Joel Eriksson Ek took a big step forward last season, one of the main reasons the Wild made the playoffs with relative ease.  It was more on the defensive end than offensively, but he showed plenty of offense with 19 goals in 56 games.  On Tuesday, Eriksson Ek controlled the game for the Wild, scoring a hat trick on seven shots in the 6-5 OT win over the Jets.  Eriksson Ek averaged just over two shots per game last season, but he now has twelve shots in three games.  The minutes are going to be there so there's a chance he could push into bottom end hold territory.  For now, he's an elite streamer.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
I certainly won't be doing any victory laps after the first weekend, but Sam Bennett made me look good on Saturday, scoring a hat trick on six shots in the 5-1 win over the Islanders.  Bennett finds himself in the same role as last season when he blew up after the trade deadline.  Remarkably, he's still available in 40% of leagues on ESPN.  I assume nobody that reads my posts would be in a league where Bennett is on the waiver wire, but if he is, grab him right now.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
Things have changed quite a bit with goaltending in the NHL since I started writing at Razzball. When I started, there were tons of workhorses with very few teams using a platoon.  Now, more than half of the teams have a duo where the backup is getting at least 1/3 of the starts, if not a complete split.  Among the few workhorses that we have left, there are only six that I completely trust to be a #1 goalie this year.  I am breaking down all of the goalies in the NHL into tiers (and ranking them within in each tier), but be sure to understand how your league format can change the value of certain players.  For example, if you're in a head to head league, Marc-Andre Fleury is going to be more valuable than in a roto league because the volume should be there.  In a roto league where you have a set number of starts, someone like Ilya Sorokin, who, barring injury, should start 35-40 games, gets a boost because the quality of starts matters a lot more than volume.  If you have specific questions, ask them in the comments section, but I'll have a quick note on everyone when necessary.  Let's get to it!
It's not the first time this season, but Jonathan Huberdeau had five points in Tuesday's 7-4 win over the Predators, scoring twice and adding three assists.  I know I'm a broken record with Huberdeau, but there's no superstar that gets less recognition than Huberdeau does.  Thankfully, the Panthers clinched a playoff berth with the victory so he'll get back on the big stage.  He's playing a 95 point pace again and should be around 25th overall going into next season in standard leagues.  If your league doesn't include shots, he'll be even higher.  It took longer than anticipated, but Huberdeau has proven to be worth the third overall pick from 10 years ago and then some.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Prince Igor Shesterkin had one of the easiest games of his life on Thursday, recording a 16 save shutout in the 4-0 win over the Devils.  The debate I have is where he should be ranked in dynasties.  Vasilevskiy is clearly #1 still, but could be Igor be #2 overall?  With Hart having a brutal season, there aren't many other candidates.  Hellebuyck definitely deserves discussion, but it appears that Shesterkin has played his way into being a top 3 dynasty goalie.  The Rangers are coming on strong right now, and it should only get better going forward as their young players develop.  Amazingly, the Rangers could have another incredible run in net after King Henrik dominated for almost 15 years.  Let's take a look at what else happened on Thursday night:
The Washington Capitals have received plenty of criticism for their blockbuster trade on Monday.  If things go like they did on Tuesday, I'm sure they'll have no complaints.  Anthony Mantha scored a goal and added an assist with six shots in the 6-1 win over the Capitals.  If it wasn't for a spectacular Elliott save, Mantha would have had a three point game right off the rip.  I wrote in the trade deadline blog that I would have added Mantha right away after the trade for the upside.  If you were slow to pull the trigger, odds are somebody else in your league already grabbed him, but go check.  He's still available in about 25% of leagues and he needs to be owned everywhere, especially with Washington playing the Sabres tonight.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
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:
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:
On Friday, I started off talking about the first line in Columbus really putting together some great performances.  This continued on Saturday, especially for Cam Atkinson.  Atkinson had a goal and an assist with four shots against Chicago, giving him a goal in four of the past five games.  The shot rate is above average and could end up elite again, plus the minutes have been excellent.  I can not believe that Atkinson is still only 36% owned on Sunday.  He should be held in all formats for the time being, and there's a legitimate chance he can stay a hold for the rest of the season.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend: