Wednesday night saw the first showdown between the first two picks of the 2016 NHL draft, Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine. It looked like Matthews was going to have the best of it when the Leafs were up 4-0 in the second period but then the Jets, led by Laine, turned things around to win 5-4 in overtime. Laine stole the show with his first career hat trick on five shots, including the tying goal with 55 seconds left and the overtime winner. He was moved up to the first line a couple games ago solidifying his minutes and has delivered ever since. I picked him as the better rookie for fantasy over Matthews (assist, seven shots on Monday) and still feel strongly about that. Laine is easily a top 100 player for this season and by next year, he’s going to be a top 50 player and eventually a top 20 player. Every time he’s on the ice, you can see the potential as an Ovechkin-lite. Let’s take a look at everything that happened in the Wednesday and Thursday night games:
Dustin Byfuglien – Two assists with a shot and two penalty minutes. Big Buff played 27 minutes and it was his lowest total of the year. He’s going to have an outstanding season, no doubt about it.
Nikolaj Ehlers – Assist with a shot. Still producing despite being on the second line so no worries here.
Tyler Myers – Goal on there shots. Meh, he could be okay if you need a penalty minutes boost.
Mark Scheifele – Goal and two assists with two shots. God I love me some Scheifele! Excellent start to the season on all counts.
Drew Stafford – Assist with a shot. Finished the game with Laine and Scheifele so it’s worth keeping an eye on to see if it lasts.
Jimmy Howard – 32 saves on 33 shots in the 2-1 win over the Rangers. Easily the start of the season so far absolutely stealing this game for the Red Wings. It may get an extra start or two in the short term but I still think he’s the backup in Detroit. That said, it wouldn’t shock me if he works things into a split.
Thomas Vanek – Goal on his only shot. Super hot schmotato! Vanek only played 11 minutes which is a bit concerning but ride him while you can.
Frans Nielsen – Assist and four shots. Decent start for him in Detroit, enough for him to be held.
Mika Zibanejad – Goal on five shots. Hotter than a pistol right now on arguably the hottest line in hockey, or at least the hottest duo in hockey.
Chris Kreider – Assist with two shots and two penalty minutes. First game that he didn’t get two points, bum! I’m still hesitant to say this is the Kreider breakout we’ve been waiting for but I’m warming up to it.
Ryan McDonagh – Assist and a shot. Surprised the minutes aren’t higher than they are but 24 minutes is still enough for him to be a solid #3.
Cory Schneider – 34 saves on 36 shots in the 2-1 loss against the Bruins. Another great start, another tough loss in the life of Schneider.
Tuukka Rask – 28 saves on 29 shots for the win. Rask has been outstanding in his first three starts of the season. He’s capable of these stretches with how good of a goalie he is but I still consider him a bottom end #1 or strong #2 because of the defense in front of him.
Patrice Bergeron – Goal on two shots and two PIM in his first game of the season. Picking up right where he left off last season.
Brad Marchand – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM. Excellent start to the season for the troll who is paying off my lofty ranking and then some.
John Gibson – 20 saves on 22 shots in the 3-2 win over the Flyers. First decent start for the Ducks and Gibson all season. I still like him plenty because the Ducks haven’t played a game at home yet.
Corey Perry – Goal on four shots with four PIM while his partner in crime Ryan Getzlaf had an assist on four shots. Strong performance from the big guns again this year.
Wayne Simmonds – Goal on his only shot playing 21:31. No worries about this first line at all with Brayden Schenn back who did nothing tonight but played 19:40.
Brent Burns – Assist with five shots. Nothing can stop Chewbacca right now. If you haven’t seen the picture or listened to the most recent podcast yet, check out the Burns picture on the North Shore of Pittsburgh.
Marc-Andre Fleury – 32 saves on 34 shots in the 3-2 win over the Sharks. Fleury is on fire right now. People are assuming the Penguins will move him after Matt Murray received an extension but at this point I still expect the Pens to hold both goalies for this season.
