While general sports fans were watching playoff baseball (Go Braves!) or Sunday Night Baseball, hockey fans saw one of the best performances of the season take place on the first weekend. Anthony Mantha scored four goals on eight shot, including the winner in the last minute of the game, to beat the Stars 4-3. This comes after an incredible performance in his season opener in which he scored a goal and two assists with five shots and four penalty minutes in the upset win over Nashville. In both games, the players on the top line were at or above 20 minutes each. That’s extremely encouraging for their long-term success. Obviously we’re not expecting Mantha to be a top 25 player all of a sudden, but the potential is there for 30 goals, 50 PIM and a very good shot rate. Let’s take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
Patrick Kane – Goal and two assists with two shots. Picking up right where he left off last season.
Erik Gustafsson – Two assists with two shots. He played almost 26 minutes which is a great sign. Sure, he’s probably not going to score 17 goals again, but I think Gustafsson was a bit undervalued this season. Don’t forget that it took a couple months for him to becomes the guy on PP1. I’m a big fan for this season.
Travis Konecny – Two goals on three shots. Konecny should be a great streamer once again.
Mathieu Perreault – Goal and an assist with two shots. He played only 10:36 so I’m not really encouraging going forward for Perreault barring an injury.
Mark Scheifele – Two assists. He’s had a nice start to the season, although I wish he would take more shots.
Neal Pionk – Goal and an assist with two shots playing over 27 minutes. The Jets don’t really have a choice but to play Pionk huge minutes, so there’s a chance he becomes a bottom end hold in 12’ers just from the volume.
Blake Coleman – Two goals on four shots. I would consider him a middling streamer for now given the penalty minutes contribution. Look at how absurd one of his goals was:
OH MY GOD BLAKE COLEMAN pic.twitter.com/zHZUfquoNv
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) October 5, 2019
Ilya Samsonov – 25 saves on 26 shots in the 2-1 win over the Isles. The clear goalie of the future in Washington, Samsonov had a great debut. I’d stream him in most matchups, and he’s a clear must own in dynasty.
Morgan Rielly – Three assists with two shots and two PIM. Rielly hasn’t missed a beat so far this season.
Mitch Marner – Two goals and an assist with four shots. While Marner was overpaid, that means nothing in fantasy, and he’s been outstanding in the early going.
John Tavares – Two assists with two shots. Easy night for Tavares who didn’t have to play much with Toronto easily controlling Columbus.
Frederik Andersen – 28 saves on 29 shots in the 4-1 win over CBus. Very nice start to the season for Andersen, as you would expect against Ottawa and Columbus.
Tomas Nosek – Two goals and an assist. He actually played 17 minutes in this game, but that was because the game was out of hand. Not much to see here.
Mark Stone – Two assists with four shots. Dude is just an animal. He doesn’t get enough talk about being one of the game’s best players.
Marc-Andre Fleury – 34 saves on 35 shots in the 5-1 win over the Sharks. How did Vegas lose to this team last year in the playoffs? Sure, Pavelski is gone, but they look completely outmatched going against Vegas.
Victor Olofsson – Two goals on four shots. Jack Eichel had a goal and two assists, while Sam Reinhart also had two goals. Yes, three of these goals were on the power play, but the Devils had no answer for this line all game long. Olofsson needs to be owned everywhere as he looks primed to breakout, as highlighted here in the preseason.
Rasmus Dahlin – Three assists. I’m not saying he’s going to be in the Norris discussion this season, but if he’s not, it’ll be next year.
Jeff Skinner – Goal and an assist with six shots. Life on the second line has been okay for Skinner, and it should be as long as he’s on PP1 at the same time. Very encouraged to see 11 shots in 2 games from him.
Ryan Suter – Goal and an assist with two shots playing 26 minutes. He’s yawnstipating but it looks like Suter will be a bottom end hold once again this year.
Nathan MacKinnon – Two assists with three shots, while Mikko Rantanen had 1+1 and two shots. This line is the second best line in the league for me behind Boston’s and they could easily pass them this year.
