The first weekend of the NHL season is upon us, and we’re treated to a mouth-watering 14 game schedule. With College Football in full swing, and the MLB playoffs heating up, it’s obviously a terrific time of the year to be a sports fan. With nearly all of the action on the ice not getting underway until this evening, these picks will focus on the 13 game evening slate.
Craig Anderson – Ottawa Senators – $7,300 – Anderson flirted with a shutout in the opener, and with Andrew Hammond ailing, he should find himself back between the pipes tonight. He’ll take on a Phil Kessel-less Maple Leafs team that has shown very little life on the offensive end thus far this season and will be on the second half of back-to-back games this evening. With a very reasonable price-tag and a solid chance at a “W”, he’s an excellent cash game option that frees up some spending money for extra scoring power.
Others: Marc-Andre Fleury, Petr Mrazek, Pekka Rinne
Kyle Turris – Ottawa Senators – $5,700 – Kyle Turris lit the lamp on two occasions against the Sabres on Thursday and the former 3rd overall draft pick looks ready to step into NHL stardom this season. Turris logs big minutes as the center of both the Senator’s top forward line as well as their number one power-play unit and he terrorized this Toronto team last season; posting four goals and three assists in their five meetings.
Dylan Larkin – Detroit Red Wings – $3,500 – If you’re looking for some value at the center position, Dylan Larkin proved in his NHL debut that he’s ready to produce as the NHL level despite being just 19 years old. He found himself on the wing of Detroit’s top forward line along with Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader and promptly picked up not only his first NHL goal, but also added an assist and fired six shots on goal. The former first round pick has both the pedigree and opportunity to make an impact for the Wings and shatter value once again at this bargain price.
Others: Tyler Seguin, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Claude Giroux, Henrik Zetterberg, Henrik Sedin
Phil Kessel – Pittsburgh Penguins – $7,200 – Kessel made his Pittsburgh debut on Thursday night, but the Penguins were uncharacteristically shutout by the Stars in that game. However, Crosby played alongside Sidney Crosby for the duration of the game and there’s no denying the offensive potential of that duo. Kessel fired six shots on goal against the Stars and has a matchup against an Arizona team that allowed the third most goals against in the NHL last season.
Daniel Sedin – Vancouver Canucks – $6,000 – Daniel Sedin exploded for a goal and two assists in the season opener against the Flames, and now with the venue changing to Vancouver, he could be in line for another strong performance. Sedin remains a staple on the Canucks top forward line and #1 power-play unit, and with Calgary owning an ugly 80.6% penalty kill last season, he should find plenty of scoring opportunities.
Others: Alex Ovechkin, Patrick Kane, Corey Perry, Rick Nash, Patric Hornqvist, Zach Parise, Justin Abderlkader
Erik Karlsson – Ottawa Senators – $6,900 – It’s a steep price to pay for a defenseman, but Karlsson simply offers an offensive upside that no other blue-liner in the league can match. Karlsson tallied 21 goals and 45 assists last season and let all defenseman with 292 shots on goal. He’ll take on a Toronto team that was hammered by the Detroit Red Wings last night and who he lit up for four goals and three assists in their five meetings last season.
Seth Jones – Nasville Predators – $3,700 – While I also really like his teammates Shea Weber and Roman Josi, the asking price for Seth Jones is what sets him apart here. Jones assisted on both of Nashville’s goals in the season opener and today’s matchup against the improved, but still defensively challenged, Edmonton Oilers is a nice one. Jones logs quality minutes on the point of the Predator’s second power-play unit and should continue seeing 20+ minutes of ice-time per game.
Others: Mark Giordano, Kris Letang, Mike Green, Brent Burns, Shea Weber, Alex Edler, John Klingberg
Best of luck tonight!
JMBWngFn (@JBritt2 on Twitter)