An MRI revealed that Corey Perry is out for three-to-four weeks with a sprained knee as of yesterday. The long-term injury is a rarity for the normally durable Perry whose absence will send ripples through the fantasy hockey pond of Anaheim. Perry was rolling with 14 goals so far this season and serves as a lynchpin to their offensive success on the top unit. The open slot on the top line for the Ducks has been a revolving door so far this season and a bunch of guys in the Ducks lineup have benefitted from stints there. Most recently Matt Beleskey was scoring like who, but his value now takes a dive as most of his recent goal scoring success was found while playing with Getz and Perry, so you can expect that to dry up for the time being. It might not be all bad news, though; Ryan Getzlaf practiced with Devante Smith-Pelly and Rene Bourque on Tuesday and played with Bourque in OT last night. The promotion makes Bourque a decent streaming option worth considering. In season’s past he’s gone on runs where he scores a bunch of goals before going ice cold and this seems like a good opportunity for him to do just that. If you’re looking for scoring help, he’s worth taking a flier on in deeper leagues. As for Devo, the promotion doesn’t do much to up his value considering he occupied that spot while Perry was healthy and didn’t do much worth note with it before Perry’s injury. For those who lost Perry, there is no consolation here. You can grab Bourque, but there are no guarantees and he’ll pale in comparison. All you can do is stream his spot and hope for the best, but it’s never easy to lose your first round pick for a month. My condolences to his owners, which isn’t me so booyah! Anyway, here’s what else I saw in the world o’ fantasy hockey yesterday:
Scott Darling, G (W, 22 SV, 2 GA, .917%) – After Antti Raanta won two straight games Darling has followed suit with two in a row of his own. Last night he pushed away 22 of 24 to beat the Devils in a shootout and looked solid all night long. It seems like the Hawks netminders will be splitting starts right down the middle until Corey Crawford heals up.
Keith Kinkaid, G (L, 37 SV, 2 GA, .949%) – Sweet Zombie Jesus someone other than Corey Schneider started for the Devils last night, and he was actually solid save for one weak goal he gave up to Bryan Bickell (1 G, 2 SOG, -1). If the kid can string together a few of these games in a row he might see a few more starts, but given how the Devils have handled their goalies so far, I would imagine Schneider will start the next 20 games in a row or some crazy shiz.
Duncan Keith, D (1 G, 4 SOG, +1) – Last night’s tally gives Keith six goals on the year in just 28 games putting him on pace for 18 goals by season’s end. That’s ridiculous for Keith who has only topped 10 goals twice in his career with 12 goals in ‘08-‘09 and 14 goals in ‘09-‘10. I figure he’ll probably end up in the 12-15 goal range, but you’ll take it and laugh all the way to the playoffs because if you own him, you definitely didn’t draft him for his finishing abilities.
Sergei Bobrovsky, G (W, 19 SV, 2 GA, .905%) – Last night’s victory pushes Bob’s win streak to four games now as he slowly works his peripherals back to respectable ranges. His GAA is still an unsightly 2.72, but his SV% is up .917% so that bodes well for his ability to keep pushing that GAA down further. Hell, now that the Jackets are getting healthy again they could be poised for a strong second half, and that means the wins will return as well.
Steve Mason, G (L, 21 SV, 3 GA, .875%) – There are no wins for Mason, and they won’t be coming back. Ever!
Brayden Schenn, C (2 G, 4 SOG, +1) – Schenn accounted for all the Flyers offense last night, and though their goalies and defense are bleh, Philly soars on offense so this says something. Schenn has five points in his last five games giving him 20 in 27 games so far. He’s on pace for nearly 30 goals and 60 points with 150+ shots on goal and around 200 hits. All that and peeps are complaining about his production so far this season? What did you expect? I own Schenn on a few teams and I’ve been quite pleased.
