It’s very early in the season but Anze Kopitar is playing at an MVP level for the Kings.  Kopitar had another monster game on Tuesday scoring two goals on three shots and adding an assist in the 4-1 win over Detroit.  Kopitar now has 12 goals and 16 assists in 25 games with an above average shot rate.  The Slovenian is averaging over 22 minutes per night carrying a massive workload with Jeff Carter injured.  It comes as no surprise that the Kings are much better with Kopitar on the ice and that he’s a top 50 fantasy player again.  Right now, I’d say Kopitar is the Selke favorite and even belongs in the MVP discussion; he’s been that good.  Let’s take a look at what else happened on Tuesday night:

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I normally don’t give the extended intro to the same player twice in a short period of time but my boy Blake Wheeler gets the honor tonight.  Wheeler’s excellent play continued on Monday night dishing four assists in the 4-1 win over the Stars, adding four shots and a +3 rating.  All of a sudden, Wheeler is quietly creeping up on the Tampa duo sitting third in the league in points.  5+16, +7, 14 PIM, 9 STP, 46 SOG is Wheeler’s line through 14 games.  I don’t know what you guys think of that but it seems like an okay start to the season.  Loyal readers know I’ve long praised Wheeler as the most underrated superstar in the game and there are simply few players who consistently play at the level he does.  Let’s take a look at what else happened in the 6 game slate on Monday:

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In an opening month where tons of goalies are struggling, Corey Crawford certainly is not.  Crawford continued his excellent play on Wednesday making 35 saves for a shutout against the Flyers.  Crawford sits with a sub 2.00 GAA and > .940 save percentage.  To quote Larry David, “pretty, pretty, pretty good.”  He’s going a long way in masking some of the problems that the Blackhawks have.  Regardless, we all knew Crawford was a #1 fantasy goalie but perhaps he plays his way into the upper tier?  To be honest, the Blackhawks probably need it.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:

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Hat tricks have been in vogue lately so Blake Wheeler decided to take it to another level.  Wheeler scored a hat trick in the first period on Sunday and later added an assist in the 7-1 win over the Penguins.  Wheeler has been the fantasy stalwart we’ve become accustomed to in the early going with 4+8, +3, 12 PIM, 35 SOG and 4 STP in 10 games.  I don’t know how many more years Wheeler will keep up this level of play but for now, he’s a top 20 player with relative ease.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the weekend:

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Reid and I talked about John Tavares extensively on Tuesday’s podcast.  We both saw him as a viable option for The Three Point Challenge but decided to go elsewhere since it’s rare for someone to post consecutive three point games.  Well, Tavares shoved it up both of our you-know-wheres!  He scored a hat trick and added an assist in the 5-3 win over the Coyotes.  All of a sudden, a slow start (3 points in 7 games) has been erased with Tavares at 10 points in 9 games.  This is why we wait at least a month before we panic about players, especially studs like Tavares.  Look for him to be his usual self going forward, which means being a top 20 forward.  Let’s take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:

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Hello Razzballers, Reid here.

While Viz is off doing things in Vegas that will inherently stay in Vegas, I’m going to bring you the daily writeup from the Monday and Tuesday games (doing a separate post for just one game on Monday makes absolutely no sense). Nikita Kucherov is against hot hot hot as he has a goal in each of the first 6 games for Tampa Bay. I’m only going to highlight the notables from these games that you should be focusing on.

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The first home game for the Vegas Golden Knights couldn’t have started any better.  After an amazing pre-game ceremony, Vegas stormed out to four goals in the first period en route to winning 5-2 against the Coyotes.  Here we are with Vegas sitting at 3-0.  So do we have to change our expectations for the team?  I’ll talk about it extensively with Reid tomorrow but I still believe they’ll be at the bottom of the league come April.  That said, what an amazing start for a team in the wake of tragedy.  For fantasy, I think there’s three guys I would own right now in standard 12’ers: Marc-Andre Fleury, James Neal and Nate Schmidt.  There is still some downside for all of them but in the moment, just enjoy the ride.  I can’t wait to be there next week to see a game in Vegas.  Let’s take a look at what else happened on Tuesday night:

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All everyone talked about in the preseason was wondering how bad Vegas was going to be in their expansion year.  Sure, it’s only two games, but boy did they have some excitement.  On Friday, Dallas was dominating Vegas in their franchise opener but was only up 1-0 in the third.  Down goes Ben Bishop which opened up the door for James Neal to give the people of Las Vegas some relief in an awful time.  Neal scored two goals in the third period to propel the Golden Knights to victory.  To top off the weekend, Neal scored another goal, this time the game winner in overtime, to give Vegas two wins to start the season.  Neal is still available in over 40% of leagues and if you are in one of them, grab him.  The shot rate is going to be elite along with solid penalty minutes and goals.  At least for now, I’m not overly concerned about the top guys on Vegas having bad plus-minuses either.  Let’s take a look at what else happened in the first (long) weekend of the NHL season:

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Giving up five goals to St. Louis in the opener wasn’t extremely concerning for the Penguins.  But ten goals to Chicago in game two?  I believe that qualifies as a mess.  Obviously I’m not going to panic in regards to the Pittsburgh season outlook; I’d actually try to trade for Matt Murray if their owner is panicking.  We’ll have to wait a few weeks to develop a bigger sample size, especially because this spot was perfect for the Blackhawks, but maybe they’re better than I gave them credit for.  Let’s take a look at the eight games from Thursday night and see what developed:

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We’ve reached the halfway point in my rankings and it’s time to approach the finish line.  I will keep updating this with info for players as Friday progresses but I wanted to get the top 150 out as soon as possible.  Also, sorry for the delay, but the RCL’s will launch this coming Monday in the afternoon.  I’ve had a few technical difficulties setting it up but that should be taken care of by then.  Without further adieu, here is my top 150:

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