In my Monday post, I called Frank Vatrano the best streamer of the night.  As simple as my rationale was, getting to play with Barkov does wonders for anyone.  Vatrano has been playing well lately, but the jump to the first line helps tremendously, and he showed how on Monday.  Vatrano scored a goal and dished three assists in the 6-2 win over the Sharks, putting five shots on goal in the process.  Normally, I’d say go get Vatrano right now to see what happens.  There’s definitely upside going forward.  The problem is that the Panthers don’t play again until next Friday.  For those in roto leagues, I would grab Vatrano now and stash him on your bench.  In head to head leagues, I would wait until the middle of next week unless a spot opens up on your roster due to someone going on injured reserve.  However, I definitely want Vatrano for the back-to-back next weekend, so don’t wait until last minute so you avoid somebody else sniping you on him.  There’s a real chance Vatrano, who was a prolific AHL goal scorer and showed upside before in Boston, could become a hold for the rest of the season.  Let’s take a look at what else happened this week:

Pekka Rinne – 35 saves on 36 shots in the 4-1 win over the Avalanche.  Rinne has been a mess lately to the point where his season totals are average.  He’s dropped down to being a bottom end #1, especially since Nashville won’t overuse him down the stretch.

Nick Bonino – Goal and an assist with two shots on Monday, goal on two shots Wednesday.  Bonino is on fire right now and getting big minutes, so you can use him if you’d like.  I’m probably staying away as a lot of this is fluky.

Calle Jarnkrok – Two assists with two shots and two PIM Monday, one shot Wednesday.  Easy pass.

Juuse Saros – 47 saves on 48 shots in the 2-1 win over the Golden Knights.  Even though he hasn’t been his best this season, Saros is an elite streamer in every matchup.

Alex Pietrangelo  Two assists with two shots Monday, two shots Wednesday.  Been a brutal year for Pietrangelo, who has talked about his lack of sleep due to triplets really hurting his game.  He’s not an automatic hold which is something I never thought I’d say this year.

Ivan Barbashev – Two assists Monday, blanked Wednesday.  He has 23 shots in 47 games.  That’s, uh, not good.

Zach Sanford – Goal and an assist with five shots over two games.  He’s done very little to this point to deserve fantasy consideration.

Anze Kopitar – Goal and an assist with four shots.  He’s had a solid start to the second half, but there’s no doubt he’s taken a big step back.  I wouldn’t be targeting as a buy low at this point; I’d rather just fade the Kings.

Tyler Toffoli – Goal and an assist.  Toffoli scoring 30 goals in a season feels like an eternity ago, even though it was only three seasons.  He’s been incredibly unlucky this season, but he’s still only a bottom end streamer.

Brendan Leipsic – Two assists.  I do think Leipsic has some long term potential, but this is already team four for him.  The Kings being bad should hopefully give him more of a role down the stretch, but pass for now.

Eric Staal – Goal and an assist with two shots Monday,two goals and an assist with four shots Wednesday .  Staal has produced quite the boring stat line this season.  He’s still doing enough to be held, but last year was an outlier.

Charlie Coyle – Two goals and an assist with four shots over two games.  Coyle has had a rough season and has been at the center of trade rumors lately.  He’s a bottom end streamer until he puts it together.

Ryan Suter – Goal and two assists with two shots and four PIM over two games.  Suter has been his usual steady self this season.

Mikael Granlund – Two assists with five shots and two PIM over two games.  Wednesday’s game ended an eight game pointless streak.  It’s not exciting but Granlund should be an easy hold the rest of the way.

Pontus Aberg – Two assists with a shot Wednesday after being blanked Monday.  I always liked his game as a secondary offensive guy.  Nothing here yet, but worth monitoring.

Colin Miller – Two assists with four SOG.  He now has two assists in each of his two games since coming off IR.  I would own him in all formats.

Aleksander Barkov – Three assists with a shot.  I’m shocked that Barkov is -18 on the season, especially because he’s receiving Selke talk.  That appears to be a mistake, although he’s certainly in Lady Byng conversation.  Regardless, Barkov has been solid for us fantasy players.

Evgeny Dadonov – Two assists.  Dadonov is right in line with last season’s total but with a better shot rate.  The low PIM aren’t great for fantasy, but he’s just outside the top 100.

