There wasn’t much that went right with last night’s pick as it was just simply a poor night all around. The brightest spot was goaltender Ben Bishop who has now allowed just two goals in 104 minutes of play as well as a .955 save percentage, giving the Stars what they need in net to make themselves serious contenders. Let’s put this night in the rear-view mirror and move on to tonight’s five-game slate where this lineup will take aim at GPP tournaments only.
C – Ryan Getzlaf (ANH) – $7,300 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) – $4,800 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 – Brad Marchand (BOS) – $7,500 vs. COL
The Bruins are another group dealing with notable injuries up front which means players like Marchand will be relied upon heavily to carry the offense. The Avalanche have surprised to a 2-1-0 record and have allowed just six goals on the season, but this was easily the worst defensive group in hockey last year with 3.37 goals against per game. Marchand broke out with career highs in goals, assists and ice time last year while taking 226 shots on goal and is the number one guy for a Bruins team looking to get their offense going tonight.
W – David Pastrnak (BOS) – $7,400 vs. COL
If Marchand is the go-to guy up front for the Bruins, Pastrnak is the second man in line with Patrice Bergeron sidelined. 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. He and Marchand are very likely to get ice time close to the 20-minute range and considering the Avs sit with just a 64.3% clip on the penalty kill, their power play ice time together could be fruitful as well.
W – Marcus Johansson (NJ) – $4,400 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.
D – Cam Fowler (ANH) – $4,900 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 – Morgan Rielly (TOR) – $4,400 vs. NJ
Rielly is looking to take a step towards becoming the top defenseman on his own team and has looked very effective for a lethal Leafs’ offense this season. Rielly has chipped in a pair of assists through three games, but has at least three shots in all three games and 11 total on the season. Paired with veteran Ron Hainsey on the Leafs’ top pairing, Rielly will have room to become more offensive-minded as the smooth skating rear guard certainly has the ability to make a big jump in offensive statistics this season.
G – Mike Smith (CGY) – $8,200 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.