Even by his lofty standards, Alex Ovechkin had quite the weekend. He went into the weekend with 497 career goals and managed to score two goals in both games he played to get 501. On Saturday, he scored the opening goal and then a coast to coast overtime winner to beat the Rangers 4-3 on his fifth shot of the game. On Sunday, he scored number 500 from his patented spot by the left hashmark and added 501 late to put the Capitals up 7-1. Here are the players who got to 500 goals faster than Ovechkin: Gretzky, Lemieux, Bossy, Hull. That’s it. And those guys did it in an era where the game was wide open, not the dead era Ovechkin plays in now. I’ve said it before and people didn’t agree in the comments but I still believe it; Ovechkin is the greatest goal scorer in NHL history. Here’s to hoping he sticks around because he has a decent shot to break Gretzky’s record which would be incredible given the low goal scoring in this era plus he missed time for two lockouts. Here’s what else happened around the league this weekend:
Bruins 4, Devils 1 – The Bruins dominated this game outshooting the Devils 31-20. Cory Schneider had a rare bad start allowing four goals on 31 shots but he didn’t get much help from his teammates. The Bruins had a balanced attack with Ryan Spooner leading the way with a goal and an assist with two shots. He’s clearly must-own, at least until David Krejci is back. Frank Vatrano added a goal on three shots with two PIM and is still a strong streamer while he’s in the top six.
Hurricanes 4, Blue Jackets 1 – Cam Ward played outstanding stopping 35 of 36 shots. His overall numbers are starting to look decent so he should probably be owned in 12’ers as a bottom end 3rd goalie. Elias Lindholm scored two goals on three shots. He’s still on the top line and should definitely be owned in dynasty leagues; in redraft 12’ers he’s best left as a streamer. Same goes with Kris Versteeg who added two assists. Jordan Staal is starting to play better but he’s still too inconsistent to own. For the Jackets, Brandon Dubinsky scored the goal on three shots with five PIM. He’s owned almost everywhere but if for some reason he’s available, he’s a great source of PIM and the points should increase with their recent trade.
Blackhawks 3, Sabres 1 – This game went as expected with the Blackhawks dominating possession and outshooting the Sabres 45-29. Chad Johnson played very well to keep the Sabres in it stopping 42 of 44 shots. Ryan O’Reilly continued his All-Star level season with a goal on two shots. It was the other top six leading the way for the Blackhawks with Jonathan Toews scoring a goal and adding an assist with six shots. Duncan Keith also had two assists with two shots. Corey Crawford also played well stopping 28 of 29 shots.
Avalanche 5, Predators 3 – Neither goalie played well in this game with 8 goals being scored on 49 shots. Ryan Johansen was a bright spot for the Preds scoring a goal with an assist and two shots in his Predators debut. Mattias Ekholm had two assists while Ryan Ellis scored a goal on two shots. Both stand to benefit from the Johansen trade. Ellis is must-own where Ekholm should be in 14’ers and deeper. The Avalanche had contributions from the majority of the roster with two points coming from a bunch of fantasy irrelevant players: Blake Comeau, Nick Holden, Jack Skille and Carl Soderberg. Only Soderberg is worth considering in 12’ers; he’s borderline depending on what categories you need.
Lightning 3, Oilers 2 – This was an even played game where the stars on the Lightning carried the team to victory. Victor Hedman led the way scoring a goal on two shots and adding two assists. Tyler Johnson returned to the lineup and had an assist with two shots. Nikita Kucherov had a goal on three shots with two PIM while Steven Stamkos scored once on five shots. For the Oilers, Benoit Pouliot continued his recent form with a goal on three shots. He’s still right on the edge of 12’ers. If you need some PIM with a decent shot rate, he’s an okay option. At the least, he’s a great streamer.
Ducks 4, Blues 3 (SO) – The big story of the game was Jake Allen leaving the game injured with a lower body injury in the second period. Here’s to hoping it’s not serious. The big guns were held off the board for the Blues. The interesting development was Robby Fabbri scoring another goal on three shots. The overall numbers are mediocre but he’s getting more minutes and he’s on pace for 20 goals. He’s a great option in deep leagues if he’s available. For the Ducks, Ryan Kesler finally had a great game scoring twice on three shots with five PIM. I had him ranked far lower than most and he’s been a disaster outside of the PIM. He’s on pace for 16+16 with a -30 +/- . Ryan Getzlaf continued his heater with an assist and a shot while Corey Perry scored once on eight shots with two PIM.
