When the Ducks dealt Bobby Ryan to the Senators everyone wondered just what they were getting back in Jakob Silfverberg (1 G, 3 SOG, +1), the key player in the deal for the Ducks. Well, if last night’s return to action after missing 24 games with a broken hand is any indication, they might have something special. Jacke (swedish nickname for Jakob, just an FYI) scored a goal and picked up right where he left off back in October when he was matching Ryan point for point through most of the first month of the season. He wasn’t keeping that beautifully OCD parity with his goals and assists that Bobby likes to maintain, but despite missing those 24 games he’s on pace for as many goals. I guess he figures he needs to score a goal for every game he misses? What a work ethic on this kid! So what can he do for the rest of the year? It remains to be seen whether or not he pans out into a top-six forward or not, but he’s absolutely worth a flier in most leagues because the boy loves to score some goals and we love guys who love scoring goals. Jacke is mature for his age, strong, smart and a great skater with a solid set of technical skills. He has a nose for the net, as I’ve mentioned, but his shot lacks a bit of accuracy at this point in his young career. Still, he’s an immensely talented young player and worth a flier in most leagues. That’s the second time I’ve said so in this paragraph alone, so go get him! Anyway, here’s what else I saw in fantasy hockey last night:
Martin Jones (0 GA, 24 SV, W) continues his ridiculous play with another shutout giving him three shutouts in his last five starts! He’s completely supplanted Ben Scrivens in net, at least until he starts to falter and they go back to Scrivens who will then lose his job to Jon Quick when healthy. Until then, though, always ride the hot hand!
Max Pacioretty (2 G, 1 A, 6 SOG, +1, 2 PIM) actually added an assist to goal with his goals this time. Aw, Max is learning to share!
Tuukka Rask (0 GA, 21 SV, W) is getting a little peeved about all these upstart young netminders posting ridiculous numbers with small sample sizes. Tuukka “quietly” remains the best goalie in the league with a season line of 17-8-2/1.90/.934/3 in 27 starts for the Bs. And that’s how it’s done.
Scott Clemmensen (1 GA, 28 SV, W) is going to make the Florida Panthers’ coaching staff give serious consideration to running him out there over Tim Thomas more often than not if he keeps playing like this.
Antti Raanta (1 GA, 27 SV, W) just won’t stop winning, but then it’s easy if you play for the Hawks.
Carey Price (1 GA, 26 SV, W) also knows a thing or two about tending net.
Ilya Bryzgalov (2 GA, 37 SV, L) took a tough loss to the Kings yesterday facing 39 shots and pushing 37 away. Breezy was robbed by a stifling Kings D that gave the Oil no room to work.
Ben Bishop (2 GA, 32 SV, W) has largely forgotten how to lose, apparently. This win makes three straight and four of the last five.
Zdeno Chara (2 G, 5 SOG, even) is looking like his career is winding down, but still manages to stay fantasy relevant providing all the offense the Bs needed to win behind Tuukka Rask’s shutout. The big fella is on pace for 36 points, and that’d be good if it was just about anyone but Chara who generally hovers in the mid-40s. Is he done? No, but the decline has begun.
Duncan Keith (1 G, 1 A, 6 SOG, +1) scored a goal, stop the presses! Do we even have presses anymore? Meh.
Andrew Cogliano (3 A, 1 SOG, +2) remains streaky and only valuable in very deep leagues. Still, he’s showing the promise he once had as a first round pick for the Oil with 20 points in 36 games so far. That doesn’t sound very good until you compare it to the rest of his career; his career high of 45 points came in his rookie season back in 2008.
Josh Harding (2 GA, 29 SV, W) now sports a season line of 18-5-3/1.51/.939/3 and those aren’t typos. He still leads the league in GAA and should compete for the Vezina if he stays healthy the rest of the way.
Evgeni Nabokov (2 GA, 34 SV, L) was doing pretty well pushing aside every shot he faced until the final 2:53 when the Bolts quickly potted two to tie it up. The Isles and Nabokov survived OT, but then Nabby allowed two straight shootout goals to give the game away. When asked about last night’s game John Tavares had this to say “It’s unbelievable, we really have to play that perfect game right now.” You have to feel for the guy. The moment he gets the chance to leave the Isles, I hope he takes it.
