We're keeping it moving here at Razzball with the Top 40 defensemen.  If you didn't see the top 20, you can read that here.  I have some good news as well!  JKJ, who writes on the baseball side of things, is going to be helping me out with hockey this year.  He's going to have a weekly post during the season to focus on streaming.  As of now, the plan is for that to come out on Thursdays to cover the weekend since streaming is prevalent on Friday and Saturday.  Additionally, he's going to do quick team previews for the entire league.  Look out for those starting next week!  Now let's get to the top 40:
The hype surrounding Kirill Kaprizov was building for a few years before he came to the NHL.  Even with the lofty expectations on his shoulders, he's played at a level higher than anyone expected.  On Friday, Kaprizov scored a hat trick on eight shots with two PIM and a +4 rating.  He followed that up with another eight shots on Sunday, adding an assist and two penalty minutes.  I wrote about a month ago that I expected Kaprizov's shot rate to take a big jump as the season progressed based on his shooting totals in the KHL.  Well, sixteen shots in the past two games brings him over 2.5 per game, an average rate for a forward.  Add in being just under a point per game and we can basically call the Calder race now.  I'm not convinced that it's going to get better in the future as Kaprizov will be 24 by the time the regular season ends, but either way, he should establish himself around a 30+40 pace in a normal season with slight upside on both of those numbers.  Kaprizov is definitely a top 50 dynasty asset, but I don't think he pushes the top 25 long term because the penalty minutes will be low and more importantly, I don't think he gets to be a 3.5-4 shot per game guy because he's too good of a playmaker for that.  Either way, if you're lucky enough to have him, enjoy it because there's nothing fluky about his performance.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
As far as feel good stories go, Troy Grosenick is near the top of the list for the season.  Grosenick, a 31 year old with only two previous NHL games in 2014, was forced into action for the Kings on Wednesday following Cal Petersen going on the COVID list.  To say Grosenick rose to the moment would be an understatement.  He saved 33 of 34 shots that he faced in the 5-1 win over the Ducks.  You have to love a journeyman coming in and having success.  All of a sudden, Grosenick could get some starts in the near term.  If you're in a deep league and desperate for starts, you can roll the dice on him.  With LA's next six games against Colorado, St. Louis, and Vegas, it's definitely a gamble, but the Kings have been a massive surprise so maybe Grosenick will be the next guy to keep them afloat.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
It was looking good for the Wild on Monday night.  After letting Vegas tie the game 2-2, Minnesota scored two goals in 19 seconds near the end of the second period to go up 4-2.  Move to the last minute up 4-3 with the goalie pulled, and Mark Stone makes a fabulous pass to Tuch to tie up the game.  In overtime, the Wild were controlling the puck until Stone won it back, and hit Patches for the game winner.  In a 5-4 victory, Stone had five assists, and not just five assists, five primary assists.  He was in a bit of a slump before this game with one point in his previous five games, but safe to say that's in the rear view mirror now.  Stone now has 22 points in 18 games, averaging an assist a game.  The big concern is that his shot rate has plummeted down to under two per game.  That puts a big dent into his overall value, but if he's going to put up an assist a game dominating at five on five, it's hard to complain.  That said, be a little more selfish and don't let Patches take every shot!  The first captain in Vegas history has been excellent this season and even though I'm American, I can't wait to see him in the Olympics on say, McDavid or MacKinnon's wing.  Or maybe the three of them are a line, who knows with how stacked their team is.  Let's see 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:
Now is the time to get excited if you own Blues players.  Sure, the top guys have been plenty good, but after their seven game battle with the Coyotes, the Blues played their next 11 games against the California trio.  It took a dramatic finish on Thursday, but they started off on the right foot.  With the goalie pulled, the Blues tied the game before winning it in overtime on a David Perron goal.  Perron scored a goal and added two assists with four shots in the victory.  That brings him over a point per game on the season with a quality plus-minus, solid shot rate, and good PIM.  He's a true stud across the board that tends to get a bit overlooked.  The top players on the Blues could be in line for a big month with Perron leading the way.  I can't rule out a top 50 season when we reach the end of this truncated year.  Let's take a look at what else happened on Thursday night:
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:
Not sure David Pastrnak even knows who Christopher Columbus is, but he sure dominated on his day Monday.  Pastrnak won the game for the Bruins scoring all four goals on five shots.  Two of those goals were on the power play, he chipped in two penalty minutes, and finished +1.  I generally don't like to lead off posts talking about superstars, but I feel obligated to give Pasta props for a four goal game.  The top seven going into the season were pretty clear for me but who was eighth was a debate.  I ultimately decided on Draisaitl but went with Pastrnak in the nine spot.  So far, so good.  Look for the Bruins top line to dominate on a nightly basis.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights: