We’re down to the final week of the season and most leagues have already been decided, but for those of you in leagues who are still fighting it out to the last puck drop, I’ll keep posting my daily roundups to keep you informed. Though I only took over Razzball Hockey halfway through the season I have to say I’ve enjoyed writing every word and I hope that I’ve been able to help shepherd a few of you to success this season. If not, well, I only take credit when you win, so don’t come knocking with all that sadface “I lost!” nonsense! Seriously though, it has been and I hope will continue to be a blast. Now then, for those of you still on the hunt for a title, how can we help? Patrik Hornqvist (2 G, 1 A, 4 SOG, 2 PIM, +3) might be an option! To hell with might, he’s the best option you’ve got this late. Even if it wasn’t this late, the way he’s been playing over the last two-three weeks has been unbelievable. I didn’t mention him because there were other, hotter, better bets to ride to a title but I guess I can’t deny it anymore. Horny has posted a whopping 10 points in his last five games with no signs of slowing down. Granted, no signs means squat because this kind of play is way above Hornqvist’s head, but while he’s scoring like there’s no tomorrow, you should add him, because in a few days there’s going to be no tomorrow! At least for fantasy hockey leagues this season, that is. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in the world o’ fantasy hockey this weekend:
Brandon Pirri (1 G, 1 A, 2 SOG, +2) was high on my list of potential superstar material over the next few seasons when he was in Chicago. Then he was traded to the Panthers and I was all “Aw.” A powerful reaction, I know. Perhaps my “Aw” was a bit premature because he’s actually settled in pretty nicely in the hockey hell o’ south Florida putting up 12 points in 18 games so far. To put that into perspective, he scored 11 points in 28 games for the Hawks before getting dealt. The moral of the story is TOI is pretty important. He was averaging around 12 minutes a game for the Hawks, he’s up to just over 14 minutes a game with the Cats. What’s that I hear? I think it’s my “Aw” turning into a “Aw hell yeah!”
Taylor Hall (1 G, 2 A, 3 SOG, +2) continues to be one of the few bright spots for Oilers faithful with nine points in his last four games. He’s going to finish with 80 points or so and a minus-14. Can you imagine what this kid could do in, say, Detroit or New York? I had to hesitate when I wrote that last line because when you stop and think about the amount of pure talent the Oil have on their roster it’s kind of mind boggling that they remain so dismal a team on whole.
Brayden Schenn (2 G, 5 SOG, +1) is about to break out, no not this year, but next. He has steadily improved year after year since joining the league four seasons ago and I see no reason why he can’t take the final step forward next year and become a top-six, 70-point forward.
Mark Streit (3 A, 1 SOG, +2) has four assists in his last two games, mostly fueled by this game, obviously. I owned Streit for a stretch in a league I won. Then I dropped him. Then I added him again. Then I dropped him again. I found him on the wire in various leagues despite the fact that he’s going to finish the season north of 40 points from the blue line. How is it that a guy known for being a fairly steady, elite scoring fantasy defenseman gets so little love? Is it the Philly thing, or do people still think he plays for the Isles?
Boone Jenner (1 G, 1 A, 3 SOG, +1) is the result of some experiment gone horribly wrong when league scientists tried to use DNA from Bruce Jenner and Brett Boone to create this guy. That probably explains this confused look on his face.
Jordan Eberle (1 G, 1 A, 3 SOG, +2) has eight points in his last four games, so that’s nice. He still plays for the Oilers, so that’s not very nice. Again, how the eff is this team so bad with guys this good? The list doesn’t stop after Taylor Hall and Eberle, either.
Brandon Sutter (2 G, 3 SOG, +1) joins the list of guys who score for the Pens adding further credence to my theory that even a corpse could manage to score for the Pens or the Hawks. Looking at the rest of his season before this, it seems he was already dead before they signed him. Hmn.
Jeremy Morin (1 G, 1 A, 2 SOG, +2) has points in three straight games because he plays for the Blackhawks.
Justin Schultz (1 G, 1 A, 2 SOG, even, 2 PIM) joins the list of guys on the Oilers that make you stop, look at their record, and wonder “What the hell?!” I don’t know how you Oilers fans do it, honestly. At any rate, Schultzy eclipsed the 30-point barrier and tallied his 11th goal of the season last night in a 4-2 win over the Ducks. He’s already something special and he could be elite as early as next season. Something tells me he has another really solid, but not spectacular year next season. He’s no-brainer keeper and probably a top-20 defenseman next year regardless.
Cody Hodgson (1 G, 1 A, 4 SOG, even) isn’t flashy, isn’t fast and frankly is all together yawnstipating, but you know what he is? Safe. Hodgson is a solid two-way forward that’s going to give you something like 60-70 points every season. How do I know this? Because I’m the ‘pert here, don’t ask so many questions! But seriously, he’s been bit by the injury bug a little too often for my taste, but the top-six talent is there. He has to take a step forward in the next few seasons or he’s going to miss the boat, though.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (1 A, 4 SOG, +2) is another one of those Oilers. See what I’m saying? So much talent, so few wins. Is there something in the water up there?
Brandon Dubinsky (2 A, 3 SOG, even) has five points in his last four doing everything he can to get his team into the post season. I don’t know that it’s going to happen, but the Jackets are looking like a half-decent hockey team this year, right? With Sergei Bobrovsky is net and guys like Dubs to lead the way; they’re just a superstar scoring forward or two away from being a perennial playoff team. You know who might fit really well with them? Rick Nash!
