This week Lining Up looks at how things are clicking after the first few games of 2013-14
The winds of change blew in yesterday with bad intentions. This seems much the same with some fantasy owners who want to cut a lot of bait early. Value can really be had right now at a lower than expected cost. Week 2 is like a storm blowing in for some owners, while it is a boom for others. Let’s go “Between The Lines”.
Lead Us Forwards
Evander Kane-Mark Scheifele-Devin Setoguchi (Winnipeg) -- The Jets can score, but sadly they cannot defend. Fantasy owners care little about this as this trio racked up nine points this week. This is a top six that can produce right around a point a game when they play up tempo. If it feels like a few Jets had three points, then you are not mistaken. As a matter of fact, at least five forwards have three points while two defensemen have four. It is a team that is exactly what we thought they were. The offense appears likely to continue into Week 2.
Lars Eller-Alex Galchenyuk-Brendan Gallagher (Montreal) -- People wondered when Lars Eller would begin to show that expected promise, well the answer may have been given during Week 1. Eller led the way with five points, but it was the fearless way he carried the puck and maintained possession that caught my eye. The youngster Alex Galchenyuk had four points while Brendan Gallagher tallied three. Looking ahead, Montreal heads on the road for the next four with favorable match-ups galore, particularly against Edmonton and Calgary.
Mikael Backlund-T.J. Galiardi-Jiri Hudler (Calgary) -- Maybe the kids will be alright after all as these three players have embraced Bob Hartley’s modified run and gun. Needless to say the Flames are not going to win that much, but they will likely be intriguing for fantasy purposes at the very minimum. Jiri Hudler had a four point week as the line garnered seven points while together. Will Hudler continue at a 20+ minute TOI? That actually may be a yes as Calgary really has to just let them play. This means at least possible good results in Week 2, just less games (two).
Alex Ovechkin-Troy Brouwer-Nicklas Backstrom-Mikhail Grabovski (Washington) -- They led the way with ten points in the first week in a power play display that felt a lot like last year’s, but maybe even better. Their 51.1% frequency on the man advantage yielded ten points as it seemed the Capitals could strike at will. Alex Ovechkin had five power play points alone. By the way, Grabovski chipped in four man advantage points and then Backstrom with three. Is this going to continue? That answer is no because the Capitals power play converted at a 26.8% clip last season. One has to figure they will be productive, just not lights out like in Week 1.
Dustin Byfuglien-Tobias Enstrom (Winnipeg) -- If this duo stays healthy, they will be at or near the top almost every single week. The pairing had eight points together in Week 1, but all assists. Eventually the goals will come for Byfuglien but in the meantime their line production is above and beyond the average. Granted, they will regress some but Winnipeg has to score to win most nights. Both players will garner about 24 or 25 minute a night for TOI. Frozen Pool’s chart generator breaks down PP, EV, and all PK situations. They are a pair to have as long as Enstrom stays healthy.
T.J. Brodie-Mark Giordano (Calgary) -- Mark Giordano is Calgary’s number one defenseman now at least from a fantasy standpoint. With the up tempo pace Calgary is playing, Giordano became the top play with a four point week. No one has any clue how long the offensive game will keep up, but Calgary’s young defenseman still brings hits, blocks, and shots on goal to the table. Calgary only has a couple games this week, so temper your expectations as game frequency is important this time of year.
Jared Cowen-Patrick Wiercioch (Ottawa) -- This is not Ottawa’s primary pairing but there is something about these two players that I like a lot as far as upside. Patrick Wiercioch normally has the higher offensive potential, but both him and Cowen had two points each in Week 1. Jared Cowen may have more defensive stat filler abilities in the long run. Week 2 will likely see Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson restore order as far as fantasy production, but this second pairing might have legs.
As always you can follow me on Twitter @ChrisWasselTHW. In the meantime, good luck and happy combination fishing. See you next week.
Recently from Lining Up:
|Between The Lines -- Week 1|
|Between The Lines -- Primer Preview|