Your early leader in goals two weeks through the season is Max Pacioretty. Patches had a hat trick on Tuesday putting eight shots on goal in the process while adding two penalty minutes. That gives Patches six goals in seven games, along with a whopping 32 shots in 7 games. His linemate, Mark Stone, has arguably been the best player in the league to this point, so the opportunities are going to be there for Patches to have a monster season. After a disappointing first year in Vegas, Patches has really found his game again. Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Thatcher Demko – 35 saves on 36 shots in the 7-1 win over the Senators. He was lights out in this game after a dreadful start. It’s going to be bumpy for Vancouver, Demko included, but he’s still worth holding.
Brandon Sutter – Hat trick on four shots. I’m ashamed for Ottawa that they allowed Sutter to get a hat trick. Congrats to him though as he probably assumed it would never happen at this point in his career.
Tanner Pearson – Goal and an assist with five shots and two PIM. The minutes have been poor for Pearson despite playing on the second line, leaving him as a middling streamer.
Bo Horvat – Two assists. Dr. Bo has carried over his playoff form to the best start of his career.
Ryan Donato – Goal and an assist with five shots. He’s playing on the top line right now but despite that, the minutes haven’t been great. I’m hoping that changes going forward because Donato has played well. He’s a solid streamer with upside to be an elite one.
Logan Couture – Strong start to the season for Couture which comes as no surprise.
Kevin Labanc – Two assists with three shots. Labanc looked poised to break out after 2018-19 but was dreadful last season. However, his shot rate has been excellent so far and his role is solid. He’s an elite streamer once again.
Cale Makar – Three assists with two shots. He’s been the best defenseman in the NHL to this point and it hasn’t even been that close.
Brandon Saad – Two goals on three shots with two PIM. Nice for Saad to break out of his early drought in a big way. He’s a middling streamer for now with upside from there.
Andre Burakovsky – Two assists with two shots. Get him back in your lineups after a brief injury absence.
Valeri Nichushkin – Goal and an assist. He’s only useful in deep leagues with how strong the Avs lineup is.
Jason Zucker – Goal and an assist with four shots. I had him as a streamer in my latest Hold/Stream list as he was on the third line, but he was bumped back to the second late in the game. I’d look to stream him if he was dropped knowing that he could turn back into a hold.
Charlie McAvoy – Three assists with a shot. With Matt Grzelcyk out, McAvoy got the top power play spot and delivered. He’s a hold regardless, but there’s higher short term upside now.
Brad Marchand – Goal and an assist with two shots. He’s been excellent and it’ll only get better with Pastrnak returning sooner than later.
Ivan Provorov – Goal and two assists with two shots playing almost 28 minutes. Sure, the goal was an empty netter, but that was a much needed big game from Provorov. With all those minutes, Provorov’s floor will say high.
Claude Giroux – Two assists with three shots and two PIM. The shot rate has been poor, but at least the assists are piling up.
James van Riemsdyk – Two goals on seven shots. JVR has been outstanding early and needs to be held in all formats.
Mathew Barzal – Goal and an assist with six shots. In Barzal’s six games, he had no shots in three games and 5+ in the other three games. Here’s to hoping we see more of the latter.
John Carlson – Goal and an assist with five shots. Carlson has been his usual dominant self when his team needs him with all of their COVID players out.
Justin Schultz – Goal and an assist with four shots. If you need a short term add on the blue line, Schultz is your guy.
Anthony Duclair – Two assists with a shot. Solid streamer for now but can move in either direction fairly easily.
Carter Verhaeghe – Goal and an assist with four shots playing 19 minutes. He’s been on fire to start the season with 3+2 in three games. He’s worth streaming as he’s a hot schmotato.
Mikael Granlund – Goal and an assist with five shots. Granlund is right on the fringe for me. I forgot how much Hynes used him at the end of last season and seems intent to do it again.
Darnell Nurse – Three assists with three shots and two PIM playing over 29 minutes. Well, it shows how much Tippett loves Nurse when he’s getting this workload in a close game.
Leon Draisaitl – Goal and an assist as did Connor McDavid. Yeah, it’s almost expectation at this point.
Andrew Copp – Two goals and two assists with six shots. Copp has been incredible to open the season with 4+5 and 25 shots in 7 games. I would hold Copp for now but would expect to be cutting him once Pierre-Luc Dubois enters in the lineup thinking Copp gets bumped to the third line. There’s a chance that doesn’t happen though.
Nikolaj Ehlers – Goal and three assists with three shots. Don’t look now, but Ehlers is only one point behind the league leaders. He’s had a goal in five straight and has been the Jets best player in the early going.
Adam Lowry – Goal and two assists with six shots. Lowry has been excellent, but I have a hard time buying into it. He’s an okay streamer, but I’m not targeting him as a streamer.
Paul Stastny – Goal and an assist with two PIM. Nice week for Stastny who is right on the fringe depending on team needs.
Cal Petersen – 32 saves on 33 shots in the 2-1 win over the Wild. Petersen is looking like he’ll be splitting the starts for now, and I’d actually stream him outside of the horrible matchups. I would really like using him against the other California teams, Arizona, and even Minnesota again.
John Klingberg – Goal and an assist with two shots. Couldn’t ask for a better start from Klingberg with six points in three games.
Denis Gurianov – Two assists with two shots. I have Gurianov as an elite streamer, but you could hold onto him and I wouldn’t argue.
Anton Khudobin – 20 saves on 21 shots in the 2-1 OT win over the Red Wings. Perfect start from Khudobin which isn’t a surprise, but we still don’t know what will happen when he has a bunch of games in a short amount of time.
Mitch Marner – Goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM. Auston Matthews also had a goal and an assist while Morgan Rielly dished two assists. Outside of games against Montreal, and even they aren’t that good defensively, you’re almost expecting the Maple Leafs to score four goals. Boy, do the defenses in this division stink. The North is clearly the weakest division as expected.
Johnny Gaudreau – Two goals. both assisted by Sean Monahan. I was aggressive ranking North division players, but I regret not doing it even more so. The vast majority of these games are wide open leading to tons of goals.
John Gibson – 31 save shutout in the 1-0 win over Arizona. Gibson has been incredible so far. Despite only winning half of his starts, he has a 1.67/.948. He’s even had two games against the Golden Knights and Avalanche each. I’m buying Gibson as a number one goalie again.
Darcy Kuemper – 23 saves on 24 shots as the tough luck loser. Kuemper has been solid but only has one win in six starts. That said, three of those starts were against Vegas so there should be better games, like this one, going forward.
David Perron – Two goals on five shots with two PIM. After a slow start, Perron has five points in his last three games with 13 shots on goals. Things are looking up again.
Jaden Schwartz – Goal and an assist with two shots. Schwartz is right on the fringe again.
Alec Martinez – Two assists with a shot and two PIM. Martinez is hitting all of the categories besides shots. He’s must own in a blocks league and while I’m not owning him in a standard 12’er, you can make the case for it if you need the assists.
Three Point Challenge: Feel free to make a pick in the comments section below for a player to get three points on Thursday night. It can’t be anyone in the Top 10 in points. From now, we will use last season’s top 10, so that means no Draisaitl, McDavid, Panarin, Pastrnak, MacKinnon, Marchand, Kucherov, P. Kane, Matthews, Huberdeau, or Eichel. I will take J.T. Miller against the Senators (in Thursday’s game, not Wednesday’s). I reserve the right to change my pick if Miller misses the game.
That’s all for now guys. As always, feel free to ask any questions, leave any comments, or give any suggestions below. I’ll be back on Friday recapping the action from the next two nights. Thanks for reading, take care!