First off, I hope everyone had a Happy New Year’s!  As much as I personally don’t care for New Year’s Eve, this year was different because of the Buffalo Bills making the playoffs.  I wish I had video of me celebrating with my dad or an audio recording of my friend, who is in Paris, who heard us yelling on speaker phone and him celebrating in the Paris streets. Couple that with an amazing USA win in the WJC outdoor game against Canada that I was at and things in the sports world couldn’t be better.  Even the Sabres looked competent today despite the loss!  Anyways, let’s get to what you’re here for…

I’ve talked about Josh Bailey being the waiver wire pickup of the year on multiple occasions over the last couple weeks because, well, the Isles top line is on fire.  That said, William Karlsson is easily #2 in this department.  Wild Bill, a Razzball favorite from the past (aka favorite of mine), scored the first hat trick in Vegas history on Sunday, scoring three goals and an assist in the 6-3 win over the Maple Leafs.  That brings Karlsson’s totals to 20+13 in 33 games with a +15 rating.  Sure, it will regress some because he’s not going to shoot 26.3% all season, but let’s give Karlsson his due.  In the first 183 games of his career, Karlsson scored 18 goals.  He has that beat for the Golden Knights in 37 games.  His emergence is a huge part of Vegas shocking the world as they sit atop the Western Conference.  Karlsson will drop off some in the second half, at least in the goals department, but make no mistake about it, it’s not a complete fluke.  Karlsson should be a hold for the rest of the season.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last three days of the old year:

Friday’s Games

Rasmus Ristolainen – Goal and an assist with three shots.  This was Risto’s first goal of the season, a beauty in overtime.  It’s been a slow start to the season but the Sabres power play is finally starting to come around so look for Risto to take off soon.  If he was cut in your league, grab him now.

Jack Eichel – Two goals on five shots.  This gave Eichel 11 points in his last 6 games as he’s starting to take over extended stretches of games.  A point per game is within striking distance.

Cam Ward – 27 saves on 28 shots in the 2-1 win over the Penguins.  Again, I don’t trust Ward at all, but he should be owned while he’s playing well.

Josh Anderson – Goal and an assist with five shots playing almost 22 minutes.  With all of their injuries, Anderson and the other top guys left on Columbus are going to get massive minutes.  They’re great options in DFS right now and obviously should be owned in season-long leagues.

Sonny Milano – Two goals.  There’s plenty of long term upside here but for now, Milano is a bottom end streamer at best.

Dion Phaneuf – Two assists with two PIM.  With the shot rate dropping even lower, Phaneuf has gone from bottom end hold depending on team needs to a desperation option.

Erik Karlsson – Two assists with two PIM.  Brutal year so far for Karlsson but I still believe it will work itself out.

Mark Stone – Goal and an assist with three shots.  Stone has been one of (the only?) bright spot for the Senators this season with 34 points in 37 games with over two shots per game.

Claude Giroux – Three assists with three shots.  Sean Couturier also had three points while Wayne Simmonds and Jakub Voracek each had two points.  Among the forwards, they are the only four guys worth considering, and obviously they should all be owned in even 4 man leagues.  They’re matchup proof right now making them solid DFS options regardless of the matchup.

Travis Konecny – Two assists with a shot.  I was hoping Konecny could take a step forward this season but it hasn’t happened to this point.  He’s waiver wire fodder for the time being.

Nikita Kucherov – Two assists with five shots and two PIM.  His numbers are so dumb that it doesn’t even seem real: 25/31/+15/24/141/21 STP.  Just another measly 10 game point streak after he had 2 more points on Sunday.

Anders Lee – Two goals on eight shots.  And this game lowered his shooting percentage!  Lee has been the third wheel on his line yet he’s still a top 25 forward on the season.  Lee is only one goal off Kucherov for the league lead.

Connor Hellebuyck – 42 saves on 44 shots in the 4-2 win over the Islanders.  Hellboy now sits as the third best goaltender on the player rater.  Not bad for a guy who was a late round pick for some decent upside.  And to think it was only three months ago that Steve Mason was expected to be their #1.

Blake Wheeler – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM.  Wheeler has moved to center with Scheifele’s absence yet it hasn’t slowed him down.  If the Jets keep up their current pace, Wheeler will deserve serious MVP consideration.  He firmly remains a top 10 forward.

Adam Lowry – Goal and an assist with six shots playing over 19 minutes.  Lowry has seen a massive boost in time, including PP1 time.  He’s a solid streamer.

Kyle Connor – Goal and an assist with three shots.  Connor remains a bottom end hold even with Scheifele being injured.

