If I asked you who would have the better numbers after a month or so of play, Tuukka Rask (L, 12 SV, 4 GA, .750%) or Jonathan Bernier (W, 25 SV, 1 GA, .962%), I’m willing to bet a case of beer and a back of pucks you’d snap back with Tuukka as your answer pretty quickly. To be fair so would I, and we’d both be wrong. To this point Bernier’s sports a season line of 5-3-2/2.58/.917% while Tuukka is sitting ugly at 8-5-0/2.69/.901%. Believe it? You best. It seemed as though Tuukka was getting his act together after a rough October until he was bombed for four goals on 16 shots last night by a team that he has completely dominated in the past. When I say completely dominated, I mean never allowing more than two goals against them before last night completely dominated. To be fair, the Leafs are on fire right now so this is a different Toronto team that Rask has owned in the past, but still, I’m starting to worry about Rask’s overall play this season. My gut says he’ll be fine, but his stellar play this month comes against teams like the Cats, Oilers, Devils and Sens. That’s not exactly the cream of the offensive crop, so it’s expected that he’d handle them with general ease. It was also expected that he’d handle the Leafs in a similar fashion, too. If it makes Rask owners feel any better, he was pulled in the second for rookie Niklas Svedberg (2 GA, 15 SV, .882%) who promptly coughed up two of his own on 17 shots. At the heart of the matter here is Boston’s decimated defense and most notably the absence of its heart and soul Zdeno Chara, so these struggles aren’t wholly his fault. You can’t trade Tuukka because his value is far, far below his ADP, so you’ll just have to stick it out. This is yet another example of why you shouldn’t be taking goalies in the first two rounds. If you own Tuukka, you most likely did just that. Well, while you took Tuukka I drafted Tyler Seguin and I couldn’t be happier with my pick, how about you? Goalies are too unpredictable to justify taking that early, even the elites, and they often fail to live up to their ADP. It’s not about what your early goalie grab gives you or doesn’t, it’s what you left on the board while doing it that’s at the heart of the matter. Always remember my mantra; skaters first. Skaters first. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in the world o’ fantasy hockey last night:

Olli Maatta should be back within the next week or so, and that’s pretty incredible considering the tumor doctors removed from his thyroid gland was indeed cancerous. Yeah, you read that right, dude had a cancerous tumor removed and he’ll be back on the ice within a week of this post. Dude is a beast.

T.J. Oshie has been activated and will be back on the ice tonight, so get him back in your lineups.

Tyler Johnson is expected back on the ice for the Bolts tonight, which is good news for his owners. It sounds like it’s bad news for Jonathan Drouin owners, though, as it sounds like Drouin is headed for healthy scratchville to make room for Johnson and Alex Killorn’s return to action tonight.

Dan Boyle is expected to return tonight for the Rangers, so get him back in your lineups if you still own him. He’s probably worth picking up in leagues where his owners threw up their hands and threw him to the wire.

Phil Kessel (2 G, 4 SOG, +2) – Imagine if the Bruins still had Kessel and Tyler Seguin? Oh, what could have been for Boston fans.

James van Reimsdyk (1 G, 2 A, 1 SOG) – JvR is rolling with seven points in his last five games and goals in back to back games. So long as Kessel is healthy and doing his thing JvR will continue to roll as well, I don’t know that he’d do as well without Phil around, though.

Tyler Bozak (1 G, 2 A, 3 SOG) – If Bozak stays healthy he finishes the year around 60 points with 20-plus goals. This line is pretty deadly; in fact it’s better than any Bozak has ever played on, so the opportunities will keep coming. If he is on your wire you’d do well to snatch him up.

Jason LaBarbera (W, 14 SV, 2 GA, .875%) – Don’t get too excited seeing HannaBarbera’s name in the win column again. Frederik Andersen (3 GA, 7 SV, .700%) had a rough night and coughed up three goals on ten shots before getting lifted in the second. Everyone has a bad night now and then; so don’t be too worried about Andersen. There is no goalie controversy here and no, you shouldn’t add LaBarbera.

Jon Quick (L, 44 SV, 5 GA, .898%) – Ouch. The Kings need to do something about their defense and fast, but it sounds like their hands are mostly tied due to cap restrictions. There was a group of folks who claimed that Quick was made to look far better than he really is by a staunch Kings D and now he’s getting the opportunity to prove them wrong. This game doesn’t exactly go a long way to proving anything good to anyone, but the guy faced 49 freakin’ shots, so we have to cut him some slack. I don’t think Quick is in trouble this year, but he may not finish 2015 with his usual microscopic peripherals. Between what’s happening with Tuukka Rask, Quick and Henrik Lundqvist, I’m feeling pretty confident in my skaters first draft strategy. Goalies are just too unpredictable to waste a first or second round pick on.

