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!

  1. Veritas says:
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    Excellent review Viz, I’ll take Joe Pavelski vs Detroit for the Three Point Challenge

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Thanks! Sounds good, he’s been great

  2. Mobin Can't Hack It says:
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    a-mart certainly is elite in blocks, but pretty bad in hits relatively (2-3 times more blocks than hits, which is rare to see by anybody). he’s a great add if you are blocks weak though of course but if both hits/blocks i’d balance that. of course if just injuries and roto can massively make up blocks with him though

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Yeah but the hits only look bad because of how absurd his block rate is. Right now, he’d be on pace for 300 blocks and 100 hits over a full season. 100 hits isn’t great by any means, but I certainly wouldn’t call it bad

      • Mobin Can't Hack It says:
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        no not bad. we’re not talking nick hjalrmasson (forgot that spelling) D ARI (and others), that dude is ONLY blocks. a-mart gets some points too esp on VGK. a-mart’s career hits per game 1.43, last 2 years only 1 per game though. his career pace assuming plays every game is just over 80, but lately it’s 56. if in some weird blocks but no hits leagues clearly he moves up a ton (plus minus should be good too).

        • Viz

          Viz says:
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          Right, yeah you’re definitely correct on that. He should continue to stumble into points playing for Vegas.

  3. Peter Parker says:
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    Good morning Viz! I want to drop Nikita Gusev…

    Who do you like better, noting that my league weighs heavily on PP production:

    Carter Verhaeghe or Alexandre Texier??

    THANK YOU for all that you do!

    • Eli Man Penguin Boy says:
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      yeah gusev’s getting worse, at least his shot rate was previously good. now nothing is good. he’s NEVER done any secondary stuff. thank god i only have him still at all in dynasties (for now)

      • Viz

        Viz says:
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        Yeah he’s had a really rough go of it. I was down on him last season compared to consensus but I never imagined it would be this bad

        • Eli Man Penguin Boy says:
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          when the russians crash and burn they really do a great job of it. he can still come back (c.white having a decent game being allowed to play with not horrible linemates tonight, another similar example, and gusev/white i have in numerous dynasties (clearly deep leagues))

          • Gerald says:
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            just keep a good eye on gusev… hes a good player. He does get a lot of knock on his defensive ability. But he was healthy scratched a ton of games last year, and dont forget he had to adjust to and NHL sized rink ( compared to olympic) also he was playing on the devils and we were a dumpster fire last year. He still managed 44 pts in 66 games. Hes not a typical 2nd year player hes 28 years old, has played in russia for awhile. i think he was benched for the 3rd period the other night but they switched up the lines last game and he was playing on the top line. Hes a really good play maker, good stick handling skills and a good shot, If he sticks on the top line he could put up better numbers than last year, also hughes looks like a different player this year. Worst case he plays on he second line. Jesper bratt is comin back is possibly coming back in the next week and NIco Hischier will return soon. I believe hes a lock for the top 2 lines , and if things click tonight he could stay on the top line, I would watch him closely in deeper leagues

            • Gerald says:
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              Also gusev is on Power play 2 right now, probably to balance the lines but when Nico and bratt come back i could see him moving to 1 possible. I cant see Zajac and miles wood staying there but well see

            • Eli Man Penguin Boy says:
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              yeah gusev did ok till this year and obv was a top 25 or something prospect too (this is why i own him in those deep leagues). was always going to be worth less than top 25 prospect though for hits/blocks leagues

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Hey! I prefer both of these guys to Gusev. I would lean towards Texier as I feel like his role is more certain going forward. He could even end up with Laine on his wing, which is what I’m hoping for. I think the upside is worth gambling on even though Verhaeghe is off to a great start, it just seems like an outlier for him

  4. Chris says:
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    Hey Viz!

    What do you think of that trade? I’m trying to buy low on Laine and Dalhin and I don’t really like Wheeler’s outlook for the rest of the season.

    I would be receiving Laine, Dahlin and Jarry and I would give up Wheeler, McAvoy and Khudobin.

    G/A/PPP/+-/GWG/HITS
    GAA/SV%/W/SHO

    Thanks!
    Chris

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Is there a reason why you don’t like Wheeler going forward? He looks a bit slower, but that top line is incredible and the division is super easy. I would not do this trade. I think Laine and Dahlin for Wheeler and McAvoy is close in either direction, but you take a real beating in net. Khudobin is a top 10 goalie while Jarry could be a #2 or he could really hurt you. The floor is so much higher for Khudobin that I’d look to tweak this trade before doing it.

  5. BringDaRuckus says:
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    Great article as always, Viz. I always look forward to your insights.

    Quick question. Someone just dropped Yandle in my league, and my weakest/unproven D man is Romanov. Would you make the swap, or do you think Romanov is set to potentially break out this year?

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Thanks! I really appreciate that. Umm, it depends on what you’re looking for. Short term, I do prefer Yandle. The thing is, it’s no secret that he was going to be scratched for the first game of the season but then it was postponed due to Dallas’ COVID situation and then the players asked Q to play him so he doesn’t lose the iron man streak, then he scores, etc. It all looks good for now, but it could potentially go south very quickly. I do like Romanov, but he’s somewhat blocked by Petry and Weber from being that valuable, so I would make the swap for Yandle.

