While there were only four games on the schedule on Wednesday, there was plenty of young talent showcasing their abilities around the NHL.  Front and center among them all was Connor McDavid, who scored a gorgeous goal, his fourth of the season.  I’d like to see a better shot rate but it’s hard to find real complaints about an 18 year old having 6 points in 7 games, including 5 in the last 3.  The Oilers next four games are all against excellent defensive teams so it’ll be interesting to see if he can keep his point streak alive.

Here’s what else I saw on Wednesday:

Nail Yakupov – Two assists with 3 shots.  He’s up to 6 points in 7 games as well with an above average shot rate.  He’s taking advantage of playing with McDavid and is consistently showing why he also went first overall.  He’s someone I’d look to target in a trade if possible and if for some reason he’s available, he’s a must add.

Cam Talbot – 29 saves on 30 shots in the 3-1 win over Detroit.  Save percentage is sitting at .920 which is very good to see, albeit in only 5 starts.  The goals against average is solid too.  It’ll be interesting to see if the Oilers can keep playing well defensively.  My guess is no and that Talbot’s sv% will be above average while his GAA falls off but we’ll see.

Tomas Tatar – Scored the lone goal on 3 shots.  He’s started slowly; this goal was his first of the season but I do expect him to turn it around quickly.  He scored 29 goals last year and should approach that again, if not pass it.

Gustav Nyqvist – Assist on 3 shots.  A hot streak should be coming for Nyqvist as well.  He played almost 20 minutes last night which is an incredible sign.

Matt Hunwick – No points but 2 PIM, 3 shots, 5 hits and 5 blocked shots.   Played a whopping 27:23 without any power play time.  In super deep leagues that count the extra categories, Hunwick is worth the add.  He’s on the top pair currently in Toronto and seems to be a favorite of Mike Babcock’s.

Jonathan Bernier – 34 saves on 35 shots in the shootout loss to Buffalo.  It was an amazing battle between the goaltenders but Bernier was the hard luck loser against Chad Johnson (23 saves on 24 shots), who made a bunch of outstanding saves to keep the Sabres in the game.  In 12 man, both goalies should be owned at this point but if I had to choose between the two, I’d go with Johnson in the short term.  He’s been amazing since Robin Lehner went down and he should get Zach Bogosian back soon which will be a big help.  In their next five, the Sabres get the Devils Saturday and Philly twice who have struggled to score (before last night) so Johnson should be a great spot start.

Evander Kane – First goal as a Sabres on 7 shots.  His shot rate has been elite and he’s playing big minutes so the goals should keep coming.

Jack Eichel – No points but 6 shots.  He hasn’t registered an assist yet but with the great possession numbers and shot totals Kane and Eichel are posting together, the points should start coming.  Hopefully Dan Blysma can find a third wheel for them as he’s rotated the third guy repeatedly without success yet.

Michal Neuvirth – 10 saves on 12 shots, then left the game injured after the first period.  No word on the severity yet but with Steve Mason (16 saves on 18 shots in relief) back in the fold, Neuvirth’s value was near-nil anyways.

Wayne Simmonds – Goal, 3 shots and 2 PIM.  A line that we are normally accustomed to seeing from Simmonds in recent years.

Claude Giroux – Two goals with 5 shots, 6 PIM and 4 hits.  The PIM are far from the norm but his shot rate is getting back to where it usually is.  Once the Flyers power play gets going, Giroux should find some consistency.

Mark Streit – Three assists.   Playing big power play minutes because the Flyers have nobody else so he’s a great target if you need PPP.

Jakub Voracek – Two assists with 2 shots, 4 hits and 3 blocked shots.  He hasn’t scored yet but has taken 4 shots a game; like the rest of the Flyers, the goals should be coming.

Tuukka Rask – 32 saves on 37 shots.  Boston’s defense fell apart again and it’s putting Rask in a horrible situation.  Again, I’d try to sell him high based on his name if possible.  I can’t see the Bruins straightening things out with the players on their roster.

Patrice Bergeron – Goal and assist on two shots.  His wife had a kid in the afternoon and he still found a way to play tonight and get a couple points for his new son Zack.  Even though the Bruins defense has been a trainwreck, their top guys are playing great.

David Krejci – Two assists with one shot.  Unbelievably, Krejci has 11 points in 6 games.  He’s a very good player but this is an outrageous streak.  If everything goes right, Krejci could post 65 points but I can’t see higher.  With his injury history, I’d look to sell high.

Loui Eriksson – Two assists playing over 22 minutes.  As long as he’s with Bergeron, Eriksson is in position to succeed.  He doesn’t take any penalties, his plus-minus will be shady and doesn’t hit much so I’m not rushing to add him in 12’ers but if you need points and can stomach the rest, add him.

Cam Ward – 26 save shutout in the 1-0 OT win over Colorado.  I still think that by the end of the year, Ward loses the job to Eddie Lack.  Ward has been bad for too many consecutive years to think he can bounce back.

Semyon Varlamov – 18 saves on 19 shots losing the shutout in overtime.  It was good to see Colorado actually control the game possession wise for the first time this season.  That should help Varlamov in the long run.

Thursday Streamers:

Jesper Fast (0.7% owned) – I talked about Quickie yesterday here . Arizona is regressing quickly and the Rangers should absolutely dominate this game.  It’s a great spot for Fast.

Andrew Hammond (17.9%) – The Hamburglar is getting his first start of the year at home against a horrible New Jersey offense.  Should be a fairly easy victory.

Marcus Johansson (14.4%) – The return of Nicklas Backstrom gives Johansson a top center to play with.  Additionally, he’s on the first power play unit which is clicking on all cylinders right now.