Patrik Laine – Two assists with three shots and two PIM playing over 20 minutes.  He moved on the top line which has guaranteed him big minutes.  Look for Laine to be the top 20 forward the rest of the way that we expected before the season started.

P.K. Subban – Goal and an assist with six shots.  Subban has settled into Nashville so he’s back to Montreal numbers aka being a top 5 defenseman.

Devan Dubnyk – 41 saves on 43 shots in the 4-2 win over the Predators.  Huge performance for Dubnyk in his first game back from injury.  Look for Dubnyk to have a big second half.

Mikael Granlund – Hat trick on seven shots.  He’s lagging behind last season’s pace in terms of points but the shot rate is up quite a bit.  After a slow start, there is no doubt about Granlund being a hold anymore.

Matt Dumba – Goal and an assist with four shots and two PIM.  Spurgeon’s return hasn’t slowed down Dumba one bit so he should still be owned everywhere.

Ben Bishop – 35 saves on 37 shots in the 4-2 win over the Blues.  Bishop has been a monster at home, no way around it.

Alexander Radulov  – Two goals on five shots.  Radulov has been a great contributor across the board with his improvement in shot rate.

Jamie Benn – Goal and an assist with three shots.  Same deal as Radulov except on a slightly higher level.

Jeff Glass – 42 saves on 45 shots in the 4-3 OT win over the Oilers.  Congrats to Glass, a 32 year old journeyman who spent 8 years in the KHL, on his first NHL start and win.

Nick Schmaltz – Three assists with two shots.  Keep streaming the man, nothing more to it.

Duncan Keith – Two assists with a shot.  Keith has lost a step so he’s mostly an AAGNOF but still worth owning.

Patrick Kane – Goal and an assist with six shots.  Nothing spectacular from Kane so far but he’s been his usual self at a point-per-game and great shots.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Goal and two assists with five shots and two PIM.  I keep mentioning RNH as being under the radar but I haven’t seen him mentioned at all by the national media.  He’s been outstanding and should be owned everywhere.

Jesse Puljujarvi – Goal and an assist with six shots playing over 20 minutes.  If these minutes are real, Puljujarvi could be a hold in no time.  For now, stream him regardless of matchup.

Roman Polak – Goal and an assist, two shots, two PIM, 7 hits, 4 blocks.  And there’s your annual Roman Polak update and a nominee for shocking stat line of the year.

Nathan MacKinnon – Goal and two assists with five shots.  Just like that, MacKinnon is in the top five in the league in scoring.  Props to him for finally putting things together on a consistent basis.

Nikita Zadorov – Two assists.  He has 5 points in the last 7 games so I’d consider him in deep leagues for the massive hits and blocks totals.

Mike Smith – 39 saves on 41 shots in the 2-1 loss to the Ducks.  This game certainly wasn’t Smith’s fault as he kept the Flames in the game.  His save percentage is at a solid .920 so hopefully the team can start scoring consistently to give Smith more wins.

Ryan Getzlaf – Two assists with three shots playing almost 25 minutes.  The minutes are bonkers for a forward right now so expect him to play at a point per game level.

Rickard Rakell – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM.  The shot rate is up so much that it’s allowing Rakell to come close to last season’s goal rate despite the expected drop in shooting percentage.

John Gibson – 22 saves on 23 shots in the 2-1 win over the Flames.  With the team getting healthy in front of him, Gibson has a chance to be a top 5 goalie in the second half.  Even if he’s not, he should be a #1 making Gibson a great trade target.

Saturday’s Games

Tuukka Rask – 25 save shutout in the 5-0 win over the Senators.  Rask is inching towards being a top 5 goalie on the season with how well the Bruins are playing in front of him.

David Backes – Two assists with two PIM.  That’s four straight multi-point games for Backes.  Props to Lackeydrinksonme for calling Backes’ breakout for a while now.  Be sure to check his upcoming streaming post that will be up in the morning Tuesday!

David Krejci – Goal and an assist with five shots.  Krejci wasn’t shooting the puck at all and now he has 12 shots in the past 3 games.  The points are flowing so I’m good with holding Krejci while he’s playing well.

Ryan Spooner – Two goals on six shots.  Spooner is also on fire right now with nine points in his past ten.  He’s an elite streamer but I wouldn’t hold him.  Not enough shots or penalty minutes.

Torey Krug – Two assists with a shot.  He’s dropped off a bit lately but Krug’s overall numbers are still great.  Given how well Boston is playing, it shouldn’t be long until Krug gets going again.

Travis Zajac – Goal and an assist.  The way the game has gone has made Zajac virtually useless.  The minutes are there but the production is awful.  Don’t use him.

