For one night at least, the hype was real. We’ve been hearing about Kirill Kaprizov for a few years now and his long awaited NHL debut couldn’t have gone any better. Kaprizov scored the game winning goal in overtime, finishing with an additional two assists and two shots on goal with a +3 rating in 21:52. Cheers to all of you who have been sitting on him in dynasties and everyone who took him in DFS while he was still incredibly underpriced. The first eight games for the Wild are against the three California teams so I’m expecting a big start from Kaprizov. I’d have to say he’s the Calder favorite if Evason is going to play him over 20 minutes in his first game. Let’s take a look at what else happened on Thursday night:
T.J. Oshie – Goal and two assists with three shots and two PIM. Being a Sabres fan, this was the main game I watched, and I have to say it was one of the sloppiest games I’ve seen in a long time. It’s to be expected on opening night after a long break, but the passing and defense was atrocious. It’s hard to single out players who did well but either way, Oshie starting off with a great game was good to see.
Alex Ovechkin – Two assists with three shots. Nicklas Backstrom and John Carlson each had a goal and an assist. Nice for all of the top Capitals players to start off with multi-point games.
Ilya Samsonov – 22 saves on 26 shots in the 6-4 win. Samsonov was really fighting the puck looking uncomfortable throughout. I’m really interested to see if he gets the start in the back-to-back tonight.
Taylor Hall – Goal and an assist with two shots. Jack Eichel had two assists. Neither of them were at their best like everyone else in this game, but the power play was very encouraging and they generated a decent amount of even strength chances.
Jake McCabe – Goal and an assist with a fight. The first Gordie Howe hat trick of the season goes to McCabe. And there’s your annual McCabe update!
Victor Olofsson – Goal and an assist with two shots. The assist was on the power play while the goal was with the net pulled. It’s not ideal because he hasn’t been great at even strength, but hopefully it comes in year two. His center, Eric Staal, left the game after a cheap shot to the head. I’m not sure who will step in his spot if Staal misses the game tonight. It could be Dylan Cozens, which would make him a nice streamer.
Brad Marchand – Goal and an assist with two shots, plus the shootout winner. Both points were on the power play which was nice to see without Pastrnak and Krug there. I can’t believe that he was regularly falling out of the first round of drafts.
Jack Hughes – Two assists with three shots playing almost 22 minutes. Excellent start from Hughes who Lindy Ruff clearly has faith in. He’s somehow owned in lower than 50% of leagues on the main sites so grab him now.
Semyon Varlamov – 24 save shutout in the 4-0 win over the Rangers. This game couldn’t have gone any better for the Islanders. Varlamov has a good enough track record that I would play him in every game that he starts.
Anders Lee – Two goals on eight shots with two PIM. He’s a great combination of goals and penalty minutes that is worth owning in every format.
Nick Leddy – Two assists with two shots. Leddy appears to have a bigger role again with Toews out of the picture. He’s going to be very assist heavy, but if that’s what you need, he could be a decent hold on the bottom of your roster. AAGNOF!
Petr Mrazek – 14 save shutout in the 3-0 win over Detroit. It doesn’t get easier than a 14 save shutout. Mrazek should be a decent #2 goalie.
Thomas Greiss – 40 saves on 42 shots as the tough luck loser. I assume there will be a decent amount of these games. That said, I wouldn’t own Greiss unless you’re in a league that you need to make a lot of starts every week and include saves as a category.
Juuse Saros – 29 saves on 30 shots in the 3-1 win over Columbus. It’s the first season that Saros comes in as the undisputed #1 goalie in Nashville. He was undervalued going into the season; it wasn’t that long ago that he was an elite goaltending prospect. There’s some real upside here.
Elias Lindholm – Goal and an assist with two PIM. Nice start for Lindholm who is boring in fantasy, but an easy hold. He could lead the team in points and it wouldn’t be a shock.
