Minnesota played an excellent game on Thursday booking an impressive 5-2 win over the Blackhawks. Sadly for them, it came at a brutal cost. Charlie Coyle and Nino Niederreiter both left the game injured and were already ruled out for Saturday’s game. Coyle was hit in the back of the leg with a shot while Nino looked to suffer an ankle injury that could cost him multiple weeks. Hopefully you have an injured reserve spot for both of these guys but Nino definitely should be held through the injury. With Mikael Granlund out as well, the Wild are getting extremely thin. So who gets a boost? Jason Zucker (1+1, 5 SOG) becomes must-own in 12’ers while Chris Stewart (2G, 5 SOG) moves back on to the streaming radar. We’ll have a clearer picture tomorrow but this is a big blow to the Wild and fantasy teams in the short term. Here’s what else happened the last two nights around the league:
Cory Schneider – 47 saves on 50 shots in the 6-3 win over the Maple Leafs. I’m extremely encouraged by this start from Schneider. Sure, the wins probably aren’t going to last and the goals against average may end up mediocre, but the save percentage might return back to elite levels.
Adam Henrique – Two assists with five shots. Three game point streak to open the season for Henrique. I’m fine with streaming him while he’s hot but he’s traditionally had a poor shot rate which holds him back.
Miles Wood – Two goals on four shots with two PIM. Could be some sneaky deep league value here. The penalty minutes are going to be great and he’s showed some decent scoring tough so far. It’s not 12’er worthy but worth mentioning.
Pavel Zacha – Two goals with two PIM. Loyal readers know how much I like Zacha long term but those two shots are his only two on the season so far. It’ll take Zacha shooting the puck more to become worth using right now in standard leagues.
Will Butcher – Two assists with two shots and two PIM. The minutes are starting to creep up (16:18 in this one) so if you’re hurting on the blue line, I wouldn’t mind making a speculative add on Butcher.
Nikita Zaitsev – Assist with two penalty minutes. I’m grabbing him before Butcher if I need a defenseman.
Patric Hornqvist – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM in his season debut on Tuesday; two shots Wednesday. He was on the second power play unit but that didn’t slow him.
Bryan Rust – Goal and two assists with seven shots over two games. He’s worth owning right now as a hot schmotato.
Jake Guentzel – Goal and an assist with ten shots. Great start for Guentzel who looks like he can be a top 50 player this season.
Christian Djoos – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM. Here is what I wrote about Djoos in the preseason: “I think that early in the season, Christian Djoos will solidify himself in the top 4 on the Washington blueline. Djoos, a former 7th round pick, was excellent in Hershey last season scoring 58 points in 66 games. I don’t think he’s ever going to be an incredible fantasy asset but Djoos projects fairly safely as a regular on the NHL level.” And that’s me copying and pasting me doing what Grey does! Well, Djoos might just force his way into the top 4 if he keeps this up. It’s only worth monitoring for deep leagues but there could be something here.
Alex Ovechkin – Goal on seven shots. One goal!? That massive drops his goals per game total, embarrassing.
Brad Marchand – Goal and an assist with three shots. He’s been struggling in the shot department because of poor possession numbers. Marchand needs Bergeron back asap and thankfully, he’ll be back very soon.
Tuukka Rask – 22 saves on 26 shots in two periods before being pulled in the 6-3 loss to the Avalanche. Yikes. This Boston team is dreadful right now leaving Rask out to dry. I do think Bergeron’s return will make a massive difference so while I didn’t love Rask preseason, he’ll still be fine.
Matt Duchene – Goal and an assist with three shots. Good to see Duchene off to a strong start despite the circus around him.
Gabriel Landeskog – Two assists with three shots. He’s a hits league monster but in standard leagues, Kog is right on the fringe.
Nail Yakupov – Goal and an assist with two shots. Having watching this game, Nail looked excellent. I’m putting him back on my streaming radar.
Sven Andrighetto – Two goals on four shots. One of the calls I’m proudest of was saying Andrighetto was going to become fantasy relevant on the trade deadline podcast last season. A trade that was overlooked, Andrighetto has been outstanding in Colorado. I’d still only stream him but man, it’s getting close.
Brock Nelson – Two goals on six shots. Solid streamer and must-own in 14’ers but not a hold to this point; the minutes are too low.
Josh Ho-Sang – Two assists with two shots and two PIM. Why was he scratched to start the season? Love him long term but like the guys before him, Ho-Sang is a streamer for now.
Andrew Cogliano – Goal and an assist with two shots. Cogs has been very good to start the year but I don’t know how much I trust it. It certainly won’t last for the full season but if you need short term help, he’s a solid option.
Ryan Getzlaf – Two assists with two shots playing almost 24 minutes. Getzlaf is going to get all of the minutes going forward.
Josh Manson – Two assists with two shots. Manson will get big minutes with the other injuries on the blue line but I’m not counting on him for fantasy.
John Gibson – 39 saves on 41 shots in the 3-2 win over the Islanders. The goals against average may suffer in the first 6 weeks with the injuries on defense but it’s nice to see Gibson maintain his save percentage.
Matthew Tkachuk – Two goals on eight shots and two PIM. My man! There’s still room on the Tkachuk bandwagon guys.
Sean Monahan – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM. I don’t have much to say about Monahan, he’s quite boring in terms of fantasy hockey.
