In a game that was overshadowed by Provorov's refusal to wear the Pride jersey in warmups, Kevin Hayes continued his All-Star season with a hat trick against the Ducks.  With his six shots, Hayes is approaching three shots per game, and playing at a 75 point pace, easily the best of his career.  The Flyers have been much better over the last month, with Hayes being one of the focal points.  He's erased his horrible plus-minus which is enough to make him a bottom end hold in all format.  Let's take a look at what else happened on Tuesday night:
It's no secret in these parts that I'm from Buffalo and root for the local teams.  I've seen plenty of devastating injuries over the years, from hockey players being severely cut, Pronger's collapse on the ice, soccer players collapsing like Eriksen in 2021, and I was at the Bills game when Kevin Everett was paralyzed.  Damar Hamlin's cardiac arrest was the first time that it felt like "life or death" on the football field.  It seemed like an eternity between first responders helping him, getting him to the hospital, and waiting for any update.  I can only imagine how it was for his family, friends, and teammates.  Here's to hoping that Hamlin continues to progress in his battle towards recovery.  The Sabres played in Washington on Tuesday night, with the entire team wearing "Love For Three" t-shirts for their Buffalo brethren.  The Sabres won the game 5-4 in the most fitting way possible.  Tage Thompson scored his third goal of the game, completing his third hat trick of the season, exactly three minutes into overtime, playing three on three, bringing him to 30 on the season, which is three off the league lead.  You can't write a better ending than that.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights while we keep Damar in our thoughts:
While I wasn't expecting a repeat of last season from Filip Forsberg, his drop off was a much higher level than it should have been.  Thankfully, he started the turn around in a massive way this weekend.  Against Anaheim on Friday, Forsberg had a goal and two assists.  He followed it up with an even better game, scoring a hat trick on six shots against the Golden Knights.  With those performances, Forsberg is on a 33+41 pace, which isn't amazing, but far more acceptable given Forsberg's shot rate.  Here's to hoping that Forsberg can keep building.  Nashville is going on a long road trip soon, which could lead to a bit more ice time for Forsberg when Hynes can't protect matchups as easily.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
What better way to become the third player ever to 800 goals than to score a hat trick?  Alex Ovechkin did just that on Tuesday, scoring three times and adding an assist against the Chicago Blackhawks.  He's only one goal behind Gordie Howe for second all-time, and then the real chase towards Gretzky starts.  Ovechkin already has 20 goals this season in 31 games, a mere 53 goal pace for the 37 year old.  He's over four shots per game, and while the plus-minus is disappointing, it's starting to turn around a bit.  My love for Ovechkin is well known in these parts, so I don't need to belabor the point, but I can't wait for the greatest goal scorer ever to push towards 895.  Here's to hoping he keeps battling father time and gives hockey fans a great chase.  Let's see what else happened over the last two nights:
Colorado has been decimated by injuries at a level we've never seen before.  The return of Valeri Nichushkin makes him their second healthy top six forward.  Luckily for them, Mikko Rantanen put the team on his back on Sunday.  After scoring Colorado's only goal against the Rangers on Friday, Rantanen scored all three goals for Colorado on Sunday, tying the game with 7.1 seconds left before winning the game in overtime.  Quietly, Rantanen is up to 19 goals on the season, playing at a higher point pace than his monster 2021-22.  The shot rate is down a bit so his goal rate is a bit unsustainable, but hopefully the shots tick back up without MacKinnon.  Regardless, Rantanen has cemented himself as a top 10 fantasy hockey player.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
Tage Thompson's nickname, as given to him by Sabres announcer Dan Dunleavy, is TNT.  Safe to say that everyone who watched Wednesday's game on TNT learned the nickname.  Thompson had the game of the season, scoring five times, five times, five times, five times!  He scored four in the first period, becoming the 18th player to ever score four in a period, and the fourth to do it in the first period.  He put nine shots on goal in total and added an assist despite playing only 13:56 in the game.  Here's the list of players who have multiple 3+ goals, 6+ point games in the last 30 seasons: Thompson, Zibanejad, Lemieux, and Gretzky.  And Thompson is only 1/3 of the way through the season!  He now has 21+19 in 26 games with over five shots per game.  Honestly, it doesn't look like a fluke at all.  Sure, his shooting percentage is a little high, but marginally so.  If he can maintain his shot rate, that's over 400 shots in a season, making him close to a lock for 50 goals.  As far as going forward, Thompson has played his way into the top 10 discussion.  His minutes could even end up increasing towards 20 per game from the 18:31 he's at now.  Thompson has already turned his contract extension into a massive steal for the Sabres.  Let's take a look at what else happened the last two nights:
