In the afternoon Monday, there was talk that recent Penguins callup Jake Guentzel was going to play on the second line with Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel in his NHL debut. Needless to say that it was a damn good debut, at least from an individual perspective. Guentzel scored a goal one minute into the game and added another one later on in the first period to go up 2-0. He finished the game with two goals on five shots playing over 15 minutes. Yeah, the Rangers came back to win 5-2 but that doesn’t take away from Guentzel’s debut. So I did some digging on Guentzel. The former third round pick was a stud in college at Nebraska-Omaha (a damn good college hockey school, believe it or not) including putting up 46 points in 35 games his junior year before going pro. He finished off 2015 with Scranton and had 6 points in 11 games before posting 5 goals and 9 assists in 10 playoff games. Guentzel was over a point per game in Scranton this season before getting called up. Basically, this kid can score and getting to play with Malkin and Kessel should do him wonders. In deep leagues, definitely add him where you can. In standard 12’ers, I’ll probably look to stream him again on Wednesday to see if this role is legitimate. I don’t want to overreact to one game but Guentzel has potential to be a waiver wire darling if he sticks. Here’s what else happened around the league on Monday night:
Dougie Hamilton – Assist with four shots and two PIM. Here’s to hoping this recent form can be maintained for any significant stretch.
Matthew Tkachuk – Goal and an assist with five shots and two PIM. He was stirring shit up all game; I’m sure his old man was proud. Still a strong streamer for standard leagues.
Brian Elliott – 28 saves on 32 shots in the 4-2 loss to Buffalo. He was playing very well before Calgary took a bunch of penalties resulting in three power play goals in 1:41 for the Sabres. It wasn’t his fault by any means but with the way Chad Johnson is playing, this could cost him starts.
Robin Lehner – 29 saves on 31 shots. The wins haven’t been there in the early going but if he maintains this .920 save percentage, they’ll be coming, especially since the Sabres are going to start getting healthy very soon.
Taylor Fedun – Two assists and a shot. That’s four assists in three games for Fedun, who is currently on the first power play unit. The minutes have gone up in every game as well. For deep leagues, he’s a very nice short term pick and I don’t mind taking the gamble in standard leagues either.
Evander Kane – Assist, four shots playing 22:34. He’s looked great in three consecutive games; I can’t help but think the points are coming.
Johan Larsson – Goal on six shots with two PIM. Larsson is a solid deep league option but with Ryan O’Reilly‘s return on the horizon (probably Wednesday but possibly Friday), it’s not enough for 12’ers.
Kyle Okposo – Goal and an assist with four shots. He continues to be solid across the board and it’s only going to get better.
Sam Reinhart – Two assists with two shots. Rhino has looked much better lately; the second assist was a thing of beauty. I’d still stream in the short term but I think he becomes a hold once Jack Eichel returns (10 days or so?)
Rasmus Ristolainen – Assist and a shot. I know owners are frustrated but the minutes are massive and like the rest of these guys, the team is going to improve around him in a big way. I’d buy low if possible.
Antti Raanta – 29 saves on 31 shots in the aforementioned 5-2 Rangers win. He’s worth streaming in every start, even games in horrible matchups like Monday night’s game was.
Michael Grabner – Goal and an assist with three shots. I still have no idea how it’s happening but it’s showing no signs of slowing down. If you had Grabner being tied for the league lead in goals at any point this season, please let me borrow your copy of Grey’s Sports Almanac.
Kevin Hayes – Goal and an assist with six shots. As we talk about on today’s podcast (will be up at 6 am EST), he gets a boost with Mika Zibanejad out 6-8 weeks. It wasn’t in doubt anyways but he’s a clear hold right now.
Ryan McDonagh – Two assists and four shots finishing +5. Man, my teams loved getting that +5! He still doesn’t have a goal on 36 shots which doesn’t make sense but with 13 assists and a +14, his owners can’t be complaining. I’m certainly not!
Rick Nash – Goal and an assist with four shots. He’s on a pace for 30+ goals which seems about right. 15 goals last season was far too low and 42 goals two seasons ago was too much.
Phil Kessel – Two assists with four shots. The shots are down a ton which hopefully works itself out. Even if it doesn’t, 18 points in 19 games is pretty, pretty good.
Semyon Varlamov – 40 saves on 42 shots in the 3-2 OT win over Columbus. It would have been even better for Varlamov but a crazy deflection saw Columbus tie the game with 7 seconds left in regulation. Anyways, it was a great start for the third time in four games. He needs it with Calvin Pickard breathing down his throat.
Tyson Barrie – Goal on two shots with two PIM. It never seems like he’s doing that much but at the end of the season, Barrie’s numbers always end up solid.
Matt Duchene – Game winning goal on his second shot in his return from injury. He’s been great so far this year so hopefully Duchene’s time off doesn’t slow down him down.
Erik Johnson – Goal and an assist with five shots. It’s pretty inconsistent unless you include blocked shots but it’s still probably enough to be held in 12’ers.
Nathan MacKinnon – Assist with two shots. Talked about him extensively on the podcast but the heater is real.
Cam Atkinson – Two goals on seven shots. To say Atkinson is hot is an understatement with 9 points in his last 5 games. He’s at a point per game with over three shots per. It’s the real deal.
Sam Gagner – Assist with two shots. Streamer success!
Brandon Saad – Assist with three shots. Remember when Torts was going to scratch him and he only didn’t because Brandon Dubinsky was hurt out of nowhere? Good times.
Zach Werenski – Assist with three shots. I’m waiting for him to hit a road bump and it just hasn’t happened. Clear front runner for waiver wire pickup of the year.
