We the fantasy playoffs starting next week for most of us it’s time to make those last grabs before the dance that make all the difference. Over the last week I’ve been pushing Anders Lee and I’ll continue to do so, but if you can’t get on board with Lee because he plays for the Isles (I understand, we all do) you might find some love for Bs rookie Carl Soderberg (1 G, 3 SOG, +1), or at least I think you should. Soderberg is another one of the many talented young Swedes flooding in to the league in recent years and like many of his countrymen, he’s pretty damn solid! He’s been labeled “explosive” by many and when you watch him play it’s pretty clear that’s accurate. He can do just about anything you want in the offensive zone and baby, we want it all! Carl can shoot, pass, skate and chew gum, rub his stomach and pat himself on the head all at the same time! He’s a big, strong guy that moves like greased lightning with a puck taped to its stick and frankly, I’m bullish on him for next year’s drafts. Overall this season he’s been limited by limited playing time, but lately he’s getting it done with five points over his last four games. This isn’t a wholly recent phenomenon for the rookie who has been putting it home fairly often over the last month and change with 11 points over his last 12 games. So that begs the question, who do you have on your bench that’s scoring like that recently? If you’re just starting blankly at screen trying to come up with an answer the answer is probably no one, so stop drooling and staring blankly, you look ridiculous. Soderberg is owned in just ~15% of ESPN leagues and %9 of Yahoo leagues he’s an easily obtainable commodity, so if you’re wondering how you’re going to shore up your bench for the playoffs, consider Carl! Anyway, here’s what else I saw in the world o’ fantasy hockey last night:
Mikael Backlund (2 G, 1 A, 4 SOG, +3) has set personal records for goals (16) and assists (17) in 65 games so far this season and he’s looking and breaking the 40-point marker by the end of the year. Backlund has been around for a few seasons so this may sound underwhelming, but this is the first season he’s had a chance to play consistently and he’s doing well with his time. I don’t know that he’s ever going to put up more than 60 points in a season, but that’s valuable enough to own in most formats. Obviously he’s not there this season, but as you’re frantically searching the wire for a few guys to load up on the last day of your H2H playoff matchups, consider streaming Backlund if he has a favorable matchup.
Alex Burrows (2 G, 6 SOG, +2, 2 PIM) used to be a lock for around 25-30 goals and 100+ PIM, which is money in the mothereffin’ fantasy hockey bank, but those days are no more due to injuries. Sadface. This game was a blast from the past and given how poorly he’s played over the last few seasons, I doubt he’s going to do much to help us this season or next for that matter. These two goals are his first two of the season. Yeah, punt!
Patrice Bergeron (1 G, 1 A, 3 SOG, +2) now has six points in his last four games after this pair o’ points pushed him to 45 in 65 games this season. Those are pretty bleh numbers, but he has an opportunity to flirt with 60 by season’s end.
Mark Giordano (1 G, 1 A, 3 SOG, +2) has been having a pretty ridiculous season and I will admit I had no idea he’d be doing anything remotely like he has been. What, you might wonder, has he been up to? How about being on track for 60+ points in a full 82 games. Yeah, you read that right and no, that’s not a typo and we’re not Erik Karlsson or Shea Weber here, it’s all about Giordano.
Ryan Getzlaf (nada, zip, -4) ended up on the wrong end of that 7-2 beating and limped home with a minus-4?! Ugh, come on man, I’ve got playoff births to lock up and this isn’t helping!
Jonas Hiller (3 GA, 2 SV, L) joined Getzlaf on the wrong end of that 7-2 beating and lasted just ten minutes before being relieved by…
Frederik Andersen (4 GA, 16 SV, L) didn’t fare much better than Hiller. Hmn, maybe they should make a deal with the Oilers for Viktor Fasth?
Paul Byron (2 A, 2 SOG, +3) has five points in seven games so far in March as he joined the Calgary scoring parade in a 7-2 stomping they gave the Ducks last night. Say what? The Flames crushed the Ducks 7-2? You betcha! Byron is young, but as long as the Flames are scoring he’s likely to be in the mix somewhere and could be viable streaming option for the playoffs.
Ryan O’Reilly (1 G, 1 A, 4 SOG, even) is just two points shy of his single season best of 55 points set back in 2011-12, not bad! He should easily eclipse his old mark and probably the 60-point marker as well. O’Reilly has officially O’Rived, y’all!
