Fantasy Hockey ONE (10/27)
WRITTEN BY CHRIS WASSEL
Well Montreal sure makes it interesting. Fire an assistant coach then score five goals. Maybe that is how to do it in the NHL. Okay that is really not the right way but in Montreal, anything that causes celebration is good no matter what the methodology is. As most know, with a packed schedule, we sometimes sadly have a few technical glitches. Today was no exception so Ian Gooding from Kukla’s Korner thankfully offered up his column to us. This is quick but here is a pick of four guys to keep an eye on for tonight’s games. However, first we will give you the schedule.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
|Montreal||at||Boston||7:00 PM | Gameday|
|Columbus||at||Buffalo||7:00 PM | Gameday|
|Toronto||at||NY Rangers||7:00 PM | Gameday|
|Winnipeg||at||Philadelphia||7:00 PM | Gameday|
|NY Islanders||at||Pittsburgh||7:00 PM | Gameday|
|Florida||at||Ottawa||7:30 PM | Gameday|
|Tampa Bay||at||Nashville||8:00 PM | Gameday|
|Anaheim||at||Minnesota||8:00 PM | Gameday|
|Los Angeles||at||Dallas||8:30 PM | Gameday|
|Washington||at||Edmonton||9:30 PM | Gameday|
|New Jersey||at||Phoenix||10:00 PM | Gameday|
Now that is a nice packed schedule with full gamedays at your disposal. Now we give you the goods from Ian.
Thursday October 27
Jacob Markstrom, G, FLA – add/start
A onetime World Junior Championship standout for Sweden, Markstrom has thrived in his opportunity resulting from a Scott Clemmensen injury. The tall Swede stopped 40 of 41 shots to defeat the struggling Habs on Monday, improving his numbers to 2-1-0 with a 1.29 GAA and .967 SV% this season. Next on the menu is the Ottawa Senators, not exactly a tough test for the rookie. The Panthers haven’t confirmed that Markstrom will start over Jose Theodore, but you can easily read between the lines here.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, C, EDM – start
I know I’ve mentioned the Nuge in a recent Pick Six. However, Oilers coach Tom Renney recently hinted that the Oilers would consider playing a game without RNH to find out what things would be like if they were to send him back to junior. It seems strange that the Oilers would even consider the possibility, since RNH already has five goals and eight points in his eight games. The Nuge has nothing left to prove in the WHL, and the Oilers would be making a dumb move in sending him back. Assume that they will make the right choice here and allow him to compete for the Calder Trophy (although he would look nice in Team Canada colours at the World Junior Championships).
Nikolai Khabibulin, G, EDM – bench
Fresh off a disastrous injury-prone season and a stay at Tent City, the Bulin Wall has been one of the early-season surprises this season (3-0-2, 0.97 GAA, .963 SV%). So what gives? The Oilers’ improved defense with some larger bodies blocking shots would be one reason. As much as I believe that the kids like the Nuge and Taylor Hall have a bright future, I don’t believe there’s any reason that the defense will continue to be the team’s strong point. The young Oils could be in for a dose of reality on Thursday, when the undefeated Washington Capitals pay a visit.
Carey Price, G, MON – bench
Could the Habs be a lottery team this season? Only if you believe that one win in eight games is a sign of things to come. Habs fans that aren’t too bleu to boo might point the finger at Price, who has stumbled out of the gate with a plus-3.00 GAA and sub-.900 SV%. On Thursday Price faces the Bruins at TD Garden, a place that had given Price similar nightmares to Roberto Luongo last season (8 GA on February 9, along with a fight with a smirking Tim Thomas). A visit to a place like Columbus or Winnipeg might be worth the trick right now, but this might be a good place to bench Price. That is, if the Habs don’t start Alex Auld (Montreal plays Philadelphia on Wednesday and Boston on Thursday). No word on whether Price will don his pink breast cancer awareness pads that he has an 0-6 record while using.
Watch out for Moose Crossings and a crazy battle at MSG tonight among some of the highlights. We will be live tweeting as always with our insights and some of our picks as well. It should be a good night and hopefully your fantasy leagues have much success on this busy night.