On a Thursday night that lacked in big performances in comparison to recent weeks, Tyler Toffoli‘s night was probably the best. In the dominating 4-1 win over the Red Wings, Toffoli found the back of the net twice on three shots and added an assist with two penalty minutes. That brings Toffoli’s totals to 7 goals and 12 assists in 29 games with almost three shots per game and an elite +14. It’s a significant decrease in goals for a 23 year old who buried 31 last year. Toffoli was one of the most polarizing players in preseason, at least to me because I had him ranked much lower than other experts (97th overall, highest rank was 29th, nobody else lower than 69th). It’s nice to see the assist rate and shot rate up and apparently he’ll be able to post a +20 or better every season of his career but Toffoli will need more games like this where he finds the back of the net to come anywhere near his 59th overall ADP. Can it happen? With the minutes his line is getting and with how much the Kings depend on his line for offense, definitely. I’d be a bit surprised if it happened though because the goals will probably come at the expense of assists and the penalty minutes are non-existent. Toffoli is a great example of a player who is better in real life than fantasy. That’s not to say he’s a dud in fantasy, he’s a top 100 player, but Toffoli should be mentioned among the best young snipers in the game more frequently than he is. Let’s take a look at what else happened around the NHL on Wednesday and Thursday night:
Brent Burns – Goal and an assist with six shots and two PIM. He’s finally moved into the #1 defenseman spot in the player rater and it’s not even close. That’s also with only 8 PIM on the season which is going to increase. So damn good; the race for the Norris between him and Erik Karlsson should be spectacular. Side note: if anyone besides those two win, it’s a bigger travesty than Karlsson getting robbed last year.
Joe Pavelski – Goal on six shots playing 24:28. Dude keeps chugging along and unsurprisingly is a top 10 forward on the season.
Joe Thornton – Assist with four shots and 14 PIM. Man, what’s more unlikely, the four shots or 14 PIM? He lost his mind at the end of OT getting 12 PIM which is a nice bonus for his owners. The 16 game goalless drought, not so much.
Mike Hoffman – Assist with two shots and 15 PIM. I love the guy as a player but he made a gutless hit that is surely going to bring a suspension.
Erik Karlsson – Assist with five shots. Business as usual for the silky smooth Swede.
Dion Phaneuf – Goal and an assist with four shots and two PIM. He needs to be owned everywhere right now.
Mark Stone – Two assists and a shot. Get those shots up!
Kyle Turris – Goal on three shots with 17 PIM. Man, what the hell was going on in this game to get all of these misconducts? Can’t imagine there’s bad blood between these two teams. Solid across the board now for Turris with these PIM.
Sidney Crosby – Assist with no shots? He didn’t score? What a bum.
Kris Letang – Four shots and two PIM before he left the game. He’s going to miss “a few weeks.” Justin Schultz (1+2. 3 SOG) already should have been owned as I’ve harped upon for two weeks but now he’s a must own in all leagues.
Nick Bonino – Goal on two shots. Streamer success! He’s not my favorite guy to stream but the minutes are consistently there.
Bryan Rust – Goal on two shots. Solid streamer at the moment.
Conor Sheary – Goal and an assist with six shots. He’s played his way into a clear hold.
David Backes – Three assists with three shots and two PIM over two games. His numbers are right in line with what he did last season in St. Louis. I thought we were going to see a slight uptick but Boston has gone back to playing a tighter game limiting their secondary guys.
David Krejci – Two goals on six shots. He’s been a massive disappointment at this stage with his assist rate falling off a cliff.
Brad Marchand – Goal and an assist with fifteen shots and four PIM. Not a bad two games. It’s amazing how much his offensive game has grown over the last two years. Marchand is pushing towards being a top 10 forward again.
David Pastrnak – Goal and an assist with nine shots and two PIM. To say he’s been a pleasant surprise is understating the fact that Pastrnak has fully broken out at 20 years old. And not in the way a lot of 20 year olds break out…
Brian Boyle – Two goals on four shots playing 19 minutes. Boyle received second line ice time in this game and delivered. He’s an okay streamer, especially if you count faceoff wins.
