The season is upon us! Tonight, the Lightning start another title defense while we also get the debut of the Kraken. I’m going to write up some quick notes from around the league to get everybody up to date on what’s happening around the league. Let’s get to it!
Auston Matthews has been ruled out for the first three games of the season, while Ilya Mikheyev is out for at least eight weeks. Tough blow for the Maple Leafs right out of the gate. This is a short term boost for John Tavares to get Marner on his wing, while Alex Kerfoot moves to the second line and becomes a great streaming option on opening night. I’m very interested to see what Nick Ritchie and Michael Bunting can do with their chances in the top six as well.
Seattle has been hit with COVID before they even play a game. All of Calle Jarnkrok, Marcus Johansson, Joonas Donskoi, Jared McCann, and Jamie Oleksiak are all doubtful to play tonight. Yikes. They’ll need to call up multiple AHL forwards just to be able to field a roster. Talk about an uphill battle in your first game against a top end team. Don’t expect many shots from him, but Alex Wennberg has to be the favorite to center the top line.
Evander Kane is considered a non-roster player pending league investigation. This isn’t a surprise, but confirms that he’ll be out to start the season. Obviously if you drafted him, you aren’t cutting him and simply have to hope for the best. I’m not expecting Kane to be on the ice any time soon.
Sidney Crosby won’t be playing tonight, but he is traveling with the team. He should be back sooner rather than later which obviously is a great sign for him and the rest of their team.
Lucas Raymond has made the Red Wings out of camp. All indications are that he’s going to start on the first line. He doesn’t play until Thursday against Tampa so I’m not in a rush to stream him, but I’m going to pay close attention to his usage in that game to see what we have going forward.
Mika Zibanejad and Aleksander Barkov both received eight year deals to lock them into their teams long term. Obviously this was massive for both teams and in the Rangers case, this takes them out of the Jack Eichel sweepstakes barring something unforeseen.
We’ve reached opening night with Brady Tkachuk still unsigned. Things can change in a hurry, but it’s ugly that this has dragged for so long. If you own Tkachuk, there’s nothing you can do except wait it out. Tim Stutzle should be on the first line in the meantime and gets a boost. Really excited to see what he can do in year two.
Carey Price is going to be out for a while after he entered the league’s player assistance program. Hopefully things are well for Price sooner rather than later. Jake Allen should be a workhorse for the time being and should be owned everywhere.
On Wednesday, we’re looking at another short slate with five games. As far as streaming options go, the Maple Leafs guys mentioned above are solid candidates. I’ll need to see the Blackhawks play reasonably well defensively before I stop targeting streamers against them. You can take your picks of Colorado players to use. It looks like Valeri Nichushkin will get first crack on the second line taking Saad’s place, so he’s a reasonable place to start.
The game with the highest over-under on Wednesday is Canucks at Oilers. Jesse Puljujarvi is always a strong streamer playing with McDavid. Hopefully he gets some power play time with the top guys, but that’s unclear at this time. Nils Hoglander looks like the best option on the Canucks.
I will never understand why the Jets treat Nikolaj Ehlers like he’s not their best forward. Again, it looks like he’s starting on the second power play unit. Pierre-Luc Dubois appears to be on the point of the first unit. He’s available in about one-third of leagues and should be owned everywhere if this comes to fruition.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back on Thursday recapping the action from the seven games on the opening two nights. As always, feel free to ask any questions, leave any comments, or give any suggestions below. Thanks for reading, take care!