NHL Fantasy Preview – Week 13
Episode 95 of the Fantasy Hockey Hacks Podcast! Week 13 of the NHL was filled with plenty of action, including a stellar performance from Alexander Barkov in his return (3 G, 2 A), as well as a handful of hat tricks (Ovechkin, Forsberg, Scheifele)… As we do each week, we’ll check in on John’s list, “hack” our way through the NHL’s Headlines, go through the week’s schedule, make recommendations for waiver wire adds, and discuss our weekly Rankings Risers & Fallers (Top 200 Rankings) – Powered By Left Wing Lock. Thank you again to Mike McLaughlin for joining us, fantastic insight as always!
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- John Carlson on IR with facial injury
- Torey Krug placed on IR, out 6 weeks
- Leafs D core on the mend, Rielly returns
- Nathan MacKinnon makes his return
- Draisaitl misses games for Edmonton
- Sam Gagner skates in his 1,000th NHL game
- Josh Morrissey’s breakout season continues
- Sidney Crosby appointed to the Order of Canada
- UPDATED RANKINGS!
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If you have been listening to our podcast for a while, you’ve undoubtedly heard about “John’s List”; which is basically John’s $h!t list of players past and present. If you have any suggestions for players/subjects we should add to the list, let us know!
The Toronto Maple Leafs – The Toronto Maple Leafs have been fined $100,000 by the NHL for violating the collective bargaining agreement by traveling during the league’s mandated Christmas break…😂
Fantasy Lock Of The Week (December 26, 2022 – January 1, 2023) | Presented by Left Wing Lock
🔥Connor Bedard, C, N/A% Rostered (Yahoo)
Connor Bedard tied an all-time Canadian points record at the world juniors in a 5-1 win over Sweden. Bedard now has 31 points (14 goals) in just 13 games played at the world junior tournament, tying Eric Lindros.
Headlines W/ The Hacks | December 26, 2022 – January 1, 2023
Injuries News: The Bad
- Cole Perfetti Will miss the next 7 to 10 days with an upper body injury
- John Carlson could be out for a while after taking a puck to the face
- Tory Krug was placed on LTIR by the Blues after suffering a lower body injury. He will miss about 6 weeks
- Matias Maccelli is expected to miss the next 6 weeks due to a lower body injury. The Coyotes rookie has 22 points in 30 games so far this season
Injury News: The Good
- John Gibson returned to action on Tuesday, starting their game vs the Vegas Golden Knights
- Cole Sillinger has been activated from IR by the BLue Jackets. They are getting some depth back at center position
- Morgan Rielly returned to the Leafs lineup on Thursday vs the Coyotes. The Leafs defense core are slowly getting healthy.
- Aleksander Barkov returned to the Panther’s lineup in style on Thursday vs the Canadiens with a 5 point effort (3 goals and 2 assists)
- Nathan MacKinnon was activated from IR on Saturday and played vs the Leafs
Injury News: Keep an eye on…
- Valeri Nichushkin has reinjured his surgically repaired ankle he is considered day to day
- Jonathan Marchessault has now missed 3 games in a row with a lower body injury
- Leon Draisaitl missed Friday night’s game vs the Kraken with a lower body injury
- Kris Letang missed Saturday’s game vs the Devils with a lower body injury
- Not fantasy related but funny nonetheless. The Toronto Maple Leafs were fined $100,000 for traveling on a holiday (Dec 26th) outlined by the CBA. The funny part, all the Leafs players agreed to the travel plans. Had they waited 90 minutes it would have been the next day (Dec 27th) and no fine would have been levied.
- Josh Morrissey has become the 4th active defenseman to reach the 40 point mark within the first 35 games of the season. He joins Erik Karlsson (This season), John Carlson (2019-2020) and Morgan Riley (2018,2019)
- On Wednesday Linus Ullmark matched Andrei Vasilevskiy and Andrew Hammond for the 2nd fewest games to 20 wins in a season. It took only 24 games to reach the 20 win mark
- Sam Gagner played his 1000th career NHL game on Thursday. drafted 6th overall in the 2007 draft where he played for 7 years, Sam has also played for the Coyotes, Flyers, Canucks, Red Wings and is currently playing for the Jets
- Sidney Crosby has been appointed to the Order of Canada for being one of the worlds best hockey players
- Alex Edler skated in 1000th career game Saturday when the Kings played the Flyers
The NHL 3 stars of the Month are:
- Alexander Ovechkin: 22 points, 13 goals and 9 assists over 15 games. Oh yeah he also now has 806 goals. Only 88 goals behind Wayne Gretzky’s record of 894 goals
- Connor McDavid: 31 points, 14 goals and 17 assists over 15 games. Also the 3rd player in Oilers history to have a 30 point month. The other two, Wayne Gretzky and Jari Kurri
- Tage Thompson: 22 points, 13 goals and 9 assists over 11 games.