Johnny Gaudreau – Two assists with three shots. He’s thankfully avoided the early season slump that he suffered from last season. Still going to be assist heavy but Gaudreau is passing phenomenally in the early going.
Michael Frolik – Goal and an assist with three shots. Solid streamer through and through.
Dustin Brown – Two goals and an assist with eight shots and four PIM. Sweet baby Jesus. Never thought I’d say this again but if your league includes hits, grab Brown. He’s even back to streamer status right now in standard leagues. It helps to play with the wizard known as…
Anze Kopitar – Goal and an assist with three shots. He’s back in his form pre 2016-17. I think we get a 70 point year from Kopitar.
Alex Killorn – Four assists with three shots. Killorn is getting time on the first power play unit right now so I’d grab him in 12’ers if you have a weak guy on the bottom of your roster.
Nikita Kucherov – Goal and an assist with four shots. He is a bad man. Honestly, Kucherov deserves to be mentioned as a top 5 player in the league and I don’t even think it’s close.
Slater Koekkoek – Two goals on three shots and two PIM. Let’s just say I’m not going cuckoo for Koekkoek (pronounced the same as cuckoo for those who don’t know). I’ll see myself out…
Steven Stamkos – Goal on five shots. Having watching this game, this is the most disappointing stat line ever. Stammer should have had 4+ goals in this game. Good news for going forward is he was generating the chances.
Alex Pietrangelo – Two assists with seven shots. Maybe Reid saying Pietrangelo will be a top 5 defenseman isn’t so outlandish. I liked him plenty going into the year but it seems like that wasn’t enough.
Nick Bjugstad – Goal and an assist with two shots. He looks like the Bjugstad from 2013-15 but until the minutes go up (still under 12 per game), it’s hard to use him outside of deep leagues.
Aaron Ekblad – Goal and an assist with three shots. He went shotless in the first two games which was shocking considering his shot rate from last season. I assume it’ll work itself out and quite frankly, it needs to.
Jared McCann – Same line as Bjugstad and I feel the exact same way about McCann. Another former first round pick who has a capped ceiling because of the lack of minutes.
Roberto Luongo – 37 saves on 39 shots in the 5-2 win over the Blues. Nice bounce back for Luongo against a red hot Blues team. I feel safe that his numbers will be strong, I’m just afraid that his volume won’t be great.
P.K. Subban – Goal and an assist with four shots playing almost 29 minutes. Subban is primed for a bounce back this year and could be a top 5 defenseman if he gets these minutes.
Samuel Girard – Goal and an assist with four shots. I was very impressed with Girard in this game. The former second round pick played over 21 minutes and is a great DFS option in the short term. For 12’ers, if you can make a ton of moves, I wouldn’t mind grabbing him, but the impending return of Josi will hurt him a fair amount.
Filip Forsberg – Goal and an assist with three shots. I’m repeating myself but I’m predicting an even bigger breakout for Forsberg this year.
Pekka Rinne – 30 saves on 31 shots in the 4-1 win over the Stars. You simply never know what you’re going to get from Rinne game in and game out. It’s hard to trust him but he could also post a 42 save shutout and it wouldn’t surprise me.
Devan Dubnyk – 36 saves on 38 shots getting the win. Nice for Dubnyk to bounce back in a brutal matchup at Chicago.
Ryan Hartman – Goal and an assist. Still worth streaming the man but I still wouldn’t plan on holding Hartman long term.
Connor Hellebuyck – 30 saves on 32 shots in the 4-2 win over the Canucks. Please keep starting him! If you need some starts, I’d grab a hot Hellboy.
Bryan Little – Two assists and a shot. Just stay healthy!
Thomas Vanek – Assist with three shots for some streamer success! Keep using him as long as he’s on the first line and PP1.
Mike Green – Two assists with three shots. All your assists are belong to Mike Green! If he’s still available in your league, grab him.
Dylan Larkin – Two assists with three shots and two PIM. I’m not ready to declare Larkin back but with at least one point in all four games in the early going, he needs to be owned everywhere.
Jimmy Howard – 33 saves on 35 shots in the 4-2 win over Arizona. Howard has been outstanding in all three starts so far so use him until he slows down.
Antti Raanta – Perfect first period before leaving with a lower body injury. Hopefully it’s not serious. I wouldn’t use Louis Domingue unless you’re extremely desperate.
Clayton Keller – Two goals on five shots. So close to three points Reid, so close. The minutes are massive for the top line right now so look for Keller to maintain his strong play.
Max Domi – Two assists with three shots. Same story as Keller.
Jason Pominville – Two goals on three shots. He keeps being fed terrific passes from Jack and burying them so Pominville should stick on the first line for now. Poms is a borderline hold or elite streamer.
Jack Eichel – Two assists with two shots. He needs to start shooting the puck more but Eichel looked terrific in this game.
Zemgus Girgensons – Two assists with a shot playing with the previous two guys. He’s an okay streamer in deep leagues but with no power play time, the Latvian all-star isn’t 12’er worthy.
Timo Meier – Goal and an assist with two shots. The third line scored two goals but none of the three played over 12:18. I like Meier a lot in dynasties but there’s not enough there right now to be used in 12’ers.
Friday Streamers: (Details on the picks in the morning but just want to get this posted right now)
Pavel Buchnevich (Columbus guys like Bjorkstrand and Dubois in play too)
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back on Monday recapping all of the weekend’s action. As always, feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments below. Thanks for reading, take care!