Hat tricks have been in vogue lately so Blake Wheeler decided to take it to another level.  Wheeler scored a hat trick in the first period on Sunday and later added an assist in the 7-1 win over the Penguins.  Wheeler has been the fantasy stalwart we’ve become accustomed to in the early going with 4+8, +3, 12 PIM, 35 SOG and 4 STP in 10 games.  I don’t know how many more years Wheeler will keep up this level of play but for now, he’s a top 20 player with relative ease.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the weekend:

Friday Games:

Oscar Dansk – 32 save shutout in the 7-0 win over the Avalanche.  None of this makes any sense and the underlying numbers say regression is going to hit them in the face.  That said, if you want to try and ride Dansk while he’s a hot schmotato, I won’t argue.

Nate Schmidt – Two assists with a shot.  Schmidt is right on the fringe although I would marginally lean towards hold right now.

James Neal – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM.  Neal has been a monster so far and while the minutes probably have to go up for him to stay at this elite level of production, he should remain a hold regardless.

Cody Eakin – Goal and an assist with two shots.  The minutes are there but Eakin is a bottom end streamer at best.

David Perron – Same line as Eakin; better streamer but not quite at hold level.

Jonathan Marchessault – Same line as Neal.  Marchessault is much closer to hold than the previous two guys.  I would lean towards holding him while he’s playing well but far from a must own.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau – Two assists with two shots.  The power play time is gone so he’s back to streamer status.

Christopher DiDomenico – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM.  He’s a 28 year old who has played 7 games in the NHL in his career.  Nice story but nothing to see here.

Mark Stone – Goal and an assist with two shots.  He played almost 24 minutes in this game so he could continue to push top 50 value.

Mike Hoffman – Goal and an assist with six shots.  With Hoffman well over 4 shots per game, the goals should continue at an elite rate.

Jimmy Hayes – Goal and an assist with two shots.  Minutes are there but Hayes simply isn’t any good.

Pavel Zacha – Two assists.  The shot rate needs to jump for Zacha to even reach top streamer status.  You can see the signs of his elite potential but there’s a long way to go.

Sergei Bobrovsky – 29 saves on 30 shots in the 2-1 OT win over the Jets.  Bob has been even better than expected which says a ton given how many goalies are struggling.

Carter Hutton – 26 saves on 27 shots in the 2-1 win over the Hurricanes.  Solid streamer outside of the toughest of matchups.

Pekka Rinne – 43 saves on 44 shots in the 2-1 win over the Blackhawks.  Rinne was a monster in this game making 11 saves on the penalty kill and only allowing a goal when his team was on the power play.  Rinne has been among the best goalies in the league so far.

Kari Lehtonen – 29 saves on 30 shots in the 2-1 win over the Flames.  If you’re going to use Lehtonen at all going forward, you have more faith than me.

Saturday Games:

Aaron Dell – 31 saves on 33 shots in the 3-2 win over the Sabres.  I would only use Dell in great matchups.

Tyler Toffoli – Two goals on seven shots.  The massive jump in shot rate has me extremely encouraged by Toffoli’s start.  Toffoli would be a great bet to set a career high in goals if he can maintain this shot rate.

Jonathan Quick – 29 saves on 30 shots in the 2-1 OT win over the Bruins.  He’s looking like the goalie people think he’s always been.

Jakub Voracek – Goal and an assist with two shots.  Nothing can slow down Jake at the moment.

Shayne Gostisbehere – Assist with three shots and two PIM before leaving the game with a presumed head injury (team said upper body).  He’s been ruled out for their next game already.  Hopefully it’s nothing long term; Ivan Provorov gets a boost in the mean time.

Nazem Kadri – Two goals on four shots.  Kadri is crushing it which is no surprise in these parts.

J.T. Miller – Two assists.  The shot rate still sucks but Miller is piling up the assists.  It all comes down to whether or not you need his assists.

Rick Nash – Goal and an assist with three shots.  Rough start for Nash but he’s still over 3.5 shots per game so the goals should start coming in.

Mika Zibanejad – Goal and an assist with two shots.  In a brutal start for the Rangers, Zibanejad continues to be a bright spot.