NHL Rookie of the month:
- Hurricanes goalie Pyotr Kochetkov. He went 7-0-1 with a 1.63 GAA and a .939 save percentage.
Edge Work | NHL Schedule, Week 13
The segment where we put in the work to give you the EDGE in your fantasy hockey leagues!
Need To Know:
Week 13 features more of the same – with Tuesday (11), Thursday (10), and Saturday (9) being the busiest nights this week. There are a total of 50 games on the schedule; and just 3 “light days” (50% or fewer NHL teams in action) with Monday (3), Wednesday (3), and Friday (6), being the “slow” days. Sunday, in unusual fashion, is quite busy with 8 total games.
In terms of optimizing the schedule, there are just 7 teams (ANA, ARI, BOS, CBJ, STL, TOR, WSH) that play 4 games; everybody else plays 3 times, with the exception of Buffalo, Ottawa and San Jose – who play just a pair of games. The Anaheim Ducks are the only team next week that plays ALL 4 of their games at home, ALL 4 of which are on light days! Anaheim has a fairly neutral schedule with a rating of +5 and matchups against Philadelphia, Dallas, San Jose, and Boston.
According to Left Wing Lock’s Strength Of Schedule metric, the Washington Capitals have the most favourable schedule at -18; taking on Buffalo, Columbus (Home & Away), and Nashville. The Los Angeles Kings (DAL, BOS, VGK) and New Jersey Devils (DET, STL, NYR) have the toughest schedules with a +18 strength of schedule rating.
- Monday – 3 Games
- Tuesday – 11 Games
- Wednesday – 3 Games
- Thursday – 10 Games
- Friday – 6 Games
- Saturday – 9 Games
- Sunday – 8 Games
Edge Work | Waiver Wire Targets, NHL Week 13
Waiver wire targets will be focused on players with ownership ~50% or less. SOS = Strength of Schedule, according to Left Wing Lock. Lower number = Easier Schedule, Higher Number = Harder Schedule.
Top Waiver Wire Targets
🎯 Travis Konecny (RW), PHI | Rostered: 63% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (@ANA, Vs.ARI, Vs.TOR, -15 SOS) | Line: 2 (w/ Farabee & Cates, PP1)
- Travis Konecny is having a career-year with 34 points (15 goals) in 30 games to date. On-pace for 93 points and 46 goals, the 2015 first rounder has real value, especially when you consider he is a RW to boot. The Flyers have a very nice schedule next week with 2 of their 3 games coming against western conference basement-dwellers in Anaheim and Arizona. NOTE: Career-best 3.2 SOG/GM, 16.1 iSH% elevated relative to 3-year (10.2%) and career (12.0%) averages; TOI and PP Share also at career-highs.
🎯 Jordan Staal (C), CAR | Rostered: 15% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (@NYR, Vs.NSH, @CBJ, -14 SOS) | Line: 3 (w/ Fast & Martinook)
- Staal is on-pace for just 42 points; however, the former Penguin is on a 5-game point streak in which he has posted 8 points and 3 goals. Additionally, the category coverage is great with 2.23 Hits/GM and 329 FOW (9.40/GM) – good enough for 14th in the NHL! A reasonably favourable schedule for next week should help keep the points rolling, but count in the offense long term. NOTE: 18.2 iSH% a career-high, 1.6 SOG/GM career-low, 10.2 tEVSH%.
🎯 David Krejci (C), BOS | Rostered: 27% (Yahoo) | GP: 4 (Vs.PIT, @LAK, @SJS, @ANA, -8 SOS) | Line: 2 (w/ Zacha & Pastrnak, PP2)
- 36-year old David Krejci is playing at a staggering 71-point pace with 26 points and 10 goals in 30 games this season. With a favourable 4-game schedule this week, and a spot on the Bruins second line next to David Pastrnak, there is really very little downside. It’s actually shocking that Krejci is just 27% rostered! NOTE: 20.4 iSH% well above career (12.6%) and 3-year averages (13.6%); 74.3 IPP.
