Everyone who reads this space knows my love for Brent Burns. His beard brings about a magisterial power that guides him on the ice. The Sharks played on Monday and Tuesday to open the week and their all-world defenseman delivered. In Monday’s loss to the Rangers, Burns scored two goals and an assist with seven shots. He followed it up with 2 assists and three shots against the Islanders putting him in the early league lead for points. Burns and Erik Karlsson are in a class of their own right now among defensemen and should battle each other season for top dog status on the blue line. Here’s what else I’ve seen around the league the last two nights:
Rangers 7, Sharks 4 – Seven goals in the third period turned this game into a shitshow. Besides Burns, it was all Little Joe Pavelski who got in on all four goals, tallying a goal and three assists with three shots. The two superstars on the Sharks are paying off early dividends. Tomas Hertl had an assist, two shots and four PIM and should be owned everywhere while he’s getting first line time. For the Rangers, a ton of players were involved. Chris Kreider had this third straight game of 1+1 and looks like he’s finally coming into his own. The first liners had their first quality game of the season and in a big way. Mats Zuccarello had a goal and two assists while Derek Stepan had two assists. Rick Nash scored his first of the season playing 18 minutes, both good signs. Ryan McDonagh dished two assists and added three shots; I love his chances for a big season. Jimmy Vesey scored his first career goal but with only 10 minutes of playing time, I wouldn’t hold him in 12’ers.
Avalanche 4, Penguins 3 (OT) – Man, the Avs look so much better at even strength than in the previous few seasons. Who would have guessed that? <pats self on back> Gabriel Landeskog tied up the game in the third period and then won it early into overtime. Nathan MacKinnon‘s fast start continued with two assists and five shots on goal. Erik Johnson tallied two assists and four shots and has looked better under Bednar. Calvin Pickard was solid with 28 saves on 31 shots. Nick Bonino had an assist with a shot and two PIM playing 23 minutes. I’ll call that streamer success! I’ll be back on him with these big minutes. Matt Cullen scored a goal and an assist with four shots for a nice, random contribution. Phil Kessel scored again while Chris Kunitz had an assist, shot and six PIM.
Red Wings 5, Senators 1 – Man, this game was a blast from the past for the Red Wings. Mike Green scored a hat trick and added four PIM. In his last 23 games dating back to last season, he has 20 points so he needs to be owned everywhere. Same goes with Thomas Vanek who had three assists. Darren Helm scored twice but he doesn’t have much value outside of the deepest of leagues. Petr Mrazek was great stopping 31 of 32 shots. Andrew Hammond was a dumpster fire as expected giving up 5 goals on 25 shots while Erik Karlsson kept the points streak alive with an assist on Ryan Dzingel‘s goal.
Bruins 4, Jets 1 – We will get these games from time to time from Tuukka Rask because of how good he is. Rask stopped 34 of 35 shots in Winnipeg getting the win. His talent is unquestionable but he needs some help from his team defensively. One player had a multi point game for Boston. Guess who it was. I bet you won’t get it right. It was Rask with two assists! David Pastrnak scored again to get his fourth of the season while Zdeno Chara found the back of the net once on an empty netter with three shots total while adding two PIM. Blake Wheeler scored the Jets goal to maintain his torrid pace.
Capitals 3, Avalanche 0 – Philipp Grubauer had his first career shutout and it couldn’t have been much easier needing only 18 saves. The Avs were extremely flat after a big OT win in Pittsburgh the night before. The big takeaway is that like last year, Grubauer is an excellent stream every time he starts. Semyon Varlamov was great in the game keeping it close for a while stopping 37 of 40 shots. The first line of the Capitals finally had a strong game in this one. T.J. Oshie scored twice on six shots, Alex Ovechkin scored the other goal on five shots and added six penalty minutes while Evgeny Kuznetsov had an assist with four shots. Marcus Johansson dished two power play assists and since he remains on the first unit, he’s a great streamer for assists / power play points.
Devils 2, Ducks 1 – The two Devils superstars won their team the game tonight. Cory Schneider saved 23 of 24 shots while Taylor Hall scored his first two goals for the Devils with four total shots. Corey Perry and Cam Fowler each had a power play assist to Sami Vatanen to maintain their strong starts. There are a few things to take away. One, don’t stream guys against the Devils. Two, only stream Devils in the incredible matchups. Three, the Ducks are a complete mess. There is no four.
