Injuries and COVID absences didn’t stop Carolina from shutting down the Lightning on Tuesday night.  It started with Petr Mrazek in net who stopped all 32 shots that he faced to earn the win.  That’s two shutouts already in three starts already for Mrazek.  It’s to the point where I feel comfortable playing him in every start where going into the season, I didn’t want to use him against the other top teams in the Central.  We’ve seen the upside before in Detroit and even though that was a while ago, the system in place in Carolina should make Mrazek’s burden relatively easy.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:

Wednesday’s Games

Kevin Lankinen – 41 saves on 42 shots as the tough luck loser in Nashville.  He’s been very good in the early going, but I still would only use him against Detroit and possibly Columbus.  It’s so hard to trust a Chicago goalie.  Welcome to the Razzball Database!

Juuse Saros – 29 saves on 30 shots earning the win.  I’ve been the high man on Saros for a while and I’m disappointed I didn’t rank him more aggressively this year, even though I was still able to get him on a few teams.  He has #1 goalie upside for sure.

Thatcher Demko – 42 saves on 43 shots in the 5-1 win over the Senators.  Demko was incredible in the first period stopping 23 shots.  It will be interesting to see if Demko can play this well against someone other than Ottawa.

Jay Beagle – Two assists with two shots.  And there’s your annual Beagle update!

Tyler Motte – Two goals on six shots.  Motte has five goals already.  His previous career high is 9 in 74 games.  Suffice to say I am not buying into this start.

J.T. Miller – Two goals and an assist with four shots and four PIM.  Miller was always low on shots which kept him on the fringe in New York and Tampa.  Last season, it went up to slightly below average for a forward, but this season, he only has 10 shots in 7 games.  It’s something to keep an eye on.

Elias Pettersson  Goal and an assist with four shots.  Only a matter of time before Pettersson rights the ship.

Quinn Hughes – Two assists with a shot.  All your assists are belong to me!

Thursday’s Games

Artemi Panarin – Goal and an assist with four shtos.  Panarin was the second best player on the ice in this game and while he hasn’t been great yet, he still has 8 points in 7 games.

Tony DeAngelo – Five shots in 21 minutes.  He was back on the first power play which is enough for me to give him some more time.

Sam Reinhart – Goal and an assist with two shots.  Reinhart is an easy hold right now while he’s on the first line.

Linus Ullmark – 36 saves on 39 shots in the 3-2 OT loss to the Rangers.  Ullmark had one of the best goaltending games I’ve ever seen.  If for some reason he’s available in any of your leagues, he’s worth owning.

Philipp Grubauer – 21 save shutout in the 3-0 win over the Sharks.  Grubauer has been fantastic so far.  His workload won’t stay this heavy once Francouz returns, but Grubauer should remain a #1G regardless.

Nazem Kadri – Two goals and an assist with ten shots.  Kadri was all over the ice and was finally rewarded with three points late in the third period.  It was a slow start for Kadri, but given his role, he’s an easy hold.

Brandon Saad – Two assists with a shot.  He played only 13 minutes again, but the points are starting to come him.  I’m bumping Saad back to elite streamer status.

Jaroslav Halak – 16 saves on 17 shots in the 4-1 win over the Penguins.  Halak is a must stream whenever he gets a start.  He’s even worth holding in some formats.

Patrice Bergeron – Two goals on three shots.  Bergeron has dominated from the beginning of this season and it should only get better when Pasta returns.

Andrei Vasilevskiy – 34 saves on 35 shots as the tough luck loser to Mrazek.  Vasilevskiy is at 1.98/.932 through five games and it shouldn’t be any surprise.

Jonathan Drouin – Two assists.  Drouin’s value really depends on your format and team needs.  Five shots on goal in seven games is brutal, but he has is averaging an assist a game.  Use your own judgment here.

Jesperi Kotkaniemi – Two assists with a shot.  The minutes are quite low for Kotkaniemi so he’s a middling streamer for the time being.

