I heart OEL - Jeff Gross
A look around the league to see which players are getting better (or worse) assignments than we anticipated.
Let's take a look around the league and some interesting developments in the first few games of the season.
Dennis Wideman is leading the Flames in PP TOI with 5:06 / game. No other d-man has more than two minutes. He's probably not going to beat last year's pace (46 points) but he could come close to a 40 point pace.
Sven Baertschi is playing on the fourth line and not getting much in terms of PP time. Both of those will need to change if you're hoping to get bang for your buck here.
Roman Cervenka was supposed to be a 1st or 2nd line center. He's been playing wing on the third line. Maybe it's time to cut bait here.
We don't really know what's going to happen with Jamie Benn yet but according to Glen Gulutzan he'll be with Michael Ryder and Ray Whitney (sorry Cody Eakin you time on the second line is now over). I would have rather seen him with Loui Eriksson but since I own Whitney in a couple of leagues I won't complain.
You're not going to be able to pick up Justin Schultz in any league but you might want to look at his PP partner Ryan Whitney. He only has one point so far and you think that will have change if he continues to get 1st PP unit minutes.
Los Angeles Kings
As we mentioned on twitter this week, Drew Doughty's slow start is nothing to worry about. He has zero points in four games but is getting a ton of PP time. His 6:10 / game leads the team by over a minute. He's also over 28 minutes / game. The points will come.
I don't think he'll be able to keep it up but Kyle Clifford has 1+4=5 in four games and he played the last two with Mike Richards and Jeff Carter on L2. Clifford is making it happen with virtually zero PP time.
The forwards in Nashville are terrible. Look at these two 'scoring' lines:
Line 1 Martin Erat / Mike Fisher / Colin Wilson
Line 2 Gabriel Bourque / David Legwand / Patric Hornqvist
Those are two pretty ugly looking lines... from a fantasy standpoint anyway.
If I'm recommending you look at anybody in Nashville (other than Shea Weber and Pekka Rinne, of course) it's Roman Josi. He's third in PP TOI / game and is playing more than 25 minutes a game.
New York Rangers
Surprisingly Torts is rolling out the uber talented line of Marian Gaborik , Brad Richards and Rick Nash out there. I was expecting Richards, Nash and somebody with a bit of grit but it seems to be working as the three stars have combined for 19 points so far this year.
If you're looking for a sneaky pick Ryan Callahan is getting a lot of PP time with the three above mentioned studs. He actually has the second most PP TOI/game on the team. He has only one goal so far so it might be a good time to buy low.
Danny Briere returned from injury and started at LW on the second line with Sean Couturier & Jakub Voracek. So that means a guy who was getting a lot of hype in pre-season, Brayden Schenn, is on the third line.
The PP QB in Phoenix is no longer Keith Yandle, who is just 9th in PP TOI on the team. Oliver Ekman-Larsson is the man and leads all Yotes in minutes with the man advantage. He has 2+2=4 in five games so the opportunity for you to swindle him away from some unsuspecting owner is quickly fading. He's going to be one of the Top 10 d-men in your draft next year.
San Jose Sharks
So Scott Gomez was playing on the fourth line with Adam Burish and Andrew Desjardins. Not good. But he did play over five minutes on the 2nd PP unit. Logan Couture plays on the first PP so there is a spot open on the 2nd unit. Gomez's competition for the job is Michal Handzus... which is to say, there isn't much competition.
St. Louis Blues
There is a lot of talent in STL so you know somebody is getting the shaft. Patrik Berglund & Chris Stewart found themselves on scoring lines last year at times but it's looking like third line duty for them this season. They have seven points combined so they don't seem to mind too much.
So Andy McDonald is playing with Alexander Steen and big rookie Vladimir Tarasenko. He also leads the team in PP TOI/gm. Yet still he's only owned in less than one fifth of Yahoo! leagues. I don't get you guys.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Remember the big plan to start James van Reimsdyk on L1? Never happened. JvR has been playing with Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin on L2. He's doing okay too with 3+1=4 in five games, even though he's not getting much PP time.
Tyler Bozak continues to be the worst first line center in the league. Forget about Luongo, the Leafs need somebody better to play with Kessel. Joffrey Lupul's injury means Clarke MacArthur is the third piece of the 1st line.
Mike Kostka has been playing very well for the Leafs so far this year. He has three points in five games and is getting minutes on the Top PP unit. He has the third most PP TOI on the team. He's had some decent seasons in the AHL so there's a chance he can put together a useful fantasy season.