Marcus Johansson – Two assists.  He’s a bottom end streamer at best.  The shot rate remains poor and the points are much lower than in Washington.

Alex Ovechkin – Three assists with six shots.  He’s sitting at #4 among forwards and leads the league in goals.  And he wasn’t ranked in the top 12 by ESPN or CBS!  Sorry but I’m still laughing about it.

Nicklas Backstrom – Goal and two assists with three shots.  His numbers are down across the board but we know Backstrom has the ability to go on a massive run at any time.  Here’s to hoping he can get his shot rate back up over two per game.

John Carlson – Goal and two assists with four shots.  Carlson has had bad luck in terms of shooting percentage or he’d be a top 5 fantasy defenseman.  Great to have him back on track after an injury riddled season last year.

Christian Djoos – Goal and an assist with four shots.  I’m not sure there will ever be much in terms of fantasy production here.  Djoos looks like a guy who is better in real life than fantasy.  That said, there is plenty of time for that to change for the 23 year old.

Connor Brickley – Goal and an assist.  Props to the 25 year old for finally sticking on the big club but there’s not much to see here in fantasy.

James Reimer – 38 save shutout in the 2-0 win over the Canadiens.  Reimer is on fire right now with 5 straight wins allowing 6 goals over 5 games.  He should be owned everywhere right now although this upcoming road trip might put a damper on things.

Kyle Brodziak – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM.  He’s hot right now with 5 points in the last 4 games but don’t expect it to last.

Alex Pietrangelo – Two assists.  While his great start has tampered off, Pietrangelo remains a six category stud.

P.K. Subban – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM.  More of the same for Subban.

Calle Jarnkrok – Two assists with two shots.  Jarnkrok is getting massive minutes with Filip Forsberg on IR with an undisclosed injury.  Jarnkrok was already playing well so I’d stream him while he’s hot.

Juuse Saros – 29 save shutout in the 3-0 win over the Wild.  I’m still a firm believer that Saros will be an elite goaltender one day.  There’s still plenty of time for the 22 year old.

Tyler Toffoli – Goal and two assists with four shots.  Amazing bounce back from Toffoli who already has more goals than last season.  He’s done extremely well to maintain a shot rate over three as well.

Marian Gaborik – Goal and an assist with three shots.  Gabby has been a decent streamer to this point and should remain so for the time being.

Trevor Lewis – Two assists with two shots.  And there’s your monthly Trevor Lewis update!

Ben Hutton – Two assists with two PIM.  He showed some signs in the past but Hutton has only 6 assists and 0 goals in 37 games.  Nothing to see here.

Sunday’s Games

Auston Matthews – Two goals on three shots.  Matthews has been terrific this season, it’s just a matter of staying healthy.

Reilly Smith – Two assists with two shots.  Smith needs to be owned everywhere since he’s a plus contributor in all categories.

Jonathan Marchessault – Goal and an assist with five shots.  Six game point streak for Marchessault has him sitting over a point per game on the season with a +12 rating, 18 PIM and 3.5 shots per game.  Outstanding across the board.

John Gibson – 23 saves on 25 shots in the 5-2 win over the Coyotes.  Sunday was the day of the beatdown with all but one game decided by 3+ goals.  Nothing to add on Gibson that I didn’t say above.

Antoine Vermette – Goal and two assists.  He played with Getzlaf and Rakell (2 points each) giving Vermette some short term streamer value.

Ryan Kesler – Two assists with two shots.  Look for Kesler to get going sooner than later as the Ducks are rolling.

Cam Fowler – Goal and an assist with four shots.  After a brutal start to the year, including injury, we are seeing the good side of Fowler again.  He should be owned in leagues that carry 4+ D.

Jakob Silfverberg – Goal and an assist with two shots.  The shot rate has really dropped which is concerning.  However, Kesler’s return should help and Silfverberg has 8 points in the last 10 games.  He’s an elite streamer who can become a hold again very soon.

Andrei Vasilevskiy – 21 save shutout in the 5-0 win over the Blue Jackets.  Vasilevskiy is so far in front as the #1 goalie that he’s worth double on the player rater than #6 and over 1.75x the value of Quick who is #2 overall.  It’s incredible and with how other goalies have fallen over the past few weeks, Vasilevskiy is the clear Vezina front runner.

Victor Hedman – Two assists with a shot.  Hedman is hotter than a pistol with 12 points in the past 9 games.  The goals are down because of shooting percentage but Hedman is crushing the rest of the categories.

Tyler Johnson – Two goals on three shots.  That’s a ten game point streak for Johnson with fifteen points over that stretch.  Must own again.

