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:
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:
One of the goaltending performances of the season came in the marquee showdown on Tuesday.  Toronto sure didn't make it easy on Matt Murray, taking seven penalties, but Murray stood up to the challenge and then some.  Murray had a 44 save shutout, leading Toronto to a 4-0 victory.  I thought the Toronto goaltending would be rough this season, but Murray has been very good when on the ice.  Same goes with Ilya Samsonov.  It could fall apart just like it did for Campbell last season, but the reason I liked these guys as #2 goalies is their floor is so high because of wins.  When Toronto gets this level of goaltending, it's extremely hard to beat them.  Here's to hoping Murray can stay healthy because he could be a big difference maker in fantasy.  Let's take a look at what else 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:
During the longest playoff drought in NHL history, there have been plenty of hot starts from the Sabres.  While I still expect that drought to extend for another season, Thursday's game against the Flames felt different.  Coming off a win that they stole in Edmonton, the Sabres came in with house money.  They got a 4-1 lead before giving a goal with 1.6 seconds left in the second that the linesman inexplicably kicked into the middle of the ice.  Then, the Flames scored a minute into the third.  Old Sabres teams would have collapsed, but this one took over the rest of the game, winning 6-3 and being the better team against an elite Calgary team.  Leading the way was Alex Tuch, scoring a hat trick to give him five goals in the past three games.  Tuch has at least three shots on goal in all four games this season.  Buffalo's schedule for the rest of the month?  Vancouver, Seattle, Montreal, Chicago and Detroit.  Yeah, Tuch definitely needs to be held for the time being.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights: 
Today, I move from overall rankings to goaltenders only.  I'm going to cover my first four tiers today out of eight.  This will take me through 16 goalies.  These guys all have a realistic chance of finishing as a top 10 goalie this season to varying degrees.  There are some guys in the lower tiers who have an outside chance, but a lot will have to go right for them.  That post will not be as detailed as the previous three posts.  It will be in part, but when we get to tiers that are beyond desperation, it will be more of a list.  But enough about tomorrow's post, let's get to the top goalies!
Remember when the Kraken took Vitek Vanecek in the expansion draft and then traded him right back to Washington?  Imagine where Washington would be if they only had Samsonov.  Vanecek had a 36 save shutout in the 4-0 win over the Hurricanes.  He missed some time recently, but Vanecek is approaching a 2.30/.920 line.  He's been miles better than Samsonov despite Samsonov winning at a much higher clip.  Amazingly, Vanecek is still available in over 70% of leagues at the time of this writing.  I'm not saying that he's going to be a workhorse, but Vanecek will be splitting at the very least, and his numbers are clearly good enough to hold.  This season has been quite encouraging for Vanecek's long term prospects as well.  He's not a lock to be the Washington goalie of the future, but it's certainly in play now.  At the least, he looks the part of a capable tandem.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Well, we have a clear winner for craziest game of the season.   Toronto went up 6-1 and 7-2 going into the third, only to allow four goals in the first 5:21 of the second, only to end up pulling away from the Red Wings.  10-7!  10-7!!!  Absolutely bonkers.  Toronto scored ten goals and didn't even have a power play.  The top line destroyed Detroit, led by Mitch Marner, who had four goals and two assists with six shots and two PIM.  Michael Bunting had a goal and four assists with four shots, while Auston Matthews had a goal and three assists with four shots.  Look, we know what we're getting from Marner and Matthews.  Bunting I'm still torn on.  Even in this game, Bunting played under 14 minutes.  It's hard to sustain success with that workload.  On the other hand, that line is as good as any in hockey right now, and Bunting has been going off.  I'm still leaning towards elite streamer, but I can't argue with anyone holding him.  Seventeen goals in a game!  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
It's been the longest break without playing hockey in Evgeni Malkin's career.  He sure didn't show any rust in his return.  Malkin was outstanding on Tuesday, scoring two goals and an assist with four shots playing 17:21 in the 4-1 win over the Ducks.  Everything we wanted to see from Malkin in his season debut was there.  Top power play unit?  Check.  Centering the second line?  Check.  Quality minutes?  Check.  He'll even have better linemates once Rust returns.  I'm not expecting Malkin to be a top 20 player, but top 50 certainly seems within reach given how well the Penguins power play is clicking.  If you stashed him, then you're going to make out extremely well if he can stay healthy.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
A personal favorite, Filip Forsberg, took over the game on Tuesday night, scoring four goals in the 6-0 win over the Blue Jackets.  That gives Forsberg 10 goals and 5 assists in 13 games.  Not bad, not bad.  The story is the same for Forsberg as it has been over the last five years.  When he's on the ice, he's one of the best offensive players in the league.  The problem is that he always seems to have an injury that causes him to miss a month.  He's already missed eight games so fingers crossed that he stays healthy the rest of the way.  His linemates (more on them later) have found their form as well giving Nashville a potent first line for the first time since Johansen was playing his best hockey and Arvidsson was at his peak goal scoring ability.  He has a tough matchup with Boston on Thursday, but after that, Nashville has some easy opponents which could let Forsberg continue this goal scoring run.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
The Blues have cooled off a bit since their hot start, but that doesn't mean that all of their players have.  Pavel Buchnevich tore it up over the weekend, scoring a goal and an assist with three shots and two PIM on Friday before coming back with two goals and an assist with five shots on Saturday.  Buch is crushing it across the board on the seasons now with 8+8, 18 PIM and 58 shots in 19 games.  Add in a +8 rating and he's a top 20 forward at the moment.  Do I expect that to last? No, but his fit in St. Louis couldn't be better and now he's getting plenty of minutes, especially with David Perron out of the lineup.  Somehow, he's still available in over 20% of leagues which is blasphemous.  He has a real chance at being a top 50 player this year.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
The hits keep coming for Tampa Bay.  Brayden Point is now out indefinitely after an ugly crash into the boards on Saturday.  The Tampa lineup is starting to get pretty thin.  Stammer has been forced to go back to center, with Alex Barre-Boulet getting time on the top line.  Barre-Boulet scored in Sunday's game against the Wild.  He's a decent streamer now.  The more interesting player is Anthony Cirelli, who scored two goals on five shots with two PIM on Sunday playing over 24 minutes.  It's pretty clear that Cirelli is going to be the top minute getter for Tampa for the time being.  I think he becomes a must hold in all formats.  Let's take a look at what else happened around the league this weekend: