Yikes, not a great lineup last night. While the Predators scored six goals, Ryan Johansen and Viktor Arvidsson were minimal contributors while Antti Raanta was blown up early by the Golden Knights. When lineups end up this poor it is simply best to chalk it up to a bad night and move on, which is what I will do for tonight’s five-game slate!
C – Ryan Getzlaf (ANH) – $6,800 vs. NYI
The Ducks are currently ravaged by injuries which means that they will rely heavily on their big guns for tonight’s home tilt against the visiting Islanders. Getzlaf sat out the first two games of the season himself, but skated 22 minutes in his season debut Monday against the Flames. The Islanders were a poor defensive team on the road last season as they averaged 2.95 goals against per game away from home and have given up more than three goals per game overall in the early going this season. Getzlaf and the Anaheim top line will get plenty of ice and opportunity tonight against a suspect Islanders defensive group without a clear-cut number one goalie.
C – Nico Hischier (NJ) – $4,300 vs. TOR
Although they were pegged as a lottery-pick team entering play this season, the Devils have heard none of that through their first two games. New Jersey has potted ten goals through their first two contests and take on a Leafs team that is undefeated at 3-0-0, but have also surrendered ten goals through three games. Hischier has just one assist on the season, but he has fired seven shots on goal while getting second line ice time as well as first unit power play minutes as well. Last year’s first overall pick should fine twine soon enough if he continues to shoot the puck at this rate.
W – Corey Perry (ANH) – $6,100 vs. NYI
My biggest bounce back candidate this season buried two goals and added an assist for this lineup on opening night and I look for more this evening tonight against the Islanders. The Ducks have scored just two goals since that game over their next two contests, but Perry always remains a threat as he has taken nine shots in three games after recording 215 shots on goal last season. His ice time will once again hover around the 20-minute mark like it has every game this season as he looks to get back into the 30-goal group after just 19 tucks a season ago.
W – Marcus Johansson (NJ) – $5,500 vs. TOR
Teaming up with Hischier at even strength and with the man advantage has been Johansson who appears to like his new digs as a member of the Devils as he tallied two goals and an assist in the Devils’ win over the Sabres on Monday night. Johansson isn’t a big shooter as his career high in shots is only 132, but after years of playing with snipers like Alex Ovechkin on the power play in Washington, Johansson has developed into one of the best under-the-radar passers in the game. With Hischier taking the majority of the shots he and Johansson could form a nice little duo with some lower ownership on tonight’s slate.
W – David Pastrnak (BOS) – $7,100 vs. COL
The Bruins are in Colorado tonight to face a team that has been good this year, but obviously atrocious last season so let’s get some Bruins exposure here with Pastrnak. Pastrnak broke out big time with 34 goals last season while almost tripling his 26 points from the previous season with 70 across 75 games. He takes a ton of shots with 262 last season and seven through just two games this season. Considering the Avs sit with just a 64.3% clip on the penalty kill, Pastrnak could very well get his second power play marker of the season tonight after 10 a season ago.
D – Cam Fowler (ANH) – $5,600 vs. NYI
Fowler has already shown his cross-category upside this young season as he has scored a goal on six shots with six blocks through three games this season. He has seen plenty of ice time in the early going, with his 26:09 average ice time ranking fourth in the league so far. Coming off of career highs in goals (11) and shots (186), Fowler is unquestionably the Ducks’ top defenseman and should be right in the middle of the action tonight against the Islanders.
D – Christian Djoos (WAS) – $2,600 vs. PIT
Djoos is somewhat of a punt play to provide some cost savings on the back end, but this guy has been a productive player offensively at the AHL level. In 66 AHL games last season, Djoos tallied 13 goals and 58 points to rank 13th in AHL scoring and third among all defenseman. It appears he will be making his NHL debut tonight against a Penguins team that is tied for last place with 15 goals against this season. He likely won’t start on the power play, but if he were to somehow make his way onto a power play unit his value would skyrocket as a result.
G – Mike Smith (CGY) – $7,300 vs. LA
I’m taking somewhat of a calculated risk here with Smith on the road, but I don’t see any clear-cut safety options so I decided to pay down in exchange for more offense up front. Besides, Smith is coming off of 43-save shutout against the Ducks on Monday night and plays behind a very solid top-four defensive group in Calgary. He has seen plenty of rubber this season, but has been up to the task with a .957 save percentage and a 1.68 goals against average through three starts on the young season.
UTIL – Tyler Bozak (TOR) – $4,500 vs. NJ
Bozak doesn’t get much credit on a loaded Maple Leafs’ offense, but he just continues to produce. After recording 55 points last season, Bozak already has four points to his name this season while getting significant time on a lethal Maple Leafs’ power play. He posted 18 of his 55 points on the power play last season as he spends all of his even strength and power play ice time next to productive wingers in James van Riemsdyk and Mitch Marner, so don’t sleep on the Leafs’ multi-tasking center tonight.