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!