Capitals 4, Rangers 3 (OT) – I already talked about Ovechkin in the opening. Nicklas Backstrom tied the game with six seconds left on his fourth shot to get the game to overtime after the Caps blew a late 2-0 lead. Justin Williams had a goal and an assist with five shots continuing his solid season, his first in Washington. For the Rangers, Kevin Hayes scored a goal on his only shot and added an assist with two PIM. He looks to be past his recent healthy scratch. Ryan McDonagh added two assists and is finally starting to show signs of his old form offensively. Despite the horrible start, he’s on pace for 38 points. He should be owned in 12’ers.
Flyers 4, Islanders 0 – Steve Mason had one of the easiest shutouts of his career stopping all 20 shots he faced. Sean Couturier is officially hotter than a pistol with a goal and an assist with three shots. He’s on the second power play unit now so I’m grabbing him in all 12’ers, especially if you count faceoffs. Michael Raffl also had a goal and assist with two shots while Matt Read scored a goal with two assists and five shots. Both have been disappointments this year and are still on the outside looking in for 12’ers.
Penguins 3, Canadiens 1 – Marc-Andre Fleury continued his outstanding season with 33 saves on 34 shots. Patric Hornqvist scored once on two shots and should be owned everywhere again. The shots have been elite for a month so the goals will come. Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel each had an assist; they should keep coming now that the Penguins power play is clicking. P.K. Subban scored the Montreal goal on four shots playing over 30 minutes. Amazingly, that’s only his second goal of the season yet he’s taken 114 shots. He’s an excellent buy-low target. At that rate, he’s a favorite to score 10+ in the second half.
Senators 2, Bruins 1 (OT) – Both goalies played outstanding with Tuukka Rask stopping 38 of 40 shots while Craig Anderson stopped 33 of 34. You have no idea what you’re going to get from either goalie at the moment. David Pastrnak returned to the lineup and scored the lone Bruins goal on two shots. If he’s available, grab him. Erik Karlsson had two more assists with seven shots and two PIM playing almost 33 minutes. He is not human. Mark Stone scored the overtime winner on two shots and is on pace to finish right around last season’s total with 67 points.
Hurricanes 4, Blue Jackets 3 (OT) – Cam Ward did not play as well in this game, stopping 21 of 24 shots, but still managed to get the win. Jordan Staal had another two point game but it’s still not enough to change my stance on him. For Columbus, Alexander Wennberg scored a goal on four shots. He looks to be the biggest beneficiary of Ryan Johansen going to Nashville. Wennberg is now firmly in the top six and played almost 21 minutes. I’m taking the chance on him and grabbing him in all 12’ers. He has ton of upside at 21 years old and now has the role to show it.
Sharks 7, Maple Leafs 0 – Yikes. What a beatdown. Jonathan Bernier did more than crash back down to Earth allowing seven goals on 31 shots. His save percentage is back under .900 and goals against average back over 3. For the Sharks, Martin Jones got back on track stopping all 28 shots he faced. Almost half of the Sharks skaters had multiple points. Justin Braun had 0+3 with 5 SOG, Brent Burns had 1+1 with 3 SOG, Tomas Hertl had 2+1 with 5, Joe Pavelski 1+1 with 1, Joe Thornton 0+2, Marc-Edouard Vlasic 0+2 with 3 and Tommy Wingels 0+2 with a shot and five PIM. Burns and both Joe’s are obviously must-own. Wingels should be owned only in hits leagues. Braun and Vlasic should be left for leagues that count hits and blocks although both are very close in standard 12’ers. Hertl is starting to show flashes again of his rookie season but is best left as a streamer for now.
Wild 2, Stars 1 – Devan Dubnyk led the way for the Wild stopping 34 of 35 shots. Thomas Vanek scored a goal on two shots while Charlie Coyle had an assist with a shot. With the minutes increase Coyle has been getting, he’s one of my favorite streamers. He’s not quite a hold for me without the consistent PP time. For the Stars, Jamie Benn scored their goal with six shots and two PIM.
Coyotes 4, Predators 0 – Louis Domingue kept up his great play stopping all 26 shots he faced. I still expect him to crash and burn very soon but I wouldn’t fault you for riding the hot streak. Tobias Rieder led the way for the Coyotes attack scoring two goals on seven shots and adding an assist. He’s must own for me in 12’ers now. Antoine Vermette had a goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM. He does a little bit of everything but not enough of anything to own in 12’ers. The lack of shots hurts too much.
Lightning 3, Canucks 2 (OT) – Nikita Kucherov is playing at last year’s level the last month plus. It continued Saturday with a goal and an assist with four shots. Vladislav Namestnikov added two assists with two shots and is one of, if not my favorite streamer at this point. Too much depends on his role to hold but when he’s on the first line, he’s going to produce. Anton Stralman added two assists and does just enough to hold in 12’ers. Sven Baertschi scored again on three shots and is really starting to click on the second line. He’s still just a streamer for now in redrafts but I’m grabbing him in all but the shallow dynasties. Bo Horvat had a goal and an assist and is someone I will monitor closely down the stretch. I could see a 2016-17 fantasy hockey sleeper post in his future.