Zdeno Chara (1 G, 2 SOG, +2) might be getting sick of me questioning his ability to score as his age creeps up slowly on the mighty Slovak defenseman. You have to figure a guy of his size is going to break down pretty quickly as age catches up to him more rapidly. Still, he manages to hold on to his top pairing placement and look at this? Goals, y’all! Ah delicious goals, my favorite!
Brandon Saad (1 G, 7 SOG, even) peppered seven shots on goal and came away with a goal for his efforts. That extends his points streak to three games and so long as he gets time on the top line with Patrick Kane, Saad owners are going to be pretty glaad they held on to him this long.
Thomas Vanek (1 A, 5 SOG, +1) notched his first point with the Habs, huzzah! I don’t know why I’m cheering that, it does nothing for me in any way, but I’m sure Vanek owners are happy. I wondered if maybe Vanek’s production takes a hit because he no longer has Okie or Tavares to play with, I mean who on the Habs can step up and perform like either of those guys? It’s hard to tell just yet, Vanek needs a few more games to get into the groove with his new team and learn the system, but so far so bleh in Montreal for Tommy V.
Milan Lucic (1 G, 4 SOG, +1) scored a goal, that’s good! Lacked any PIM at all, again, that’s bad. I’d still own him, but not without a sternly worded letter about his mama in an attempt to provoke him to anger and a few more fighting majors before the season’s out.
Patrick Sharp (1 A, 5 SOG, +1) has been stuck on 29 goals for almost two weeks now, man that’s gotta be frustrating, eh? The big news here is that he continues to score, but not score goals and what else do we own him for? His good looks? Time to get back to putting the biscuit in the basket, Patty!
Mike Cammalleri (1 G, 3 SOG, even) is scoring, yes. It’s actually at a fairly decent pace, too, with 26 points in 49 games so far this season. Age and injuries have limited him this season and that’s not going to change, but holy hell is his plus/minus bad, minus-25 and counting the wrong way. Yo Mike just an FYI, you don’t play for the Oil. It might be about time to hang ‘em up.
Andrew Ladd (1 G, 3 SOG, +1, 2 PIM) has nine points in his last 11 games and that spans the last six weeks, so that’s pretty solid. We’ve got Saad and now we’ve got Ladd, one fewer A, same sound! Go figure. Ladd is definitely worth a look as a streaming option or a flier in deeper leagues.
Andrew Cogliano (1 G, 3 SOG, +1) is just another cog in the system. That’s a bad thing. Punt!
Max Pacioretty (1 A, 6 SOG, even) has as many assists over the last 13 games as he put up in the first three MONTHS of the season. How many, JD?! Four. Freakin’ four! He has 30 goals, and that’s baller and I can’t kick him off my team because I love goals, but just 14 assists? That gives him 44 points in 58 games. Lawds, that’s horrible.
Duncan Keith (1 A, 5 SOG, even, 2 PIM) now has 51 points powered by 47 assists. Damn, that’s ridiculous! You know, since he’s so rich in assists he should donate some of his assists to a worthy cause, don’t you think? I bet the Max Pacioretty Fund could use a donation or seven.
Nick Bonino (1 G, 1 SOG, +1) was rolling offensively back in January when he put up 14 points in 13 games but then he went down with an injury and the Ducks forgot about him. Well, he’s back, but since his return this is his first goal and has but two measly points in his last six games. I’d say this is a sign he’s getting it going again, but he only put one shot on goal, so eh. Granted it went in, but high shooting percentages are for basketball players, they just scream lucky in hockey.
Eddie Lack (2 GA, 32 SV, W) rebounded after getting beat for six goals on 27 shots to the Tavares-less Isles, which was only two games removed from coughing up five goals on 17 shots to the Stars. Basically, he’s waffling from good to bad every other game. Here’s the goals allowed breakdown for his last six games dating back to Feb. 28th; 1, 2, 1, 5, 1, 6… brace yourselves, another horrible Eddie Lack start is coming!
Joni Ortio (2 GA, 20 SV, W) has actually been fairly solid for the Flames with a season line of 3-3-0/2.20/.907% and that’s not half bad. That being said, he plays for the Flames and did you read earlier about that dude with a minus-25 rating for them? Ugh, terrible. I can’t trust the Flames or their goalies and I wouldn’t recommend you do so either.