The NHL is just 5 or so games into the regular season and even though they haven’t played very many games there are only 2 undefeated team left in the league. The Washington Capitals are 3-0 while the Vancouver Canucks are off to a 4-0 start. The Montreal Canadiens don’t have a loss, but they’re 3-0-1; so do you count them as undefeated? While there are 11 teams with just 1 win this early in the season every team does have at least that 1 win. It’s way too early to panic if you’re teams not doing well, but it looks as though there’s a little parity at the start of the NHL season.
Stat wise early on Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks and Brad Marchand of the Boston Bruins lead the league with 9 total points. Richard Panik of the Chicago Blackhawks and Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs have 5 goals apiece to lead the league. Burns and Marchand are the assists leaders with 6 each. Marchand along with his Bruins teammate David Pastrnak are the +/- leaders at +9 to start the season. Cam Talbot of the Edmonton Oilers is leading at goaltenders in wins at 4 to start the season. Al Montoya who’s filling in for an injured Cary Price in the Canadiens net is off to a good start with a Goals Against Average of 1.30. Montoya also leads in Save Percentage at .962. Montoya along with Semyon Varlamov of the Colorado Avalanche and Phillip Grubauer of the Washington Capitals each have 1 shutout this season.
I know it’s extremely early in the NHL season and these teams and these players might not stay at the top of the leaderboard as the season moves on, but it’s fun to look and see who’s off to the best starts. Then you never know if a player gets on a run he can carry that momentum for a while and he might be a great add to your fantasy team.
The Sports Time Radio auction style fantasy draft is tonight. Stephen Curry is ranked as the #1 player on the board and he’s followed by his new teammate Kevin Durant. Are you willing to pay over $100 for either of these guys? I believe that’s what they both went for in last years draft. James Harden is 3rd, Russell Westbrook is 4th and Karl Anthony Towns is 5th in the player rankings. I am very high on Westbrook as I think he’s going to play like he has something to prove every night. Westbrook pout up huge stats while sharing the basketball with Durant; so how will he do with Durant now in Golden State. Since there’s no set draft order for the players I have to hope that I have the money to compete when Westbrook’s name come up for bid. The Top fills out with Kawhi Leonard at #6, Giannis Antetokounmpo at #7, Chris Paul at #8, Paul George at #9 and Anthony Davis at #10. This is a head to head style category league; so players who do more than one things well can be very important to your team. It’s a solid Top 10 list, but for are league Harden can be a tough guy to have as all he does is score. If you end up with him you have to find players to help you fill out your other categories, but to be fair having a big time scorer isn’t a terrible thing. The other Top 10 guy that I have to stay away from is Davis. There’s no doubt that he’s a great player and one of the best players in the NBA. when he’s healthy. Davis played in 61 games last season and has never played in more than 68 games in a season. Health and even sometimes rest is something you have to take into consideration when drafting. LeBron James who is one of the best and in some people’s mind the best player in the NBA is one of those type of players. James is ranked #11 in our league, but with the talk of him getting more games off how much is he worth this season? If you get James for let’s say 60 games and there’s a cheaper player a tier lower who’ll you’ll get for 80 games the guy playing 80 games will do more for your category league than James will. Plus you’ll have some extra money to spend somewhere else. I actually learned this first hand two seasons ago. I ended up with Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili all of the San Antonio Spurs. You hear those names and you think they’re all great players and probably Hall of Fame players. The issue ended up being their head coach Greg Popovich likes to rest his players and as you all know this a player who’s not playing doesn’t do anything for your fantasy team no mater what format you’re in. It’s always fun to do the draft even though sometimes it can be long, but it’s time for the NBA to get started.
Game 6 of the NLCS is tonight. The Chicago Cubs have a 3 games to 2 lead and they have the league E.R.A. Leader Kyle Hendricks player card on the mound. The Los Angeles Dodgers turn to their ace Clayton Kershaw to get the series to a Game 7. Looking at the pitching match up you might say the Dodgers have an advantage, but don’t under estimate Hendricks with how well he’s pitched at Wrigley Field this season. So while Kershaw may have an advantage I don’t think it’s as big as some people will. One big advantage both pitchers will have is weather. It’s going to be much colder in Wrigley Field tonight than it has for any other game in this series and that’s not good hitting weather. This was the pitching match up for Game 2. The Dodgers got a 1-0 victory in that game with the only run being scored on an Adrian Gonzalez home run. Hendricks was handled like we’ve seen most starters handled in these playoffs. He pitched just 5 1/3rd innings while Kershaw was allowed to pitch and went 7 full innings before turning the baseball over to Kenley Jansen for the final 2 innings. It’s setting up to be a low scoring game and you never know the team that scores first might get a win. So will we see a Game 7 tomorrow? Or will the Cubs be packing their bags for Cleveland and Game 1 of the World Series?
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