EDIT (21/2/14): Kane is now on LTIR and is out for the rest of the regular season. You can safely drop him in any yearly leagues. 

Patrick Kane (1 A, +2) apparently injured his left knee in a 4-0 victory over the Blues last night and it sounds like he’s going to be about for the rest of the regular season, or at least long enough to make sure he contributes nothing to his fantasy owners’ hopes and dreams of winning their leagues. Some reports say two weeks, others say three weeks, I say the rest of the regular season because why would the Hawks tempt fate and rush Kane back before the playoffs? Pro tip: they won’t. I guess Brendan Morrow accidentally rolled into Kane’s knee after a hit from the Hawks’ Sheldon Brookbank. Well that’s great; it’s good to know two mostly worthless guys took one of the most valuable fantasy assets off the board for the playoffs. Can you sense my bitterness? Oh, I’m bitter. Like sour patch kids bitter. What, that’s sour? Fine, I’ll happily donate some of my bitterness to bitter it up further. So what do you do if you just lost Kane? Drink and cry, my friends, drink and cry. Before you get too deeply into the bottle, though, consider that Kane’s absence opens up TOI for some of the younger guys and will demand a reshuffling of the lines. It’s hard to say who will end up where, the Hawks have a ton of options, but Andrew Shaw (1 G, 3 SOG, +1, 2 PIM) has goals in back-to-back games and has seven points in nine games this month, so he might be worth a flier. A former Blackhawk now turned Panther is also worth a look as Brandon Pirri has been a roll since being traded to South Florida with seven points in his last eight games. Right now Kane owners are looking at this advice and cringing, thinking; “Shaw? Pirri? These are the guys you expect to replace Kane?” No, bitter Kane owner, I don’t! You can’t replace him, but you might be able to mitigate the impact to your hopes by looking into some of these guys, they might just be available to save your (and my) skins:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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Martin St. Louis (1 A, 2 PIM, +3) was supposed to help continued to struggle for the blue shirts, but managed to tally his third point in nine games as a Ranger. This is not the scoring boost that Rangers GM Glen Sather was hoping for when he moved Ryan Callahan to the Bolts for the veteran scoring monster. Cally, on the other hand, has four points in six games for Tampa.

Anton Khudobin (1 GA, 46 SV, W) was put right back in net after taking a 2-1 loss and did not disappoint pushing 46 of 47 shots away for a 3-1 victory. Is there any doubt that Khudobin is the guy for the Canes? The only place there might be doubt is the Canes’ front office, but judging by the two-year deal they inked Khudobin to recently, I’d say that concept is fading fast. Cam Ward had an opportunity to take his starting job back, but he failed to do that like he has doing, well, mostly anything this season, and after this game the starters gig should be his and his alone for the next 12 games. 

Gustav Nyquist (2 G, 6 SOG, +1) is really the only thing keeping the Wings from tipping completely over and missing the playoffs for the first time in 22 years. He has three goals in his last two games and that gives in 35 points in 43 games since his call up earlier this year. Can Nyquist really be the only thing keeping the Wings afloat, you might be wondering. Well, have a look at the list of guys Babs had to scratch last night: Pavel Datsyuk, Justin Abdelkader, Jonathan Ericsson, Dan Cleary, Tomas Jurco, Darren Helm, Joakim Andersson and Teemu Pulkkinen. Those are the scratches, how about guys on IR? Henrik Zetterberg, Mikael Samuelsson and Stephen Weiss. So, if by some insane happenstance he’s still available in one of your leagues I think you know what to do.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

What is it with Russians named Evgeny? Is there some sort of magic in the name? Maybe it’s the Vodka? Either way, Evgeny Kuznetsov (1 A, 2 SOG, even) has arrived and y’all best take notice as the kid has four points in his last two games and now plays on the second line for the Caps alongside Casey Wellman and Troy Brouwer. I know, those names don’t exactly strike fear into the hearts of their opponents but when you consider he just left the fourth line with Tom Wilson and Jay Beagle, it starts to sound a lot better, right? Either way, the initial chemistry Evgeny has with his teammates can’t be denied after back-to-back solid games on his new line. What’s better, he’s getting time on the Caps’ second power play unit and saw time with Alex Ovechkin. The only limit on Kuzentsov is Kuzentsov, and like many young Russians he’s passionate and highly skilled but who knows what that translates to over time. His weakness as defensive liability can cost him TOI at times, but most young offensively minded players suffer there and he’s improving steadily. His playmaking skills, however, are on par with Nicklas Backstrom’s (sans the PEDs, err, allergy meds!) and his wicked fake-slapper, slap-pass to Tom Wilson for a goal a few days ago against the Stars is evidence of that. He’s wildly creative with the puck, has soft hands, great vision and is an all around offensive force. He lacks strength, but that’s something he can improve on over time. It’s crunch time and there’s no reason to overthink snatching up a guy like Kuznetsov, so go get while the gettin’s good! Anyway, here’s what else I saw in the world o’ fantasy hockey last night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Normally I’d start one of my daily rewind posts with a blurb about a guy who is notable for his production and well worth your attention, but this struck me as far too karma conspiracy to not lead off with today, also, its actually really important news. James Neal is out indefinitely with a concussion. Yes, Neal owners, you read that right, try not to cry too much, your tears are made of salt water and that shiz can really eff up your computer/phone/tablet/whatever you damn kids are using these days. Why do I think this is karma catching up with him? Lest we forget, earlier this season Jimmy was suspended for nealing Boston’s Brad Marchand in the head while he was down on fall fours trying to get back to his feet. It was a henious move by Neal’s part, but he has no real history of dirty play (well, excessively dirty, anyway) so we can forgive it given the tone of that game prior to the incident. Still, it’s hard not to see this as cosmic payback for the move. I won’t call this a schadenfreude moment for me because I don’t wish head injuries on anyone, even if they absolutely ruin my team every time they face Neal and the Pens. At any rate, this weakens the Pens significantly and fantasy owners even more. There is no way to replace Neal, so the best you can do is scope out the wire and hope perhaps one of these guys is available:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

