Fire on Ice

10/23/2011 2:35 AM -  Evan Reynar

Alex Steen, LW, C, STL (7GP-3g-2a-5pts, with a +1 and 23 SOG)
Steen is already underrated in fantasy circles, but the recent concussion to Andy McDonald elevates his value to a point where you must take notice. Already a fixture in the Blues’ top-6, Steen is usually leaned towards on the penalty kill more than the powerplay, but the injury to McDonald should increase his man-advantage minutes. Regardless, his tenacious style of play lends itself to production in all situations.

Max Pacioretty, LW, MTL (6GP-2g-3a-5pts, with a (-1) and 30 SOG)
I’ll admit, I slept on Pacioretty entering the season; not being sure of his physical and mental condition following the horrific turnbuckle he ate following a Zdeno Chara forearm shiver last year. Pacioretty appears to be fully recovered from the injuries he incurred, and is entering the section of his career that former 1st round picks typically begin to flourish. The 30 shots on goal he’s already launched on net are a good sign for sure.

Matt Moulson, LW, NYI (5GP-2g-2a-4pts, with a +5 and 9 SOG)
P. A. Parenteau, RW, NYI (5GP-1g-6a-7pts, with a +5 and 2 pp points)
Talk about no respect. Not often you see a guy with back-to-back 30 goal seasons (Moulson), and a guy with a breakout 53-point campaign (Parenteau), go so highly ignored in fantasy drafts, but maybe it’s time to reassess our view of the New York Islanders. Of course the production of Moulson and Parenteau goes hand-in-hand with the emergence of linemate John Tavares, but most would agree that Tavares still has upside to deliver on, and subsequently more weight to bear on those coat-tails.

Matt Read, RW, PHI (6GP-2g-4a-6pts, with a +4 and 2 pp points)
Wayne Simmonds, RW, PHI (6GP-2g-2a-4pts, with a +2 and 9 PIMs)
As usual, it’s a little unclear who the true top-6 in Philly are, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of their high powered offense. The surprising Read is finding himself a fixture on the powerplay with the likes of Claude Giroux and Jaromir Jagr, while the chippy Simmonds is making himself right at home with the rough and tumble Flyers’ squad. Read is still unproven, so there’s a little more risk with fellow prospects Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn also in the mix trying to prove themselves. Simmonds has less risk, and not as much offensive upside, but his 40 point, 100+ PIM potential is nice for deeper leagues.

Kyle Quincey, D, COL (7GP-1g-2a-3pts, with a +2 and 10 PIMs)
Quincey looked well on his way in developing in to a perennial fantasy threat before having his career derailed by shoulder issues. Apparently healthy after offseason surgery, Quincey looks to get back on the fantasy map with a surprising Colorado squad that is posting goals in bunches. Expect him to get plenty of power play time with only Erik Johnson ahead of him on the depth chart.

Nikolai Knabibulin, G, EDM (3GP, 1-0-2, with a 0.95 GAA and .962 SV%)
Devan Dubnyk, G, EDM (3GP, 1-2-0, with a 2.31 GAA and .920 SV%)
The Oilers are going with the alternating goalie routine to start off the season and both guys appear to be on top of their game. Helping the Oilers, to one of the best defensive records in the early going, both Dubnyk and Khabibulin are legitimate 3rd-4th goalie options at this point. The one issue has been goal support, which shouldn’t come as a surprise considering the Oilers started the season without Ryan Whitney and Sam Gagner, and got just 2 games from Ales Hemsky before a shoulder injury. Expect more wins to come as the Oilers can hopefully get back to full health over the upcoming weeks. 

Brian Elliott, G, STL (3GP, 2-0-0, with a 2.09 GAA and .930 SV%)
Mathieu Garon, G, TB (4GP, 1-1-1, with a 1.93 GAA and .938 SV%)
As with the start of any season, we can expect a few goalies to find themselves on the hot seat right away. In this case, both Jaroslav Halak in St. Louis, and Dwayne Roloson in Tampa are fighting the puck, and both have seen their respective back-ups come up with better results. If you own one of these two guys than picking up their fill-in is a must. If you are looking to bolster your goalie troop, I’d give the edge to Elliot who has proven himself a valuable starter before with a mediocre Ottawa team. Garon may have a better team in front of him in Tampa, but they’re a free-wheeling team, prone to high-scoring games that have been the bane of many a backstop over the past few years.

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