Monday night was a short slate, but there were a couple great games. Florida and Edmonton decided that defense (and goaltending) was optional leading to a 7-5 barn burner. Vincent Trocheck took over the game late, scoring three goals in the third period on six shots to record his first career hat trick. No matter what format you play, Trocheck has been incredible this season. By the end of the month, there’s a great chance that Trocheck has set career highs in goals, assists, PPP (already did that) and SOG. The 24 year old is also a monster in faceoffs, hits, and blocks for a forward as well. For those of us in standard leagues, Trocheck looks like a top 35 player for this season and in the future, if not even better. He’s basically Jamie Benn with a better shot rate and a lower floor for penalty minutes (obviously plus-minus can shift year-to-year). The only potential downside going forward is that Trocheck is already averaging 21:33 per game, which has nowhere to go but down. Either way, that’s of no concern for me; Trocheck is still underrated in my eyes. Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Nikita Kucherov – Goal and an assist with four shots and two PIM on Monday, assist with four shots on Tuesday. Disgusting human being.
Alex Killorn – Goal and an assist with two shots on Monday, one shot playing 22 minutes on Tuesday. The minutes are there getting him back to middling streamer status.
William Nylander – Two goals and an assist. Nylander has found his way again with 13 points in his last 10 games. It’s infuriating that Nylander’s minutes are below 15 per game. Just play him more Babcock! The shot rate and PIM are pretty poor now too which really hurts Nylander’s value.
Auston Matthews – Three assists with two shots. As mentioned above, Matthews minutes remain low as he played under 17 minutes in this game. There’s no reason why Matthews shouldn’t be around 20 minutes a game on a nightly basis. If that does happen eventually, it gives him even more upside.
Jake Gardiner – Goal and an assist. Gardiner has really stepped up with Rielly being out dishing ten assists over the last ten games. It’s pretty close to AAGNOF but he needs to be owned everywhere.
Keith Yandle – Two assists with three shots. Loving what we’re seeing from Yandle lately, not only in the points department, but with an increased shot rate over the last few weeks.
Evgeny Dadonov – Two goals on six shots. He’s been right around what I expected offensively when I snuck him into my top 100. Just a shame that Dadonov missed time due to injury.
Jonathan Huberdeau – Two assists with four shots. Huberdeau is barely a top 50 forward despite being at a point per game, which just goes to show you how much things besides points matter.
Michael Matheson – Two assists with two shots. I’m not convinced he ever becomes anything more than a fringe option in 12’ers down the line.
Aaron Ekblad – Goal and an assist with four shots. He looks like a guy who is going to settle into the 15-20 goal range every season with quality penalty minutes and an elite shot rate. But man, the lack of assists is troubling. Ebklad has value, but nowhere near what people hoped as the #1 pick. From a fantasy perspective, he’s starting to look like a Justin Faulk.
Denis Malgin – Goal and an assist. Malgin has 4+4 in the last 10 games making him an okay option to stream in deep leagues. Nothing here for 12’ers because of a poor shot rate and virtually no penalty minutes.
Connor McDavid – Goal and an assist with five shots. Just a reminder that he’s barely 21 years old and already has 214 points in 182 games.
Patrick Maroon – Goal and an assist. Maroon is fine for what he is, but his value would take a hit if the Oilers trade him away at the deadline.
Alex DeBrincat – Goal on seven shots Monday, goal and an assist with two shots Tuesday. Come on Q, play the kid more than 15 minutes! Your season is over, give him some run.
Antti Raanta – 37 saves on 38 shots in the 6-1 win over the Blackhawks. Revenge game! Raanta has a .918 save percentage and 2.58 GAA on the season now which has some value. Sure, the wins aren’t good, but I wouldn’t be afraid of using Raanta despite being on the last place team in the standings.
Max Domi – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM. I loved Domi a couple years ago and I’m still brash on his upside. I think if someone traded for Domi in real life, they’d be getting an incredible buy low. He doesn’t have much value in redrafts right now but it’s coming eventually.
Tobias Rieder – Goal and an assist with two shots. I had hopes for Rieder after 2015-16 but he hasn’t gone to another level. He’s waiver wire fodder at this point.
Christian Fischier – Two assists with five shots. Very nice rookie season for Fischier, who is on pace for 20+20 at 20 years old. I’d like to have him in deep dynasties where if he improves a bit, he has a fair amount of value. I wouldn’t be using him in 12’ers or look to have him in 12’ers in dynasties, but I’m much more intrigued with Fischier’s future than I was six months ago.
Alex Goligoski – Goal and an assist on Monday, goal on Tuesday I don’t think Gogo is good enough right now to hold because of the plus-minus.
Clayton Keller – Goal and an assist with two PIM. Despite slumping in the second half, let’s not forget that Keller is still 19 years old and is a top 25 dynasty forward without question.
Ryan O’Reilly – Goal and two assists with six shots playing almost 25 minutes. The minutes are preposterous since Eichel went down making RoR must-own in all leagues.
Sam Reinhart – Two goals on four shots. He’s played incredible hockey as I’ve outlined in great detail over the last two weeks.
David Rittich – 35 saves on 39 shots in the 5-2 loss to the Bruins. The injury to Mike Smith is less severe than it appeared so Rittich is more of a short-term add than anything.
