Beau Bennett (1 A, 2 SOG, +2) is an intriguing option that many folks have likely long forgotten. Once upon a time Bennett was slated to start the season on the second line with Evgeni Malkin and everyone’s favorite player James Neal. Say what you will about Neal (I do!) but that was a choice place to land for the youngster who had everything to prove and the skills to do it. Well, he broke his damn hand, or his wrist, or some such nonsense that kept him out for most of this season and now he’s back, healthy, and has the space to play. Malkin’s down, so he won’t be playing along side the big Russian, but Bennett has points in three of his last four games with two goals mixed in for flavor. He’s only seeing around 12-13 minutes of TOI right now, but that’s enough for him to leave a mark and considering the Pens have locked up their playoff spot, I don’t see any reason they won’t let Bennett roam freely over the next week or two to get him up to speed for the post season party. All that adds up to him being a pretty viable scoring option for those in need whilst chasing those sweet sweet league championships. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in the world o’ fantasy hockey this weekend:

Word has it that the Bs are going to be resting their stars going forward for obvious reasons. So, as a blanket warning, if you own any big name Bs, expect them to be sitting at least a game or two this week.

Matt Duchene is on the shelf for “roughly” four weeks after he was injured in a collision with teammate Jamie McGinn. Duchene finally came in to his own this year and was a great value pick given his ADP, but those in yearly leagues should feel free to drop him.

Jonathan Toews is day-to-day after Brooks Orpik leveled him yesterday as the Pens downed the Hawks 4-1. It was a chase for a loose puck and Toews lost the battle and the war. He was seen holding his left arm on the bench before slowly heading back to the locker room. Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said he doesn’t think the injury is serious, but you have to assume the Hawks will play it safe with Toews.

Jason Spezza will not play tonight due to a lower-body injury he suffered over the weekend. Word has it this move is just precautionary, so he’s considered day-to-day. Those in weekly lineups can expect he’ll get a game or two in, but if you have stronger options at C this week, you might want to consider going with them over a wounded Spezza.

Mike Smith is going to be out for at least another week with his recent LBI, so Thomas Greiss is the guy to own between the pipes for the ‘yotes for basically the rest of the season.

Roberto Luongo is not going to join the Cats on their next road trip while he nurses an upper-body injury. He’s day-to-day but do the Cats have any reason to risk his health and rush him back? No, no they do not. If you were relying on Lu to this point you’re probably out of the playoffs by now, but if your team managed to survive this long, don’t expect much of anything from him moving forward.

Kimmo Timonen (1 G, 1 A, 5 SOG, +2) had a great game but he was also injured and will likely miss Tuesday’s game against the Blues. He’s questionable, so he might play, but I doubt it. Welp! Time to retire, Kimmo.

Tuukka Rask (3 GA, 49 SV, W) will likely sit the next game or two in favor of Chad Johnson as the Bs rest their people for their Stanley cup run. If you own Rask Chad Johnson is a necessary handcuff for the rest of the season. Even if you don’t own Rask, add Johnson if you can!

Cam Talbot (0 GA, 26 SV, W) will likely get the easy games like this one vs. the Oilers while Henrik Lundqvist handles the heavy lifting as the Rangers speed towards locking up a playoff spot in the east. Talbot is as good as Boston’s Chad Johnson and would be worth about the same if the Rangers clinched already, but they like to keep it interesting. Like Rask/Johnson, if you can afford the room, a Talbot/Lundqvist handcuff is advisable for Hank owners this week.

Mats Zuccarello (2 G, 1 A, 3 SOG, +2) was out injured for a while and tends to score in fits and spurts and last night was a spurt! That sounds sexual and I had absolutely no intention that happening, but c’est le vie! This might be the start of something for Zucc, maybe he’s pissed that Sather traded for Martin St. Louis and he’s out to prove there’s only room for one mini-man on Broadway! He’s owned in ~88% of ESPN leagues but up or grabs in Yahoo where he’s owned in just 32% of leagues there.

Sidney Crosby (2 G, 8 SOG, +3) should share some of his points with Marty St. Louis. He could use them. 

Kyle Turris (2 G, 1 A, 3 SOG, +3) has really come on lately with seven points in his last four games and I have to say I didn’t expect it. The entire Sens team seems to be in a rapid decline and with a recent injury to Bobby Ryan, there was definitely space that needed filling with points and I didn’t think Turris was capable or willing to step up; boy I was wrong.

Vincent Lecavalier (2 G, 9 SOG, +2) scored the two goals that Claude Giroux was supposed to score. Shame on you, Vinny! Shaaaaaame!

