It was the Patrick Laine versus Auston Matthews show on Wednesday and Laine won the first round. Three goals , five shots on goal and two blocked shots to Matthews one assist, seven shots on goal and one block. Both played well, but in the world of fantasy hockey, the guy who gets the hat trick is the winner by a landslide.
I called it when I said that the two first selections in this year’s draft were going to put on a show. I wasn’t the only one. Both Laine and Matthews didn’t disappoint, other than the fact that I didn’t take Laine. That was a mistake.
Instead, I loaded up on players from the 2-1 scoring Rangers and Detroit game. I mean, what was I thinking? How could a team who had averaged over 34 shots per game (Rangers), playing a team who allowed more than 35 shots per game (Red Wings) not score more than three goals between the two teams? Damn you Jimmy Howard.
Jimmy Howard is in beast mode right now.
— Red Wing Diehards™ (@RedWingDiehards) October 20, 2016
Anaheim at Philadelphia
New Jersey at Boston
San Jose at Pittsburgh
Arizona at Montreal
Colorado at Tampa Bay
Washington at Florida
Toronto at Minnesota
Los Angeles at Dallas
Carolina at Calgary
St. Louis at Edmonton
Buffalo at Vancouver
Steven Stamkos ($7300)
I like Tampa Bay at home here versus the Avalanche. Stamkos has been steady, earning a decent amount of fantasy points per game in each of his first three games (FPPG), but he’s yet to break out. The last time Stamkos played the Avs, he had two goals and seven shots on net. Perhaps, since Stamkos hasn’t had one of those games where he piles up the points, this is the one where the dam breaks.
Ryan O’Reilly ($6400-$6500)
In the absence of Jack Eichel and Evander Kane, O’Reilly has taken over this Buffalo team. He scored a pair of goals against the Oilers on Sunday and followed it up with a goal against Calgary and five shots on net. He’s Buffalo’s top center and he’s playing well. He’s also not terribly expensive so he may fit in well with some other higher acquisition players.
David Pastrnak ($6000)
He was good for me the last time I took him and Boston is at home versus the New Jersey Devils. The Devils got a win on Tuesday thanks to two goals by Taylor Hall, but they still haven’t scored a lot of goals this season (second last in the NHL). Pastrnak has been steady since day one with points in all three of his games. He’s declined from game one, but he’s less costly than his linemates and could have a good game.
Lee Stempniak ($4800)
— Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) October 19, 2016
He’s been a pleasant surprise this season steadily earning points and Stempniak scored both Carolina goals — 56 seconds apart in the third period — in a 3-2 loss to the Oilers on Tuesday. He’s off to quite the start with his new team, as he’s now rattled off five points in the first three games of the season. Stempniak has been a notoriously underrated player with a 0.62 points per game average last year (51 points total). He’s shown so far to provide good fantasy value when placed on a scoring line and assisting on the power play.
Brent Burns ($7900)
He’s not inexpensive, but he sure is producing. He now has five points in a span of two days has eight points and looks better than ever. He’s making a strong case to be considered the top defenseman in fantasy. He has 20 shots on net in four games and the crazy thing is, he’s not scored yet on the power play. That’s strange for him and it’s a matter of time before he does.
He’s going up against the Pittsburgh Penguins who allow the fourth most shots against per game in the NHL. Last season in two games against the Penguins he had 13 shots. Like I said, he’s not inexpensive, but I think he’ll pay off.
Jacob Markstrom ($7300)
Vancouver is 3-0-0 to start the season. Markstrom is the confirmed starter for that game and while I’m not sure the Canucks keep up the undefeated streak, they aren’t playing a terribly strong opponent in Buffalo. Markstrom boasts a 1.97 goals against average and he turned aside 23 of 24 shots in a 2-1 overtime win over the visiting Blues on Tuesday.
Miller’s status with the Canucks is unclear at this time. Markstrom may not be one of the more cheaply priced goaltenders in fantasy hockey for long.
Jordan Martinook ($2700)
He’s got three points in three games for the Arizona Coyotes and while he’s definitely not the guy you count on. He’s a third line player who doesn’t get power play time. I took him to round out my team and I’ll be happy if he gets a couple fantasy points, which to date this season, he’s done in each game. He’s had some scoring touch in the AHL, so who knows, he could wind up being a great fantasy selection against the Montreal Canadiens.
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.”