Scott Hartnell, LW (1 G, 2 SOG) – Scotty extends his point streak to three games with a goal last night, but he’s largely been yawnstipating so far this season. If the Jackets are going to get back on track he’s a key guy, so this is an encouraging sign. He’s on pace for around 50 points and I think that’s about right, though he could easily finish the season with fewer. The PIM and shots on goal are right where you’d hope for so far, too.
Boone Jenner, C (1 G, 5 SOG, -1) – Last night’s tally gives Jenner goals in four straight games now. He has 10 points in 16 games since starting the season late due to injury, but I wouldn’t get overly excited here as he’s not known for his scoring prowess. He is playing on the top line with Ryan Johansen (1 A, 2 SOG, +1) though, so while he’s up there and he’s scoring, he’s worth streaming in deeper leagues.
Jhonas Enroth, G (W, 34 SV, 1.000%, SHO) – Wow, props to the Sabres and Enroth for shutting the Kings down. It’s not like the Kings are an offensive juggernaut or anything, but the Sabres are really terrible so this has to boost some confidence levels in the Buffalo locker room. It’s not all doom and gloom, but despite the strong performance I still can’t recommend owning Sabres goalies. Yeah, this was good, but he could easily get bombed for 5 goals on 45 shots next game.
Tyler Ennis, LW (1 G, 2 SOG) – Ennis is actually pretty talented and could end up being a key piece to their rebuilding efforts. If the Sabres do win the McJesus sweepstakes and make a few key moves over the next year or so, Ennis will quickly become a sleeper. Not yet, though.
Jonathan Bernier, G (W, 32 SV, 1 GA, .970%) – That’s two in a row for Bernie after he was smacked around by the lowly Devils for 5 goals on 26 shots last Thursday. Like Sergei Bobrovsky he’s slowly working his peripherals back into respectability, but unlike the Jackets the Leafs are poised to trend the other direction in the second half of the season. Honestly I don’t see any reason why they would, but they always do, so I figured I’d just hedge my bets now.
Jonas Hiller, G (L, 25 SV, 2 GA, .926%) – Hills pushed away 25 of 27 Leafs shots in his first start in 15 days but he wasn’t dominating enough to keep Karri Ramo on the bench for long. Since Ramo started seven games in a row I wouldn’t be surprised to see Hiller get the next one too, since he wasn’t totally awful, but Ramo is clearly the better netminder here.
Markus Granlund, C (1 G, 3 SOG, -1) – Since I endorsed him in deeper leagues he basically went silent posting goose egg after goose egg until this goal last night. Eh, the Granlunds, I’m so over the both of you.
Mike Santorelli, C (1 G, 4 SOG, +1) – And the scoring continues for Santroelli with another goal last night. He has seven points (2 G, 5 A) over is last five games but there’s really no reason to think it will continue, so ride him while he’s hot, try to sell high to someone desperate and if you can’t unload him before he stops scoring, drop him like whoa when he does.
Phil Kessel, RW (1 G, 2 SOG, +1) – Where Phil Kessel goes…
James van Riemsdyk (1 G, 1 A, 6 SOG) – …JvR will follow. He’s like Samwise to Phil’s Frodo!
Tomas Plekanec, C (1 G, 3 SOG, +2) – When Plekanec started the season red hot I cautioned that he’d slow down, and he did, but not nearly as much as I thought he would. He has four points (1 G, 3 A) over his last five games and is on pace for a around 60 points, which would be the best season he’s had since ’10-11. I think he can get there, but I wouldn’t bet money on it.
Braden Holtby, G (W, 33 SV, 3 GA, .917%) – There’s something about the Caps that keeps me from buying in on Holtby wholesale. I love the guy, and I thought he’d be this good last year, but he was so poorly handled by his coaching staff that I guess maybe I have PTSD. Either way, he extends his win streak to three games with a 5-3 victory last night pushing his season line to a solid 11-7-3/2.38/.916%. If he ended the season with those numbers and more wins, I’d call it a successful campaign.