Derek Stepan (3 A, 2 SOG, +3) hasn’t quite panned out like most hoped he would, which was at around a point-per-game, but he’s definitely salvaging his season over the last month with 18 points in his last 20 games. The Rangers are rolling and Stepan should remain a decent source o’ points for your title run.

Patric Hornqvist (2 G, 5 SOG, +2, 2 PIM) wasn’t done squat for most of the season but he’s scoring now and that’s all that matters. He tallied another two goals last night pushing his points streak to five games, he has eight points over that span. He’s also rockin’ 12 in his last 15, so now that it’s do or die time, if you’re getting bit by the injury bug, or the Bs resting their peeps bug, then you could do worse than Hornqvist as a replacement.

Rick Nash (2 G, 4 SOG, +2) is a bust no matter what he does, but concussions have a way of robbing guys of a lot more than just a few games on the ice. He went off and scored 11 goals in 15 January games but otherwise has been quiet in the second half, but at least somewhat louder than the first. I’m pretty confident that he’ll bounce back next year when he gets 70-75 healthy games in; he still has the ability to score 40 goals. 

Clarke MacArthur (1 G, 1 A, 2 SOG, +3) was all the rage in the early goings then he fell out o’ style when he regressed a bit. Well, he’s all the rage again with six points in his last three games. He seems to have good chemistry with Kyle Turris, and they’re both worth owning right now. You know why? Because it’s the last few games of the season and anyone scoring with any consistency is an option.

David Legwand (1 G, 1 A, 6 SOG, even) has nine points in 14 games since getting traded to the Red Wings and that’s mildly interesting to me. It quickly becomes less interesting when you realize these two poinst snapped a four game drought, and that Legwand has been yawnstipating for years. There are a lot of options for scoring help on the Wings right now, but Legs isn’t really one of them.

Robin Lehner (3 GA, 37 SV, W) is alternating wins and losses over his last five but he has started to look steady and strong as he gets rolled out there night after night. Maybe, just maybe, the Sens are getting on board with Lehner now and next season he’ll get a much larger slice of the crease pie. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them start the year with a 1A/1B with Craig Anderson, only to see Lehner pull away as the season goes on. I can’t help myself with this kid, and over his last four he’s allowed no more than 3 goals despite facing a ton of shots (163). If you need goaltending help, you might consider risking a start with Lehner. But be careful with the matchups, eh?

Jonas Gustavsson (2 GA, 26 SV, W) looked solid starting over what has become the abysmal Jimmy Howard. The Wings are fighting for their playoff lives and it doesn’t look like Howard is going to be the solution for them right now, so they’re hoping the Monster can regain his early season form and carry them to the post season. I own both of these guys on one of my teams and what do you know, my goaltending is a mess. Yar. To be fair, the Monster has been fairly steady and solid when healthy; but often not very healthy. Sadface.

Milan Michalek (2 G, 6 SOG, even) hasn’t let me down after I recommended him as an add last week with three goals in his last two games. Need goals? Milan’s your man. Did the Senators get better when Bobby Ryan went down for the season or what? I wonder if Ryan is an Alex Rodriquez type. ARod was nicknamed “the cooler” by his former teammates in Texas for his ability to join a team and cool it right off. Ryan is starting to seem like he’s got that going for him, though maybe not to the degree that ARod does. Yeah yeah I’m mixing sports metaphors, but it is opening day for the MLB today, so we gotta give ‘em some love! 

Chris Kunitz (2 A, 1 SOG, +2) with a couple helpers but no gooooals and his quest for a 40-goal season will absolutely going to fall short. I don’t revel in being correct about his inability to get to 40 goals; I just revel in bing correct about his inability to get to 40 goals. 

Mike Fisher (2 A, 1 SOG, +2) now has five points in his last five after these helpers and like I said, if they’re scoring, they’re an option. Fisher is not someone I would generally advise adding, but points be points!

Troy Brouwer (2 G, 3 SOG, even) also has five points in his last five games, so there’s that.

James Neal (1 G, 4 SOG, +2) will also score, but will he always be a huge jackass? My sources say that’s likely. The Pens recently opened up some twitter “Ask a Penguin Anything” deal over at the Twitters and some of the questions directed at Neal were gold, Jerry! Gold! My favorite? “If you opened a bar how cheap would the shots be?” Classic.

Lee Stempniak (1 G, 1 SOG, +2) has a bit of a run there when he was traded to the Pens but that’s over. Points are points but one shot on one goal is more luck than anything else for Stempniak, so don’t look here for anything consistent. If you have him, and you start him, anything you get is a bonus.