Kevin Shattenkirk – Two assists with a shot and six PIM.  The shot rate is below his norms and the plus-minus is dreadful.  He’s also taking a ton of penalties which is slightly hurting his playing time.  I think he’ll be fine but it hasn’t been great despite having 9 points in 12 games.

Phillip Danault – Two goals and two assists with six shots.  The four points is more than Danault had in the first 10 games of the season.  Danault is a fine streamer but I wouldn’t be rushing to grab him.

Andrew Shaw – Two assists with a shot and two PIM.  The minutes are huge right now, including on the power play, but he’s just not a good offensive player.  There’s value here because of the PIM and the fact that he’s not an offensive disaster but Shaw is strictly a team dependent play.

Shea Weber – Two assists with four shots.  The shot rate is excellent but the plus-minus is getting out of control.  The minutes are huge so he should produce offensively but I wouldn’t bet on the +/- turning around.

Ryan Getzlaf – Three assists with three shots and two PIM.  He played over 24 minutes again which is insane.  There’s a good chance Getzlaf can be a top 25 player if that holds, at least until Kesler returns.

Rickard Rakell – Two goals.  The shot rate is up giving me optimism that Rakell can repeat last season’s 33 goal total.

Brandon Montour – Goal and an assist with four shots.  The return of Sami Vatanen didn’t affect Montour at all as he remained on the first power play unit.  Clear must own at the moment.

John Gibson – 31 saves on 32 shots in the 4-1 win over the Lightning.  Amazing performance by Gibson to hold the Lightning in check, especially ending the point streaks for Kucherov and Stamkos.  His goals against average is high but the save percentage is solid meaning that things should get better soon.  Good buy target.

Andreas Athanasiou – Goal on two shots and two PIM in his second game since signing a contract.  Athanasiou moves back to a quality streamer now that he’s in the lineup.

Jimmy Howard – 44 saves on 46 shots in the 3-2 SO win over the Panthers.  Howard has been incredible with a .929 sv% in 9 starts.  The problem is that Detroit is horrible defensively and giving up a ton of shots so if Howard’s play slips at all, his goals against average could skyrocket.  I doubt you’d be able to sell high but I would if I could.

Evgeny Dadonov – Goal and an assist with seven shots.  He’s been everything I hoped for when I ranked him in the top 100.

James Reimer – 36 saves on 38 shots taking the loss.  Reimer hasn’t been great but I do think we see him bounce back.  If he’s still available in your league, I would grab him.

Clayton Keller – Goal on five shots.  The team is off to the worst start in NHL history but it’s certainly not Keller’s fault.

Taylor Hall – Two goals and an assist with four shots.  Hall has been terrific and none of it looks fluky.  He has the talent to be a point per game player so it’s just a matter of maintaining consistency.

Jesper Bratt – Goal and two assists with two penalty minutes.  He’s a hot schmotato so I’m fine with using him while he’s on fire but Bratt has only 10 SOG in 10 games so regression is surely coming.

Scottie Upshall – Goal and two assists with two shots.  Weird game where the 4th line carried St. Louis to victory.  Like Dmitrij Jaskin (2A, 1 SOG) and Kyle Brodziak (1+1, 6 SOG), there’s nothing here long term.

Jake Allen – 36 saves on 37 shots in the 4-1 win over the Blue Jackets.  Allen has been solid so far with a ton of wins coming in.  I see no reason why he couldn’t maintain this level of play.

Jordan Eberle – Two goals and an assist with four shots.  Finally!  He’s starting to pick things up and it should continue given how well his center is playing right now.

John Tavares – Hat trick on four shots.  Three games with at least three points in the last four seems pretty good.

Anders Lee – Two assists with two shots and four penalty minutes.  Everything is looking great for Lee who people may finally start to believe in.

Brock Nelson – Two assists with two PIM.  He’s an elite streamer and I’m fine with holding while he’s playing well but the shot rate is a bit discouraging.

Anthony Beauvillier – Two assists with a shot.  Not enough here to use right now although I still like him in dynasties.

