It has been a terrible year for Kris Letang on and off the ice, but mostly off.  He suffered a stroke and his father passed away shortly after.  After almost a month away from the team, Letang returned on Tuesday and carried the Penguins to victory.  Letang had a vintage performance, scoring two goals and two assists with six shots, four hits, and two blocks in the 7-6 OT win over the Panthers.  I'm not going to say Letang will have a monster second half based on one game in his age 35 season.  The good news is that there's a lot of games left for him to make an impact, and we know how big the upside is.  If I said Letang was a top five defenseman the rest of the way, would you be shocked?  I wouldn't.  Now, the floor is much lower in the past, even assuming he can stay healthy.  However, Pitt is starting to round into form, offensively at least, and the opportunity is there for a big finish.  If your team is in position where you need to take a gamble, I would float some offers to the Letang owner.  If I had him and was patient through the first three months, fingers crossed that he can salvage the season.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
There used to be a time where players received a massive fantasy boost playing with Tyler Seguin.  That time has now passed, but right now, he's getting the boost playing with Robertson.  With Hintz injured, Seguin has moved onto the first line centering Robertson and Pavelski, and he's blown up.  On Thursday against the Kings, Seguin had two goals and an assist with five shots and two PIM.  In the six games since Hintz was out of the lineup, Seguin has five goals and three assists with 22 shots on goal.  It's unclear when Hintz will be back, but until he does, Seguin is an automatic hold in all fantasy formats.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
It was great to see Aleksander Barkov back in the lineup on Thursday, and if you didn't get him back into your lineup off injured reserve, well, that one is going to hurt for a while.  Barkov scored a hat trick in the first period against the Canadiens and added two assists in the 7-2 win over the Canadiens.  It hasn't been Barkov's best season to this point, but I'm buying Barkov going forward to get back to being well over a point per game.  Florida has dug itself quite a hole in the playoff race and I expect Maurice to really ride their top six even more.  Barkov's shooting percentage is also much lower than his career sh% (10.3 vs 14.0) so look for some positive regression in the New Year for the Panthers captain.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
As fun as it is to make fun of Toronto's Stanley Cup drought, it's very impressive when somebody breaks one of their major records.  On Saturday, Mitch Marner did just that, getting a point in his 19th consecutive game, scoring twice on five shots.  Toronto fans love to make Marner their whipping boy, but this should give him a respite until the playoffs come along.  The shot rate is slowly creeping back up for Marner, which is a necessity if he's going to approach last season's point total.  He's a bit behind at even strength, but he's managed to be even better on the power play.  Marner is as safe as it gets in fantasy at this point and remains in the top 20.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
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:
Mikhail Sergachev had the game of the weekend, scoring two goals and two assists on three shots in the 6-3 win over the Capitals.  However, I was starting this post with Sergachev after watching the first ten minutes of the game.  Sergachev moved to the first power play unit and immediately delivered, with one goal and one primary assist coming there.  That is a massive boon to his value.  Whether it lasts, who is to say?  I would bet against it staying that way for the whole season, which is why I wouldn't panic if I owned Victor Hedman.  However, in the short term, this is enough to make Sergachev a #2 defenseman in a 12 man league, with upside to be a #1.  Getting to feed Stamkos and Kucherov for shots over and over again is a godsend to fantasy value.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
The Canucks have been showing signs of life lately, especially offensively.  Right now, there's no better cure for early season woes than going against the Ducks.  On Thursday, Vancouver scored eight goals, and their big offseason acquisition led the way.  Andrei Kuzmenko had a hat trick and an assist, giving him eight points in his last four games.  He's found great chemistry with Pettersson (more on him later) and Kuzmenko has kept his spot on the first power play unit.  He's on the fringe, but for now, I would definitely hold while he's this hot.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
The Sabres got off to a hot start this season despite their top line struggling to get on the scoresheet.  On Saturday, they started the turnaround against the Blackhawks, but that game paled in comparison to what they did on Monday.  Against the Red Wings, the Sabres scored eight goals, led by their $50 million man, Tage Thompson.  Thompson had the game of the early season, scoring three goals, dishing three assists, and putting nine total shots on goal.  All it took was two games for Thompson to turn his October into a monster month with 6+6 in nine games with over four shots per game.  Granato told him that he needed to start shooting the puck more, and that's turned into 25 shots in the past three games alone.  Obviously he's not going to keep up that rate, but Thompson could turn into a top 50 player if he pushes his shot rate to over four per game.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Vancouver has managed to blow multi-goal leads in each of their first four games.  Pretty remarkable stuff that already has Boudreau on the hot seat.  The good news is that there's still been some offensive bright spots for the Canucks, and Elias Pettersson is leading the way.  Pettersson had five points over the last two nights, totaling two goals, three assists, and six shots in the two games.  That brings Pettersson to 3+3 in four games, along with 3.5 shots per game.  That's a good start to one of my bold predictions of the season, which is that Pettersson will score 45+ goals this year.  Time will tell if that pans out, but I have no doubt that Pettersson can be a top 25 player despite the low penalty minutes.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
With all of the Boston injuries to start the season, there was no easing David Krejci back into the NHL after a year in Czechia.  In the season opener, Krejci delivered and then some.  He scored a goal and two assists, one of which came on the power play, in the 5-2 win over the Capitals.  Krejci went right onto the first power play unit and was excellent on the second line with David Pastrnak (goal, three assists, six shots) so as long as you're okay with below average shots, you can hold Krejci.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Every season, Kevin Fiala finishes on an absolute tear.  This season, he's found another level.  Fiala had a goal and three assists on Sunday against the Sharks, bringing his totals to 29+44 in 75 games with over three shots per game, all career highs.  I've been driving the Fiala bandwagon forever, and I still think it could even get better.  He's still only averaging 17:23 per game, a number that's low for a player of his caliber.  The Wild have a massive decision this summer with Fiala.  They will have to trade players away in order to be able to keep him, and it seems like Guerin has been hesitant to do that since he's taken over.  What if Fiala goes somewhere and plays for 20 minutes on somebody's first line?  To my amazement, Fiala is still only 25 years old.  There are a lot of things that are working in Fiala's favor.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last few days:
Who would have thought that a seven point game wouldn't get the opening?  It would take something extravagant and that's what happened, with Jason Robertson scoring back-to-back hat tricks. R0bertson carried the Stars to victory on Friday scoring three on seven shots, including the overtime winner.  He capped it off with an empty netter to seal the game against Minnesota on Sunday, totaling six shots and two PIM with his hat trick.  That brings Robertson to a whopping 29+25 in 47 games and three shots per game.  Robertson seemingly came out of nowhere last season to earn a second place finish in the Calder race.  Now, the sky appears to be the limit.  Robertson is still only 22 years old and has his center of the present and future already with him.  It looks like the Stars have their new Benn and Seguin.  They can only hope Hintz and Robertson reach that level, but it's not out of the realm of possibility.  I don't think Robertson quite cracks the top 20 for the rest of the season and next year, but he's a slam dunk top 50 player.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend: