Fantasy Hockey Preview Part 2
The puck dropped Tuesday night but it’s not too late to play home openers, as day 2 of NHL hockey is beginning. FanPicks has you covered with every game offered for one day fantasy hockey action. Get your entry in before 7pm on Thursday. Come play now or check out the teams preview and go play after. Your call.
The brilliance of Carey Price and the excellent performance of Shea Weber in his Montreal debut gave the Canadiens some defensive hockey play last year. They’ve conceded only 198 goals to their opponents, the fourth lowest total of the league. The lack of offense, however, came to frustrate the plans of the organization after the series began. It was the dry break in the first round against the Rangers.
The Preds will again be able to bet on one of the best defensive brigades in the National League. Roman Josi has just inherited the position of captain, while PK Subban will start his second campaign with the Predators with his blue line companion during the last series, Mattias Ekholm. Only a shadow on the blue line is the loss of Ryan Ellis who will be out of the game for a period of four to six months in order to recover from a knee surgery.
New Jersey Devils
Even though they finished 27th in the NHL, the Devils got the first pick at the last NHL entry draft, which allowed them to get their hands on the Halifax Mooseheads sniper Nico Hischier. He made good impression at training camp, when he scored four goals in his first four preliminary games.
New York Islanders
The arrival of offensive forward Jordan Eberle from Edmonton could provide more support to the Isles franchise player John Tavares. However, there are concerns about Tavares contractual situation. The latter is in the final year of his contract and if he does not reach an agreement before the end of the campaign with the Islanders, he will become a free agent without compensation on July 1st. Ouch!
New York Rangers
The least we can say is that the New York Rangers will have a new faces this season at every positions. The biggest change comes in defence. The Rangers were able to carry one of the biggest catch in the free agent market by signing defender Kevin Shattenkirk for four seasons and $26.6 million.
Team captain Erik Karlsson’s availability for the start of the season remains the focus of attention at the Senators’ camp. One certainty is that his faithful blue line partner, Marc Methot, will not be there. Methot was claimed by the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft being traded to the Dallas Stars.
For an organization that finished 11th in the Eastern Association with 88 points, the Philadelphia Flyers had a great deal of luck in the lottery for the last NHL entry draft. The draw allowed them to select second and their pick was Nolan Patrick. The Brandon Wheat Kings star will have to stay away from injuries if he wants to lend a hand as quickly as possible to his new team. He only played 33 games last season in the WHL, but he still scored 46 points.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have accomplished a great feat by winning a second consecutive Stanley Cup. They are now are facing an equally challenging task; to get their hands on the cup for the third time in as many seasons. Such a feat has not occurred since the New York Islanders success era, when they lifted the Stanley Cup four consecutive times from 1980 to 1983.
San Jose Sharks
For the first time in 21 years, the Sharks will begin a season without the presence of longtime team winger Patrick Marleau who has chosen to pursue his career in Toronto by accepting their two-season offer and $ 18.75 million. The team, however has ensured to keep defender Marc-Édouard Vlasic (8 years / $ 56M) and goaltender Martin Jones (6 years / $ 34.5 million) for long-terms deals. They also brought back for (at least) another season veteran center Joe Thornton, after much speculation that he was going to join Marleau with the Leafs.
St. Louis Blues
There is no doubt that the Blues main offensive weapon this season will be Russian sniper Vladimir Tarasenko. He finished on top of his team’s scoring last season, scoring 39 goals and 36 assists for a total of 75 points. He has been the leader of his team in terms of points during the last three campaigns.
Tampa Bay Lightning
The return of undisputed leader of the team, Steven Stamkos, is obviously not unrelated to this growing enthusiasm for the Floridian club. The No. 91 was running at full speed last season before seeing another of his campaigns being stopped dry by an injury after only 17 games this time. While Vladislav Namestnikov will have the mandate to complete the explosive duo of Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov at the beginning of the year, the three other trios will be well balanced, with the likes of Alex Killorn, Tyler Johnson, Brayden Point, Ondrej Palat, Ryan Callahan and Yanni Gourde, among others.