Erik Gustafsson – Two assists with a shot.  Gustafsson has been piling up the assists… when he’s in the lineup.  I wouldn’t hold him right now as he’s only averaging one shot per game and the minutes are poor.

Carter Hart – 33 saves on 34 shots in the 3-1 win over the Devils.  Nice to see Hart get back on track after a rough three games.  He has a decent chance of building on this against the Islanders.

Zdeno Chara – Goal and an assist.  Chara is an easy pass at this point in his career unless you’re streaming him for hits and blocks.

John Carlson – Goal and an assist with two shots.  Despite all of the players missing on Washington, Carlson is still over a point per game.  Absolute stud.

Justin Schultz – Two assists with a shot.  His value is going to evaporate sooner than later when the guys return from COVID but he’s forged some deep league value.

Conor Sheary – Two goals.  No.  Just no.

Dustin Brown – Goal and an assist with two PIM.  Despite Anze Kopitar (two assists, four SOG) dominating in the early going, Brown has only been okay.  He’s a middling streamer.

Drew Doughty – Goal and an assist with three shots.  He played over 32 minutes!  Absolutely insane for Doughty to be playing that much at this point in his career.  He should be owned with this role, but it’s not going to be good for the Kings going forward.

Marcus Johansson – Goal and an assist.  Despite getting quality minutes, he’s not worth using.

Jonas Brodin – Two assists with four shots.  Brodin might be the player with the biggest gap between his real life value and his fantasy value.  He’s arguably the best defensive defenseman but that does nothing in fantasy.

Michael Rasmussen – Two assists.  The former top ten pick hasn’t shown much to this point.  I’m not using him but I’m keeping an eye on him.

Denis Gurianov – Goal and two assists with three shots.  Incredible start for Gurianov with seven points in four games.  He should be owned in all formats.

Miro Heiskanen – Three assists with a shot.  Nice to see Heiskanen get on track after a slow start.

Christian Dvorak – Two goals.  Nice start for Dvorak in terms of points, but the shot rate is below average.  He’s a solid streamer but I wouldn’t be holding him just yet.

Jason Spezza – Goal and an assist with four shots and two PIM.  Spezza isn’t playing every night and was under ten minutes in this game.  Easy pass.

Leon Draisaitl – Two goals on six shots.  Even crazier than Doughty, Draisaitl played 28 minutes!  A forward played 28 minutes in a non-OT game.  My god.  Connor McDavid had two assists in only 25:42 so needless to say that these two are doing exactly what they did last season.

Braden Holtby – 36 saves on 37 shots in the 4-1 win over Ottawa.  Like Demko, I hope Holtby can transfer this success to teams besides Ottawa.

Brock Boeser – Two goals and an assist with two shots.  It’s coming in bunches which is great in DFS tournaments and good either way in season long formats.  I am interested to see how the line of Vancouver fares against the top line of Winnipeg on Saturday.

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!

  1. Mantis Toboggan MD says:
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    vlasic used to be the brodin here, biggest gap between real life value and fantasy lack of said. vlasic was even in canada’s SUPER STACKED olympic team that had entirely only all stars on D (like 1st line all stars, that’s how utterly sick canada’s monopoly on top end D guys was at the time) as a shutdown guy. spurgeon is close here too or was before. and spurgeon’s minutes are usually higher than brodin’s too.

    – d.brown actually doing pretty well considering he got moved down in lines (his points have pretty much only been PPP so far, which is fine since if those dried up along with some minutes lost lately AND on shittier line on THAT team, holy crap he’d be at least close to a drop even in 16’ers that start a bunch of wingers). long term those playing with vilardi and l.anderson could easily do well, notta so mucha yet though.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Oh yeah, Vlasic was definitely top guy for a long time there, he was incredible. Now, that contract is brutal. Spurgeon at least carried fantasy value in most leagues but I do get your point there.

      That is true on Brown, but I have a really hard time buying into that being sustainable. I’m not sure Andersson ever becomes anything at this point, but Vilardi has some big upside if he can just stay healthy

      • Jasen says:
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        Vlasic reminds me of Seabrook. Both those contracts look brutal now.

