It's hard to find a bigger fan of Blake Wheeler than yours truly.  He's been excellent for years, and while he is showing some signs of aging, he's remained incredibly productive.  Wheeler scored a goal and dished three assists in the 7-4 win over the Avalanche, adding two penalty minutes.  Wheeler now has 7+48 in 42 games, a very strong point total.  So where's the concern?  Well, seven goals obviously isn't great, and his shot rate is closer to 2.5 now than 3 per game.  Add in a career low shooting percentage and you can see why he's on pace for only 14 goals.  He's still solid in PIM and has been a quality +/- player for a long time, so he'll still be a top 50 player for a few years.  However, it would be a mistake to expect Wheeler to be a top 20 player again going forward.  Here's a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
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:
The St. Louis Blues have been one of the most disappointing teams in the league through the first two months, and that continued on Sunday.  The Canucks destroyed them 6-1 and they were led by their two young stars.  Brock Boeser scored a hat trick on four shots to go along with a +5 rating.  Boeser has had some massive games this season to along with a lot of blanks, which makes him a prime GPP target most nights.  With 9+8 in 19 games with over three shots per game, Boeser is an elite option in all formats.  The Canucks future looks very bright, especially with the California teams all on a downward trajectory, and Boeser is at the forefront with Pettersson (more on him later).  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
When we think about Tom Wilson going wild, it usually refers to him doing something dirty and piling up penalty minutes.  Don't get me wrong, he's still getting penalty minutes, but he's been fabulous offensively since returning from suspension.  Wilson scored two goals and an assist with six shots and two PIM in the 4-1 win over the Islanders on Monday.  In his eight games, Wilson has 6+6 with a +6 rating, 11 PIM and 21 SOG.  He's also averaging over 20 minutes per night.  There's no doubt about it, Wilson should be owned in all formats right now.  He's still available in about 1/3rd of leagues, so if you're lucky enough to be in one of them, pounce immediately.  Obviously he's not going to stay at a point per game, but the offensive will be solid with this workload, and we know the PIM will be glorious.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
All of the people who have read me since I started writing here three seasons ago (it's going by quick!) knows how big of a fan I am of Dr. Bo Horvat.  In a game where the Canucks were massive underdogs in Boston, Horvat led the Canucks to a major upset, scoring two goals and two assists with four shots and six PIM in the 8-5 win over the Bruins.  That brings Horvat's totals to an outstanding 9+6 in 17 games with 19 PIM and around 2.5 shots per game.  All of the attention is going to Elias Pettersson, and he deserves plenty of it, but Pettersson's arrival finally puts Horvat in a role that he can thrive in.  Yes, Horvat has been fairly luck to this point in terms of on-ice shooting percentage, but he's doing the heavy lifting and still producing plenty offensively.  The question isn't whether Horvat is a hold or not, it's how high his ceiling is.  I don't see a top 50 player, at least not until his linemates improve, but with how the Canucks are playing, he should be a top 100 player.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
The scores of some of the games over the last two days may have been surprising, but nothing compares to Mike Smith going into Smashville and shutting out the Predators.  Smith stopped 43 shots he faced in the 3-0 win over the NHL's Stanley Cup favorite.  So what do we make of Smith?  Well, facing 43 shots isn't a recipe for success.  On the other hand, the Flames have a lot of star power, and Bill Peters has a system that generally leads to puck possession (the downfall in Carolina was goaltending, plain and simple).  Smith gave up a bunch of goals to Vancouver last week, so these three games sum him up perfectly.  You never know what you're going to get, and it's going to make for a wild ride in head to head leagues.  At the end of the day in roto leagues, he should be a solid #2, especially given the volume he's likely to get.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the past two nights:
Lackeydrinksonme back again, helping out big John at the bar. This is my fourth and final in a series of fantasy hockey skater rankings. As I mentioned, I use 17-18 stats including points per game, points/TOI, Wins Above Replacement, Expected Goals and Actual Goals, and Offensive Point Shares, among others. I also use the eye test, and I try to consider what team a player is on, their expected linemates, and where they are in their careers. I also try to include my rationale, and for most players will offer a prediction on year end points. Like Viz indicated, once you get past the first few names there can be very little separation between certain players, and this obviously isn’t meant to be a comprehensive or be-all end-all ranking. Rather, it’s to give you another perspective on where players are being valued, and might reinforce an idea you have about a skater or surprise you with some analysis. I’ll gladly take questions in the comment section.
Hey guys, Sven here and we are shipping up to Boston for the third instalment of 31 in 31! Over the next month, I will be taking a look at each team’s players to watch out for going into the 2018-19 fantasy hockey season: The 31 in 31 daily segment. This analysis features everything from surefire studs, to sleepers, to prospects that may make an appearance at some point this season. Please let me know if you guys enjoy this type of material!  Reminder that the stat totals are from last season.