    • The Harrow says:
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      if this league is dynasty or has hits/blocks in it i’d hold romanov. if no to both of those yandle possibly getting more points with possibly more secure role (but also higher chance of outright bench, as mentioned)

      • The Harrow says:
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        secure wrong word there, more useful (PP1 for now) role.

      • Viz

        Viz says:
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        Agreed with you on all of this Harrow.

  6. fleeced says:
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    Should I hold on to Barrie, or swap him for D. Toews or R. Andersson? Points league

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      I’m giving him a little bit more time, but if you’ve run out of patience, I’m good with swapping for either of those guys. I guess I slightly prefer Andersson but I like them both.

  7. Eli Man Penguin Boy says:
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    marner 3 pt thurs

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Got it, sounds good

  8. Fleeced says:
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    Pick one.. Anders Lee, Mantha or Vorachek?

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Depends a bit on format and team needs. In a vacuum, I guess Lee? Let me know what your categories are and I can give you a better answer.

      • Fleeced says:
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        It’s Goals (G), Assists (A), Plus/Minus (+/-), Penalty Minutes (PIM), Powerplay Points (PPP), Shots on Goal (SOG).

        Thanks!

        • Viz

          Viz says:
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          Alright, yeah I’d lean Lee but they’re all close. If Voracek was shooting the puck at all, he’d have a real case, but he’s just been so bad there I’m not putting him over Lee.

  9. Gerald says:
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    Viz, love reading the posts. Been keeping up with it more this year.

    Thoughts on the kid Lankinen in Chicago. Would you rather own him or demko or sorkin as a second goaltender

    Thought this was interesting Ty smith was 22 to 1 or somethin for rookie of the year now hes dropeed to 7.5 to 1. Think hes got a real shot?

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Thanks Gerald! He’s had a good start, but I still would not be looking to use him. Chicago is just too poor of a team for there to be real value here. Demko would be my choice of the three, and fairly easily. As much as I like Sorokin long term, Varlamov has been so good that he looks stuck in a pure backup role.

      Smith has been good, but I can’t go that far in the Calder race. He benefits from Lafreniere’s slow start and Kaprizov has dropped off a bit, but Smith could also take a hit once Vatanen comes back. The minutes aren’t great already, and he’s actually getting caved in his own end quite a bit despite 55% O-zone starts. The Devils are shooting 15% with him on the ice and opposing teams are shooting 5.5%, so regression is clearly coming in terms of GF%, +/-, etc. I still like him a ton long term, but I’m not really buying into it for this year unless his role changes for the better and he simply gets better.

      • Gerald says:
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        I hear you on Smith. I dont think Vatanen willl take much of a hit on smith tho at least on the power play. Ruff seems to like him and gave him run on the powerplay his first game. He does seem to get beat up a little on the defensive end. He seems like much more of an offensive defenseman. Whats GF %? lol

        Whats the deal with the blu jacket goaltenders? there splitting time? some one dropped merzlikens. I have Ullmark and shestirkin right now. WOuld you pick up merzlikens or demko as a 3rd goaltender

        • The Harrow says:
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          CLB goalies were always going to split, what wasn’t known which would get more, which so far is korp, many assumed the opposite.

  10. Jasen says:
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    Hey viz,
    My team D is struggling. Hughes has been good, but Barrie, Heiskanen, Deangelo and Grzelyck have been brutal. I’m thinking of outright dropping one of Deangleo/Grz as I only need 4. Which one would you oust? Or would you hang on to both for a little longer to see which one is worth holding. Also, thinking of selling high on horvat and offering him up for M.Tkachuk. He’s my 3rd C and so sits on my bench most nights. I know it’s a reach but know that the other team is a canucks fan.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      I think I would let go of DeAngelo although Grz is also right on the fringe. The Rangers seem intent on playing TDA with a shitty partner and Fox has PP1 right now, and I’m not sure that changes. I guess I’d give Grz a little more time to see if he gets PP1 back when he returns or not.

      Yeah, I’d try to make that trade, I like Horvat a lot but still prefer Tkachuk going forward, especially when Horvat gets stuck on your bench frequently.

      • jasen James says:
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        Looks like TDA is sharing the powerplay with Fox tonight. Grz looks to be on one of the two powerplays as well. Trying to sell off Horvats hot start. Aiming even higher with Svechnikov.

  11. Saints says:
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    Hay viz,
    I can definetly see stastny get bumped down with the hot streak copp is on but not sure.
    I will go with Marner

    • Eli Man Penguin Boy says:
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      stastny will be fine, until dubois gets in there, then he’ll lose tremendous value almost certainly. we’ll tie today if marner gets 3+ pts.

  12. Venice Canuck says:
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    Q. Hughes for three point challenge tonight against Ottawa.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      So close!

  13. Jon says:
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    My D corps is looking bad to start the year. Would you drop DeAngelo, Dumba, or Shattenkirk (or even Dahlin or Barrie) to add any of Larsson, Zaitsev, Romanov, Marino, Holl, Murphy, Del Zotto, Morrissey, Martinez, or McDonagh? Categories are G A +/- PPP SOG HIT DEF.

    • The Harrow says:
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      is DEF points for a dman as extra category? romanov or morrissey over shattenkirk for sure at least regardless

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Morrissey over Shattenkirk is all I would do for now

Comments are closed.