The general rule of thumb in these parts is when you score a hat trick, you’re getting the lede. Vladimir Tarasenko was a clear first round pick this season (at least for me) and that’s because of his consistency plus upside. Before Thursday night, Tarasenko was sitting at a point per game with elite shots. The penalty minutes have disappeared but overall, his owners had to be happy. Thursday night he showed his game to game upside scoring a hat trick and adding an assist in the 5-4 win over Tampa. After tonight, Tarasenko sits third in the league in goals and points. The scary thing is that he doesn’t turn 25 for a couple weeks; we haven’t seen his prime yet. Let’s take a look at what else happened around the league the last two nights:
Chad Johnson – 39 save shutout in the 3-0 win over Toronto. He’s been excellent playing his way into the starting role. Ochocinco should be owned in all leagues at this point.
Logan Couture – Two goals and an assist with four shots. That gives Couture 6 points in his last five games with over three shots per game this season. Very solid across the board.
Joel Ward – Two assists. He’s on the second line now giving him extra value for deep leagues but Ward isn’t worth streaming in 12’ers at the moment.
Martin Jones – 26 saves on 27 shots in the 4-1 win over the Kings. That’s 4 excellent starts in the last 5 for Jones boosting his numbers past last season’s.
Anton Khudobin – 29 saves on 30 shots in the 2-1 SO win over Carolina. I’m still not comfortable streaming him.
David Pastrnak – Assist with six shots. No slowing the kid down.
Torey Krug – Goal on six shots playing over 28 mintues. Finally! Krug now has 5 points in his last three games. The hot streak is here.
Cam Ward – 34 saves on 35 shots taking the loss. While he’s been decent lately, especially compared to recent years, Ward has no lost 4 straight and the save percentage is only up to league average.
Ryan McDonagh – Goal on three shots. Finally, his first of the year! Despite that, his value has been there.
Rick Nash – Goal on three shots. He’s only four goals away from last year’s total if you want a reminder on how miserable Nash’s 2015-16 was.
Jack Eichel – Two goals on four shots. It appears this Jack fellow makes a difference for the Sabres. I like Eich!
Brian Gionta – Goal and an assist with two shots. There’s some value for deep leagues but Gionta is so far past his prime at this point in his career that you can easily forget how good he was once upon a time.
Sam Reinhart – Assist as did Kyle Okposo and Rasmus Ristolainen. As we talked about on the last two podcasts, now is a great time to own the big 5 on the Sabres.
Marc-Andre Fleury – 33 saves on 35 shots in the 6-2 win over Dallas. I still don’t trust him at all and would only stream, not hold, in 12’ers.
John Klingberg – Assist with three shots playing 22 minutes. I still think Klingberg will be fine despite the recent scratches. I’m not necessarily looking to buy low but I’m definitely not selling low.
Ian Cole 1+2 with three shots and two PIM over two games. And there’s your annual Ian Cole update!
Sidney Crosby – Two assists with a shot Wednesday, goal and two assists with four shots Thursday. This is the best Crosby has played in years and that’s saying something. And to think people were worried about him because of the preseason concussion.
Patric Hornqvist – Assist with two shots Wednesday, goal and an assist with seven shots Thursday in his first games back from injury. Obviously the time off didn’t slow him down one bit.
Conor Sheary – Two goals and an assist with nine shots over two games. Streamer success! I’m still only streaming him although I could see him becoming a short term hold.
Justin Schultz – Goal and two assists with three shots over two games. Meh, still not enough for 12’ers unless you’re desperate for plus-minus.
Johnny Boychuk Goal and an assist with four shots and two PIM over two games. It’s very bottom end; I’d prefer to look elsewhere in standard leagues.
Jaroslav Halak – 38 save shutout in the 3-0 win over Washington. You couldn’t ask for a worse spot than at Washington on the second of a back to back so naturally Halak posts a shutout. I don’t even know any more.
Brock Nelson – Goal and an assist with seven shots and four penalty minutes. Outside of John Tavares (assist, five shots), Nelson is the only forward on the Islanders that I’d feel comfortable holding.