Sharks 3, Islanders 2 – Pavelski scored a late winner to have 5 points in 2 games like Burns. Aaron Dell saved 21 of 23 shots in the spot start. I’m not looking to stream him yet but it’s worth monitoring. I doubt Dell gets many starts though. Joe Thornton tallied two assists while Tomas Hertl scored again. The biggest takeaway for the Islanders is Josh Bailey, who had an assist and more importantly played 22 minutes. He’s an elite streamer at the moment. Anthony Beauvillier scored his first career goal but with only 8 minutes of ice time, he’s not 12’er worthy at the moment.
Canadiens 4, Penguins 0 – I did not see this one coming. Al Montoya bounced back in a big way stopping all 36 shots for the shutout and he managed to add an assist. Carey Price is still coming back shortly but Montoya will be in elite streamer status every time he gets a start. Max Pacioretty had a great game scoring a goal and an assist with six shots and four penalty minutes. Patches looks great so far along with the rest of the first line. Jeff Petry had two assists for his second straight multi-point game. Hot schmotato alert! It’s not going to last but if your last defenseman is struggling or just bad, grab Petry. David Desharnais scored twice but I’m not a fan for fantasy purposes. Alex Radulov had his first goal as a Canadien with three shots and six PIM. I’m still not sure what to make of him but Radulov needs to be owned until the picture is clearer.
Senators 7, Coyotes 4 – Oh boy, another 7 goal 3rd period! So many goals so far this season. For the Coyotes, Mike Smith left injured in the third after 27 saves on 30 shots. Louis Domingue came in the game in relief and was horrible allowing 3 goals on 11 shots. There’s no update on Smith’s injury at this time but if you need short term starts, grab Domingue. I don’t think he’s going to be good though. Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored a goal on seven shots with two penalty minutes for his second consecutive strong game. Jordan Martinook buried two goals but he’ll need a bigger role to be worthy of rostering in standard leagues. Alex Goligoski dished two assists and should be owned in all leagues. Dylan Strome had his first career point in his first career game while Connor Murphy tallied two assists with a shot and two penalty minutes. I think Murphy is interesting for deep leagues but won’t be 12’er worthy this year, especially when Michael Stone returns.
This game needs two paragraphs with all of the scoring! This was all about the big guns for me. Karlsson had a goal and an assist with two shots; dude is a cheat code. Kyle Turris, Mike Hoffman and Mark Stone dominated in this one. Turris went 1+1 with 2 SOG, Hoffman had 3 assists with 8 shots while Stone had 1+1 with 5 SOG and 2 PIM. These guys are going to crush all season. For deep leagues, Tom Pyatt has carved out a nice role and should be valuable. Pyatt scored a goal and added a shorthanded assist with four shots and being +4. He also played over 19 minutes so if that keeps up, he’ll push towards being on the streamer radar.
Lightning 4, Panthers 3 (SO) – This was the game of the night. Steven Stamkos tied up the game with 6 seconds left on an absurd shot; he also had an assist and four shots. Then Vincent Trocheck (goal, 4 SOG, 2 PIM) scored a shootout goal that I still have no freaking clue why it counted. James Reimer stopped 25 of 28 shots in his Florida debut. It was only okay but he was 6 seconds away from it being a great start. Alex Killorn scored again and should be held for the time being. Otherwise, nothing really stood out here, just two really good teams.
Stars 2, Predators 1 – Pekka Rinne was great stopping 35 of 37 shots but it wasn’t enough to get the win. Jason Spezza scored in the third to get the win from Antoine Roussel. Roussel is fantasy relevant because of his penalty minutes but he’s rewarded owners early with three points this season. Kari Lehtonen stopped 27 of 28 shots in the win but this won’t change that he’s in a timeshare.