Marian Gaborik (1 G, 3 SOG, +1) – Last night’s goal gives him tallies in back-to-back games and three points over his last two. When he’s healthy he’s deadly, but he’s never healthy. He’ll get injured again; you can set your clock to it. That being said, if for whatever reason he ended up on the wire in our league he’s worth adding. Trading for him is another story and I’m willing to bet more than a few of his owners will try to move him while he’s actually upright on skates. Proceed with caution if you’re on the receiving end of a trade offer built around Gabby.

Anze Kopitar (1 G, 1 A, 2 SOG) – Two games with Gabby back on his line and Igor posts back-to-back two point games with goals in each contest. It’s terrifying to me, and it should be to all Igor owners, that it appears his offensive production this season seems directly tied to the presence of Gaborik. These two could go on a crazy rampage of scoring while Gabby is healthy, and I’d think about selling high on both guys if you can.

Drew Doughty (1 G, 1 A, 3 SOG) – Doughty finally gets on the board with his first goal of the season. Despite the early offensive struggles by the Kings Doughty is actually on pace for 40-plus points, which would put him squarely where he usually is. He teased us all with a 59-point campaign back in 2009, but I doubt he’s capable of putting together an offensive season like that again. Still, 40-plus points, 70 PIM and 200 shots is valuable in every league. Yeah, he’s on pace for 200 shots this year, which would be a career high. I would imagine if he keeps putting the puck on net at this rate he could finish in the high 40s by season’s end.

Ryan Kesler (2 G, 1 A, 4 SOG) – After finishing October with eight points in 12 games Kesler has rebounded with six points in his last four games. His outburst brings his season line to 5-9-14 and he’s on pace for around 70 points now, which is about what you could reasonably expect from him this season. Peeps were freaking out last month, but Kesler’s recent return to form should be more evidence lending credence to the maxim that patient managers are winning managers in fantasy sports.

Jakob Silfverberg (1 G, 1 A, 4 SOG) – Oh sure, I’m all about Jake and telling people his sick wrister and great vision have to lead to some offensive production, right? I mean, he was going to be top six for the mighty powerful Ducks, how could he not break out? Bah. So I drop the bum and now he has three points in his last three games with 10 shots on goal and a plus-two. Really, Jake? This is how we’re going to play it this year? You’re dead to me, sir. Dead.

Cam Fowler (1 G, 1 SOG, +1) – Here’s a guy that everyone overlooks and wants to drop or trade and I want to break you all of that habit right now. I know he had a horrible sophomore campaign that saw him post just five goals and 29 points in 82 games and then followed that up with an injury shortened, woeful third year, but that doesn’t take away from his level of skill, which is quite high. Despite being in the league for four seasons he’s only 22, for you math majors that means he made his NHL debut at 18 and, as an 18 year-old rookie he put up 11 goals and 40 points in 76 games. Fast forward to now and he’s put up 10 points in 16 games so far and is currently on pace for 51 points, a marker I think he’s capable of reaching. I figure he’ll probably end up in the 40s again, but his ceiling is definitely higher than many seem to think it is.

Sami Vatanen (2 A, 2 SOG, +2) – Okay, okay already. I’m on board and I bought a first class ticket to Vatanenville.

Cody Franson (2 A, 1 SOG, +1, 4 PIM) – I mostly drafted Franson where I could because he hits everything that moves and had decent offensive upside, but nothing huge, so color me surprised when I saw his current streak had him post seven points in his last five games. Of those seven points three have come on the power play and it looks like he’s on the point for the Leafs’ deadly first unit, so if he’s available in your league for whatever reason, add him now before the opportunity slips away.

Leo Komarov (1 A, 1 PT, 4 SOG, 6 Hits) – What’s this? Komarov with a power play point? I wouldn’t get used to that, but the hits (69) will keep on coming and he now has four points in his last three games. I touched on Komrade Leo earlier this week as a guy to target and his recent stretch does nothing but tell me to tell you once again to add him in any league that counts hits. You won’t find many guys who can offer up as much destruction as Komarov can with some solid offensive upside to to go with it.

