When you look at the Montreal Canadiens’ roster, I see a quality team with three superstars, but not a team that amazes you on paper. Right now, you have a team that’s clicking on all cylinders, starting 9-0 with every win in regulation. Even when they get outplayed, like they did on Saturday, they have Carey Price to bail them out. Price stopped 49 of 52 shots to carry Montreal to a 5-3 in the second game of a back to back. If you were bold enough to take him in the first round, it’s paying off so far. Hell, almost all Canadiens have been great so far and are carrying fantasy teams in plus-minus by themselves.
Let’s take a look at what happened in a busy weekend around the league:
P.K. Subban – Goal, 4 assists, 5 shots and 4 PIM in the two games over the weekend. Still has the #2 defenseman spot locked in with his contributions across the board.
Max Pacioretty – Two goals, two assists and 5 shots. Can’t stop, won’t stop. Feeling better and better about my career year prediction.
Andrei Markov – Goal, five assists and 5 shots. The shots haven’t been great this year (12 in 9 games) but with 9 assists in 9 games and a +11, nobody is complaining right now. The only worry is that he’s going to be 37 years old shortly and he’s missed some time in recent years for injuries.
Tomas Plekanec – Four assists with one shot. The top line has half of the Canadiens’ goals so far this season so look for them to keep getting big minutes.
Brendan Gallagher – Three goals on four shots. Same as Plekanec.
Evander Kane – Six shots in two games before leaving the game injured Saturday against the Devils. It looked quite bad but the Sabres haven’t given an update yet so hold tight. I’d expect something to come out later today.
Jack Eichel – Goal on six shots. I’m sure it’s frustrating to owners that he doesn’t have an assist yet but as someone who has watched every Sabres game, I don’t have any worries. He’s consistently buzzing in the offensive zone and simply needs his teammates to bury the chances he’s generating.
Cody Franson – Three assists on 5 shots and 4 PIM. Getting top power time and heavy offensive zone starts which is great from a fantasy perspective. I had him in the top 200 preseason so clearly I believe; once the Sabres offense starts to bear down on their chances, I expect Franson to start putting up points consistently. He also has 6 PIM and 13 hits so far so in leagues that count those categories, he gets a boost in value. I wouldn’t rush to own him yet but he’s a name to keep in mind.
Ryan O’Reilly – Two goals and two assists with 3 shots in 2 games. I’ve been calling a Sabres offensive breakout for a bit and while they lost both games over the weekend, they had 5 goals, mostly from their best (and therefore fantasy relevant) players. After the season opener, O’Reilly has looked great putting up 7 points in the last 7 games so if he’s available in your league, grab him.
Loui Eriksson – Two assists and two shots playing 21:11 in the Bruins only game this weekend, a 5-3 win against the Islanders . The Bruins offense has done shockingly well so far making the majority of their top 6 right now must-own in standard 12’ers. In leagues that count the extra stats, I wouldn’t own Eriksson unless you need the points. He rarely commits penalties, registers hits or blocks shots.
Brad Marchand – Assist with 3 shots in 2 PIM. Showing no ill-effects of his injury so pick him up where available.
John Tavares – Goal and assist with 4 shots over 2 games. Not much to say here; Tavares has been outstanding so far with 11 points in 8 games, +3 and 16 PIM. Johnny Who!?
Josh Bailey – Goal and assist with 3 shots. Playing top six minutes right now so he’s a quality stream option but I wouldn’t own him in 12’ers yet.
Victor Hedman – Three assists with 3 shots and 2 PIM over the weekend. Shots are down but he has 9 assists in 8 games played and is +7. The Triplet line hasn’t started well either so once that changes, and it certainly will, it will give Hedman even more opportunity to maintain his early success.
Nikolaj Ehlers – Two goals on 8 shots in 2 games. Ehlers has looked amazing so far and his linemates are rolling as well (more on them next). Hopefully you jumped on him early but if for some reason you haven’t and he’s still available, add him immediately.
Mathieu Perreault – Two assists with a shot and 2 PIM. He’s on the point on the first power play unit now as well which is a boost to his value. Only disappointing thing is the lack of shots so far but that should change in the short term. Again, he just needs to stay healthy.
Mark Schiefele – Two assists with 5 shots. Contributing nicely across the board and there’s upside for more.
