After a somewhat slow three game schedule last night, the action picks up on the ice this evening with seven games on the docket.
Henrik Lundqvist – New York Rangers – Ok, so it certainly makes me a little nervous to recommend a guy who’s resembled Swiss cheese lately, but I expect tonight to be different for Lundqvist and the Rangers. After surrendering six goals in back-to-back games, Lundqvist will square off against a banged-up Carolina team who he dominated last season; posting a 3-1 record with a 1.76 GAA and .939 save percentage. He also owned a 2.13 GAA at Madison Square Garden and is a bargain at just 6,600.
Others: Carey Price, Jonathan Quick
Sidney Crosby – Pittsburgh Penguins – No need to elaborate here; he’s sick. He’s picked up three points in each of Pittsburgh’s two games this season and the only thing that can stop him from winning the scoring crown again is an injury. $9,000 is expensive, but sometimes you just get what you pay for.
Matt Duchene – Colorado Avalanche – Colorado has been awfully quiet offensively so far this season, but Duchene led this team in points last year and finally found the back of the new in the Av’s last game. He logs big minutes as the center of the top forward line as well as the #1 power-play unit and his scoring will pick up as he grows a rapport with new linemate Jerome Iginla. He broke out with 70 points in 71 games last season and there is little reason to believe the 23 year old won’t take another step forward this year.
Anze Kopitar – Los Angeles Kings – The matchup against St. Louis is not ideal, but Kopitar has been terrific at the Staples Center, where he’s posted the following stat line since the beginning of the 2012-13 season; 21 goals, 47 assists, and a +34 in 67 home games. He’s picked up points in consecutive games and the Kings look to have turned things around offensively.
Value: David Desharnais ($3,700), Marcus Johansson ($3,700), Mike Richards ($3,500), Elias Lindholm ($2,800)
Patrick Marleau – San Jose Sharks – Marleau has gotten out of the gates nicely, picking up two goals and two assists over the Sharks first three games. Tonight he’ll face off against an Islanders team who he posted a goal and two assists against in two meetings last season. Marleau amassed 23 power-play points last year and this Islanders team owned the 29th worst penalty kill in the league last season. He thrived away from the Bay Area, posting 42 points in 41 road games during the 2013-14 season and is an excellent option at one of your wing spots.
Michael Cammalleri – New Jersey Devils – Cammalleri, a guy who has twice reached the 80 point mark in his NHL career, appears set for a huge bounce-back season now that he’s out of Calgary. He’s racked up four goals and an assist over the Devil’s first three games and is logging big minutes on the wing of the team’s top forward line and power-play. The Washington’s defense was suspect in their last game and, based on last year’s stats, the Devils (53.5 FF%) own a big puck possession advantage over the Capitals (47.1 FF%). Cammalleri tallied 24 points in 22 games after the Olympic break last season and his likely low ownership rate this evening makes him a great GPP target.
Martin St. Louis – New York Rangers – St. Louis is one of the better playmakers in the NHL and he’s shown it by already racking up four assists this season. The Ranger’s top forward line of Duclair, St. Louis and Nash, has been red hot and a date with the Carolina Hurricanes shouldn’t slow them down. St. Louis lit up the Hurricanes last year, scoring a goal and adding seven assists in six meetings.
Value: Troy Brouwer ($4,500), Milan Lucic ($4,300), Justin Willians ($4,400), Anthony Duclair ($3,200), Cory Conacher ($3,100)
P.K. Subban – Montreal Canadians – The Canadians will open the doors to Bell Center for the first tienm this season to take on the bitter rival Boston Bruins. To say there is bad blood between these teams in an understatement and things will probably be even more heated this year after the Canadians bounced the Bruins from the playoffs after a grueling seven game series. Boston had no answer for Subban in that series as the big man racked up four goals and three assists. He’s a workhorse on the Habs blueline, routinely logging over 25 minutes of ice-time per game, and is one of the premier offensive defenseman in the league today.
Johnny Boychuck – New York Islanders – The move out of Boston looks to be just what the doctor ordered for Boychuk. He was buried down the depth chart in Boston and was never fully unleashed, but that’s certainly not the case anymore. He’s recorded at least one point in each game this season and now owns two goals, four assists and a +4 rating after three games. He’s averaging over 22 minutes of ice-time per game and is proving to be a weapon on the point of the Islander’s top power-play unit.
Value: Slava Voynov ($3,400), Cody Ceci ($2,900), Damon Severson ($3,400), Paul Martin ($2,800), Nick Holden ($2,800)
Best of Luck tonight!
JMBWngFn (@JBritt2 on Twitter)