I wrote in this space two seasons ago that Nathan MacKinnon deserved the Hart Trophy.  While he didn’t ultimately win, he’s been one of the best players in the league for a few years now.  Right now, he’s making a legitimate case again in the early going.  With both of his star linemates injured, MacKinnon has continued to dominate.  His best game yet came on Thursday, where he scored a goal on ten shots and added three assists.  In his last four games, he has 34 SOG!  MacKinnon now has 9+13 in 16 games with over five shots per game.  We haven’t seen a shot rate like this since prime Ovechkin.  Obviously there’s a long way to go, but MacKinnon has a great chance to finally get to 100 points this season.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:

Henrik Lundqvist – 35 saves on 36 shots in the 5-1 win over the Red Wings Wednesday, before making 45 saves on 47 shots on Thursday in the 4-2 win over the Hurricanes.  The King stay The King!  Hank’s save percentage is very good again, it’s just a matter of how bad the goals against average is going to be.

Ryan Strome – Goal and two assists with three shots over two games.  Strome is at a point per game so far.  He’s a great streamer until Zibanejad comes back, but it could hold even through that.

Pavel Buchnevich – Goal and three assists with two shots over two games.  Buch is another strong streamer.

Tony DeAngelo – Goal and two assists with five shots.  My guy Tony Dogs has been killing it lately with 10 points in the last 8 games.  He’s an easy hold.

Artemi Panarin – Two goals and two assists with three shots over two games.  Seven game point streak for Panarin has him over a point per game so far.

Alex Pietrangelo – Goal and two assists.  He won’t shoot 13% forever, but Pietrangelo’s off to a great start.  I’m not sure he tops his career high of 54 points, but it’s on the table.

Jaden Schwartz – Goal and an assist.  Schwartz is a nice streamer, but I’m not holding him with the poor shot rate and traditionally low penalty minutes.

Connor McDavid – Goal and an assist with seven shots.  Leon Draisaitl dished two assists and added two PIM.  In a shocking development, the Oilers had two goals and these two had two points each (not shocking).

Ryan Johansen – Two assists with two PIM.  Viktor Arvidsson also had two assists.  Filip Forsberg has been reunited with these guys which gives them additional offensive upside.

Joonas Donskoi – Hat trick on six shots.  While he’s with MacKinnon, Donskoi is an elite streamer.

Andre Burakovsky – Goal and two assists with two shots.  He’s slowed down quite a bit, and we’ve seen Burakovsky be streaky in Washington.  He’s a decent streamer at the moment.

Ryan Graves – Goal and two assists with four shots and two PIM.  Graves had more points in this game than he had all season.  Welcome to the Razzball Database!

Cale Makar – Goal and two assists with four shots.  Makar is really starting to shoot the puck which is an excellent sign.  We know the assists are going to pile up but if he can get the shot rate up above two per game, he can be a #2 this season even without PIM.

Jared McCann – Goal and two assists with three shots.  The second line for Pittsburgh killed the Isles as Evgeni Malkin had a goal and an assist while Bryan Rust scored two goals on four shots and was +4 in a 4-3 win.  Rust is an elite streamer while he’s hotter than a pistol; he has a point in all five games he’s played this season.  McCann is a solid streamer as well.

Casey Cizikas – Goal and an assist with three shots.  Still can’t bring myself to care about Cizikas in fantasy.

Adam Pelech – Goal and an assist with three shots playing almost 26 minutes.  Nice player in deep leagues for the hits and blocks, but don’t see Pelech having value in 12’ers.

Frederik Andersen – 37 saves on 38 shots in the 2-1 OT win over the Golden Knights.  Slow start to the season for Andersen, but he’s piling up the wins.  It’s safe to assume he’ll end up being a middling #1 goalie.

John Tavares – Goal and an assist with four shots.  He’s right at two shots per game through ten games which isn’t going to cut it.  That said, it’s far too early to worry about that.  There’s too much of a history of Tavares having an elite shot rate.

Alex Ovechkin – Two goals and an assist with eight shots.  The great goal scorer of all-time has shown zero signs of slowing down.  It’s remarkable.

John Carlson – Goal and two assists with five shots.  Everything is coming up Carlson right now.  26 points in 17 games!

Evgeny Kuznetsov – Three assists with two shots.  After a slow start, Kuz is back up to a point per game.

Tom Wilson – Two goals with two PIM.  Wilson is on fire right now.  Playing on the second line hasn’t hurt him at all.  If you own him, just hope he doesn’t lose his mind and do something suspension worthy.

Evgenii Dadonov – Goal and an assist with three shots.  Typical solid start from Dadonov who always seems to be undervalued.

Aleksander Barkov – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM.  The crazy thing is Barkov already has 6 PIM!  He’s really piling up the points, but I wish the shot rate would be higher than it is.  Two seasons ago, Barkov was pushing an elite shot rate.  Last season it was average, and now it’s trending towards below average.

Patrick Kane – Goal and two assists with four shots.  I’m expecting Kane to go on a heater now that last season’s line is reunited.  Dylan Strome dished three assists while Alex DeBrincat scored a goal.