🎯 Mason McTavish (C/LW), ANA | Rostered: 16% (Yahoo) | GP: 4 (Vs.PHI, Vs.DAL, Vs.SJS, Vs.BOS, +5 SOS) | Line: 3 (w/ Vatrano & Leason, PP1)
- The Ducks 3rd overall pick from 2021 is making an impact from the third line with 6 points (2 goals) in his last 6 games played. Anaheim has a great schedule for the upcoming week in terms of optimizing the schedule with 4 games on “light days” and at home. With a spot on the team’s top power play, McTavish makes for a solid play next week. NOTE: 8.3 iSH%, 5.1 tEVSH% suggests that some “puck luck” is coming McTavish’s way.
🎯 Sonny Milano (LW/RW), WSH | Rostered: 1% (Yahoo) | GP: 4 (Vs.BUF, @CBJ, Vs.NSH, Vs.CBJ, -18 SOS) | Line: 3 (w/ Eller & Aube-Kubel, PP2)
- The former Duck is having a solid season, currently on-pace for 55 points with 16 points in 24 games played. Milano’s shooting percentage is right where you would expect it at 14.7%, but sadly so is his shot rate at just 1.4 SOG/GM. 7 points (2 goals) in his last 8 games played. NOTE: 14.7 tEVSH%, 76.2 IPP, 63.1 OZ Start %.
🎯 Jakub Vrana (LW), DET | Rostered: 40% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (Vs.NJD, Vs.FLA, @TOR, +5 SOS) | Line: TBD (w/ TBD, PP2)
- Jakub Vrana is nearing a return from the NHL’s player substance abuse program, and could be an instant impact player in Detroit’s top 6. The former capital had 2 points in just 2 games before leaving the team earlier this season. The Red Wings have a tough week ahead, but keep a close eye on where Vrana slots in. NOTE: 25 tEVSH%, 20 iSH%
🎯 Anders Lee (LW), NYI | Rostered: 61% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (@VAN, @EDM, @CGY, -5 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Nelson & Beauvillier, PP1)
- The Isles captain is on-pace for 64 points this season with 28 points (13 goals) in 36 games played. Lee is seeing a career-high 68.5% PP Share and shooting at a great 3.0 SOG/GM. 8 points and 5 goals in his last 9 games played. NOTE: 12.1 iSH% below 3-year (15.3%) and career (14.1%) averages; 11.0 tEVSH%
🎯 Lawson Crouse (LW/RW), ARI | Rostered: 14% (Yahoo) | GP: 4 (@FLA, @PHI, @CHI, Vs.PIT, -2 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Bjugstad & Carcone, PP1)
- The Arizona Coyotes have a fairly neutral 4-game schedule next week; and Lawson Crouse is a top-line, top power-play fantasy asset that is available in nearly 90% of Yahoo leagues. Crouse is shooting at a career-best 2.0 SOG/GM and contributes 2.25 Hits/GM! 10 points (4 goals) in his last 11 games played. NOTE: 22.2 iSH%, 10.7 tEVSH%
🎯 Tyler Toffoli (LW/RW), CGY | Rostered: 75% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (@WPG, Vs.NYI, @CHI, -6 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Lindholm & Dube, PP1)
- On-pace for 65 points and 32 goals, it appears that Toffoli has settled in with the Calgary Flames. Playing on the team’s top line with Elias Lindholm, the former Hab is hot with 10 points (5 goals) in his last 10 games played. Rightfully available in just 25% of Yahoo leagues. NOTE: 13.4 iSH% is at 3-year average; career-best 59% PP Share, 9.6 tEVSH% is the second-highest of his career
🎯 Erik Gustafsson (D), WSH | Rostered: 53% (Yahoo) | GP: 4 (Vs.BUF, @CBJ, Vs.NSH, Vs.CBJ, -18 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Riemsdyk, PP1)
- Tell me if you’ve seen this movie before: Erik Gustafsson takes over the power play from an injured star Dman and gets hot the rest of the way. Gustafsson is on-pace for 50 points after posting 13 points and 6 goals over his last 7 games played. With Carlson on IR nursing a facial injury, the former Blackhawk has averaged 70% PP Share and could be a valuable fantasy asset the rest of the season. Even when Carlson returns, the 30-year old will be playing on the top pair with exposure to Ovechkin at even-strength. NOTE: 8.1 iSH% near a career-high, 6.8 tEVSH%, 19:28 TOI the most since 2019-2020.
