Trick or treat, the first month’s complete. John Carlson has been something sweet.
While there are plenty of NHL players who should’ve dressed up as ghosts for Halloween, Edmonton’s Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are certainly not among them. Through 14 games, the dynamic duo has been downright lethal combining for 18 goals and 47 points. Clearly, they’re a big reason why the Oilers are off to a blazing 9-4-1 start.
Rather than dwell on October’s underachievers, let’s give some appreciation to the top contributors:
Now to your questions:
Anthony Maltese – @maltesea
Is it time to give up on Shayne Gostisbehere? Also, good time to buy-low on Nico Hischier?
Firstly, I’d love to know how many times Shayne Gostisbehere has dressed up as a ghost for Halloween. If you ask me, it’s way too easy of a costume considering his last name.
Unlike most, I actually think it’s an excellent time to buy-low on Gostisbehere. Slowly but surely, he’s been starting to show signs of life. In fact, over the last five games, the 26-year-old has provided pretty decent category coverage: one goal, four points, four penalty minutes, two power-play points and 10 shots on goal. Be patient.
When it comes to Hischier, just remember how much depth there is at centre in fantasy hockey. Considering how strong Taylor Hall and Jack Hughes have looked together so far, I think it’s risky to make a play for Hischier, at least right now. Obviously, he’s less attractive from a fantasy perspective when he’s not skating routinely with Hall. Monitor.
Colin Rubie – @Roobz77
Would you pick up Travis Konecny?
Yes, I’m a big believer in what Konecny is doing early on for the Flyers.
His numbers have been steadily progressing since his rookie season. As long as he stays in Philadelphia’s top six and continues to be in the good graces of new head coach Alain Vigneault, the 22-year-old should be a mainstay on your roster. The sky is the limit.
Jared Brown – @eh41
When do you give up on John Klingberg?
It’s way too early to jump ship on Klingberg.
Unbelievably, Dallas has mustered just 31 goals in its first 14 games, a number that was beefed up considerably because of Tuesday night’s six-goal explosion versus Minnesota. With the amount of fire power on that Stars roster, there’s no way that 2.21 goals-per-game clip continues.
Across the board, Dallas is way overdue for a break-out of epic proportions.
Baker – @drummerbaker
Do I hold onto Joe Pavelski?
In your defence, this question was asked before Pavelski went out and tallied a goal and two assists against the Wild.
Similar to Klingberg, I’d exercise patience here. Don’t forget, the 35-year-old Pavelski left everything he’s ever known in his NHL life in San Jose to go to play for Dallas. It’s fair to expect some turbulence along the way as he adapts to his new life with the Stars. He’ll be fine.
Larry Berman – @PaigesFall
Is it time to cut Martin Jones loose? And, is Carter Hutton a viable season long replacement?
It’s almost time to move on from Martin Jones. I’d give it another two weeks or so. By then, we should have a firm understanding.
To put it bluntly, San Jose’s goaltending tandem – Martin Jones and Aaron Dell – have stunk up the joint so far this season. In 10 appearances, the 29-year-old Jones owns a 2-6-1 record to go along with a 3.57 goals-against average and .890 save percentage.
At this juncture, there are far better options available in the crease, including Buffalo’s Carter Hutton. You’re always taking a calculated risk because it’s Buffalo, but something feels different under coach Ralph Krueger. I’m a Hutton owner and backer. Have at it!
Tom Rossano – @tomrossano
What’s the name of the New York team that has won seven in a row?
The team with two home arenas and another being built – the New York Islanders.
Ardyweenz – @mpa5011
How valuable is Conor Garland? I want to add him to my roster but I’m not sure who to drop. I’m considering Nazem Kadri, Adam Henrique or David Rittich?
Garland has certainly caught my attention too. Personally, I think it’s still too early to make a grab him, however.
That said, you can’t overlook what he’s done thus far:
This season – 12 GP: 6 G, 2 A, 8 P
Career to date – 59 GP: 19 G, 7 A, 26 P
Prorated to an 82-game clip, Garland is operating at a 26-goal pace. He’s currently skating on the third line with the red-hot Nick Schmaltz and rookie Barrett Hayton. Additionally, he’s seeing second power-play duties.
For now, graze from your watch list.
Thorny – @52SinceStanley
Alex Galchenyuk, Sammy Blais, Ryan Strome, Anders Lee, Pavel Buchnevich – how would you rank them in terms of a points only league?