Tyler Johnson – Goal on three shots. That’s four straight games with a point. He’s heating up! <NBA Jam voice>
Nikita Kucherov – Assist, four shots. It’s almost shocking when Kucherov doesn’t get a point.
Pekka Rinne – 24 saves on 25 shots in the 3-1 win over Tampa. He was 50 seconds away from a shutout before Johnson scored. Either way, the people who took the gamble on Rinne have to be thrilled at this point. He’s going to be starting every game he’s capable too.
Viktor Arvidsson – Goal on five shots with two PIM. More streamer success! I didn’t think he could be more than a streamer in 12’ers but it’s really close right now. Arvidsson is at 11 points (6+5) in 18 games and is over 3 shots per game. The goal rate could be sustainable with that volume. He definitely needs to be held in anything deeper than 12 man.
Ryan Ellis – Three assists with a shot and 15 PIM. Perfect night for his fantasy owners as he took a dumb interference penalty with 1:33 left and ended up getting the living shit kicked out of him by J.T Brown. I wish the shots were higher but he’s doing enough in the other categories to be 12’er worthy.
P.K. Subban – Two goal with two PIM. I’m going to sound like a broken record when it comes to Subban but with 5 points in the last 3 games, great things are coming.
Nino Niederreiter – Goal and an assist with two shots. Triple streamer success! It seems like I’ve gone 3 for 3 a bunch so far this season. Enough of tooting my own horn. Nino was back down on the third line with Zach Parise back but with his power play time, I think he’s still an elite streamer.
Antti Niemi – 27 saves on 29 shots in the 3-2 overtime win against the Wild. If you know what you’re going to get on a nightly basis from Stars goaltending, you’re a psychic and should play the lottery.
Jamie Benn – Game winning goal on his third shot. It feels like a huge week is coming soon where Benn gets 8 points in 4 games or something. Can’t keep a superstar down.
Jordie Benn – Assist with a shot and two PIM playing 24 minutes. He doesn’t do enough for 12’ers but with quality blocked shot totals he’s worthy in 16’ers or deeper.
Patrick Eaves – Assist with two shots. He’s not on the first line at the moment but it doesn’t matter. Eaves is the third best forward the last 15 days and a top 20 forward for the last 30. With how much I’ve talked about him, I assume almost all of you own him in your league.
Julius Honka – Assist on five shots playing 21 minutes in his NHL debut. I am a big Honka fan in dynasties; for now it’s hard to gauge his value. John Klingberg was scratched for missing a meeting Monday morning opening up a bigger role for Honka. I want to see how he does on Wednesday before I do anything in standard leagues but in deep leagues, I’d grab him for the upside if he’s not on somebody’s minor league roster.
Tyler Seguin – Assist with two shots. Same story as Kucherov.
Jason Spezza – Assist with four shots. He has a point in three straight games so if for some reason he’s still available after returning from injury, grab him immediately.
Cam Talbot – 31 save shutout in the 5-0 win against the Blackhawks. He’s been in a rough patch so naturally he shuts out Chicago. Nothing changes for me, Talbot is still a #2.
Drake Caggiula – Assist playing 16 minutes. He’s definitely streamer worthy if these minutes are for real.
Leon Draisaitl – Two goals and an assist with three shots. Right after I say he needs to pick things up to stay a hold, Draisaitl has 6 points in his last 4 games. That’s what I’m talking about!
Oscar Klefbom – Goal and an assist with four shots. After a rough start to the season, Klefbom has a goal in three straight games plus at least 3 shots in 4 straight. If I need help at the bottom of my roster, I would take the flier on Klefbom right now.
Connor McDavid – Two assists with two shots. This McDavid fella seems alright at the good old hockey game.
Martin Jones – 26 save shutout in the 4-0 win against the Devils. This game was as easy as expected for Jones. Despite their record, pick on the Devils offense without Taylor Hall.
Brent Burns – Goal and an assist with two shots. The shots have been low lately, especially by his standards, but he still leads the league in shots because of the amazing start. Expect some 8 shot games in the near future.
Patrick Marleau – Goal on five shots. He moved onto the first line and with his spot on their elite power play unit, Marleau could have a hot streak coming. He’s available in almost 50% of leagues and should be grabbed in case he sticks with the Joes.
Tuesday Streamers – It’s the first Tuesday that isn’t a big slate due to the large amount of games Monday and Wednesday, Thanksgiving and everything. For once, streaming can be more useful on a Tuesday with five games on the slate. Here are my top 3 choices:
Teuvo Teravainen (14.6%) – He’s on fire with 7 points in his last five games. The Hurricanes – Maple Leafs game should be the highest scoring game of the night despite their recent strong goaltending. Taking any of the usual suspects should work but Teravainen is my favorite.
Andrew Shaw (15.1%) – He’s a dirty player but those penalty minutes help us in the fantasy world and Shaw currently has a power play role.
Nick Ritchie (7.1%) – I don’t love Ritchie’s game right now but there are a few things. One, I want some Ducks exposure because the Islanders are a mess. Two, Ritchie is still on the first line. Three, the other Ducks who are viable are 50%+ owned now. There is no four.
That’s all for now guys. Today is a busy day here on the hockey side of things on Razzball. There will be a podcast out early this morning (listen here)along with Matt’s newest “Assume The Position” post on defensemen that will be out in the afternoon (read here). I’ll have some sort of post on Wednesday morning, either a short set of daily notes or an RCL recap of the early season action. As always, feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments below. Take care!