  2. LG Hockey says:
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    Great update. You can forget that some teams have played less games and it’s still early. Glad to see Kadri with a big game.

    Someone dropped Evander Kane and with his goals and hits he could fit well with my team. However I don’t have many drop options. Let me know if you would take Kane over any of the following:

    Sukuzi
    Bjorkstrand
    Rust
    Filip Forsberg
    Talbot (I have Saros, Gibson, Blackwood) but goalies are scarce in our pool
    Horvat
    Kadri

    I have Eichel, Pasta, Marner, Svech, Fiala, Makar and Hamilton for my studs.

    Thanks!
    LG

    • LG Hockey says:
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      Yes thanks that is Nick Suzuki MTL

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Wow, that’s crazy that Kane is available in a hits league. I prefer him over both Bjorkstrand and Rust with hits added, even though those two are some of my favorite value out there. I guess I’d drop Bjorkstrand? It pains me to even type that, but I think Kane definitely needs to be added.

  3. Mantis Toboggan MD says:
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    over bjorkstrand, i’ll assume that’s n.suzuki MTL.

  4. Gerald says:
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    Viz Goalie question. i have shestirkin ullmark and brobovsky. Would you one or two of them for merzlikens or demko. Which 3 would you keep out of these 5?
    thanks

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Hey Gerald… what are your categories again? Igor is must hold and I would lean that way with Bob too. The other three have different values depending on the format, mostly because Linus should be a relative workhorse and the other two have no chance to be barring injury. Let me know what you’re working with and I’ll give you a better answer.

      • Gerald says:
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        Sorry about that its minimum 3 starts per a week . Wins GAA Save % and shutouts. its a roto league. 10 team league roster size 20 players

        • Mantis Toboggan MD says:
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          why in the shit would a roto league have a 3 min weekly starts rule? i get a min SEASON amount of goalie starts rule (otherwise some dude could just draft one top goalie, ONLY start his best matchups, lock up ratios etc). unlike h2h matchups which are done weekly, a roto league has no weekly arbitrary inflection point or any sort of inflection point at all. the season in a roto league is one continuum, which starts at time x, ends at time y. completely contrary to a h2h league in that.

        • Viz

          Viz says:
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          I guess I would go with Ullmark for reasons indicated above.

          • Gerald says:
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            lololol my b guys im getting the settings messed up. There is no minimum or max starts. Its Roto but no max or minimum appearances. The stats are Wins Losses Save % GAA and shutouts.

            20 roster slot 10 teams

            who would you keep between shestirkin, ullmark,bobrovsky,demko elvis merzlikens

            • Viz

              Viz says:
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              Hahaha all good. I think I still keep the first three, but this makes it much closer between Ullmark, Demko, and Elvis. It’s more about quality starts in this format so the volume of Linus isn’t as big of a boost. That said, I still prefer him.

    • Mantis Toboggan MD says:
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      ullmark bob and likely grubauer are very very frequently owned goalies from viz’s rankings. ullmark/bob 2/3 of mine in a 12 teamer.

  5. Itookdonscherry says:
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    Hey question for ya. I have Pastrnak coming off the IR tomorrow which is great. Problem is I drafted quite well and need to drop one of Bjorkstrand, Burakovsky, Vrana or Fiala. 12 teamer league and have tried multiple 2 for 1s and no one is taking. so who to drop. standard points categories for offense. goals, assists, power play points, PIMs, Shots and short handed points.

    Thank you

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Damn, sucks that nobody will make a trade. I’m assuming Fiala is about to get suspended, depends on the site but you might actually be able to sneak him into an IR spot. I think it’s dumb that it’s even possible, but something to keep an eye on. I guess I would drop Burakovsky? I only lean that way because he won’t be on the first PP unit at all and the minutes aren’t outstanding.