Ryan Pulock – Goal and an assist with three shots.  He played on the second power play unit so there could be something developing for the former first round pick.  I’m not grabbing him yet but monitor Pulock over his next few games.

Devan Dubnyk – 29 saves on 30 shots in the 2-1 win over the Penguins.  I still have a ton of faith in Dubnyk and would look to buy low on him if possible.

Michal Kempny – Two assists with two shots and two PIM.  I don’t see much here outside of the deepest of leagues.

Sven Andrighetto – Goal and an assist with three shots.  Keep streaming the man.

Rocco Grimaldi – Goal and an assist.  It was his first game of the season and Grimaldi played under 9 minutes so no reason to consider him.

Nathan MacKinnon – Two goals and an assist with seven shots.  It hasn’t been a great start for MacKinnon but he’s remarkably just 22 years old.  I still have faith in MacKinnon becoming a star in the league.

Mikko Rantanen – Two goals and an assist with three shots.  Great start for Rantanen outside of plus-minus with 10 points in 11 games.  I would be holding him right now.

Alex Ovechkin – Three assists, five shots, +4.  Ovechkin is playing incredible right now with 10+5 in 12 games with over 5 shots per game.  Did you know that ESPN and Yahoo! ranked him outside of the top 10?  I will never get over this.

Devante Smith-Pelly – Goal on three shots.  He played with Ovechkin in this game playing over 18 minutes so DSP has some short term streamer value.

Lars Eller – Goal and an assist with six shots and six PIM.  Nice player in real life but Eller doesn’t possess much fantasy value.

Evgeny Kuznetsov – Two goals on five shots.  Excellent start to the year for Kuznetsov who is putting last year’s disaster in the rear view mirror.

Braden Holtby – 38 saves on 40 shots in the 5-2 win over the Oilers.  Rough start to the year for Holtby but I feel strongly that he’s going to turn it around.

Sunday’s Games

Andrew Cogliano – Two assists with a shot.  Very nice start to the year for Cogliano but he’s only a streamer since he’s not getting power play time.

Justin Williams – Two assists with a shot.  Williams is a decent option if you need assists since you’ll get decent PIM and a fine shot rate.

Brendan Lemieux – First career goal with 10 PIM.  He hasn’t played 10 minutes in any of his 4 games so there’s nothing to use yet but Lemieux still has some long term power forward upside.

Mark Scheifele – Goal and two assists.  Strong start as expected for Scheifele.

Kyle Connor – Two assists with a shot.  As long as he’s playing in the top six, I would actually hold Connor.  I have that much of a belief in Connor’s potential.

Connor Hellebuyck – 31 saves on 32 shots in the 7-1 win over the Pens.  Great start to the season for Hellboy.  I’ve long been a huge fan of his potential so perhaps we’re getting it sooner than expected.  I wouldn’t be looking to sell high if I had him.

Johnny Gaudreau – Two assists with two shots.  Gaudreau has been excellent with 3+12 in 12 games pushing 2.5 shots per game.  He even has 2 PIM!

Mike Smith – 30 saves on 31 shots in the 2-1 win over the Capitals.  Smith has been outstanding with a .931 sv%.  I would try to buy Smith because the Flames should not be this inept offensively.  If they start to score at all, they’re going to get on a heater.

The Week Ahead:

4 games this week:
ARI
MON
PHI
TOR
VGS

2 games:
BUF
CGY
CAR
WAS

Monday Streamers:

Sven Baertschi (7.7%) – He has four goals in the last three games and the Stars are far from a defensive juggernaut.

Brendan Gallagher (15.3%) – The shot rate is outstanding and Gallagher has 4 points in the last 4 games.

Joonas Donskoi (0.6%) – Donskoi looked great against the Sabres on Saturday and I’m all for taking guys against the Leafs right now.

That’s all for now guys.  In a weird schedule quirk, there are actually 8 games tonight and only 3 on Tuesday.  Because of that, I will daily notes on Tuesday night with a podcast going up on Wednesday.  As always, feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments below.  Thanks for reading, take care!

  1. Lackeydrinksonme

    lackeydrinksonme says:
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    Viz

    Thanks for the write-up, as always.

