Wingers: 6-10

6 – Brad Marchand

The progression of this player over the past five years has been astounding. Marchand has gone from being a really good top-six option you can pencil in for 25-30 goals to a complete 200-foot forward that can play in every situation and gives you 30-40 goals. In today’s NHL, that puts you right at the top of the pack. The 29-year-old is fifth in the league in goals over the last two seasons behind Alex Ovechkin, Patrick Kane, Sidney Crosby, and Vladimir Tarasenko.

7 – Artemi Panarin

One of the bigger storylines around the league is the curiosity about what Panarin will look like in Columbus, away from Kane, Anisimov, Toews, and all the great options Panarin has been able to ride shotgun to in two seasons in Chicago. Panarin put up 151 points in 162 games over that span before being traded to the Blue Jackets for Brandon Saad, Anton Forsberg, and a draft pick. His numbers have been pretty consistent since coming into the league regardless of who he’s skated with, so I wouldn’t expect too big a drop-off.

8 – Blake Wheeler

The promise he showed in flashes while he was in Boston has come to fruition in Winnipeg. Wheeler, who has played 697 of a possible 704 games going back to the start of the 2008-09 season (his rookie season), has emerged as a force in the few seasons. He followed up a career-high 78 points in 2015-16 with 74 last season. The 31-year-old is one of the top two-way forwards in the league.

9 – Phil Kessel

Just a nice guy that tries hard and loves the game. The thing I always say about Devils forward Taylor Hall is once he’s on a great team you’ll see how good a player he is. That was true with Kessel, who suffered through six seasons in Toronto after forcing his way out of Boston in 2009. In two seasons since being dealt to Pittsburgh, the Penguins have won back-to-back Stanley Cups (first team to do so since 1997-98 Red Wings, in case you didn’t hear), and Kessel has played an integral role on both those title teams. He was the best player on the HBK line with Carl Hagelin and Nick Bonino in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs before riding shotgun to 2017 SCP leading scorer Evgeni Malkin a year later. The 29-year-old has played 610 straight games, not missing a game since October 2009.

10 – Taylor Hall

Unfortunately Hall has been stuck on bad teams throughout his seven-year career, so he’s never had a chance to truly showcase how good a player he is. The lack of success in Edmonton – and last season, New Jersey – has come despite Hall’s production. The one problem with Hall has been his ability to stay on the ice. Only once has he played 82 games in a season, and he’s 87 games during his seven seasons in the league.

The Joe Louis Arena Farewell Tour Kicks Off Tonight

Nothing that really jumps out in terms of game action for Monday; the most notable likely the Red Wings beginning its 81-game home slate at the ‘Joe’ for the final time, as the club will move to a shiny new venue in downtown Detroit next fall.

Here’s the action for tonight: Colorado at Pittsburgh, 7; San Jose at N.Y. Rangers, 7; Ottawa at Detroit, 7; Boston at Winnipeg, 8.

Players to Watch

Colorado: Joe Colborne – Scored a hat trick in his first game in an Avs uniform on Saturday night, a 6-5 win over Dallas. The former first round pick, playing in fourth organization after stays in Boston, Toronto, and Calgary, looks like he’s finally finding his game. He went for a career-high 44 points last season (previous was 28), and looks to only be continuing on the upward path.

Pittsburgh: Evgeni Malkin – Has three points in two games but has struggled in the faceoff circle, winning just 14 of 42. A 43.6 percent faceoff man for his career, Malkin’s faceoff percentage has gone down every year since his career-high 48.8 percent success rate in 2013-14.

San Jose: Martin Jones – It’s been two games, but he’s out to show last season was no fluke; 2-0 record with 47 saves on 50 shots in two games.

New York: Rick Nash – He’s pointless through two games, with just five shots on goal. Just the third time in his career he’s been held to such a low output through two games. Last season was one of them; the other was in 2006.

Ottawa: Craig Anderson – Senators are 2-0, but it’s not because Anderson has stood on his head. In fact, he’s allowed seven goals on 62 shots.

Detroit: Dylan Larkin – His praises were being sung – and rightfully so – during his standout rookie season a year ago. But he’s a minus-four with just one point through two games, winning 42.9 percent of his draws.

Boston: David Backes – Injured his hand in a fight during Saturday’s 4-1 loss to Toronto. He’s expect to play.

Winnipeg: Blake Wheeler – He has four points through two games while peppering eight shots at the cage in 21:55 average of ice time. The Bruins could use a guy like him…


David Pastrnak: The Bruins forward caps off National Pasta Day the right way.

Game of the Day

Ottawa at Detroit – Not the sexiest matchup but nonetheless the home opener for the Red Wings, the final one at Joe Louis Arena.

Lock to Win

Red Wings – The Wings need the win on the heels of an 0-2 start. They haven’t been terrible offensively, but the Sens are vulnerable on defense.


Larry Brooks stumps for the Rangers to go get Jacob Trouba.

Jimmy Vesey has yet to register a point, but he’s already making an impact.

Major decisions loom for Senators new head coach Guy Boucher.

Sidney Crosby continues to skate.

Red Wings shuffle lines after struggling in opening two games.