Olli Maatta – Two assists.  And there’s your annual Maatta update!

Jack Hughes – Goal and an assist with two shots and two PIM.  After a rough start, Hughes has nine points in the last eight games.  I wish the minutes were higher, but they should increase as the season progresses.

Noah Hanifin – Goal and two assists with four shots.  He’s getting nice power play run on the second unit, but I’m still not using Hanifin in a 12’er.  Anything deeper though, he’s viable.

Mikael Backlund – Goal and an assist with three shots and four PIM.  I like Backlund plenty in real life, but right now he’s a bottom end streamer at best.

Johnny Gaudreau – Goal and an assist with three shots.  We’re used to Gaudreau going crazy now, but he’s one big game away from being back on his normal pace.

Sean Monahan – Goal and an assist.  Boring Sean Monahan remains boring.

Gustav Nyquist – Goal and two assists with four shots.  It’s been a slow start for Nyquist and the really frustrating thing is he only played 12 minutes in this game.  That makes him a middling streamer.

Oliver Bjorkstrand – Goal and an assist with four shots.  I love Bjorkstrand as a player, but he’s facing the same issue with minutes.  He’s of little use at the moment.

Eric Staal – Goal and two assists with three shots and two PIM.  Staal is on fire right now with 13 points in his last 9 games.  He’s an easy hold at the moment.

Luke Kunin – Goal and an assist with two shots.  For dynasties, I really like what I’m seeing from Kunin.  The shot rate is taking a big jump and the PIM are strong.  The 21 year old will get more opportunity going forward making him a decent streamer.  He’s a name to keep an eye on.

Logan Couture – Goal and three assists with four shots.  DeBoer adjusting the lines seems to have done wonders for everyone.  I’m expecting a hot streak soon.

Tomas Hertl – Goal and two assists.  He’s right at a point per game which Hertl approached last season.

Brent Burns – Two assists with three shots and two PIM.  He’s right around a point per game again.  I’d like to see the shots get back towards four per game instead of being around three.  That’s what separates Burns from the rest of the defenseman, but either way he’ll be extremely valuable.

Evander Kane – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM.  Kane has been the best Shark in the early going.  We know the assists aren’t going to be great, but he’s going to crush every other category.

Marcus Sorensen – Goal and an assist with three shots.  Not much to see here.

Timo Meier – Goal and an assist with two shots and four PIM.  Did you hear that noise?  That was your buy low window being slammed shut.

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

  1. toolshed says:

    MacKinnon left the game with a UBI when they had a big lead. Let’s hope it was just precautionary. I am looking for cheap def in a salary cap league, points only. Do either of these guys have any season long value to you as a #4 def (we start 4). Kempny who had another assist tonight $2.7m and he is playing with Carlson. Sh% is through the roof, obviously it wont continue. Weegar $1.6m getting 20 min a game, decent point total so far. Thanks

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      Yeah I didn’t even mention it because they already said he’s good to go on Saturday. Umm, I don’t particularly like either of them. Kempny probably stumbles into some points, but he doesn’t bring a ton of offense, and neither does Weegar. I don’t see long term success there.

  2. Euroalien says:

    Love the write up Viz! 12 team dynasty, with limited FA pickeups and FAAB. DeAngelo is on the wire….

    My only D men are Krug, Sergachev, Ekblad, Schmidt, Hampus L. McNabb plus minors Fabbro, Boqvist & Dobson.

    I could drop Kovalchuk, Beauvillier, DeBrusk or one of the DMen above for DeAngelo? What do you think?

    Also is it time to jettison DeBrusk?

    Thanks mate!

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      Thanks! I would be grabbing him for McNabb unless you really needs the extra stats from him. Otherwise, I guess I hold? You could make a case for Kovalchuk being dropped but I don’t feel strongly about it.

      I’m giving DeBrusk a little more time now that Krejci is back, but in a week or two I’d drop him if we don’t see any signs of improvement.

  3. Dontbichetteme says:

    Hey viz,
    Somebody just dropped both J.Benn and j.Klingberg. The great purge has started. Would you drop Atkinson for Benn? Klingberg? Or rather grab somebody like Zibanejad or Duchene?

    • Viz

      Viz says:

      Klingberg is out a couple weeks so he’s a pass and I’m really souring on Benn, I wouldn’t grab him. Zibanejad would be my choice once he returns.

      • Dontbichetteme says:

        Sorry for the double post. Do you like deangelo over Schultz? He doesn’t seem to be doing anything even with the extra ice time due to the letang injury.

  4. Dontbichetteme says:

    Hey viz,
    So I’ve reluctantly held onto both Atkinson and Schultz. Are they holds for you? Or would you drop either or both for newly dropped J.Benn/J.Klingberg. Or one of the other blue chip FAs like Zibanejad/duchene/DeAngelo. I really want to grab Benn and his hits/balanced scoring. But am worried that his ship has sailed. This stars team is hard to figure out. Too much talent there not to turn it around.

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