Ryan O’Reilly (1 G, 6 SOG, +1) sticks with his yoga and man has it paid off. He has three points in his last three games and 64 points in 76 games this season? I’d buy that for a dollar! Hmn, perhaps the Oilers should start doing yoga.
Sean Bergenheim (1 G, 3 SOG, +1, 4 PIM) will always be a 30-point guy. That’d be great if he played defense, but he does not. So it is not.
Vincent Lecavalier (1 G, 1 A, 2 SOG, even) should probably retire now.
Bobby Butler (1 A, 3 SOG, +2) is the hockey-playing brother of Kansas City Royals first baseman Billy Butler! No, not realy, but wouldn’t that be great? I think so. Who the eff is Bobby Butler, anyway? He’s one of those guys getting garbage time in the last few games of the season because the Cats see something there, a tiny something that maybe might be nurtured into an NHL level player, but they don’t want to risk deploying him until they had no chance to make the playoffs. Hmn, seems like they should have put him out there in December by that logic.
Zac Rinaldo (1 G, 2 SOG, +2, 16 PIM) is not the hockey-playing brother of Cristiano Ronaldo, though I was tempted to say so. 16 PIM though, eh?
Patrick Sharp (1 G, 6 SOG, even, 2 PIM) doesn’t seem to care that Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews are out at all, apparently. Sharp continues his stellar season with five more points in his last five games, tons o’ shots on zee goal and mad goals that come from dem shots! It’s a simple recipe for success, but it works. You know what they say; Keep It Simple, Stupid.
Roberto Luongo (2 GA, 35 SV, W) has been pretty stellar since getting moved to the Cats posting a 2.53/.923 split with his peripherals. That 2.50+ GAA is a bit meh, but his SV% looks great. His record is, of course, under .500 at 5-6-0 over that span. That’s what Lu will give you for what I assume is the rest of his career, so keep that in mind when you draft him next season. If you think you’ll forget, don’t worry, I’ll remind you repeatedly leading up to next season.
Viktor Fasth (2 GA, 34 SV, W) hasn’t really looked very good this season but he was playing hurt, so there’s that. It’s hard to tell what Fasth is going to be able to do for fantasy owners because he was a Duck before getting shipped to the Oil, so that will skew his stats a bit to start, but when you account for the fact that he played his only healthy hockey during the lockout shortened 2012-13 campaign, it becomes even more difficult to judge. We’ll have to wait and see what he offers next season, but with Ben Scrivens firmly in control of the Edmonton crease for the foreseeable future, I assume Fasth remains a backup, but not nearly as valuable as he once was.
Jakub Voracek (1 A, 4 SOG, +1) ended up having two really good months (December – 15 points in 14 games) and March (16 points in 14 games) and otherwise? That’s nothing to write home about, or on this blog about, for that matter. Voracek is incredibly talented but for some reason it didn’t quite click for him this season. What I hope happens is next season people are down on Voracek, his ADP dips and I’m able to draft him everywhere on the cheap. Hope with me now, people. Are you hoping yet? Hope harder.
Jonas Hiller (3 GA, 24 SV, L) has lost three straight games and hasn’t looked good doing it either. Yes, you can look good losing, but even when he has won games lately, he’s looking pretty rough. Frederik Andersen on the other hand is looking stronger and stronger. Frankly, given Jonas’ injury history, I figure we’re about a season away from Andersen taking over the Ducks’ crease completely. By now they must realize they can trade Hiller now and get a decent return and deploy Andersen with faith that he’ll do the job well. You read it here first, folks!
Tyson Barrie (1 A, 4 SOG, +1) has three points in his last four games and 35 points in just 61 games so far this season. If that was 82 games, he’d be looking at around 50 points, a marker I firmly believe he can get within a stone’s throw of by this point next season. I’ve watched Barrie in a few games over the last few weeks and he is freakin’ everywhere when he’s on the ice. I love this kid with a capital L, even though I only used a lowercase l there; it’s proper grammar! Don’t hate!
James Wisniewski (1 A, 2 SOG, +1, 2 PIM) has become now what Barrie should be next year, a 50-point blue liner. Technically speaking The Wiz is still one point shy of that coveted 50-point marker, but is there any doubt he’ll hit that? Only if you’re cray cray; he’s tallied five points in his five with points in three straight as he tries to lead the Jackets to the post season. So the guy is a leader and a scorer? Sign me up every damn season, y’all!
Sergei Bobrovsky (0 GA, 31 SV, W) has alternated between shutouts and blech performances for the last four games, but I guess if every other game is a shutout that’s pretty damn solid. Seriously though, Bobrovsky is stepping up like a lot of guys on the Jackets right now and he’s a no-brainer start for the next three games. There is no one else they’ll put out there right now, so if you own Bobrovsky just plop him into a starting slot and leave him there.
Marc-Andre Fleury (2 GA, 39 SV, W) wins so often and plays so well I rarely mention him. I only mentioned him now to mention that I only mention him rarely because he wins so often and plays so well. Savvy? No? Good.
Brian Elliott (3 GA, 31 SV, L) lost because I picked him up for the spot start thinking the Blues are awesome, Elliot is awesome and the Hawks were so riddled with injuries they’d probably phone it in. Yeah, not so much. Doesn’t matter, I still won that league, but come on!
Corey Crawford (2 GA, 21 SV, W) I benched thinking he would cough up more than three to the dominant Blues, and instead added Elliott. That went well.
Steve Mason (2 GA, 17 SV, W) let in two goals on 19 shots. He won, but he let in two goals on 19 freakin’ shots! I’d say the Blue Jackets got the better end of the Mason/Bobrovsky swap last year, don’t you? Of course you do!