Halloween is almost upon us, and hockey fans around the NHL, young and old, will celebrate by going to arenas dressed in their favorite costumes. Here at the All-Access, we'll celebrate by handing out some fantasy hockey tricks and treats.
SOG: 22 | +/-: -5
The treats belong to New York Islanders forward Frans Nielsen, undrafted in most Yahoo leagues and a surprise in the top-five of League scoring. Vancouver Canucks defenseman Jason Garrison was picked in the 13th round in Yahoo leagues but is third in the NHL in defense scoring. And what a reward Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov has been for owners who picked him on average 130th overall.
WAIVER WIRE WATCH
Bryan Bickell, Chicago Blackhawks (owned in 11 percent of Yahoo Leagues) -- The Blackhawks' playoff hero started the season with no goals in his first seven games but has been brought back to the fantasy hockey map with goals in four straight. The Blackhawks have four games this week (at MIN, OTT, at WPG, CGY) and although the 6-foot-4 wing is not playing with Patrick Kane and Jonathon Toews anymore, he has great chemistry with Andrew Shaw and should continue his hot scoring touch.
SOG: 14 | +/-: -3
Carter Hutton, Nashville Predators (owned in 26 percent of Yahoo Leagues) -- The big news of Pekka Rinne being out at least a month shocked the fantasy world, but if you weren't one of the lucky ones to pick up the 27-year-old goaltender, go and get him. Despite the five goals against in his last start vs. the St. Louis Blues, the Thunder Bay native is playing in front of one of the best defenses in the League. It's showed in him stopping 114 of the 123 shots he's faced this season. The Predators have a light schedule with only two games (at PHX, at LAK), but both at the end of the week, perfect for a push for a victory.
SOG: 50 | +/-: -5
Busy schedule -- The hectic schedule this week will cause fantasy owners to make tough lineup decisions. Five teams play four games as the Blackhawks, Dallas Stars, Montreal Canadiens, Rangers and Penguins are the busiest teams. This week will also see 21 instances of back-to-back games, the most scheduled so far this season. Goalies are 5-6-2 this season in the second game of back-to-backs, but also keep an eye on backup goalies like the Canadiens' Peter Budaj and the Blackhawks' Nikolai Khabibulin, as those teams have two scheduled.
SOG: 26 | +/-: 7
Tyler Johnson, Tampa Bay Lightning -- Last year's recipient of the Les Cunningham Award for the AHL's most valuable player is showing he belongs in the NHL. Playing on a line featuring another rookie, Ondrej Palat, and Teddy Purcell, the 23-year-old has 12 points in his 25 career games played over two seasons. Jon Cooper has coached many of the current Lightning down in the AHL and trusts the one-time 100-point producer for his hometown WHL Spokane Chiefs in all situations. He has played the fifth-most minutes among Lightning forwards (180:34 total minutes), averages 2:33 per game on the man advantage and even has created a great rookie shorthanded duo with Palat. The rookie has also won a team-leading 56.8 percent of his faceoffs while starting 52.3 percent of his 5-on-5 shifts in the offensive zone according to behindthenet.ca.