In fantasy hockey, it is important to analyze the importance of penalty minutes when selecting your players. So therefore those players who are spooky and ferocious on the ice, just like various Halloween characters who will be trick-or-treating tonight, are important when you are trying to add a player to your lineup.
However it is also important to analyze the number of penalty minutes a player has over a long stretch of time before adding them to your lineup. In the case of Jonathan Ericsson of the Detroit Red Wings for example, he leads the National Hockey League at the moment with 28 penalty minutes. However, he had 17 of those penalty minutes in the Red Wings’ first game this season, a 6-4 Red Wings loss to Tampa Bay. Traditionally, he has not had high penalty minute totals as he has had fewer penalty minutes than games played in eight of his first nine seasons in the NHL.
The best goon available at the moment is Antoine Roussel of the Dallas Stars. Roussell has 24 penalty minutes in eight games this season and has 589 penalty minutes in 288 career National Hockey League games. Where Roussel is more valuable than other goons however is his ability to shoot the puck. Over the last three seasons, Roussel has reached a minimum of 111 shots on goal. The opportunities for Roussel may continue to grow as Ales Hemsky is out five to six months with hip surgery and Patrick Sharp is out indefinitely with a concussion.
This past week, Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson made the courageous decision to return to his team even though his wife Nicholle has cancer. Anderson was named the NHL player of the week after he shutout the Edmonton Oilers 2-0 on Sunday and shutout the Vancouver Canucks 3-0 this past Tuesday. However do not be surprised if Anderson returns to his ailing wife when backup goaltender Andrew Hammond returns next week with a groin injury.
Other players who were injured this week are David Backes of the Boston Bruins (elbow inflammation), Thomas Vanek of the Detroit Red Wings (lower muscle strain), Brayden McNabb of the Los Angeles Kings (arm) and Zach Parise of the Minnesota Wild (foot). Backes should be back sooner than Parise, whose absence will hurt all people involved in fantasy pools.
This week you will want to stay away from Wild players in weekly leagues as they only play twice—Tuesday at home against the Buffalo Sabres and Saturday in Colorado. Nine teams play four games this week—the Anaheim Ducks, Calgary Flames, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers, St. Louis Blues and Winnipeg Jets. The best players to choose are Connor McDavid of the Oilers, Patrick Kane of the Blackhawks, Vladimir Tarasenko of the Blues and Patrik Laine, the standout rookie of the Jets.