DAILY PRIME - OCTOBER 23, 2013: KESSEL IS GOAL-LESS NO MORE!
After entering the game with just two goals on the season, RW Phil Kessel electrified the home crowd in Toronto with a three-goal explosion in the 4-2 win over Anaheim. The Duck's winning streak is halted at seven, while Kessel ended his own goal-less streak at four games. With 11 points in 10 games, "Phil The Thrill" is on pace to match his numbers over the last two seasons, where he has collected 134 points in 130 games. With the added firepower in the Leaf's top two scoring lines, fantasy owners can expect a slight boost in Kessel's numbers this season, with 40+goals and 90+ pts. a realistic projection... After setting up Kessel for two more assists, James van Riemsdyk is on quite a roll with five goals and three assists in eight games. Back spasms has been a concern, but the speedy winger could put up career numbers if he can stay healthy.
More Fantasy Game Notes: The Islanders have a lot of good, young talent, but they have to learn how to play defense. They lost yesterday 5-4 to Vancouver, and they left goalie Evgeni Nabokov out to dry too often. Canuck veteran forward Daniel Sedin had a goal and an assist, and at this point in his career he is still a dependable point per game player. While Matt Moulson had 2 goals for the Islanders, the player you should be grabbing is 29 years old Frans Nielsen who had a goal and 2 assists. He now has 11 points in 9 games and is beginning to look like the real deal... The Devils continue to have trouble scoring as they really miss Kovalchuk. They could only muster one goal last night in a 4-1 loss to Columbus. Defenseman James Wisniewski had a goal and 2 assists for the Blue Jackets. he now has 7 points on the season, and he is a solid 2nd or 3rd d-man option. Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky had a good night with 24 saves, and he is looking more like the Vezina Trophy winner that he is.
Eller learns a lesson:
Young Montreal forward Lars Eller mouthed out about the Oilers before last night's game calling them a "junior" team. Edmonton responded with a 4-3 win over the Canadiens. While we are high on Eller's potential, he should learn to keep his mouth shut. Young center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had 2 assists for the Oilers, and he now has 8 points in 8 games. We expect a good year from him. More interesting is young Edmonton left wing Mark Arcobello. Arcobello had 2 assists as well last night, and while he has yet to score a goal this season he does have 10 assists in 10 games. Pick him up if you can... The Blackhawks seem to be sleepwalking their way through this season, maybe saving their energy for the playoffs. They struggled last night to beat the Panthers 3-2 in a shootout. Their big guns are just not performing this year. Patrick Kane has only 6 points on the season, while Jonathan Toews has only 5. These guys have to step up, and we think they will. Young Alex Barkov had an assist for Florida and he now has 7 points in 10 games. He is going to be a big star.
Harding is the man:
With starter Niklas Backstrom out with a knee injury, Josh Harding has been manning the goal for the Wild. He has been brilliant as the starter with a 4-2 record a 0.96 goals against average and a .953 save percentage. Last night he shut out the Predators with 16 saves. Backstrom is expected to be back soon, but Harding's play may put a bit of a monkey wrench into Minnesota's goaltender situation. Harding may get more starts than one would have previously expected, considering his strong play. This is not good for Backstrom... Wild game in Winnipeg as the Capitals oulasted the Jets 5-4 in a shootout. Washington right wing Alex Ovechkin was his usual self with 2 goals. He now has 9 goals scored in 9 games. That's not too shabbly. Young center Marcus Johansson had 2 assists, and while he has yet to score a goal this season, he is doing well feeding the puck to Alex The Great as he has 8 assists on the year. Andrew Ladd had 3 assists for the Jets. He is a very underrated player maybe because he is not flashy, but he is dependable. He should get at least 60 points this year. Bryan Little had 2 goals for Winnipeg, and he led all forwards on the power play with 2:58 minutes. He has 5 goals in 10 games and he has a ton of upside.