Week two is now in the books and there are a couple of surprises across the hockey world. The Montreal Canadians are in first place and they did most of their early grunt work without the best goalie in the world, Carey Price. The Edmonton Oilers currently lead the Western Conference in points and goal differential.
In the fantasy stats-based world, the leading goal scorer in the NHL is Richard Panik and he can still be picked up in free agency and presumably will be picked up shortly because he is playing with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa. He has six goals, and the only two players with five are young standout Auston Matthews, and Matt Read, who like Panik is a free agent.
The biggest trade in the offseason was the P.K. Subban – Shea Weber swap and most thought that Nashville won the trade by getting an elite defenseman in his prime. I think Montreal won the trade because they now have Shea Weber until basically the end of his career. He too is an elite defenseman and a great presence in the locker room. Fantasy wise, Subban may score more goals, but he is currently a -4 while Shea Weber is a +8 with around the same amount of shots on goal and more hits.
Week two saw T.J. Ragusa win a 6-5-2 matchup over Dan Fradella to move his league leading record to 16-7-3. However, this week will be a much tougher test for T.J. as he has faced the bottom two teams in the league so far. The only thing that seems to be certain is that Turner Jones will never lose the faceoff battle as through two weeks his team has over 100 more faceoff wins then the next closest person. The current standings and scoring totals are as follows-
It is a shock that Anismiov can still be picked up through free agency. He plays on a line with NHL MVP Patrick Kane, and Calder Trophy winner Artemi Panarin, and is most certainly going to be reaping the benefits of it all year. In three games last week, Anisimov scored four goals, had three helpers, and skated to a +6 rating. For some of my competitors in the league who need help with accumulating points, Anisimov should be on their radar.
Defensive Player of the Week: Mike Green (DET)
Green tallied five points (two on the powerplay) during an impressive four game stretch last week in which he also was tied for the lead with Shea Weber with a +5 rating for the week. An elite defenseman for Washington in the earlier years of his career, Green posted an absurd 76 points in 75 games in 2009-2010. After his career in Washington eventually stalled out, he joined Detroit last year and has started off this season looking comfortable and poised for maybe one more big year.
Goalie of the Week: Cam Talbot (EDM)
The poor man gave up a goal from beyond the red line against Buffalo last Sunday (the 16th). Then he got pulled, only to see his backup goalie get injured so he would have to come back into the game where his nightmare would continue. Edmonton lost 6-2, and Cam Talbot gave up six goals on 23 shots.
All of that struggle past Sunday made what Talbot did this week extraordinary, as he led the Oilers to a 3-0 week by giving up only three goals in three games and emphatically finishing his week off with a shutout against the Winnipeg Jets in the Heritage Classic. Talbot may reach elite status for fantasy goaltending because the Oilers high-powered offense will provide him with plenty of goals and he is clearly their number one workhorse.
Fantasy Loser of the Week: Mikkel Boedker (SJS)
The San Jose Sharks had a rough week on the road during one of their two long Eastern Conference road trips to begin the season, and that week was exemplified by Boedker. Boedker was an NHL worst -33 last season, but playing on a line with Logan Couture and Joonas Donskoi was supposed to make Boedker into a plus player with 20+ goals on the season.
However, that plan is off to a rough start as Boedker had zero points in four games last week and posted a -5 rating on the week. Maybe worse is that he did not attempt a single shot on goal during the week, and therefore provided absolutely nothing to Robby Leano’s team or the San Jose Sharks.
Below is the link for the Armchair All-Americans Fantasy Hockey league. Keep up with us throughout the season, and email us at [email protected] the team that you think is going to win and lose, trades that should happen, and any other thoughts you may have.