Jaroslav Halak(notes) is desperately trying to get your attention but you're just not ready to make a new friend right now, apparently (eight percent owned in Yahoo leagues). Halak has two wins over the past three nights (kicking out 43 of 45 shots) and he would have had a shutout Thursday against the Islanders if not for one regretful misplay behind the net.
Is it too early for Carey Price(notes) owners to get into a cold sweat? I say no. It will be interesting to see who gets the call Saturday against the Rangers; that decision will come after the morning skate.
The fantasy community is less enthused about Marc-Andre Bergeron(notes) (two percent owned), another head-scratcher. Bergeron was brought to Montreal as a power-play savior and he looked the part Thursday, scoring on a 55-foot howitzer and picking up an assist. You're not grabbing Bergeron for his all-around game, he's a specialist all the way, but why quibble? Let's not forget his 14 goals and seven power-play markers from Minnesota last year; it's time to liberate this guy from your waiver wire.
• Dustin Penner(notes) has been a mild disappointment for the Oilers since they grabbed him in 2007 but perhaps they've found the right motivational ploys this time around; Penner is off to a 7-7-14 start through nine games and he was an absolute beast in Thursday's win over Columbus (two goals, three assists, a whopping 11 shots).How can Penner be owned in just 32 percent of the leagues out there? Edmonton's still in the NHL, you know. The word is already out on Ales Hemsky(notes) (2-8-10, 76 percent owned), but you can still kick the tires on Sam Gagner(notes) (4-4-8, 11 percent owned).
• Consistency isn't a word in the Nik Antropov(notes) dictionary but I thought he looked super Thursday on a pairing with Maxim Afinogenov(notes) and Ilya Kovalchuk(notes). Here's hoping this line gets a chance to stick; Antropov is available in some thinner groups out there (55 percent owned).
• I can't get over how fantastic Ryan Malone(notes) looks right now, he's doing something of note on just about every shift. This is the year he becomes a star power forward and makes a run at 35 goals, 200 shots, and 100 penalty minutes (they're coming). Hold onto him if you got him, and yeah, I'm not afraid to trade for him, either.
• It was another defense-optional night in Los Angeles, as the Kings held on for a 5-4 overtime win over Dallas on the strength of Anze Kopitar's(notes) first career hat trick (thanks for doing none of that when I owned you last year, big guy). Drew Doughty(notes) finally got back on the scoring summary (assist) after four empty starts but I don't understand why he's not shooting the puck more (Thursday was his first game with three shots; let it rip, kid).
• Nicklas Bergfors(notes) might be worth a look in very deep pools; I'm giving him a tryout in my 15-team blog league. He's a former first-round pick, he had eight shots on goal in the Carolina game on the weekend a (20 in his last five starts) and he scored a beautiful goal on a redirection Thursday. Forget we had this conversation if you're in a small or medium group, but in deeper formats, this could be a story with legs.
Goalie Watch: Ondrej Pavelec(notes) had an embarrassing night (five goals on 14 shots, including the Jeff Schultz gift) while Johan Hedberg(notes) was strong in relief (14-for-14). That just about guarantees that Hedberg will get the tap on the pads against San Jose Saturday. As for Kari Lehtonen(notes), it could be a while; he's dealing with some leg pain and has temporarily shut down his rehab work. … The stats look good on Tuukka Rask(notes) (39 shots, 36 shots) and he absolutely robbed Jeff Carter(notes) on a game-saving breakaway but I thought he looked a little shaky on the tape; quick to flop to the ice, some bad angles on a few shots. … It would be nice if the Sharks felt like showing up in the first period for once; they've allowed the first goal of the night in an astounding seven straight games. I'm not going to hammer on Evgeni Nabokov(notes) for his 20-of-24 night; the first three goals were the fault of his defense (he should have had the Andrej Meszaros(notes) wrister, though).
Phoenix's overtime win came courtesy of a soft Adrian Aucoin(notes) goal (thanks Chris Osgood(notes)) and it's amazing how the Red Wings continue to hand away third-period leads. Look for Jimmy Howard(notes) to get another start before we turn to November (update: Howard is confirmed for Saturday), but the problems with this team go further than the goaltending. Not that the Wings are going to struggle to make the playoffs, but this no longer looks like an elite club to me. … It's Ilya Bryzgalov's(notes) world, we're all just living in it (six wins, 1.26 GAA, .949 save percentage). It looks like someone wants to be a No. 1 goalie in the Olympics. … We all know Antti Niemi(notes) is pushing Cristobal Huet(notes) in Chicago, but it's Huet who will get the start Saturday against Nashville. … The Avalanche wanted to give Peter Budaj(notes) a rare play Friday but he's dealing with the flu. With that, Craig Anderson(notes) will grab his tenth consecutive start.