Finally Tuukka Rask owners have something to be happy about. Rask shutout the Coyotes, saving all 24 shots on goal in the Bruins 6-0 victory. Would I be happy as a Rask owner with this development. Of course, but mostly because this could give you a chance to sell Rask at a higher value. Arizona is going to be a horrible team and they are regressing quickly from their hot start. They are the type of team that the Bruins will dominate because their top-six is going to control the game and not allow their defense to be exposed. Bottom line, I don’t see this as the start of a bounceback for Rask; I see it as an opportunity to get away from him while getting good value in return.
Here’s what else I saw Tuesday night:
Mike Smith – 21 saves on 27 shots. The hot streak is over and the regression is killing Smith owners. I would cut bait from him in 12’ers or shallower.
Jimmy Hayes – Goal and 2 assists on 3 shots, -2 Corsi. Hayes got 2 minutes of PP time which is good for his future outlook. I can see using him as a streamer in 12’ers in good matchups but I’m not owning him barring an injury to someone in the top 6.
Loui Eriksson – Two assists, +5 Corsi, best on the Bruins. Finally looking like the player he was in Dallas. If people have been slow to pick him up, do it now.
David Krejci – Two goals on four shots. This is getting ridiculous. 14 points in the first 8 games.
Brad Marchand – Goal and assist with five shots. Looking great with Patrice Bergeron (assist, two shots). This has been quite the transition from the Bruins going to a great defensive team to, so far, a great offensive team.
Matt Beleskey – Two assists with one shot. Not getting power play time so I’m still not owning him.
Boone Jenner – Goal on three shots, +2 Corsi, best on Columbus. He’s up to six goals already so he’s obviously worth considering owning. He has a lot of talent but he isn’t getting the power play time right now. If you need goals and shots, I’d add Jenner if you can afford the lack of special teams points.
Sergei Bobrovsky – 23 saves on 24 shots in the win. Repeating myself but buy low if you can. Columbus will turn things around.
Scott Hartnell – Goal on his only shot plus an assist. If you’re owning him, it’s for his penalty minutes but it’s good to see him up to 3 goals so far. If he gets 20+ goals, he’ll definitely be a success.
Ryan O’Reilly – Assist and two shots, +6 Corsi. RoR is up to 8 points in 9 games after the slow start; with the Evander Kane injury, the Sabres will be counting on him even more offensively so he’s an intriguing trade target.
Cody Franson – Assist with three shots and three hits. The Sabres power play has been great and a lot of it has to do with Franson. He also had a +15 Corsi (reminder, Corsi is all 5 on 5 even strength) so the Sabres were in the offensive zone a ton with Franson on the ice. I was asked about Franson’s value in the comments because of the emergence of Rasmus Ristolainen (3 shots, 2 hits, 3 blocks) and the impending return of Zach Bogosian but if anything, both of these players will help Franson. They will allow Franson to have a smaller role for the Sabres but fantasy wise, those decreased minutes will result in more offensive zone starts and he will maintain his power play time. I was higher on Franson than anyone else preseason and I’m sticking with him.
Johan Larsson – Two assists and three shots, +11 Corsi. He’s consistently been a good possession player, even on poor Sabres teams the past two years, and with the injury to Evander Kane, Larsson has moved into the top 6 and getting power play time. In deep leagues (16+), I’d add Larsson immediately. He’s worth considering as a streamer in shallower leagues.
Brayden Schenn – Two goals on his only two shots, -17 Corsi. Schenn is a solid player, although he isn’t a good as he was hyped up to be as a prospect, but he’s stuck on the third line right now. If he were to move back to the first line, he’d be a must-add, but for now, I’m not adding Schenn in 12’ers.
Cam Ward – 25 saves on 26 shots in the win over Detroit. You’ll get some games like this and then some absolute duds. I still would stay away in 12’ers.
Jaromir Jagr – Left the game with a lower body injury. Hopefully it is nothing serious because he’s been outstanding to start the season and the Panthers are already without Aleksander Barkov for the next 2-4 weeks.
Roberto Luongo – 32 saves on 33 shots in the 4-1 win over Colorado. His save percentage is going to be outstanding come the end of the season with the high volume of shots that he faces. His goals against average will probably be middle of the pack but you’ll still strongly benefit.
Vincent Trocheck – Two goals on four shots plus an assist. Could be the biggest beneficiary to move into the top six if Jagr misses some time so I’ll keep you posted on the Panthers news in the coming days.
Reilly Smith – Power play goal on four shots with a shorthanded assist. If Jagr is out, I think Smith is most likely to move onto the top line so I’d look to add him right now. Even if he doesn’t move up, Smith’s top 6 role and power play time is secure and he’s had 7 points in the first 9 games.
Brian Campbell – Shorthanded goal on three shots plus two power play assists. If you need some special teams points, Campbell is a good option but I’m not looking to add him in 12’ers yet.
Jake Allen – 26 save shutout in the 2-0 win over Tampa. Great to see Allen shut down an elite offensive team. I still feel like he’s likely to push the timeshare weighted towards his side than Brian Elliott’s.
Troy Brouwer – Goal on 4 shots plus an assist. Down to the third line right now but that line is getting top offensive zone starts so I’m holding Brouwer in 12’ers.
