Paul Stastny (2 G, 2 A, 4 SOG, +2) had his best game since, well, as long as I can remember last night with four points on four shots. Not since he last spent time centering the RPM line with Milan Hejduk and Ryan Smyth has he looked so good. When Stas burst onto the scene back in ’06 he convinced the fantasy hockey world that he’d be as good as gold posting 78 and 71 points in his first two seasons, respectively. He was rolling on into his third year when he broke his forearm, had surgery, recovered, and then returned only to break his foot and need to get that surgically repaired too. Showing real grit and a heaping load o’ talent, he came right back the next year with 79 points in 81 games and made you think injuries? What injuries? He’s good to go! Sadly since then, not so much. Despite staying healthy he wasn’t able to breach the 60 point mark in each of his last two seasons, finishing with 57 and 53 points, respectively. And then came last season, the lockout shortened season. It’s hard to use last year as any sort of metric because of the wild amount of variables you can’t account for like how hard a guy worked out in the offseason, who he trained with, if he played overseas, the list goes on. Still, when you take Stas’ 40 GP last year and project out over 80 games he was on pace to score just 48 points, a career low. Effin’ eh, what happened?! Nothing much between this season and last considering this four point explosion comes on the heels of a nine game scoreless skid. He’s on pace to break that seemingly elusive 60 point mark this season and normally at this point I’d say don’t count on it, but with as good as the Avs are this season and as good as Stas once was, he might well make it. If not, he could always get Hejduk out of retirement and get the Avs to trade for Smyth, right? Anyway, here’s what else I saw in fantasy hockey yesterday:
Evander Kane (1 G, 1 A, 6 SOG, +2) is alive, is healthy, is active and scoring too! In his first game back from yet another injury Evander score the game-winning goal and spent 18:46 on the ice. Great signs if you were hoping for a 30 goal season from him, he’s a great buy low candidate but the window is closing fast.
Marc-Andre Fleury (1 GA, 25 SV, W) just keeps on winning and is on pace for 50 wins in 76 starts. Someone’s going to need a few dozen red bulls to get through the playoffs, methinks.
Semyon Varlamov (2 GA, 31 SV, W) has been back to normal since getting smoked for eight goals by the Oil back on Dec. 5th winning two of his last three.
Matt Duchene (2 A, 7 SOG, +2, 2 PIM) continues to have his best season yet. He really came into his own last year and he’s carrying that success through this season so far.
Robin Lehner (2 GA, 30 SV, W) broke a personal six game losing streak dating all the way back to November 24th with a 3-2 OT victory over the Blues. Lehner hasn’t been particularly bad in any of the games, never allowing more than three goals. His season line sits at 5-7-3/2.38/.930/4 in 17 games played, four of which were in relief of Craig Anderson, one of which occurred last Saturday when Anderson let in two goals on four shots and lasted a whopping 4:18 into the 1st before getting yanked. Maybe Robin should start bribing the coaching staff?
Bobby Ryan (1 G, 1 A, 5 SOG, +2) continues to indulge his OCD and keeps his counting stats at perfect parity with 16 goals and 16 assists. He’s a horse, no doubt about it and he’s really clicking with…
Kyle Turris (1 A, 3 SOG, +2) seems to love playing with Bobby Ryan, and who wouldn’t? Turris is racking up the assists and it’s Ryan who keeps putting them home. I know he’s only on pace for 63 points, but allowing him to sit on the wire in 30% of Yahoo! Leagues is nonsense.
P.A. Parenteau (3 A, 1 SOG, +2) snapped a four game skid after scoring goals in two consecutive games which broke his previous four game skid. Start him next game and you’ll get a point! After that, who knows? He actually has some value this year, but it’s mostly because the Avs are scoring three goals a game.
Nathan MacKinnon (1 G, 7 SOG, +2) scored again. So, pick him up in dem’ keeper leagues, yes? Yes.
Chris Stewart (2 G, 3 SOG, +1, 2 PIM) also scored again, but he did it twice adding two more goals giving him goals in three straight games, four total over that span. Stewart has the ability to score 35 goals and yet he’s only on pace for 23, meh. You had to think being on the Avs this season would have gotten him going by now, maybe it has? I’d stream him while he’s scoring and so should you.
Cody Ceci (1 G, 3 SOG, +2) is yet another young blueliner worth keeping an eye on. He scored the game winner last night, his first NHL goal. Nice, nice. Ceci showed himself to be a more than capable defenseman in the AHL and he’s getting decent time on the man-advantage for the Sens. His game still leans more on the defensive side of the puck, but there is offensive upside there worth your attention. He’s worth a flier in deep leagues and should be owned in most keepers.
Mark Scheifele (1 G, 4 SOG, +2, 2 PIM) has points in three straight and three of his last four, but really isn’t worth owning. Still, this was a solid overall game and his beast of the season so far.
Tyler Seguin (1 G, 1 A, 4 SOG, even) now has 10 points in his last five, six of which came in the last two games. Think the Bs are regretting that deal yet?
Jonathan Bernier (2 GA, 28 SV, L) slowly deteriorates as the season goes by. He’s actually facing a normal amount of shots since getting peppered with 50 back on Dec. 5th, a game he won against Dallas 3-2 in OT. Despite that, he’s won just 2 of his last ten starts and now sits under .500 at 10-11-2.
Michael Frolik (1 A, 3 SOG, +2) is a continual disappointment.
Fedor Tyutin (1 G, 2 SOG, +2, 2 PIM) is also continually disappointing, and moreso than Frolik because somewhere down the line someone expected something more than 25 points a season out of this guy.
Derek Roy (2 A, +1, 2 PIM) extended his points stream to four games with a few more helpers. Roy is enjoying a resurgence in St. Louis, the same kind of thing I hoped Chris Stewart might do in Colorado this season. Roy has always been talented, but the Sabres fell the hell apart fast and he has struggled to return to form since he tore a tendon in his quad back in 2010. He’s owned in just 25% of Yahoo! Leagues and 24.5% of ESPN Leagues, so he’s out there if you need a scoring boost.
Brian Dumoulin (1 A, 1 SOG, +2, 2 PIM) has been projected as a top-four defenseman and he’s been showing why at every level of competition so far in his career. In his last season in college he was easily one of the best defenseman in college hockey putting up 29 points in 44 games with a plus-27. He was central to BC’s Frozen Four win that year and with the strength, size and speed necessary to succeed at the NHL level, you can expect more of the same from him on a team like the Pens.
Erik Johnson (1 G, 5 SOG, even) is a former first overall pick for the Blues that, after starting his career strong with 33 and 39 points respectively, has flopped hard since. He doesn’t look like he’s returning to his rookie season form this year, either, so don’t get too excited.
Gabriel Landeskog (1 A, 3 SOG, +1) remains on pace to have a better season than he did in his rookie year, but not by much. He’s still a must own basically everywhere because of his upside.
Mike McKenna (3 GA, 29 SV, L) lost filling in for the injured, but day-today Curtis McElhinney who was filling in for the injured Sergei Bobrovsky. That’s pretty much all there is to say about McKenna, so take that for what it’s worth.
Brian Elliot (3 GA, 29 SV, L) has begun to show why the Blues are defaulting to Jaroslav Halak more often than not. Putting aside Elliot’s ridiculous 2011-12 campaign, he’s been a mediocre netminder at best.