Brayden Point – Two assists with two shots.  Point hasn’t slowed down since week one of the season.  Clear as day hold in all formats.

Mikhail Sergachev – Two assists with a shot and two penalty minutes.  Figures Sergachev went into a slump when the minutes finally went up.  Look for him to get back on track sooner than later.

Jimmy Howard – 37 saves on 38 shots in the 4-1 win over the Penguins.  He’s rolling again with 4 strong starts in a row but I still have no faith in Howard or the Red Wings.

Henrik Zetterberg – Two assists with two shots.  Zetterberg 11 points in his past 9 but I’m still putting him on the fringe.  He’s an AAGNOF, albeit a good one.

Gustav Nyquist – Two goals on three shots.  Sad that Nyquist has ended up a streamer after how promising he looked four years ago but here we are.

Tyler Bertuzzi – Two assists with three shots and four PIM.  The former second round pick was put on the first line for this game and delivered.  Given the big potential for PIM on top of decent points, I’d take a shot streaming him Wednesday against the Senators.

Connor Hellebuyck – 35 save shutout in the 5-0 win over the Oilers.  No slowing Hellboy down right now.

Bryan Little – Goal and an assist with two shots.  He hasn’t received the boost I assumed he would when Scheifele went down but Little should still be streamed.

Ben Bishop – 26 save shutout in the 6-0 win over the Sharks.  Yep, home beast.  It just goes to show you how bad things have done on the road that he’s outside of the top 12 on the season despite being 13-4-1 with 1.95/.933 at home.

Radek Faksa – Three assists with three shots.  After a prolonged hot streak, Faksa went ice cold before this game.  He’s a middling streamer now but we could see a full breakout next season.

Jamie Benn – Two assists with a shot.  Six game point streak has Benn rocking and a rolling.

Tyler Pitlick – Two goals on four shots.  Not enough here for fantasy purposes.

John Klingberg – Goal and an assist with four shots.  Your leader in defenseman points in the NHL? Mr. Klingberg.

Mattias Janmark – Two assists with a shot.  Three game point streak has Janmark back as a middling streamer.

Nathan MacKinnon – Three assists with two shots.  So, over under 15th overall for MacKinnon’s ADP in drafts next season?

Gabriel Landeskog – Two goals and an assist with four shots.  Twelve points in the last seven games for the Kog seems pretty, pretty, pretty good.

Carl Soderberg – Goal and an assist with four shots and two PIM.  He’s nowhere near as bad as he was last season but Soderberg still has a bit to go to be worth streaming.

Erik Johnson – Goal and an assist with two shots.  With Barrie out, Johnson is the focal point of the Colorado blue line.  Given his value in the secondary categories, I think Johnson should be owned right now outside of the shallowest of leagues.

Samuel Girard – Two assists with two shots.  We’re already seeing flashes from the 19 year old.  It’ll take some time but I’m a big believer in his long term fantasy potential.

Jonathan Bernier – 27 saves on 28 shots in the 6-1 win over the Islanders.  GAA is still over 3 and save percentage is still below 9.  Hard pass.

Jonathan Toews – Goal and an assist with four shots.  Toews has quietly had a pretty disappointing season.  The assists have drastically fallen off and while the shooting percentage is far off career norms, it’s not far off last season.  Last season, Toews did this and went on a massive heater, but this year I wouldn’t count on it.

Brandon Saad – Goal and an assist with three shots.  Like Toews, Saad was ice cold before this game and has been disappointing.  Only 7 assists from Saad is disgusting.  I wouldn’t be holding him at this point.

Jordan Oesterle – Goal and an assist with five shots and two PIM.  He’s showing some signs with 6 points in 13 games and over 2 shots per game.  I’m not grabbing him yet but Oesterle is worth monitoring.

Mark Giordano – Goal and an assist with five shots.  It’s not great anywhere but it’s good enough everywhere that I’m still holding Gio.

Mikael Backlund – Two assists with a shot.  Decent streamer but definitely not worth holding.

Johnny Gaudreau – Two assists with three shots.  Gaudreau boosting the shot rate has turned him into a five category stud.

Sean Monahan – Goal and an assist.  Monahan was ice cold in the goal scoring department before this game.  Look for him to turn that back around shortly.

Matthew Tkachuk – Two goals on five shots.  Tkachuk was inserted on the first power play unit for this game and he immediately delivered.  Look for the points to creep back up to go along with his elite penalty minutes.

Monday’s Game:

Henrik Lundqvist – 31 saves on 33 shots in the 3-2 OT win over the Sabres.  The King was outstanding in this game as was Robin Lehner.  Lundqvist is back as a top 10 goalie and I expect him to continue his ascent up the player rater.

