The Maple Leafs finally snapped their losing streak. Montreal stayed incredibly hot and the Red Wings won in a shootout. The highest scoring game was the Arizona Coyotes against the Philadelphia Flyers, but that game didn’t have any real fantasy winners outside of Brayden Schenn who wound up with a goal and two assists. There were some pretty close scores, so to win your pool you had to pick just right.
There are six games on the schedule on Friday, featured by and Edmonton Oilers versus Vancouver Canucks matchup. Both teams are near the top of the Western Conference, but the Oilers are coming in having won four in a row and the Canucks are coming in having lost three straight.
Patrick Laine of the Winnipeg Jets, Travis Hamonic of the New York Islanders and Devan Dubnyk of the Minnesota Wild were the big winners in fantasy. Of course, none of those players were on my team, thus, as you can imagine, I didn’t fare very well.
Of the players on my list, Frederik Andersen wound up producing the most points as the Leafs squeaked out a victory over the Florida Panthers.
Chicago Blackhawks at New Jersey Devils
New York Rangers at Carolina Hurricanes
Ottawa Senators at Calgary Flames
Winnipeg Jets at Colorado Avalanche
Columbus Blue Jackets at Anaheim Ducks
Edmonton Oilers at Vancouver Canucks
Connor McDavid ($8400)
McDavid is going to take a lot of your fantasy budget, but he seems to be good enough to warrant giving up potential flexibility in order to have the best player in any game on Friday. McDavid leads the NHL in points, is facing a Canucks team that may be fragile with three losses in a row.
If there is one area to watch for, it’s that the Canucks allow few shots against per game. They’ll do their best to find a way to shut McDavid down. I just don’t see them being successful.
Sam Bennett ($4000)
I’m taking Bennett partially because he’s a less expensive option, but also because he’s been on quite the roll. He had a goal and an assist in the Flames win over St. Louis and he’s becoming a mainstay on the Flames’ second line behind Sean Monahan. His last three games have been a whole lot better than his first three and that’s a sign he may be on a roll that fantasy players should take advantage of.
Taylor Hall ($6300)
In three of Taylor Hall’s last four games, he’s been a fantasy home run. Hall scored two goals and added an assist with four shots on net during Tuesday’s win over Arizona. DraftKings.com has his analysis as a player you’d hate not to take and watch him get points for your fantasy opposition.
Hall has found his groove of late with five goals and an assist through his past four outings, and the 24-year-old winger is entering his prime with a proven track record of excellent offensive production. He’s going to continue to log huge minutes, and the Devils’ success will likely mirror his own more nights than not. Don’t count out a run at 40 goals from Hall.
Oscar Klefbom ($4000)
Klefbom isn’t flashy, but he’s effective and will earn your team fantasy points. He’s done so in all of the seven games the Oilers have played. He blocks shots, he fires the puck on net, but he just hasn’t scored yet. At some point he will. If he can continue to get points for smaller things, but add an assist or a goal, he could be worth a lot more than his fantasy salary.
Cam Talbot ($7700)
I probably sound like a broken record as this will be the third time I’ve taken Talbot on my fantasy team. That said, he’s been effective and he’s easily the hottest goaltender in the NHL right now. His last four games have all been wins and in doing so, he’s stopped a lot of shots. He’s only allowed four goals in his last four games and has a .970 save percentage in those four games.
Streaky Player of the Day Pick
Lee Stempniak ($4900)
Instead of suggesting a value pick, I’m suggesting a streaky player pick who is due for his high instead of his low. Stempniak’s outing against the Red Wings wasn’t good, but his performance the game before against the Flyers was. He’s been like this all year with hot and cold games.
His price is fair and he has the potential to provide more fantasy points for that value. Because of this, I’m hoping he pays off Friday instead of underperforming like he did in his last game.
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.”