Kris Letang – Missed the game due to injury. If you need a defenseman for the short term, Justin Schultz and Trevor Daley are both quality options.
Patric Hornqvist – Goal and an assist with five shots. Been a slow start for Horny (that perv!) but I’m sure it’ll improve once Crosby comes back.
Evgeni Malkin – 1+1 with three shots and two PIM playing over 22 minutes. Solid start to the season across the board for Geno; please stay healthy!
Louis Domingue – 15 saves on 19 shots in 25:49 before being pulled. I don’t care who the goaltender is, avoiding the Coyotes duo like the plague.
Jakob Chychrun – First career goal on three shots. I’m more excited to see the 19 minutes of playing time. It’s worth keeping an eye on for 12’ers but he’s definitely must own in 16’ers and deeper.
Paul Byron – Two assists. And there’s your annual Paul Byron update!
Alex Galchenyuk – Goal on three shots with two penalty minutes. The first line is playing some quality hockey right now.
Tomas Plekanec – Two assists with four shots. Turtleneck is playing in a lesser role than in years past so I’m lower on him than I was preseason and I was already extremely low on him.
Shea Weber – Goal and an assist with four shots. Been a nice start for Weber offensively who is still a solid #2 as expected.
Carey Price – 27 saves on 29 shots in his season debut for the win. Al Montoya has played well so I wouldn’t be surprised if gets some extra starts in the short term but Price will be the workhorse again sooner than later.
Semyon Varlamov – 27 save shutout against the Lightning. I’ve been extremely impressed with the Avs in the early going (talked about it on the Thursday pod) which positions Varlamov to be a nice bounceback candidate. I think he’s a great trade target.
Matt Duchene – Two goals and an assist with three shots. Welcome to the 2016-17 season Matt Duchene. I have little doubt that he’ll be a top 100 player at the end of the season and probably closer to 50.
Patrick Wiercioch – Two assists. A personal favorite of mine in real life because of his excellent possession stats, I think he’s a sneaky add for deep leagues.
Braden Holtby – 26 saves on 28 shots in the 4-2 win over the Panthers on the road. Another strong outing which comes as no surprise with the #1 goalie.
Marcus Johansson – Goal on four shots. Also talked about him on the podcast; right on the fringe of 12’ers right now for his special teams points.
Alex Ovechkin – Goal on two shots. What a bum, only two shots.
Aleksander Barkov – Two assists. To quote Rex Ryan when he talked about Darrelle Revis, “God damn, he’s pretty f****** good. Sasha is taking games over for shifts at a time and eventually he’ll be able to dominate entire games.
Keith Yandle – Assist with two penalty minutes playing over 25 minutes. It’s been a slow start but the minutes have been there and the Panthers have played some tough defensive teams. I’d try to buy low if possible.
Jaromir Jagr – Goal on three shots. We salute you, Mr. Jagr.
Auston Matthews – Goal on three shots in Tuesday (Monday stats in the intro). Been better than I expected off the bat which is nice to see.
Nazem Kadri – Two goals and an assist over the two games. I’m still holding onto him, the minutes are good enough for him to produce.
William Nylander – Goal and two assists over two games. The chemistry with Matthews is outstanding which should lead to a strong season already. Nylander needs to be owned everywhere.
Charlie Coyle – Assist on two shots. Kid is on fire to start the season and I’m not surprised. Why is that? Because I was much higher on Coyle than anyone else!
Eric Staal – Two goals on five shots. Still love his chances for a nice bounce back under Boudreau.
Zach Parise – Assist with five shots. Three game point streak now as he starts to settle into a line with the previous two guys. He’s taken a step back at 32 years old but Parise should still be a top 100 player.
Devan Dubnyk – 31 saves on 33 shots in the 3-2 win over the Leafs. Finally a strong start for Dubs who I still like a ton this year. What can I say, I like the Wild roster!
Peter Budaj – 17 saves on 20 shots in the 4-3 OT win over the Stars. Great performance by the Kings in front of him but the goaltending in L.A. is a smushmortion right now.
