It's been very up and down this year for Sean Monahan but as we approach the end of the year, his numbers are exactly in line with last season. After scoring a goal and adding two assists on Monday night against the Coyotes, Monahan is sitting at 27+32 with 184 shots on goal after 31+31 and 191 last season. With six games left, it looks like he will slightly best last season's big breakout. The 21 year old isn't going to end up a top 20 player, that's not his offensive ceiling and he doesn't contribute in penalty minutes (16 this year is a career high) but he should be around 50th overall in drafts next year since there's a good chance he can get to 70 points with some progression. Here's what else I saw around the league on Monday night:
Both divisions in the Western Conference are in the midst of a three way battle that will have a major impact throughout the playoffs. The Blackhawks found themselves playing three games in a row against their competitors and lost their third in a row. The Blackhawks were thoroughly dominated on Monday night by the Kings, losing 5-0 at home. Jonathan Quick posted the shutout for L.A. stopping all 32 shots he faced. Quick is currently the number 4 fantasy goaltender on the season with better numbers across the board than last season. The Kings remained in first in the Pacific while the Blackhawks remained in third. They have overcome being on the road before but it still makes things quite difficult for Chicago. On the other hand, the Kings getting home ice, a situation they're rarely in, would be a nice bonus against the Ducks or Sharks. Expect Quick to get the majority of the starts down the stretch to be one of the biggest difference makers in the fantasy playoffs. Here's what I saw around the league Monday night:
Marv: I wanted to start out this week’s article by not mentioning the Superbowl. We’re talking hockey here so I want to talk about chilly ice rinks, sticks, pucks, highlight reel goals and of course plenty of PIMs. The only thing I will say about football is now that it has finished, fantasy hockey participation will regain some momentum. All of a sudden there are more trade offers coming in, trades being accepted, lineups being updated and commentators (good and bad) back in full swing. Now I push trading and waiver wire activity a lot, but even if you’ve fallen off the wagon and are trying to claw your way back into playoffs, it’s never too late to update!
50 points in 40 games. That was my prediction for Sidney Crosby in the second half of the season. Yesterday, I said that "Sidney Crosby has been outstanding for a month and could easily lead the league in points from this point forward" here. That possibility is off to a great start. Crosby had a hat trick on Tuesday night with an assist and eight shots in the 6-5 win over the Senators. Amazingly, he's become somewhat of a forgotten man this year but it's his time to shine again. Here's what else I saw around the league the night after the All-Star break:
Being a short fantasy week, I definitely picked the right time to be on fire with my streamer picks. In the three days this week, there's been a ton of goals from my streamers, including a hat trick. One of my streamers had two goals tonight but that wasn't the best call. Andrei Vasilevskiy locked it down on Wednesday night stopping all 30 Maple Leafs shots leading the Lightning to a 1-0 victory. This season has been tough for Vasilevskiy compared to last season but this is the kind of game he's capable of having; there's a reason why he was a first round pick in a time where goalies rarely go in the first round. In dynasties, I'm a big fan. It's only a matter of time before Tampa decides to move him or Ben Bishop. For the rest of the season in redrafts, he's a top end streamer but won't get enough starts to be a hold. Here's what else I saw on the small slate:
I've wrote a ton about Nikolaj Ehlers this season. At the beginning of the year, I thought he was must-own until Paul Maurice inexplicably dropped him into the bottom 6. A couple weeks ago, he was bumped into the top 6 and I said grab him again. Yesterday, I wrote about him at length here since I had him as my top streamer. I said that, "The minutes are up and getting a matchup with the Coyotes, who will be on the second of a back to back having just played an overtime game last night, is close to ideal. I think Ehlers should be owned in 12’ers right now but at the least, stream him tonight." And that's me quoting me doing what Grey does! Ehlers was amazing on Tuesday scoring a hat trick on four shots with two penalty minutes. He now has points in 4 straight and 8 points in his last 6 games. As I said before, he should have been owned in 12'ers already but he is still widely available so grab him right now! Here's what else I saw on a busy Tuesday night:
For most of the season, I've talked about why I wouldn't want to own Semyon Varlamov. Long story short, I don't trust the Avalanche to play defense well enough to prevent Varlamov from having a high goals against average. Well, the counter to that is Varlamov is a very good goaltender who can carry his team to wins. It happened twice this weekend. On Friday, he stopped 33 of 34 shots to beat the Blues 2-1 in a shootout, then he came back Saturday to make 42 saves against the Stars in a 3-1 victory. Even after these games, his goals against average is below league average but his save percentage is strong and he's top 10 in the league in wins. There's still plenty of value in a goalie like Varlamov, you just need to balance it by having an elite goalie to carry you in goals against average. Here's what else I saw around the league this weekend:
Poor Sergei Bobrovsky. After a horrible start, he catches fire for a month only to get a groin injury that sidelines him for a month. Then, he gets activated off injured reserve only to get in practice before he plays a game putting him out for a few more weeks. Bob finally gets healthy and who does he get in his first game back? The best team in the league so far, the Washington Capitals. Bob gave up 5 goals on 27 shots in the 6-3 loss. The question is do you panic? The answer is no. I'm blindly rolling Bob in every matchup going forward outside of two possible matchups; Washington and Chicago. Those depend how he's playing in the games before hand but the point is that Bob will be fine. Here's what else happened around the league on Tuesday night:
If you're a frequent reader of my articles, then you know the player I streamed the most this year has been Vladislav Namestnikov. Well, I'm not streaming him anymore because he's terrible. Kidding! That's because he's a clear hold now. He's centering the first line in Tampa (Steven Stamkos is playing RW) and he's coming off a hat trick on five shots in the 5-4 win over the Penguins Friday night. He only had one shot in Sunday's game but still, the role we look to stream him in looks secured now. Names (I'm sticking with that nickname, thanks commenters!) now has 23 points in 44 games and that's with being shuffled throughout the lineup and with little PP time (he has 4 PPP). There's no guarantee that he lasts in this role all season but now, he's must own in 12'ers. Here's what else I saw around the league this weekend:
We’re down to the final week of the season and most leagues have already been decided, but for those of you in leagues who are still fighting it out to the last puck drop, I’ll keep posting my daily roundups to keep you informed. Though I only took over Razzball Hockey halfway through the season I have to say I’ve enjoyed writing every word and I hope that I’ve been able to help shepherd a few of you to success this season. If not, well, I only take credit when you win, so don’t come knocking with all that sadface “I lost!” nonsense! Seriously though, it has been and I hope will continue to be a blast. Now then, for those of you still on the hunt for a title, how can we help? Patrik Hornqvist (2 G, 1 A, 4 SOG, 2 PIM, +3) might be an option! To hell with might, he’s the best option you’ve got this late. Even if it wasn't this late, the way he's been playing over the last two-three weeks has been unbelievable. I didn't mention him because there were other, hotter, better bets to ride to a title but I guess I can't deny it anymore. Horny has posted a whopping 10 points in his last five games with no signs of slowing down. Granted, no signs means squat because this kind of play is way above Hornqvist’s head, but while he’s scoring like there’s no tomorrow, you should add him, because in a few days there’s going to be no tomorrow! At least for fantasy hockey leagues this season, that is. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in the world o’ fantasy hockey this weekend: