It’s not often that a second year defenseman ends up on the top pairing for a cup contending team, but Dougie Hamilton (1 G, 2 A, 3 SOG, +2, 2 PIM) broke that mold and earned a place along side Zdeno Chara (1 SOG, even) on the Bs top pairing for a few games in a row now and the results have been very positive at both ends of the ice. When asked about his new weapon on the blue line Bs head coach Claude Julien had nothing but glowing remarks for Hammy’s performance of late; “He’s been good. He’s been steady. He’s moved the puck well. He’s got good vision. He’s got good size, good reach. This is a player that with time will get stronger. He’s a big body. He’ll get stronger. He’ll probably be more impactful than he is right now. But his game has been really good. I think he’s handled it well.” All of this bodes well for his chances of staying on that pairing moving forward, and that also bodes well for his ability to give you those tasty blue line points down the stretch. “Bodes” sounds like a word a sufer would use, doesn’t? “Oh man, Hammy’s gnarly bodes rocked last night!” Come to think of it, that doesn’t sound too family safe. Hmn. Anyway, Hammy contributed in just about every way you could hope for as a fantasy owner and given his choice new home next to Chara, you can expect more of this moving forward from the rookie defenseman. So far he has 18 points in 44 games which puts him on pace for around 28 points in 66 games by season’s end and I think it’s probably that he’ll hit that mark, so look for another 10-15 points from Hammy, so if you need help on your blue line down the stretch here’s a great option as he’s only owned in 12% of ESPN leagues and 26% of Yahoo leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in the world o’ fantasy hockey last night:
Thomas Vanek (2 G, 1 A, 7 SOG, even) had a nice tryout for a new team with a few goals on seven shots. Talk about a bittersweet performance for Isles fans; on one hand you have to cheer when the guy leads your John Tavares-less team to victory, on the other hand, you know he’s on his way out the door and I wouldn’t blame Isles fans for having a bit of a chip on their shoulder about it. So what’s the lesson here? Don’t become an Isles fan.
Ryan Miller (2 GA, 23 SV, W) started his career with the Blues with a solid performance, holding on to allow the Blues to come back in the third and and win 4-2. It’s going to be easy for Miller to rack up the wins on the Blues and that’s all he lacked mired in upstate New York, so if you were smart enough to trade for him, or suffered through owning him all season while he was a Sabre, enjoy winning the fantasy hockey goalie lottery, y’all!
Scottie Upshall (2 G, 1 A, 5 SOG, +2) posted easily his best game of the season but this former first rounder has little value outside of the deepest leagues. He did have that one-month back in January when he posted 12 points in 14 games, but otherwise? Blech.
Corey Perry (2 G, 1 A, 5 SOG, +2) got back on track with a few goals and a helper to bring his season total to 63 points in 62 games. You can expect another 20 points and 10 goals from Perry from here on out. I feel like I’ve given a lot of guys a 20/10 prediction, almost to the point that I’m doubting myself when I write it, but I’m going to stick to my guns.
Mike Green (3 A, 2 SOG, +3) tallied a trio o’ helpers to bring his season total 26 and with seven goals that gives him 33 points in 54 games this season. This is a solid bounce-back campaign for Green who had been battling injuries for a few years, so you can expect another 10 points from him if I’m being conservative. A more liberal projection would be 15.
Jakub Voracek (1 G, 2 A, 2 SOG, +1) is officially a fantasy bust despite this good game. He’s going to top his single season best of 50 points set in ’10 when he played for Columbus, but everyone expected a lot more than what he’s done so far this season. I was high on Voracek coming into the season, but now I’m starting to think he’s more of a 50-60 point player than a guy with 70-80 point ability. He still gets some love, but it’s only because of stretches like December through January when he posted 26 points in 29 games. Despite that surge I figure he ends up around 53 points in 81 games this season.
Claude Giroux (2 G, 1 A, 5 SOG, even) started his season off horribly and was steamrolling towards the fantasy bust label that Voracek earned, but man has he righted the ship or what? After starting the season with just 18 points in his first 28 games he’s put up a whopping 43 points in his last 31 games. Faaantastic, that’s exactly what we drafted him for. Giroux should have no problems breaking the 80-point marker and then some by season’s end.
Kimmo Timonen (3 A, 3 SOG, even) has five points in his last two games, all assists, and looks like he’s going to be able to inch beyond the 30 point barrier before the end of the season. I’m not a big Timonen fan and I think he’s over the hill, so I’m not really shocked that he didn’t have a great season. At most I think he can give you another 5-8 points moving forward.
Nick Holden (2 G, 4 SOG, +1) is a talented young defenseman, albeit a bit of a late bloomer and at age 26 he’s finally getting a decent look on the NHL stage. So far so good with 15 points in 34 games this season after last night’s two goal showing and he should continue to be keep himself marginally useful with another 5 points on the low side, but perhaps as many as 10 more on the high side. Holden is likely to be one of my sleepers for next season, but we’ll wait and see how he finishes this season before I pass judgment.
Dmitry Orlov (2 G, 2 SOG, +2, 5 PIM) made a rare appearance on the score sheet last night with a pair of goals with a fight thrown in for good measure. Orlov has a ton of talent but he doesn’t seem to have much space to work on the crowded Caps blue line. He’s too inconsistent to own and you’d be lucky to get another handful of points from him before the seasons out if you do. If he gets moved at the deadline to a contender in need of some back-end scoring, he should be picked up immediately, though.
Jaden Schwartz (2 A, 3 SOG, +2) continued his breakout sophomore season with two helpers, his first points since the Olympic break, and now has 44 in 58 games played. Considering how good the Blues are and how sharp Schwartz looks right now I’m going to go out on a limb and say he gives you another 15 points before all is said and done this year.
Matt Duchene (2 A, 5 SOG, +1, 2 PIM) is another one of those guys that I want to say will give you 20 more points and 10 more goals, but I don’t think he’s has 10 more goals in the tank this season, so he gets slightly down graded to 20 points and 5-6 goals moving forward. Still, that will leave Duchene at around 75 points in 79 games this season and that officially places Duchene among the fantasy hockey elite.
Jarome Iginla (1 G, 1 A, 2 SOG, +2) ages like a fine wine and, well, no he doesn’t, he’s actually in a slow, steady decline but that decline has progressed slower than I expected it to. Iggy has six points in his last five games and 46 in 60 games so far this season. I figure he has about another 10-12 points left in the tank before all is said and done and if you drafted him in late rounds or found him on the wire at the start of the season, 60-plus points in a full 82 game season is far more than you should have expected. I figure next year, if he doesn’t retire, he’s going to be overvalued and that fast decline I’ve been expecting kicks in.
Clarke MacArthur (1 G, 1 A, 3 SOG, +1) was scoring in bunches to start the season and people were using the term “sniper” when talking about him. Hell, I think I even fell victim to that and I feel ashamed for doing so. I only reluctantly recommended you grab him when he was scoring, but unsurprisingly it didn’t last. MacArthur has never scored more than 21 goals in a single season and he has 19 so far and with 20 more games yet to play I doubt he only pots two more, but I don’t expect more than five with a smattering of assists to go with it. If you can, package him in a trade on the heels of this game and hope the other owner accepts.
Nathan MacKinnon (2 A, 5 SOG, +1) was scoring before the Olympic break and continues to score after with seven points in his last five games. It’s now safe to say that MacKinnon is your Calder favorite with the Rangers’ Chris Krieder slowing considerably as the season has progressed. Considering his pace and skill, I’m going to be pretty optimistic and say he has 18 more points powered by 10 more goals, putting him over 30 for the year.
