The last lottery pick for the Washington Capitals has really come into his own.  Jakub Vrana had an incredible weekend, starting with two goals on eight shots against the Sabres.  He followed it up with a hat trick on five shots against the Flames on Sunday.  That brings Vrana to 9+5 in 16 games with just under three shots per game.  He’s a main stay on the second line and second power play unit, so the question is whether or not he’s a hold.  For now, I lean towards yes.  I don’t think it’ll last all season, but Vrana is playing excellent hockey right now and I want to take advantage of it.  The 23 year old has made a jump in every season of his career and looks to be down that path again.  Given that he had 24+23 last season, another slight improvement will get right right onto the fringe.  Vrana isn’t an automatic add given that Washington has only two games this week, but I’m holding onto him while Vrana has his foot on the accelerator.  Let’s take a look at what else happened this weekend:

Friday’s Games

Tom Wilson – Goal and two assists with two shots.  Wilson is on the second line now, but I’m still holding him in all formats.

Michal Kempny – Three assists with a shot.  I don’t expect this offense to continue, but I don’t mind grabbing Kempny while he’s a hot schmotato.  Given that he’s playing with Carlson who is lighting the world on fire, he should stumble into a career high in points.

Braden Holtby – 29 saves on 30 shots in the 6-1 win over the Sabres.  Easy night for Holtby who is piling up wins despite horrible percentages.  I was low on Holtby going into the season, and I still have him as a #2.

Roope Hintz – Two goals on five shots.  Hintz is a top end streamer but I’m not holding.

Anton Khudobin – 38 saves on 39 shots in the 2-1 win over the Avalanche.  Khudobin has allowed only one goal in three straight, albeit against two bad teams and an injured Colorado squad.  I’m streaming him in most matchups.

Sean Couturier – Goal and an assist with two shots.  Not the best start in terms of points for Couturier but I like what I’m seeing.  I don’t think you can necessarily buy low, but he’s a nice trade target.

Oskar Lindblom – Goal and an assist with three shots.  Solid streamer while on the second line.

Kyle Palmieri – Two assists with a shot and 17 PIM.  What a great start across the board for Palmieri.  Given that Hughes and Hischier should continue to improve, it should even get better for Palmieri.

Taylor Hall – Goal and an assist with two shots.  Back to a point per game as expected.

Anders Lee – Goal and two assists with four shots.  The shot rate has really dropped off for Lee which makes me a bit worried going forward.  I think he’s on the fringe now instead of an easy hold, and I kind of lean towards elite streamer.

Sebastian Aho – Two goals and an assist with four shots and two PIM.  Props to Matt for picking him in the Three Point Challenge!  I’m been saying that I have no concern about Aho for weeks so hopefully this eliminates some doubt for everyone that was worried.

Dougie Hamilton – Three assists with two PIM and a shot.  Jaccob Slavin also had three assists and a shot.  Brind’Amour is finally using these two as the top pair and the offense is coming through for both of them.  Given Gardiner’s struggles, I wonder if Slavin eventually gets a chance on the power play.  Either way, he’s an easy hold, while Dougie could end up a top 5 D.

Andrei Svechnikov – Goal and an assist with three shots.  Hotter than a pistol!

Anthony Mantha – Two goals on five shots.  He’s getting killed at even strength, but Mantha is crushing the rest of the categories.

Andreas Athanasiou – Two assists with two shots.  It was nice to see him play over 17 minutes, but Athanasiou was also -4.  That brings him to -18 on the season, woof.  I think he’ll get back to being a solid streamer, but I’m not using him at the moment.

Oliver Bjorkstrand – Goal and an assist with five shots.  I wish Torts would trust Bjorkstrand and play him more minutes.  He’s only a bottom end streamer as of now.

David Perron – Goal and an assist with two shots.  Perron is on a massive tear and with Tarasenko out for 5 months, I think we see Perron’s workload increase.

John Gibson – 39 saves on 40 shots in the 2-1 OT win over the Canucks.  Best goalie in the world.

Connor Hellebuyck – 51(!) saves on 53 shots in the 3-2 win over the Sharks.  This is the definition of stealing a game.  Hellebuyck has been incredible for Winnipeg.  Without him, the Jets would be at the bottom of the standings.  I called him a schmohawk in the preseason and he’s proving me wrong through the first month.

Saturday’s Games

Semyon Varlamov – 27 save shutout in the 1-0 win over the Sabres.  Varly had some luck with a couple posts, but he’s been great for the Isles.  Trotz is a god with his system making both Isles goalies must start every time out.

Carter Hutton – 20 saves on 21 shots as the tough luck loser.  Hutton has been excellent and should be held for the time being.

Darcy Kuemper – 33 save shutout in the 3-0 win over the Avalanche.  Speaking of being a god for his defensive system, how about Rick Tocchet?  Kuemper is playing his way into elite status.

