There isn’t much to talk about in hockey this weekend other than 12 games in the NHL on Saturday and an unforgettable Friday that included one of the worst blow-outs in recent NHL memory. The NHL’s best got embarrassed to the tune of a 10-0 shellacking.
I advised you to look at the Montreal Canadiens and shape your team around them. I, and probably every one else, was way off. The Columbus Blue Jackets embarrassed the NHL’s only undefeated team in regulation. I suggested Alex Galchenyuk and the best he could muster was four shots on net and a blocked shot. I also suggested Al Montoya, who got rocked for 10 goals against over 40 shots. He wasn’t even given the courtesy of a mercy pull from Michel Therrien. All 10 goals were against Montoya. It was ugly.
I wouldn’t want to be the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday as they take on a Montreal team who will be at least one hundred times more angry than whatever angry can be for being shutout and losing by ten goals.
Buffalo Sabres at Ottawa Senators
Columbus Blue Jackets at St. Louis Blues
Edmonton Oilers at New York Islanders
Florida Panthers at Washington Capitals
New Jersey Devils at Tampa Bay Lightning
New York Rangers at Boston Bruins
Philadelphia Flyers at Montreal Canadiens
Vancouver Canucks at Toronto Maple Leafs
Carolina Hurricanes at Nashville Predators
Chicago Blackhawks at Dallas Stars
Calgary Flames at Los Angeles Kings
Pittsburgh Penguins at San Jose Sharks
Sidney Crosby ($7900)
Crosby has been noting but stellar since his return from concussion issues. He’s played in only five games and has eight points. As a result, the Penguins have been fantastic and there’s no signs of him slowing down, injury or not. He’s taking on a potent defense in the Sharks, but he’s got a good chance of continuing his torrid pace win or lose.
William Karlsson ($2600)
You had to know that with a 10-0 defeat of the Canadiens, I’d have to take at least one Blue Jacket. Karlsson isn’t the most likely choice, but at his price he helps round out the roster and with four points in nine games, there are much worse selections available.
On Friday against Montreal, Karlsson got two assists and three shots on net.
Alex Ovechkin ($8200)
He’s the most expensive forward available, but he’s also the most likely to live up to his value. Against Winnipeg on Thursday, he hit a fantasy grand slam with two goals, one assist, eight shots on goal and the game winning goal. All that said, he’s off to a mediocre start for Ovechkin and he could just be getting warmed up.
Washington has won four straight and are at home to the Florida Panthers.
Cam Atkinson ($4900)
Ok, I lied. I took two Blue Jackets players. I guess I just can’t get past the 10 goal drubbing they laid on Montreal and Cam Atkinson was a big part of that win. He had two goals and seven shots on net. He now has seven points in nine games and leads the Blue Jackets with 27 shots over that time. His value is still good considering his contributions so he’s a nice choice if you’re looking for a middle of the road player who may be feeling his oats from the night before.
Brent Burns ($8500)
Even when Burns is cold, he’s hot. In fantasy play, shots and blocks count, so even though Burns was left off the score sheet in four of his last six games, he’s been steadily earning points for fantasy players who’ve stuck by him. Burns leads the NHL in shots with 63. That’s 13 more than the next closest player.
There are lots of strong defensemen available and Burns is the most expensive. If money isn’t available, consider Kris Letang from this game as he’s almost $2000 less expensive.
Carey Price ($8500)
You can bet that the Montreal Canadiens aren’t going to be embarrassed two games in a row. That means the benefactor in this equation is Carey Price, who also happens to be the best goaltender in the NHL. The last time I took Price, he earned a shutout and was that night’s top fantasy player. If Montreal comes out and responds the way they should respond to that beating on Friday, Price might put on a show for the ages.
He’ll have a motivated team in front of him and Montreal will be looking to limit goals against.