Going into the season, I was high on Aaron Ekblad because the reports out of Florida were that Yandle was going to get scratched to open the season and his future was in doubt.  One bout of COVID later, and Yandle was in opening night and scored.  For the bad luck I’ve had on rankings this year , Yandle has not impacted Ekblad one bit.  Ekblad had hit a bit of a rough patch over the last week, but he fixed that in a big way on Thursday.  Ekblad scored two goals and added two assists with six shots in the 5-4 win over the Predators.  That brings Ekblad to 8+7 in 22 games, an incredible rate of goals for a defenseman.  Add in three shots per game and strong PIM, and Ekblad has a chance at finishing as a #2D this season.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:

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It was looking good for the Wild on Monday night.  After letting Vegas tie the game 2-2, Minnesota scored two goals in 19 seconds near the end of the second period to go up 4-2.  Move to the last minute up 4-3 with the goalie pulled, and Mark Stone makes a fabulous pass to Tuch to tie up the game.  In overtime, the Wild were controlling the puck until Stone won it back, and hit Patches for the game winner.  In a 5-4 victory, Stone had five assists, and not just five assists, five primary assists.  He was in a bit of a slump before this game with one point in his previous five games, but safe to say that’s in the rear view mirror now.  Stone now has 22 points in 18 games, averaging an assist a game.  The big concern is that his shot rate has plummeted down to under two per game.  That puts a big dent into his overall value, but if he’s going to put up an assist a game dominating at five on five, it’s hard to complain.  That said, be a little more selfish and don’t let Patches take every shot!  The first captain in Vegas history has been excellent this season and even though I’m American, I can’t wait to see him in the Olympics on say, McDavid or MacKinnon’s wing.  Or maybe the three of them are a line, who knows with how stacked their team is.  Let’s see what else happened over the last two nights:

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Nothing helps getting your season back on track like playing against the Buffalo Sabres.  Carter Hart has had a really rough go of it in the opening month of the season, but on Sunday, he looked to turn it around in Buffalo.  You’d think that after the Sabres were shutout 3-0 on Saturday that they would come out firing on Sunday.  Nope.  Hart stopped all 28 shots he faced, most of the routine variety, to beat the Sabres 3-0.  Brian Elliott only needed to make 23 saves on Saturday as the Sabres are in complete disarray.  As I always say, goalies are voodoo, but I’d be stunned if Hart doesn’t make a jump towards being a #1 fantasy goalie again.  If you can buy low on Hart, I would try to do so.  The fact that the Flyers are 11-4-3 despite Hart’s horrible start shows you what kind of upside the team has.  Elliott should be streamed every time he starts as his save percentage is over .930 in his eight games.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the weekend:

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Look, to be honest with you, there wasn’t a ton of eventful things that happened in the NHL on Thursday night.  We’re leading off with Sam Gagner for a couple reasons.  One, he had a trick on four shots in the 5-2 win for the Red Wings.  Sure, one was an empty netter, but a hat trick is a hat trick and that deserves recognition.  Never mind that Gagner came into the game with zero goals on the season and the three points in this game were more than he had all season.  The other reason I started off with Gagner is to give him some appreciation.  He had a solid career for over a decade now, constantly as an elite streamer while having a few years where he was a bottom end hold.  With all of the big games McJesus is having lately, you can try to stump your friends with a trivia question in terms of who the last player was that had seven points or more in a game?  As you could guess, it was Gagner, but did you know he actually had 8!?  He’s one of only eleven players in history to have eight points in a game and for that, I thank Gagner for the memory of that wild night in Chicago.  Let’s take a look at what else happened on Thursday:

