Let’s take a look at who’s hot and who’s not in the NHL and how it impacts your fantasy team. Safe to say, if you have Patrick Marleau or plenty of guys from Tampa or San Jose you’re probably winning.
Marleau 9G in six games
Joe Thornton 11A in six games
Joe Pavelski 11 points six games
Steven Stamkos 11 points six games
Martin St. Louis 12 points six games
It looks like the Sharks and Lightning are competing to be the next lockout-shortened season version of the Legion of Doom. That Flyers line of Mikael Renberg, Eric Lindros and John LeClair tore up the league in 1994-1995. Could one of these lines do the same?
Kevin Shattenkirk STL 8A
Raphael Diaz MTL 8A
Dustin Byfuglien WPG 3G 4A 6GP
Erik Karlsson OTT 3G 4A 7GP
Shattenkirk and Diaz are near the top of the league not just for defensemen but overall in the league in assists. Byfuglien is showing why people drafted him in the early rounds while Karlsson is performing steadily for an Ottawa team that looks good out of the gate.
Craig Anderson OTT 5-0-1 0.99 .967 and Carey Price MTL 4-1-0 1.98 .924 are tearing it up now. Anderson has also seen the most shots so far with 184 and continues to turn everyone aside. His lone weakness is the shootout where he has failed to stop a single shooter in three chances.
The (Carey) Price is Right in Montreal as the Canadiens’ backstopper has been sharp in the early going. And now with P.K. Subban coming back, he’s only going to get better. Price looks to be one of those guys with GK1 upside that might come at a bargain in a trade if you wanted him.
Nashville..the whole team has 10 goals this season in six games and sits at 1-2-3.
Colorado…the whole team has 10 goals this season in six games and 0-4 on the road. Florida…the whole team has 10 goals this season in six games and a -14 goal differential as a team.
Anyone else see the trend?
Dion Phaneuf TOR 0-1-1 -7 in six games
Mike Kostka TOR 0-3-3 -7 in six games
Ryan Suter MIN 0-4-4 -5 in seven games
These two Leafs are getting raked seemingly nightly. Toronto is 3-3 (3-1 on the road) but these two guys are logging heavy minutes on the blue line and are vulnerable to the poor plus-minus ratio. Phaeuf (27:54) and Kostka (25:31) are in for a long season if the Leafs continue to give up an average of three goals a night. Suter was the big offseason splash for Minnesota on the blue line and is playing 27 minutes a night. It didn’t help that the Wild got lit up for 10 goals combined by Detroit and St. Louis in a 48-hour span. They’ve allowed just nine goals against in their other five games so it should improve for Suter.
Pekka Rinne NSH 0-2-3 2.67, .899 Jarsolav Halak STL 3-0-0 1.69 .902 2SHO
Cam Ward CAR 1-3-0 4.51 .861 victimized by poor defensive play
Florida Goaltenders: Jose Theodore 1-4-0 3.48 .904 and Scott Clemmensen 0-1-0 4.80 .840
Miikka Kiprusoff CGY 1-2-1 3.45 .872
Rinne has been poor in the shootout, allowing five goals in ten chances. He’s lost in overtime or shootouts three times this season. Compare that to eight times in 73 appearances last season and it looks like the start to an odd year for Rinne. Halak appears here since he’s only seen 61 shots…for the season so far. He’s getting lucky by posting 13-save and 14-save shutouts this season. He needs to be tested with some 35 to 40 shot games before he can get off the cold list. Ward is a victim of terrible defense in front of him. He needs to have the guys in front of him pick it up since Dan Ellis, the backup, has performed well in two appearances. Ellis, surprisingly, is second in the league in GAA and save percentage behind the streaking Anderson.
Florida’s goaltenders seem to be better at getting tans than stopping pucks. Theodore has the only win (a 41-save effort) and the Panthers’ netminders are getting no help from their offense. Clemmensen hasn’t been any better but Theodore is the only one with value because he gets the lion’s share of the starts and will occasionally steal a win.
Kiprusoff was the goaltender who got the roughest early draw with San Jose, Anaheim, Vancouver and Edmonton to start the year. Hopefully he’s just a victim of the schedule which should get a little easier in February with five games against Phoenix and Minnesota. Before he gets there, Chicago and Detroit are waiting in the wings early next week.