Timo Meier – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM Monday, two assists with three shots Tuesday.  This was Meier’s first goal in a month, but he’s found a way to stay productive with 10 assists in 10 games.  He’s a burgeoning fantasy superstar.

Joe Pavelski – Assist with two shots Monday, goal and three assists with three shots Tuesday.  Tuesday’s Sharks-Capitals game was absolutely insane.  Pavelski’s 1+3 isn’t even one of the best nights in this game.  Regardless, Pavelski has shown after a rough start that he’s far from over the hill.

Tomas Hertl – Blanks on Monday, hat trick and an assist with seven shots on Tuesday.  Hertl has been on a massive tear lately to push towards a point per game.  He’s still only 25 years old so this could be a sign of things to come.  Getting his shot rate up is the last thing he can do to solidify himself as a top 100 player.

Logan Couture – Goal on four shots Monday, goal and two assists with three shots Tuesday.  Couture fell on black days for a bit but he’s back on track now.  He’s the slightly safer, lower upside version of his linemate Hertl.

Brent Burns – Three assists with twelve shots and two PIM over two games.  It comes to no surprise that Burns has been incredible this season once again.

Evander Kane – Two goals with eighteen penalty minutes and eight shots over two games.  That sounds like Evander in a nutshell to me.

Alex Ovechkin – Hat trick and an assist with five shots Tuesday, goal on three shots with two PIM Wednesday.  He was pulled during the game to be checked for a concussion, but thankfully he returned.  Another fifty goal season appears to be a formality.

T.J. Oshie – Goal and two assists with six shots and two PIM Tuesday, two assists with two shots Wednesday.  Oshie has been a monster since the calendar turned over, despite the fact that the Capitals are in free fall.  Easy hold in all formats.

Nicklas Backstrom – Two assists with a shot Tuesday, goal and an assist with four shots Wednesday.  The penalty minutes have dried up but Backstrom is in good shape to top a point per game again after a one year break.

Evgeny Kuznetsov – Goal and an assist with five shots Tuesday,  assist with two shots Wednesday.  Kuznetsov’s shot rate has made a big jumnp, but he’s had tough luck.  He’s a great buy low target.

Jakub Vrana – Two assists with two shots Tuesday, blanks Wednesday.  He’s a great streamer, but the consistency keeps him far from a hold.

Vinnie Hinostroza – Two goals and an assist with three shots Tuesday (playing almost 21 minutes), one shot Wednesday in 16 minutes.  Bottom end streamer unless those minutes stay towards 20.

Richard Panik – Two assists with four shots Tuesday, one shot Wednesday.  Solid streamer in deep leagues due to the hits, but he’s not worthy of using in standard leagues.

Carey Price – 30 saves on 31 shots in the 2-1 win over the Coyotes.  That’s four strong starts in a row for Price to work his numbers towards league average.  He’s far from his prime, but Price looks to be a #2 goalie again, which is much better than I expected going into the season.

Ryan Dzingel – Goal and an assist.  He’s done very well this season as a pending free agent.  He hasn’t been talked about, but he could be a nice addition for somebody at the deadline.  Dzingel remains a solid streamer for now.

Dylan Strome – Goal and an assist.  He’s moved into elite streamer territory.

Alex DeBrincat – Two assists with six shots.  He’s on fire right now with 10 points in his last 8 games.  I was all in on DeBrincat this season and going forward, and remain so.  There’s 40 goal potential here as soon as this season.

Mikael Backlund – Goal and an assist with two shots.  Very strong player in real life, okay streamer in fantasy.

T.J. Brodie – Two assists with a shot.  Never been a fan of Brodie for fantasy.  The shot rate is so poor and the PIM are a bit fluky.  How much can he really improve on plus-minus down the stretch?  He’s a bottom end guy at best.

Andreas Athanasiou – Two assists with four shots.  The team isn’t playing for anything, so why is Athanasiou playing only 14:40?  I don’t get it.  He’s a solid streamer regardless.

Luke Glendening – Two goals on four shots.  Case and point for above: why the hell is Glendening playing 18 minutes in a game?  Ridiculous.  And there’s your annual Glendening update!

Leon Draisaitl – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM.  Maybe with Chiarelli finally gone, the Oilers can put some competent players around their superstars.  Not holding my breath.  Draisaitl played 26 minutes in this game which is close to the norm now.  Legit top 20 upside.

