I normally don’t give the extended intro to the same player twice in a short period of time but my boy Blake Wheeler gets the honor tonight. Wheeler’s excellent play continued on Monday night dishing four assists in the 4-1 win over the Stars, adding four shots and a +3 rating. All of a sudden, Wheeler is quietly creeping up on the Tampa duo sitting third in the league in points. 5+16, +7, 14 PIM, 9 STP, 46 SOG is Wheeler’s line through 14 games. I don’t know what you guys think of that but it seems like an okay start to the season. Loyal readers know I’ve long praised Wheeler as the most underrated superstar in the game and there are simply few players who consistently play at the level he does. Let’s take a look at what else happened in the 6 game slate on Monday:
Nino Niederreiter – Goal on two shots with two PIM. Look for him to start picking it up now that the minutes are back to normal levels.
Brad Marchand – Missed the game with an upper body injury. Bruce Cassidy said he doesn’t think it’s long term but he’s been wrong with other Bruins so far this year so keep an eye on the situation.
Zdeno Chara – Two assists. Still some value in league that include the extra categories but I doubt he gets to 35 points and the shot rate is dreadful.
Jordan Szwarz – Two assists. These are the first two assists in his 38 game NHL career. At 26 years old, I think that tells you all you need to know.
Tim Schaller – Goal and an assist with five shots. He’s not fantasy relevant but I’m happy for Schaller for carving out an NHL career after being signed as a college free agent by the Sabres.
Josh Anderson – Goal on three shots with two PIM. It’s time for him to be owned in all 12’ers.
Oliver Bjorkstrand – Goal on three shots with two PIM. Definitely remains an elite streamer and inching closer to a hold.
Kevin Shattenkirk – Goal and an assist with two shots. No surprise, Shattenkirk has completely transformed the Rangers power play. The plus-minus has been bad but Shattenkirk has been a monster otherwise.
Mika Zibanejad – Three assists with a shot. Oh, Mika, you’re so fine, you’re so fine you blow my mind, hey Mika! After scoring all of the goals early in the year, he’s piling up the assists lately. Don’t look now but Zibanejad is over a point per game.
Michael Grabner – Two goals and two PIM. He’s caught fire again with six goals in the past six games. Again, he doesn’t get any power play time so he’s a middling streamer at best.
Pavel Buchnevich – Goal and an assist with two shots. I’ve been saying it for two weeks, The Butcher is going to get more minutes and be must own. Grab him now if you haven’t already.
John Carlson – Goal and an assist with four shots playing almost 28 minutes. Carlson is playing his way back towards #1 fantasy defenseman status.
Evgeny Kuznetsov – Two assists, two shots, two PIM. The shot rate has been great for the last few weeks so hopefully that can be maintained. Kuz can be a top 15 player if that happens.
Connor Hellebuyck – 33 saves on 34 shots in the 4-1 win over the Stars. Damn it, I was a year early on Hellboy. He has been an absolute monster this year and has a firm grip on the job now. He still doesn’t have a loss in regulation!
Mark Scheifele – Two goals and an assist with four shots. That’s three three point games in the past five for Scheifele. Seems above average. He has a goal in ten straight games against Dallas with 22 points in those games. That also seems above average.
Kyle Connor – Goal and an assist with two shots playing over 20 minutes. Needs to be owned in all 12’ers right now.
Jamie Benn – Goal on eleven shots. It felt like Benn was dominating the entire game yet he finished -3 on the night. The perils of matching up against the top line for the Jets.
Justin Abdelkader – Two assists with four shots and two PIM. He’s an okay streamer if you want some penalty minutes but I’m not using Abdelkader.
Jimmy Howard – 26 saves on 28 shots in the 3-2 win over the Canucks. Still not a believer in this team or Howard despite their (his) strong start.
Philipp Grubauer (10.6%) – I normally don’t include goalies because I don’t know who is starting but with the Caps on a back to back, Grubauer should get the start against a struggling Sabres team.
Mathew Barzal (12.8%) – He’s been a monster lately and the Oilers have been a mess. Get him now because he might be blossoming into a hold.
Josh Anderson (16.4%) – See Anderson, Josh above.
William Karlsson (8.2%) – Going back to the well after I had some streamer success with Karlsson last night notching an assist. Montreal is a mess defensively so I don’t mind using him on the back to back.
That’s all for now guys. Reid and I are also recording a podcast in the morning so I’m hoping to get that out close to 1 PM EST so be sure to check that out. Since that post isn’t live yet, feel free to make your Three Point Challenge pick in this post if you’d like… reminder that you can’t take anyone currently in the top 10 in scoring. As always, feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments below. Thanks for reading, take care!