Being the stand alone game on Thursday afternoon, I was watching the Jets-Panthers game in Finland closely.  For the first half of the game, Patrik Laine looked awful.  He was so bad that he didn’t even get 4 minutes of ice time in the first period.  Well, Laine ended up making the natives who came to watch him happy, as he ended up scoring a hat trick on seven shots.  That matched his total from the first 12 games of the season.  Obviously I wasn’t panicking about Laine, but my hopes that his ice time would take a nice jump this season isn’t looking promising.  There’s still plenty of time, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Laine goes on a run where he scored 9 goals in 10 games.  His floor is just a bit lower than I hoped because the Jets are so good that Maurice doesn’t have to give him big minutes.  I said he would score 50 in the preseason, and the shot rate has jumped to the point where it’s possible if he can get his time on ice back up.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:

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I generally don’t like to lead posts about obvious must-holds, but a five point game deserves recognition.  Brayden Point went off on Tuesday night scoring a goal and dishing four assists.  That brings him to a whopping 7+7 in 11 games.  He’s on the lethal top power play unit meaning the 22 year old looks like he can take another jump from last season’s breakout.  The shot rate will determine just how good Point will be for fantasy, but he looks the part of a borderline top 50 guy for the foreseeable future.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:

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It looks like we could be seeing the Timo Meier breakout right before our eyes.  The former top ten pick is really coming into his own this season as DeBoer has given him a top six role.  Meier scored a goal on Friday because totaling two goals and an assist with four shots on Sunday.  That brings Meier to eight goals and four assists in 11 games with over three shots per game.  It’s pretty clear at this point: Meier is a must-own in all formats right now.  He’s still available in over one third of leagues, so if you’re fortunate enough to be in one of those, go grab him now.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the weekend:

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Phil Housley’s shakeup of the lines last Saturday has worked extremely well.  The Sabres have won three straight and carried the play in all three of those games.  One of those moves was putting Jason Pominville on the first line and he’s delivered and then some.  Pominville scored two goals on five shots on Thursday, giving him 3+3 in his last three games.  Now, I’m not saying he’s going to be a hold all year, it’s 2018, not 2008.  However, he’s a hot schmotato right now, and first line plus first power play time is nothing to be ignored.  If you need a streamer on Saturday, Pominville is a great option, and if the heater continues, use him next week.  The Sabres schedule is pretty soft over the next two weeks.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:

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Last year’s point leader for defensemen is off to an even better start this season.  John Carlson had a goal and two assists on Monday, bringing his totals to 5/8/+6/6/19/8 through eight games.  It was hard to see any upside from last season’s totals, but some shooting percentage luck could have Carlson around 20+50.  Add in a quality plus-minus, and there’s a chance that Carlson ends up the #1 defenseman for the season.  It’s far from a guarantee, but it’s abundantly clear through three weeks that last season’s big breakout was no fluke.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:

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I’ve long been a fan of Juuse Saros saying that he’s the best goaltending prospect in hockey.  His time to be a #1 is coming sooner than later, but for the short term, it’s his crease in Nashville.  Pekka Rinne is on injured reserve meaning he will miss at least the next three games, and that opens the door for Saros.  He came in relief for Rinne in a 3-3 game and didn’t allow a goal on nine shots, before posting a 31 save shutout in the 3-0 win over the Oilers.  He’s available in over 80% of leagues and quite frankly, I don’t understand it.  Goaltending is awful around the league right now, so pretty much every fantasy team could use him as their G3.  That said, Saros should be a #1 option when he starts, so go grab him immediately.  He’s going to get plenty of starts this year even when Rinne is back, so Saros can make a huge difference for you.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the weekend:

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Good Evening! I’m Lackeydrinksonme!

It’s the third issue of my weekly long-run streamer column. I’m here to offer some pickups for the short-slate games in the upcoming week, with a focus on putting more players on the ice than your opponent. ESPN has changed everything, so I don’t have “Games Started” data for the 18-19 season, but bear in mind that the odds of coming out with a win are strongly related to the number of players you put on the ice. It’s worth taking a moment to go day by day to add up starts to make sure you’re on top.

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What’s the worst spot for a goaltender to start right now?  Probably against Toronto on the road.  Well, Matt Murray had that exact spot on Thursday, and did the exact opposite of what most expected.  In a game where Toronto’s expected goal total was pushing 4, Murray stopped all 38 shots he faced, shutting out the powerhouse Maple Leafs 3-0.  Murray’s upside is undeniable; it’s just a matter of keeping him on the ice and the defense in front of him not being a total mess.  For now, expect the Pens to give him the vast majority of the starts, meaning you can safely cut Casey DeSmith.  The Penguins schedule is fairly soft over the next couple of weeks, so feel safe rolling Murray.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:

Please, blog, may I have some more?