Alexandar Georgiev – 31 saves on 32 shots in the 4-1 win over Ottawa. Georgiev is a decent streamer in average or better matchups.
Mika Zibanejad – Hat trick and an assist. Is eight points in two games good? Sure seems like it. Artemi Panarin had a goal and an assist while Pavel Buchnevich had two assists and two PIM. Buch is looking like an elite streamer right now.
Riley Nash – Two assists with two PIM. And there’s your annual Riley Nash update!
Jared McCann – Two goals and an assist with three shots. McCann can be anywhere from a bottom end streamer to an elite one solely based on who he is playing with. If you’re considering him, check out who he is starting the game with that night before making a decision.
Patric Hornqvist – Two goals on seven shots. He’s a bottom end hold solely by playing with Sidney Crosby (2A, 2 SOG, 5 PIM). Yes, Crosby got in a fight. Doing it all in the early going.
Alex Galchenyuk – Two assists with a shot. I’m not loving what I’m seeing from Galchenyuk so far, especially his unwillingness to take shots. Hopefully he picks it up sooner than later.
Brendan Gallagher – Goal and two assists with seven shots. Gallagher has always been underrated in fantasy because he doesn’t give many assists, but that shot rate is outstanding.
Shea Weber – Two assists with eight shots. Weber’s success is almost completely a matter of staying healthy.
Max Domi – Goal and an assist with six shots. The Canadiens took advantage of Toronto being on a back-to-back and having Hutchinson, who is bad, in net. Not a lot to take a way from this one.
Alex Kerfoot – Goal and two assists with three shots and two PIM. Kerfoot has plenty of talent, but until he starts taking shots consistently, it’s going to be difficult for him to maintain fantasy value.
Tyson Barrie – Two assists with four shots. Life is fine in Toronto for Barrie.
Auston Matthews – Two goals on four shots. Easy going for Matthews to open the season.
Trevor Moore – Goal and an assist with four shots. Moore has looked decent on Toronto’s third line so far this season. He’s only a bottom end streamer for now but there could be something more here.
Andrei Svechnikov – Two assists with three shots and two PIM. I’d like to see more than 16:27 of ice time but the assists in the early going are encouraging.
Mike Hoffman – Hat trick on four shots with two PIM. The first power play in Florida looks great once again, with Hoffman leading the charge so far. The revamped second line looks solid as well. This bodes well for Hoffman’s future.
Jonathan Huberdeau – Two assists with a shot. The first line did nothing in this game, but Huberdeau salvaged his night with a couple PPA.
Sammy Blais – Goal and an assist with two shots. He’s looked very good in the early going. If you’re in a hits league, I’d grab him now. Otherwise, he’s moved up to solid streamer.
Tyler Bertuzzi – Two goals and two assists. The third wheel on the first line, Bertuzzi is a middling streamer until he starts to shoot the puck more.
Dylan Larkin – Goal and an assist with two shots, +4. Nashville had no answer for this line, just like Dallas didn’t on Sunday. We already know that Larkin is a monster, hopefully his linemates improve their game so he can cross the point per game mark.
Luke Glendening – Goal and an assist with two shots. Moving on…
Matt Duchene – Two assists and three shots. He’s looked great in the early going in Nashville.
Mattias Ekholm – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM. Nice start to the season for Ekholm. He’s right on the fringe of holding because of the lack of power play time.
Jaroslav Halak – 35 save shutout in the 1-0 win over the Coyotes. Halak should be started every time he gets the nod from Cassidy.
Darcy Kuemper – 25 saves on 26 shots as the tough luck loser. He’s had a nice start to the season but he’s getting no offensive support. Kuemper should be fine going forward.
David Rittich – 34 save shutout in the 3-0 win over the Canucks. The wins should be very good, but we don’t know about the percentages. It is nice to see Rittich start both of the first two games.