  1. Lenard says:
    (link)

    So I’m in a 16 teamer and my goalies are Halak, Frederick Andersen, and Stalock. We need 4 games minimum per week instead of the usual 3. Waiting on goalies has given me a pretty good offense, but trading for a keeper requires a massive overpay. Legitimately all starters are owned.

    So until Stalock comes back, should I pick up Tokarski or Martin Jones? The other option would be Greiss. Most likely drop would be Abdelkader Scheifelelele, or Courtier. Inclined to drop Abs because Faceoff Wins are a cat.

    I also have Backes, Landeskog, Benn, Tarasenko, Toews, Monahan, and Burkakovsky as forward eligible players for context.

    • Lenard says:
      (link)

      @Lenard: Also have Nichuskin (whatever spelling it actually is) on the IR, as well as Chara there. Dropping VN would allow me to add Stalock to the IR and avoid dropping anyone else. Can’t drop Stalock until a firm timetable is established, but even if it is a 4-6 weeks, I think he’s worth hanging onto because of the lack of keepers on the wire.

      • JD

        JD says:
        (link)

        @Lenard: I doubt Stalock will be out for over a month. From the sounds of it his surgery went well, it was a minor procedure and he should be back in 2-4 weeks. If he starts skating early in that timetable he could beat the estimate, but he’ll be out for at least two weeks it sounds. Of the two, I’d add Toker. I think he’ll get more starts than Jones will, but not by a lot.

  2. Apollo says:
    (link)

    Hey JD, Do you think Forsberg can maintain his point production? I image there will be some regression, but he’s playing so great, so I think he’ll still be a solid producer. What do you expect his points would be at the end of the year? What do you think his current trade value is right now? I’ve heard names like Karlsson and Kunitz would be a fair trade.

    What do you think Dustin Byfulglien’s trade value is right now? I find knowing a general person gives me a good the idea of what they are worth. I can figure out the comparable value to players on my team from there.

    Sorry if that’s a question overload.
    Thanks.

    • JD

      JD says:
      (link)

      @Apollo: I think Forsberg’s goal scoring will slow eventually, but if he stays on that top line with Ribs and Neal, he’s going to have high upside all season long. He should end up around 50-60 points this sesaon and be a strong contender for the Calder. His trade value is extremely high right now. I can see Fors for Kunitz straight up, but I’d balk at sending Karlsson, though others might not depending on their needs.

      Buff’s trade value is about as low as it can get right now. He’s really not producing and the Jets remain a hot mess. Trading for him is a decent buy low move, but trading for him is risky at best.

      No worries on the questions, mate. That’s what I’m here for. Thanks for reading!

      • Troy: The Collector

        troy says:
        (link)

        @JD: I legitimately think 60 or 70 is closer to what forsberg does. He should blow past 50 points (as long as he’s healthy) playing with the likes of neal and ribs I believe 25 goals and 40 assist isn’t that far off.

        • JD

          JD says:
          (link)

          @troy: A bold prediction. I think people get excited about rookies and their strong early play and forget that they tire later in the season. The game at the NHL level is much, much faster than at any other level in any other league on earth so it takes time to adjust to that in terms of conditioning. He should be solid all year, but I think as the season winds down he’s going to slow a bit.

  3. Cheffe says:
    (link)

    Maybe you should add that Doughty would score 60 points on every other team in the league.. it’s the Kings style of play, but 2 Stanley Cups support it.

    • JD

      JD says:
      (link)

      @Cheffe: I could, and it’s probably true, but in context for this season it wasn’t worth mentioning. He doesn’t play for another team, it’s likely that he won’t for a long time, either. So what he could do elsewhere is irrelevant. On the Kings he’s a 40-50 point defenseman, which still puts him near the bottom of the elite dmen, anyway.

      • goodfold2 says:
        (link)

        @JD: kings were not a good team overall back when doughty was a pts machine. i remember his first year as wonderful for betting the kings though (or it might’ve been his 2nd year i’m thinking about), since their money lines were so weak.

  4. Toe Knee says:
    (link)

    Is it to early to drop Kuemper for Harding ? I can’t stash without dropping with our goalie limit . Kuemper has been nothing short of suckass lately.

    • JD

      JD says:
      (link)

      @Toe Knee: Yeah, it’s too early. There’s no word on when Harding is going to return. Most speculate it should be soon since he’s practicing, but he has been off the ice for a while so at the very least he’s going to get activated and sent to the AHL for a conditioning stint before he gets the call back to big ice. Then he can start working on earning back the starting job. It’s a long road ahead, so you have to stick with Kuemps for now.

