Brayden Point made his season debut on Thursday for a big showdown with the Maple Leafs. Unsurprisingly, he started right where he left off, scoring two goals and adding an assist with five shots in the 7-3 win. The Bucs beat the Argonauts! Anyways, we know how good Point is and that he’s an elite options in all formats. Props to Fungazi 2.0 for hitting with Point in the Three Point Challenge! A couple other takeaways from this game. One, Point went on the first line with Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov, who had four points each. If that line sticks together, watch out. Two, the new fifth person on the top power play unit was Anthony Cirelli, who ended up with three assists, two on the power play. I’m a big fan of Cirelli’s game but he didn’t get the opportunity. Now, he is centering the second line and on the top power play unit. He’s a must own in all formats. Three, Tampa Bay really is the better version of Toronto. The defensemen on Toronto just can’t keep up. I mean, Cody Ceci? Even Rielly and Barrie aren’t good defensively. Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Jack Eichel – Two goals and two assists with eight shots. Eichel made a bad turnover in overtime Monday to cost the Sabres the game, and he made up for it and then some on Wednesday. He was as dominant as that stat line indicates. Hopefully there’s more to come.
Marcus Johansson – Goal and an assist with two PIM. It would be nice if Krueger would put a competent RW on Johansson’s line with Skinner, but he’s still producing early. Very good streamer with some upside.
Rasmus Dahlin – Two assists with a shot and two PIM. As a Sabres fan, it’s great that they’re winning but Dahlin absolutely needs to get more minutes than he is right now. Regardless, he looks like a #2 fantasy defenseman this season with upside for more.
Joel Armia – Three goals and an assist with six shots over two games. Revenge game on Wednesday! He’s a decent streamer while he’s a hot schmotato but I’m not buying in at the moment.
Carter Hart – 25 save shutout in the 4-0 win over the Devils. Real upside here although I think it’s a year or two down the line when the Flyers defense is better than it is now.
Travis Konecny – Goal and an assist with two shots. Amazing start for Konecny with five points in two games. He’s an elite streamer for the time being.
Ivan Provorov – Goal and an assist with two shots. Provorov is a solid bounce back candidate if he can get the shots back up to his 2017-18 level.
J.T. Miller – Goal and three assists with two shots. Miller is up on the first line right now which should give him a great chance to pile up assists. I lean towards bottom end hold, but it’s fringe due to the lack of shots.
Brandon Sutter – Two goals and an assist with three shots. I watched all of this game since it was a stand alone game on Wednesday, and I couldn’t believe Sutter looked like a real NHL’er again. That said, I have no interest in fantasy.
Tanner Pearson – Two assists with a shot and two PIM. Pearson is playing the best hockey he has in years. I’m still only considering him a bottom end streamer, but it could get better.
Quinn Hughes – Goal and an assist with two shots. Love me some Hughes. He’s going to be so damn good sooner than later. Hughes was one of my most aggressive ranks so I own him everywhere and have no regrets.
David Pastrnak – Goal and an assist with five shots. Pasta is truly among the best wingers in the game.
Nathan MacKinnon – Goal and an assist, as did Gabriel Landeskog. Both have had at least one point in every game so far. Pretty, pretty, pretty good.
Danny DeKeyser – Two assists with a shot. He has four assists in four games, but I have no interest in DeKeyser.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Two assists. Even with the crazy minutes McJesus and Draisaitl are getting, RNH played 22 minutes in this game. He’s on the fringe, but I guess I barely lean towards elite streamer?
Sidney Crosby – Goal and an assist with two shots playing 24 minutes. The workload is insane right now and Crosby will continue to put up big totals.
Matt Murray – 31 saves on 32 shots in the 2-1 win over the Ducks. Three good starts and one dud so far for Murray which is about all you can ask for given the defensive woes for the Pens.
Auston Matthews – Goal and an assist with six shots. Only a matter of staying healthy.
Ryan O’Reilly – Goal and three assists with two shots. Another guy picking up right where he left off last season. Props to Aurelius for hitting the three point challenge!
David Perron – Two goals on four shots. Easy hold at this point.
Tyler Bozak – Two assists. Easy pass.
John Carlson – Three assists with a shot and two PIM. Carlson is piling up the assists early which comes as no surprise.
Alex Ovechkin – Two goals. Only two shots!? What a bum.
Filip Forsberg – Goal and an assist. Matt Duchene and Mikael Granlund also had two points. These three have formed a formidable trio as the go-to offensive line for the Preds. I think we’re going to see big things health permitting.
Ryan Johansen – Two goals. He’s had a point in every game which is obviously encouraging. Only four shots total, not as much. He’s fine for what he is, but I’m not a huge fan of RyJo’s player type in fantasy.
Viktor Arvidsson – Two assists with a shot. Arvidsson doesn’t get credit for how good he is. He’s a bonafide first line winger who is elite at even strength.
Calle Jarnkrok – Two assists. Nice player in real life, not so much in fantasy.
Patrik Laine – Two goals and two assists with four shots. He even added eight hits! Laine has started off the season on a tear, including seven points in the last two games since moving onto the first line with Mark Scheifele (two assists) and Blake Wheeler (goal and an assist). Laine was incredibly undervalued this draft season given the tremendous upside that he is. I even drafted him outside of the top 60 in a league. I would not entertain selling him high.
Patrick Marleau – Two goals on six shots in his first game back with the Sharks. I’m not expecting much from Marleau, but he is playing on PP2 and in the top six right away. In super deep leagues, he should be owned. In standard leagues, he’s a decent streamer.
Brent Burns – Goal and an assist with five shots and two PIM. Brent Burns doing Brent Burns things!
Dylan Gambrell – Two assists with a shot. He’s on PP2, but until he starts shooting the puck (2 SOG in 4 games), he’s simply unusable in fantasy.
Andrew Shaw – Two goals on five shots with two PIM. He’s on the second line right now making Shaw a very good streamer for the PIM and decent points.
Dylan Strome – Goal and an assist with two shots. I don’t think he’s an automatic hold without Kane on his line, but Kane could easily jump back there at any point. I’m holding for now.
Carl Soderberg – Two assists with two shots. It’s nice to see him getting minutes, but Soderberg is a bottom end streamer at best.
Conor Garland – Two goals. He scored at a pretty good rate last season but Garland isn’t receiving decent minutes. He played only 11:36 in this one and that’s nowhere near enough for sustained success. If he gets the time, there could be something here because Garland does score goals at a very good rate per 60 minutes.
Darcy Kuemper – 37 saves on 38 shots in the 4-1 win over Vegas. Kuemper has started the season with three excellent starts. Tocchet’s system really seems to be helping him, so it looks like I could have underrated Coyotes goalies quite a bit, especially Kuemper, even though I ended up with him on my biggest money team as my #2 goalie.
Since I didn’t have time for a preseason post with all of my predictions, here’s a quick list:
Division Winners: Tampa Bay, Carolina, Nashville, Vegas
Other Playoff Teams in East: Boston, Toronto, Florida, Washington, Pittsburgh, Philly
Other Playoff Teams in West: St. Louis, Colorado, Dallas, Flames, Sharks, Ducks
Stanley Cup: Tampa Bay over Vegas
McDavid for Hart, Makar for Calder, Gibson for Vezina, Ovechkin for Richard, Josi for Norris
Fantasy MVP (given the value from where they are drafted) – Svechnikov (wrote a sleeper post)
Fantasy Bust – Hellebuyck (wrote a bust post. He’s playing great right now, although I am worried with the shot volume he’s facing)
Fantasy Sleeper – Olofsson, who I featured prominently in the preseason posts
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. Enjoy your weekend, take care!