Thomas Vanek (Detroit, $5300): The Wings' one-year gamble has paid off in spades thus far as Vanek already leads the team in points with three goals and four helpers, with two of those goals on the power play, where he plays with the first unit. I’m not expecting Vanek to repeat his 40-goal seasons in Buffalo, but I do like tonight's matchup against a young Carolina team finding its identity. The Wings are averaging 3.3 goals per game, and with a power play hitting at 24.0%, I’m expecting solid production from our Austrian friend in a game that could be a shootout.
Wayne Simmonds (Philadelphia, $6400): With a whopping 28.6% shooting percentage in this early season, Simmonds has potted four goals on 14 shots, with three of those on the Flyers power play. Philly is averaging 3.8 goals per game and is catching the Sabres at the end of a four-game road trip during which Buffalo has given up three goals per game. Simmonds is second on the Flyers in ice time amongst the forwards with 20:30 per game, and I’m betting he scores in this contest. This game has the makings of a shootout, with the Flyers among the worst on the penalty kill and one of the highest scoring teams so far this season.
Cory Schneider (New Jersey, $7600): With the Devils only allowing nine goals over five games, it seems to be a lock for a win with Schneider, but the Devils have only scored eight goals themselves. In four of those five games, the score was 2-1, with Jersey going 2-2, wihile two of those contests hit overtime. I really like the team to hit the win column versus a young Arizona squad travelling across the country, especially a team that has given up 18 goals already in five games. Arizona has a putrid power play at 11.1% and the same failures on the penalty kill at only 80%. Draft Schneider and know that the Devils tight defense will keep the young Coyotes at bay tonight with their 94.1% penalty kill and a tight five on five that has only allowed seven goals thus far.
Don't forget you can follow me on Twitter at @PolkaPat.