It was all Montreal and Colorado in fantasy on Thursday. A 5-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes meant that Shea Weber and Tomas Plekanec lead the Canadiens while a 4-0 shutout by the Avs over the Lightning gave players like Matt Duchene and Semyon Varlamov the big points.
Friday there are three games in the NHL. All three teams, with the exception of Columbus, are middle of the road teams so far this season. That means picking any true winners could be difficult. I could be wrong, but I’m going to take most of my fantasy dollars and put it on the Chicago Blackhawks.
Related – Fantasy Daily Cheat Sheet: Oct. 20, 2016
The top end of my picks did absolutely nothing, while the bottom end contributed as expected. I took Steven Stamkos and Ryan O’Reilly as my centers and both didn’t contribute to my team. Brent Burns, on the other hand, was his steady self, Jordan Martinook turned out to be a solid value pick and Jakob Markstrom got the win for Vancouver.
Unfortunately, my middle value and potentially other value selections like Lee Stempniak went cold after being hot and that, in the end, limited my winnings.
Arizona Coyotes at New York Islanders
Chicago Blackhawks at Columbus Blue Jackets
Nashville Predators at Detroit Red Wings
Jonathan Toews ($5900)
Toews has been eerily quiet. In four games, he only has one point and he’s been one of the Blackhawks weakest players in fantasy. Something about that just doesn’t feel right. There’s going to come a time that Toews breaks out and I’m hoping the Columbus game is it.
Mike Fisher ($4400)
Fisher has been steady and he’s a decent price. I’m picking the Red Wings to win this game, but Detroit lets in a lot of goals so Fisher could still earn some points, even in a loss. Nashville has been strong on the power play this season converting at a 50 percent rate on the road and Fisher has been a key contributor to that power play success.
Artemi Panarin ($6700)
Panarin had a slightly unlikely slow start, but he’s starting to heat up and in a 7-4 Chicago victory over the Flyers he notched two goals and an assist. For fantasy players who had been taking Panarin repeatedly and coming up frustrated to start the season, it looks as though he’s turning a corner.
In two games versus the Blue Jackets last season Panarin had five points and eight shots on goal. I’m gambling on the fact that he, along with Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews all have big games.
Patrick Kane ($8300)
In his most recent game versus the Flyers, Kane scored a goal and three assists. He added six shots on goal to make him the fantasy winner that night. He now has six points in two games after being held pointless in Chicago’s first two contests. All of Kane’s points but one have come when the Blackhawks are not in a special teams situation and with the Blue Jackets being the least penalized team to the start the season, his five-on-five production could be helpful.
Mike Green ($5700)
Green had a bad fantasy game against the New York Rangers on Wednesday. That said, this season, bad for Green is one assist and four blocked shots. He has now tallied three goals and three assists over four games to start the season, is averaging 24:14 minutes per game and 3:01 of power-play time.
With Green’s power-play points, he’s still a great value at this price. He had a point, four blocks and seven shots in two games against Nashville last season. Combine that with his scoring run this year and he’s a good bet on Friday.
Jimmy Howard ($7400)
As I write this, the Red Wings have not confirmed their goaltender for the game against Nashville. It very well could be that Detroit goes back to Petr Mrazek. I’m going to suggest (for now) that Detriot rides the success that Howard had in net against the Rangers on Wednesday. If he does, his price is a real value.
Howard has only appeared in one game for the Red Wings, but has a save percentage of .970 and a goals against average of 1.00. Why would you not play him again?
RED WINGS WIN! Jimmy Howard records 32 saves and Drew Miller scores the GW goal in the 3rd as the Red Wings beat the Rangers 2-1. pic.twitter.com/MrYE0UttJl
— Sports Nation Mich (@SNMichigan) October 20, 2016
Cal Clutterbuck ($2900)
Arizona is coming in and playing the Islanders on a back-to-back. The Coyotes will be playing the Islanders after losing a stinker of a game to Montreal the night before. I think there is good chance that the Islanders take advantage. Cal Clutterbuck is a good price and potentially good for an assist or a couple shots to get you some depth fantasy points.
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.”