Jakub Voracek (2 A, 1 SOG, +1) was going to be way undervalued in next year’s drafts and I was looking forward to that, but his second half surge has definitely sunk that ship before it even left port. Bah.

Mikael Backlund (1 A, 9 SOG, even) is the guy I always confuse for Mikael Granlund, and I really should stop doing that because Granlund is way more valuable than Backlund.

Steve Mason (3 GA, 27 SV, L) continues to make me look like I know what I’m talking about. Thanks, Steve! 

Jaroslav Halak (3 GA, 26 SV, L) will forthwith be known as the Halakness Monster! 

Corey Crawford (3 GA, 23 SV, L) coughed up three goals on 26 shots to a Malkin-less Pens team. I sat Crawdad because I don’t trust any goalie vs. the Pens, Malkin or not.


  1. goodfold2 says:
    (link) espn roto with deep stats granlund is actually ranked 91st center and backlund is 29th.
    i know your posts are about “standard” leagues (with only goals/assists/PPP and such), but it is striking how much better backlund is in deep leagues (faceoffs/hits/short handed pts/blocks worth a lot). After playing in one deep league for hockey i’ll never go back (deep stats, i’ll play shallow owners/rosters, but still like deep player pool too)
    2. thanks for yahoo’s “explanation” for positional requirements. it’s the usual yahoo b.s. they appear to “review, compile, and forward to our data provider”, yet also claim “Yahoo is not responsible for modifying position eligibility, we cannot speculate on future changes or comment on decisions concerning about individual players.” So even if one could actually talk to one of their tech guys about this it wouldn’t matter at all that Lee hasn’t yet played Center, but only Left wing, this season, while at the same time ONLY counting for center (the position he hasn’t once played), i’m sure he’d claim “hey we sent the data that Lee plays LW only” it isn’t our fault, since “our data provider determines that a player’s primary position has changed” is the only time it happens.
    Basically Lee never played center in the NHL, but since he hasn’t come off LW (and yahoo messed up calling him a center in the first place) it likely won’t be fixed till next year (at earliest)

    • JD

      JD says:

      I was basing my Grandlund/Backlund joke on a few bits. First, that Granlund has two more points in 11 fewer games than Backlund and second, Granlund is a rookie and has a much bigger upside than Backlund. As for deep stats, I play all types of leagues, but I do mainly write for the standard leagues because they are, well, standard, and the majority of fantasy managers play in those types of leagues, so I’m attempting to make my advice as useful to as many people as I can. That being said, short handed points are a waste because they’re fluky and unpredictable, it’s a category that’s 98% luck and 2% skill on the manager’s part. That tends to happen a lot with leagues that just load up on tons of categories, it kills the skill aspect more than it helps it because so many of the categories are almost impossible to accurately predict. Blocks, hits, faceoffs, these categories make sense. Game winning goals, short handed points and such are a waste of time.

      • goodfold2 says:

        @JD: i’ve gotten rid of GWG as part of those leagues, but short handed pts isn’t true crapshoot since you actually have to draft penalty killers.

        • JD

          JD says:

          @goodfold2: It might not be a TRUE crapshoot, but it’s like 98% crapshoot because despite the fact that you have to draft penalty killers, the short handed points are still fluky at best, the PKers last priority is trying to score, their first priority is to clear the zone. So if and when SHP are scored, it’s because someone royally screwed up on the team with the man advantage. In that regard, I can see where the skill comes in because you want to draft guys from teams that are going to see a lot of PK time to maximize your chances of getting SHP, but then that means you’re drafting Oilers penalty killers, and that might kill your plus/minus due to their bleh even strength play…

  2. Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:

    probably first time andersen’s had a bad start this year, right in time for playoffs. quick not doing great either. which of these for tomorrow (assume all play, i’ll figure that out tomorrow)
    greiss vs WIN (WIN coming off big game vs ANA, whether or not they win it, that’s a LONG flight)
    stalock vs EDM
    schneider @ BUF (however NJ coming off big home game tonight, so little tired)

    these are all good matchups, but i’m guessing Schneider gets the schneid since it’s road and back to back. hard to pick between greiss and stalock. of course if niemi plays answer seems easy.

    • JD

      JD says:

      Schneider is confirmed as the starter tonight and he’s a must start vs. the hapless Sabres. It looks as though Niemi is going to get the start for the Sharks tonight, but if he doesn’t, Stalock is second on your depth chart tonight with Greiss coming in a not-so-distant third.

      tl;dr – Schneider, Stalock (if he starts), Greiss in that order.

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