  5. Toe Knee says:
    (link)

    Also what is your opinion of these 2 guys. Elias Lindholm and Peter Holland ? Are these guys just hot now or can they sustain it thanks ?

    • JD

      JD says:
      (link)

      @Toe Knee: Lindholm is baller and I expect he’s going to be a real asset for the Canes and fantasy owners alike. Whether or not he pulls it all together this year or not remains to be seen, but he’s going to be a high value scoring forward sooner than later.

      Peter Holland is another story. I’ve heard it said that the big fella has a lot of tools but has no idea how to use them. He couldn’t crack the Ducks’ top-six but they felt like he shouldn’t be stuck in their bottom-six, either, so they traded him. He ended up with the Leafs were he’s getting a shot… but in their bottom-six. I don’t think he can sustain it. That all being said, he’s scoring right now so pick him up and ride him while he’s hot if you can.

  6. JD, I was just offered Spezza C & Gaborik RW for Neal LW & Oshie RW. We have 2C, 2 LW & 2 RW slots, plus 1 Util. I already have 6 RW eligible players and 4 LW’s. LW’s seem kind of scarce. The deal looks okay if I can stomach Gaborik being a band aid boy, and do not know what to expect from Oshie at this point. Neal has been good, but not spectacular. Kind of hard to give up a LW for a center though, then RW for RW. Not a good balance. I would be hurting at LW depth. I have 5 center eligible guys too. I need to drop one from Little, Monahan, or Oshie to waivers today, as Oshie is no longer on IR and I cannot make moves until I activate him. Who do I drop from those 3? Little has gotten me only 11 points in last 15 days, Monahan 49.5 in that span (FW +1/FOL -1). Also, do I pull the trigger on that trade? Thanks!

    • @madden_curser: @madden_curser: Eric Staal C
      Bryan Little C
      Sean Monahan C
      Tyler Seguin C/RW
      Martin St. Louis C/RW
      Gustav Nyquist RW
      Jakub Voracek RW
      Vladimir Tarasenko RW
      T.J. Oshie, StL RW (IR)
      James Neal LW
      Jonathan Drouin LW
      Alexander Steen LW

        • JD

          JD says:
          (link)

          @madden_curser: I’m not super high on the deal. You’re set at center, so adding Spezza isn’t really needed. You are jacked at RW and like you mentioned a few times, LW is shallow. You send away Neal, who is injury prone, for Spezza and Gabby who are both injury prone too, so it’s a deal full of glass men and you’re getting more glass than you’re giving. I think you’re better off sticking with your current roster.

          As for dealing with Oshie on IR, of the three guys you can drop Oshie or Little, they’re basically going to give you the same production moving forward.

  7. goodfold2 says:
    (link)

    nothing was stopping you though from picking up silverfish again. i just did, but i didn’t have to use a waiver claim. i see you do need goalie starts though with stalock out.

    • JD

      JD says:
      (link)

      @goodfold2: My team is getting crushed by injury and otherwise, I have so many guys out I don’t even have bench slots to burn so I made a call to add Mrazek hoping he gets called back up sooner than later and gets a few starts in. Given what’s on the wire it was my best opportunity. Besides, I don’t need help with assists, Jake isn’t scoring goals and he offers squat for other cats, so he was the short man on my already short totem pole. My goalies are a mess. Goddamn 1st pick.

      • goodfold2 says:
        (link)

        @JD: my team is straight up awful. just weak at many many things.

        • goodfold2 says:
          (link)

          @goodfold2: that’s my only team like that, also.

          • JD

            JD says:
            (link)

            @goodfold2: Mine is mediocre. I’m holding out hope that I’m dealing with this huge injury rush and when Hedman, Raymond, Voynov, Nichushkin, Lovejoy and Stalock get back and healthy, I’ll be able to move up the rankings over time. I’m standing on a very precarious edge with my goalies though. And by “my goalies” I mean Ben Bishop. Yar. My other teams are all pretty dominant as well.

            • goodfold2 says:
              (link)

              @JD: i just saw nicush out for basically whole season, and it also explains why he was so useless the few games he played. Also, right after i said how bad this team was, it moves up 6-7 spots in 2 days. Reverse rode the broom on myself.

Comments are closed.