It’s here!  The 2021 NHL Season will finally start at 5:30 EST tonight in a battle of Pennsylvania.  I’m going to give some late minute updates in this post for your streaming and DFS needs.  Let’s get to it!

The lines in Philadelphia are quite different than we are used to.  Most notably, Kevin Hayes is starting the season centering Claude Giroux and Joel Farabee, while Hayes is also playing on the first power play unit.  He had a solid first season in Philadelphia, but year two could be even better.  Hayes had only seven PPP last season so if that increases on the top unit, he could play into a bottom end hold.  Worst case, he should be an elite streamer.

Toronto is going to go with two balanced power plays to open the season which I strongly disagree with.  Joe Thornton and Wayne Simmonds on the first power play while John Tavares and William Nylander on the second unit is simply a mistake.  I’m not convinced it lasts, but it makes Thornton a decent streamer and Simmonds a bottom end one.  Additionally, it looks like Mikko Lehtonen won’t play on opening night which is disappointing when that means Zach Bogosian is playing.  T.J. Brodie will be on the second power play unit if Lehtonen isn’t in the lineup.  I’m completely out on Brodie for season long fantasy purposes, but he’s an okay punt defenseman in DFS.

The NHL’s LTIR enforcement on Opening Night means that according to Frank Seravalli, Tyler Johnson and Luke Schenn won’t be in the opening night lineup today.  Schenn is fantasy irrelevant, but Johnson out changes the second line.  I’m guessing that will put Mathieu Joseph on the second line which makes him a DFS punt and deep league sleeper.

Erik Johnson is looking doubtful for opening night.  It sounds like Conor Timmins and Ian Cole will both be in the lineup while Bowen Byram will not be.  Byram will be in quarantine through Friday, but there’s talk that he won’t be activated at that point.  Personally, I don’t understand it as he has very little to gain from playing in the AHL or being on the taxi squad, but it’s worth monitoring.

Nils Hoglander is going to start in the top six for Vancouver which could make him a streamer down the line.  If J.T. Miller misses the opener (he didn’t practice Tuesday), Jake Virtanen should move onto the top line and be a strong DFS option against the Oilers.

UPDATE: Miller has been ruled out for the opener.

Tage Thompson is definitely starting the season on the first line in Buffalo.  I really want to see what the minutes distribution is between the lines before rushing to any conclusions, but there’s some real potential here.  On the other hand, much to my chagrin, Jeff Skinner is outside of the top six for the time being.  Yes, he’s at least playing with Dylan Cozens, but whoever their center is won’t be as offensively oriented as I would like.  I’m not dropping Skinner, but he is on a short leash already even though it’s based on nothing he has done.

It seems pretty clear now that Keith Yandle is going to be scratched for the Panthers opener.  Well, if you’ve been reading my stuff lately, you won’t have Yandle on your team and will have plenty of Aaron Ekblad so we’ve gained some value before the season even starts!

John Leonard is going to get the first crack on playing on the second line in San Jose with Evander Kane and Tomas Hertl.  Leonard, a former sixth round pick, led the NCAA in goals last season at UMass Amherst.  For those of you in super deep leagues, he’s definitely a name worth monitoring and potentially grabbing right away to see if it clicks.  Welcome to the Razzball Database!

Sergei Bobrovsky is not expected to be ready for the season opener.  That would leave Chris Driedger and Samuel Montembault as the Panthers goaltending duo for the time being.  The Panthers will be started the season late because of COVID postponements, but this duo is worth gambling on as a stream when they play Chicago or Detroit.

Mikael Granlund is going to miss the start of the season.  Tough break for him as he looks to build his value back up on a one year deal.  Nashville’s lineup gets a bit thinner.

The retirement of Corey Crawford bumps up Mackenzie Blackwood into a middling to bottom end #2 goalie.  It’s hard to see the upside in that division even though I like him long term.

Chandler Stephenson is getting first crack at centering Vegas’ first line.  He’s a decent streamer in deep leagues and a DFS option, but I don’t think he’s quite valuable enough to stream in 12 teamers since he doesn’t get power play time.

That’s all for now guys.  I’ll be back tomorrow recapping actual hockey games!  As always, feel free to ask any questions, leave any comments, or give any suggestions below.  Thanks for reading, take care!

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DantheNonHockeyMan
DantheNonHockeyMan
1 year ago

Hi Vic

It would be kewl if you could update your top 200.