Ben Bishop, G (L, 30 SV, 4 GA, .882%) – Since needing just 13 saves to shut out the Sabres out a few games ago Big Ben has lost two straight to the Caps and the resurgent Blue Jackets. I guess playing the Sabres put him to sleep for a few games? Time to wake up, big fella!
Alex Ovechkin, LW (2 G, 7 SOG, +1) – Oh sure, Ovie pots two and my boy Leo Komarov is still sidelined with a concussion. I need those hits, damnit. You’ll rue the day you laid hands on Leo, Ovie. Rue!
Matt Niskanen, D (1 G, 3 SOG, -1) – With last night’s goal Nikanen is now on pace for about 35 points and a minus-15 rating by season’s end. That’s probably not what the Caps had in mind when they signed him to a huge free agent deal, but honestly, what were they thinking? This seems like the true Matt Niskanen and last season is really starting to look like a fluke.
Vlatteri Filppula, C (1 G, 1 SOG) – He started the season strong and looked like he was cementing a place in the top six and on the man advantage for the Bolts this season. If that held true, he would still be producing. Unfortunately, Alex Killorn (-1, 1 SOG) returned from injury and gelled with Ryan Callahan (1 A, 2 SOG, -2) and Steven Stamkos (1 G, 3 SOG, -3) on the top line. The second scoring unit isn’t going to get broken up, either, so it relegates Flip to a third line role skating with Brett Connelly (2 SOG) and Cedric Paquette (4 SOG). That does not bode well for a return to fantasy relevance and the one shot on goal last night makes me sadface. Unless someone gets hurt or starts to struggle it seems Flip’s value is going to remain low for the time being.
Victor Hedman, D (3 A, 4 SOG) – Oh, my Sun and Stars! Another huge game from Hedman with a trio o’ helpers, his second three helping o’ helpers game in his last five. There were goose eggs in the three games in between, but he did have 14 PIM in one of those contests, so it’s not all bad. He has 13 points in 11 games so far (3 G, 10 A) and is on pace for 76 points in 64 games this season. I’d love to say I think he’ll hit that mark, but I seriously doubt it. 55-60 points is my expectation though.
Niklas Backstrom, G (W, 15 SV, 4 GA, .789%) – It wasn’t pretty but Backstrom held on for the 5-4 win over the Isles last night. Given that Josh Harding was removed from his last start after two periods due to dehydration that would later be revealed as a complication of his MS, I’d say he’s not remotely close to being ready for big ice. That means it’s going to be Nikky B and Mr. Darcy in net for the Wild for the forseeable future. Between them, you have to put your money on Darcy Kuemper who is most likely going to get the start in the next tilt for the Wild.
Ryan Suter, D (3 A, 4 SOG) – Suter has six helpers in his last five games, but that’s basically what he does, so here we are. He’s currently on pace for 53 points and 50 of those would be assists. Yep.
Chad Johnson, G (L, 15 SV, 4 GA, .789%) – When I saw the Isles had lost 5-4 I thought to myself “Looks like Jarolsav Halak has finally cracked!” but no, it was Johnson, sucking it up like he has all season. The Isles expect a lot more out of him than this, but to be fair he hasn’t had many starts to get into a rhythm, either.
Brock Nelson, C (1 G, 1 SOG, -1) – I never like seeing one shot one goal games and Nelson has had a few of them recently. That doesn’t bode well for his scoring ways to continue, so he’ll have to start putting more shots on goal or he’s due to regress in a big way shortly. It may be time to start thinking about selling high while the value is still there, but don’t move him for pennies on the dollar, either.
Nino Niederreiter, RW (1 G, 3 SOG) – Last night’s tally gives Nino 12 goals in 26 games and that puts him on pace for nearly 40 by season’s end. He’s talented enough to get there, but I figure he’ll fall short and end up in the 30-35-goal range. Still, that has value everywhere.
Thomas Vanek, LW (1 G, 1 A, 3 SOG) – Oof, Vanek continues to be horrible and I would imagine his off-ice problems play a large part in his lackluster play on the ice. Regardless, at this point I wouldn’t own him with your team. It’s possible that he can get his act together and start scoring, he is quite talented, but I wouldn’t hold your breath.