As someone who is a big believer in Jason Robertson and had him ranked 32nd overall, a bit ahead of consensus, I did not see this coming.  Robertson scored a hat trick on Thursday versus the Ducks, bringing him to 22+17 in 24 games.  Is that good?  Then you see Robertson is averaging under 18 minutes per game and realize that given a normal superstar workload, it would be even better!  He's been absolutely incredible to this point and if the season ended today, he'd be the Hart Trophy winner.  Is it going to last like this?  Probably not.  But he's clearly a top 10 player at this point, which is insane considering that two seasons ago, he was a second round pick rookie.  Whatever scout led Dallas to picking Robertson deserves all of the money.  Let's see what else happened over the last two nights:
Dallas locked up the last part of their core on Tuesday, signing Roope Hintz to an eight year contract extension.  Even being in the midst of a three game pointless streak, Hintz remains over a point per game and based on game score, he's a top ten forward in the league to this point of the season.  I don't expect him to maintain that pace, but his line is right there for the crown of best in the NHL.  Fantasy wise, I'd like to see the shot rate uptick 10-20%, but even with where he is, Hintz is a solid piece towards the top end of your roster.  If DeBoer played him 20+ minutes like he should instead of 17 per game, the numbers would be even better.  Congrats to Hintz for securing the bag!  Let's see what happened over the last two nights:
The Jets have been excellent to open the season, but that hasn't stopped them from tweaking things to get better.  On Friday, we saw Bowness go back to last season's duo of Pierre-Luc Dubois and Kyle Connor together, something I've been clamoring for.  They notched one goal on Friday by Connor from Dubois, but they went off against Chicago on Sunday.  Dubois had two goals on eight shots, while Connor had a goal and two assists with two shots.  I've been saying it was a matter of time for Connor to get going, and I think that time is now.  He's too talented to not pile up goals.  Dubois has been quite good across the board so far this season, but career highs are now in play.  The shot rate is fantastic, the PIM are strong, and he's playing at a 40 goal pace.  It sucks that they're missing Ehlers indefinitely so they don't have a great second winger, but even still, look for these guys to improve their even strength performance while remaining great on the power play.  Let's see what else happened over the weekend:
To say the injuries are piling up on Washington is an understatement.  They have six players on IR plus Orlov missed Monday's game.  The salaries of these players combines to over $40 million.  Washington pulled off the upset over the Oilers on Monday on the back of their power play.  Four of the five Capital goals came on the power play, with Evgeny Kuznetsov leading the charge with two goals, two assists, four shots and two PIM playing over 20 minutes.  It hasn't been the best start to the season for Kuz, but this will certainly help.  It's also encouraging that he has 3+ shots in five of his last seven games.  If I owned Kuz in fantasy, I would be patient.  With the lack of depth Washington is dealing with, the minutes should get back up towards the 20:17 he averaged last season.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Vancouver has managed to blow multi-goal leads in each of their first four games.  Pretty remarkable stuff that already has Boudreau on the hot seat.  The good news is that there's still been some offensive bright spots for the Canucks, and Elias Pettersson is leading the way.  Pettersson had five points over the last two nights, totaling two goals, three assists, and six shots in the two games.  That brings Pettersson to 3+3 in four games, along with 3.5 shots per game.  That's a good start to one of my bold predictions of the season, which is that Pettersson will score 45+ goals this year.  Time will tell if that pans out, but I have no doubt that Pettersson can be a top 25 player despite the low penalty minutes.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Today, I move into the forwards section of my rankings.  I'm going to go through the top 40 forwards overall, 18 of which were covered in my Top 10 and 20 posts (linked below).  My plan for the rest of the week is to plow through 80 forwards before compiling a top 200 list to be out Friday for everyone's drafts over the next week.  I'm sure this will be a long one so let's get to it!