Matt Irwin (1 G, 1 A, 4 SOG, +2) has points in three straight and four of his last five, but remains largely fantasy irrelevant. If he continues to produce he’ll quickly garner our attention, but for now, meh.
Sean Bergenheim (1 G, 1 A, 4 SOG, +1) makes me sad that I keep finding stuff to say about Panthers. Bergs relies on his speed, which is considerable, to find his way to goal scoring opportunities but he needs help, and there isn’t much of that in South Florida.
Matt Duchene (1 G, 1 A, 4 SOG, +1) remains on pace for 40 goals, which I still can’t buy.
Ray Whitney (2 G, 3 SOG, +1) has to be the oldest active player in the NHL, seriously. He’s totally fantasy irrelevant, on pace for just 40ish points, but in his 21st season how can you blame the guy? He posted 77 points in 82 games just two years ago at age 40. I’m not even mad, that’s amazing!
Matt Read (1 G, 1 A, 4 SOG, +1) looks like he’s going to be around a 40-50 point guy, but there’s enough upside there to think he might be more of a 60 point player when he has more time to develop under his belt.
Valtteri Filppula (2 G, 4 SOG, +1) is not living up to the Red Wings pedigree that Jiri Hudler is. I think Steve Yzerman makes for a great front-office mind to have on your club, but good God man why give Flip 5 million a year? It’s making that Hudler deal at 4 million per look like a bargain. Well, not really.
Brent Burns (1 G, 4 SOG, +2) proves that men with beards are superior in most ways. This is an undeniable fact of life. He’s on pace for his best season yet with 53 points but the real story is found in his goal scoring; he’s slated to pot 30 this season if he keeps this pace up.
Mark Scheifele (2 G, 3 SOG, +1) extended his points streak to four games with a few more goals, giving him three in the last two games. I briefly touched on him yesterday; I really don’t think he’s anything special, but if a guy is scoring he’s worth streaming, so there’s that.
Jakub Voracek (2 G, 4 SOG, even) looks like he’s finally broken out of his season long slump and now has points in his last five games, almost all of which are goals (5). The Flyers have been a disappointment from top to bottom this season, save Steve Mason (no pun intended), but it looks like some of their key guys are starting to turn things around.
Matt Moulson (1 G, 5 SOG, even) has goals in two games now and I’m not sure if he was better off with the Isles or on the Sabres, frankly. Obviously when you have Tavares centering your line you’re in for some quality chances, but Matty has moved on to Buffalo and continues to score on his own. His point total will be lower than we hoped for sans Tavares, but he’s still fighting for a 30 goal season. I’d buy that for a dollar!
Aleksander Barkov (2 A, +2) sure is a talented young defenseman, I wonder if any fantasy experts have been touting his abilities and recommending you grab him? Who, me? Just in keeper leagues? Well, he might be worth grabbing in standard formats now, too. Remember, he’s young, and he plays for the Panthers, so expect some ups and downs.
Jonas Gustvasson (3 GA, 8 SV, L) got bombed by the Ducks and run out of the game in the first period. Speaking of ups and freakin’ downs, it looks like the Monster might be squandering his chance to make a mark and steal more starts from Jimmy Howard when he returns from injury in a few weeks. We’ll chock this up to the Ducks being the Ducks, but this is also Gustavsson’s fourth straight loss. Don’t expect Petr Mrazek to get more starts than the Monster moving forward unless he pulls a Martin Jones.
Petr Mrazek (2 GA, 17 SV, L) did not pull a Martin Jones when given the chance. Man, the Wings are hurting right now.
Carter Hutton (3 GA, 24 SV, L) was doing well in his last few starts filling in for the sickly Marek Mazanec who was pretty lousy leading up to his getting sick anyway. This situation is pretty ugly until Pekka Rinne gets back from his hip infection and I can’t endorse any of them at this point. Run away!
Ryan Miller (2 GA, 25 SV, W) actually won a game, holy hell! That brings his record to 7-17-0. Wow, that’s ugly. His GAA/SV% sit at 2.87/.921 so you have to figure if he gets traded to a halfway decent team, his numbers will quickly and dramatically improve. If he gets traded. Ted Nolan is still waxing poetic about “building around” Miller. Ugh.