minutes than he did while he was in Carolina.
I've run out of superlatives to describe Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. I don't even like starting posts with them because everyone knows how good they are, but this weekend's play deserves the big praise. McDavid had two goals and an assist with three shots on Saturday, while Draisaitl had two assists with a shot and two PIM. Those games were horrible compared to their explosion on Sunday. McDavid scored a goal and dished four assists while Draisaitl had six assists! They were already the top two in the league in points before Sunday's games. Now, they're lapping the field at the end of January. It's a treat to watch these guys on a nightly basis, and even better if you have one of them on your fantasy team. With the way the rest of the North division plays, what's the ceiling for points for these guys? 90? 100? It sounds ridiculous in 56 games, but they're at another level at the moment and they won't have a tough defensive team to play in their entire division. Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
Injuries and COVID absences didn't stop Carolina from shutting down the Lightning on Tuesday night. It started with Petr Mrazek in net who stopped all 32 shots that he faced to earn the win. That's two shutouts already in three starts already for Mrazek. It's to the point where I feel comfortable playing him in every start where going into the season, I didn't want to use him against the other top teams in the Central. We've seen the upside before in Detroit and even though that was a while ago, the system in place in Carolina should make Mrazek's burden relatively easy. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
With only one game on the slate on Monday, I'll be completing my hold/stream list today. For the Central and West divisions, you can find that here. I'll be back on Wednesday doing daily notes once again. Let's get to the list! NORTH DIVISION CALGARY FLAMES Hold: Gaudreau, Lindholm, Monahan, Tkachuk, Andersson, Giordano Stream: Backlund, Dube