 

 

That’s all for now.  As always, feel free to post any comments and questions below.  With no baseball and what could be a dud football game, do yourself a favor and watch some hockey on this big slate.  Take care Razzball Nation!

  1. Cohen says:
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    Viz, would u drop Larkin for Yakapov?

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Cohen: Close but I think I’m holding. I don’t know the rest of your roster but there may be someone else I’d drop for Yakupov.

  2. Drew says:
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    Who would u pick up? Simmonds, vrbata, or duclair. Thanks

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Drew: Depends on what you need. If PIM are a need, I’d go Simmonds, otherwise I’d go Vrbata despite the slow start.

  3. Scott says:
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    Beleskey is killing me! Drop him for a hot player like Hanzal or Hemsky?

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Scott: I would definitely drop him for somebody, I wasn’t a fan before the season and he hasn’t shown anything to warrant a roster spot. Of those two, I’d go Hemsky.

  4. Alex says:
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    Hiya Viz:
    Love reading your recaps…they are great! First time in a Fantasy League, so would like your thoughts on my team:
    C – Getzlaf, Barkov, GNyquist (C/LW/RW), THall (C/LW)
    LW – DSedin, Ehlers (LW/RW)
    RW – MStone, BGallagher
    D – Faulk, Karlsson, Pietrangelo
    G – Bishop, Howard
    Should I make any changes at this point in time? Too early in the season?
    Thanks much!

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Alex: Team looks great! I don’t think I’d make a change. The only concern is that I wish Howard was playing more games; can you afford to carry a third goalie or no?

      • Alex says:
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        @Viz:
        No, probably cannot afford to have a 3rd goalie…I will have to drop someone. Thanks for your thoughts on my team! I just wish Getzlaf & Nyquist will start scoring some points soon! Keep up the fantastic work!.

  5. WalleyWorld says:
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    Hey Viz, good stuff as always, thanks for the great content. Ive been offered a trade in my dynasty league that has me thinking. They offered Scheifele/Trouba/Saad for my Larkin/Galchenyuk. I really like all players in the deal, not sure what the upside of Trouba is long term though. He also owns Panarin who is interesting to me. So how do you rank these guys for a dynasty? Take the deal and run or hang onto my guys? Thanks for the advice!

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @WalleyWorld: I think I would rank them Saad, Galchenyuk (dropoff), Larkin, Scheifele (dropoff), Trouba. The first two and second two are close. Trouba has the potential to be a great defenseman in real life but in fantasy, I don’t think he’ll be more than a bottom-end starter, at least any time soon, so it depends on how many people are in your league how valuable he is. In deep leagues, he’ll have a lot more value.

      Long term, Panarin is probably in that second tier although I have a hard time picking where since I’ve only seen 6 games from him + a couple KHL games. For this season, he’s either 1 or 2 behind Saad.

      It’s really close for me long and short term. All of these players are far from their prime so we haven’t seen the best of any of them. Let me know your league size, how many guys you start and what categories you use and hopefully I can give you a better answer. Thank you!

  6. mehdan says:
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    should i trade krejci for couture? not sure if he’ll take it but it seems like a fair trade.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @mehdan: Can you afford to be without Couture for the next 4 weeks or so? If you can, I’d do it.

  7. Crapshoot Kershaw says:
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    see right there, i was always wondering how these baseball players get off like 2-4 days when their kids pop out, but here’s bergeron having his best game of the year pts-wise anyway in the same day. I often ask everybody i know how much they themselves (and anybody else at their jobs) take off when they have a kid, and baseball players take off more than anybody i’ve ever heard of (at least for males). Also, baseball players really seem to have a lot of kids, even at young ages. Bergeron of course might be a special case (i.e. he of the “yeah i’ll play through BOTH a separated shoulder and TWO broken ribs in the playoffs” a few years back. He’s the kind of dude that had he been born many centuries ago would’ve been leading armies to war victories. I just got done reading about just how good he was in the World Juniors years ago on the same team as Crosby, and just how much better he was at the time in all facets of hockey (overall) than all the other now-superstars of the game.

      • Crapshoot Kershaw says:
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        @Viz: oh yeah, forgot about that one.

  8. Mantis Toboggan MD says:
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    12 team league with standard stuff plus adding in pts as separate category, faceoffs, hits, blocks. my D men are super underwhelming thus far. we start 6. i have
    weber/muzzin/j.johnson/daley/stone/wideman/del zotto

    demers (little weak in blocks for D man, but rest is great right now)
    hickey (this is a possible)
    bortuzzo (playing time issues soon)
    staal (he doesn’t normally put up pts like that)
    golubef
    stuart (little shots and other than PIMS/hits/blocks really hasn’t helped in anything else in career)
    chariot
    michalek
    hunwick (like you say, everything but pts very very solid)
    emelin (like hunwick but trade blocks/shots for plusminus and PIMs)
    gudbranson
    holden (more solid in hits/blocks than previous seasons, on PP line too)
    methot (when he’s back, sounds soon)
    k.miller
    cowen

    I left out a lot of guys ranked by yahoo the same, but i know they have weaknesses making them useless (like p.martin/murray)

    • Mantis Toboggan MD says:
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      @Mantis Toboggan MD: i also have bogosian stashed, just like in every other 12 and up sized league.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Mantis Toboggan MD: I think I’d do Hunwick for Del Zotto as my first choice. Demers is close though

      • Mantis Toboggan MD says:
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        @Viz: del zotto last year had all of a sudden looked good in hits/blocks/shots and pts from seemingly out of nowhere. it appears gone now, even though he’s still getting the playing time.

  9. theearly90s says:
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    If you’re in a league where you can sell Rask high, please let me join.

    • Mantis Toboggan MD says:
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      @theearly90s: yeah me too.

Comments are closed.