There is one thing we learned this past week in the fantasy hockey world. That is Edmonton Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot has outstanding statistics playing outdoors! On Sunday from Investors Group Field in Winnipeg, Talbot was perfect as he made 31 saves in a 3-0 win over the Winnipeg Jets in the 2016-17 National Hockey League Heritage Classic. I think it is now safe to say that Talbot has clearly bounced back from his embarrassing 6-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres a week ago and should be taken in all fantasy formats.
One player who could be considered in fantasy hockey pools at the present time is Artem Anisimov of the Chicago Blackhawks. A center, Anisimov is only taken in 43% of all Yahoo! Fantasy Hockey Leagues. This past week, Anisimov had four goals and three assists for seven points and was a +6. He scored two goals each in a 7-4 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on October 18 and in a 5-4 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on October 22.
Three other players had six points this past week—Jakub Voracek of the Philadelphia Flyers and Brent Burns and Joe Pavelski of the San Jose Sharks, who each had two goals and four assists. Voracek is looking for a bounce back year after only recording 55 points in 73 games in 2015-16. During the 2014-15 National Hockey League regular season, Voracek had 81 points, which was tied for fourth in the entire league.
Getting back to Chicago, there are two Blackhawks who continue to play very well at age 37. Brian Campbell and Marian Hossa are both near the ends of their NHL careers, but each have four points to start the season. You might be hesitant in picking up Campbell however because of his low penalty minute totals in recent years. Hossa meanwhile will probably be playing in a checking-line role more frequently this season, which reduces his fantasy value. However Hossa did make headlines offensively this past week for notching his 500th NHL career goal.
Heading into this week in weekly fantasy leagues, it would be a good idea to load up on the Philadelphia Flyers, as they are the only team in the NHL that plays five times. Their opponents this week are the Montreal Canadiens, Buffalo Sabres, Arizona Coyotes, Pittsburgh Penguins and Carolina Hurricanes.
The Flyers also score frequently, as they have 19 goals, the fourth most in the Eastern Conference. Among the best Flyers at the moment are Voracek, Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds, sophomore defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere, Matt Read, Travis Konecny and Sean Couturier.
I would just stay away from the Flyers goaltending at the moment, as it seems they have a platoon situation going between Steve Mason and Michal Neuvirth. Both have also been ineffective to start the season as they have a goals against average of 3.35 and 4.23 respectively. Safer goaltenders to choose from are Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens and Roberto Luongo of the Florida Panthers.