The Detroit Red Wings are one of the few teams so well built that they can sustain a playoff run despite missing four of their top players, two of which are point-per-game guys or better. How, you might wonder, is this feat possible? That’d be solid drafting, a commitment to player development and a fantastic scouting department, all of which Wings GM Ken Holland has in spades. The idea that the Wings roster is loaded with wire gold is not a new theme for me, but right now it’s more important than ever to remember. Tomas Tatar (2 G, 4 SOG, +2) now has three straight two-point games and seven over his last five. I’ve been preaching to y’all to pick up any Red Wings that are scoring due to their ridiculous injury woes and Tatar is high on that list. At times he can look like a weak option compared to his high flying Swedish buddy Gustav Nyquist, but Tatar has solid value right now and should be owned everywhere. Riley Sheahan (1 G, 1 A, 1 SOG, +3) is another one of those newly valuable Wings that I keep saying you should add. Sheahan has the potential to be something special pretty soon, but you can say that about most of the incredible crop of youth the Wings sport thanks to GM Ken Holland’s deft moves over the years. With six points over his last five and nine points in 13 March games, he’s definitely worth a stream. Sadly, Tomas Jurco (1 A, 5 SOG, +3) isn’t among the new elite just yet, but returned from a broken rib to help out with an assist, but I don’t think he’s worth an add at this point. He might be the best of the bunch for the Wings youth in terms of pure talent, but right now that’s not resulting in many points. He remains very raw and needs more time to develop, and while this is that time, with just 11 points in 27 games so far this season I can’t really recommend him, even to stream. It’s a shame, really, I thought Jurco would be the one to burst onto the scene like Gustav Nyquist has. The moral of the story here is when in doubt, look to the Red Wings roster for scoring help, you can’t go wrong! Anyway, here’s what else I saw in the world o’ fantasy hockey last night:
T.J. Oshie (3 G, 6 SOG, +3) was all the Blues’ offense needed to cruise to a 5-1 stomping of the Wild, did anyone expect anything different from this game? That gives Oshie six points in his last two games with four goals mixed in, and just in time for the playoffs! We heart you, Osh!
Thomas Greiss (2 GA, 26 SV, W) will be the starter for the rest of the season unless Mike Smith makes some sort of miraculous return from what looked like a fairly nasty knee injury. I doubt anyone in Phoenix wants Smith to hurry back, nor do many in the fantasy world either. If you’re looking for goalie help, it looks like Greiss is one of the better options that should be available on most waiver wires right now. A quick check shows him owned in just ~12% of ESPN leagues and 13% of Yahoo leagues, so there you go!
Martin Brodeur (2 GA, 25 SV, L) has allowed more goals than any goalie in the history of the NHL after these two to bring his career total to 2,757 goals allowed. Wow, this guy sucks! Seriously, though, Marty keeps getting more nods than Schneider lately and he’s doing well with the starts, so this 1A/1B business with Cory Schneider is going to last for the remainder of the season, much to my and many other Schneider owners’ dismay.
Al Montoya (3 GA, 27 SV, W) is another goalie you can maybe take a chance on. Ondrej Pavelec remains out with an LBI and Montoya keeps on winning, albeit not with style, but winning nonetheless. He’s been solid in limited work all season, so hopefully he can keep it together for the next week and change and provide some value off the wire for us. Then again, maybe this is the reason the Jets won’t give him the no. 1 job. Jesus Crimeny, what was he thinking?
Carl Soderberg (1 G, 1 SOG, +1) netted his 13th goal of the season and continues to contribute here and there. He has three points over his last five, 16 in his last 20 and remains a solid streaming option if you need some goals, and who doesn’t need more goals?!
Adam Henrique (1 G, 2 SOG, even) keeps on rolling with 13 points in 13 games this month and 16 points in his last 17 games. I’ve been on the Henrique bandwagon for a month or so now and he hasn’t done anything to make me jump off any time soon. He’s still owned in just 66% of ESPN leagues and 26% of Yahoo leagues and he should absolutely be owned in a hell of a lot more leagues than that. He’s been a point-per-game guy for a month now, and damn close enough as it makes no matter since mid-January.
Zack Kassian (1 G, 1 SOG, even) continues to produce for the Canucks with six points over his last three games and goals in back-to-back games now. He’s young, he can be streaky, but right now he’s on one of the streaks that helps you win the week and move on to the next round. I’ve mentioned him for three straight posts now, and that’s gotta say something to y’all by now, right? No? Let me clarify! It says pick him up, that’s what it says.
Thomas Vanek (1 G, 2 A, 6 SOG, +3) is doing a whole lot for the Habs, a whole lot the Rangers hoped Martin St. Louis would do for them, but alas, tis not meant to be just yet. I’m harping on the St. Louis drought because it’s so surprising, but that really has nothing to do with Vanek, so lets get back to the subject at hand; Vanek is still awesome and he’s scoring again. This game gives him 9 points in 11 games in Montreal and while that’s solid, his production definitely took a hit when he left the Isles. How many times has anyone said, written or thought that?
Shea Weber (2 G, 6 SOG, +3) joins the 20-goal club for defensemen with this pair, the second game in his last five where he’s tallied two tallies! I’m sure his owners won’t mind if he would rather score goals in pairs, but if there’s a big enough gap it’s going to hurt a bit in H2H.