🎯 Colton Parayko (D), STL | Rostered: 14% (Yahoo) | GP: 4 (@TOR, @NJD, @MTL, @MIN, +5 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Leddy, PP2)
- With Torey Krug on IR for the next 6 weeks, there is a little more ice time to spread around, and Parayko appears to be receiving a significant share. Over his last two games, the Blues Dman has averaged 25:24 TOI and 2:41 PPTOI (40% PP Share), both up substantially from season averages. Parayko also contributes nearly 2 hits and 2 blocks per game as well. 3 points (1 goal) in his last 5 games played. NOTE: 3.0 iSH% down from 3-year (3.8%) and career (4.2%) averages;
🎯 Arber Khekaj (D), MTL | Rostered: 27% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (@NSH, Vs.NYR, Vs.STL, -1 SOS) | Line: 2 (w/ Kovacevic, PP2)
- For those of you playing in banger leagues, Arber Khekaj has become an important piece on the backend for the Montreal Canadiens, and just happens to throw 3 hits per game! If your league counts penalty minutes, Xhekaj contributes there as well with nearly 2 PIMS/GM. It’s also interesting to note that the Habs massive rookie is also seeing some fairly significant time on the second power play unit. Over the last two games (@TB, @FLA), Xhekaj played 4:07 and 3:36 with the man advantage, posting a PPG and PPA against the Panthers on Thursday night. 4 points and 1 goal in his last 5 contests!📈 NOTE: 8.8 iSH%, 6.9 tEVSH% suggests some puck luck may be headed his way. On-pace for early 30 points and 160 penalty minutes.
🎯 Jared Spurgeon (D), MIN | Rostered: 63% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (Vs.TB, @BUF, Vs.STL, +3 SOS) | Line: 1 (w/ Goligoski, PP2)
- The Wild’s captain has been anchoring the top pairing for Minnesota this season, and is currently on-pace for 41 points. Contributes over 1 Hit/GM and 2 Blocks/GM. 11 points and 3 goals in 15 games during the month of December. NOTE: 6.3 iSH% below 3-year and career averages.
🎯 Stuart Skinner (G), EDM | Rostered: 68% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (Vs.SEA, Vs.NYI, Vs.COL, +9 SOS) | Role: Starter (61% Net Share)
- Stuart Skinner is the clear cut #1 starter for the Edmonton Oilers; and impressed everyone again after matching a career-high 47 saves versus the Calgary Flames this week. During the month of December: 6-4-1, 2.64 GAA, .921 SV%, 7.85 GSAx! Skinner also started 11 of 15 games for the Oilers during the final month of 2022. Edmonton will improve their defence ahead of the trade deadline, and the addition of Evander Kane early in 2023 will ensure that Skinner is a valuable add the rest of the season. 📈 NOTE: .931 Even-Strength Save Percentage, .855 PKSV% suggests his performance has not been inflated by the PK.
🎯 Karel Vejmelka (G), ARI | Rostered: 51% (Yahoo) | GP: 4 (@FLA, @PHI, @CHI, Vs.PIT, -2 SOS) | Role: Starter (73% Net Share)
- The Arizona net minder has been solid this season with a 3.08 GAA, .910 SV% and 10.76 GSAx! Those are impressive numbers for a goaltender playing on a 27th place team with a -24 goal differential. The Yotes have a favourable (for them) 4-game schedule next week with just 1 back-to-back, so the 26-year old should see 3 starts and plenty of shots against. The peripherals will not always sparkle, but the volume is there to make for a valuable short-term add. NOTE: 2-0-0 with a 1.92 GAA. and a .932 SV% in his last two starts. .922 Even-Strength Save Percentage, .856 PKSV%.
🎯 Antti Raanta (G), CAR | Rostered: 50% (Yahoo) | GP: 3 (@NYR, Vs.NSH, @CBJ, -14 SOS) | Role: Starter (41% Net Share)
- With Frederick Andersen on IR, there has been quite the battle for starts between Antti Raanta and Pyotr Kochetkov; at least until recently. Since December 22nd, Raanta has posted a perfect 5-0-0 record with a 2.36 GAA, .907 SV% and 2 shutouts. It’s a bit puzzling to see the journeyman net minder take over, considering how fantastic the Canes rookie had been; my only thought is that Carolina feels confident with Kochetkov moving forward, and they are staging Raanta (and his $2M salary) for a trade at the deadline. NOTE: .852 PKSV%, .911 EVSV% is the 3rd-worst of his career.
ALSO: Michael Amadio (8%, C/RW), Alex IaFallo (7%, LW), Klim Kostin (1%, LW/RW).
Edge Work | Weekly Rankings (Powered By Left Wing Lock)
New to Edge Work this season, the Hacks will provide weekly player rankings, powered by our partner, Left Wing Lock! The full weekly rankings list can be accessed here; and each episode we’ll work our way through the risers and fallers in fantasy.