Patrice Bergeron – Two goals on six shots. So damn good.
Riley Nash – Two goals on three shots. Solid streamer in deep leagues but that’s about it.
David Backes – Two assists with a shot. With the big jump in shot rate, Backes should be owned everywhere for the all-around contribution.
Anze Kopitar – Goal and an assist with two shots. Their team would stink if it wasn’t for Kopitar’s wizardry.
Tyler Toffoli – Goal and an assist with six shots. The goal snapped a 13 game goalless streak. The shot rate is there which makes him hold-worthy but the rest of his numbers are yawnstipating.
Justin Faulk – Hat trick on five shots. Positive regression, come on down! I still don’t love Faulk, and would probably leave him on the wire in 12’ers, but it’s close enough that you can go either way depending on team needs.
Teuvo Teravainen – Three assists with a shot. It’s pretty AAGNOF but Teravainen needs to be owned in all formats at the moment.
Sebastian Aho – Goal and two assists with three shots. The shot rate is down lately but on the whole, Aho has been extremely solid.
Jeff Skinner – Two goals and two PIM. The plus-minus is brutal but everything else has been solid or better. No debate over what to do with Skinner.
Justin Williams – Two assists with four shots as did Victor Rask. Meh, they’re okay streamers but that’s it.
Sergei Bobrovsky – 29 saves on 30 shots in the 4-1 win over the Islanders. “Sergei!” For the rest of the quote, watch The Wire, and then read Abrams’ book that just came out that I am about to start. Bob is the man, just like The Wire is as the G.O.A.T. Television Series.
Zach Werenski – Three assists with six shots. He’s been slumping but Werenski needs to be held.
Oliver Bjorkstrand – Goal and an assist with five shots. I don’t know if it’ll be next year, two years, or down the line even further, but Bjorkstrand will be a fantasy commodity at some point.
Pierre-Luc Dubois – Goal and an assist with three shots. Same as Bjorkstrand, except one or two tiers higher.
Taylor Hall – Two goals on seven shots. Dude is a crusher who should be mentioned when we’re talking about the best 10-15 players in the league. He’s that damn good.
Nico Hischier – Goal and an assist with three shots. Things are only going to get better for the 19 year old down the line. For redrafts, he’s right on the fence.
Travis Zajac – Two assists with three shots and two PIM playing over 22 minutes. He’s still bad for fantasy despite the massive minutes.
Jesper Bratt – Two assists with four shots. He’s fallen off quite a bit, to the point where he’s a middling streamer in redrafts. I don’t love the long-term upside but Bratt has still been a revelation.
Claude Giroux – Goal and an assist with three shots. To say Giroux has bounced back is an incredible understatement.
Shayne Gostisbehere – Two assists with two shots and two PIM. Same as Giroux, Claude.
Brian Elliott – Out five to six weeks with a core muscle injury. I actually think this will help the Flyers. They may make a trade, but for now, Michal Neuvirth should be owned everywhere.
Sidney Crosby – Three assists with a shot. Dude is slaying all comers right now.
Kris Letang – Goal and an assist with five shots finishing +4. Down year for Letang, partially because of bad shooting luck, partially because his plus-minus is a dumpster fire.
Evgeni Malkin – Goal and an assist with two shots. Just stay healthy!
Brian Dumoulin – Two assists and +4. And there’s your annual Dumoulin update!
Jake Guentzel – Two goals on six shots. Maybe it’ll get better down the line, but Guentzel is a mediocre streamer as long as he’s off Crosby’s wing.
Justin Schultz – Two assists. I’ve honestly given up on Schultz for 12’ers at this point.
Zach Aston-Reese – Two goals on four shots. What’s better than scoring your first NHL goal? Your first two goals in the same game!
Jimmy Howard – 32 saves on 33 shots in the 2-1 win over the Ducks. Faith, I have none in Howard.
Alex Steen – Goal and an assist. Solid streamer but Steen’s days of being a hold appear to be over.
Vladimir Tarasenko – Two assists with five shots. Dude is a tank, that is all.
Austin Watson – Two goals. Watson might be the perfect example of a valuable player in real life but having next to zero fantasy value. The former first round pick may be a bust in the fantasy realm, but he’s still been solid from a Nashville P.O.V.
Mark Scheifele – Two goals and an assist with four shots. His first big game since he returned from injury, Scheifele has all the potential to become a six category stud, or at least five categories while being decent enough in PIM.
Dustin Byfuglien – Two assists with two shots and two PIM. Big Buff doing Big Buff things!
Mathieu Perreault – Two assists with four shots. He’s been solid while healthy and Perreault is up on the first line so he’s an elite streamer. I don’t think it lasts the last two months of the season, but it doesn’t matter as a streamer.
Kevin Hayes – Goal and an assist with two shots playing almost 20 minutes. While the minutes are there, Hayes is an elite streamer.
David Perron – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM. I still expect some regression, but I’m just going to roll with Perron instead of selling off.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back on Friday recapping the action of the next two nights. I am planning to do a podcast on Thursday with Reid (assuming he gets the recording software given that my computer crashed last week) so be on the lookout for that. As always, feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments below. Thanks for reading, take care!