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:
Nick Jensen – Three assists. Don’t really see much here.
Dylan Larkin – Two assists with a shot. Larkin is starting to look like the player that I expected last season. a full breakout may be on the horizon.
William Nylander – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM. The focus has been on Auston Matthews‘ (1+1) hot start but Nylander has been outstanding in all categories in the early going.
Jaden Schwartz – Four goals on eight shots over two games. I was planning on leading with Schwartz before Bergeron’s monster game. Schwartz has been a monster so far and I don’t think it’s a fluke. Obviously he’s not going to score 100 points but Schwartz could be primed for a top 50 season.
Vladimir Tarasenko – Goal and two assists with ten shots. The consistency that Tarasenko has is quite remarkable.
Adrian Kempe – Hat trick and an assist with five shots. I’m hoping he gets a much bigger role with Jeff Carter going down for an extended period, but Kempe played only 12 minutes in this game despite Carter being hurt early. I like him plenty in dynasties but I wouldn’t rush to get him in redrafts.
Michael Cammalleri – Two goals and two assists with three shots. I had fairly high hopes for Cammy going into the year but unfortunately he isn’t playing with Kopitar. I’ll need another solid game or two before I bank on a come back.
Jonathan Quick – 36 saves on 37 shots in the 5-1 win over the Canadiens. I’ve long been known as a Quick hater but this start might not be a flash in the pan. He’s drastically changed his style sitting further back in the net which has helped tremendously in the early going. It’s no guarantee that Quick avoids regression but I wouldn’t be rushing to sell high.
Michael Del Zotto – Two assists with six shots and four PIM playing over 26 minutes. There’s plenty of value in deep leagues for the hits and blocks but Del Zotto is fringe in 12’ers at best. Erik Gudbranson was ejected in the first period getting Del Zotto some extra minutes.
Brad Marchand – Goal and two assists with three shots and two PIM. As mentioned in the intro, Marchand should get back to being a top 10 forward again with Bergeron back.
David Pastrnak – Goal and an assist with four shots. Same deal as Marchand except top 15-20 forward.
Anders Bjork – Two goals and an assist with four shots and two PIM. Sadly for Bruins fans, it’s just as notable that he collided with Tuukka Rask in practice Wednesday and Rask suffered a concussion. I don’t see much here for Bjork in the short term outside of deeper leagues but Anton Khudobin becomes relevant until Rask is cleared.
Pekka Rinne – 28 save shutout in the 1-0 win over the Flyers. After two sub-par starts to open the year, Rinne has put together four excellent starts in a row. I like his chances to maintain his play since the Predators are playing tighter in the early going.
Michal Neuvirth – 23 saves on 24 shots getting the tough loss. He’s been excellent in all three starts this season so I wouldn’t be surprised if Neuvirth earns more starts going forward.
Andrei Vasilevskiy – 43 save shutout in the 2-0 win over the Blue Jackets. Oh baby, Vasilevskiy has been incredible so far. My guess is going into next year, Vasilevskiy will be a top 5 goalie.
Mikhail Sergachev – Two goals on three shots. I don’t love him in the short term since the minutes aren’t great but there’s ton of upside long term. If you want to grab him hoping the minutes increase, I wouldn’t hate it.
Nikita Kucherov – Two assists with a shot. He didn’t score a goal!? BUM!
Nico Hischier – Two goals and an assist. Congrats to the rookie on scoring his first two goals. I’m holding tight in all leagues.
Taylor Hall – Four assists with three shots. The shots have been there despite Hall having only one goal so I’m extremely encouraged by his start.
Kyle Palmieri – Goal and an assist with six shots. He’s still under the radar but Palmieri is a solid hold in all formats.
John Moore – Goal and an assist with two shots. Moore has played his way into consideration in hits and blocks leagues.
Erik Karlsson – Three assists with eight shots in his second game. Nice to have Karlsson back on the ice showcasing his talents. If you want to try and sell off Dion Phaneuf for someone else who is a hold on the blue line, I’d lean towards doing so.
Connor McDavid – Two assists with three shots. He hasn’t scored a goal since the opener but the shot rate is pushing four per game in those five contests so look for McJesus to score a couple goals very soon.
Cam Talbot – 30 saves on 31 shots in the 2-1 OT win over the Blackhawks. He’s been poor in the early going but I have no doubt that Talbot will turn it around.
Anton Forsberg – 40 saves on 42 shots getting a tough luck loss. I’m genuinely shocked at how well Forsberg has played considering how poor he was in his brief stints in Columbus.
Jeff Skinner – Goal and an assist with four shots. I had a few people ask about Skinner in the comments; he’ll get back to his usual scoring levels soon. I’d much prefer to buy low than try to move him.
Scott Darling – 25 saves on 26 shots in the 2-1 win over the Flames. He’s lost a couple tough games but Darling has been what I hoped in the other categories.
Alexander Kerfoot – Two goals and an assist with six shots. His previous shot totals in seven games: 0,1,1,1,0,0,1. I can’t use him in 12’ers until we see a few more games of Kerfoot shooting the puck.
Jamie Benn – Goal and two assists with two shots. After a slow start, Benn is crushing it over the last week. The shot rate is pushing four per game as well making Benn a stud in all categories so far, not that it’s a shock.
Tyler Seguin – Two goals on five shots. The five shots dropped his shot rate to six per game. Dude is killing it.
John Klingberg – Two assists with three shots. As long as he keeps the shot rate over two per game, Klingberg should be a bottom end #1 fantasy defenseman with his gaudy point total.
Derek Stepan – Two goals and an assist with five shots. The last four games have seen Stepan get back in form, especially in terms of shot rate where he’s registered at least five shots in three of the last four games. The first line in Arizona is rolling despite the team struggling.
Clayton Keller – Two goals and an assist with five shots and two PIM. Take that Stepan, two penalty minutes too! This kid is going to be so damn good.
Chris Stewart (12.5%) – Stewart is getting time on the second line with Staal and on the second power play unit so I’ll use him in this spot against the Jets.
Kyle Connor (2.3%) – Connor should make his season debut tonight against the Wild. I love his talent and all indications are that he’s playing on the first line. Grab him now in case he takes off.
Thomas Vanek (12.4%) – While I like the Sabres tonight, they have been giving up a lot of goals. Vanek has been solid for the Canucks in the early going so I’ll take the chance that he gets a point against his former squad.
That’s all for now guys. As always, feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments below. Now that I’m back home, I’ll be able to answer as quickly as I normally do. I’ll be back on Monday recapping all of the weekend’s action. Thanks for reading, take care!