When John Tavares blew out his knee in Sochi the fantasy hockey gods mocked us and Kyle Okposo (3 A, 3 SOG, +1) might have died a little inside. We all knew that Thomas Vanek was on his way out the door after he turned down a sizeable, long term deal from the Isles and when he was shipped to the Habs at the deadline Okie and his owners had to wonder what the hell he’d be doing for the rest of the season and who he’d be doing it with. Well, wonder no longer because he’s doing what he’s been doing and that’s scoring mad points y’all! I said trade him if you can when Tavares went down and at this point I still stand by that, but I assumed he’d dip below a point-per-game pace at best, not flirt with maintaining it. His new look like wouldn’t raise any eyebrows on paper, but on the ice it seems there’s some serious chemistry between Okie, rookie Anders Lee (1 G, 1 A, 1 SOG, +1) and veteran Frans Neilsen (1 G, 1 A, 2 SOG, +1) as they lead the way in a 7-4 whoopin’ of the Canucks. I mentioned Lee yesterday but he’s worth expanding on today because the kid just keeps on scoring, and if he’s going to spend time with Okie, that’s probably going to continue. The kid is big, mobile and fast for his size with a long reach, a big shot and a ton of grit n’ determination, Lee can also deliver some monster hits, works well along the boards and drives hard to the net. He knows how to score and does so often, don’t believe me? So far Lee has seven points in seven games played with five goals to his name. Playing with Okie and Frans is going to give him a real opportunity to keep that roll going, so grab him where you can for the playoffs! It’s guys like Lee on tears like this that win leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in the world o’ fantasy hockey last night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

With the fantasy season winding down it can be difficult to find value on the wire, but there are still a few gems to be had and they make all the difference come playoff time. Its not often that you win a league with the team you drafted and if you’re winning late in the season you’ve most likely littered your lineups with guys that, to start the season, you never would have considered. If you aren’t in the mindset right now, you aren’t serious about winning. So who is available on the wire this late in the season that can actually help? How about Anders Lee, Adam Henrique and Artem Anisimov? Lee has just six games under his belt this season for the Isles, but with lots of room to roam after a flurry of deals left Garth Snow’s roster wide open, Lee has taken advantage of his time with five points in six games so far. He’s young, so it’s hard to predict what he’ll do, especially for the Isles, but the big (6’2″ 210lbs) winger with a heavy shot and a nose for the next could offer up as many as 10 more goals and 15 more points for you going forward, and how many guys on the wire can you say that about right now? Not many, that’s how many. Adam Henrique is no mystery to anyone in the know, but his five goals over the past week are a surprise to most of us. Not you? Well, aren’t you special! Henrique has a whopping nine points over his last five games with a nine goal, six game goal scoring streak mixed in there. He might only have 38 points so far this season, but considering how well he’s been playing lately it should be easy enough for him to notch 12-15 more and finish in the mid-50s by season’s end. He’s owned in ~92% of ESPN leagues, but available in an alarming 68% of Yahoo leagues, so he’s out there if you need some scoring help, and who doesn’t? Last, and least, is Artem Anisimov who has been underwhelming for the entirety of his short, yawnstipating career, but recently earned himself the second star in the NHL player of the week honors by scoring the game winning goal in three straight games. His 19 goals so far this season are a career high and he’s probably good for another 10-12 points with a handful of goals sprinkled in before all is said and done. While there isn’t much out there, you have to take what you can get when guys like Pavel Datsyuk go down with injuries, and if you’re lucky, you can find one of these three to help fill the gap. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in the world o’ fantasy hockey yesterday:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This has to be one of the busiest deadline days that I’ve seen in a few years with 19 trades getting completed today and  32 deals going down since the Miller to St. Louis deal kicked everything off post Sochi. We saw ten goalies change hands, two captains trade places and guys like Vanek and Halak who were traded for the second time just this season! I went through the list and picked out what I thought which moves had the biggest fantasy impact and highlighted those. If you’re looking this over and think I missed a few, check out these posts from yesterday for more trade analysis;

Roberto Luongo Back To Panthers, Add Lack!