📈Juuse Saros (G), NSH | +11 | #22
- Saros has had lots of doubters after starting the season a bit cold, but he’s been dynamite over his last eight starts. He’s posted a 0.938 SV% despite a record of 3-2-3. Why can’t Nashville win with outstanding goalie stats? Because they can’t score. They currently rank 29th in the league in goals at 2.63 goals per game (they are being outscored by Philadelphia, Columbus, and Arizona). Why can’t they score? They’ve been unlucky at even-strength with tEVSH% of just 7.1% and have the league’s 28th ranked power play which is converting on just 17% of their opportunities.
📈Elias Pettersson (C/LW), VAN | +9 | #32
- The good news is that Pettersson has been on a tear for his owners. He’s earned 10 points in the last five games and 17 over his past 10. That run has him on pace for 107 points (measured over a full 82 games). And he’s doing high shot volume (3.2 shots/game). The bad news is that this scoring rate is unsustainable. Pettersson’s tEVSH% is very high at 14.1% (career: 10.1%) and his IPP is 80% (career: 69%). Enjoy the ride while it lasts but prepare yourself for the inevitable drop in assists.
📈Rasmus Dahlin (G), BUF | +19 | #36
- Dahlin has 15 points in his last 13 games. For the season, he’s playing at a 1.15 points/game pace (or 94 points in 82 games) which is the 3rd-best production among defensemen. Only Karlsson and Morrissey have bested him, but Dahlin’s 20 power play points puts him in a world of him among defensemen. Be aware that this production is boosted by luck (Dahlin’s SH% is high at 9.4% and his tEVSH% is high at 9.6%).
📉Joel Eriksson Ek (C), MIN | -12 | #56
- The Minnesota center posted just three points in his last six games bringing his season total to 28 points in 36 games (64 point pace). While this would be a career-high in points for Eriksson Ek, there is reason to be concerned. His IPP sits at a whopping 94% (career: 66%). The safe bet for managers going forward is to assume a pace in the mid-50s.
📉Logan Thompson (G), VGK | -16 | #80
- A quick scan of Thompson’s numbers (17-9-1, 2.64, 0.915) suggest that he’s had a solid season (and his name has been mentioned in some Calder conversations). But the injuries to the Vegas roster (Eichel, Theodore, Marchessault, Whitecloud — Pietrangelo) have weakened the team and Thompson has seen his numbers drop significantly. Consider his save percentage splits this season: October – 0.943, November – 0.909, December – 0.905). Some of that is an unlucky PKSV% of 0.846, but managers have a right to be concerned here.
📉Nick Suzuki (C), MTL | -18 | #101
- Two weeks ago on this podcast, we noted that “managers might want to get out in front of the coming freeze” regarding Suzuki. And our advice has not changed (and has become a bit more urgent). The Montreal center is generating just 1.8 shots/game and has a shooting percentage of 22.1%. This won’t end well; it never does for low-volume shooters riding lucky shooting percentages. Suzuki hasn’t scored a goal since our advice two weeks ago and has just one point in the last six games.
New To The List (NTL)
📈Phoenix Copley (G), LAK | NTL | #112
- Copley might not be able to spell, but one thing he can do is win hockey games. The Kings won 8 of the 9 games that Copley started in December. His numbers weren’t spectacular (2.58 and 0.905), but the Kings are suppressing shots (28.1 shots against) and making Copley’s life easier (they were a Top-5 puck possession team over this period). His PKSV% of just 0.820 suggests there is room for improvement. Enjoy the ride; this is Copley’s net for a while.
Contest Announcement | Hacks Holiday!
Help the Hacks celebrate 100 episodes of fantasy fun! We truly appreciate all the support we’ve received from listeners, partners, and guests, making this first 100 episodes a genuinely enjoyable experience. All of us on the podcast enjoy creating fantasy hockey content, and will do so for as long as people will listen. To show our appreciation, we are sending one listener and a guest on a “Hacks Holiday” to Las Vegas next February! Thank you to our partners – Lucky Bastard Distillers & Left Wing Lock – for their support in making this contest possible. Winner will receive:
- 2 tickets to a Vegas Golden Knights home game against the Tampa Bay Lightning – Saturday, February 18, 2023
- 2 round-trip tickets to Las Vegas
- 3-night accommodations at a hotel near T-Mobile Arena
- 1 year FREE subscription to the Left Wing Lock iPhone app!
Go to the contest page – FantasyHockeyHacks.com/HacksHoliday – and follow the directions to enter the contest.
“HACK THE CODE” Number For Episode 95: 1
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