J.T. Miller – Goal and an assist with two shots.  Miller is right on the fringe and it comes down to whether or not you can stomach the low shot rate.

Rasmus Ristolainen – Goal and an assist with two shots.  As mentioned early in this post, Risto is getting ready to take off.

Kyle Okposo – Two assists with five shots.  Could Okposo get back to fantasy relevance?  The top unit from last season has been reunited so it’s certainly in play.  With 5 points in his past 5 and 7 in 9, Okposo is worth streaming again.

Ryan O’Reilly – Assist with four shots.  He was the best player on the ice in this game outside of the goalies.  RoR also has 7 points in his past 9 games and is an elite streamer.

That’s all for now guys.  I said that’s all like it’s nothing but I’m almost positive this is my longest post ever on Razzball.  Over 3600 words and counting!  As always, feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments below.  Look for Lackeydrinksonme’s streaming advice post to come out Tuesday morning.  I’ll be back tomorrow recapping all of the action on Tuesday’s big slate.  Thanks for reading, take care!

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5 years ago

Hi Viz,

I’m happy that the Bills won as well! Would have rather seen Canada take down the US in the WJC outdoor game though 😉

I recently made a big trade to get Brock Boeser in my keeper pool. Do you see this year as a bit of a fluke for him or do you think he’s the real deal and can put up these kind of numbers consistently in his career? He has an unreal shot which I have read is being compared to Tarasenkos. Do you see him as a 30 to 40 goal/70 to 80 point player? Similar to a Pastrnak?



5 years ago
Reply to  Viz

@Viz: thanks a lot. I traded quite a bit to get him. Traded Anders Lee and Barkov for him and a 2nd round pick. I flipped that pick along with Halak for Reimer/Luongo and Zuccarello, so overall I’m happy with it. I think that Lee is a sell high and that Barkov is unreal in real life but nothing spectacular fantasy wise. I feel like I was able to upgrade my goaltending as well especially with Reimer being on a tear right now. Darling was expected to be my 2nd keeper goalie behind Bobrovsky but hasn’t panned out so I wanted a back up plan which I think Reimer is. I couldn’t see myself keeping a 33 year old Halak. We will see what happens I guess!

5 years ago
Reply to  Viz

@Viz: I’m hoping the same! He has had some weaker opppnents lately but I have always liked him. In these big deals I make I always aim to get the best player in the deal. Earlier in the year I dealt ehlers and mantha for tarasenko and now lee and barkov for boeser. My keepers are now tarasenko boeser Panarin huberdeau johansen Bobrovsky and ether Reimer or darling which isn’t ideal but I guess it could be worse. Maybe lol. Thanks for your input.

LG Hockey
LG Hockey
5 years ago

Happy New Year Viz!

Couple of trades I’m considering:

1) my Voracek and Karlsson for his Kucherov and John Carlson

2) My Holtby and Ghost for McDavid

Standard categories and can keep only 6 guys. is Voracek for real? He has had good years before followed by bad.
You like these trades?

LG Hockey
LG Hockey
5 years ago
Reply to  Viz

@Viz: I’m in second and just behind first place. My team is stacked and have Hellebucky, Lehner and Reimer for goalies. I think Hellebucyk could be a keeper for me next year.

With respect to keepers Karlsson and Holtby would definitely be in my top 6 but I have Schiefle, Seguin, Gaudreau, Panarin, Ehlers, Barzal, Brayden Point so just trying to improve my 6 keepers. I feel I can make other moves and picks ups to stay competitive and getting either Kucherov or McDavid would be huge for years to come. Let me know if you like one trade over the other. Thinking the Kucherov is more balanced but the guy worth McDavid has no goalies or D.


LG Hockey
LG Hockey
5 years ago
Reply to  LG Hockey

@LG Hockey: @LG Hockey: one more thing.

Kucherov owner initially wanted Karlsson and Seguin for Kucherov and Carlson but I love Seguin and countered with Voracek. How do you value Seguin vs Voracek and is the Kucherov trade still worth it if you sub in Seguin for Voracek?

Thanks, really appreciate your help

LG Hockey
LG Hockey
5 years ago
Reply to  Viz

@Viz: standard categories but SOG will be introduced new next year. Yeah I’m gonna try and keep it Voracek but will go Seguin if I have to. Thanks!

5 years ago

Would you take Ristolainen over any of the below

Butcher, Yandle, Faulk, Dumba,

Goals (G), Assists (A), Plus/Minus (+/-), Penalty Minutes (PIM), Powerplay Points (PPP), Shots on Goal (SOG)