Drew Stafford – Three goals on 6 shots with 2 PIM. He’s always been an incredibly streaky player so I’d look to stream him where available in his game (Tuesday against the Kings).
Gustav Nyqvist – Two goals on 7 shots with 2 PIM in 2 games. The minutes are have been consistently increasing over the last week with a move to the first line; this looks to be the start of a nice streak.
Henrik Zetterberg – Two assists on 5 shots. I know the points have been great but it’s a bit concerning that he only has 13 shots in 8 games. The early signs show that Zetterberg is transitioning to a pass first player instead of the guy who put up incredible shot totals throughout his career.
Tomas Tatar – Goal and assist with 9 shots. After a rough first week plus, Tatar really came on last week. He’s currently on the second line with Dylan Larkin (assist and 5 shots) and Teemu Pulkkinen ( goal and assist, 3 shots and 2 PIM) which has an abundance of young talent. Look for this line to get heavy offensive zone starts giving them a great chance to maintain their success. Tatar and Larkin should be owned in all leagues by now but at this point I’m looking to add Pulkkinen in all leagues.
Mark Giordano – Two goals, one assist, 1 shots and 6 PIM in two games. The captain criticized himself in media interviews and showed up in a big way on Friday with all 3 points, including the overtime winner. Look for him to get it going now.
Johnny Gaudreau – Three assists. The first line has been the only bright spot for the Flames so far. A team with high expectations, they’ve struggled to start the year, currently at 2-6. That said, nobody can complain about what Gaudreau and Jiri Hudler (goal, two assists, five shots and 5 PIM) have done so far. Sean Monahan (goal plus assist on two shots) is starting to come around as well; I don’t have any doubts that he will at the least approach last year’s totals.
Evgeny Kuznetsov – Hat trick with two assists, 7 SOG and 4 PIM in the Caps 7-4 win on Friday over Edmonton. The Washington offense has been nothing short of spectacular so far and it looks like we have a competitor for the best line in hockey with the Stars. I had him ranked higher than everywhere else preseason (83rd) and I look to be far too low myself. Thankfully it was good enough because I have him in almost all leagues. I didn’t expect him to play on the first line but he took advantage of the Nicklas Backstrom injury (1+1, 2 SOG) to start the season and hasn’t looked back.
T.J. Oshie – Two assists with two shots. Another Capital who I liked a lot but I had ranked too low (76th). I said in my rankings that “career highs across the board are within the realm of possibility.” Well, it’s looking damn likely now.
Alex Ovechkin – Two assists on four shots. Nothing to see here; he’s the best player in fantasy hockey.
John Carlson – Three assists. Being higher on Carlson than anyone else is also paying dividends. Caps players for the win!
Andre Burakovsky – Goal and assist with one shot. He’s worth mentioning because if somebody on the Caps were to get injured, he’s likely to move into the top 6, in which case his value would sky rocket.
Justin Williams – Goal and assist with four shots. Solid start to his Capitals career. He’s fringe in 12’ers for now unless his power play time increases.
Justin Faulk – Goal on 9 shots in 2 games. The plus-minus is ugly so far but everything else from Faulk has been great. Over 4 shots per game from a defenseman is absurd.
Devan Dubnyk – 15 save shutout against the Ducks Friday (how bad are the Ducks right now?), then came in relief Sunday and stopped 14 of 15 shots in 37 minutes. Coach Mike Yeo mentioned that Dubnyk was supposed to get the night off to rest an injury but used him in relief anyways. It must be minor so I have no concerns, even if Dubnyk is the backup in the next Wild game.
Thomas Vanek – Goal and assist with 4 shots in 2 games. Good to see Vanek with 4 goals already with only one on the power play; he’s going to crush it on the power play, it’s a given with his abilities. He’s being utilized properly by Mike Yeo so Vanek should get back to 25 goals with the upside for more.
Michael Cammalleri – Goal and two assists on 4 shots in the Devils win over Buffalo. He’s on an absolute tear right now; it looks like the entire Devils first line is actually going to be fantasy relevant.
Adam Henrique – Two goals and an assist with 2 shots and 2 PIM. I said he’s fringe in 12’ers before the weekend; he’s must-own now. The minutes are there and Cammalleri is a great complement to Henrique’s game.