Wild 6, Kings 3 – There are only two pointless teams in the league: Columbus, who isn’t a surprise but has only played two games, and the Kings. I talked about how worrisome their depth is for a couple months now but it’s even worse than I thought. Erik Haula and Jason Pominville each had a goal and an assist dominating the Kings bottom six. Ryan Suter scored two assists with a shot while almost the rest of the Wild’s relevant fantasy players had a point. Jeff Zatkoff was horrible allowing five goals on sixteen shots through two periods before he was pulled. I’m still holding him but it may be worse than I originally expected. Tanner Pearson scored twice from Jeff Carter putting Pearson back on the streaming radar.
Blackhawks 7, Flyers 4 – This game was insane. The Blackhawks were up 4-0 with 2 minutes left in the second period and 3:49 into the third period the game was tied. Then Chicago scored three goals in the final 10 minutes to make the score look ugly again. For Chicago, we finally saw the big guns from last season step up. Patrick Kane was a monster getting a goal, three assists, six shots and two penalty minutes. Artemi Panarin erased his dreadful first three games with two goals and an assist plus four shots. Their center, Artem Anisimov, had the best game of his career with two goals and two assists with three shots. Arty is an elite streamer but I’m still not sure I’d hold him in 12’ers. Brent Seabrook dished three assists while Marian Hossa scored his 500th career goal.
For the Flyers, Claude Giroux lead the comeback with three assists. Travis Konecny had an assist for the third straight game. Brayden Schenn returns in the Flyers next game so now we will see what role Konecny has with their full lineup. Wayne Simmonds scored for the second straight game with six shots while Jakub Voracek had two assists and two shots. The interesting guy is Matt Read who scored twice on three shots. He was on the first power play unit which I don’t expect to last with Schenn back. He’s worth keeping an eye on just to see if he gets to be a streamer.
Flames 4, Sabres 3 (OT) – Ughhhh. My Sabres blow a lead three times before the Flames won in overtime thanks to some poor officiating. First the referee is out of position and blocks a clear leading directly to a Flames goal. Then Sean Monahan gets away with a clear boarding penalty on Sam Reinhart in overtime and subsequently scores the winner. Anyways, Ryan O’Reilly scored a goal on five shots while Rasmus Ristolainen had an assist maintaining their strong starts. Matt Tkachuk scored his first career goal but the minutes aren’t there right now to even stream him. Mark Giordano dished two assists and added three shots and four penalty minutes. My biggest takeaway from this game is that Calgary is pretty unimpressive. I think this team is closer to last year than two season ago.
Oilers 3, Hurricanes 2 – For Carolina, Lee Stempniak scored both goals on three shots. Streamer success! We talked about Stemp on the last podcast but for now, I’m holding him. Victor Rask had two assists with four shots while Jeff Skinner tallied an assist with six shots. I’m really like this first line right now. Cam Talbot bounced back after his disastrous start on Sunday with 31 saves on 33 shots. Leon Draisaitl extended his point streak with an assist and Jordan Eberle scored once on four shots. Connor McDavid went pointless for the second straight game, what a bum!
Canucks 2, Blues 1 (OT) – Pardon the language but how in the fuck are the Canucks 3-0!? They found a way to get a late equalizer again, this time from Bo Horvat with 2:55 left before the Cyborgs teamed up for the overtime winner. It was Horvat’s second straight game with a goal which puts him right on the edge of hold versus streamer in 12’ers. Jacob Markstrom saved 23 of 24 shots for the win and while I still think the Canucks are going to fall off a cliff sooner than later (they’ve played with a lead for exactly 0 seconds this year), their goaltending starts aren’t must avoid anymore. Jake Allen was so close to a shutout but instead finished with 24/26. Vladimir Tarasenko scored again on six shots and is completely dominating games right now.
Wednesday Streamers – There are only two games on the slate so options are extremely limited. Basically, I’d try to grab the best players available regardless of matchup. I expect the Jets to come out strong against the Leafs while I like the Rangers against the Wings the way NYR is playing. For guys under 20%, my three preferences are J.T. Miller, Kevin Hayes and Mathieu Perreault.
That’s all for now guys. With only two games on the slate tonight, there won’t be any daily notes until Friday morning. The plan is to record another podcast with Reid today to go up on Thursday morning so be on the lookout for that. I will also include streamers for Thursday in that podcast post. As always, feel free to ask any questions and leave any comments below. Take care!