After just a somewhat slow (and unintended) three game schedule last night, things pick back up tonight as 16 teams hit the ice.
Jonathan Quick – Los Angeles Kings – When one of the game’s best goaltenders has a home date with the worst offensive team in hockey, you have the definition of a perfect cash game play. After a bit of a shaky start to the 2014-15 season, Quick has posted “W’s” in each of his last three starts and has turned away 114 of the 116 shots thrown his way during that stretch. He shutout the Sabres in their only visit to the Staples Center last season and although his $9,200 asking price is steep, he’s the clear #1 option tonight.
Others: Jake Allen, Darcy Kuemper, Antti Niemi, Jonas Hiller
David Krejci – Boston Bruins – Krejci was an entirely different player at the TD Garden last season, posting a rather ridiculous 15 goals, 27 assists and +31 in 41 home games. He’s tallied points in four straight games (two goals and four assists) and is showing no ill-effects from the injury that forced him out of the season opener. The Islanders look to be an improved team this season, but they still have plenty of question marks defensively.
T.J. Oshie – St. Louis Blues – While most casual hockey fans only really know him due to his exploits at the 2014 Olympic Games, T.J. (S)Oshie has become a vital component to this St. Louis team over the last few years. He’s proven to be a matchup problem for opposing coaches and thus has thrived on home ice where he posted dramatic home vs road splits last season (15 goals, 25 assists and a +18 in 39 home games). He logs big minutes of ice-time on the wing of the Blue’s top scoring line and sees ample time on the power-play as well. He’s been held off the scoreboard in each of the first five games this season, but I’m not concerned and will enjoy that $4,300 price-tag.
Others: Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, Pavel Datsyuk, Joe Thornton, Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter, John Tavares, Logan Couture
Value: Mike Richards, Sean Monahan, Mike Ribeiro, Andrew Shaw, Jarret Stoll
Patrick Marleau – San Jose Sharks – After a tough five game East Coast road trip, Marleau and the Sharks will be happy to return to the Bay Area where they owned a 29-7-5 record last season. Marleau is off to a healthy start this season, having posted four goals and five assists over the first seven games. He’s logging nearly 20 minutes of ice-time per game thus far with nearly four of those minutes coming on the wing of the Sharks very dangerous #1 power-play unit. He lit the lamp three times in two meetings against Columbus last season and his $6,300 asking price seems very reasonable.
Tanner Pearson – Los Angeles Kings – You’ll likely want some exposure to the Kings tonight against the hopeless looking Buffalo Sabres, and at just $3,600, Tanner Pearson is an absolute steal. The youngster is thriving alongside Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli on the King’s second scoring line and has already amassed five goals, two assists and a +7 in the team’s first six games. With the added bonus of some playing time on the teams #2 power-play unit, Peason should be a tough fade in cash games tonight.
Kyle Okposo – New York Islanders – While I usually refrain from picking against the Boston Bruins (especially at home), it’s almost impossible to ignore the success Okposo had against them last season. In three meetings he scored a pair of goals, added seven assists and was a +5. He’s already racked up eight points over the first six games this season and looks poised to surpass last year’s career high of 69 points.
Others: Gustav Nyquist, Patric Hornqvist, Alex Steen, Zach Parise, Patrick Sharp, Tyler Toffoli
Value: Reilly Smith, Jiri Hudler, Kris Versteeg, Tomas Tatar, Johnny Gaudreau, Brian Bickell, Dustin Brown, Tomas Hertl
Brent Burns – San Jose Sharks – Ignore the fact that there is a “D” next to his name, because Burns is not your ordinary defenseman. While the Sharks technically moved him back to the blue-line this year, Burns is still used as an offensive weapon and can routinely be found jumping into the play offensively. He’s averaging over 23 minutes of ice-time per game with plenty of run as the QB of their #1 power-play unit. With a goal and seven assists over the first seven games, it’s clear that he’ll be among the top fantasy defenseman this season.
Ryan Suter – Minnesota Wild – After leading the NHL in average ice-time per game last season (29:24/game), Suter is out to the lead once again this year (28:50) with nearly six of those minutes coming on the point of the Wild’s top power-play unit. His somewhat uneventful start to the season has brought his asking price down to a very reasonable $4,600 which may be the cheapest you’ll be able to get him all season. The Coyotes have struggled out of the gates on the penalty kill and seven of Suter’s eight goals last season came on home ice. He’s a rock solid cash game option.
Others: Kris Letang, Torey Krug, Roman Josi, Brent Seabrook, Johnny Boychuk (Revenge), Alex Pietrangelo, Drew Doughty
Value: Danny DeKeyser, Alec Martinez, Paul Martin, Jonas Brodin, Jay Bouwmeester, Seth Jones, Matt Irwin
Best of luck tonight!
JMBWngFn (On Twitter @JBritt2)