I enjoy your posts, keep up the great work

Cheers
Dan

DantheNonHockeyMan
DantheNonHockeyMan
1 year ago

Oops, sorry I meant Viz

Peter Parker
Peter Parker
1 year ago

Good morning VIZ! Well, here we are ready for the puck drop tonight! I had my draft last night and what a blast as for a few hours I had a bit of normalcy. Lets hope Covid doesn’t hurt the NHL too much. Anyway, please take a look at my team (12-team league) and give it to me straight:
G, A, +/-, PPG, PPP, SHG, GWG, SOG;
W, GAA, SV%, SHO

Auston Matthews
Mitchell Marner
Jonny Gaudreau
Mark Scheifele
Kyle Conner
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
Kevin Fiala
Bo Horvat
Oliver Bjorkstrand
Jason Zucker
Sam Reinhart
Dylan Strome
Nikita Gusev
Christian Dvorak

Rasmus Dahlin
Zach Werenski
P.K. Subban
Rasmus Andersson

Semyon Varalmov
Linus Ullmark

Peter Parker
Peter Parker
1 year ago
Reply to  Viz

Good morning Viz! Yeah, I know I rolled the dice on a few goalies. And I will see what Dvorak does early and make that call. My goalie options would be from these few:
Dubnyk
Georgiev
Allen (Jake)
Hutton
Reimer
Raanta
Greiss
Rinne
DeSmith

Your suggestions please??

C
C
LW
LW
RW
RW
W
F
Util
Util
D
D
D
D

Peter Parker
Peter Parker
1 year ago
Reply to  Viz

Good morning Viz! First, I really want to thank you for the time you spend on this… especially the time you take to answer everyone’s questions. You are very much appreciated. For someone like me with no life… fantasy hockey is life!! LOL
Anyway, Rinne will certainly get starts behind a very solid defense, so he is an option… although I looked through his stats from last season, and OH MY GOD they were awful!!! What do you think of Georgiev??

THANK YOU!

nick
nick
1 year ago

Thanks for all your help and rankings VIZ 🙂

here is my team (keeper), pretty nice

C. Elias PETERSSON
C. Patrick BERGERON
LW. Evander KANE
LW. Kyle CONNOR
RW. FIALA
RW BOESER
D. KRUG
D. THEODORE
D EKBLAD
Util BARRIE (D)
Util Taylor HALL (LW)
Bench Burakovski / Max DOMI / DUCLAIR/ Grzelcyk
IR Brad Marchand (probable for tonite)

G. Grubauer
G Varlamov
Bench Linus ULLMARK
IR BOB

Itookdonscherry
Itookdonscherry
1 year ago

Question for you. Just did my third draft. 12 team H2H category league. Standard category system 6 offensive, 4 goalie cats. A team only drafted Hellybucyk and Bishop. I was wondering if a Malkin and Samsonov for Draisatl trade would be considered fair? Would leave me with Saros, Ullmark and Sorokin as my goalies.

Chris
Chris
1 year ago

Hey Viz!

Feels good to have you back in office!

I’m kinda on the Robert Thomas’ bandwagon. I wanna pick him off on the FA market but I only my only “droppable” player is Roope Hintz. I understand that both players are breakout sleepers candidate and it’s especially tough to predict, but would you take a chance on Thomas instead of Hintz? Here are my league cats:

H2H/G/A/PPP/GWG/+-/HITS

Thank you and happy opening night!
Chris

Itookdonscherry
Itookdonscherry
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris

I would take Thomas because of the better lineup and potential linemates. It is tough picking the breakouts though.

BigBun
BigBun
1 year ago

Hey Viz, good luck this season! I inadvertently focused too much on D and G in my draft, do you think I made enough good F picks late to make up for it? 16 team league, 3 goalie starts per week, G/A/P/+-/PPP/SOG/BLK/W/GAA/SV%/SHO

McDavid (K)
Peterson
Guentzel
Olofsson
Rust
Suzuki
Rielly
Dahlin
Barrie
Grzelcyk

Duchene
Kahun
Cozens
Erik Gustafsson

Andersen
Mrazek

Tony S
Tony S
1 year ago

I’m in a 16 team league so the goalie pickings are pretty slim. I have Bobs but I can place him on the IR while he’s out so should I pick up somebody to replace him for the first week? I can choose from Quick, Subban, Jones, Dubnyk or could go with his backup, Driedger.

