Remember Team North America? It feels like a lifetime ago, and I was skeptical about it at first, but that team remains one of the most exciting teams I’ve ever watched.

Anyway, we got a timeline on the 2020 World Cup of Hockey:



Of course, it’s worth reminding everyone that both the NHL and the NHLPA could opt out of the current CBA before next season (it’s a little more complicated than that but that’s the essence of it). The 2020 World Cup, and the 2022 Winter Olympics, could both be used for leverage, the latter by the NHL and the former by the NHLPA.


The Rangers will be without Pavel Buchnevich for at least a month due to a broken thumb.

It had been a rocky start to his season but this injury comes at a brutal time. He was finally back on the top line and had points in three straight games. Ryan Spooner took his spot for those looking for an immediate replacement.  


First it was Jonathan Quick and now Jack Campbell will be out 4-6 weeks following surgery for a torn meniscus. That leaves the Los Angeles Kings with their AHL goalies Peter Budaj and Cal Petersen. I suppose the pickup would be Budaj but let’s face it, this is a non-playoff team that is now on their third and fourth goaltenders. Don’t expect much.

You can read more on Petersen here.


It appears that Jakob Chychrun may make his return to the Coyotes lineup Tuesday night. He had offseason knee surgery due to an injury suffered at the end of the year.

I am a big fan of Chychrun’s but it’s more of a long-term thing. The team is relatively deep on the blue line and he will not supplant Oliver Ekman-Larsson on the top unit. No need to add him yet outside of deep leagues.


Ottawa has called up prospect Drake Batherson. You can read Batherson’s Dobber profile here.

This news came out Monday night so there’s no telling where he slots or how long he’ll be up. He had 20 points in 14 games in the AHL to date including a six-point night over the weekend.

Viktor Arvidsson returned to the Predators lineup over the weekend from the injured reserve and Viktor Arvidsson was injured again over the weekend, returning to the injured reserve. It’s an upper-body injury compared to the lower-body injury he just overcame.  

It was a great start to the year for the Nashville forward but things are starting to go off the rails for him a bit. Colton Sissons took his spot on the top line.


Alex Radulov returned for Dallas and was skating on the top line with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin as well as the top PP unit.

One game after playing surpassing the 29-minute mark in ice time without John Klingberg in the lineup, Miro Heiskanen fell off to 24:24 in Dallas’s 2-1 loss to Columbus, but that still led Stars d-men. Expect that to be about the norm moving forward for him.

The Jackets got all the production they needed from the top line with Pierre-Luc Dubois scoring and Cam Atkinson marking a goal and assist. Sergei Bobrovsky saved 26 of 27 in the win.

It’s worth noting that Artemi Panarin was not on the “top” PP unit for Columbus in this game, with John Tortorella going with Wennberg-Atkinson-Dubois-Foligno-Jones. Panarin still passed 19 minutes in total ice time but it looks like Torts gonna Tort.


Kevin Fiala scored for Nashville and Ryan Getzlaf scored for Anaheim in the Ducks’ 2-1 shootout win. John Gibson stopped 34 of 35 in the win.

After playing a season-low 11:59 a couple games ago, Brandon Montour has been over 22 minutes in back-to-back games.

Ondrej Kase was a returning Duck on Monday night. He was expected to line up with Ryan Kesler though he skated with Adam Henrique in warmups. 


With both Pavel Buchnevich and Mats Zuccarello out of the lineup, Filip Chytil made his way to the top PP unit for the Rangers. Not only was he moved to the top PP unit, but he was moved to the top line at the start of the third period in their game against Vancouver. From 6 minutes a night to top line and top PP. We’ll see how long that lasts, though.

Chytil did manage to score the first goal of the game, a power play goal. Maybe that'll give him a little more rope. Though he still wasn't given a heavy amount of minutes, he did play over 14, his highest mark in three weeks. 

Nikolay Goldobin had the lone tally for the Canucks with Brett Howden scoring the game-winner for the Rangers halfway through the third period.


Carolina’s “top” line had themselves a night against Chicago as Teuvo Teravainen scored, Micheal Ferland scored (on the PP), and Sebastian Aho had a goal and an assist, his marker being the overtime winner.

Andrei Svechnikov chipped in a couple of assists with Scott Darling stopping 33 of 35 shots for the win in Cam Ward’s return to Carolina.

Jeremy Colliton mixed up the Chicago lines, going with a top line of Nick Schmaltz, Jonathan Toews, and Patrick Kane skating together. That’s not great news for Alex DeBrincat’s fantasy value, however long this lasts.


Now that we’re moving towards six weeks into the season, decisions that haven’t yet been made with regards to cutting/adding players, buying low/selling high, or just standing pat with your roster as is should be made now. Waiting much longer will put you too far behind.

