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Monday Daily Puck: Hot Tavares

John Toperzer

John has written for Rotowire.com since 2003 and serves as the beat writer for the Pittsburgh Penguins and Pittsburgh Pirates. Heís worked for the Pirates for 17 years, written for the Penguinsí Web site as the first game-day editor, and rooted for the Steelers dating back to the Immaculate Reception.


Around The Rink

Calgary traveled to Madison Square Garden on Sunday, so it will be playing the second of back-to-back tilts Monday against the Islanders at Barclays Center. Jiri Hudler was a common preseason pick for regression after the 31-year-old hit the 76-point mark, 19 points than his previous high. Somewhat surprisingly, heís off to another good start. Sunday he scored his third goal, giving him seven points in eight games. Chances are that he still cools off but heís still a good play right now. Linemate Sean Monahan is another interesting case. He picked up 31 goals and 31 assists in 2014-15 but he was another regression candidate. Obviously, the 21-year-old Monahan has much more value in keeper leagues than does Hudler. Heís got five points and itís looking like a slight boost in production isnít out of the question. Johnny Gaudreau? Wow, just a dynamic fantasy source to own.

Anders Lee didnít play on the John Tavares line Saturday. Nikolay Kulemin took his spot but it wouldnít be surprising to see some sort of rotation. Tavares is on fire with five goals and 11 points in eight games. Last year he got off to a great start, too, with two goals and nine points in his first four. Thomas Greiss is proving to be more than a capable backup goalie for New York, compiling a 3-0-1 mark with a 2.44 GAA and .932 save percentage. Heís boosted his stock in the early going.

Arizona snapped a four-game losing streak Saturday. Mikkel Boedker netted a hat trick while goalie Anders Lindback made 35 saves in a 4-1 win over Ottawa. Max Domi leads the Coyotes with nine points. Jaromir Jagr advised hockey followers to keep tabs on Domi, even with the spotlight shining on Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel. Side note: You know youíre old when you remember accidentally bumping into Tie Domi outside the dressing room at the Civic Arena some years ago. After the game I was walking down a set of steps near the Pensí dressing room. Domi, who was a healthy scratch, turned around and looked at me, but fortunately for me there were no fisticuffs involved.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson fantasy owners figure to benefit if the Coyotes can maintain a decent record. OEL compiled a minus-18 rating last year, one of the poorer numbers among elite blueliners.

Torontoís Leo Komarov has scored four goals and five points in his last four. Heís seeing time on the top line and is worth a look Monday. Komarov dished out 250 hits in 62 games last year so even if he doesnít light the lamp heíll bump the boards for your team. When Matt Hunwick started his career with Boston, it looked like he might be a source of offense Ė he collected 27 points in 53 games back in 2008-09. How times have changed. Including his seven-game pointless stretch to start the season, Hunwick has 27 points in his last 161 NHL games, combined. Obviously, heís re-made his game and is following the defense-turned-offense reverse career of Sheldon Souray.

Whatís there to say about Anaheimís slow start? Minnesota goalie Devan Dubnyk said he stretched in net to stay loose during a 15-save shutout over the Ducks on Saturday. Tender Frederik Andersen is one of the few Anaheim players off to a good start. Andersen holds a 1.86 GAA and .932 save percentage. He hasnít recorded a win yet (going 0-3-1) but heís holding up his end of the bargain, something most Ducks skaters canít say. Fantasy teams sitting on Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf really have no option other than to wait for respective turnarounds.

Jonathan Toews registered his first goal of the year for Chicago on Saturday, potting an overtime game-winner. The Blackhawks are 2-0 since losing top defenseman Duncan Keith for 4-6 weeks. Since losing Keith, the team has primarily employed three blueliners on the man advantage: Brent Seabrook, Trevor Daley and David Rundblad. Seabrook (10:26 TOI), Rundblad (6:52), and Daley (6:36) have seen descending playing time on the man advantage, respectively. Seabrook and Daley are likely taken in many fantasy leagues, but fantasy owners looking for a longshot might want to take a chance on Rundblad, who is better known for his offense than his defense.


Projected Goalie Starters (all times Eastern)
For updates on the projected goalies later in the day, check our Projected Goalies Grid

Calgary Flames (Joni Ortio) at New York Islanders (Jaroslav Halak), 7:00 PM
Arizona Coyotes (Mike Smith) at Toronto Maple Leafs (Jonathan Bernier), 7:30 PM
Anaheim Ducks (Frederik Andersen) at Chicago Blackhawks (Corey Crawford), 8:30 PM

Injury News For Teams Playing Monday

Calgary Flames
Lance Bouma, C - Bouma (lower body) will miss the next three months with a broken fibula, Pat Steinberg of Sportsnet 960 reports. (10/14/2015)
T.J. Brodie, D - Brodie (hand) practiced Sunday, but currently has no timetable for return. (10/25/2015)
Micheal Ferland, LW - Ferland has a sprained knee and should be considered week-to-week, Wes Gilbertson of the Calgary Sun reports. (10/25/2015)
Ryan Culkin, D - Culkin (shoulder) will miss six-to-eight weeks, likely keeping him from participating in training camp, Aaron Vickers of NHL.com reports. (9/13/2015)