Lee Stempniak – Assist on 2 shots. I’m still not adding Stemp in standard 12’ers but I’d definitely add him in leagues that count hits and would look to stream him in all leagues when possible.
Leo Komarov – Goal and assist on 3 shots in the loss to Montreal. He’s playing on the top line right now and is streaky so I’d look to stream him. In leagues that count hits, I’d add Komarov if possible, 28 hits in 7 games is outstanding and now he should contribute offensively.
James van Riemsdyk – Goal and assist on 5 shots. Over 3 shots per game and most importantly, is actually +1 on the season. He’ll end the year in the top 100 with ease if he can avoid a horrible minus.
Dion Phaneuf – Assist with 5 shots and 2 PIM. Amazing that he’s +5 right now. Everything else is going to be good so he’s must-own in all leagues right now.
Mikkel Boedker – Hat trick on 5 shots Saturday against the Senators. Another streaky player that I’d be looking to stream right now.
Anders Lindback -35 saves on 36 shots in the win. He has a history of being a below-average goaltender so there’s not much to see here.
Henrik Lundqvist – 46 saves on 48 shots in the shootout loss to Philadelphia Saturday. Hank played out of this world; Philly could have easily scored 7 goals in this game. He’s in the zone to start the year and is as consistent as they come so expect him to be contending for the Vezina trophy at the end of the season.
Derick Brassard – Two goals on 4 shots in two games. The shots have been poor but I’m still holding Brassard in 12 man leagues.
Kevin Hayes – Two assists with 5 shots. The Rangers second power play unit has struggled so far so once that gets fixed, Hayes’ point totals should increase. I’m still expecting around 55 points come the end of the season.
Antti Raanta – 22 saves on 23 shots in the 4-1 win Sunday over Calgary. He’s a top notch stream whenever he gets the spot start, especially when it’s at home. Raanta has never lost a home game in regulation (16-0-3 career after last night).
Wayne Simmonds – Assist with 3 shots and 2 PIM. Simmonds has 5 points in 7 games and the Flyers’ first power play unit hasn’t gotten going yet. Simmonds will surely get 20+ STP so I’d look to acquire him in a trade in anticipation of a hot streak, especially if you need PIM.
Thomas Greiss – 38 saves on 40 shots in the win over St. Louis. He’s the clear backup but Greiss is another quality stream option when he gets a start.
Jaden Schwartz – Out at least 12 weeks after surgery for a broken ankle. Horrible news for a young player with tons of upside. Stash him if you have IR spots but if you don’t, you have to cut him.
Colton Parayko – Goal and assist on 6 shots. Until Kevin Shattenkirk gets back from injury, Parayko is must-own having a spot on the point on the Blues’ top power play unit.
Alex Steen – Goal on 5 shots and 2 PIM. Again, please stay healthy!
Marc-Andre Fleury – 38 saves on 39 shots in the overtime win against Nashville. Huge game from Fleury when Pittsburgh needed him. The GAA and sv% are very good so far; if the offense breaks out, which is inevitably should, the wins should start rolling.
Phil Kessel – Goal on 6 shots. It feels like the Penguins offense is going to score 7 or 8 in a game soon to make up for their slow start. Kessel has 30 shots in 8 games which is a good sign that the points should start coming.
Evgeni Malkin – Two assists with a shot and 2 PIM. Been the Pens best player with 7 points in 8 games; he should keep up that pace at a minimum.
Jamie Benn – Two goals on 3 shots giving him 8 already on the season. Both goals were assisted by Tyler Seguin, who had 5 shots. These two are on another planet right now.
Nick Bjugstad – Goal and assist with 2 shots. The first line is getting all of the attention, with good reason, but Bjugstad has had a nice start to the season. I’m feeling good about ranking him in the top 100 overall.
Jaromir Jagr – Goal and assist on 5 shots. Seriously? How freaking good is this guy?
Jonathan Huberdeau – Two assists with two shots. He only has 4 points in 8 games so far but with Jagr playing the way he is on the opposite wing, I expect Huberdeau to pick up the pace soon.
Corey Crawford – 21 save shutout in the 1-0 win over Tampa. Looks great to start the season which is needed with the loss of Duncan Keith.
