As far as fantasy disappointments go for this hockey season, Evgeni Malkin may have been right at the top going into this week. In 17 games, he had 12 points, which is far below his normal standards. On Tuesday, Malkin single-handedly beat the Wild, scoring two goals and adding two assists in the 4-3 win. Now, 16 points in 18 games with 18 PIM and a +5 doesn’t look as bad. One more big game and Malkin is back to his normal levels. I assume this game kills the chance to buy low but I’d look to add as many of the top Penguins as possible in trades; you can’t keep these superstars down.
Here’s what else I saw on Tuesday night:
Beau Bennett – Goal on three shots. He’s been playing on the top line so I’d grab him in leagues with 14 or more. In 12’ers, he’s on the fringe for now and at the least, is an excellent stream. I just don’t trust the Pens to keep him on the top line long term.
David Perron – Goal on three shots and four PIM. He’s been horrible so far but he appears to be locked into the top 6 right now so I’d pick him up where available.
Kris Letang – Two assists with three shots. He’s probably my biggest mistake in my rankings so far because not only is 10 points in 18 games is disappointing, but he’s a -11 and under 3 shots per game. That said, like I said in the intro, I’d look to target him in a trade because the Pens offense should explode shortly. He also played over 29 minutes Tuesday which is a great sign.
Phil Kessel – Assist with five shots and two PIM. While it hasn’t been as good as expected so far, he’s been the least disappointing of their big 4. The power play points will surely come so he also should take off shortly.
Mikael Granlund – Goal and an assist with two shots. He’s been a disappointment so far after the big end to last season but he’s somebody to keep an eye on. If his struggles continue, he’s a great target when Zach Parise returns from injury.
Ryan Suter – Assist with six shots and two PIM. Played 29 minutes again. He’s an absolute workhorse and should continue to put up solid numbers with the big minutes he gets.
Joe Pavelski – Goal and two assists with three shots. He’s still solidly in the top 20 for the rest of the year.
Joe Thornton – Goal and two assists with a shot and two PIM. Everyone knows that he sucks at shooting the puck so the goals won’t be there but if you can stomach that, he has plenty of value in the other four categories.
Joonas Donskoi – Goal on his only shot. He’s been dropped to the third line but played 15 minutes with no PP time. He’s worth monitoring but I would drop him in 12’ers and probably 14’ers for the time being.
Melker Karlsson – Goal and an assist with four shots. Now he took Donskoi’s spot on the top line that he’s back from injury. I’d hold off on owning him in 12’ers since he’s not getting power play time but he’s a solid streamer.
Brent Burns – Two assists with four shots and two PIM. I don’t know what’s better, Burns’ beard or his hockey abilities.
Tuukka Rask – 23 saves on 28 shots in the 5-4 loss. Puke. I want nothing to do with him.
Dennis Seidenberg – Two assists with two shots. At this point, he doesn’t have fantasy relevance since he’s off the power play altogether. If somebody was to get hurt though, I’d snag him.
David Krejci – Two assists. He’s showing no signs of slowing down. He just needs to fade injury.
Brad Marchand – Goal with two shots and two PIM. As much as I hate him, the troll has been a boon for fantasy owners so far this year.
Antti Niemi – 24 saves on 25 shots in the win over Buffalo. The Stars keep on rolling and Niemi saved the Stars during the Sabres dominance in the second and third periods. Lindy Ruff keeps playing each goalie for 2-3 games at a time and then goes to the other one so ideally, you grabbed both Stars goalies like I said in my preseason rankings.
Jamie Benn – Assist with a shot and two PIM. Bad day by his standards.
Alex Goligoski – Two assists with three shots and two PIM. He’s on the top pair but more of a secondary option for them in all phases of the game. Barring an injury to John Klingberg, I’m not owning him in 12’ers.
Cody Franson – Assist with two shots. Still played 17:35 with Zach Bogosian returning from injury. He’ll still have a lot of value on the power play plus with his offensive zone starts. You guys all know this by now though.
Ryan O’Reilly – Goal on four shots. Shut down the Stars top line all game as well; their only points were on an empty netter at the end of the game. Most people outside of the advanced stats fans dismissed him in Colorado but now he’s getting the credit he’s due in Buffalo. What a beast.
Linus Ullmark – 26 saves on 28 shots in the loss. I was very impressed watching him again in person tonight. I’m grabbing him in all 12’ers now.
Alec Martinez – Assist and four shots. He’s been playing big minutes lately, including on the power play, so I’d add him in 12’ers.
