This past weekend we learned the kind of scoring threat Johnny Gaudreau can be. After missing three weeks with a broken finger, Gaudreau made his return to the Flames lineup and scored only two minutes and nine seconds into the hockey game. He would later record an assist on a goal by Alex Chiasson. Gaudreau was one of eight Flames to record a multi-point game in a shocking 8-3 Flames win over the Anaheim Ducks.
However before you decide to pick up a whack load of Flames into your fantasy hockey lineup, you need to ask yourself a few questions. Did the Flames beat the Ducks handily because Jonathan Bernier started rather than John Gibson? Were the Ducks tired because of the high southern Alberta altitude and the fact that they were playing the second game of back-to-back games? I am not saying that Chiasson, Sam Bennett, Kris Versteeg, Matt Stajan, Troy Brouwer and Garnet Hathaway are worth considering, but they should put up consistent fantasy numbers over a stretch of three to four weeks before you add them to your lineup.
In other Alberta hockey news, fantasy owners might be wondering why Connor McDavid was not used on the power play more during the second period in the Oilers’ 2-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Sunday. That is because he was forced to leave the ice to undergo the new necessary National Hockey League concussion protocol check. McDavid was knocked down and hit his chin on the ice, but it did not seem like he suffered anywhere close to a concussion. There is no reason for fantasy owners to be concerned. Play McDavid with regularity as always.
Fantasy owners should also be excited to put Zdeno Chara back in their lineup. The 2009 Norris Trophy winner had missed the last six games with a lower body injury, but according to Rotoworld, should be back in the lineup when the Bruins face the Florida Panthers on Monday.
In other injury news, it appears that Mark Scheifele of the Winnipeg Jets has a minor lower body injury. Another player who is day-to-day with a lower body ailment is Jonathan Marchessault of the Florida Panthers. Marchessault has fit in admirably in Florida and playing big minutes after the team lost Jonathan Huberdeau to start the season. Marchessault has 10 goals and nine assists for 19 points.
Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby is red hot at the moment. The NHL superstar from Nova Scotia has one goal and five assists for six points in his last three games. Another player who is hot is Mike Hoffman of the Ottawa Senators. Hoffman has four goals and two assists for six points in his last three games.
This week stay away from Los Angeles Kings and Tampa Bay Lightning in weekly leagues as they only have two games each. The best players to choose are McDavid, Tyler Seguin of the Dallas Stars and Vladimir Tarasenko of the St. Louis Blues.