Jimmy Howard, DET at ARI ($7,400) – Howard has been nearly unbeatable to start the season, going 2-0 with a .961 save percentage and tightening his grip on the No. 1 job. The wins were hard-earned, too, with Howard making 39 saves against Minnesota and 38 saves against Ottawa. The Coyotes look lost in the desert, most recently losing 5-2 to the expansion Vegas James Neals, and a revamped offense with Derek Stepan and Clayton Keller has scored just seven goals through three games and rank 22nd in shots per game.
Vincent Trocheck, FLA vs. STL ($6,000) – He’s really only a No. 2 center because he plays behind Aleksander Barkov, but Trocheck’s production is equivalent to a first-line player. He’s scored at least a point, made two hits, blocked a shot and won 12 faceoffs in each of his past two games. His consistency is pretty amazing, and it’ll come in handy against an unbeaten Blues squad. Trocheck played 26 minutes (!) against Tampa Bay, as well.
Dylan Larkin, DET at ARI ($5,300) –After two seasons of teasing fans with his devastating speed, Larkin is a full-time center and has scored a point in three straight games, including a power-play goal (he had only five last year). His timing couldn’t be better with Henrik Zetterberg entering his age-37 season, and from early looks this version of the Red Wings can really fly with Larkin and Anthony Mantha.
Evander Kane, BUF at SJ ($6,300) – When healthy, as he is now, Kane is the complete package: four goals and six points in three games, including two shorthanded, eight hits and 26 shots on goal. He’ll get tons of chances to throw the body around against a big Sharks team (Thornton, Burns, Ward) that has also struggled coming out of the gate.
Alex DeBrincat, CHI vs. MIN ($3,900) – He scored back-to-back-to-back 50-goal seasons in major junior, and made the team out of training camp in his rookie season. DeBrincat’s skill is real, and he might have the best hands on the team behind Patrick Kane. The only drawback to DeBrincat is his ice time, as he’s buried on a pretty deep Blackhawks team that rolls three scoring lines. The Wild have allowed eight goals in just two games, and the Blackhawks scored 10 on the Penguins.
Brock Boeser, VAN vs. WPG ($3,400) – When Boeser is in the lineup, the ideal spot for him is on Bo Horvat’s line, and he’ll perhaps get the occasional shift with the Sedins. Letting Vancouver fans see Boeser at home or on an upcoming five-game road trip would be nice. Check back closer to puck drop to confirm his status.
John Klingberg, DAL at NSH ($5,600) – Klingberg’s been playing like he has something to prove, scoring four points in three games, three of which came on the power play. He’s out to prove that his nine-point drop to “just” 49 last year was just a fluke, and he’ll be going up against Pekka Rinne, who’s in poor form to start the season. Rinne started off poorly in October last year, too, so it might be something the Predators will just have to put up with for another few weeks. Also, the two teams have combined for 18 goals in their past two games, so there should be plenty of scoring in this one.
Chris Tanev, VAN vs. WPG ($3,200) – Through two games, Tanev has four shots on goal after registering just 39 shots in 53 games last year, 42 in 69 the year before, and 53 in 70 the campaign before that. The Jets still don’t defend very well and Tanev is excellent at finding the seams to get the puck through; his career 6.7 percent shooting percentage is comparable to Hampus Lindholm, who’s also a smart and smooth defender but shoots a bit more.