In my preseason rankings, this is what I wrote about Mitch Marner and his teammate William Nylander. “Putting them back to back because I’m unsure which one will be on the second and third line. Either way, I think there is value there in redrafts but the one in the top six could end up a hold.” Well, it turns out Marner was that guy but both are clear holds at this point. Nylander has been getting the attention with Auston Matthews but Marner has equally impressed me. In my season preview for the Leafs, I said the following: “Marner, the fourth overall pick in 2015, is an incredible offensive talent. He had over two points per game this season in the OHL with 39+77 in 57 games along with 68 PIM. In standard redrafts, I like drafting Marner late. He won’t have the hype that the other young guys do but could be just as good as a rookie, if not better.” And that’s me quoting me again! In the 3-2 Leafs win on Thursday, Marner dished three assists and added two shots and two penalty minutes. This brings his totals up to 6 points in 7 games with above average shots and great PIM in the early going. Clearly he needs to be held right now and is elite in all dynasty formats. Also, shoutout to frequent commenter Shitwolf for being the first person to ever get a player correct for the Three Point Challenge! Nothing like somebody getting it on the first night we do it. Shitwolf and Mitch Marner go down in Razzball history! Here’s what else happened the last two nights in the NHL:
Canadiens 3, Islanders 2 – Al Montoya got the start in the first game of a back to back for Montreal and got the win stopping 26 of 28 shots. If you have the moves, he needs to be streamed every time he starts. Shea Weber continued his great start with a goal and an assist while Brendan Gallagher tallied an assist, seven shots and two penalty minutes. For the Isles, there wasn’t much to see. John Tavares scored again, that’s about it.
Rangers 5, Bruins 2 – Bruins got off to a quick 2-0 start before the Rangers dominated. It helps that the Bruins are horrible in net with their two AHL’ers. David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand stay as the bright spots on this team with a point each. I’ve gotten a bunch of questions about Jimmy Vesey and whether or not he’s a hold. He had 1+1 with 2 SOG in this one to get to 4+1 in 7 games this season. To me, he’s right on the fence and is either a guy you stream virtually every chance you can right now or you just hold him. The minutes are increasing which makes me think he’ll be a definite hold sooner than later so you can hold him without issue. Rick Nash scored a goal and an assist with four shots and seems to be settling in. J.T. Miller dished two assists and should be held everywhere right now, and if it comes down to it, over Vesey. With 6 points in 7 games and much better shots, that’s enough to swing it for me. That’s also some streamer success! Derek Stepan also had two assists. A very interesting case is Brandon Pirri who scored two goals on three shots. He has 4 goals and 2 assists despite being in the bottom six because of his power play time. He’s an absolute must-own in anything deeper than 12’ers. For standard leagues, he’s probably an elite stream until the minutes go past the 13 minute mark.
Oilers 4, Capitals 1 – Wow. Cam Talbot was a monster once again with 34 saves on 35 shots. I still think he’s a sell high but I’m starting to believe a little more. Benoit Pouliot found the back of the net twice and is a top end streamer. Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins each had two assists. Andre Burakovsky had an assist on Alex Ovechkin‘s goal so I’ll call more streamer success! I’m holding Burakovsky while he’s on the first line.
Ducks 6, Predators 1 – I have no idea what is going on anymore with either of these teams. Ryan Getzlaf missed the game (it’s very short term) and the Ducks have no depth at all so naturally they score 6 goals. John Gibson finally had a strong game with 28 saves on 29 shots. Cam Fowler stayed hotter than a pistol with two assists as did his fellow defenseman Sami Vatanen. Jakob Silfverberg scored two goals on four shots to snap his season long goalless streak. He should be a solid streamer going forward. Same goes with Nick Ritchie who scored a goal on three shots with two penalty minutes. Pekka Rinne was horrible this game and unfortunately for his owners, we’ve seen horrible Rinne so far. The team in front of him has been very bad as well so hopefully their improvement leads to Rinne’s.