Johnny Gaudreau – Goal and two assists with three shots. 3-0 win, all goals from the Calgary first line sums up this game pretty easily.
Anze Kopitar – Goal and two assists with four shots and two PIM playing almost 24 minutes. I assume his minutes were this high solely to match up with McDavid, but it’ll be something to monitor going forward. It’s only one game against a horrible defensive team, but nice to see Kopitar get off to a hot start.
Dustin Brown – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM. I am still in disbelief that Brown has revitalized his career. He’s right on the fringe of holding.
Trevor Lewis – Goal and an assist with two shots. Don’t see anything here.
Kyle Clifford – Two assists with a shot. See even less than anything here.
Connor McDavid – Goal and three assists with three shots and two PIM. Most teams have little chance of containing McDavid, but a slow team like the Kings are drawing stone dead.
Oscar Klefbom – Three assists with three shots. I’d place Klefbom in the bottom end hold category.
James Neal – Two goals on four shots with two PIM. As long as he’s on the first power play unit, Neal has a real chance to bounce back. I wouldn’t hold him yet, but he’s a solid streaming option.
Leon Draisaitl – Two assists with four shots. He played over 26 minutes again! Absolutely insane minutes for a forward. Tippett knows that the Oilers without McJesus or Draisaitl on the ice are completely screwed, so his decision is apparently to play them massive minutes. Could they even be better than last season? I would bet on it in McDavid’s case and I’m not ruling it out now for Leon.
Ondrej Kase – Two assists with six shots. Kase was dominant in this game which makes me frustrated that he only played 14 minutes. He belongs on the top line and it’s not even close. He’s their best forward at this point.
John Gibson – 35 saves on 36 shots in the 3-1 win over the Sharks. Gibson is in God mode to start the season. Surely looks like the best goalie in the league right now.
Dougie Hamilton – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM. He played over 25 minutes in this game which is exactly what I want to see. If the minutes stay at that level, a top 5 defenseman season is in play.
Andrei Svechnikov – Two assists with three shots playing 19 minutes. Another encouraging game for my big breakout pick.
Roope Hintz – Two goals. I’m not holding him yet but Hintz has definitely moved into elite streamer territory.
Filip Hronek – Two assists with two shots. Things look promising for Hronek to be a bottom end hold this season. Obviously it’s early, but I’m happy with how he’s looked.
Thomas Greiss – 35 saves on 36 shots in the 4-1 win over the Jets. Greiss should be owned in all leagues. He’s proven himself to be very good in Trotz’ system.
Josh Bailey – Goal and an assist. Bailey is an okay streamer but his lack of shots keeps him from being a hold in standard 12’ers.
Anthony Beauvillier – Goal and an assist with two shots. Nice start to the season for Beauvillier. Decent streaming option, especially against the Oilers tomorrow.
Three Point Challenge: For those who aren’t familiar, for each Tuesday and Thursday of the season, you can make a pick in the comments section. That player needs to get 3+ points for you to win. You cannot take a player in the top 10 in points in the league. For the first month to six weeks of the season, we will use last season’s top 10 in points. That means no McDavid, Kucherov, Kane, Draisaitl, Crosby, Marchand, Gaudreau, MacKinnon, Stamkos, or Barkov. I’m going to go with Filip Forsberg having a big night against the Sharks. Feel free to make your pick any time before 7 PM EST on Tuesday night. I’ll keep track of the standings and give shoutouts in the daily notes to people who are correct.
Monday and Tuesday Streamers:
Victor Olofsson is still available in 75% of leagues. That needs to change.
Jared McCann could be in line for a bigger role on Tuesday due to Malkin and Bjugstad potentially missing the game. He’s playing well right now, so use him while he’s in form.
Erik Haula has scored in every game so far for Carolina. A matchup with the Panthers gives him a decent chance at making it four in a row.
That’s all for now guys. Be sure to leave any questions, comments, suggestions, and Three Point Challenge picks below. I’ll be back on Wednesday recapping the action from the next two nights. Thanks for reading, take care!