    I was fortunate to have Wheeler playing, and actually took the week, 6 categories to 5. It all came down to the Washington game last night- I bit the bullet and had Grubauer in goal, while my opponent picked up Orpik to try and win hits. He actually out-hit me in the end 51 to 52, but Grubauer was able to snag me a .910 save % on the week… my opponent played Murray for the Pens and as a result posted .908!! 4-0 feels great, and I owe a lot of this to your awesome draft listing.

    Protip: if you’re winning on goalie stats, you don’t always need to play a goalie!

    I also started 56 skaters last week, which is actually my highest ever, averaging 8 every day. My counting stats are ridiculous, and they should stay pretty consistent. I’d like to add another set-and-forget piece like Hall… other buy-low, slow-start candidates?

    My advice for the other commenters this week is to grab Edmonton and NJ players- three games, but on the off-days so you can field an entire squad on the full-slate evenings. My opponent has two days this week where he only has one player, and I don’t have any with fewer than four. Maroon was available in my league, and I will probably drop someone for Klefbom before their game Wednesday.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @lackeydrinksonme: Damn, that’s crazy, nice win! Hopefully other people see your tip because that’s very important stuff for those in head to head leagues. I’m going to discuss that on the next podcast once I do some more digging.

    • Quick Sycamore says:
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      @lackeydrinksonme: My opponent also unnecessarily played Murray on sunday and handed me a couple extra wins because of it.

  2. Darling allowed 3 goals on 25 shots in Sunday’s shootout loss to Anaheim. Save % at .897. 3-3-2 record includes some good & some bad ones. He doesn’t appear to be nailing down the starter job. You said you could see a bounce back for Reimer and if he is still available to grab him. Would you drop Darling for Reimer? I read Luongo could be back Thursday. He is also available. Other remaining options; Varlamov, Greiss & Dansk. Antti Raanta still there, but he’s currently IR and Zona has not looked good. Pickings at goalie are slim, even in our 10 teamer. Thanks as always Viz!

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @madden_curser: I’d probably still hold Darling, he’s started 8 of the 10 games and like you said, the Florida situation might be back to an even split very soon.

  3. Chris says:
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    I very much enjoy your takes! Thanks Viz!

    I’m looking to upgrade my D-Men, I currently have Suter, Hedman and Yandle and the three of those have under-achieved so far! Would you drop Yandle for a buy low candidate such as Justin Schultz or a sleeper like Shea Theodore? My league counts G/A/+-/PP/GWG.

    Thanks

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Chris: Thanks! I was going to say grab Schultz but he was elbowed in the face by Caggiula and is on the IR now with a concussion. I’m rather hold Yandle than grab Theodore so I’m just holding tight for now.

  4. Surfer dude says:
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    Hi, need some advice asap, 10 team h2h pts, who should I drop Zuccarello or Johansen, league rewards 3 pts for goals and 2 for assists, .25 for hits and block shots – thanks!

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Surfer dude: Hey man. That’s a nice situation to have if you have to debate dropping one of these guys. Different setup without anything for shots. I guess I would lean towards dropping Johansen but I don’t have a ton of confidence in that.

  5. Saints says:
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    Hay Viz great stuff:
    I want to mention two deep (dynasty) Targets for the readers out there since you havent noticed (or simply mentioned) it.
    Josh Anderson had 2 Goals over the last 3 Games with great Hit Totals (as always) the encouraging thing is that his minutes went way up to 20 minutes in the last game. I’m not sure if there were some significant injuries on the Jackets (dont think so) but if it sticks i can see him to get very interesting for a lot of leagues at 23 Years.
    Adrian Kempe had 4 Points in the last 3 Games and he had 2 times at least 15 Minutes if that sticks i think he can be ownable. For dynasties he is good anyway (like you pointed out a lot of times).

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Saints: Thanks! Yeah, Anderson went up to the first line last game so if that sticks, he’s clearly usable in all leagues. I’ve long been a fan so hopefully these minutes last.

      It’s still not great for Kempe; he hasn’t reached 16 minutes yet and the other game he didn’t get to 12. He’s still on the fence although I’m leaning more towards hold now.

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