Wild 4, Sabres 0 – If I didn’t lead off with Devan Dubnyk on Wednesday, I may have lead with him tonight. A shutout is tough enough to get in the NHL right now and Dubnyk has back to back shutouts after his 38 save shutout on the Sabres. It makes me sad that my Sabres were beaten 4-0 but at least all of my fantasy teams are crushing this week in net! Ryan Suter was dominant as usual with a goal and an assist with four shots on goal. The shots have been much better so far this season which gives him a chance to be an elite fantasy defenseman. The only other notable guy to be in this game was Joel Eriksson Ek. He scored another goal on his only shot but it was a thing of beauty. In dynasties, this guy needs to be owned everywhere. JEE has played himself into a streamer in 12’ers but I still couldn’t hold him when he hasn’t played 12 minutes in any game this season.
Coyotes 5, Flyers 4 – Apparently the Coyotes need to play the Flyers every night; they’re the only team Arizona has beaten this year. There’s a bunch of guys worth mentioning in this game. Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored again, what a beast. My guy Martin Hanzal scored a goal on four shots and should still be held. Anthony Duclair had his first point of the season in this game with an assist and three shots. I’m cutting bait with him right now and only looking to stream him. Ten shots in seven games is not the jump I needed to see this year. Max Domi had an assist for the third straight game and is starting to show signs. An interesting guy that has played his way onto the radar is Brad Richardson. The 31 year old who never has topped 31 points in a season has been getting big minutes and has 3+3 in 7 games so far, 3 of which are shorthanded, with 4 PIM and just over 2 shots per game. In deep leagues, I’d be sure to grab him, especially if you count shorthanded points. It’s fringe stream worthy in standard leagues only because he has a long history of being fantasy relevant. Jakob Chychrun lost his mind and got 17 PIM so there’s a shocking massive boost for his owners. For Philly, Steve Mason abruptly ended his hot streak by jumping into an ice tub allowing 5 goals on 25 shots. Yikes, looks like this goaltending situation will be another up and down. Brayden Schenn was the star of the night getting a Gordie Howe hat trick and then some totaling a goal, two assists, three shots and seven penalty minutes. He wasn’t even on the first line in this game, Travis Konecny was (assist, shot) but as long as he stays on the first power play unit, he’ll be justttttt fine. Wayne Simmonds scored again while Claude Giroux had another assist to add to his league leading total.
Penguins 4, Islanders 2 – Through two periods, this game was 1-1 with both goaltenders standing on their head until things finally opened up in the third. Marc-Andre Fleury got back on track in this game with 35 saves on 37 shots in the win. Matt Murray should be getting his first start any game now as a fair warning to Fleury owners. The big guns really took over late for Pittsburgh. Phil Kessel must have got his Primanti Bros. pregame because he had a goal and two assists with two shots. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin both scored a goal and an assist. Three players each had two points for the Islanders. Brock Nelson had two assists and should be held everywhere. Travis Hamonic had 1+1 and 5 SOG and remains fringe in standard leagues. Shane Prince also had 1+1 and should be a streamer now that he’s back healthy.
Maple Leafs 3, Panthers 2 – For Florida, there’s two guys worth talking about. Jonathan Marchessault scored both goals on on four shots to continue his amazing start. He’s past being a hot schmotato at this point, he’s the real deal. I’m glad I put him into my top 250 rankings after Jonathan Huberdeau went down. The other guy is Keith Yandle. Yandle dished an assist while putting four shots on goal. While he’s still only at 2 points through 7 games, Yandle has 12 shots in the last 3 games and 15 in the last 5. We’ve talked about him on the podcast but he’s a perfect buy low candidate. Frederik Andersen had his second quality start of the season with 29 saves on 31 shots. I still want nothing to do with him. Nikita Zaitsev dished an assist and is a bottom end hold right now if you need assists. The shots have been very poor but 5 assists in 7 games has its value. Tyler Bozak scored two goals for the Leafs but unless your league counts faceoffs, I wouldn’t own Bozy.
