It’s been the longest break without playing hockey in Evgeni Malkin‘s career.  He sure didn’t show any rust in his return.  Malkin was outstanding on Tuesday, scoring two goals and an assist with four shots playing 17:21 in the 4-1 win over the Ducks.  Everything we wanted to see from Malkin in his season debut was there.  Top power play unit?  Check.  Centering the second line?  Check.  Quality minutes?  Check.  He’ll even have better linemates once Rust returns.  I’m not expecting Malkin to be a top 20 player, but top 50 certainly seems within reach given how well the Penguins power play is clicking.  If you stashed him, then you’re going to make out extremely well if he can stay healthy.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:

Matt Grzelcyk – Goal and four assists with two PIM.  Alrighty then.  I was high compared to consensus on Grzcelyk going into the season, but he hasn’t been good offensively at all until Monday.  He still only has 13 points, so it’s going to take a good run of play for me to change my mind, not one game.

Brad Marchand – Two goals and an assist with five shots, as did David Pastrnak.  Even when they’re not playing on the same line, they’re still doing damage together on the power play.  The shot rate is up for Pasta lately which is a great sign.

Taylor Hall – Two assists with a shot and two PIM.  Pasta being on the second line is helping Hall quite a bit.  He’s moved a bit off the fringe with his recent play to a bottom end hold.

Craig Smith – Goal and an assist with three shots.  Solid streamer as long as he stays on the top line.

Anton Blidh – Two assists with a shot.  Blidh actually has seven points in 15 games, but it screams complete fluke.  Welcome to the Razzball Database!

Conor Sheary – Two goals on four shots.  Sheary’s role vacillates quite a bit depending on who else is available.  I have him more in the middling streamer range.

Marcus Johansson – Goal and an assist.  Even with Johansson getting top power play time, he’s a bottom end streamer at best.

Jared McCann – Goal and an assist with eight shots.  JKJ and I were both very high on McCann going into the season, and it’s mostly panned out with 14 goals in 29 games.  Even though it’s far from perfect, I’m still holding without much hesitation.

Nazem Kadri – Goal and three assists with eleven shots and two PIM over two games.  Kadri now leads the league in assists.  Not McDavid or anyone else, Kadri.  Insane.

Andre Burakovsky – Goal and two assists with five shots over two games.  Burakovsky is getting more time with MacDaddy lately which is great to see.  Even if he’s with Kadri, it’s plenty good enough to hold.

Nicolas Aube-Kubel – Three goals and an assist with four shots and two PIM over two games.  NAK was a great get for the Avs, who got him for nothing.  Why did nobody claim him for depth?  There’s some value for deep leagues here.

Cale Makar – Goal and three assists with six shots over two games.  Where does Makar rank among the best players in the league?  I feel like it has to be top five even if he’s not in that general discussion.

Cal Petersen – 22 saves on 23 shots in the 3-1 win over the Rangers.  This on the heels of a shutout last game.  Could we finally be getting a run from Petersen like we expected before the season?  We can only hope.

Trevor Moore – Two assists with five shots.  The second line is in a nice run of form, with Moore being the third wheel there.  He’s on the radar now to be streamed, but only on the bottom end.

Andrei Vasilevskiy – 17 saves on 18 shots in the 6-1 win over the Sabres.  He earned those saves too as the Sabres had multiple breakaways saved by Vasilevskiy. Their schedule doesn’t have any strong offenses any time soon either.

Nikita Kucherov – Hat trick on seven shots.  The top guys crushed for Tampa which comes as no surprise.  The more important thing is he puts me on the board in the Three Point Challenge!

Brad Hunt – Two assists with two shots.  When Hunt actually plays, he’s an okay deep league option or GPP punt because he loves to shoot the puck.  That said, he barely plays so he’s not of much use.

Aaron Ekblad – Goal and two assists with three shots and five blocks.  Even playing just 21 minutes, Ekblad was dominant throughout the game.  Props to Jeff for picking Ekblad for three points!

Sam Reinhart – Two goals and an assist.  I don’t understand why Q was playing Reinhart on the third line, but thankfully Brunette realized that was an egregious mistake.  The goals are down a fair amount compared to last year, but they’re starting to come in and the assist rate is great.

Aleksander Barkov – Goal and an assist with two shots.  He’s just unstoppable.  It’s stunning when Barkov doesn’t get a point now.

Frank Vatrano – Two assists with three shots.  If Vatrano was getting quality minutes on a bad team, I could see him being a fantasy darling since he shoots the puck so much.  He’s stuck in the bottom six in Florida which keeps him in the bottom to middling streamer range.

Anton Lundell – Two assists.  He’s a decent streamer, but Lundell has plenty of upside long term.

Alex DeBrincat – Two goals on four shots and two PIM.  DeBrincat is third in the league in goals now.  Just an awesome run that has gone under the radar since Chicago is bad.

Riley Stillman – Two assists with a shot.  With Seth Jones on the COVID list, Stillman received a solid amount of minutes, but I still have very little interest.

Gustav Nyquist – Goal and an assist.  He’s on a great run and played 20 minutes in this game, but Nyquist is still at only one shot per game.  I can’t get him past a middling streamer level.

Roman Josi – Three assists with three shots.  Do as the Roman does!

Matt Duchene – Two goals on six shots.  Duchene has looked poor lately, but a revenge game got him back in his best form.  <writes this down to remember for DFS next time Nashville plays Colorado.>  Duchene is a slam dunk hold, although I don’t expect him to keep up this goal rate.

Luke Kunin – Two goals on six shots.  Kunin is firmly a bottom end streamer.

Tristan Jarry – 25 saves on 26 shots in the 4-1 win over the Ducks.  Jarry has been one of the best goalies in the league so far.  He’s given up two goals or less in each of his past nine games.  More proof that goalies are voodoo.

Jeff Carter – Two goals with two PIM.  Kasperi Kapanen was the third member of this line with Malkin and dished two assists.  It will be interested to see if these guys stick together, or Carter goes down to the third line with ERod going in Carter’s spot.  For now, Carter is an elite streamer because of the shot rate while Kapanen is a solid streamer.

Tyler Bertuzzi – Goal and an assist with two shots playing over 23 minutes.  Even without Larkin, Bertuzzi is performing at an elite level.  This is a level that I simply didn’t think Bertuzzi had in him.

Filip Hronek – Two assists.  Seider’s arrival has hurt Hronek a decent bit.  That said, if your league doesn’t have plus-minus, he’s still worth holding because he hits all of the categories fairly well.

Brent Burns – Three assists with two shots.  Nine points in the last six games for Burns as he finally rounds into form.  Very encouraging to see it even with Karlsson back in the lineup.

Jonathan Dahlen – Two assists with three shots and two PIM.  Dahlen was on the top power play unit and made a beautiful pass to Meier for San Jose’s first goal.  Dahlen is a bottom end streamer for now, but I’m keeping an eye on him because there’s real upside here.

Three Point Challenge: We’ll do it again for Thursday’s games.  That means no McDavid, Draisaitl, Ovechkin, Huberdeau, Kadri, Stamkos, Rantanen, Kaprizov, Meier and Gaudreau.  Add Jeff and myself to Eli Man Penguin Boy being one behind Fungazi.  I’ll take Aho against the Blue Jackets.

That’s all for now guys.  I’ll be back on Friday recapping the action from the next two nights.  As always, feel free to ask any questions, leave any comments, or give any suggestions below.   Thanks for reading, take care!