Matthew Tkachuk entered the All-Star break on a massive hot streak.  He continued it at the All-Star Game, winning MVP honors.  Needless to say, it was continued on Monday night against their rivals, the Tampa Bay Lightning.  Tkachuk had two goals and three assists with six shots in the 7-1 win over Tampa, going +5 in the process.  Tkachuk has managed to blow last season’s 42+62 out of the water to this point.  He’s the #3 forward overall on the season and has the most balanced stat line of everyone in the entire league.  Marchand was a top five forward for years because of his all-around contribution.  Now, that spot is Tkachuk’s.  He’s every bit of a top five player now and going forward.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:

Monday’s Games

Semyon Varlamov – 25 saves on 26 shots in the 2-1 win over the Flyers.  Varlamov has a .920 save percentage in his 17 games played.  I’d stream him every time he starts.

Bo Horvat – Four shots playing 19 minutes in his Islanders debut.  Horvat looked the part with Mathew Barzal (goal on two shots).  I still think this trade hurts his overall value, but it shouldn’t be a massive drag.

Carter Verhaeghe – Two goals and two assists with five shots.  It’s been another career year for Verhaeghe, who looks absolutely fantastic.  He’s clearly been a top 50 forward.

Sam Bennett – Goal and two assists with four shots.  Bennett comes down to team needs.  The shots and PIM are elite, but the points are a bit lacking for a 12’er.

Aaron Ekblad – Two assists with three shots.  The shot rate is up a lot lately for Ekblad which we love to see.  I wasn’t counting on a big second half, but he has it in his bag.

Luke Schenn – Goal and an assist.  Schenn had four hits, which is why you would own him at all.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Two assists with a shot.  Easy pass at this point of his career.

Conor Garland – Two assists.  We could see a short term boost from Garland as the Canucks suffer from injuries and trade guys away.  I still have him as a middling streamer, but there’s some upside.

Dougie Hamilton – Three assists with three shots and two PIM.  Hamilton is quickly approaching a point per game with a massive heater.  He’s firmly the #2 defenseman overall on the season.

Jack Hughes – Two goals and an assist with nine shots.  As much as I liked Hughes, I was expecting more assists than this dominant goal scorer with incredible shot volume.  I do prefer this version though as Hughes is now a top 10 forward.

Ondrej Palat – Two goals.  Palat has seven points in his last eight games, but the shot rate is below average and he’s not really doing much else.  He’s a fine streamer, but would need more to boost him.

Fabian Zetterlund – Two assists.  When Zetterlund is with Hughes, he’s a solid streamer.  When he’s not, I wouldn’t use Zetterlund.

Mikael Backlund – Two assists.  The third line did well for Calgary, with Blake Coleman and Andrew Mangiapane each having a goal and an assist.  Backlund has been the best of the three so far, with his shot rate over three per game now.  He’s a solid streamer, with Mangiapane a step behind him and Coleman a step behind Mangiapane.

Mika Zibanejad – Two goals and an assist with eight shots.  Zibanejad is back into elite goal scoring territory, and given his PP prowess, he’s quietly had a top 20 forward season.

Artemi Panarin – Two assists with three shots.  The goals have really dried up for Panarin, which drains his overall value despite being a point per game.  He’s still great, but it’s nowhere near the top end we’re used to.

Filip Chytil – Two goals on four shots.  Chytil is playing some incredible hockey lately.  In the short term, he’s an elite streamer while playing at this level.

Jakob Chychrun – Two goals on five shots with four PIM.  Chychrun is crushing all of the categories through 35 games, including plus-minus despite being on a terrible team.  He’s an elite #2 with the chance of being a #1 by simply maintaining this pace.  At this point, I’m not sure a trade would even help, but I doubt it would hurt either.

Tuesday’s Games

Evgeni Malkin – Two assists with four shots and two PIM.  Just stay healthy!

Casey DeSmith – 41 saves on 42 shots in the 2-1 OT win over the Avalanche.  Textbook definition of stealing a game.  The Pens had no business winning this game, but they got the game of a lifetime from DeSmith.  To be blunt, DeSmith isn’t good, and is slightly above desperation in the short term.

Erik Karlsson – Goal and two assists.  Can’t stop, won’t stop!  A nice 69 points already, unbelievable.

Timo Meier – Two goals and an assist with five shots.  I can’t wait to see if Meier is moved at the deadline or not.  He’s already up to 30 goals despite facing the hardest matchups every night.  Superstar through and through.

Brayden Point – Two goals on five shots with five PIM.  You couldn’t get another point for the three point challenge!?  Point is playing his best hockey in four years, dominating on a nightly basis with Nikita Kucherov (2A).

Evander Kane – Goal and an assist with three shots and four PIM.  Even without top PP time, Kane is going to crush the categories he usually crushes.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Goal and an assist with four shots.  The year of the Nuge continues.  He’s going to obliterate all of his previous career highs.

Warren Foegele – Two goals on four shots.  Not really looking to stream Foegele in his current role, even in deep leagues.

Philip Broberg – Two assists with two shots.  I don’t doubt the talent, but Broberg is buried on the depth chart.  It wouldn’t surprise me to see him moved if Edmonton makes a big trade.  Nothing in fantasy right now.  Welcome to the Razzball Database!

Ilya Sorokin – 32 save shutout in the 4-0 win over the Kraken.  The All-Star break didn’t cool off Sorokin.  He has the upside to be the best goalie in the league for the rest of the season, in both real life and for fantasy purposes.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau – Two assists with a shot.  Pageau lost his PP1 spot to Horvat, so he’s a bottom end streamer at best.

Adin Hill – 16 saves on 17 shots in the 5-1 win over Smashville.  I’d feel good about streaming Hill in all but the worst of matchups.

Phil Kessel – Goal and an assist with two shots.  No.  Just no.

Chandler Stephenson – Goal and an assist with two shots.  Stephenson is on the fringe (as noted on my latest hold/stream list) and this doesn’t change that.  I don’t love his current role and the shot rate is dreadful.

William Carrier – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM.  Props to Carrier for scoring 13 goals already, easily a career high.  That said, he’s only a deep league streamer for hits and okay offense.

John Klingberg – Two assists with two PIM.  He’s been a bit better offensively lately, but I still don’t want anything to do with Klingberg until he gets traded.

Brett Leason – Goal and an assist with two shots.  Nothing to see here.

Jayson Megna – Goal and an assist with two shots.  This was Megna’s first NHL goal in almost exactly six years.  That should indicate his fantasy value.

Jason Dickinson – Goal and an assist with three shots.  He’s centering Kane right now, giving him the best role possible on Chicago, but its still Chicago.  Dickinson is on a heater, but keep it to deep leagues.

Three Point Challenge: Thursday’s Games per usual.  You can’t take McDavid, Draisaitl, Kucherov, Pastrnak, Thompson, E. Karlsson, Hughes, Robertson, or RNH.  I’ll go a bit off the board and take Reinhart against the Sharks.

That’s all for now guys.  I’ll be back on Friday recapping the action from tonight’s games.  As always, feel free to ask any questions, leave any comments, or give any suggestions below.  Thanks for reading, take care!