I was all in on the Tampa Bay Lightning again this year picking them to make the Stanley Cup Finals.  Obviously they don’t crown champions 3 weeks into the season but Tampa has started off incredibly well.  They’ve had some depth players step up but at the end of the day, their studs have been incredible.  The top two players in points in the NHL by a wide margin are both Lightning players with Steven Stamkos.  Tampa Bay blitzed Pittsburgh 7-1 on Saturday and Stamkos led the way with a goal, three assists and four shots on goal.  That gives Stamkos a whopping 17 points (3+14) in 9 games.  Stamkos was a player who consistently dropped in my drafts into the third round and while it’s too early to celebrate given Stamkos’ injury, it’s been the dream start.  Fingers crossed that he stays healthy because Stammer could be a top 10, maybe even top 5 player.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the weekend:

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Like Patrice Bergeron, I’m back!  After a long flight back home, it’ll be difficult for me to return in the style he did.  Bergeron had a goal and three assists with six shots in his season debut, a 6-3 win over the Canucks.  There’s not much to be said about Bergeron; get him back in your lineup immediately.  Look for his linemates to take off as well.  Let’s take a look at what happened over the last two nights:

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Hello Razzballers, Reid here.

While Viz is off doing things in Vegas that will inherently stay in Vegas, I’m going to bring you the daily writeup from the Monday and Tuesday games (doing a separate post for just one game on Monday makes absolutely no sense). Nikita Kucherov is against hot hot hot as he has a goal in each of the first 6 games for Tampa Bay. I’m only going to highlight the notables from these games that you should be focusing on.

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All everyone talked about in the preseason was wondering how bad Vegas was going to be in their expansion year.  Sure, it’s only two games, but boy did they have some excitement.  On Friday, Dallas was dominating Vegas in their franchise opener but was only up 1-0 in the third.  Down goes Ben Bishop which opened up the door for James Neal to give the people of Las Vegas some relief in an awful time.  Neal scored two goals in the third period to propel the Golden Knights to victory.  To top off the weekend, Neal scored another goal, this time the game winner in overtime, to give Vegas two wins to start the season.  Neal is still available in over 40% of leagues and if you are in one of them, grab him.  The shot rate is going to be elite along with solid penalty minutes and goals.  At least for now, I’m not overly concerned about the top guys on Vegas having bad plus-minuses either.  Let’s take a look at what else happened in the first (long) weekend of the NHL season:

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Hey everyone!  Instead of simply relisting all of my top 200, I’m going to go through the guys who are moving up or down my rankings in a significant fashion, be it for injury or otherwise.  If people want me to post an updated top 200 list, I can do that for Monday, but it would simply be a list without details.  This post is to give you details on these movements so to follow along, here are my Top 50, Top 100, Top 150, and Top 200.  I will continually update this post until the start of the season to keep everything up to date.  Here are the latest movers:

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Amazingly, the Ottawa Senators were one goal away from making The Stanley Cup Finals last season.  It was a simple formula: have the best defenseman in the world on your team, a hot goaltender and nice forward depth (only one forward had more than 11 points in their 19 playoff games).  This year, they bring back the entire core from last season while adding a couple veterans and at least one, potentially two elite young talents.  There is clear room for improvement given that the Senators actually had a negative goal differential last season.  It’s fair to say that Ottawa overachieved last season but it’s also fair to say that their run wasn’t a complete fluke.  For fantasy, their team is very much like real life.  They have one elite player, solid forwards and a goaltender that can carry you for stretches or bury you.  Let’s take a look at what Ottawa is working with:

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And then there were eight. After Reid and I talk about the absurdity of Joe Thornton playing on a torn ACL, we break down all four of the playoff matchups. Can Ottawa do enough when Erik Karlsson is off the ice? Can Edmonton do enough when Connor McDavid is off the ice? Will the goalies in the Blues-Predators series play as well as the first round? How will Crosby vs. Ovechkin round 3 go? All of these talking points and more are discussed before we make Three Point Challenge picks for Wednesday’s games. Be sure to make your pick in the comments section below. All of that and more in the latest edition of the Razzball Hockey Podcast brought to you by Seatgeek and Draft!

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Sadly, the fantasy hockey season has come to an end. I’ll have an RCL summary post up later this week along with a preview of The Stanley Cup Playoffs with Reid on Tuesday’s podcast. For now, I’d like to invite everyone to join the Razzball Bracket Challenge again through the link here and to present my super early top 50 for next season. I’m not going to go into much detail at this point because so many things can change between now and six months from now when the 2017-18 regular season actually begins. This will go longer than our mock draft podcast but if you want more details about my thought process, I’d be sure to check that out. I’ll be separating these guys into tiers with tier explanations but that will be the extent of the analysis. Obviously you’re welcome to ask me in the comments section about anything you like / disagree with. Let’s get to it!

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