Yr Never Too Old For Balloons
Yr Never Too Old For Balloons
1 year ago

that 20 teamer where i got to keep STL players at a max 200 budget predraft (lower players were free predraft, so i kept husso/kostin to prospects list (max 5) and paid for perunovich, later put him down there too. we’re also doing a prospect draft (mostly for guys not in yahoo, but since it started before waivers went off some bigger names went in that too so far). after predraft max budget of 200 (i had less money than most teams with the guys i kept), we had 100 added to auction online draft. hits/blocks/faceoffs/shots/PPP/SHP added, standard goalie stuff. real life rosters. auctions always got weird stuff going on since teams are broke or not broke at differing times. kucherov some forgot wasn’t kept by TB who has an owner (but he’s a top 5 most expensive player out all year this year), so he wasn’t bid till later, only cost 35 (some others were in the 50’s).
C (4): ROR (kept predraft)
– henrique (3 in draft, nobody gives a shit about this dude, who’s a top line center also at LW).
– r-joey (last highish end center, 21)
– rob thomas (KP)
– s.steel (weird ANA didn’t keep, he kept small budget then won good players though, 1)
LW (4): marchessault (C, 24)
– mccann (after senko i was nearly out of money, dude hits all categories though, 1)
– sanford (waivered today)
– schwartz (KP)
RW (4): hoffman (KP)
– schenn (C, KP)
– fiala (knew i wanted to get one of him or meier, meier went for 34, him 25, the lack of hits on fiala is why cheaper i’d bet)
– compher (streamer added today)
– a.johnsson (LW, 2)
D (6, here is where i couldn’t afford anybody good): parayko (KP)
– krug (KP)
– severson (1)
– c.murphy (1)
– gudas (1)
– edmundson (streamer)
– dumoulin (streamer)
G (1): binnington (KP)
– koskinen (EDM kept no goalies, off waivers today)
IR/IR+: senko (20, i had him priced worth 23, predraft he would’ve cost 20, winning him cost me options almost entirely was down to like 15 for 10 roster slots left)
– j.robertson (FA today)
– c.petersen (1, that’s crazy, LA didn’t want to keep at cost and nobody else left with money to outbid me)
NA (5): kyrou (KP)
– comtois (waivered)
– vatanen (1)
prospect list: kostin (KP), perunovich (KP), husso (KP), tomasino (prospect draft 1st round)

Yr Never Too Old For Balloons
Yr Never Too Old For Balloons
1 year ago

when i was writing up the 250ish players that weren’t kept predraft preauction i made sure to rank in groups of 20 and try to get at least one from each of the top 4 groups at least, even though i had bottom 5 money to use. was able to with fiala, marchessault, r-joey and senko in top 4 groups of 20. only negative for sure was going after fiala/marchessault first left me knowing i’d need another topish center, and no money for D men. senko i knew i’d try to get unless he got crazy expensive (which i thought was a real possible thing, i gave up on perron at 15 bucks, he went for 16)

Yr Never Too Old For Balloons
Yr Never Too Old For Balloons
1 year ago

i know not to trust preseason depth charts mostly at all for prospects, but good lord basically EVERY one of them is being AHL’d or taxi’d. even kyrou is set to likely be scratched tonight. i get it with the guys who’ve never played NHL yet, and there are a LOT of those. don’t get comtois not playing either. some others i can’t think of (wahlstrom too)

Yr Never Too Old For Balloons
Yr Never Too Old For Balloons
1 year ago

man it’s ugly to go from football (where every possible player to miss a game is reported on numerous times daily till gametime) to hockey on these. apparently kyrou may have only played (from the reports i’m seeing he was likely scratched) since hoffman’s visa issue (which of course nobody reported on, not once, till roughly 5 minutes before the game). wonder what % of writers at rotoworld in hockey relative to football, like 20-25%, something like that. i could’ve dropped compher to get kyrou in so right now i guess i gained a PPP.

Chris Herman
Chris Herman
1 year ago

Would you drop Yandle for Gustaffson?

Yr Never Too Old For Balloons
Yr Never Too Old For Balloons
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Herman

yeah

Mando
Mando
1 year ago

Elvis Merzlikins got dropped by a team in my super deep points dynasty league. We have 16 teams, no penalty or anything for keeping who you want as long as you meet the roster limits, and G scoring is pretty high. My current Gs are Hellebuyck, Binnington, Delia and Ullmark plus Ian Scott and Vitek Vanecek in my minors. Ignoring the minors, I was wonderng what your opinion would be on a price to add Elvis off of waivers. I have $74 left out of my $75 for the rest of the year. Thanks.