Jonathan Bernier (2 GA, 25 SV, W) got the win and looked good doing it until he was hurt when Leafs defenseman Paul Ranger checked Patrice Bergeron (1 G, 1 A, 8 SOG, +2) into Bernier. Bergeron fell awkwardly on Bernier’s leg and he left without being able to put any weight on it. He’s scheduled for an MRI today and is listed as day-to-day with an LBI. He just returned from another injury only to get reinjured and honestly I think his season is done. That’s truly a shame, he deserved more considering how outstanding he has played for the Leafs this season, a team in the process of letting themselves and their fans down in a big way. Oddly that makes me happy. It’s Toronto, what can I say? At any rate, James Reimer (1 GA, 10 SV, W) came in to a standing ovation and held fort allowing one goal on 11 shots helping the Leafs to two critical points with the win. Reimer is what the Leafs have moving forward, it doesn’t look good for Bernier’s chances of returning this season, playoffs or not, but the results of the MRI will tell us more later today or tomorrow. Any Bernier owners should have already handcuffed Reimer to Bernier, but anyone looking for some goalie help can grab Reimer now. It’s the Leafs, and you’ve seen how they have been playing lately, so temper your expectations a bit. That said, a starter is a starter right now and Reimer is talented and the schedule is fairly favorable over the last four games with matchups against Winnipeg, Tampa Bay, Florida and Ottawa coming up. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in the world o’ fantasy hockey yesterday:
Jason Spezza returns to the lineup tonight, so get him back in there.
Pavel Datsuyk returns to action as well, but it’s likely that he won’t play in back-to-back games. He also mentioned that his conditioning leaves something to be desired at the moment, so plug him back in your lineups if you hadn’t already cut bait (I did, and I don’t regret it) but do so with tempered expectations.
Drew Doughty left last night’s game with an upper-body injury and didn’t return after he tried to, and failed to, properly lay a check on Tyler Kennedy. It’s not clear whether or not he’ll travel with the team, so keep an eye on his status.
Ryan McDonagh says that he’s “pretty confident” he’ll return before the playoffs. He doesn’t have a full range of motion in his injured shouder, so until he does, I would imagine the Rangers will play it safe with their franchise defenseman. They only need two points to lock up a playoff spot with four games left, so it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see McDonagh done for the regular season unless the Rangers go down to the wire for those two points.
John-Michael Liles (1 G, 2 A, 2 SOG, +2) had what is easily his best game this season with a three point night. Just how good was this game compared to the rest of his season? He scored 33% of his points this season last night. He now sits at nine points in 36 games. Blech.
Patrice Bergeron (1 G, 1 A, 8 SOG, +2) was going about his usual business in the first four months of the season kinda-sorta remaining relevant and scoring some points, well worth owning. Then February rolled around and he decided to step up and he’s posted 21 points in his last 19 games. If he could just do that for an entire season I’d be happy to draft him, but he doesn’t, and he won’t, so I won’t.
Mike Cammalleri (1 G, 1 A, 3 SOG, +2) must be taking the same thing that Bergeron is because he wasn’t doing eff all for most of the year until last month and he’s been rolling since with 21 points in his last 18 games. He’s owned in ~99% of ESPN leagues, but just 58% of Yahoo leagues, so if you need some scoring help and you’re a Yahoo manager, scope out the wire, he might just be available.
James Wisniewski (1 G, 1 A, 2 SOG, +1) added a goal and an assist to his stellar 2013-14 season and now has 47 points on the season. He also has eight points in his last five games. I’ve been preaching the virtues of the Wiz on defense since I started here at Razzball and I’m still at it. I think this is his breakout season and we can expect to see more of the same moving forward.
Phil Kessel (2 A, 3 SOG, +2) seems to have gone the way of the Leafs, or have the Leafs gone the way of Kessel? These helpers snapped a four game drought and give him just six points in his last 12 games. That’s not the Phil Kessel we’ve come to expect, I don’t know whether he’s hurt, doesn’t care, or just recently realized he plays for Toronto and has given up all hope.
Brad Marchand (1 G, 1 A, 2 SOG, +2) has two points in two games this month! So there’s that. March on, Marchand!
Justin Faulk (1 G, 1 A, 5 SOG, even) potted a goal for the second straight game as he inches his way towards 30 points for the season. He may or may not get there, but regardless he’s had a stellar rookie campaign and you can expect another step forward for him next season. At the least he puts up 30 points, but his ceiling could be somewhere in the mid-40s. If you own him in a keeper league he’s a no brainer.
James van Riemsdyk (1 G, 6 SOG, +2) scored his 30th goal of the year last night, the first time in his young career he’s eclipsed that mark. JVR goes the way o’ Kessel and after dominating for much of the season he’s put up just nine points in his last 17 games. That being said, he’s still scoring goals, with three in his last five, and you know how I lubs some goals, so I still gots lubs for Jimmy!
Logan Couture (1 G, 5 SOG, +1) posted 27 points in 26 games to start the season and it seemed that Couture’s tenure as a point-per-game, 30+ goal guy was starting, and then he broke his hand and he lost about three months due to injury, recovery and rust. He’s returned to form in March/April with 13 points in 16 tilts, but that’s still not quite right. I guess we have to wait until next season to see a full season at full speed for Couture, which should be a thing o’ beauty.
Nazem Kadri (1 G, 3 SOG, +1) scored the game winning goal for the Leafs last night netting them two very important points, but that can’t change the fact that Kadri was a huge bust this season. Honestly, I wasn’t very high on him coming into the season, I basically throw out last year’s stats because of the lockout, and if you do that, Kadri doesn’t look very appealing at all. I don’t think he “rebounds” next season, either. He’s a 50-point guy, not a 70 point guy.
Sidney Crosby (2 A, 2 SOG, +1, 2 PIM) pisses me off because he’s always, and I mean always on the score sheet. It also irks me that he dives at the slightest hint of being hit, but that’s neither here nor there.
Curtis Glencross (2 G, 2 SOG, even) might have only played 33 games so far this season, but he has 23 points over that span. If you project that out over a full 82 game schedule he’d end up in the mid-50s and that has value in deeper leagues for sure. GlenGaryGlencross could be a great late round value add in next year’s drafts.
Tyler Bozak (1 G, 3 SOG, +2) is probably better than Nazem Kadri. Or are they essentially the same player? I can’t really decide. It’s probably the latter.
Erik Johnson (1 A, 6 SOG, +1) looks like he’s finally regained the form he showed in two seasons with the Blues to start his career. It only took him three-and-a-half years to find it. But hey, better late than never!
Tyler Ennis (1 A, 7 SOG, even) is trying like hell to take advantage of the fact that he’s basically all that’s left on the Buffalo O, but the Sabres are just so bad. I feel like if Ennis were playing anywhere else he’d be a lock for around 60 points. Seriously.
Brandon Dubinsky (1 G, 4 SOG, +1) might hit 50 points this season and if you combine that with all his hits, blocks, faceoff wins and such, he is actually a very valuable guy to have in deep leagues. Whodathunkit?!
Tyler Seguin (1 G, 4 SOG, +1, 10 PIM) scores lots, yeah, but he’s getting a mention here for the gift he gave his owners with 10 PIM last night! That’s huge news for Seguin considering he had just six PIM all season before last night’s game.
Eric Staal (1 G, 6 SOG, even) looks like he’ll finish with 60 points (20 G, 40 A) and a minus-10 in 76 games. That’s not a total bust, but it’s a bust fo’ sho’. He can rebound next season, but there’s no guarantee. He’s not getting any younger and next season will be his 10th in the NHL, so it’s kinda down hill from here on out.
Andre Benoit (1 G, 6 SOG, even) is quietly putting up a 30 point season from the blueline for the Avs, believe it or not. This is just his second year in the league, too, and he could take a step forward next season, but I doubt it’s going to be a big leap. I’d say another 30-35 point season with a ceiling of 40 sounds about right.
Riley Nash (1 G, 3 SOG, +1) is the guy I constantly confuse for Rick Nash on score sheets. That’s really all I have to say about him other than he should change his first names so I’m not confused anymore. It’s just rude, Riley!
Charlie Coyle (1 G, 3 SOG, +1) keeps finding ways to score and has four points in his last five. I recommended him last week? A few days ago? I don’t remember, I do remember telling you to look at him as a viable offensive option down the stretch, though, and here he is! Still available to a good home, folks!
Derek Stepan (1 G, 3 SOG, +1) is another bust with just 54 points in 78 games so far. There are a lot of guys who can blame injuries for their lost seasons but not Step, who by all accounts should have been the Rangers’ top line center and post around 70-75 points about this time, not 50-freakin’-4! His value takes a hit in next year’s drafts and that’s all the good for us, because he’s going to be the guy we expected this year, next year. Savvy?
Sergei Bobrovsky (0 GA, 37 SV, W) continues to prove that the Blue Jackets absolutely got the better end of the deal on the, well, deal that sent Bobs to the Jackets for everyone’s (least) favorite (or at least my least favorite, or is that Tim Thomas? Tough call.) goalie Steve Mason. While Mason sucks it up in Philly, Bobrovsky has managed to post an immaculate season line of 28-19-5/2.42/.921/4 on a team that has no earthly business doing as well as it has. They can attribute that success to this guy right here.
Anton Khudobin (1 GA, 33 SV, W) continues his stellar play despite the fact that the Canes can’t quite seem to get over their bromance with Cam Ward. Khudobin has clearly, by far and away, been the best goalie the Canes have had all season and for some reason they keep trying to give Ward a shot to regain that no. 1 slot, and refuse to clearly award it to the guy who has earned it, Khudobin. Regardless, he’s probably going to start at least two of the Canes last four games, maybe three, and he’ll probably look great doing it.
Karri Ramo (1 GA, 31 SV, W) continues to impress me. I might even draft him next year! He isn’t stellar, mind you, but he has shown steady improvement over his three seasons in the league and this season was another big step forward. He’s only a few away from becoming a top 15 guy, really.
Brian Elliott (1 GA, 24 SV, W) remains the most valuable backup in the league and that’s saying a lot this season. Guys like Cam Talbot, Chad Johnson, and Alex Stalock have been brilliant in limited action, but no one owns the backup role like Elliot. The Blues are a truly frightening matchup going into the playoffs.
Nathan Lieuwen (2 GA, 26 SV, L) keeps losing, but what do you expect? It’s the Sabres.
Ilya Bryzgalov (2 GA, 24 SV, L) might have lost but it wasn’t his fault, this was the fourth straight game Breezy has allowed 2 goals or fewer, and he’s 2-2-0 over that span. It ain’t easy being Breezy.