Let’s run through some players or line combinations where decisions should be made now with fantasy owners hopefully reaping the rewards. Stats from either Corsica or Natural Stat Trick.


Vegas Top Line

As we sit on Monday afternoon, the top line of William Karlsson, Reilly Smith, and Jonathan Marchessault has an on-ice shooting percentage of 4.24 percent at five-on-five. Of the 25 lines in the league with at least 100 minutes together, only the line of Warren Foegele, Eric Staal, and Justin Williams has a lower on-ice conversion rate at 3.15 percent. Last year, the trio of Golden Knights had an on-ice shooting percentage over 11 percent.

It’s doubtful that shooting over 11 percent is the true talent of this line, but so is 4.24 percent. Nothing is really out line in their underlying stats, either, as they’re generating more shots on than last year and their expected goals per 60 minutes this year (2.71) is nearly the same as 2017-18 (2.80). And yet, despite their unfortunate start, Marchessault has 15 points while Karlsson has 14.

There is a lot of upside to be had here. Both Marchessault and Karlsson are on pace for over 60 points right now and have been as unlucky as they are. It’s time to start inquiring with the owner in your league, particularly about Reilly Smith. My guess is he can be had for next to nothing at this point.


Patrik Laine

I wonder how many people realize that Laine is on pace for a 40-goal season and has yet to score a goal at five-on-five this year. His shot rate is just fine with an even 16 shot attempts per 60 minutes compared to 16.85 last year. But he’s landed 34 shots and has yet to score. Had he been converting at the rate he was in his first two seasons, you could probably add five goals to his current total.

I get the issue here and that’s his usage. He’s been moved down the lineup at times and with the way the Jets are rolling right now, he’s probably not moving up anytime soon. That said, all it takes is a couple losses for shake-ups to come. At the rate he’s shooting, he could easily be a top-25 player for the rest of the season. My guess is he can acquired for much less than a top-25 player right now, especially with the concerns about staying on the third line. If you’re struggling to make up ground in your leagues, this is an impact move that should at least be considered.


Mark Giordano

In his Top-10 column yesterday, Tom Collins brought up the hot start of the Calgary blue liner, his having posted 16 points in 18 games. He’s a worthy mention and I thought I’d dig a bit deeper here.

At five-on-five, Giordano is managing a point on half the goals scored with him on the ice, or a 50 percent Individual Points Percentage (IPP). Now, that’s high compared to his previous two seasons (37.9 percent and 23.3 percent) but not compared to the three seasons prior when he posted marks of 45.9 percent, 52.4 percent, and 47.8 percent. So while it’s high for what he’s done lately, it’s definitely not high compared to what we’ve seen him do repeatedly earlier this decade.

The team is shooting 9.6 percent when he’s on the ice at five-on-five. Again, high compared to last year (6.6 percent) but prior to that he had six consecutive seasons of at least 8.4 percent.

Finally, he already has half as many power play points this year (5) as he did last year (10). The team, though, is only shooting 14.3 percent with Giordano on the ice with the man advantage, a mark he’s equalled or exceeded five times in the last decade, including as recently as 2016-17. His cracking 20 PPPs seems a realistic possibility.

All this is to say that Giordano is off to a hot start, there is nothing extreme of concern to fantasy owners. I would be holding the Flames captain. Barring injury or an extended streak of unluckiness, he’s a 50-point defenceman this year.


Josh Bailey

There are so many red flags here he might as well be a body of water with strong currents.

  • On the season, Bailey himself is shooting 17.2 percent, which would be a career high, having never finished a season over 14.5 percent at any point and not having been over 12 percent since the lockout.
  • The rate at which the team is scoring with him on the ice at five-on-five is 14 percent. That ranks third in the league among all forwards with 200 minutes played, trailing only teammates Anders Lee and Brock Nelson. For a reference on how high that is, Auston Matthews led the league last year at 12.8 percent, William Karlsson was at 12 percent, and no one else was above 11.5 percent.
  • New York is taking 48.7 shot attempts per 60 minutes with Bailey on the ice at five-on-five this year, down from 56.5 shot attempts last year, and is the lowest mark in his career.

Long story short, there is almost no chance Bailey keeps up his point-per-game pace.

Now that he’s skating on a line with Mathew Barzal, it’s easier to trade him as if he’ll be a point-per-game player. Maybe he lasts on a line with Barzal, maybe he doesn’t. Regardless, he won’t maintain this level of production and unlike Lee, he doesn’t have peripherals like good shot and hit rates to maintain roto value. Get out from underneath Bailey before he goes six games without a point and you’re stuck with rostering him or dropping him.