One of my best calls in my four years of writing at Razzball was the breakout for Vincent Trocheck.  His ability to hit all of the categories at a very strong rate was underrated by many.  Sadly, it looks like he could be done for the season after a gruesome injury Monday night against the Senators.  Best case scenario, it's going to be a few months.  We don't have an update yet, but either way, you either have to put Trocheck on IR if you have the room or cut him.  It's a tough loss for the Panthers who really ride their top six.  It's unclear who is going to play 2C now.  Perhaps Nick Bjugstad slides there or Jared McCann moves up.  I think Bjugstad and Jonathan Huberdeau take a slight hit to their value without Trocheck, while the guys on the first line get a small boost.  It wouldn't shock me to see those guys pushing 23 minutes a night on a regular basis.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
It's nothing new when Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler have big games, and both managed to do so twice this weekend.  In Friday's 5-2 win over the Avalanche, Wheeler registered a point on all five goals, going 1+4, while Scheifele scored a goal and two assists with three shots.  They followed that up with Wheeler getting two more assists and Scheifele posting a 2+1 game.  Wheeler already has 20 assists in 16 games to go with 19 PIM and 3 goals, while Scheifele is up to 9+10 with 20 PIM.  Wheeler was a borderline first round pick that I had ranked as a high second rounder, while Scheifele was more 2nd/3rd range.  With his shot rate at exactly 2.5 per game right now, that solidifies him as a second round value.  Remember when ESPN had him ranked in the 60s?  Hilarious.  These two should continue to put up points no matter the opposition.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
I generally don't like to lead posts about obvious must-holds, but a five point game deserves recognition.  Brayden Point went off on Tuesday night scoring a goal and dishing four assists.  That brings him to a whopping 7+7 in 11 games.  He's on the lethal top power play unit meaning the 22 year old looks like he can take another jump from last season's breakout.  The shot rate will determine just how good Point will be for fantasy, but he looks the part of a borderline top 50 guy for the foreseeable future.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Last year's point leader for defensemen is off to an even better start this season.  John Carlson had a goal and two assists on Monday, bringing his totals to 5/8/+6/6/19/8 through eight games.  It was hard to see any upside from last season's totals, but some shooting percentage luck could have Carlson around 20+50.  Add in a quality plus-minus, and there's a chance that Carlson ends up the #1 defenseman for the season.  It's far from a guarantee, but it's abundantly clear through three weeks that last season's big breakout was no fluke.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
What's the worst spot for a goaltender to start right now?  Probably against Toronto on the road.  Well, Matt Murray had that exact spot on Thursday, and did the exact opposite of what most expected.  In a game where Toronto's expected goal total was pushing 4, Murray stopped all 38 shots he faced, shutting out the powerhouse Maple Leafs 3-0.  Murray's upside is undeniable; it's just a matter of keeping him on the ice and the defense in front of him not being a total mess.  For now, expect the Pens to give him the vast majority of the starts, meaning you can safely cut Casey DeSmith.  The Penguins schedule is fairly soft over the next couple of weeks, so feel safe rolling Murray.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Jeff Skinner was off to a slow start with the Sabres going pointless in his first four games.  That said, having watched all of the games, he was generating plenty of chances and it was only a matter of time.  That time was on Saturday, as Skinner did all of the work on Rasmus Dahlin's first career goal getting his first point as a Sabre, and he followed that up with a smooth backhander in the third period for his first goal.  Yes, Skinner played only 13 minutes in this game, but I expect him to settle in the 17-18 minute range as the season progresses.  Other players had bigger games on Saturday, but I wanted to highlight Skinner for two reasons.  One, if you own him, do not panic and hold onto him.  Two, if you don't, you might be able to buy low, and I think it's a great opportunity to get a 3 time 30 goal scorer on the relative cheap.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
It's been years since Jack Campbell was the hot goaltending prospect.  Seemingly out of nowhere, Campbell has been thrown into the fire and has come out hotter than a pistol.  Campbell had his best game to date on Thursday, recording a 40 save shutout in the 3-0 win over the Canadiens.  He now has 117 saves on 121 shots over 3 games.  Jonathan Quick is week-to-week, so while it might only be a short term thing, Campbell is worth owning in virtually all leagues until Quick returns.  The Kings aren't the powerhouse they used to be, but they're still a strong possession team making their goal automatically worth owning.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
The scores of some of the games over the last two days may have been surprising, but nothing compares to Mike Smith going into Smashville and shutting out the Predators.  Smith stopped 43 shots he faced in the 3-0 win over the NHL's Stanley Cup favorite.  So what do we make of Smith?  Well, facing 43 shots isn't a recipe for success.  On the other hand, the Flames have a lot of star power, and Bill Peters has a system that generally leads to puck possession (the downfall in Carolina was goaltending, plain and simple).  Smith gave up a bunch of goals to Vancouver last week, so these three games sum him up perfectly.  You never know what you're going to get, and it's going to make for a wild ride in head to head leagues.  At the end of the day in roto leagues, he should be a solid #2, especially given the volume he's likely to get.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the past two nights:
It wasn't that long ago that Ben Bishop was the #1 goalie for an entire season of fantasy hockey.  It's been two years since, but Bishop showed his upside on Thursday night, posting a 30 save shutout in the 3-0 win over the Coyotes.  I'm not going to overreact to one game; I think Bishop is a bottom end #1 fantasy goalie.  That said, there's a chance that the Stars make big strides with Montgomery running the show instead of Hitchcock, which would make Bishop the main beneficiary.  The Stars' play over the first few weeks of the season is worth monitoring to decide whether Bishop is worth targeting in a trade.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the first two nights of the season:
Lackeydrinksonme here, buying the big Texan some more drinks. This is my third in a series of fantasy hockey skater rankings. As I mentioned, I use 17-18 stats including points per game, points/TOI, Wins Above Replacement, Expected Goals and Actual Goals, and Offensive Point Shares, among others. I also use the eye test, and I try to consider what team a player is on, their expected linemates, and where they are in their careers. I also try to include my rationale, and for most players will offer a prediction on year end points. Like Viz indicated, once you get past the first few names there can be very little separation between certain players, and this obviously isn’t meant to be a comprehensive or be-all end-all ranking. Rather, it’s to give you another perspective on where players are being valued, and might reinforce an idea you have about a skater or surprise you with some analysis. I’ll gladly take questions in the comment section.