We are a week through the regular season and it is time to see which players’ fantasy stocks are rising and falling in the Western Conference.
The Sharks have looked very strong to open the year and Patrick Marleau is a big reason why. The former Sharks captain has three points in three games and fifteen shots on goal. Add in a plus-2 rating and I expect big things from Marleau this year.
Congratulations if you took the risk and drafted Martin Jones early! The new San Jose Sharks goaltender has started out absolutely on fire. He’s stopped 77 of 78 shots faced, allowed only one goal in three games, and beaten the Kings, Ducks, and Capitals. Not bad for your first season as a number one net-minder.
Andrej Sekera has gotten off to a rough start. His defensive mistakes have led to a game-winning goal against Nashville and a minus-3 rating overall. Offensively, he does have an assist on Connor McDavid’s first NHL goal but only two shots on goal through three games. The Oilers have struggled to open the season and Sekera has too.
Where is Corey Perry? Bruce Boudreau split up Getzlaf and Perry after years together in an effort to stop teams from concentrating their top-paired defensemen on the top Ducks line. This strategy has not paid off. The Ducks have one goal and two losses on the year. Corey Perry has no points and only two shots on goal through two games. Let’s hope Boudreau changes his mind.
The Los Angeles Kings have had a disastrous start to the season both offensively and defensively. Jake Muzzin is a main culprit with an astounding NHL-worst minus-6 rating through three games. The Kings may play with their defensive pairings to try and right the ship, pay attention to where Muzzin lands.
I hope Patrick Kane fell to you in the draft due to his legal issues. Kane is having an outstanding start to the year with three goals, three assists, and 17 shots on goal already in only three games. Kane is living up to his normal first round billing.
Francois Beauchemin has looked terrific with his new team in Colorado, totaling five points in two games. The Avalanche have a high-powered offense and being paired with Erik Johnson has paid dividends for Beauchemin. He looks to be a significant source of assists for a defenseman going forward.
The Winnipeg Jets are among the early surprises this year and Blake Wheeler is a big reason why. The Jets winger has two goals, three assists, and three power-play points in four games. The Andrew Ladd – Bryan Little – Blake Wheeler line is powering the Jets this season and piling up the points.
The Avalanche have scored ten goals in two games and Matt Duchene does not have a point on the year. That is an extremely alarming stat for any fantasy owner. Duchene has only two shots on goal on the year and a minus-3 rating. The first-line center needs to step up his production to hold onto that spot.
Coming into the season, it was thought that 30 goals was in reach for the former Blackhawk. His first two games have not reflected this optimism. Patrick Sharp is playing on the second line instead of the first line, has no points, and a minus-2 rating through three games.