In a slow night of action a couple players had strong performances on Wednesday. Artemi Panarin won the night with a goal and an assist, six shots on net and his marker was a game winner for the Blackhawks who keep on rolling, now winners of seven straight.
On Thursday, there are 10 games on the NHL schedule and a tossup in a lot of the game match-ups. Potentially the biggest mismatch is the Carolina Hurricanes game as the Hurricanes have only three wins on the season. But, they are taking on an Anaheim team who just lost to the Blue Jackets in overtime and is now on the road. That makes even this game a fairly close contest.
There are literally hundreds of ways you can build your fantasy team and hundreds of combinations that could be the winner. It’s simply that even across the board. My suggestion is going with the hot hand in a couple players who were dynamite in their last performances.
There were no real strong performances to make or break your fantasy team. Even the most reliable fantasy selections over the season didn’t show up with big production. The closest things I suggested to real key performers were Marian Hossa from the Blackhawks and Robin Lehner from the Buffalo Sabres.
Anaheim Ducks at Carolina Hurricanes
Columbus Blue Jackets at Boston Bruins
Minnesota Wild at Pittsburgh Penguins
Los Angeles Kings at Montreal Canadiens
New York Islanders at Tampa Bay Lightning
San Jose Sharks at Florida Panthers
Vancouver Canucks at Detroit Red Wings
St. Louis Blues at Nashville Predators
Dallas Stars at Calgary Flames
Winnipeg Jets at Arizona Coyotes
Mark Scheifele ($7200)
He had a monster game against the Dallas Stars on Tuesday scoring two goals and two assists in an 8-2 victory. He now has 18 points in 14 games and leads the NHL in scoring. In the Draftkings.com player profile for Scheifele, they note the following:
He’s gone absolutely bonkers over the last three games, racking up an absurd nine points (four goals and five assists) to go with a plus-7 rating. The combination of Scheifele and Patrik Laine is proving impossible for opponents to stop, so look for much more production out of the 23-year-old pivot as the season rolls along.
This kind of hot streak is one you can’t ignore. Take Scheifele and still have room to take another strong center like Sidney Crosby who didn’t score as the Penguins scraped by the Oilers on Tuesday. He’s likely to pot a few points as well.
Patrik Laine ($6800)
Until his price tag goes up, Laine is a player I’d take a close look at and consider for every game he plays. Against the Dallas Stars on Nov. 8th, he posted a hat trick for the second time this season. For Laine, it was four-point night and the Jets routed the Stars. Amazingly, his cost for fantasy hasn’t really gone up a ton, so I’m taking him again hoping he has another solid game.
The thing to watch for is that the last time Laine got a hat trick, he came out the next two games and was rather cold. Hopefully he doesn’t repeat this trend. He’s playing an Arizona team that ranks 30th in the NHL for goals against per game, 29th in the NHL for shots against per game and 25th in the NHL for power play goals against per game. These are all huge positives for Laine who excels in the these three areas.
Dustin Byfuglien ($6200)
I’d consider Byfulgien for the exact opposite reason I’m suggesting Scheifele and Laine. The fact that “Big Buff” wasn’t a part of the score sheet in an 8-2 rout of the Dallas Stars and played over 26 minutes in that game can’t sit well. For Byfuglien, it must feel like everyone was in on the scoring except him and with his feisty nature, I anticipate he comes out against one of the worst defensive teams in the NHL with something to prove.
Zach Werenski ($5600)
He’s still a good price and with 11 points in 11 games, a ton of power play time and leading the Blue Jackets defense in shots on net, he’s a good pickup for fantasy players.
Marc-Andre Fleury ($8000)
It’s not as though Fleury has been stellar as of late but the Penguins are finding ways to win games and he’s been in net for most of those contests. I’m suggesting Fleury not so much because of what he personally brings, but because I think Pittsburgh comes away with a win here against Minnesota and it’s too close to call in a number of other games.
Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”