Canadiens 3, Lightning 1 – We talked on the pod that Montreal is probably the highest variance team in the league. Right now, it’s been best case scenario as they’re up to 7-0-1. Tampa took the lead late in the second before Montreal scored three in the third. Alex Killorn remarkably scored again to give him six goals on the season; he’s another guy who must be held right now. The big guns killed it again for Montreal with Carey Price stopping 30 of 31 shots and Alex Galchenyuk plus Max Pacioretty scoring a goal each.
Red Wings 2, Blues 1 (SO) – Another great performance in net for Detroit with Petr Mrazek saving 31 of 32 Blues shots. Frans Nielsen scored the Red Wings goal and remains a bottom end hold. Jake Allen was the tough luck loser stopping 26 of 27 shots in the loss while Kevin Shattenkirk is heating up scoring the Blues goal on three shots while adding two penalty minutes.
Jets 4, Stars 1 – We finally got a great start from Hellboy; Connor Hellebuyck saved 38 of 39 Stars shots in the win. Here’s to hoping the Jets start riding him. My man Patrik Laine scored twice on seven shots and I still firmly believe he will have more fantasy value than Matthews at the end of the season. The other big guns, Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler and Dustin Byfuglien each had an assist. Tyler Myers scored a goal playing over 26 minutes; I wouldn’t grab him yet but it’s worth monitoring. For deep leagues, Joel Armia had an assist, three shots and two PIM playing over 17 minutes. The former Sabres first round pick has a lot of offensive talent and if the minutes continue, he could be a sneaky add. For Dallas, Tyler Seguin scored the goal on five shots but I’m starting to get worried about this team. The poor defense is really catching up to them with the injuries to their forwards.
Sharks 3, Blue Jackets 1 – Another strong start for Martin Jones who almost had a shutout saving 24 of 25 shots in the victory. Tomas Hertl scored twice and added two penalty minutes to remain a hold. David Schlemko dished two assists and is somebody I’d look to grab in deep leagues. The shots are massive lately and is getting time on the second power play unit. Scott Hartnell scored the CBJ goal while Brandon Saad had an assist. Sergei Bobrovsky kept up his strong play with 26 saves on 28 shots in the loss.
Kings 3, Predators 2 (OT) – On one hand, the Kings are on a 4 game winning streak after starting the season with 3 losses. On the other, three of the wins are in overtime and the other is in a shootout so it’s not completely fixed yet. Peter Budaj saved 24 of 26 shots in the win; nothing has really changed. Good wins and GAA look probable right now, save percentage will be poor. Jeff Carter scored the overtime winner on his sixth shot and looks to be rounding into form. Nic Dowd had two assists and a shot and is starting to play his way onto the fantasy radar for deep leagues. Alec Martinez also had two assists and with 7 points in 7 games so far, Martinez is a clear must own right now. He could just be a hot schmotato but it’s worth taking the chance on. For Nashville, Pekka Rinne was outstanding stopping 42 of 45 shots in the loss. Again, the team in front of him really needs to start playing better. Viktor Arvidsson scored a goal and an assist and is firmly on the streaming radar in the short term.
Friday Streamers – There are six games on the Friday night slate which is more than we’ve been seeing lately. I won’t officially take J.T. Miller since he’s at 21.4% but I’ll say I’d take him over the three guys listed below:
Brandon Pirri (3.2%) – The big power play role right now is enough for him to be worthy of streaming. The minutes at even strength have been gradually increasing as well.
Nick Ritchie (6.3%) – Columbus will be on a back to back after playing San Jose last night while the Ducks will be rested. Ritchie has been getting solid shot totals and with two goals in his past three games, he’s a solid option tonight.
Ryan Dzingel (0.0%) – Alright, I’ve been wrong on him constantly this year. Calgary has been much better defensively lately but Ottawa brings out the track meet in teams and Dzingel has 6 points in 6 games right now.
That’s all for now guys. As a heads up, Matt’s newest article about the start for various rookies will be out Friday afternoon now so be on the lookout for that. I’ll be back on Monday morning recapping all of the weekend’s action. As always, feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments below. Have a great weekend everyone, take care!