On Monday, I wrote the following about James Neal: “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.” And that’s me quoting me copying what Grey does! Well, I hope that you streamed him on Tuesday. Neal stayed on the first power play unit, and the time to hold him is now. Neal scored four goals on eight shots on Tuesday, playing almost 21 minutes, in the 5-2 win over the Islanders. Two of those goals came on the power play where it’s clear Edmonton is using him as one of their primary shooters. Am I saying Neal is going to score 40 goals again? Definitely not. However, the upside is too high to leave him on the waiver wire. He’s always had a quality shot rate and there’s a chance of good penalty minutes on top of the goals. Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Victor Olofsson – Goal on three shots playing over 20 minutes. He’s eliminated all doubt for the time being, Goalofsson is a clear hold.
Nick Foligno – Goal and an assist with three shots. Nice start to the season for Foligno. In hits leagues, he needs to be held. Otherwise, solid streamer.
Alexandre Texier – Goal and an assist with three shots. My other favorite late pick after Goaloffson, Texier finally got on the scoresheet. If you drafted him, I’d give him a little more time. Otherwise, I think he’s an elite streamer.
Connor McDavid – Three assists with four shots. Leon Draisaitl had two assists with three shots. Unstoppable.
Mark Scheifele – Three assists. I’d like to see some more shots from Scheifele (only 1 in the last 3 games) but I’m not going to complain about 6 points in 4 games.
Patrik Laine – Three assists with a shot. While the Jets are struggling as a team, Laine has at least one point in every game so far. Nice to see him get off to a nice start.
Connor Hellebuyck – 37 saves on 38 shots in the 4-1 win over the Penguins. Nice bounceback by Hellboy after a rough start against the Rangers to open the season. I’m still not buying him for this season because of their blue line but he does still possess the upside to steal a game.
Evgeni Malkin – Out at least a month. Nick Bjugstad will be out close to that long as well. Patric Hornqvist left Tuesday’s game early, although there’s been no diagnosis yet. Their depth is now completely gutted. Dominik Simon played on the first line Tuesday and had 3 SOG playing 19 minutes. He’s an elite streamer for now.
Tyler Seguin – Goal and an assist with four shots and two PIM playing 22 minutes. Hoping this gets him going, although it should only be a matter of time.
Alexander Radulov – Goal and an assist with two shots. He’s had a slow start as these were Radulov’s first points of the season. Again, I’m not really worried yet, but I’d like to see the minutes go back up.
Nicklas Backstrom – Goal and an assist with three shots. Backs doing what he does.
John Carlson – Goal and an assist with four shots. Great start for Carlson. Feeling good about ranking him #2 for defensemen, although it is early.
Sergei Bobrovsky – 10 saves on 14 shots in the first before getting pulled against Carolina. Woof. That said, I’m expecting Q to right the ship defensively to help out Bob. I doubt you’ll be able to buy low, but it can’t hurt to put some feelers out there.
Mike Hoffman – Two assists with six shots playing almost 25 minutes. Hoffman is playing extremely well and Q is rewarding him right now. Hoffman is perennially underrated for how good he is offensively.
Aleksander Barkov – Two assists with four shots. It seems like he’s not playing well right now but Barkov has three assists in three games. That leaves me encouraged because he will get going eventually.
Andrei Svechnikov – Two assists with six shots and two PIM. He’s playing great hockey and I really want Brind’Amour to give him the minutes that he deserves. It’s hard to complain when the team is 4-0 but I don’t understand it.
Jordan Staal – Goal and an assist with three shots, +4. Staal has established himself as a middling streamer.
Ryan Dzingel – Two goals on three shots. His minutes are quite low which is keeping him down towards lower end streamer status.
Teuvo Teravainen – Goal and an assist with four shots. Very nice start for Teuvo who has had a point in every game so far. I’m very encouraged by 13 shots in 4 games.
Haydn Fleury – Two assists. And there’s your annual Fleury update!
Jakob Silfverberg – Goal and an assist with three shots. The minutes jumped back up to over 18 per game in this one which gives some hope he can be a streamer again. For now, I’d leave Silfverberg alone on the waiver wire.
John Gibson – 31 saves on 32 shots in the 3-1 win over the Red Wings. Hotter than a pistol right now.
Filip Hronek – Goal on five shots playing 23 minutes. Really feeling good about calling Hronek a late round pick. He should be owned in 12’ers.
Brent Burns – Goal and an assist with four shots and two PIM. Brent Burns doing Brent Burns things!
Evander Kane – Goal on five shots and four PIM in his first game of the season. Nice to see Evander start off hot. He’s on the first power play right now, so if anything, he’s become undervalued.
Roman Josi – Two goals on four shots. I have no doubts about Josi being a top 10 D again, and I’m thinking top 5.
Ilya Kovalchuk – Goal and two assists with two shots. It’s only two games, but hopefully Kovy can put last season’s disaster behind him and be valuable again.
Drew Doughty – Goal and two assists with four shots. Perhaps McLellan is keeping Doughty’s minutes down to keep him more effective but it’s interesting to see. He’s an easy hold, but I honestly don’t know if he’ll be a very good D2 or a bottom end hold. I lean closer to the former but we’ll see.
Tyler Toffoli – Goal and an assist with four shots. He played only 12 minutes so I’m not really interested in using Toffoli right now.
Matthew Tkachuk – Two goals and an assist. I’m not sure Tkachuk can top last season’s 77 points, but at this point I’m not going to bet against him.
Brad Marchand – Two goals and an assist with three shots and two PIM. Vegas didn’t have an answer for the top line as David Pastrnak also had three points, 1+2. I’m very excited for Thursday’s matchup with Colorado to see my top two lines in the league going at it.
Torey Krug – Goal and an assist with three shots. As long as Krug keeps his spot on the top power play unit, he should end up as a #2D come the end of the season.
Mark Stone – Goal and an assist with three shots. My love of Mark Stone knows no bounds.
Max Pacioretty – Goal and an assist with three shots. Patches looks much better than he did for most of last season. He’s had at least three shots per game and the minutes are up. With how good Stone is, I’m starting to think we see a Patches rebound to get closer to the 30 goal mark again.
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. Feel free to make your pick any time before 7 PM EST on Thursday night. I’ll keep track of the standings and give shoutouts in the daily notes to people who are correct (nobody was correct on Tuesday, a couple people were a point away). For Thursday, I will take Mark Stone against the Desert Dogs.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back on Friday recapping the action from the next two nights. As always, feel free to ask any questions, leave any comments, or give any suggestions below. Thanks for reading, take care!