Patrik Laine – Two goals and an assist with three shots and four PIM. Kyle Connor had a goal and two assists with three shots. Safe to say this early partnership worked out swimmingly. Paul Stastny didn’t get a point, but you have to think the assists are coming for him. They’re a great DFS stack in any matchup. Stastny is an elite streamer.
Connor McDavid – Hat trick and an assist with nine shots and two PIM. The first hat trick of the season goes to… the best offensive player in the league. I think he took it personally that people were saying MacKinnon or even Matthews was better than him. I mean, look how ridiculous this is!
— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) January 15, 2021
Leon Draisaitl – Four assists and a shot. He only has two shots so far, but it doesn’t matter when he has five assists already.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Two goals and an assist with eight shots. I’m expecting RNH to have his first season above a point per game in his career.
Kailer Yamamoto – Two assists with a shot and four PIM. Yes, it’s only 29 games, but Yamamato is at exactly a point per game over the past two seasons. Yamamoto is in the perfect situation for a massive season.
Evander Kane – Goal and two assists with seven shots. Nice to see Kane having a great start to the season after filing for bankruptcy. As long as he’s on the ice, he’ll be a borderline top 50 player or better depending on the format.
Tomas Hertl – Two goals and an assist with three shots. He played 22 minutes which is really what I’m expecting under Boughner. Hertl was regularly falling far in drafts and I couldn’t understand it.
John Leonard – Two assists with two shots. I mentioned the other day that Leonard was getting a chance with Kane and Hertl and he delivered. Yes, he played only 13 minutes and wasn’t getting power play time, but he’s a nice deep league option.
Erik Karlsson – Two shots and five blocks. It’s worth noting because Karlsson played over 32 minutes while Brent Burns played almost 27. Yes, these guys are on the decline, but with that kind of workload, they should be just fine.
Conor Garland – Goal and an assist with seven shots playing over 21 minutes. Garland is an elite streamer with upside. He profiles as a guy who can post 3+ shots a game, but who knows if it’ll actually happen.
Clayton Keller – Goal and an assist with four shots and two PIM. While I wasn’t particularly fond of Keller going into the season, he was an elite prospect and is still only 22. Keller is a viable addition to your team if he’s available because of the upside.
Jakob Chychrun – Two assists with five shots and two PIM. If I had to own one Coyotes defenseman, it’s definitely Chychrun.
Jeff Carter – Goal and an assist with seven shots. I can see streaming Carter because of the shot rate, but it’ll take some sustained success for it to be worth holding him.
Anze Kopitar – Two assists with four shots playing over 23 minutes. No matter who he plays with, Kopitar is going to be outstanding in real life. It will be good enough in fantasy to be a hold all season, but don’t expect too much.
Max Comtois – Two goals. He’s someone to keep an eye on, but I’m not rushing to stream him unless you’re in a deep league.
Mark Stone – Goal and an assist with two shots. Stoner bashin’ time! Stone’s first game as the Vegas captain went outstanding as he dominated the third period. He’s a true superstar.
Tage Thompson – He had an assist with two shots in the opener and fit in well with Eichel and Hall.
Joel Farabee – Grab the hot hand if he’s still available.
Alex Killorn – Any Tampa guy is worth streaming against the Blackhawks, but Killorn is my favorite of the bunch that is under 25% owned.
Nino Niederreiter – He scored in the opener and stayed on the first line. Another game against Detroit is a perfect spot to build on his early success.
Zach Hyman – When the game was getting close in the third period, it was Hyman back on the first line on more shifts than Thornton. He also plays Friday, so you can double dip against the Senators.
Nils Hoglander – He went pointless yesterday, but played over 21 minutes. That’s plenty good enough for me.
Chandler Stephenson – Stephenson was solid on opening night resulting in an assist. His role with Stone and Patches will keep him a solid streamer.
There is only two games scheduled for Sunday at the moment so stream BPA and depending on team needs.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back on Monday recapping the action from the weekend. As always, feel free to ask any questions, leave any comments, or give any suggestions below. Thanks for reading, take care!