David Krejci (2 A, 2 SOG, +2) might never score 20 goals again but he finds a way to get those helpers to compensate, adding two more last night. Considering how potent the Bs offense is, I figure he gives you another 20 points before the end of the season, but with just 3-5 goals in the mix.
Milan Lucic (1 G, 1 A, 1 SOG, +2) still isn’t spending much time in the sin bin, but he does have six points (3 G, 3 A) over his last five games. I figure he has another 15 points and 6-8 goals left in the tank this season, which would put him around 60 points in 80 games for the season. That’s decent, but it’s amazing if he puts up 120-130 PIM with it. Alas, he’s going to be lucky to hit 80 this year.
Patrick Marleau (1 G, 1 A, 3 SOG, +1) has been in the league for 15 years and hasn’t slowed down at all. He’s another one with six points over his last five (3 G, 3 A) and at age 34 he’s on pace to break the 70 point marker for the first time since 2010, so you can expect another 18-ish points from him moving forward.
Frederik Andersen (3 GA 49 SV, W) might have given up three goals but he did so facing 52 shots! Andersen is a name that’s come up here and there in trade talks but it doesn’t seem like the Ducks are going to be able to move any of their goaltenders before the deadline so it’s hard to give you a prediction on Andersen’s value moving forward. I figure it basically stays the same barring an injury to Jonas Hiller or resurgence for injured backup Viktor Fasth.
Adam Henrique (1 G, 1 A, 3 SOG, +1) had his third straight two-point game and for you math majors, that gives him six points in his last three games. Nice! I doubted whether or not he could give you another 15 points a few days ago and I’m still leaning towards “no” on that one, but if he keeps this up he’ll get there pretty quickly. He’s only owned in 37% of ESPN leagues and 13% of Yahoo leagues, so if you need some late season scoring help, you might as well take a flier on Henrique.
Joe Pavelski (2 A, +2) seems to be all or nothing lately. Goose eggs then a hatty, some more goose eggs, then a couple of helpers. I doubt any Pavelski owners are complaining, but streaky guys make me nervous come the end of the season, especially in H2H. That being said, I wouldn’t kick him off my team, that’s for sure.
Dustin Penner (2 A, +2) started the season with 21 points in 22 games and for the umpteenth time in his career he convinced a bunch of people to believe in him again. If you were one of them, I’m sorry. Since that hot start he has posted just 11 points in 27 games, missing to various injuries and living up to his well-earned reputation as a fantasy hockey schmohawk. I wouldn’t own him with your team.
Logan Couture (1 G, 3 SOG, +2, 2 PIM) has three goals since returning from his hand injury and I’d say that’s a pretty solid sign that he’s fully recovered, and just in time for the stretch run, how nice of you Logan! Injuries slowed Couture bigtime this season limiting him to just 46 games with 38 points, but he has the ability to have a 18-20 point month, so conservatively I’ll say he has another 10-12 points left to give, but it could be much more if we’re lucky.
Craig Anderson (2 GA 29 SV, W) got the win in his first start since coughing up 5 goals in 43 minutes to the Bs and getting yanked. It’s safe to say that the Ottawa goaltending situation is a complete mess right now and you shouldn’t own any of them.
Eddie Lack (3 GA, 24 SV, L) lost getting the start over starter Roberto Luongo and Torts was/is hearing about it due to the 4-2 loss. He claims that given how well Lack had been playing leading up to the game that he (Lack) gave the team the best chance to win. I… don’t know if I buy that Torts, but whatevs. Lack is going to head back to the bench in favor of Lu for the next game.
Steve Mason (4 GA, 25 SV, W) would have a GAA around 3.00 and a SV% around .900% of you threw out November when he went 6-2-2/1.91/.938/1. Obviously you can’t just toss out a month of stats (though I’d love to), but still, he has been his usual 3.00/.900 self otherwise. I would imagine his peripherals will suffer a bit more before the end of the season. And come next year’s drafts you’d do well to avoid him.