Jeff Carter – Goal and an assist with three shots. Back to back two points for Carter who is getting massive minutes at the moment.
Alec Martinez – Goal and an assist with four shots. It’s bottom end but Martinez is right on the fringe of 12’ers. He played almost 26 minutes tonight so it’s worth monitoring to see if that’s the new norm.
Tanner Pearson – Goal and an assist with three shots for his second straight two point game to open the season. Hot schmotato alert! He needs to be picked up everywhere right now to ride out the hot streak.
Tyler Seguin – Two assists with two shots. I feel a hot streak on the horizon.
Antoine Roussel – 18 penalty minutes with a shot. That’s what Roussel owners are talking about!
Jason Spezza – Goal and an assist with three shots. The Stars lineup is thinner than usual right now due to some injuries but it hasn’t mattered who Spezza is playing with.
Eddie Lack – 24 saves on 26 shots in the 4-2 win over the Flames. Meh, I’m still avoiding the Hurricanes goaltending situation.
Noah Hanifin – Three assists with a shot. I love the kid for dynasties but in redrafts, Hanifin is not worth owning unless the minutes go up (15:16 in this one).
Victor Rask – Goal on two shots. Looking like one of the best late round picks in the early going.
Jeff Skinner – Goal and an assist with four shots. Okay Skinner, I see you out there. The shots are outstanding and he’s over a point per game in the early going. Reid talked about him on a podcast last week that Skinner could potentially be a guy that’s outside the top 100 at the beginning of the season but top 50 next year. I won’t quite go that far but I am really liking Skinner right now.
Johnny Gaudreau – Goal on five shots. It’s been a pretty yawnstipating start to the season for Johnny Hockey which doesn’t bother me because I have him on exactly 0 teams.
Nail Yakupov – Goal on his only shot in his return to Edmonton. I’m liking what I see from Nail in St. Louis; I hope that his minutes start to increase because there could be something here.
Cam Talbot – 34 saves on 35 shots in the 3-1 win over the Blues. He has 4 wins already but you have no idea what the hell Talbot is going to give to you on a nightly basis. I doubt you can sell high but I’d still try. Unintentional rhymes for the win!
Connor McDavid – Goal and an assist with four shots. Yes, the goal was an empty netter but they all count the same! He’s good, scary good.
Jacob Markstrom – 26 saves on 27 shots in the 2-1 win over the Sabres. Good God, I have no idea how this team keeps winning but they are. Roll the Canucks duo for the time being but I still don’t expect this to continue.
Nick Baptiste – First career goal. I’m a fan for deep dynasties but there’s nothing here in the short term.
Daniel Sedin – Goal on three shots with two PIM. Can’t slow down the Cyborgs.
Brandon Sutter – Two assists with four shots playing almost 20 minutes. He’s an elite streamer right now at the very least in 12’ers with the minutes he’s getting.
Friday Streamers – There are only three games on the docket so again, just stream the best guys available regardless of matchup. For the top three guys by my usual standard (under 20% owned), here they are:
Artem Anisimov (24.8%) – I’m cheating with this one but it’s my post, I can do what I want! Anyways, Arty is a must-stream if he’s available. He has 5 points in his last 2 games and he gets a revenge game against Columbus.
Josh Bailey (4.2%) – The minutes are massive right now, he has points in three of the last four games and the Coyotes are giving up a ton of goals. Great option in all formats.
Brock Nelson (16.7%) – He has a point in every game so far this season and gets the Coyotes. Love it.
Tyler Motte (1.3%) – Bonus pick with me bending the rules! With Marian Hossa out, Motte should slide into the first line and going against Columbus is ideal.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back on Monday recapping all of the weekend’s action. Please listen to the podcast when you get a chance and it would be much appreciated if you can give us five stars and a nice review. As always, feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments below; I am busier than usual on Friday but I’ll do my best to answer as quickly as possible today and all weekend. Have a good weekend everyone, take care!