Valtteri Filppula – Three assists with two shots. He’s surprisingly up to 21 points in 29 games. The shots are poor and PIM are low but he’s a solid source of assists. As you all know, I’d rather stream his type of player than hold.
Victor Hedman – Three assists. Hedman is one of those guys who seems like he hasn’t done much but then you look at the numbers and he’s a #1D. It’s solid in all categories right now.
Alex Killorn – Two goals and an assist with six shots playing over 20 minutes. Damn, that’s one way to breakout from a cold streak. I’d still rather stream but it’s close considering the consistent PIM on top of the goals.
T.J. Brodie – Goal and an assist with two shots. I’m still hard passing on Brodie right now.
Troy Brouwer – Goal and an assist. Okay streamer but I’d rather look elsewhere most of the time.
Chad Johnson – 17 saves on 21 shots in 40 minutes before getting pulled in the 6-3 loss to Tampa. He was due for a dud and he didn’t get much help in front of him. I look forward to seeing how he does next time out.
Brayden Schenn – Goal and two PIM. Hotter than a pistol at the moment and is now a top 15 skater over the last month.
Wayne Simmonds – Goal on three shots. My mancrush on Simmonds has certainly paid off for my fantasy teams!
Jakub Voracek – Assist with two shots and seven PIM. Is there anything he doesn’t do?
Rene Bourque – Goal on five shots. Decent streamer right now with 9 goals in 26 games.
Gabriel Landeskog – Assist with three shots and five PIM. Good to see the Kog back stuffing the stat sheet. I can see him getting on a bit of a heater in the coming weeks.
Matt Duchene – Two goals on three shots. Duchene is well on his way to topping last season’s 59 points. I’d like to see the shots up a bit more and the PIM are nonexistent but with 12+8 in 24 games, there’s no complaints here.
Cam Fowler – Assist with a shot and two PIM playing 26 minutes. It’s slowed down a bit as expected but Fowler has still been worth far more than his draft value.
Rickard Rakell – Goal and an assist with two shots. Man, Rakell has broken out in a big way. Shoutout to everyone who stashed him while he was holding out or the people who sniped him off waivers when he signed.
Artemi Panarin – Two goals and an assist with three shots. Right when I say Panarin is dropping off a bit compared to last year’s pace, he rips off 6 points in 3 games. Kid is damn good.
Duncan Keith – Two assists with a shot. Keith still has as many goals as I do on the season. The 20 assists sure are nice but that’s why he’s a #2 in fantasy, not a #1.
Brent Seabrook – Two assists with a shot while being -3. The Blackhawks were crushed at even strength in this one but the power play came through three times. Seabrook remains a clear hold in 12’ers but it’s bottom end.
Anders Lee – Goal on four shots. It’s a solid streamer at the moment while he’s hot.
Mike Smith – 44 saves on 46 shots in the 3-2 shootout win in Toronto. This run by Smith mimics the Canucks run to open the season. We all know how that turned out.
Anthony DeAngelo – Assist with a shot. I’m holding him at this point.
Frederik Andersen – 28 saves on 30 shots taking the loss. He’s a top 5 goalie over the last month so grab him if he’s still available.
Jake Gardiner – Assist with four shots. Gardiner is now getting power play time and has a point in four straight games. He’s right on the fringe of 12’ers.
Mitch Marner – Goal on two shots. Marner has slowed down a bit lately but he’ll be fine.
Auston Matthews – Goal on four shots with four PIM. He looks like a great bet to reach the 30 goal mark which is no small feat for a rookie.
Jeff Zatkoff – 17 saves on 18 shots in the 4-1 win over Detroit. Like most nights for the Kings goalie, this was an easy one for Zatkoff. He’s the same as Peter Budaj in my mind: when he plays, the GAA will be great and the save percentage will be below average.
Dustin Brown – Two assists with two shots. Brown’s fantasy value in standard leagues is near zero.
Cory Schneider – 26 saves on 30 shots in the 5-2 loss to the Blues. Man, this has been a horrible run for Schneider who is the second worst goalie in fantasy over the last month (only MAF is worse). I wouldn’t be looking to buy low but at the same time, Schneider has such a good track record that it’s tempting to consider it.