Jiri Tlusty (2 G, 5 SOG, +2) now has a modest three game points streak, but he hasn’t done much this season with 26 points in 63 games, so I wouldn’t get too excited. Want me to make you even less excited? No? Too bad! He’s built this streak against the Sabres, Jets and Panthers. To his credit he potted one on Roberto Luongo who left after one period with an upper body injury and did not return. More on Lu below, but yeah, I wouldn’t go rushing to the wire to add him.
Roberto Luongo (1 GA, 11 SV, L) was on his way to seeing another 35-45 shots and probably just barely losing with halfway decent peripherals and instead realized “Holy shit, I play for the Panthers again?!” and promptly hurt himself to get out of the game. He left after one with an UBI and who knows what’s going to happen, do the Panthers really gain anything from putting Lu back out there this season? I’d go hunt down who backs Lu up and say add him, but do you really want to end your playoff run like that? I sure wouldn’t.
Dan Ellis (2 GA, 18 SV, L) backs Lu up and you shouldn’t add him.
Blake Wheeler (1 G, 2 A, 1 SOG, +1) seems to get better and better every time I see his name on the score sheet. He could actually finish this season with 30 goals, 70 points and a plus/minus in the positive while playing for the Jets. Imagine what he could do if he was still in Beantown? I do, often. Regardless, this is Wheeler’s best season to date and he should keep getting better.
Ryan Callahan (2 G, 3 SOG, +2, 2 PIM) put a couple biscuits in the basket and now has 8 points in 11 games with the Bolts. What the hell is going on when Callahan, a grinder with some goal scoring upside, is swapped with a first ballot hall of famer who has scored more points over the last five seasons than anyone else, and it’s the grinder that’s proving to be far, far more valuable. Cally was demanding what seemed like a ridiculous contract, but maybe he wasn’t as off base on his value as we all thought.
David Desharnais (1 G, 1 A, 1 SOG, +3) really flopped hard out of the gate with just 7 points in his first 25 games this season and I was starting to get annoyed, so I bagged on him a bit and justifiably so! Since the start of January, however, Desharnais has been on fire with 29 points in 33 games. Okay, I can’t deny that, in fact, I’d even buy it for a dollar and so should you! He’s only owned in 33% of ESPN leagues and 16% of Yahoo leagues, so you should go ahead and add him if you can.
Max Pacioretty (1 G, 4 SOG, +3) potted his third goal in four games and he even tallied some helpers over the last month to get his total to 20 there. He could score 40 goals, which would put him among the league leaders, and if he can notch like five more assists, I think a 40 goal, 65 point season will make me pretty happy (I own him in like four leagues), how about you?
Eddie Lack (3 GA, 25 SV, L) lost this one to the first decent team he’s faced since his last loss to the Bolts four games ago. See, this is what I was talking about yesterday! Lack might’ve been winning games lately, but the quality of competition was so low, and then a cup contender comes to town aaaaand the Canucks and Lack promptly lose. So, like I said, deploy Lack based on matchups only, do not start him without thinking first, he’s just not one of those goalies.
Alexander Steen (1 A, 2 SOG, +3) has a three game points streak going with six points over that stretch. Steen’s goal scoring fell off a cliff after a white-hot start saw him put up 20 goals in the first 25 games of the season. Since then he’s scored just 11 more and even if he didn’t end up with that concussion, I would have expected a similar drop off. Steen is not a goal scorer and he’s not going to be a goal scorer. His 12 points in 14 March games is great, but it’s a 3 goal, 10 assist split and that’s a lot more in line with what he’s capable of. Points, yes. Tons o’ Goals? No.
Andrew Ladd (1 G, 7 SOG, +1) was the fourth overall pick in the 2004 draft. Yeah, you read that right. He isn’t playing like a top 5 pick, but he still retains decent value with 51 points in 73 games this season. Lately he’s scoring a few goals, three to be exact, over his last five games, so that’s pretty decent. If he’s not owned and you need a streamer, he’s a weak grab but worth a flier in desperate times.
Tyson Barrie (1 G, 2 SOG, +1, 2 PIM) has three points in his last five and points in his last two with this goal, but is he doing what Ryan McDonagh has been doing lately? No? Well then I’m not interested. I mean, I would be if he was available on my wire and I had space, but he isn’t, and I don’t. Do you? Maybe you should be interested then!
Anton Khudobin (0 GA, 35 SV, W) continues to play extremely well, so well that is boggles my mind that the Hurricanes continue to force the issue with Cam Ward. They start Ward, he looks halfway decent and bungles bass-ackwards into a win and they roll him out again like it’s three years ago again, and wow, surprise he looks like hot garbage. So, logically, the next game falls to Khudobin and what does he do? This. This is what he has done all season, and I would love it if whomever in the Canes front office drank the Ward kool-aid might put it down for a moment and try the Anton flavor. It’s delicious, I swear! I own Khudobin on every single one of my teams and I start him every time he does, and I haven’t been let down very often.
Tuukka Rask (0 GA, 28 SV, W) demonstrated that he’s quite ready to lead the Bs on another cup run shutting out the Kane-less Hawks 3-0. The Bs cruised to this victory and owned all aspects of the game from the drop of the puck on and Rask looked as comfortable as ever. Sadly he didn’t allow any goals so we didn’t get to see a Tuukka freak out. I love those.
Martin Jones (2 GA, 35 SV, W) is proving to be a really solid backup for Jon Quick but unlike the situations in New York or Boston, LA rides Jon Quick hard and this was Jones’ first start in nearly two weeks. If he saw a bigger split of the starts I’d advocate adding Jones right now, but he might not see the crease again for another week or so.
Ryan Miller (1 GA, 27 SV, W) sure is talented, eh?