He’s backkkk. Justin Williams made his return on Sunday, totaling three shots on goal in 13 minutes of action before scoring the shootout winner for the Hurricanes. So what should we expect from him going forward? Well, the Hurricanes are in a bigger dog fight for the playoffs than expected, so I do expect Williams’ workload to ramp up sooner than later. He skated on the fourth line in this game, but there’s a spot for him right now in the top six that’s currently occupied by Foegele. It should only be a matter of time until he fills that role. How much does that matter? Well, we know that Williams is a great source of shots. He pushed close to three per game last season while totaling 53 points and 44 PIM. That sounds like a guy firmly on the fringe to me. I wouldn’t be rushing to grab Williams, especially with Carolina only having one game between now and January 31st, but he’s back to elite streamer status with the upside of being a bottom end hold. Let’s take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
Matt Murray – 28 saves on 29 shots in the 2-1 OT win over the Red Wings. Murray was solid against Boston on Sunday as well. He’s had a rough season, but I would still be holding Murray for the upside.
Evgeni Malkin – Two assists with six shots. Malkin has crushed every category on a per-game basis. He’d be a top five player if not for the injury time.
Bryan Rust – Goal and an assist with three shots. As far as biggest surprises of the season go, Rust has to be at or near the top of the list. Sure, he won’t shoot 19% forever, but Rust can regress some and still be a top 50 player.
Ryan Miller – 25 saves on 26 shots in the 2-1 OT win over the Hurricanes. Miller has had a rough go of it this season, mostly because of the team in front of him. I’d only stream him in the best of matchups.
Andrei Vasilevskiy – 30 saves on 31 shots in the 7-1 win over the Jets. I would bet on Vasilevskiy being the #1 goalie the rest of the way. The Lightning are clicking on all cylinders right now and Vasilevskiy is a big part of it.
Anthony Cirelli – Hat trick on four shots. Cirelli is an elite streamer but the poor shot rate and general lack of PP time keeps him from being a hold.
Ondrej Palat – Three assists. Palat is on the fringe. He hits all of the categories decently, and his shot rate is at exactly two per game which is actually quite an improvement.
Nikita Kucherov – Two goals on five shots. Steven Stamkos and Brayden Point each had two assists. All the big boys are doing for Tampa right now, but especially on Friday as the Bolts scored seven. They’re the Cup favorites once again.
David Perron – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM. Congrats to Perron on being voted in as an All-Star. He’s right at a point per game. the PIM are strong, and the shot rate is the best it’s been in almost a decade.
Alex Pietrangelo – Goal and an assist with six shots. He’s the #4 defenseman on the season and he’s shown no signs of slowing down.
Ryan O’Reilly – Two assists with three shots. His shot rate plummeting is one of the mysteries of this season. He’s still a hold, but he’s in AAGNOF territory now.
Zach Sanford – Two assists with two shots. Not much to see here from a fantasy perspective.
Ian Cole – Two assists. He’s a decent option in deep leagues for hits and blocks, but that’s about it.
Nathan MacKinnon – Goal and an assist with three shots. The Oilers duo pulled away a bit but MacKinnon is still third in the league in points. He’s fallen barely short of 100 points in each of the last two seasons, but he’ll get there with ease this year.
Andre Burakovsky – Goal and an assist with two shots. He’s been in great in his first season in Colorado. Burakovsky is right on the fringe. I barely lean towards streamer due to the lack of shots and penalty minutes.
Pekka Rinne – 30 saves on 31 shots in the 2-1 win over the Sabres. This was a vintage Rinne performance as he was excellent between the pipes. It’s been a brutal season, but the upside is there. The Preds played a very strong defensive game which bodes well going forward.
Alex Ovechkin – Hat trick with two PIM. The greatest goal scorer of all-time passed Lemieux in the goal scoring list. Back to back hat tricks for the great eight.
John Carlson – Two assists with five shots. He’s down to the #3D, although he’ll pass Dougie while he’s injured. Just a remarkable season from Carlson who already has 60 points.
Devon Toews – Goal and two assists with two shots. I like the upside here, but Toews isn’t used in an offensive role most of the time. Not much here for fantasy at the moment.
Anthony Beauvillier – Two assists with two shots. Beauvillier is a middling streamer, plain and simple.
Conor Garland – Two assists with a shot. I wish the minutes were higher for Garland. In his current role, he’s only a bottom end streamer.
Riley Sheahan – Goal and three assists. He had only seven points in 43 games this season before this one. Easy pass.
Josh Archibald – Goal and two assists. And there’s your annual Archibald update!
Connor McDavid – Two goals on four shots with two PIM. Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins dished two assists each. The Coyotes had no answer for these guys as the Oilers keep chugging along.
Vladislav Namestnikov – Goal and an assist. Namestnikov only had one point in the previous nine games as his role continues to shift. He’s a bottom end streamer at best.
Connor Brown – Goal and an assist with three shots. He played over 20 minutes in this game as it was his third straight game with 1+1. He’s a solid streamer at this point due to his workload.
Brady Tkachuk – Goal and an assist with three shots. He’s a rough stretch lately, but Tkachuk still needs to be held in all formats.
Sergei Bobrovsky – 27 saves on 28 shots in the 4-1 win over the Red Wings. It’s hard to get excited because it’s the Red Wings, but it was still a nice performance. At least he’s won half of his starts, but Bob has a long way to go to get in our good graces.
Jonathan Huberdeau – Two assists with a shot. The shot rate remains lower than expected, but Huberdeau should cross the 100 point mark at this point.