New York Islanders
Eric Boulton, LW - Boulton is on injured reserve with a lower-body injury, Arthur Staple of Newsday reports. (10/17/2015)

Arizona Coyotes
Chris Pronger, D - Pronger was dealt to the Coyotes over the weekend along with defenseman Niklas Grossmann in exchange for forward Sam Gagner, a conditional fourth-round draft pick in 2016 or a third-round pick in 2017, Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic reports. (6/29/2015)
Antoine Vermette, C - Vermette (lower body) will not play Saturday. (10/24/2015)
Joe Vitale, C - Vitale will be sidelined for the next 4-to-6 weeks with a fractured orbital bone, Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic reports. (10/21/2015)
Dylan Reese, D - The Coyotes said that Reese (Achilles) suffered a severed Achilles tendon during his off-season training and is out indefinitely. (9/15/2015)
Tyler Gaudet, C - Gaudet suffered an upper-body injury in the Coyotes' team scrimmage on Sunday, Sarah McLellan of The Arizona Republic reports. (9/21/2015)

Toronto Maple Leafs
Stephane Robidas, D - Robidas (groin) was placed on injured reserve Wednesday, James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail reports. (10/7/2015)
Jake Gardiner, D - Gardiner (undisclosed) was placed on injured reserve Friday, Jonas Siegel of TSN Radio 1050 reports. (10/23/2015)
Tyler Bozak, C - Bozak (lower body) was placed on the injured reserve Friday, Jonas Siegel of TSN Radio 1050 reports. (10/23/2015)

Anaheim Ducks
Nate Thompson, C - Thompson (shoulder) was placed on injured reserve Monday, Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register reports. (10/5/2015)
Simon Despres, D - The Ducks placed Despres (upper body) on injured reserve Saturday. (10/17/2015)
Josh Manson, D - Manson has been placed on injured reserve with an upper-body injury, Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register reports. (10/24/2015)
Kenton Helgesen, LW - Helgesen (foot) was placed on injured reserve Monday, Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register reports. (10/5/2015)

Chicago Blackhawks
Phillip Danault, C - Danault underwent hip surgery Monday to repair a torn labrum, Brian Hedger of NHL.com reports. (8/18/2015)
Michal Rozsival, D - Rozsival participated in Chicago's Saturday morning skate, Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. (10/17/2015)
Duncan Keith, D - Keith (knee) was placed on long-term injured reserve Wednesday. (10/21/2015)

Hot

Tomas Plekanec, C, MON -- Maybe if heís on the hot list heíll cool down. Or not. Plekanec is still just 76 percent owned in Yahoo! fantasy leagues. Heís already got five goals and five assists in nine games. His plus-11 rating is second in the NHL only to teammate Max Paciorettyís plus-12. Long range heíll almost surely cool off and settle into his customary 50-point range or so but for now he makes for a good play.

Benoit Pouliot, LW, EDM -- Pouliot is another player who benefits from the company he keeps -- linemate Connor McDavid in this case. Heís got points in five of his last seven games and is owned in just four percent of Yahoo! Leagues. Pouliot has a small cult-like following, perhaps because he was drafted fourth overall in 2005, and has averaged better than a half-point per game in two of the last three years. The third piece of the line, Nail Yakupov, is 63-percent owned if you believe in investing more heavily.

Cold

Jakub Voracek, RW, PHI -- With three assists through seven games, Voracekís got a long way to go if he wants to approach his 29-point, 19-game start of 2014-15. Heís averaging four shots per game and all three points have come in the last four, so perhaps heís heating up now. Thereís also a good chance heís trying to prove his worth after inking an eight-year, $66 million contract extension, which might account for his slow start.

Mike Green, D, DET -- Fantasy owners who remember Greenís 76-point outburst in 2009-10 also know that heís nowhere near the same player he once was. He picked a perfect time for a rebound season last year, however, scoring 45 points and setting himself up nicely for free agency. Thus far in Detroit, Green has one point in six games and is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury. Fantasy owners have to hope that he eventually adjusts to his new surroundings, as do the Red Wings, who gave him a three-year, $18 million deal over the summer.

Recommended Pickup

Nick Bjugstad, C, FLA -- It remains to be seen how much Aleksander Barkov helped the line with Jaromir Jagr and Jonathan Huberdeau, but Bjugstad will take his place and do his best to make folks forget Barkov (who is out with a broken hand). Bjugstad has seen his point production increase both of the last two years and at 23 years of age he has plenty of room for improvement.

Joni Ortio, G, CGY -- Calgary is dissatisfied with its top two tenders and Ortio could work his way into the rotation. He made his season debut Sunday night, stopping all five shots he faced in a relief effort of Jonas Hiller. He could get the nod Monday in Brooklyn and if he does well then he could see more time. At the least, heís someone to track.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.