Tonight is one of the last few full NHL slates last before NBA starts. All of the easy NFL money is still out there, and I plan to take advantage with these fantasy hockey picks.
Johnathan Quick ($25,150) - Quick is going to be extremely difficult to fit in to your salary cap tonight, but for good reason. This has to be the best chance at a shutout all year for any team in the league. Vegas has pegged the Kings at -360 to win, making them the largest money line favorite I have ever seen in the NHL. Buffalo got destroyed by the Ducks last night and this should get ugly for them on the second night of a back to back. If you can make the price work do not hesitate to roster Quick.
Darcy Kuemper ($15,250) - The Coyotes have just looked awful this season. Kuemper opened the season with 2 shutouts in 2 games and this could be his third. The style of game that the Wild play doesn’t allow many great scoring chances for the opposition and they NEVER seem to take a penalty. I see this game being a low scoring, slow paced, physical game unless Mike Smith decides to blow up which would not be out of the norm for him this year.
Others I like: Jonas Hiller, Tukka Rask
Davis Backes ($12,900) - I wish that coach Hitchcock would stop shuffling his skating lines every game so these players can build chemistry, but what can you do? Backes is a stud in front of the net and in the few games that I’ve watched Miller this season he has had trouble controlling rebounds. Backes loves camping out in front of the net waiting for these opportunities. He would be my bet to find the back of the net out of all the Blues tonight.
Jeff Carter ($5,000) - Not sure what happened here as last year he was priced in the $12,000 range and rightfully so. Carter is a stud scorer and seems to score 30 every single year. At minimum price, he is the best value amongst my fantasy hockey picks. If you aren’t playing him, you are doing it wrong.
Others I like: Mikael Granlund, Pavel Datsyuk (another completely mis-priced stud.)
Zach Parise ($15,400) - With the mistakes in the pricing of Carter and Datsyuk, there will be plenty of salary to spend. Parise has 27 shots over 4 games and his willingness to never take a shift off should come through in this game. The game should be a slow-paced, hard-hitting game where players’ legs will slow down in the 3rd period. That is when Parise should be able to come through. Even without scoring a goal, his ridiculous number of shots add up and help contribute to your team.
Jeff Skinner ($5,000) - I’m not sure what is going on with the pricing today, but I won’t complain because it will help me play Johnathan Quick. Skinner has amazing talent, which he showed in his rookie season by tallying 31 goals. The only thing holding him down is his teammates. Carolina is awful but Skinner found a way to get 3.5 fantasy points his first game back without a goal or assist.
Others I like: Brad Marchand, Chris Kunitz
Patrick Kane ($14,100) -Taking players at Nashville is something I usually try to avoid. Howver, with the Toews/Sharp/Hossa line drawing teams’ top defensive pairings most of the time, Kane should get plenty of shifts with Shae Weber on the bench. That is a huge blow to Nashville’s defense and if anyone can take advantage of it it is Kane.
Tyler Toffoli ($8,750) -Toffoli has 3 multi-point games in his team’s first 6 games. The low salary and the fact that he is on the top power play with Kopitar is enough to play him. Add in the fact that he gets Buffalo at home, and it is hard not to roster him tonight.
Others I like: Jiri Hudler, Jason Pominville
Kevin Shattenkirk ($11,950) -Shattenkirk seems to have locked down the role on the top power play unit for the Blues. He is among the assist leaders for defenseman. With 22 minutes of ice time per game, the opportunities are certainly there. Shattenkirk should see plenty of ice time against the 2nd and 3rd line of Vancouver which also increases his chance to score.
Jake Muzzin ($6,500) -Muzzin is going to make his season debut tonight, and is expected to be thrown in to the top power play right away. Being on a team that is such a big favorite, you always look for value with players expected to see PP time. I expect to Kings to score 3-4 tonight and Muzzin will likely be on the ice for a few.
Others I like: Niklas Kronwall, Jonas Brodin