For the past two weeks or so, I’ve been talking about Jason Zucker as someone to pick up in fantasy hockey. The second line on the Wild was dominating possession and it was only a matter of time until they broke out. On Thursday, despite the Wild being dominated by the Hurricanes, they persevered and won 3-2 in OT behind two goals by Zucker, who also contributed five shots. He’s up to 13 points so far in 15 games so if it was for debate, it isn’t anymore; he’s a must add in all leagues.
Here’s what else I saw on the big Thursday night slate:
Ryan Suter – Two assists with 2 PIM in 29 minutes of ice time. If you need goals or shots, he’s not what you need at all but if time on ice or assists matter to you, he’s a tank.
Thomas Vanek – Goal on two shots in over 18 minutes. Playing first line with the injury to Zach Parise and is taking advantage. Hotter than a pistol so if for some reason he’s available, grab him.
Devan Dubnyk – 37 saves on 39 saves in the 3-2 win. Looked like the Dubnyk of last year; I’d look to buy low if possible.
Justin Faulk – Goal on his only shot. Another power play goal is great but only one shot? Come on, man.
Matt Duchene – Goal and an assist on five shots. Reports are this coach doesn’t like his game so basically, Patrick Roy is an idiot.
Zdeno Chara – Goal on two shots. Sometimes you have to admit your mistakes and it looks like I wrote about Chara’s demise too early. He’s been great so far this year.
Jake Allen – Two saves on five shots before being pulled. Ugh. Have to love the shutouts before today, and today was a disaster but considering Brian Elliott (14 saves on 16 shots) didn’t do much better, it’s still Allen’s job.
Dan Girardi – Goal and an assist on two shots. He’s absolutely shot as a player and belongs on the third pair so there isn’t much fantasy value here besides in the deepest of leagues or if you count blocked shots.
J.T. Miller – Goal and an assist with two shots. He’s been great lately but the long-term opportunity isn’t there outside of an injury.
Derek Stepan – Two assists and a shot. Great player who’s better in real life than fantasy. That said, he’s a clear must own in all leagues.
Derick Brassard – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM. The first line took control of the game early scoring the first two goals with Mats Zuccarello (goal and assist with three shots) and Rick Nash (two assists with a shot and four PIM) combining on the goals. The first line in New York is killing it right now and it should continue.
Justin Williams – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM. At this point, must own in 12’ers and probably 10’ers as well.
Jason Chimera – Two goals and an assist with three shots. And here’s my biannual update of Jason Chimera!
Tom Wilson – Two assists with two shots and two PIM. And here’s my annual update of Tom Wilson!
Evgeny Kuznetsov – Two assists with a shot and two PIM. Great to see him get on board with Alex Ovechkin being held scoreless.
Erik Karlsson – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM. He’s pretty good at the hockey game.
Mike Hoffman – Two assists. Clearly a top 100 player right now. I love it when I’m right!
Tyler Johnson – Goal and an assist with four shots. Long overdue breakout coming.
Steven Stamkos Goal on two shots. As Tim Kitzrow says in NBA Jam, ” He’s heating up!”
Ben Bishop – 30 saves on 31 shots in the win over Calgary. Hot streak is coming.
Sam Bennett – Goal on his only shot. “I love when my bold predictions make me look smart.” And that’s me quoting me doing what Grey does!
Sam Reinhart – Goal on two shots. Not grabbing him in one year leagues yet but love in dynasties.
Cody Franson – Goal on his only shot. He’s heating up and he’s making me look good so I love him more than I normally do for a Sabre!
Rasmus Ristolainen – Two assists and an shot. God, I love it when I’m right! He’s amazing and a bonafide #1 defenseman in real life already and a #3 in 12 man fantasy leagues.
Linus Ullmark – 36 saves on 38 shots in the 3-2 win over Florida. Must-add at this point; he’s the #1 for Buffalo for the next few weeks and looks the part.
Jonathan Huberdeau – Goal on four shots. Looked great throughout the game and I expect him to have a hot streak soon so he’s a good target in leagues where his owner is upset by the slow start.
James Reimer – 21 saves on 22 shots in the shootout win over Nashville. Great in the short term for ratios but the wins won’t be there and won’t keep the job long-term. He’s a short term fix but don’t expect more.
Shea Weber – Goal on three shots. Pretty much what you’d expect against a poor Toronto team.
Cory Schneider – 27 saves on 29 shots in the 3-2 win over the Blackhawks. I still don’t expect the Devils to keep winning but enjoy the ride while you can.
Kyle Palmieri – Goal and an assist with two shots. I still don’t believe so sell high if you can or stream him in leagues where he is still available.
Sergey Kalinin – Goal and an assist with four shots. Still not fantasy relevant until his playing time is stabilized.
Patrick Kane – Goal and an assist with six shots and four PIM. What else is there to say at this point? He’s pretty f****** good.
This isn’t my normal style but instead of listing every Jets player, I’ll say here that pretty much all fantasy relevant players had a point and their 6-3 loss to Dallas doesn’t really change anything for me going forward.
John Klingberg – Goal and an assist with four shots. Had him ranked highly in preseason but apparently it wasn’t high enough. He looks amazing for the Stars and is borderline top 10 defenseman going forward.
Vernon Fiddler – Goal and an assist with two shots. Needs an injury for him to be fantasy relevant.
Johnny Oduya – Two assists. The same as Fiddler; not enough opportunity on a regular basis to produce.
Ales Hemsky -Goal and two assists with two shots. I’d add him where I can but he’s made of glass so don’t expect much of him long term.
Tyler Seguin – Two assists with two shots and four PIM. You can’t keep a good man down.
Taylor Hall– Goal on seven shots. Hotter than a pistol with no signs of slowing down. Fringe top 10 going forward.
Leon Draisaitl – Assist with two PIM. Killing it while he’s been on the first line and the firmest of holds until that changes.
Max Domi – Goal and an assist with a shot on goal. Love him dynasties; be prepared for the inconsistencies in one season leagues.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Goal on his only shot. He’s had a slow start to the season but with the increased firepower on the Coyotes, expect OEL to have a hot streak in the near future.
Mike Smith – 27 saves on 28 shots in the win over Edmonon. I still don’t believe at all.
Jhonas Enroth – 31 saves on 32 shots in the win over the Islanders Thursday. His name is Jhonas! Again, I’m a huge fan but he won’t have the role barring a Jonathan Quick injury so stream him whenever he starts.
Streamers for Friday: There are only four games so this could be a valuable day to set you up for the end of the week. Here are my top three options:
Boone Jenner – (11.1% owned) – Still on the top line, top power play unit, Pittsburgh is struggling and he already has eight goals on the year. Outstanding stream.
Joonas Donskoi – (0.3% owned) – I’ve talked about him at length and the long-term opportunity isn’t there but he’s on the top line right now so stream him where possibly. Detroit’s defense is vulnerable so grab him.
Patrick Maroon – (1.5% owned) – Still on the top line so stream him every game you can while he’s there. It’s that simple.
That’s all for now guys! Be sure to check out Matt’s article on goalies from earlier in the week along with Marv and Pesos’ article on the waiver wire! A lot of good stuff is being posted on Razzball right now. I’ll be back on Monday with the weekend recap. As always, feel free to post any comments and questions and I’ll do my best to answer them all. Have a great weekend everyone! With the Bills win on Thursday along with the Sabres win, I’m already flying high so I hope yours is as good as mine! Take care everyone!