Jonathan Quick – 36 saves on 38 shots in the 3-2 shootout win over Philly. It’s rare to see the Kings to give up this many shots, especially against a team like Philly. He was on his A-game tonight but got the win because Milan Lucic scored the tying goal with less than a minute left in regulation. He’s still outside of the top tier of fantasy goalies for me, maybe even the second tier, but he’s still solid.
Claude Giroux – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM. He’s another guy who’s been a big disappointment so far along with his linemate Jakub Voracek (two assists with three shots). It should only be a matter of time until these two break out.
Brayden Schenn – Eight shots in over 20 minutes. He’s on the first line with Giroux and Voracek now and played over five minutes on the power play yesterday so I’d add him where I can.
Shayne Gostisbehere – First career goal on four shots. I planned on leading off the article with him until Malkin exploded. One of the best Flyers prospect, Gostisbehere was called up after Mark Streit‘s disturbing injury. He had an assist in his first game and scored last night, and more importantly, was immediately placed on the first power play unit. If you want to take a shot on upside for your last defenseman, this is your guy.
Kevin Shattenkirk – Goal on two shots. Like I said yesterday, a hot streak is coming.
Brian Elliott – 35 saves on 37 shots in the 3-1 loss to Columbus. It was a strong performance to keep his team in the game on the second of a back to back. That said, Jake Allen has a strangehold on the job right now so Elliott is stuck as a streamer. He’s probably the best streamer goalie.
Brandon Saad – Two goals on four shots. It seems like he’s struggled this year but he has 9 goals in 18 games so things are good.
Sergei Bobrovsky – 19 saves on 20 shots in the win. Things are looking up for Bob; he’s starting to look like the goalie of the last two years. I know it was against the Blues on the second of a back to back but it’s probably too late to buy low on him now.
P.A. Parenteau – Two goals on three shots. He’s on the second line and second power play right now but I’d rather leave him out there as a streamer for the best matchups.
Peter Holland – Three assists and two shots. He has a ton of offensive talent but he’s only playing 10-11 minutes a game so I’m not adding him yet.
Tyler Bozak – Goal and two assists with two shots. Maybe we were wrong all along and Kessel was holding Bozak back, not vice versa! I kid, I kid, but he has 12 points in 15 games. He’s in the Thornton mold where he doesn’t shoot much but has a ton of assists but if you’re short of assists, he’s worth adding.
Nazem Kadri – Seven shots and two PIM. 81 shots and one goal so far. How the f*** is that possible!?
Nathan MacKinnon – Assist on five shots, even plus-minus in the 5-1 loss. He doesn’t get mentioned with the other wunderkinds but he should be; he just turned 20 years old and is over a point per game.
Fredrik Anderson – 7 saves on 10 shots before getting pulled. Yikes. It seems like most of the goalies I have in REL’s have been an epic disaster. Call me stubborn but I’d still buy low.
Shea Weber – Goal on two shots, -1. Ten points in 17 games (7+3) is about what I expected; I had him posting around 50 points in preseason which slotted him around 10th overall with the extra goals he provides.
James Neal – Goal on three shots with four PIM. Who would have thought he’d have his best season after leaving Pittsburgh? It’s still early but he looks like Corey Perry right now.
Pekka Rinne – 38 saves on 40 shots in the win. Beast mode.
Joe Colborne – Two assists with two shots and two PIM. The entire Flames third line (Matt Stajan and David Jones) had two points in the win over the Devils. That said, I definitely wouldn’t own any in 12’ers and probably not 14’ers either. If I had to pick one, I’d pick Jones because he’s getting the most power play time and should score the most goals.
Wednesday Streamers: There are only three games so this should be a big streaming night. Here are my top three options; hopefully I stay as hot as I’ve been this week!
Marko Dano (6.9% owned) – If you’ve followed me since I’ve started writing for Razzball, you know how much I love Dano. He’s been back up in Chicago for a while but it looks like he will be on the first line tomorrow against Edmonton. I’d stream him against Edmonton regardless of where he is in the lineup but this could be the prime opportunity to grab him before he has a big game and sticks in the top 6.
Jannik Hansen (25.2%) – First pair and first power play right now; great stream while he’s there. Not much more to say about the long lost Hansen brother. Yeah, I know his name is spelled different; crazy Danes!
Marcus Johansson (11.4%) – Nothing says rivalry night like Washington and Detroit! Thanks NBCSN! I kid, but it should be a good game. He’s on the second line and more importantly, he’s on the first power play unit so he’s an excellent streamer, especially on the short slate.
That’s all for now. With the small set of games tonight, I won’t have a recap tomorrow so I will be back on Friday. That said, we won’t be short of content tomorrow; new contributor Matt will have his next article up on Thursday so be sure to check it out and his article from last week on goaltenders for the rest of the season! As always, please post any comments and questions below. Take care everyone!