Morgan Rielly – Two assists with two shots.  It’s no surprise that Rielly has slowed down some, but he remains at a point per game and should be a #1D going forward.

Nazem Kadri – Hat trick and an assist with four shots, +5.  Kadri looks to be another buy low candidate, although this game might put a damper on that.  He could even be available in leagues, in which case I would grab him immediately.  William Nylander (3A, 3 SOG) moving onto his wing appears to have sparked both of their games.  The minutes aren’t great, but they should both produce.

Connor Brown – Two assists.  He’s the third wheel with the two guys above making him an okay streamer.

Teuvo Teravainen – Goal and two assists with two shots and two PIM.  Congrats to Teuvo on the new contract.  Easy hold.

Nino Niederreiter – Two goals on eight shots.  He should be owned in all formats as the Hurricanes seem intent on giving him a first line role and the linemates that come with that.  *cough* Sebastian Aho *cough*

Greg McKegg – Goal and an assist.  I still do not care about the Kegger for fantasy.

Dougie Hamilton – Goal and an assist with three shots, +4.  It’s far from a guarantee, but everything is in place for Hamilton to have a strong second half.  I’m more inclined to gamble on him than Pietrangelo or Gostisbehere.

That’s all for now guys.  I’ll be back on Monday with an updated hold / stream list.  As always, feel free to ask any questions, give any comments, or make suggestions below.  Thanks for reading, take care!

  1. surfer dude says:
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    Hi Viz, how’s fantasy going for you?
    10 tm h2h pts for ROS, would you drop any of these guys (Z.Werenski – S.Gostisbehere – J.Skinner), for either/both (N. Niederreiter – A. DeBrincat )?

    Thanks as always!

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @surfer dude: Very good to this point, but long way to go. I would probably cut Gostisbehere for DeBrincat at this point unless you need the defenseman. DeBrincat is way too good to be on waivers and Gostisbehere’s struggled, plus his minutes are trending in the wrong direction.

  2. Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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    nino making MIN look really stupid. just put him on a line with good players and this is what you get. MIN either never did that or hasn’t in what like 2 years or something

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo: I know, it kills me. I’m a big Nino guy (I actually had him in my top 50 after his big season, I think 50th exactly), and to trade him for Rask is just awful management.

      • Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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        @Viz: i know, i had drafted him quite highly based on that year (and kept him in one league with 6 or 7 keepers for 1 or 2 years after). he used to get more hits too, they’ve fallen off a cliff last few years (hits league mentioned). i forgot he was ranked that high, but i knew it was high and i stole him in draft relative to that ranking at the time.

  3. Chris says:
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    I’m in first place and looking to upgrade my team for the playoffs! What do you think of the following deal?
    I give a 3rd round pick (4 keepers so essentially a 7th rounder in a standard drafts) and Backstrom
    I get Tarasenko and Kuznetsov
    I don’t plan on keeping one of the two players above, because I already have Kucherov and Draisaitl as a U25 Keeper)
    Let me know what you think! Thanks, Viz!
    G/A/PPP/HITS/GWG/+-

    • Chris says:
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      @Chris: Correction! I don’t plan on keeping ANY** of the players above! Sorry!

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Chris: Hmm, this is a close one. Who will you have to drop off your roster to add the extra guy?

  4. LG Hockey says:
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    Viz,

    Another great write-up!

    I traded Schiefele for Eichel. Love to know what you think. It’s a keeper and just think a Eichel is a little younger with a higher ceiling but both are obviously great players. After owning Schiefele for a few years I did see stretches where he was scoring in bunches and then other times ice cold so hoping Eichel can be more consistent too.

    LG

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @LG Hockey: Thanks! I would lean towards wanting Eichel too, mostly because of the great shot rate, but it’s super close so I’d use the age as the tiebreaker.

  5. Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey says:
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    just realized when i read about how ANA is only 1 pt out of playoffs while being straight up awful for a while now (2-10-4). man, for years consecutively the west was the HARD spot to make playoffs (central division in particular was stacked as well). now a team propped up completely by gibson by himself for months fell off utterly, but hey could still make playoffs, weird.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey: Gibson is far and away the Vezina leader, and I hope he doesn’t get screwed because the Ducks are bad. That team is a dumpster fire already and is only going to get worse with Kase out.

      • Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey says:
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        @Viz: they have called up fairly lately their high end guys terry/jones, but short term that probably doesn’t help much.

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