The NHL slate for Wednesday features six contests, all in-conference, split evenly between the East and West. Wednesday’s schedule opens with two potential blowouts in the East, then closes with a pair of potentially tighter matchups on the West Coast.
Resources: Goalie depth chart | Injuries | Schedule | How to watch on ESPN+ | Sign up for ESPN Fantasy Hockey
Favorable scoring matchups
7pm, Bell Centre, Watch live on ESPN+
Toronto’s high-octane offense versus Montreal’s work in progress defense presents as a concerningly lopsided matchup. Auston Matthews & Co. could flirt with going over the contest’s 6.5 goals mark all on their own in a potentially chaotic home opener for the Canadiens.
9:30pm, Ball Arena
On the subject of asymmetrical tilts, the Stanley Cup champions open their season hosting a broken-down Blackhawks squad. This one could also get messy, kids. Projected starter Petr Mrazek was blasted badly in Chicago’s final preseason game, a decisive 6-0 loss to the Blues.
7pm, PNC Arena, Watch live on ESPN+
We could also see a fair bit of scoring from Carolina’s top and midtier assets against a travelling Blue Jackets club. Ensure defenseman Brent Burns and other favorite fantasy Hurricanes are fixed firmly in your active lineup.
Midtier fantasy forwards
David Krejci, C, Boston Bruins (51.3%): Back with Boston after a year’s hiatus in Europe, Krejci is already developing excellent chemistry with new-look second line-(Czech)-mates David Pastrnak and Pavel Zacha. If the Bruins manage to pot a couple/few past new Capitals goaltender Darcy Kuemper, Krejci could very well be in on that productive action. At even strength or with the extra skater.
Deep league/Daily Fantasy value forwards
Mason McTavish, C, Anaheim Ducks (17.3%): Projected to kick off 2022-23 on the Ducks’ top line and power play with Ryan Strome and Troy Terry, McTavish could get off to a productive start against Philipp Grubauer (probable) and the rest of Seattle’s visiting defense. After a brief taste of the big-league action last fall, the 19-year-old is NHL-ready this round.
Seth Jarvis, C/RW, Carolina Hurricanes (18.0%)
Jesperi Kotkaniemi, C/LW, Carolina Hurricanes (8.0%)
Connor Brown, RW/LW, Washington Capitals (6.9%)
Jesse Puljujarvi, RW, Edmonton Oilers (5.7%)
Pavel Zacha, C/LW/RW, Boston Bruins (4.6%)
Denis Malgin, C, Toronto Maple Leafs (0.1%)
Midtier fantasy defensemen
John Klingberg, Anaheim Ducks (84.5%): While labelling Klingberg a midtier asset might be considered a stretch, I wanted to jam him in here regardless. In anchoring the Ducks’ new No. 1 power play, the former Star should launch this fresh season with a productive bang against the visiting Kraken.
Deep league/Daily Fantasy value defensemen
Hampus Lindholm, Boston Bruins (17.4%): With Charlie McAvoy sidelined until late November, No. 1 power-play duties fall squarely on the shoulders of the team’s No. 2 offensive-defenseman. It’s a strong unit, one that could enjoy good fortune against Washington’s penalty kill. Lindholm is also expected to see heavy minutes as one-half of the Bruins’ top defensive pairing.
Alexandar Georgiev, Colorado Avalanche (84.2%): Assuming the new guy gets the first start, the table is set beautifully for Colorado’s No. 1(A) to make everyone forget about that other fella, who now competes for the Capitals. Or at least hush those who believe Pavel Francouz should be offered first opportunity to run with the gig. I know we can’t place too much stock in exhibition competition, but Georgiev still looked pretty darn good in the Avalanche’s final preseason game, stopping 32 of 33 shots in beating the Stars 2-1. If we’re to enjoy a shutout Wednesday, Georgiev is my favourite to pull one off against a weak Chicago team.
Nick Suzuki, C, Montreal Canadiens (96.7%): If afforded the opportunity to roll out a full, quality lineup without engaging the Canadiens’ new captain, go for it. Leafs starting netminder Matt Murray could prove stone cold in Montreal once more. I mean, play Suzuki if you have to – there’s isn’t much to lose outside of a wobbly plus/minus rating – but if not, instead turn to your other centers with friendlier matchups.
Elvis Merzlikins, G, Columbus Blue Jackets (77.0%): Not this particular Wednesday, if you can help it. Not against Carolina’s dynamic offense in Raleigh.