Michael Hutchinson, G (W, 6 SV, 2 GA, .929%) – Hutch continues to play magnificent hockey for the Jets in somewhat limited work, but as he continues to put up stellar performances like this while Ondrej Pavelec regresses to his natural form, it seems inevitable that Hutch will take over the starting gig in Winnipeg.
Kari Lehtonen, G (L, 14 SV, 3 GA, .824%) – Wow, what more is there to say about Kari this season? Bench him in most leagues and hope the Stars get their shiz together and believe it or not, he’s probably droppable in 10 team leagues at this point.
Blake Wheeler, RW (1 G, 1 A, 2 SOG) – Peeps were getting impatient with Wheels after his slow start, but six points (1 G, 5 A) over his last four games have pushed his season line to 9/13/22 in 29 games so far with a plus-3, 39 PIM and 85 SOG. He’s on pace to top 60 points, a marker I’m almost sure he’ll hit by season’s end, and appears to be back on track. Relax, y’all!
Tyler Seguin, C (1 G, 4 SOG) – Seguin cannot be stopped. He extends his goal stream to four games with five goals scored over that span and now has 22 in 28 games so far. He’s on pace to top 60 goals for the season, which is about 20 goals more than I expected. I ranked Seguin higher than most ‘perts and I’m glad I did. I honestly don’t know what the ceiling is for Seguin, but I’m enjoying the ride and so should you.
Calvin Pickard, G (L, 33 SV, 1 GA, .971%) – Captain Pickard would have won this game if he hadn’t run into Pekka Rinne (W, 26 SV, 1.000%, SHO) and that’s saying a lot. Whether he’s better than Reto Berra or not remains to be seen, but right now he’s playing better and should be owned everywhere. He’s basically the de facto starter for the Avs.
James Neal, RW (1 G, 6 SOG, +1) – Neal is on pace for 30 goals, but that’s about all he’s doing so far this season. He has just six helpers in 26 games playing on the top line for the Preds which puts him on pace for just 49 points by seaons’s end. I warned against drafting Neal this year and it appears my fears were well founded. Though I do admit I expected him to be the top offensive option for the Preds this year, he is clearly far from it.
Filip Forsberg, C (1 G, 1 A, 5 SOG) – Now this guy, this guy is the top scoring option for the Preds and with two more points he’s back to a point-per-game pace with 27 points in 27 games. The sky’s apparently the limit with Fil the Thrill.
Mike Ribeiro, C (2 A, +3) – These helpers give Ribs seven points (3 G, 4 A) over his last five pushing his season line to 8/16/24 in 27 games played so far. He could be in for the best season of his career playing with Forsberg.
Alex Stalock, G (W, 25 SV, 2 GA, .926%) – My man Alex gets the W and does it in his second straight start! I don’t think we can read too deeply into Stalock getting two starts in a row, but if it becomes three in a row we may be on to something. He’s allowed just two goals in each game he started since returning from minor knee surgery and so the goalie controversy begins anew in San Jose. You know who I feel should be the starter and it’s this guy right here.
Ben Scrivens, G (L, 19 SV, 5 GA, .792%) – Ah, back to the cold, hard reality of playing for the Edmonton Oilers. Poor Scribbles.
Jordan Eberle, RW (1 G, 3 SOG) – Ebs is showing some signs of life with three points (1 G, 2 A) over his last four games, but he’s still looking to fall well short of my preseason expectations. That said, everyone on the Oilers is, so there’s that.
David Perron, LW (1 G, 2 SOG, -1) – At least something is going right for the Oil right now, and it’s Perron extending his point streak to five games with three goals and two assists over his last five. I would imagine Perron is going to get traded before the deadline and his value will jump a bit if he moves to a contender. That said, right now he’s getting top-six minutes and he likely wouldn’t on many other teams. With that said, he’s worth streaming right now.