The Sharks aren’t the only team that fired out of the gate this season. In fact, they’re not even technically the top team in the league/Western Conference because another squad - the Chicago Blackhawks - have played an extra game.
Unfortunately, for fantasy owners, there’s not much sense in jumping on the Blackhawks bandwagon because the usual suspects (i.e. Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa) are driving it. The most interesting case is Corey Crawford. He could very well get a bucket of extra wins, but if you’re the wheel-and-dealing type, this also might be a time to sell high.
The other top team is the St. Louis Blues, whose depth makes them intriguing if maybe not as high-end. Still, they present some interesting finds.
Corey Abbott discusses Andy McDonald and last week, I tabbed Chris Stewart (who inexplicably is still at just 45 percent ownership). Stewart’s PIM potential and goal-scoring history make him an awfully appealing target. In fact, I can’t see why he wouldn’t fit in with any team.
Two more interesting guys are Patrik Berglund - who had a lot of success overseas - and reclamation project Wade Redden. In both cases, I’d recommend discretion, yet both have their strengths. Beyond Redden’s two-game goal streak, the newly signed blueliner received 21:11 of ice time in Sunday’s OT win against the Minnesota Wild. That doesn’t make him an immediate addition, but it makes him an intriguing watch list guy.
Not every streak-related moment was about perpetuating hot ones. Some of the biggest moments came when franchises and/or players finally were able to let out a sigh of relief.
- The Los Angeles Kings finally won their first game of the 2013 season, and better yet, Anze Kopitar scored goals No. 1 and 2 on Saturday. It almost seemed to start a “finally” trend.
- The Washington Capitals won their first game by topping the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 on Sunday, with Alex Ovechkin’s first 2013 tally being the game-winner. Sure, he could have had another one on an empty-netter that he narrowly missed, but still.
- In less spectacular fashion, the Calgary Flames also won their first game.
- John Tavares found the net for the first time on Sunday, although the New York Islanders didn’t win that specific contest.
INJURY NOTES (full list) and QUICK HITS
The Dallas Stars are bruised and battered, with both goalies Kari Lehtonen and Cristopher Nilstorp dealing with tweaks, opening the door at least a bit for Richard Bachman. Jaromir Jagr and Derek Roy missed time. Jamie Benn isn’t a guarantee for Monday because of visa issues. Even Ray Whitney fought off a sore foot … Max Pacioretty is out three to five weeks after an emergency appendectomy … Patric Hornqvist could miss a week or two with a lower-body ailment … Patrik Elias hit the 900-point mark for his impressive career on Sunday … Cam Atkinson was placed on the IR with a lower-body injury … Darren Helm (back) missed Sunday’s game after coming back Friday … Stephen Weiss has a lower-body issue of his own while Kris Versteeg remains on the shelf for the Florida Panthers … Lubomir Visnovsky’s agent claims he’ll join the New York Islanders no later than Feb. 11. We’ll see … Chris Kreider is dealing with a bone chip in his ankle … Daniel Alfredsson sat out Sunday, but it seems to only be an illness … Michael Leighton got shelled in his first game in years on Sunday.