Remember a month ago when it was a foregone conclusion J.T. Miller was going to get traded? It sure seems like he played the Canucks into close enough contention that it’s no longer a consideration. Please, blog, may I have some more?
It wasn't the best start to the season for the defending Stanley Cup Champions, who were 4-4-1 in October. Time off before playing the Blue Jackets twice in Finland was just what they needed to get back on track. Colorado won 6-3 on Friday before winning 5-1 on Saturday. The stars led the way in both games. Nathan MacKinnon dished seven assists between the two games, Mikko Rantanen had a hat trick on Friday, totaling 3+2, while Cale Makar had a goal and four assists. Columbus is a complete disaster defensively, but it's great to see Colorado's stars continue to dominate. Sadly, their weekend ended on a somber note with the passing of Peter McNab. He was one of the best TV analysts in the league and he will be sorely missed. Thankfully, he survived his illness long enough to get to see the Avalanche win the Cup again. Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
With Tyler Bertuzzi injured and Jakub Vrana in the league's assistance program (best wishes to him), the Red Wings needed somebody to step up on left winger. Dominik Kubalik, come on down! Kubalik wasn't given a qualifying offer by the Blackhawks after last season, leaving him to sign in Detroit as a free agent. The first two weeks couldn't have gone better, especially the last weekend. Kubalik had a goal and an assist with 4 shots against the Blackhawks on Friday, before having a goal and two assists with six shots against the Ducks on Sunday. With eight points in his last four games, Kubalik is in must-own territory right now. There's no guarantee it lasts, but he's shown he can thrive next to Larkin and Kubalik has been a 30 goal scorer before, so we know he has the upside. Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
We've reached the final week of the season with every team having 2-3 games left. Hopefully you're all still in contention in your leagues so these games matter to you. In this post, I'm going to take a look at each day to see how you can plan accordingly to maximize starts and stream the best players possible. Let's get to it!
Fifty-six goals. That's how many Auston Matthews has on the season after another two goal performance on Thursday. Not only does he have the most goals in a season in Maple Leafs history, he now holds the record for most goals in a season by an US-born player. Matthews has 49 goals on 49 games, a run that hasn't happened in this millennium. He's locking up the Hart Trophy with this run, and the fantasy question is where he goes in drafts next season. I still couldn't bring myself to take Matthews over McDavid because the floor for McDavid is the highest we've seen in the fantasy hockey era, but I think Matthews has played himself into tier one being worthy of the second pick overall. Can't wait to see how Toronto performs in the playoffs this year. Let's take a look at what happened over the last two nights:
It’s that time again. Friday/Sunday stream targets to finish out the week. Get those claims in today so you don’t miss out! Unless you’re in one of them fancy same-day adds leagues. Eleven teams this week! Oh my gravy. Hard to believe both Friday and Sunday are technically still off nights with that kind of action. Note: For the sake of uniformity and convenience on my part, only players rostered in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues will be included. Also, a “***” denotes a priority stream, in my humble opinion.
Well, we have a clear winner for craziest game of the season. Toronto went up 6-1 and 7-2 going into the third, only to allow four goals in the first 5:21 of the second, only to end up pulling away from the Red Wings. 10-7! 10-7!!! Absolutely bonkers. Toronto scored ten goals and didn't even have a power play. The top line destroyed Detroit, led by Mitch Marner, who had four goals and two assists with six shots and two PIM. Michael Bunting had a goal and four assists with four shots, while Auston Matthews had a goal and three assists with four shots. Look, we know what we're getting from Marner and Matthews. Bunting I'm still torn on. Even in this game, Bunting played under 14 minutes. It's hard to sustain success with that workload. On the other hand, that line is as good as any in hockey right now, and Bunting has been going off. I'm still leaning towards elite streamer, but I can't argue with anyone holding him. Seventeen goals in a game! Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
Igor Shesterkin has been long anointed as "the next one." It turns out he's even better than I expected, and I have him at +1200 to win the Vezina. Shesterkin saved 36 of 37 shots in the 4-1 win over the Capitals on Thursday, losing his shutout with one minute left to an Ovechkin flubbed deflection. Let's face the facts. The Rangers are the good bad team. Yes, the power play is great, but they're a below average even strength team being propped up by how good Shesterkin. He's certainly the best goalie in dynasties, and for this season, it's a two man tier of Shesterkin and Vasilevskiy. If NHL players were in the Olympics, one of these guys would have been stuck backing up, probably Igor. Pretty absurd. Regardless, I'm not a first round pick goalie guy, but starting next season, I wouldn't be surprised if Igor stays in that territory for the next 5+ years. Let's take a look at the last two nights:
Those of you that have been patient holding Evander Kane for almost four months were rewarded on Saturday night. Kane played his first game of the season with the Oilers and went right on McDavid's wing. Kane scored in the first period and finished with three shots in the 7-2 win over the Canadiens. He's still available in 50% of ESPN leagues and very close to that on other sites. Kane is a must own immediately, and if you use FAAB, you should bid a large amount of your budget. Yes, he could do something stupid and be banished, but the upside is too high for him to be on waivers. Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
We don't know what's going to happen come playoff time, but the Florida Panthers have established themselves as a regular season juggernaut. After destroying the Stars 7-1 on Friday, they came back to score nine goals on Saturday, beating Columbus 9-2. Among the highlights between the two games were Sam Bennett scoring a hat trick on Friday and totaling six points between the two games, Jonathan Huberdeau having six points, and MacKenzie Weegar having a rare four point game from a defenseman on Saturday. They're clicking on all cylinders right now and that means great things in fantasy. They have ten skaters that I consider locks to be held, and another four that are quality streamers depending on team needs. Side note, I'm going to do another hold/stream list soon. Could we see the Panthers win their first playoff series since 1996? As long as their goaltending is passable, it's firmly in play despite being in a division with three elite teams. Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
The new goalie for the Bruins is the one that's been in for the last decade. Tuukka Rask made his season debut on Thursday, saving 25 of 27 shots in the 3-2 win over the Flyers. Somehow Rask is available in over 65% of leagues still, so if you're in one of them, grab him immediately. He didn't receive a ton of volume even in his prime, but I'd expect him to get 50-60% of the starts going forward which is definitely worth holding. Linus Ullmark should receive the rest of the starts. That's still enough for me to hold him as they should be quality starts now that Boston has turned the corner. Jeremy Swayman was sent to the AHL since he doesn't have to clear waivers, so he can be cut in all formats. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
It's been the longest break without playing hockey in Evgeni Malkin's career. He sure didn't show any rust in his return. Malkin was outstanding on Tuesday, scoring two goals and an assist with four shots playing 17:21 in the 4-1 win over the Ducks. Everything we wanted to see from Malkin in his season debut was there. Top power play unit? Check. Centering the second line? Check. Quality minutes? Check. He'll even have better linemates once Rust returns. I'm not expecting Malkin to be a top 20 player, but top 50 certainly seems within reach given how well the Penguins power play is clicking. If you stashed him, then you're going to make out extremely well if he can stay healthy. Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights: