Wednesday saw three games and as expected, the Montreal Canadiens disposed of the Vancouver Canucks easily. Philadelphia and Pittsburgh came away winners and now they, along with the Canucks, will move on to Thursday night where they’ll see action in back-to-back contests.
There are 12 games on the NHL schedule Thursday. As a fantasy player, the games that seem to stand out are the Canucks second of two and the Penguins versus Los Angeles Kings match-up that pits a struggling team (the Kings) versus a very hot one (the Penguins).
The easy player selections to make were the Canadiens players. In every way imaginable, Montreal playing the Canucks was a slam dunk for the Canadiens and I specifically pointed to Carey Price as the netminder you’d be crazy not to take. I predicted a shutout and that’s exactly what he got. Price made 42 saves and shut the door making him the fantasy player of the night.
Edmonton Oilers at New York Rangers
Philadelphia Flyers at New York Islanders
Toronto Maple Leafs at Buffalo Sabres
Winnipeg Jets at Washington Capitals
Boston Bruins at Tampa Bay Lightning
New Jersey Devils at Florida Panthers
Vancouver Canucks at Ottawa Senators
Colorado Avalanche at Chicago Blackhawks
St. Louis Blues at Dallas Stars
Nashville Predators at Arizona Coyotes
Calgary Flames at San Jose Sharks
Pittsburgh Penguins at Los Angeles Kings
Evgeni Malkin ($7000)
Malkin has 11 points in 10 games and he had a goal in last night’s 5-1 drubbing of the Ducks. His price isn’t terrible consider the potential he provides your fantasy team to get points every time he plays. He and the Penguins are going up against at team in Los Angeles that allows the fewest shots per game, but Pittsburgh is in the top ten for shots per game in the NHL. Something has to give.
Chris Kreider ($6700)
Kreider has nine points in six games and ranks third on the team in shots on net despite playing fewer games than the rest of his team. In his last game he had two assists and five shots on net playing against St. Louis.
Kreider makes for a nice one-two combination with Jimmy Vesey who I’ve listed below as a viable option for your Thursday team.
Jimmy Vesey ($4900)
Vesey has been a force for the Rangers who lead the NHL in goals scored. He and his New York teammates will be going up against an Oilers team with an equally excellent record, but a team that also allows a number of shots per game. There is a good chance win or lose that Vesey finds the scoresheet and earns you some valuable fantasy points at a very good price.
He now has nine points in 10 games, two power play goals, two game winning goals and has four points in his last two games. He’s extremely hot and his price is a great value. He’s a good choice.
Kris Letang ($6600)
Again, I like the Penguins over the Kings on Thursday and in the five games that Letang has played, he has four points, a power play goal, three power play points and is third on the team in shots despite playing half the amount of games.
On Wednesday against the Ducks, Letang scored a goal and an assist, had six shots on goal and played more time that any other Penguin. There’s a feeling that Letang is back and he’s just getting warmed up, as are his team who have now reeled off four wins in a row.
Johnny Boychuk ($5200)
The Islanders are facing a team in the Flyers who did well to beat the Red Wings on Wednesday, but will be tired coming into a back-to-back against an Islanders group that plays in an early contest.
It’s not to say that the Flyers don’t pick up another victory, but my guess is that they allow a number of shots and Boychuk is a defenseman who likes to shoot. He’s been a steady player in fantasy all season, getting points in all of his games thus far.
Craig Anderson ($8100)
I’m taking Anderson not only because of the performance he put on against the Oilers just days ago, but because there isn’t a team in the NHL struggling more than the Vancouver Canucks. After going 4-0 to start the year, Vancouver has lost six straight games and their confidence has to be at all all time low.
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.”