Week two of the NHL season is in the books, and an eventful week it was, complete with some major injury news and a few surprising hot starts.

Let’s dive in.

First off, some tough news for Nikita Kucherov backers.

Tampa Bay’s superstar winger was placed on long-term IR and is expected to be out until mid-November at the earliest, with expectations that his absence will be much longer.

On the bright side, head coach Jon Cooper does not expect a repeat of last season when Kucherov missed the entire 56-game season with a hip injury. Ondrej Palat has taken his spot on the top power-play unit and should see a boost in production.

Meanwhile, Sidney Crosby remains sidelined as he recovers from wrist surgery. He just passed his initial six-week timeline from the date of his surgery on Wednesday, so he shouldn’t be too far off from returning.

However, Crosby said he needed to go through more pain-free reps at practice before he takes the next step.

We’ll wait patiently.

How about Elias Lindholm? The Flames first-line centre has been on a tear to start the season, scoring in all four games. He capped off an incredible week with a hat trick against the Capitals on Saturday and has a share of the NHL lead with six goals.

Look for him to surpass his career high of 29 goals set back in 2019-2020.

Detroit forward Tyler Bertuzzi added two more goals this past week and has a share of the NHL lead with six goals.

He did score five times in just nine games a season ago, so maybe he’s on to something here. Just remember he’ll miss eight more games in Canada this season due to the vaccination protocol, with one of those games coming this Saturday.

Now that we’re caught up, let’s look at a few standouts from the NHL’s upcoming schedule and see where we can gain an advantage.


Week 3 Notes:

First off, the Islanders will play just one game, which comes on Saturday. We should consider moving on from any skater not named Mathew Barzal.

The Oilers, Predators, and Senators will be limited to just two games each. Any fringe players or streamers can be comfortably dropped.

On the flip side, there are seven teams with four games this week, so we’ll have plenty to choose from when streaming.


Carolina Hurricanes

The Hurricanes are at the top of the list when it comes to streaming. They play four games, with three of those games coming in the last four days of the week.

They’ll begin the week with a tilt against the Leafs, which just gave up seven goals to a depleted Penguins team. They get the Bruins on Thursday before finishing the week off against the porous defensive units in the Blackhawks and Coyotes. If you miss out on their Monday game, don’t shy away from a mid-week add to take advantage of a back-heavy week.


Anaheim Ducks

The Ducks also have four games this week, beginning on Tuesday. They get the Jets, Golden Knights, and Canadiens which all rank in the bottom 10 in goals allowed per game in the early going, with the remaining game coming against the surprising Sabres. They play on three of the NHL’s off nights as well, so it’ll be easy to slide them into your lineups.


Top Streamers and Waiver adds:


C, W, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Carolina Hurricanes (10 per cent rostered, down 1 per cent)

Kotkaniemi was playing on the top line alongside Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen on Thursday, scoring a goal against his former team. He added an assist on Saturday and now has two points in two games since joining the unit. I’ll take a stab that Kotkaniemi can continue producing, especially later this week. He’s available in 90 per cent of leagues.


C, Jordan Staal, Carolina Hurricanes (28 per cent rostered, down 1 per cent)

Staal is off to another great start, with four points in four games. He’s picking up where he left off after throwing up 38 points in 53 games a season ago. He hits, he wins faceoffs, and he does a lot of his damage on the second power-play unit. He’s available in more than two thirds of leagues and is set up for a great week.


W, Rickard Rakell, Anaheim Ducks (11 per cent rostered, up 3 per cent)

Rickard Rakell is admittedly a streaky player, but right now he’s hot. He’s second in the league in shots with 24, trailing only Oliver Ekman-Larsson. In fact, Rakell is averaging four shots per game in the early going. For perspective, only Nathan Mackinnon, Auston Matthews, and Alex Ovechkin averaged more than four shots per game last season. Rakell has turned that into four goals through six games while playing 19 minutes a game. The Ducks have a favourable schedule. I’m in for this week, and possibly beyond.


C, W, Jordan Kyrou, St. Louis Blues (54 per cent rostered, up 44 per cent)

The window to add Kyrou may have already closed, but he is still available in almost half of leagues. To say he’s off to a hot start would be an understatement. He has eight points through four games while playing on the second line with Brayden Schenn and James Neal. Kyrou had a solid yet inconsistent first full year in the NHL last season. We saw a stretch of 14 games where Kyrou managed just two assists, however he finished the year strong with nine points in his next 10 games. Remember, he’s no stranger to point-per-game production. He put up 203 points over 122 games in his last two seasons in the OHL, and 58 points in 63 games over two years in the AHL. The breakout is inevitably coming, but is this the year? I wouldn’t want to be watching from the sidelines when we find out.


C, Anton Lundell, Florida Panthers (6 per cent rostered, up 6 per cent)

Anton Lundell has started his NHL career with a bang, putting up two goals and five points through five games, all while playing on the third line. He’s dominating in the faceoff circle as well, for those in leagues that favour that stat. This mini hot streak isn’t coming completely out of nowhere. Lundell was a highly touted prospect, which is why he was drafted with the 12th pick in the 2020 NHL draft. Lundell is also coming off a great season in the Finnish Elite League as a 19-year-old, where he put up 25 points in 26 games, good for eighth in the league in points per game. Deeper league managers could do a lot worse.


W, Lucas Raymond, Detroit Red Wings (8 per cent rostered, up 3 per cent)

You never want to chase yesterday’s stats, but what Lucas Raymond is doing right now shouldn’t be ignored. The fourth-overall pick in the 2020 NHL draft is coming off a hat trick against the Blackhawks on Sunday, where he added an assist for a four-point game. He’s now up to seven points in his first six NHL games. He’s currently playing on the top line with Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi, and he’s got a spot on the top power-play unit, which head coach Jeff Blashill said he’s earned. He’s worth a speculative add in deeper leagues to see where this goes.