It wasn’t that long ago that Ben Bishop was the #1 goalie for an entire season of fantasy hockey.  It’s been two years since, but Bishop showed his upside on Thursday night, posting a 30 save shutout in the 3-0 win over the Coyotes.  I’m not going to overreact to one game; I think Bishop is a bottom end #1 fantasy goalie.  That said, there’s a chance that the Stars make big strides with Montgomery running the show instead of Hitchcock, which would make Bishop the main beneficiary.  The Stars’ play over the first few weeks of the season is worth monitoring to decide whether Bishop is worth targeting in a trade.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the first two nights of the season:

Max Domi: Two assists, two shots, two PIM.  Strong debut for Montreal for the 23 year old.  I’d like to watch him over the next week to make a decision, but Domi could be worth owning sooner rather than later.

Auston Matthews – Two goals on three shots.  Good start to my 50 goal prediction.

Nazem Kadri – Two assists with two shots.  The dream has a spot on the first PP unit which makes him a near-lock for top 100 value.

Tuukka Rask – 14 saves on 19 shots in 27:28 before being pulled in the 7-0 loss to Washington.  Chalk it up to one bad start.  Nothing more, nothing less.

Brad Marchand – Four assists, one shots, 19 PIM over two games.  Marchand doing what he does best; start shit and put up points.

Patrice Bergeron – Goal and an assist with five shots over two games.  We know what Bergeron is at this point.

Jaroslav Halak – 32 save shutout in the 4-0 win over the Sabres.  Revenge game for the two days that he was a Sabre!  Stream him in quality matchups.

Nicklas Backstrom – Four assists with four shots over two games.   Very Backstrom-esque start to the season.

Alex Ovechkin – Two goals and an assist with eight shots.  Another good start to my 50 goal prediction; the great eight is in form early.

T.J. Oshie – Three goals and two assists with seven shots.  Thought about leading off with Oshie since I was down on him coming into the year.  The shots really torpedoed last season, so hopefully he keeps putting the rubber on the net.

John Carlson – Two goals and two assists with six shots.  If he finished as the #1 defenseman this year, I’d be a bit surprised but not totally shocked. He can do it all.

Evgeny Kuznetsov – Two goals and an assist with eight shots and two PIM.  The projection systems love him to top a point per game for the second straight year and I see no reason to doubt them.

Braden Holtby – 25 save shutout, then 34 saves on 41 shots in the 7-6 loss to the Pens.  I still like a bounceback from Holtby this year, but Thursday was quite discouraging.  I know the spot was great for the Pens, but a seven ball is always worrisome.

Elias Pettersson – Goal and an assist.  I love the kid long term, but he didn’t even play ten minutes in this one.  I’m holding for now, but in redrafts, he could be a drop fairly soon.  His linemates, Nikolay Goldobin and Loui Eriksson, appears to be in the same boat as bottom end streamers.

John Gibson – 31 saves on 33 shots in the 5-2 win over the Sharks.  If you told me that Gibson was the best goalie in the world, I certainly wouldn’t bet my life against it.  He’s a beast, plain and simple.

Jakob Silfverberg – Three assists with a shot.  Love the guy in real life, but hard to trust him in fantasy without the offensive role or the minutes nefcessary to produce on a regular basis.

Rickard Rakell – Goal and two assists.  This guy on the other hand, all about it.  Everything has Rakell in position for a monster year.

Ryan Getlzaf – Two assists with a shot.  Standard Getzlaf line at this point.

Evander Kane – Goal on five shots with two PIM.  Speaking of standard statlines, Evander Kane everyone!

Thomas Greiss – 45 saves on 46 shots in the 2-1 OT win over Carolina.  He was brutal last season but was serviceable or better the previous few seasons.  I’m not rushing to grab him now, especially since Carolina has a history of piling up poor quality shots, but Greiss is worth watching.

Evgeni Malkin – Goal and two assists with two shots.  Just stay healthy!

Kris Letang – Two goals and an assist with three shots.  See Malkin, Evgeni.

Sidney Crosby – Two assists with five shots.  He might not be the king anymore, but Crosby is right there and is as good as it gets.

Phil Kessel – Two assists with two shots and two PIM.  Get the man some Primanti Bros. to celebrate the opening night victory!

Jake Guentzel – Two goals on five shots.  I’m more encouraged by the 18:48 than the two goals.  As long as he’s with 87, Guentzel is a great streamer.

Artemi Panarin – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM.  I came so close to calling Panarin for 90+ points, but regardless I feel great about his future outlook.  I’m hoping he signs with CBJ so the hubbub is behind them and they focus on being a contender.

Dylan Larkin – Two assists with three shots.  My man!  I’m all in on the Larkin bandwagon.

Gustav Nyqvist – Two assists with three shots.  I’m all in on Larkin, so I should be all in on his left winger, right?  Well, I love him as a streamer, but I’m not holding Nyqvist.  Yet.

Mattias Ekholm – Two assists with a shot.  He’s fringe in a 10’er and barely on the outside looking in for a 12’er too.  If one of their big 3 offensive blueliners get hurt, Ekholm is must-own, but otherwise he’s a marginal option.