Claude Giroux – Two goals on five shots with two PIM. The shots are down a bit so it’s nice to see him put 5 on. Put a 5 on it! With a four game point streak, Giroux is right around preseason expectations.
Jakub Voracek – Two assists with two shots. As expected, Voracek is much close to 2014-15 than 2015-16. This isn’t a fluke, the fluke was last season.
Steve Mason – 19 saves on 21 shots in the 3-2 OT win over Ottawa. Not much action for Mase tonight but he should be owned everywhere right now, if only for sheer volume.
Mike Hoffman – Goal on seven shots with two PIM. Mark Stone had an assist while Kyle Turris had two. The boys are back!
Roberto Luongo – 20 saves on 21 shots in the 2-1 OT win over Detroit. The heater is real as Bobby Lu’s numbers crush last year’s terrific totals.
Aleksander Barkov – Goal on seven shots playing over 23 minutes. Amazingly, Barkov was in the midst of a 21 game goal drought before this one. Now that he saw the puck actually go in the back of the net, a hot streak wouldn’t surprise me.
Jonathan Drouin – Two assists with a shot. It’s been very inconsistent but we forget that Drouin is still only 21 years old.
Nikita Kucherov – Goal and an assist with two shots. What a monster across all categories right now.
Cedric Paquette – Two goals on three shots with two PIM. And there’s your annual Paquette update!
Robby Fabbri – Two assists with a shot. Same thing as Drouin except Fabbri is still 20.
Kevin Shattenkirk – Two goals and two assists. Shatt deuces! The shots are down a bit but Shattenkirk is almost at a point per game right now. Pretty, pretty good.
Alex Steen – Three assists with two shots in his first game back from the upper body injury. I’ve said it once, I’ve said it 100 times, please stay healthy!
Leon Draisaitl – Two goals and an assist with eight shots. Oh baby. We talked about the German on Thursday’s podcast and the first game went even better than we imagined. If for some reason he’s available in your league, grab him immediately.
Mark Letetstu – Two plus one with five shots. He’s on the point now on the first power play unit making Letestu a solid streamer option.
Milan Lucic – Two assists with three shots. It’s nice to play with #97.
Connor McDavid – Three assists with three shots. This is just ridiculous. 19 year olds should not be able to do what he is.
Andrej Sekera – Two assists with two shots playing 25 minutes. Rej is also on the first PP unit making him the first choice among Oilers defensemen for the time being.
Patrik Laine – Two goals on five shots. Like McDavid except strictly for scoring goals, 18 year olds shouldn’t be able to do this. 15 goals already is absurd.
Blake Wheeler – Two assists with three shots. The hot streak is coming and should be here to stay.
Travis Zajac – Hat trick on six shots. Good lord, Zajac is one of the last guys I’d expect to get a hat trick. He already has more than 50% of last year’s shot total while playing 51 less games. Zajac should be grabbed everywhere for now.
Kyle Palmieri – Two assists with three shots. His overall numbers put him on the fringe at the moment but I’d lean towards holding.
Duncan Keith – Two assists as did his partner Brent Seabrook. The goals haven’t been there for either (0 for Keith, 2 for Seabrook) but thankfully they’re contributing elsewhere.
Brandon Saad – 1+1 with two shots. The shots are down quite a bit but Saad is on pace to crush his previous career high in points.
Nick Foligno – Goal on two shots with seven PIM. This is a bounce back season that I certainly didn’t expect. You have to keep riding out the wave.
Anze Kopitar – Two assists with two shots Thursday playing over 23 minutes. He’s another guy that I expect a hot streak from despite how poor his quality of teammate is.
Jordan Nolan – Two goals. I honestly forgot that he was still in the NHL. That should tell you how much fantasy value he has.
Martin Hanzal – Two goals on six shots with four PIM. He’s come back slowly but for now, Hanzal is still a top end streamer.
John Gibson – 27 saves on 28 shots in the 3-1 win over Vancouver. He’s my favorite buy low candidate for goalies as we talked about on the podcast.
That’s all for now guys. As always, feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments below. I’ll be back on Monday with daily notes. Please give the latest podcast a listen and check out No Halftime, it’ll go a long way in terms of helping us out. Have a great weekend, take care!