Blues 2, Kings 1 (SO) – Brian Elliott got the start with Jake Allen‘s injury and he stopped 26 of 27 shots in the win. Grab him to stream until Allen returns. Alex Pietrangelo scored the lone Blues goal from Vladimir Tarasenko. Pietrangelo should increase his goal total in the second half based on his shot rate but he probably won’t get to 40 points which is disappointing. Jonathan Quick didn’t have much action stopping 15 of 16 shots while Anze Kopitar scored for the Kings on three shots.
Sabres 4, Jets 2 – I wanted to lead the article with my boy Sam Reinhart but couldn’t do it with Ovechkin’s amazing weekend. Reinhart had his first career hat trick on five shots. The 20 year old now has 12+7 in 42 games and looks like he belongs every night now. He’s definitely going to have a sleeper post for next season. He’s been the forgotten man despite being drafted second overall just last season. I’m holding him in 12’ers because of his stable role on the first line and power play unit. Linus Ullmark played great stopping 42 of 44 shots. However, Robin Lehner could be back this weekend meaning Ullmark would be headed back to Rochester in the AHL. Evander Kane set up Reinhart with the empty net goal with three shots in the game while being consistently booed by the Jets fans. They also chanted “Kane you suck” and “Best trade ever” throughout the game. I have to give it to the Jets fans, they are extremely loud and into the game every night despite being a last place team at the moment. Bryan Little had two assists with two shots continuing to quietly go about his business.
Capitals 7, Senators 1 – Andrew Hammond was hung out to dry and paid the price allowing 7 goals on 36 shots. Mike Hoffman scored on three shots maintaining his 40 goal pace. Almost everybody got in on the action for the Caps. Besides Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Jason Chimera had three assists, Andre Burakovsky had two assists and two shots while T.J. Oshie had a goal and an assist with two shots. Chimera and Burakovsky had played their way into solid streamer territory.
Blackhawks 6, Avalanche 3 – The studs for the Avalanche were the only reason this game was close until late in the second. Matt Duchene had two goals and an assist with four shots, Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and an assist with six shots while Gabriel Landeskog had an assist with two shots and two PIM. Patrick Kane got back to doing what he does scoring twice on six shots. Marian Hossa also scored twice on three shots. Jonathan Toews also had another monster game getting a goal and two assists with two shots and two PIM.
Devils 2, Wild 1 – Cory Schneider bounced back with an easy one stopping 17 of 18 shots. Both teams combined for 35 shots in what was one of the most boring games of the season. Adam Henrique got back in the goal column scoring on his only shot. Zach Parise scored the only Wild goal in the game against his former team.
Red Wings 2, Ducks 1 – Petr Mrazek kept the good times rolling stopping 30 of 31 shots in the win. Dylan Larkin had another assist with two shots while Tomas Tatar scored his 13th of the season with two shots. The first line scored the Ducks goal with Corey Perry tallying the marker from Ryan Getzlaf and Rickard Rakell.
Panthers 2, Oilers 1 – The Panthers amazingly won their twelfth in a row. Again, it was on the back of their goalie except this time it was Al Montoya stopping 24 of 25 shots in the win. Aleksander Barkov kept his point streak going with an assist and two shots. Jonathan Huberdeau is officially on fire scoring on his only shot (regression to the mean!) while Jaromir Jagr also scored on two shots.
Monday Streamers: Monday is a very small slate so there will be tons of streaming. Here are my top 3 options:
David Pastrnak (9.9%) – I talked about him above. I have no idea why he’s available in 90% of leagues. He went right back on the first line and gets a matchup with the Rangers who are consistent only in their inconsistency right now.
Alexandre Burrows (0.7%) – Jannik Hansen has gone on I.R. and Burrows is getting a chance to play on the first line again with the Sedin twins. Florida isn’t a great matchup right now but on a small slate, getting a first liner against a team on a back to back is good enough.
J.T. Miller (1.1%) – He’s on the first line right now, he’s on pace for 40 points and the Bruins have been all over the place. It wouldn’t shock me if the Rangers put up 4+ tonight.
That’s all for now guys. With the short slate tonight, I’ll be back on Wednesday recapping tonight and tomorrow’s games. Don’t worry though, Matt’s next article will be out Tuesday morning so there will still be quality fantasy hockey analysis coming out on Tuesday. I’ll also write up a quick update on the RCL’s. As always, please ask any questions below and / or leave any comments. I hope everyone had a great weekend. Take care everyone!