Colton Sissons – Goal and an assist.  He’s a fine player but Sissons is only fantasy relevant in the deepest of leagues.

Jonathan Toews – Goal and an assist with four shots.  He should be owned everywhere, but it’ll take more than one game against a team other than the dumpster fire that is Ottawa to care about Toews.

Patrick Kane – Goal and an assist with six shots.  No reason to worry about Kane; we know he’ll be right around the point per game mark come the end of the season.

Colin White – Goal and an assist with four shots and two PIM.  The former first round pick started off the game hot but didn’t receive the minutes I hoped despite playing on the second line.  He’s an okay streamer in plus matchups but White needs the minutes to jump drastically to hope for more.

Maxime Lajoie – Goal and an assist with three shots, four blocks and two PIM in his NHL debut.  The 21 year old was a late bloomer and is worth watching right now.  I’m not grabbing him yet in anything outside of a super deep league, but there could be something.

Connor Hellebuyck – 41 saves on 42 shots in the 5-1 win over the Blues.  Nice to see Hellboy take off right where he ended last regular season.  He has as good of a chance as anyone to finish as the top dog between the pipes.

Blake Wheeler – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM.  Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor also had 1+1 while Mark Scheifele has two assists.  In other words, the big guns on Winnipeg did their duty.  These guys are all elite options who should be in your lineup every day and make viable GPP options no matter what the matchup is.

Jamie Benn – Two assists with two shots.  The first line in Dallas should remain one of the best in the league.

Connor Carrick – Two assists with a shot in his Stars debut.  It looks to be an outlier but his role should be bigger than in Toronto.  Let’s keep an eye on Carrick.

Devan Dubnyk – 36 saves on 38 shots in the 4-1 loss to the Avalanche.  Despite the loss, Dubnyk was in great form.  I remain firm on my belief that he ends as a #1 goalie despite his low ranking elsewhere (especially ESPN).

Carl Soderberg – Goal and an assist with two shots.  And there’s your monthly Soderberg update!

Mikko Rantanen – Goal and an assist with four shots.  Starting right where he left off, Rantanen should repeat as a point per game player.

Semyon Varlamov – 20 saves on 21 shots in the win.  Nice start for Varlamov, who benefited from one of the best possession games the Avs have played in recent years.  I still hope Grubauer takes over, but Varlamov remains fantasy relevant for the foreseeable future.

Wayne Simmonds – Two goals on four shots.  On one hand, as a long time Simmonds fan, I loved him being on the first PP unit and the Flyers balancing out their middle six.  On the other, he played 13:38.  I will keep watching Simmonds going forward, but I still don’t love his prospects going forward.

Jakub Voracek – Two assists with a shot.  Very Voracek statline.

Robert Hagg – Goal and an assist with three shots.  And there’s your annual Hagg update!

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, leave any comments, or give any suggestions below.  Thanks for reading, enjoy your weekend!

  1. Super Terrific Carpal Tunnel Virusy Box vs Mail Robot (who wins) says:
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    18 team h2h dynasty with hits, blocks, PPP, SHP, faceoffs added. real life sized rosters exactly. 5 NA/IR/IR+ slots
    C e.staal, r.joey, stamkos, hischier, taveras
    LW marleau (C), perlini (RW), panik (RW), foegele (probably streamer), z.smith (C)
    RW zucker (LW), okposo, zykov (LW), sprong
    D vatanen, maata, nurse, hedman, risto, faulk, pulock
    G dubnyk, saros (as many goalies active from one real life team as we want and UP TO one from a 2nd team, or just 2 total, def not 3 from 3 different teams

    NA: dobson (i just traded k.hayes for him (lost RW, i can’t roster 6 C’s really with the 4 total BN slots, he had been a RW for me last year), liljegren, frost, kaprizov, tippett.
    IR or IR+: kucherov, rattie, tuch

    got an offer of nurse for j.schwartz, could stream that 7th D slot if so doing. what you think. i have a bunch of streamer or just above streamer level RW/LW types (2 of which go away when kucherov/rattie are back)

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Super Terrific Carpal Tunnel Virusy Box vs Mail Robot (who wins): Hmm, this is tough but I think I’m holding Nurse with the extra categories. You are already loaded up front and it’s only going to get better, plus Schwartz is such an injury risk that you don’t really need to take with how loaded your team is.

      • Super Terrific Carpal Tunnel Virusy Box vs Mail Robot (who wins) says:
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        @Viz: yeah dobson/bouchard both out of this year’s draft sound like big deals going forward both way D men and bouchard (who i didn’t get in THIS league but did in a 20 similar to this one)

        to make sure though, we start 6 D, the 7th is the bench guy. do have the max yahoo IR/IR+ slots (5 each, and any IR+ can go in IR, not the other way around)

  2. hitman004 says:
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    Great analysis Viz! Always enjoy reading your recaps. As a CBJ fan, I’m hopeful we sign Panarin long term as well. He’s one hell of a difference maker for that team. Great work as always on your part. Keep it up! So happy to have hockey back!

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @hitman004: Thank you very much, that’s greatly appreciated! I hope so too, I really like the team Jarmo has built and think they can make a real run this year if they stick together.

