We have a busy slate heading into Thursday night as 18 teams are in action. Let’s look at two forwards and a defenceman who are both low-owned as well as involved in matchups too enticing to ignore.
Micheal Ferland, Hurricanes (34.1% owned)
The Canes’ offence was certainly due for a breakout given the infusion of youth in this year’s lineup; however, they’ve really taken the league by storm. They’re averaging 41.6 shots per game and getting in on a piece of this top-six forward group has become imperative. That’s where Micheal Ferland comes in. He plays on a potent second line featuring Sebastian Aho and Andrei Svechnikov but more importantly he’s on the top power play unit and currently on pace to score 35-plus goals. The Canes are also set to face the currently disastrous Blackhawks who are a bottom-10 team in both shots against per game (33.5) and goals against per game (3.73). Chicago is expected to go with Corey Crawford again in net even though he’s allowed at least four goals against in each of his last three starts. If you need a bargain winger with skilled linemates and a high ceiling, Ferland’s your guy.
Oscar Klefbom, Oilers (13.5% owned)
It’s been an up-and-down season for the Oilers so far; however, it’s difficult to avoid a player who averages nearly 26 minutes of ice time per game. He’s also the only defenceman featured on the top power play unit giving him plenty of exposure to both Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. Klefbom has racked up eight assists through 15 games and although he remains goalless, he’s already taken 49 shots so it’s not from a lack of trying. Perhaps a game against the Panthers will serve as the perfect way to break the slump. Florida sits dead last in the league on the penalty kill (68.4%) and they also allow an average of 3.55 goals against per game. The Oilers are hungry after losing two in a row and the Panthers seem like the ideal feast. Klefbom should be picked up and started in all formats.
Christian Fischer, Coyotes (0.2% owned)
There were a lot of teams on the brink of improvement entering this season; however, few foresaw the sudden resurgence of the Arizona Coyotes. They currently sit just three points out of a wild card spot with two games in hand while atop the entire league on both the penalty kill (90.2%) and in goals against (29). In short, they’re a lot better than many gave them credit for. Out of the multitude of young players throughout their roster, Christian Fischer is one of the most intriguing. He’s currently a fixture on the second line along with Derek Stepan and Nick Cousins while also occupying a spot on the top power play unit. Fischer hasn’t registered a point in nearly five games although he did record a hat trick against Columbus on Oct. 23 so we know he’s capable. They also have a fantastic matchup going into Philadelphia as the Flyers have allowed 56 goals against (tied for second worst in the league) and sit second last on the penalty kill (69.1%) as well. Philly’s historic goaltending woes are also at play here as they’re expected to start Calvin Pickard who has posted atrocious numbers through five games so far (3.94 GAA, .876 SV%). Fischer has undoubtedly been inconsistent this year but this is truly the perfect scenario for an offensive breakout.