Adam Henrique – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM. I suspect Henrique’s offense is going to continually improve so I’d grab him if he’s available in a 12’er and even 10’er.
Vladimir Tarasenko – Goal and two assists with three shots. Is 10 points in 5 games good? Asking for a friend. He’s only 2 points behind McJesus with a game in hand.
Alex Pietrangelo – Goal on four shots. The stat line would look great if he wasn’t sitting at -7.
Jake Allen – 24 saves on 26 shots earning another win. It’s to the point where we just need Allen to string together some quality starts.
Devan Dubnyk – 34 saves on 36 shots in the 5-2 win over Smashville. I think I’ve said all I need to about Dubnyk. Duuuuuubbbbbbb!
Jonas Brodin – Goal on three shots. It’s crazy to think this is Brodin’s 5th season in the NHL already. He’s not far off from a career high in points and while I don’t think it’s enough yet for 12’ers, one injury to a different Wild D and it could be.
Charlie Coyle – Goal and an assist with two shots. As the kids chanted in the Mighty Ducks as they had a penalty shot to win states, “Charlie! Charlie!” He’s not far off a 30+30 pace.
Mikael Granlund – Goal and an assist. That’s a five game point streak for Granlund and while the shots are relatively poor, I’m holding him while he’s this hot.
Nino Niederreiter – Two assists with three shots. Four game point streak for El Nino who can also be held for the short term or streamed at the least.
Eric Staal – Two goals on three shots with two PIM. As expected, Bruce Boudreau has been a godsend to the Wild and besides Dubnyk, Staal is the biggest beneficiary.
Viktor Arvidsson – Assist with three shots. Two part question. Have you been reading my posts lately? If no, you’re missing out! If you have, did you grab Arvidsson yet? There’s no excuse for him to be on the waiver wire at this point.
Aleksander Barkov – Goal on three shots. As expected, Barkov is really starting to pick things up. It’s only going to get better.
Aaron Ekblad – Assist with five shots and two PIM. You don’t usually see 3 category guys but Ekblad is goals, shots and PIM right now and I don’t even think the PIM is sustainable. It’s a nice guy to have if you’re short in shots but man, it’s nowhere near what most expected. Hell, it’s not even close to what I expected and I was lowest on him.
Reilly Smith – Goal and an assist with two shots. Big disappointment at this stage of the season. Smith can be streamed but that’s about it.
Vincent Trocheck – Goal on six shots with two PIM playing over 24 minutes. He’s also been disappointing although I’m holding onto Trocheck and might throw out some buy low offers. The minutes are so good and the shots are really coming up.
Dustin Byfuglien – Goal and an assist with three shots. Can you feel the heat emitting from Byfuglien? It’s keeping me warm in subzero temperatures over 1,000 miles away!
Patrik Laine – Assist with four shots and two PIM. He’s going through his first mini goal scoring drought at 4 games which just shows you how well he’s played to this point.
Henrik Lundqvist – 27 save shutout in the 2-0 win over the Stars. Lundqvist had to leave the game for 5 minutes after Cody Eakin crushed him illegally behind the net. Thankfully the King was okay and came back with a vengeance. The buy low window might already be closed but The King stay The King!
Rick Nash – Goal on two shots in his first game back from the groin injury. Get the man back into your lineups.
Antti Niemi – 28 saves on 29 shots taking the loss. That’s two strong games in a row for Niemi but I still don’t trust it one bit.
Friday Streamers – It’s a bigger Friday slate than usual with seven games on the slate. Here are my top three streaming options:
Bryan Rust (4.8%) – The Penguins had the night off while the Kings will be on a back to back. Rust is playing very well at the moment and I think the Pens take it to L.A. in this one.
Matt Moulson (6.9%) – The Sabres tend to shuffle lines a fair amount but Moulson will start the game against the Islanders with Jack Eichel and Kyle Okposo. Revenge game narrative also in play.
Vladislav Namestnikov (4.5) – He had been through a brutal cold streak until he put up an assist in each of the last two games. I like Namestnikov’s chances of making it three games going against the Canucks.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back on Monday recapping all of the weekend’s action. As always, feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments below. Have a great weekend, take care!