Ilya Bryzgalov To Wild, Fasth To Oilers, Penner To Caps

Ryan Miller To Blues For Halak, Stewart, Picks

Martin St. Louis (F-TB) for Ryan Callahan (F-NYR), 2014 conditional 2nd-round pick, 2015 1st-round pick

In what was perhaps the biggest deal of the day the Rangers and Bolts swapped captains moving two guys who had never played anywhere else, well, elsewhere! This move creates a few fantasy ripples and they tend to center around the return of goal scoring machine Steven Stamkos. When Stamkos broke his tibia a lot of folks though Marty’s production might slip at a bit and that’s a fair assumption to make, however, it didn’t happen. He has 61 points in 62 games with a plus-12 and 167 shots on goal and a shift to the Rangers isn’t going to slow him down either. The move could lead to a possible reunion on a line with Brad Richards, but considering how bleh Richards has been this season even St. Louis might not be able to snap him out of it. But fear not, St. Louis owners, there are plenty of places Alain Vigneault can slot in his new weapon and get the usual point-per-game production from him. Stamkos, on the other hand, may see a dip in production without Marty on his wing, and Cally isn’t going to be able to fill that gap, so expect a few fewer assists from Steve-o, but the goals should continue to pour in. In the end, both St. Louis and Stamkos are so good that their production will more or less stay the same, but Callahan becomes an intriguing option. Owned in just 44% of Yahoo leagues and ~84% of ESPN leagues, if Cally ends up playing alongside Stamkos he’s going to see a scoring boost for sure. He isn’t without offensive ability, but everyone knows he’s a grinder more than anything else. If he’s out there in your league and you need a scoring boost, you could get that on the cheap from Callahan. Anyway, here’s the rest of the deals that I thought would make a splash in the world o’ fantasy hockey:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

At the end of the 2011-2012 season Roberto Luongo demanded a trade out of Vancouver and made it quite clear he wanted to go back home to Florida. The Panthers initially balked at the idea due to his sizable contract, but the Canucks kept trying to make it work and finally shipped him back to South Florida today for top goaltending prospect Jacob Markstrom and a player yet to be named. Aw, it’s a dream come true for Lu! He goes from a team that was playoff bound to a team that’s bound for golfing and watching the playoffs at the bar. Maybe he just doesn’t want to work that hard? Who knows. What I do know is  now that he’s headed down to Florida it will relegate Tim Thomas to the bench and I can’t be the only one who is pumped to see that. Regardless of being the undisputed starter for the Panthers Lu’s value takes a pretty sizable hit here as the Panthers aren’t much different than they were when he was traded a few years ago. He’ll go back to getting peppered every night by opposing teams and struggling to keep his peripherals in the healthy ranges and wins? Hah, don’t get me started there, you can expect his wins to fall right off the table. This might make Lu very, very happy, but it makes his fantasy owners cry in their beers. If you own Lu or Thomas, go grab Eddie Lack right this moment as he becomes the de-facto starter for the Canucks. Lack is owned in just ~34% of ESPN leagues and 21% of Yahoo Leagues so you can bet he’s going to be one of the hottest wire grabs down the stretch. So go go go! Add add add!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Oilers started the season with Devan Dubnyk and Jason LaBarbera in net and that didn’t work out so well, so GM Craig MacTavish signed Ilya Bryzgalov for the reminder of the sesaon, shipped Dubs off to the Preds, traded HannaBarbera to the Hawks for “future considerations” and traded for Ben Scrivens. After letting the dust settle a bit, Scribbles bubbled up to become the Oil’s starter and that didn’t sit too well with Breezy. With fears that he wouldn’t resign in the offseason mounting MacTavish assured his tenure with the team was rather short and shipped him off to the Wild for a fourth round pick. Hey, it’s better than nothing, right? Wrong! The Ducks quickly turned that fourth-round pick around for the Stars’ Stephane Robidas. Robidas has no fantasy value and that doesn’t change here, so back to the matter at hand. Considering how well Darcy Kuemper has been playing I’d be surprised to see Breezy supplant him as the Wild’s starter, but it may quickly develop into a 1A / 1B situation. If you’re dying for goaltending help and Breezy is available, he’s worth a speculative flier add, but don’t expect much until the situation with him and Kuemper becomes a bit more salient. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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