Phil Kessel – Goal and an assist with three shots.  Kessel is one of my favorite trade targets right now.  He’s been brutally unlucky in October yet he has still been decent.  I think he’s going to go on a heater really soon.

Mike Smith – 51(!) saves on 52 shots in the 2-1 OT win over the Penguins.  I still do not trust him, but like two seasons ago in Calgary, you have to use Smith while he’s playing well.

Alexandar Georgiev – 32 saves on 33 shots in the 2-1 win over the Predators.  Georgiev has played very well this season following up a strong performance last year.  I would stream him in most matchups.

David Pastrnak – Goal and two assists with three shots.  He’s been remarkable so far and sits as the #2 overall player behind his linemate Brad Marchand (1+1, 6 PIM).

Ben Bishop – 35 saves on 36 shots in the 4-1 win over the Canadiens.  He’s not getting the wins but Bishop has been very good with a 2.33/.922.  The Stars are starting to play better and I buy into their team defensively so I do expect Bishop to push towards being a top 5 goalie for the rest of the season.

Denis Gurianov – Two goals on seven shots.  I’m a big fan of Gurianov long term and he’s a solid streamer right now.

Sergei Bobrovsky – 22 save shutout in the 4-0 win over the Red Wings.  It’s been a rough start for Bob in Florida, although he does have 6 wins in 11 games.  I still expect him to figure it out and post his usual strong numbers.

Jonathan Huberdeau – Two goals and an assist with eight shots.  Huberdeau has managed to somehow be better than last season which I did not see coming.

Keith Yandle – Two assists.  Still selling Yandle while he’s on the third pair getting far less minutes than under Boughner.

David Rittich – 43 save shutout in the 3-0 win over the Blue Jackets.  Damn, there were a lot of excellent goaltending performances this weekend.  Rittich is the clear workhorse in Calgary making him a solid #2.

Elias Pettersson – Two goals on three shots.  This first line is flourishing in Vancouver with Pettersson as the focal point.  If his shot rate can jump, the sky is the limit.

Kyle Connor – Goal and two assists with two shots.  Connor is getting four shots on goal per game right now which is truly elite.  He’s playing great and should continue to do so.

Sunday’s Games

Evgeny Kuznetsov – Two assists with three shots and two PIM.  Kuz has had a very nice start centering the second line and playing on the first power play unit.  He’s carrying that line with Vrana and Wilson and I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets back to being a point per game player.

Jonathan Toews – Two assists with two shots and four PIM.  He scored his first even strength goal of the season over the weekend which is horrible given Toews’ workload.  He’s played his way onto the fringe and I lean towards streaming him.

Patrick Kane – Goal and an assist with three shots.  Slow start by Kane’s standards but unlike Toews, I am not worried.

Three Point Challenge: For those who aren’t familiar, for each Tuesday and Thursday of the season, you can make a pick in the comments section.  That player needs to get 3+ points for you to win.  You cannot take a player in the top 10 in points in the league.  For the first month to six weeks of the season, we will use last season’s top 10 in points.  That means no McDavid, Kucherov, Kane, Draisaitl, Crosby, Marchand, Gaudreau, MacKinnon, Stamkos, or Barkov.  I will update the standings later today and include that here.  I will also make my pick later today or Tuesday morning.  Feel free to make your own pick below.

That’s all for now guys.  I’ll be back on Wednesday recapping the action from the next two nights.  Feel free to ask any questions, give any comments, or leave any suggestions below.  Thanks for reading, take care!

  1. toolshed says:
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    Would you start grubauer or blackwood this week? Just looking at wins only in a weekly h2h format. Col plays 3 games so I guess grubauer starts 2 of the 3. They are w/o landeskog and rantanen which is a big deal. They lost a close game in OT last week and then got shutout. 2 at home and 1 road. @DAL, NSH, CBJ

    Devils have not been great but play 4 games. Not sure who the starter is in nj. Blackwood has been better than Schneider. They are on the road @WPG, @CGY, @EDM, @VAN. Thanks

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Grubauer without hesitation, not even close despite the extra game for New Jersey. He’s a few tiers better than Blackwood, and all of those games being on the road does him no favors.

  2. toolshed says:
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    Are you buying what goligoski is doing? He has more points than OEL. Do you expect him to keep up the pace and finish with more points than OEL? Thanks

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Not really, I guess I could see him being a bottom end hold but he hasn’t been fantasy relevant in over 5 years. No, and no.

  3. Euroalien says:
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    Great write up Viz! 12 team keeper…… with limited pickups and FAAB. Galchenyuk is available – is he a must grab? Would have to drop one of Hanifin, DeBrusk or maybe Kovalchuk for him. Would appreciate your thoughts.

    Also, how soon before Petersen is brought up for LA?

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Thanks! I would probably grab him, but I don’t think he’s a must grab. I would feel comfortable letting go of Hanifin.

      I don’t expect it soon, mostly because I don’t think you’re going to bury Quick.