Frank Vatrano – Two assists with three shots. Vatrano is a bottom end streamer.
Shea Theodore – Three assists with three shots playing almost 29 minutes. Theodore has taken a nice step forward this season. The Ducks could sure use a defenseman like him right about now.
Paul Stastny – Goal and an assist with two shots. With William Karlsson week-to-week, Stastny is an elite streamer for the time being who could turn into a short term hold.
Reilly Smith – Goal and an assist with two shots. Smith is yawnstipating, but he needs to be held in all formats.
Dale Weise – Two assists with a shot. He’s mostly spent the season in the AHL and he went to Laval after the game. Pass.
Nick Cousins – Two goals. Cousins has been okay this season by his standards, but those standards don’t come close to mattering for fantasy.
Brian Elliott – 34 saves on 35 shots in the 4-1 win over the Kings. Elliott has been bad this season, but nothing cures woes like playing the Kings!
James van Riemsdyk – Goal and two assists with three shots. He played this game with Travis Konecny at even strength, who scored two goals. This gives JVR some more upside, but he’s still only a middling streamer for now.
Claude Giroux – Two assists with two shots and two PIM. Giroux has been incredibly disappointing this season, but the upside is still there for a big finish.
Jonathan Toews – Two goals and two assists with three shots. Two takeaways here. One, Toews is hotter than a pistol right now. Sixteen points in his last nine games. Two, the Leafs are an abortion defensively.
Dominik Kubalik – Two goals and an assist with three shots. My guy is finally getting an opportunity! He needs to be held right now as he has 10 goals in the last 8 games.
Erik Gustafsson – Two assists with a shot. Gustafsson has been a big disappointment, but I grabbed him in a couple leagues. He’s showing signs of life, but there’s also a pretty good chance that he’s moved at the deadline right onto a top power play unit.
Drake Caggiula – Goal and an assist with two shots. He’s playing with Toews and Kubalik which makes Caggiula a bottom end streamer for the time being.
Tyson Barrie – Two assists with a shot. With Rielly out, Barrie is going to get every opportunity to run the top power play unit and put up the point totals we were accustomed to from Barrie in Colorado.
Elvis Merzlikins – 41 save shutout in the 5-0 win over the Devils. No goalie in the league is hotter than Elvis right now. Hopefully you grabbed him when you had the chance.
Cam Atkinson – Two goals and an assist with three shots. Atkinson has had a disappointing season, but he had a rough start before and had a huge finish. With how Columbus is playing, I’m kind of expecting it to happen again.
Alex Wennberg – Goal and an assist with three shots. Wennberg is showing some signs of life, but he’s still off my radar in terms of streaming.
Alex Stalock – 27 save shutout in the 7-0 win over the Stars. What a weird game as the Wild destroyed the Stars from the get go. Stalock has been mediocre all season and is a streamer in only the best of matchups.
Jason Zucker – Goal and two assists with two shots. Zucker is an elite streamer, but his sudden fall in shot rate is keeping him from being a hold again. Perhaps that changes if he’s moved at the deadline?
Thatcher Demko – 17 saves on 18 shots in the 4-1 win over the Sharks. Doesn’t get easier than this. Demko has been disappointing based on my expectations, but I think he can still be the goalie of the future in Vancouver. He’s a decent streamer in good matchups.
Tanner Pearson – Goal and an assist with four shots and two PIM. Pearson has completely revitalized his career in Vancouver. He’s played his way into a hold which is one of the biggest surprises of the season.
Jake Virtanen – Two assists with four shots. The Cannon has already set a career high in points. Virtanen is a middling streamer.
Adam Gaudette – Two assists with three shots. Gaudette has some nice long term upside, but he’s a bottom end streamer at best at the moment.
David Pastrnak – Goal and an assist with four shots. He’s been the #1 player this season and it’s not even that close. What Pasta is doing is nothing short of remarkable.
Sidney Crosby – Two assists with a shot. Just a matter of health for Crosby as he’s certainly going to be over a point per game, and probably well over a point per game.
Thomas Greiss – 31 saves on 32 shots in the 2-1 SO loss to the Hurricanes. Greiss has been excellent once again. He needs to be held and started every time Trotz gives him the nod.
James Reimer – 26 saves on 27 shots earning the win. Reimer has been shockingly good for Carolina this season as his save percentage sits at .920. He’s worth streaming in most matchups.
Erik Gustafsson – Goal and an assist with two shots. See Gustafsson above.
Connor Murphy – Two assists with four shots playing almost 24 minutes. Murphy had plenty of promise when he was drafted, but he hasn’t put it together offensively. Nothing to see here for fantasy.
Alex Nylander – Goal and an assist. Nylander’s hot start in October is a thing from the past. He hasn’t done much lately and is an easy pass.
Oliver Bjorkstrand – Two goals on six shots in his return to the lineup. My man! Get Bjorkstrand back in your lineups immediately.
Matiss Kivlenieks – 31 saves on 32 shots in the 2-1 win over the Rangers. Kivlenieks could have a future role with the uncertainly around Korpisalo and Merzlikins. He won’t get many starts for now, but he’s a name to remember for the future. Welcome to the Razzball Database!
You can make Three Point Challenge picks for Tuesday’s games below. I will add my pick in here before the games start on Tuesday.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back on Tuesday recapping the action from the next two nights. As always, feel free to ask any questions, leave any comments, or give any suggestions below. Thanks for reading, take care!