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In their last two games, Florida has put a whopping 94 shots on goal.  Incredibly, they only scored two goals.  Anton Khudobin was robbed off a win on Monday stopping 49 of 51 shots so he decided to one up that performance on Wednesday.  Khudobin posted a 43 save shutout to get the Stars back on track.  I was high on Khudobin going into the season because of the absence of Bishop.  The one problem for Khudobin is with the Stars being delayed for COVID, that’s more games later in the schedule when Bishop should be back.  Regardless, Khudobin should be the workhorse for at least one more month and should be a #1 goalie in the meantime.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:

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Nino Niederreiter’s first season in Carolina couldn’t have gone any better with 14+16 in 36 games.  Last season really couldn’t have gone worse with 11+18 in 67 games.  Well, this year has certainly been closer to 2018-19 and we can be thankful for that in fantasy.  Niederreiter scored two goals and an assist with three shots on Friday before dishing an assist on Saturday, adding six shots.  That brings Nino to 9+3 in 16 games with over three shots per game, 13 PIM, and a great +11 rating.  The second line in Carolina has been incredible, sparked by Niederreiter and Trocheck’s revival.  He’s an easy hold in all formats for the time being.  I wish that the minutes were a bit higher, but considering what Nino is doing with what he’s getting, there can be some growth with additional minutes, namely in the assist department.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the weekend:

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Nino Niederreiter’s first season in Carolina couldn’t have gone any better with 14+16 in 36 games.  Last season really couldn’t have gone worse with 11+18 in 67 games.  Well, this year has certainly been closer to 2018-19 and we can be thankful for that in fantasy.  Niederreiter scored two goals and an assist with three shots on Friday before dishing an assist on Saturday, adding six shots.  That brings Nino to 9+3 in 16 games with over three shots per game, 13 PIM, and a great +11 rating.  The second line in Carolina has been incredible, sparked by Niederreiter and Trocheck’s revival.  He’s an easy hold in all formats for the time being.  I wish that the minutes were a bit higher, but considering what Nino is doing with what he’s getting, there can be some growth with additional minutes, namely in the assist department.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the weekend:

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Now is the time to get excited if you own Blues players.  Sure, the top guys have been plenty good, but after their seven game battle with the Coyotes, the Blues played their next 11 games against the California trio.  It took a dramatic finish on Thursday, but they started off on the right foot.  With the goalie pulled, the Blues tied the game before winning it in overtime on a David Perron goal.  Perron scored a goal and added two assists with four shots in the victory.  That brings him over a point per game on the season with a quality plus-minus, solid shot rate, and good PIM.  He’s a true stud across the board that tends to get a bit overlooked.  The top players on the Blues could be in line for a big month with Perron leading the way.  I can’t rule out a top 50 season when we reach the end of this truncated year.  Let’s take a look at what else happened on Thursday night:

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If you just looked at the boxscore from Wednesday night, you’d see Jesse Puljujarvi scored a goal.  Nothing exciting there.  However, the big news is that he spent the entire game on the first power play unit.  The person in that spot has changed throughout the season.  Neal, Chiasson, Yamamoto, and now Puljujarvi have all had the opportunity.  It’s also notable that with 3 minutes left, the Oilers went on the power play up one.  Nurse was out there to be safe having two defensemen out there, but it wasn’t Puljujarvi who lost his spot, it was RNH.  With Puljujarvi locked into that spot for the time being, he gets bumped up to elite streamer status.  With five points in the past six games, things are starting to look up for the former fourth overall pick.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:

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Toronto being up 5-1 on Ottawa with a minute to go in the second period wasn’t exactly surprising.  The final result?  Well, I hope you didn’t turn the game off.  The Senators, arguably the worst team in the league, stormed back to win 6-5 in OT.  Evgenii Dadonov tied the game with 2 minutes left before scoring the overtime winner.  That gives Dadonov five goals in his last five games after a sluggish start in Ottawa.  Is it going to be as good as it was in Florida?  Certainly not.  However, Dadonov is starting to build value again to the point where he’s a solid streamer.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see the minutes go up even higher to the point where he’s an elite streamer.  Let’s take a look at what else happened on Monday:

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