SUN Hockey Pool

Fantasy Fare: Two hot lines

JOEL COLOMBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:29 PM ET

A couple of unlikely forward lines are capturing the attention of the Western Conference in the early going. In Nashville, David Legwand, at 31, has found the fountain of youth playing on an all-American line between rookie Craig Smith and second-year centre-turned-winger Colin Wilson. Legwand, who has sunk to a late-round flyer in deeper fantasy leagues since his career-high 63 points in 2005-06, was actually leading the NHL in points heading into Saturday’s games with 2-5-7 totals in just three games. Smith, a former NCAA star at Wisconsin, is 2-2-4 while Wilson has a goal and an assist. But after their combined minus-8 on Thursday, we’ll temper our expectations.

-- In Colorado, the Avs’ third line of Ryan O’Reilly, Daniel Winnik and 18-year-old Gabriel Landeskog has been producing like a No. 1. O’Reilly, with back-to-back 26-point seasons his first two NHL campaigns, leads the team in points with four (all assists) in four games and has shown a nice early chemistry with Landeskog (2-1-3), who was regarded as perhaps the most NHL-ready of the 2011 draft class and leads all Avs with 16 shots on goal. Winnik, who ironically also has twin career-highs of 26 points, has a goal and supplies the necessary sandpaper. Landeskog, however, is the key to that line and, if he can put up Calder Trophy-worthy numbers, it will continue to make O’Reilly fantasy-friendly. Should the Avs move Landeskog up to one of the top lines, O’Reilly’s stock takes a major hit.

n Bad week if you were into taking chances on young potential on draft day. Nikita Filatov went from first-line RW on the Senators to the AHL, and was joined the same day by LW Cam Atkinson, who started the season a top-sixer on the Blue Jackets.

-- John Carlson, who manned the point on the Capitals power play last season in the absence of Mike Green (and averaged 2:12 a game with the man advantage), has now dropped to fourth on the special teams depth chart behind last season’s trade deadline acquisition, Dennis Wideman, and summer signing Roman Hamrlik. Carlson has seen only eight seconds of power-play time in the Caps’ first three games.

-- Mark Streit has resumed his power-play QB role on the Islanders after missing the entire 2010-11 schedule with a shoulder injury. Centre Frans Nielsen takes the setup slot on the other side of the blue line while Andrew MacDonald (who handled the QB job last year in Streit’s absence) and Travis Hamonic are on the second unit.

-- With David Krejci on the shelf, Tyler Seguin moves up from the wing to replace him as the top-line centre, giving the second-year skater probably the best fantasy opportunity of his young career, even if his new wingers, Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton, are off to slow starts. On Wednesday, Seguin had a career-best 20:06 of ice time.

-- The New York Rangers are already pondering a shake-up their top six forwards with Derek Stepan possibly replacing Brandon Dubinsky on the No. 1 line with Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards. Wojtek Wolski, out with a groin injury, is expected to replace Stepan when ready.

WAITING GAME

While the Leafs kept Cody Franson in the press box for the first two games, Carolina was doing likewise with Jamie McBain, who watched as rookie Justin Faulk went pointless and a minus-2 in each of the first three games. McBain finally got in Wednesday and, you guessed it, went pointless and minus-2. He broke the cycle on Friday with his first assist and a plus-2.

GAME THIS WEEK

4 EDM, FLA, PIT, TOR, WPG

2 DET, NJ, NYI

All other teams play 3 games

HOT AND NOT

Erik Karlsson OTT

5 assists, minus-2

Jeff Skinner CAR

1 goal, 4 assists

Jason Chimera WASH

3 goals, plus-2

Steve Ott DAL

1 goal, 2 assists, 16 PIMs

- - - - - - -

Corey Perry ANA

0 goals, 0 assists

Steven Stamkos TB

1 goal, 0 assists, minus-1

INJURY UPDATES

David Krejci’s injury in practice on Monday was not to his knee, but to his abdomen (or, core, as they’re labelling it). He’s been listed as day-to-day all week but these things sometimes take a while to heal … Ryan Kesler (hip) is hoping to start his season within the next week … Brendan Morrison (knee) might be ready to go this coming week … Ales Hemsky hurt his shoulder Thursday and was slated for an MRI … If Antti Niemi (cyst) didn’t start late Saturday night, he is expected to make his first start on Monday … Patric Hornqvist (lower body) should be back in a few days … Sounds like Martin Brodeur (shoulder) won’t miss more than a game or two … Andy McDonald may be having more concussion symptoms after taking an accidental shot to the head on Thursday … Martin Havlat (shoulder) is practising but still hasn’t been given the green light from his surgeon to be activated.

WAIVER WATCH

With fantasy rating out of 5

Daniel Carcillo

LW, Blackhawks

* *

Drafted for his PIMs, he came off his two-game suspension Friday riding shotgun and efficiently creating space for Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa. He even drew an assist. As good as he looked on that line, however, all bets are off once Patrick Sharp returns.

Matt Cooke

F, Penguins

* *

Noted superpest promised to turn over a new leaf and darned if he isn’t doing just that, with more goals (3) than penalty minutes (2) so far this season.

David Moss

RW/C, Flames

* *

Saturday’s game in Toronto could go a long way to determining if third-line winger gets an extended stay centring Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay. Brendan Morrison is due back soon.

Sheldon Souray

D, Stars

* * *

With a team-leading three assists, a plus-3 and 11 PIMs in his first four games back in the NHL, you should no longer tremble at the prospect of having him on your roster.

Zac Dalpe

RW, Hurricanes

*

This is why you don’t draft rookies who are given first-line opportunities during the pre-season. He is now off Staal’s line, out of the top six altogether and played just four shifts on Friday night.

Statistics do not include Saturday’s games


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