Dustin Byfuglien (2 A, 6 SOG, +1) started at right wing for the first time in, well, a while. The Jets hope moving him back to wing will help them find some semblance of an offensive spark, somehow, someway. At first glace this sounds like it’s going to be great for his owners, right? Shifting to the wing can only increase his value, right? Well, he lined up with Olli Jokinen and Devin Setoguchi, a slot previously occupied by Bryan Little who is actually having his best season as a pro, so maybe that’s not so bad. When asked about the shift Buff dutifully replied that he would do whatever it takes to win, but added that this wasn’t his decision. Gee, I wonder how he really feels about it? Apparently the Jets don’t much care what he thinks and it’s still not his decision because they said today that they’d be keeping the big fella at wing for now. This back and forth dance from defense to forward and back again the Jets have him doing is slowing his development at either position, but it mostly hurts his blue line skills. A lot of folks wondered why he was snubbed from the US Olympic team and it’s because he’s not a good defensive defenseman yet, in fact I’d still label him a liability on the blue line and his horrible plus/minus can attest to that. I’d call this a desperation move from a team in complete disarray, riddled with injuries and not entirely sure what to do about it. Since moving from Atlanta to Winnepeg it has been all down hill for a franchise that started out, well, at the bottom of the hill and has since been trying to skate to the top. Obviously trying to ice skate uphill is going to be problematic, but that hasn’t stopped the Jets from giving it the ole’ college try, eh? Only time will tell how Buff reacts to the switch, but I doubt it changes his overall numbers much. He’ll likely give us the same 60 some points he was already on pace to deliver for his owners, so whoop-dee-freakin-doo! If this was a better team the switch would mean more, but it’s not, so it doesn’t. Blah, the Jets are terrible in so many ways. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in the world o’ fantasy hockey yesterday:
Olli Jokinen (1 G, 4 SOG, +1, 2 PIM) hasn’t been good since he left Florida, wait, what did I just say? Playing in Florida actually helped Jokinen? Eh, it was probably his youth and now he’s old and useless. Aw, sorry Olli!
Sean Monahan (1 G, 3 SOG, +1) added another goal and while his overall season line is meh so far (13 G, 6 A, -13, 125 SOG), he’s on pace to end up in the mid-to-high twenties in goals and for a rookie that’s promising. He won’t win the Calder, or even get considered, but he could be a great low-cost source of goal scoring next season.
Devin Setoguchi (1 G, 2 SOG, +1) scored a goal, but continues to be ridiculously disappointing on pace for just 14 goals and 36 points in 81 games this season. Setoguchi scored 31 goals in his rookie year and it didn’t do squat for him after that, so I guess maybe I should re-think my assessment of Monahan? Nah.
Jeff Carter (1 A, 2 SOG, +1, 2 PIM) added a rare helper to his season line and looks to have a very strong second half. Over his last 20 games Carter has 18 points (10 G, 8 A) since returning from injury. He’s always nursing some sort of ailment, but he is capable of scoring in huge waves o’ points, so if you can get him on the cheap because his owner hasn’t been paying attention for the last six weeks, well then, don’t mind if you do.
Sergei Bobrovsky (2 GA, 26 SV, W) hasn’t lost a game since November! Granted, he missed all but one game in December, but still! In all seriousness, he is cruising along as we would have expected prior to the injury, so deploy him as you normally would.
Jonathan Quick (0 GA, 28 SV, W) has alternated wins and losses since returning from injury but you know what doesn’t alternate on a game-by-game basis? How freakin’ ridiculous he is. So far his season line is 13-6-1/2.12/.914/2 in 21 games and he should remain a top 5 goalie for the rest of the season.
Eric O’Dell (1 G, 2 SOG, +2) scored his first NHL goal this last Saturday and followed that up with another one last night against the ‘yotes. Word on the street says O’Dell’s most notable skills are his passing and stickhandling, but apparently he didn’t get that memo and has come on to the big stage scoring goals. I don’t really expect the goal scoring to continue, at least not this soon, as O’Dell is more of a two-way guy with playmaking ability than a goal scorer. He needs to beef up a bit before he becomes viable, so keep an eye on him but I wouldn’t own him until next season.
Mark Letestu (1 G, 4 SOG, even) has three goals in his last two games and four in his last five and that brings his season total to… five in 46 games. Need I say more? Well even if I need to I won’t because ‘dems some ugly numbers, he plays for the Jackets an—wait a minute, I just said I wouldn’t do this! Damn you, Letestu!
Victor Hedman (1 G, 5 SOG, +1, 2 PIM) remains available in almost a quarter of Yahoo! Leagues. If he’s available in your league and you haven’t picked him up you should feel bad about yourself.
Ondrej Pavelec (1 GA, 18 SV, W) must have some serious dirt on the Jets’ brass, coaching staff, I don’t know. Why is this guy still starting over Al Montoya? I know teams have long been concerned that Montoya couldn’t handle a starters’ workload, but could it really be any worse than Pavelec? No, probably not.
Eddie Lack (1 GA, 19 SV, L) had his second straight good game allowing just one goal to the Kings last night after holding the oh so powerful Blues to just one goal last Friday. Too bad for him Jon Quick was in net on the other side of the ice and the Kings took this game 1-0. Lack had a pretty bad three game stretch where he coughed up 4 goals in each game before these two starts, and you can expect more streaky play from him until Roberto Luongo returns from his latest LBI.
Jack Johnson (2 A, 1 SOG, even) had that one really good year back in 2010 when he notched 42 points for the Kings. What happened to that?! He’s not even worth owning this year and I doubt that’ll change in the coming years.