  3. Aardvark says:
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    Do you like Greiss over raanta?

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Aardvark: Nah, I’m still sticking with Raanta, one game doesn’t change enough. The Islanders are a mess defensively (noted by giving up 46 shots) and eventually, that’s going to result in fairly poor numbers for Greiss.

      • Aardvark says:
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        @Viz: nice thanks man

        • Viz

          Viz says:
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          @Aardvark: No problem!

  4. Saints says:
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    Hay viz great stuff.
    Hockey season is back and im excited.
    Any comments on ehlers ? That Minutes were concerning. And i dont get why…
    I have missed your hockey podcast with viz. Will you bring him back during the sesason?

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Saints: Thanks Saints! I’m pumped too, and glad you’re back. Definitely concerning, but I want to see a couple more games first because I panic about it. I assume you mean Reid with me haha, but I hope to get it going again shortly.

      • Saints says:
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        @Viz: ofc reid 😀 😀 thats exciting

  5. Mr. Rickey says:
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    I decided to try an experiment and use auto-draft to pick a team in a 12 team Roto league. I rearranged the rankings but I can only conclude that everyone else moved all of the goalies up to the top of their lists. Here is what I ended up with:

    C: MacKinnon, Eichel
    LW: Hall, Marchessault
    RW: Hoffman, Zucker
    D: Subban, Gostisbehere, Carlson, Pietrangelo
    BN: Larkin, Reinhart, Anders Lee, Klefbom

    G: Grubauer, Hutton

    Looks pretty good except for the goalie disaster. Available waiver wire goalies include: Halak, Greiss, Markstrom, Howard, Anderson, Subban, Ward. Not much there. I want to play out this experiment. Would you wait a bit to see how goalie situations shake out and try to make a trade? If so who would you add/drop as a stop gap. Or should I just try to make a big move for an elite goalie right away? Or try to make due with the waiver wire? Thoughts appreciated.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Mr. Rickey: In a head to head league, I would roll with what you have and hope for the best. In a roto league, I think you’re going to be in trouble getting enough starts and quite frankly, just not having good enough goalies. I think you have to make a move for one. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a truly elite one, but at least a strong #2. Your offense is obviously loaded so you’ll be okay moving a guy. It’s hard to make any trade suggestions, but I’d look for a team that has 3 good to great goalies and try to make a move with him.

  6. OldMilwaukeePounders says:
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    Hey Viz!

    I’m somewhat new to the fantasy hockey game, was hoping to get your opinion on a move. I’m in a small league (8 teams, roto, standard ESPN scoring).

    For my last roster spot is it worth adding Mattias Ekholm or Ryan Murray over any of these:

    Mark Stone, Mike Hoffman

    My current D men are:
    Burns
    Klingberg
    Dougie
    Pietrangelo
    Provorov
    Gardiner
    Lindholm

    Because the league is so small my ATOI is kinda on the low side from the looks of it.

    Thanks, Homie!

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @OldMilwaukeePounders: Hey man, great name! I am super high on Hoffman so there’s no chance that I would cut him. I like Stone quite a bit too; he was over a point per game last year and is a prime trade target. I am probably holding tight here and not overreacting to 0-2 games from guys.

  7. Marco Aurélio Corrêa Cordeiro da Silva says:
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    Hey man, I’m on a 16 team league on ESPN H2H

    C- Seguin, Larkin, Hischier, Patrick, Perreault
    LW – Connor, Skinner, Perron, Sheary, Ladd
    Rw – Rattie, Donskoi, Noesen, Fischer, Pitlick
    D – Hedman, Gotisbehere, Yandle, Dahlin, C.MIller, Trouba, Schmidt, Cholowski
    G- Dubnyk, Bishop

    Any hole I should consider fixing?

      • Marco Aurélio Corrêa Cordeiro da Silva says:
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        @Viz:
        Categories are: G, A, PIM, PPG, PPA, SHG, SHA, FOW, FOL, HAT, SOG,HIT and BLK
        We start at most 4 C. 4 LW, 4 RW, 6D and 1G.

  8. Marco Aurélio Corrêa Cordeiro da Silva says:
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    Hey Viz, I’m playing a Espn H2H with 16 teams.
    My team is:
    C – Seguin, Hischier, Patrick, Perreault, Larkin
    LW – Skinner, Connor, Perron, Sheary, Ladd
    RW – Rattie, Noesen, Fischer, Pitlick, Donskoi
    D – Hedman, Gotisbehere, Yandle, C.Miller, Dahlin, Trouba, Schmidt, Cholowski
    G – Dubnyk, Bishop

    Anything to impove? Any holes?
    Thanks in advance

  9. Fleeced says:
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    Chabot went off, and my current defencemen are Faulk, Ellis, Trouba and Parayko. Standard cats no hits/blks.

    Should I pick him up and for who?

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      @Fleeced: Yeah, I’d grab him. There’s still some plus-minus disaster potential, but the upside is too high to pass up. I think it’s close between all of them but Ellis for who to cut. I would lean towards Faulk, but if you feel good about him, Parayko or Trouba is fine too.

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