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!