  4. d says:
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    Thoughts on moving Pavelski and Dubois for Dadonov and Meier?
    G/A/Pt/Shots/STP/Blocks/GWG/Hits/+/-

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Yeah, I would make that move.

  5. Gerald says:
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    Viz how about my devils beating the hurricanes this weekend… even though they had there back up in lol

    JOhn klingberg was dropped in my league would u drop elder for him?

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Definitely a good win for your guys.

      I would actually hold for now, Klingberg looks awful and Edler has been very good. I’d at least wait until Hughes comes back to consider it, before that while Edler is PP1 you have to hold him

  6. Gerald says:
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    question about positions and players in a Goals Assists Plus/Minus Power play points Shots on goals Hits Wins Goals Against average Save percentage Shut out league

    position slots are as follows

    C-Horvat (C)
    C-Curtorier(C)
    LW-Rakkel (LW,RW)
    LW-DRasaitl (C,LW)
    RW-Blais (LW,RW)
    RW-DEbrincat(LW,RW)
    D-LEtang
    D-DUmba
    D-Edler
    D-Pionk
    BN Gaudreau (LW)
    BN Point (C)
    BN Sergachev (D)
    BN Kadri (D)

    Goalies Min. 3 Goalie apperances

    G-Varloamov
    G-Mrazek

    Based on the position slots Do you think i have too many centers? maybe add a another wing player that can play both wing sides? or maybe add another defenseman and roll with 6 defenseman? i noticed that a few times i had to bench 2 centers and had a couple wing slots open cuz i couldn’t play all 4 centers.( could just be how scheduling is at the time)

    Thanks Viz

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      I think you’re okay with what you have; I definitely wouldn’t just make a move to get wingers while cutting a worse player. Perhaps you can work a trade for a winger giving up a center, but I definitely wouldn’t be cutting any of these guys. I think you’ve partially been hurt by the schedule

      • Gerald says:
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        Thanks for the response VIz- and for all the great write ups.

  7. Matt says:
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    10 Team Rotisserie (G, A, +/-, PIM, PPP, ATOI, SOG, W, GAA, SV%, )

    Ok Brad Marchand. Save some points for everyone else. Jesus.

    Start John Gibson vs. Minnesota, Frederik Andersen vs. LA, Philipp Grubauer at Dallas? Leaning Gibson and Anderson. (All 3 are fine too, multiple leagues)

    Timo Meier vs the Blackhawks for 3 point tonight. Sharks are so bad that they have to win a game right and Meier is past due.

    Have a good one Vis. Thanks for all the write ups. Love the content.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Yeah good lord, that first line is absurd. Talk about God Mode.

      First two are no-brainers, I think I would play Grubauer too. I know the Stars are playing better, but they still aren’t lighting the world on fire offensively and it’s currently the lowest over-under of the day. You don’t find many 5.5 games heavily juiced under anymore, so it’s a good spot to expect Grubauer to give up a couple goals and possibly get a win. That’s enough for me to play him.

      God I hope so with the Sharks and Meier, good luck. Thank you very much for the kind words Matt, I appreciate it

  8. Euroalien says:
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    I’ll take Bergeron for 3 pts tonight

  9. Woody says:
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    Viz, from a long time reader and first time commenter, I appreciate every single post you make.

    12 team keeper league (keep 6), G/A/PTS/PPP/FOW/SOG/HIT/BLK/DEF skating stats.

    Would you consider trading away Burns and Boeser for Stamkos and Gaudreau? I have a top notch D core even without Burns and would still be competitive in the more defensive categories. Get two younger keepers as well for the future. I’ve kept Burns for four straight seasons but is it time to finally sell high on him?

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Thanks Woody, I really appreciate that! Always nice to hear from people who frequently read the posts, even if they don’t comment often or at all.

      Man, this is a really tough decision and depends on what direction you want to take your team. I would lean towards no, mostly because the extra categories help Burns quite a bit and Gaudreau takes a decent hit with those extra categories being included. That said, if you do want to get younger and sell Burns before there’s a potential dropoff, this is a reasonable move to make. I would say that you really don’t get much younger though given that Boeser is the youngest of the group by quite a bit. How good is your team right now? If you’re a contender, I’d probably pass and if not, I’d think about it longer.

  10. dontbichetteme says:
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    Hey Viz,
    Would you pick up M.Duchene or Zibenejad for C.Atkinson? That blue jackets team seems to be a mess right now and I dont really have a clear number 2 center after McDavid. Ive got Larkin, Couturier and Skinner(not sure why he qualifies at C).
    Also would you drop J.Schultz for Goligoski?
    Thanks

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Haha don’t know why Skinner qualifies at center either. Umm, I am good with grabbing Duchene. Now that Forsberg is back, I expect him to get rolling again. Zibanejad may be out another game or two.

      Meh, I think I’d hold Schultz but I don’t feel strongly about it at all. If you want to make the move, that’s fine.

  11. Fungazi 2.0 says:
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    Marner for 3 pnt!

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