      • Itookdonscherry says:
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        Thanks I am in the midst of deciding between Fiala and Burakovsky. I really do like that Burakovsky was at almost a 30 goal pace last year playing 2nd line minutes. Fiala scares me because of a week forward group other than Kaprizov. I really wish the coach would give Erickson Ek a run with Fiala not sticking him on the 3rd line. Ek has seemed to turn the corner.

        • And Now the Jon Lovitz Dancers! says:
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          ek was always large prospect name years ago, started tonight on line 2 with kaprizov. ek’s overall game and D let him get used to NHL for a bit before doing pretty much anything on offense first. hopefully the s.steel/c.white career path, as all 3 of those looked eventually to be good overall NHL centers. like a catcher who’s D gets them a job at young age, but they don’t really do anything in hitting till like 25-27 (there are a good bit of catchers like that). but till then their catching makes them valuable to the real life team so they keep their jobs.

  6. Bobbyboom says:
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    Viz! You are the man, we are all grateful for your hockey prowess and desire to blog it!

    Thinking about making this move…Offering Hall and EK65 for Makar and Boeser. I have rantanen and ep40… and I am deep at wing with Fiala, Laine, Connor, Palat, Rust anyway…do I fleece this?? Thanks!

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Thanks Bobby, that’s much appreciated! Yeah, I would do that move with the guys you have

    • Itookdonscherry says:
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      I would think the other guy turns it down.

  7. Veritas says:
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    H2H Categories G, A, P, +/-, PIM, PPP, GWG, SOG

    Hey Viz, I’m curious. In which order would you rank these players if you could take them all?

    Garland, Chychrun, Gurianov, R. Andersson, Verhaeghe, Texier and Batherson.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Sorry for delay… I find it a bit weird to rank the defensemen with the forwards so I’m separating them.

      Gurianov, Garland, Batherson, Texier, Verhaeghe
      Andersson over Chychrun for sure.

      Chychrun would be last overall of this group, Andersson somewhere in the middle I guess?

  8. i don't want to brag but i have irritable bowel syndrome says:
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    in the middle of the STL game zach sanford’s name changed to zach michael sanford, in the 1st period when he scored it was just zach sanford, later when i stepped inside to check the box score i notice on his 3rd period assist it’s now the middle name too. this is seriously weird to MID game have this changed. i’d love to be in that room where that somehow occurred.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Haha that is so random

  9. And Now the Jon Lovitz Dancers! says:
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    deangelo, hahaha, turns out if you say psychotic stuff you’ll eventually tend to get caught doing psychotic acts. wow, who’d have thunk it.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Seriously, if the rumors about him and Miller’s first goal puck are true, he just needs to be done in the NHL. He’s been a dirtbag for years, clearly the rest of the team had enough of it.

      • And Now the Jon Lovitz Dancers! says:
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        i’m checking that out. did. seems made up, as in how would an entire team let that happen at all. NYR is a giant mess from the top either way though, hopefully that gets better for them shortly (it won’t get any worse with tony gone for sure).

        • And Now the Jon Lovitz Dancers! says:
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          IF that IS true, and NYR let it happen this long, he will be DONE GONE in NHL. no player on any team wants that shit around (esp on top of the pure human piece of shit he is off the ice)

        • Viz

          Viz says:
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          Well TDA clearly grabbed the puck, and Miller scored with 7 seconds left in the period, so it’s certainly possible that TDA took it to the locker room and then put it in his locker. Then, he held onto it for a while and presumably gave it to Miller eventually, but holding it at all is ridiculous. Also, it’s anecdotal evidence, but the Rangers didn’t tweet out a picture of Miller with his first career goal puck after the game, but they did with Lafreniere on Thursday. They also did it last season with Kakko in a 4-1 loss so I don’t think the Rangers losing mattered. Really does seem like DeAngelo was holding it for no reason other than to be a dick like he normally is.

          • And Now the Jon Lovitz Dancers! says:
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            i didn’t know about the kakko one, some of that stuff in the reddit post contradicted other parts on where that puck went after deangelo grabbed it out of goal (and sometimes players grab it specifically TO give to the other players). if anybody would’ve actually done this it’s easily believable tony would.

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