Jonathan Toews – First goal of the season in OT to win the game for Chicago. Hopefully Toews starts to get going; I expect him too since he has 0 power play points so far.
Sergei Bobrovsky – 31 saves on 34 shots in the 4-3 win against Colorado. Columbus finally won a game! Once John Tortorella implements his defensive system, I expect things to tighten up for Columbus leading Bob to turn things around. If you can buy low, I probably would.
Boone Jenner – Two goals on 4 shots with 2 PIM. He has no assists with has 5 goals in 9 games and is the type of player Torts generally likes. He’s someone I’d look to stream in 12’ers and would add in anything deeper. Jenner also racks up the hits so he’s worth considering for a permanent spot in leagues that count hits.
Ryan Murray – Goal and assist with 3 SOG and 2 PIM. I’m not adding him yet in 12’ers but I have him on the watchlist to see what his role is with Torts in charge.
Jarome Iginla – Goal and assist on 3 shots. Finally starting to see some signs of life from the Avs’ second line. They’re going to do poorly possession-wise but they have enough talent to take advantage of their opportunities. The Avs were a horrible possession team two years ago when they won the division so that shouldn’t stop Iginla and Matt Duchene (assist with 3 shots) from turning things around.
Gabriel Landeskog – No points but 7 shots with 4 PIM. His line is surely to be the only one to dominate possession as Landeskog is one of the best in the league in that area. With Nathan MacKinnon (7 shots as well) playing with him, I expect these two to both have career years.
Brandon Sutter – Goal on two shots. Good to see him produce even though he’s off the first line but I think I would turn his spot into a streamer spot in 12’ers unless he’s reunited with the Sedins.
Joel Ward – Hat trick on 4 shots against the Hurricanes. He looks great on the second line and has ample opportunity to succeed. I’m adding him in 12’ers now.
Brent Burns – Two assists and 2 shots. I’d like to see the plus-minus improve, especially with how good the Sharks are playing, but with 1+4, 35 SOG and 10 PIM in 8 games, things are looking great for Burns the rest of the season.
Martin Jones – 32 saves on 34 shots and the win. We don’t know how Jones is going to hold up over the course of the season being a starter for the first time but all signs point to Jones being a top 10 goalie this season.
Jonathan Quick – 40 save shutout on Friday, then 26 saves on 28 shots in the win Sunday. The Kings are starting to roll right now and Quick is at the forefront. Hopefully he can play like playoff Quick for most of the season instead of the inconsistent goalie we’ve seen in the regular season.
Tyler Toffoli – Two goals on 6 shots in 2 games. He still is without an assist with 6 goals in 7 games, Toffoli owners should be happy.
Milan Lucic – Three assists with 3 shots. Moved down to the second line with Toffoli and Jeff Carter (Goal, 4 SOG, 2 PIM) and has had much more success offensively. He’s third fiddle on the line but Lucic is a good fit providing the dirty work needed for Carter and Toffoli to have their space.
Connor McDavid – Goal, two assists, four shots and two PIM in 2 games. It’s amazing what this kid is doing as an 18 year old.
Nail Yakupov – Two assists and two shots. The second line for Edmonton right now is firing on all cylinders with McDavid, Yakupov and Benoit Pouliot (two goals and 7 shots). Pouliot is a good streamer right now while the other two are obviously must own.
Taylor Hall – Goal, assist, 4 SOG and 2 PIM. He only has 5 points in 8 games but Hall has 37 shots and 10 PIM. Hall has been unlucky to have only 2 goals on 37 shots so it would be wise to float some trade offers to see if his owner is unhappy.
Streamers for Monday:
Leo Komarov (0.0% owned) – See more details above. Great spot against an Arizona team due to regress.
Josh Bailey (0.3%) – See above. Calgary is on the second of a back to back tonight and has been struggling defensively.
Artem Anisimov (14%) – Anaheim is really struggling right now and Anisimov is centering two of the hottest players in the league in Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin.
That’s a wrap on the weekend. There’s only three games tonight but I’ll have a short recap up on Tuesday along with streamers for the 10 game Tuesday slate. As always, feel free to post any questions or comments below; I’ll answer all questions as soon as possible. I hope everyone’s weekend went well; take care everyone!