Games Played This Week By Team
4 Games: BOS, BUF, EDM, FLA, NYI, NYR, PHI, PIT, SJ, STL, TB, VGK
3 Games: ANA, CAR, CHI, COL, CBJ, DAL, DET, LA, MIN, MTL, NSH, NJ, OTT, TOR, VAN, WPG
2 Games: ARI, CGY, WSH
Happy New Year!
Many of the players I already wrote about had great weeks, like David Backes and Thomas Vanek. Danton Heinen, Josh Anderson, and Kyle Connor had great weeks, too. Hopefully, these next five have a similar trajectory.
James Reimer – G – Florida Panthers
54% Owned on Fantrax
When Roberto Luongo got injured in early December, it seemed like the Florida Panthers’ season was over. To say James Reimer had a terrible October and November would be an understatement. He had less than a .900 save percentage and allowed more than three goals per game on average. However, since taking over for the injured Luongo, Reimer is 7-3-3 and has a .932 SV% with a 2.35 GAA in December. He also has two shutouts in the last four games. Because of this spectacular December, Reimer now has a 2.96 GAA and 9.13 SV%. He’s been arguably the best goalie this month. Last season, Reimer actually outperformed Luongo with a .920 SV% and 2.53 GAA. So, when he struggled early on this season, it was a step back. But if Reimer can maintain this December performance once Luongo returns, the Panthers should be in good shape. Luongo is reportedly week-to-week, so Reimer is a good goalie to own in the meantime. However, be careful because he can be streaky.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – C – Edmonton Oilers
76% Owned on Fantrax
I usually focus players in Streaming Selections that are owned in less than 70% of leagues. However, I’m going to make an exception for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who is low-key having a career year. Before this season, it was thought that Leon Draisaitl was poised to be the second line center. Meanwhile, Nugent-Hopkins, the 2011 first overall pick, would be on the third line. However, Nugent-Hopkins is now the second line center and is on the second power-play unit with about 18 minutes of average ice-time. He has 15 goals and 29 points in 39 games this season. He really got going in December, with 11 points in 13 games, including a three-point night on Friday. He is also third in points among Oilers players. Nugent-Hopkins has been in the league for six seasons and hasn’t surpassed 60 points in a single season. This season, he is currently on pace for 32 goals and 61 points. A 76 percent ownership percentage is pretty high relatively speaking, but he should be owned in even more leagues, especially if he can maintain his role as the second-line center.
Nick Schmaltz – C/LW – Chicago Blackhawks
60% Owned on Fantrax
Artem Anisimov is dealing with what appears to be a short-term injury. However, this means that Nick Schmaltz gets to be the center for Patrick Kane for the time being. Schmaltz had a goal and three assists in three games last week. Before Anisimov got hurt, Schmaltz had been a bit under the radar. He has 17 assists and 24 points in 34 games this season with around 18 minutes of ice-time. He is also on the first power-play unit, which has helped a lot. Last season, Schmaltz had 28 points in 61 games with 13 minutes of ice-time in his rookie campaign. Not only is Schmaltz the third highest scorer on the Blackhawks, but he’s four points shy of breaking his previous career high. He is doing this with more ice-time, and he’s on pace for a 58 point season. This is great news for the 2014 first-round pick. Schmaltz is a must-have in dynasty and keeper leagues and should be owned in every league when Anisimov is out. Who knows? Maybe Schmaltz will stay on the second line with Kane and DeBrincat once Anisimov comes back.
Calle Jarnkrok – C/LW – Nashville Predators
26% Owned on Fantrax
Nashville is known for their defensive depth. Now, they should be known for their depth at the forward position, as well. A guy like Filip Forsberg gets put on the injured reserve, but it’s not a huge deal because Calle Jarnkrok is taking his place on the first line. To Jarnkrok’s credit, he’s been good no matter what line he’s played on. He has 10 goals and 10 assists in 38 games this season with an average of 15:48 minutes of ice-time. He had two assists on Saturday with 20 minutes of ice-time. He also had a goal on Wednesday despite being on the ice for only 11 minutes. When healthy, the Predators have Filip Forsberg, Ryan Johansen, and Victor Arvidsson as a top line. But since acquiring Kyle Turris, the Predators are even more dangerous with Jarnkrok, Kevin Fiala, Craig Smith, and even Nick Bonino, who gets in the mix sometimes. Not to mention Roman Josi, P.K Subban, Mattias Ekholm and Ryan Ellis, who should be back soon. So, even when Forsberg returns, Jarnkrok may be worth keeping on your roster.
Mattias Janmark – C/LW – Dallas Stars
25% Owned on Fantrax
Jarnkrok and Janmark both sound alike, and they were also drafted by the Detroit Red Wings and then later traded. Mattias Janmark has an increased role in his second season in Dallas. So far, it’s paid off. He has 12 assists and 20 points in 40 games this season with 72 shots on goal. Last week, he had two goals and two assists in three games with seven shots on goal. Janmark has pretty good deployment, too. He is the second line left winger and is on the first power-play unit with an average of around 18 minutes of ice-time. Last season, Janmark had 29 points in 73 games, but he had only 14 minutes of average ice-time. Dallas is one of those teams that has a lot of top-heavy forwards in Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, and Alexander Radulov, but not much else in terms of forwards. To be fair, Radek Faksa and Devin Shore have had their moments this season. However, Janmark has the most points of those three guys and is the best option to pick up. Janmark is improving and has room to grow, mainly that he isn’t physical enough to make a lot of hits. That isn’t a big deal in leagues that don’t count that category, though. He is in a good spot in the lineup to show what he is really capable of. That said, I would add him only in deep leagues at the moment.
This is where we take a look at the performances of the players I mentioned in last week’s article. Knowing when to drop your streamers is just as important as knowing when to add them. The following guys should be kept in all keeper and dynasty formats unless stated otherwise.
Kevin Labanc – Labanc had one assist in the two games last week. It is a little concerning that he had just two shots on goal in those two games, but that should be expected from someone who is more of a playmaker than a scorer.
Thomas Vanek – Vanek was Jekyll and Hyde in the Canucks’ two games last week. He had two goals and three assists against the Blackhawks on Thursday. But then he had only two shots against the Kings on Saturday and nothing else to show for it. That five-point night is amazing, but just like Vancouver’s season, it just isn’t consistent enough. Vanek is a good pick-up in deep leagues, but he can be dropped in keepers and dynasty leagues.
David Backes – Backes had three goals and three assists in three games after being featured in this space. He was all over the place. The Bruins played the struggling Senators twice last week, and Backes had a goal and three assists. He also had two goals against Braden Holtby and the Capitals. This onslaught of scoring is a nice surprise for all the owners who expected` mostly hits from him. It’s nice to see that the colon surgery he had hasn’t affected him. I’m not sure if this will continue for the rest of the season, but certainly keep him in the lineup while he is hot.
Nick Bjugstad – Bjugstad had two assists in the two games played last week. As long as Bjugstad is playing with Barkov and Huberdeau, keep him in your lineup.
Josh Morrissey – Morrissey had one assist in three games last week, with five shots on goal. Morrissey should only be kept if there aren’t any other good options on the waiver wire.