Colton Parayko – Assist with one shot and three blocks. Add him now.
Taylor Hall – Goal on his only shot plus an assist. Hall has been solid with 8 points in 10 games but expect that rate to increase once the power play points start coming (only 1 so far).
Connor McDavid – Assist plus three shots, +4 Corsi, best among Edmonton forwards. Played a ridiculous 22:17. Amazing for an 18 year old.
Ryan Suter – Two goals on his five shots with three blocks in 27 minutes. The minutes are always there and the Wild offense is the best it’s been since Suter went there so the points could also be a best this year. The shot rate has been solid so far as well.
Thomas Vanek – Two assists and a shot. Vanek has been great to start the year and that’s with only 1 power play point.
Tyler Toffoli – Goal on two shots plus an assist. Toffoli is up to 7 goals already and is looking like a good bet to pay off his top 100 preseason rank.
Drew Doughty – Two assists and three shots; +13 Corsi, tied for the best on the Kings. The Kings have ripped off 6 wins in a row and a lot of it has to do with Jonathan Quick (24 saves on 25 shots) and Doughty. When Doughty is on the ice, the Kings dominate puck possession; it’s a big reason why they’ve won two Cups. He’s up to 6 points in 9 games (all assists) with no power play points. I had him just outside the big third tier of defenseman preseason and feel strongly about that. He’s a solid #2 fantasy defenseman going forward.
Jeff Carter – Two assists and four shots. The second line is on a tear right now and they showed last year that their hot streaks can last for weeks at a time.
Nikolaj Ehlers – Goal on five shots and three blocks. Please, Paul Maurice, start playing this kid more minutes!
Ryan Getzlaf – Out 4-12 days due to appendicitis. More frustration for his owners through Getzlaf’s horrible start. He’s too good to not turn it around though so I’d look to buy low if his owner doesn’t want to wait for Getzlaf’s bounceback.
Andrew Cogliano – Assist plus a shot. He doesn’t have much fantasy relevance barring a coaching change barring his role but I mostly wanted to point out how great he played in this game. His Corsi was +7, best on the team, despite starting zero shifts in the offensive zone and nine shifts in the defensive zone. That’s amazing.
Corey Perry – Assist and two shots with 2 PIM, -15 Corsi. Yikes. Perry is generally an above-average possession player but the Ducks are a disaster right now. It’s not hard to see why Perry is struggling when you see how bad the Ducks are being dominated when he’s on the ice. That said, I expect the Ducks to turn it around sooner than later, be it with Coach Bruce Boudreau getting fired or him righting the ship. While the opportunity in the offensive zone hasn’t been there, the shots on goal totals from Perry have been getting better.
Jamie Benn – Three assists with three shots and 4 penalty minutes. His Corsi was the worst on the team but the telling thing is that he started 13 shifts in the offensive zone and only one in the defensive zone. Granted, the Stars as a team starting 26 shifts in the offensive zone and only 6 in their own zone but it’s great to see Benn getting huge offensive zone starts. Is he the best player in fantasy hockey going forward? I’m not quite there but he’s definitely in the top 5 after being 7th preseason.
Patrick Sharp – First goal as a Star with 4 shots and 2 PIM. The breakout is coming.
Carey Price – 23 saves on 28 shots in the 5-1 loss to Vancouver. He’s human after all!
Jared McCann – Two goals on 5 shots. The 19 year old former first round pick is up to 4 goals on the season. In dynasty leagues, I’d add him but in standard 12’ers or even 14’ers, I’m not adding him yet because he isn’t getting any power play time and is stuck on the fourth line. If he gets the role boost, be it due to injury or he forces coach Willie Desjardins to play him more, he’s a must add.
Radim Vrbata – Goal on three shots. Another guy who has a breakout coming.
Ryan Miller – 25 saves on 26 shots. I was lower on Miller than most in the preseason because I expected the Canucks to take a step back but so far, they look a lot like last year’s team. It’s still early to determine how good the Canucks will be in front of him but Miller has looked great so far and is going to play a ton of games.
Wednesday Streamers: It’s a three game slate so I assume people will be looking to stream in all leagues where possible. Here are my top options in order:
Joel Ward (20.4% owned) – His ownership is starting to increase after the hat trick but it’s still very low for a player locked into the top 6 with great linemates. Plus he’s going against his old team. Revenge game!
Shane Prince (0.0% owned) – I’m digging deep on this one but Prince will get a chance to play on the first line tomorrow with Mark Stone and Kyle Turris. Calgary has been horrible defensively and Prince put up 65 points in 72 games last season for Binghamton, Ottawa’s AHL affiliate. I like his chances to get on the scoresheet tomorrow.
Pascal Dupuis (0.6% owned) – Dupuis is being bumped up to the first line to play with Sidney Crosby and Patric Hornqvist. Great opportunity.
That’s all for now guys. Tonight is a short three game slate so I won’t be writing a recap of those games for Thursday; I’ll include them in a big writeup for Friday. However, I’ll be posting something on Thursday morning yet, I’m just not sure what exactly! I’m thinking either a recap of the RCL’s so far, an in-depth look at the early possession stats for teams and players around the league and what that means going forward, or something else that I think of or that is suggested in the comments. Feel free to post some thoughts below and as always, ask any questions you have. Take care everyone!