Dustin Brown (1 G, 1 SOG, +1, 5 PIM) scored a goal on one shot, which means his shooting percentage was 100% last night. Hey, that’s great… if you play basketball, but this is hockey and a shooting percentage that high just means he was lucky. You know who isn’t lucky? His owners. A few years ago he was worth at least 50-60 points with around 25 goals and at center that’s pretty paltry, but he offered so much more in terms of Hits, Blocks, Faceoff wins, etc. that made up for his lack of scoring. Nothing can make up for a center only giving you 28 points in 82 games, and that’s what he’s on pace for this season. Ugh.
Adam Pardy (1 A, 1 SOG, +2) would have made for a great feature title, something like “Adam Pardy’s Hard!” or “Pardy on Wayne! Pardy on Garth!” or some such thing. Unfortunately he isn’t very good fantasy wise, so it just wasn’t meant to be. Shame on you for having a name so easily made into a pun, but lacking the skills to make yourself a feature in my post, Adam. Shame.
Anton Khudobin (2 GA, 27 SV, L) lost his second straight game but again, it was no fault of his. He faced 14 shots in the first period alone, stopping all 14. He didn’t give up a goal until the 15 minute mark of the second period but the ‘Canes couldn’t find the back of the net again and Khudobin was hung out for the loss. He has been stellar since taking over for the injured Cam Ward and the last two games do nothing to hurt his value or standing as the no. 1 in Carolina.
Ryan Johansen (1 G, 2 SOG, +1) broke a four game scoreless streak with points in back-to-back games and now sits at 17 G and 17 A for the season. Ah, another new member of the Bobby Ryan All-Parity Team (BRAPT)! Everyone give Ryan a warm welcome to the team. Seriously though, dude is on pace for 60 points and 30 goals in his third season which constitutes a nice step forward for the young center. He projects as a top line center for the Blue Jackets. I know that doesn’t mean much, so lets put it this way, he projects as a top-six guy anywhere.
Blake Wheeler (1 G, 2 SOG, +1, 2 PIM) is starting to make the Boston Bruins pine for him instead of it being the other way around considering how poorly Loui Eriksson has been so far. He of course remains a member of BRAPT with 17 G and 17 A so far this year, but he plays with Olli Jokinen and Devin Setoguchi, so take that for what you will. He remains valuable in deep leagues for those goals of his, otherwise meh.
Alex Killorn (1 G, 3 SOG, even) has come back to life after a surge following Steven Stamkos’ injury that pushed him up a few lines. He has seven points (3 G, 4 A) in seven games this month which makes him a great streaming option right now.
Tobias Enstrom (1 A, 4 SOG, even) had some great seasons with the now defunct Atlanta Thrashers, didn’t he? Too bad he plays for the Jets now. Wait, the Jets used to be the Thrashers? Did they get worse when they moved north or is it just the fact that they’re the Jets and they’ve always been this way?
Anze Kopitar (1 A, 2 SOG, +1, 2 PIM) is on pace for just 66 points in 82 games and that’s a bit under his expected rate o’ scoring. I think he’ll be fine, he’s hitting double digits each month and one or two good stretches and he’ll be right back around 70-75 points for the year as expected.
Dennis Wideman (1 A, 3 SOG, even) might end this season with a plus/minus around minus-30 to go with his 30 points. No thank you.
Jacob Trouba (1 SOG, +3, 2 PIM) didn’t score, but he did see his TOI hit 20 minutes for the second straight game. He also finished plus-3! Hey, for a rookie, these are good signs.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson (1 G, 4 SOG, even) has too many names and they’re too long. He must trip on them on his way to the net and that’s why his numbers are so bleh. The ‘yotes are putting the biscuit in the basket on the reg without a bonafide superstar, so he has no excuses. Or if he does, they’re really bad excuses.
Bryan Little (1 A, 3 SOG, even) seems to be taking a big step forward this season on pace for 63 points, which would exceed his previous season high by 13. Nice! But lets not get ahead of ourselves; the former 12th overall pick looked like he was going somewhere fast after a 51 point sophomore campaign that gave everyone some hope, but he seems to have fallen prey to the same jinx that Tobias Enstrom has since the Thrashers became the Jets. Now we’ve come to expect very little from Bryan. Still, while he’s scoring he’s worth streaming and is absolutely worth picking up in deeper/keeper leagues for secondary scoring.
Nathan Horton (1 G, 3 SOG, even, 2 PIM) scored his 200th goal in a win against the Bolts last night and has four points in his first six games this season. Don’t let this give you false hope, if he couldn’t score much on the B’s there’s no way he comes back from all those injuries to blow up this season.
Tyler Johnson (1 A, +1, 2 PIM) makes sure his points total increases is a nice, linear fashion as the months go by. Lets have a look! October – 5, November – 6, December – 7. Huh, at this rate he’ll be a point-per-game guy by next season! No, not really. Still, it’s good to see the kid slowly but steadily improving.
James Wisniewski (1 A, 1 SOG, even) has five points in his last five games, remains on pace for 50 points and yet he remains available in 32% of Yahoo! Leagues. I know he plays for the Blue Jackets and all, but come on people.
Karri Ramo (0 GA, 23 SV, W) is the first Calgary Flames goalie other than Miikka Kiprusoff to notch a shutout in the last decade. Seriously, ten effin’ years! Kipper is a tough act to follow and Ramo isn’t really doing that great a job of it despite this performance.
Anders Lindback (3 GA, 25 SV, L) held the Flyers to three goals on Saturday and won 6-3. He allowed three goals against the Blue Jackets last night and lost 3-2. What does this mean? It means goalies that allow three goals a game are awful, just awful.