After Devan Dubnyk, G (W, 24 SV, 1.000%, SHO) was dealt to the Wild I took a deeper dive into his numbers and quickly jumped on the bandwagon and you should too. Since joining the Wild Doobie is 6-1-0 with a 1.48 goals-against average and a .943 save percentage with three shutouts. Obviously those aren’t sustainable numbers, but given his season line now sits at a robust 15-6-2/2.35/.923 in 27 games and taking into account he’s amassed much of that line while playing for the woeful Coyotoes, that’s pretty damned impressive. Hell, those numbers would be impressive anywhere, but for some strange reason people aren’t flocking to pick him up before it’s too late. Owners in CBS leagues know what’s up and he’s owned on 60% of teams there with Yahoo clocking in at 53% and ESPN way behind the times at 41% owned. These numbers are about as ridiculous as Doobie’s. There’s no way he shouldn’t be owned just about everywhere by now, so if you need help in the crease you should definitely go ahead and pick him up. Don’t be shy. I know his time on the Oil might have you looking at his name on the wire and rolling your eyes, but don’t pass on him this season, you’ll regret it. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in the world o’ fantasy hockey recently:
Henrik Lundqvist owners should hold their breath; he’s sitting out tonight and getting checked by team doctors for an upper-body injury. He looked fine in his last game and I doubt he’ll miss much time, but stranger things have happened. Cam Talbot will be between the pipes for the Rangers tonight, but he isn’t a must add until we hear whether or not the King will be sitting for longer than a game or two.
Kevin Shattenkirk is week-to-week after suffering an abdominal injury that will require surgery. He won’t go under the knife for about a week and after that he’ll likely need anywhere from two-to-four weeks to heal up. There have been a few guys out due to abdominal surgery and it took them much longer to get back than expected, so don’t look for Shatty to get back on your blue line anytime soon. That’s a huge blow to his owners as he was well on his way to a Norris quality season.
Kyle Okposo’s injury has finally been revealed and it is much, much worse than I could have imagined. Okie is dealing with a detached retina. Yeah, Okie’s eyeball is broken. That’s a huge problem considering you need good vision to, you know, play hockey well. The last guy who suffered this injury was Dallas’ Phillippe Boucher and it took him just a bit over three months to recover from the injury. He did recover, but considering Okie is a sniper I’m more than a little concerned that he may not be the same player when he returns. The timetable remains two months but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was out for longer, or the rest of the season. Keep him stashed on your IR for now.
Robin Lehner, G (L, 17 SV, 2 GA, .895%) – In his last game Lehner stopped 35 of 37 shots for the victory in a game that finally snapped his long losing streak. It would be a good sign, then, that he allowed just two goals last night in the loss, but if you take into account he coughed up those two goals on just 19 shots, we’re back at square one again. That square says don’t pick up Lehner. Ugh, that still hurts to say.
Adam Henrique, C (1 G, 2 SOG, +1) – Henry isn’t going to give you a ton of points, but he helps with faceoffs (250) and a handful of power play points (10) thrown in for flavor. In the end he’ll be lucky to push 55 points, but he should end up with 20 goals and 50 points by the end of the season, so he has value in deeper leagues.
Al Montoya, G (W, 32 SV, 2 GA, .941%) – With Roberto Luongo in the midst of a minor slump the Cats turned to AlMo to break the cycle of getting their asses handed to them and he came through with flying colors pushing away 32 of 34 shots for a 4-2 victory over the Okieless Isles. Lu remains the starter in South Florida unless he dies in some freak knitting accident; this game changes nothing in that respect.
Jaroslav Halak, G (L, 26 SV, 3 GA, .897%) – It wasn’t too long ago that the Halakness Monster was sporting some pretty sexy peripherals, but those days are slowly ebbing away with each bleh start. He’s had a few of those lately and though his record is a robust 26-11-0, his goals-against average has ballooned to 2.43 and his save percentage has dipped to .911. I’m not saying the slide will continue and all is lost, but Halak isn’t a 2.15/.920 netminder, so this regression shouldn’t come as a huge shock. The Isles remain a top team in the east so Halak will remain very valuable ROS, but temper your expectations down the stretch.
Brandon Pirri, C (1 G, 1 A, 4 SOG) – After missing much of the season to this point with injuries, Pirri looks like he’s finally healthy and he’s on a roll with five points (4 G, 1 A) over his last five games. He would have more value if he skated in the Cats’ top six, but he remains on the third line skating with Dave Bolland, C (+2) and Tomas Fleischmann, LW (1 A, 5 SOG) with some time on the second power play unit as well. He has some decent upside and is absolutely worth streaming while he’s hot. If he keeps scoring goals, he might even find his way up to the second line in time.
Braden Holtby, G (W, 27 SV, 1.000%, SHO) – I wasn’t sure what to expect from Holtby in the second half this year. His short career to this point has been so up and down that he’s hard to predict, but the talent as always there and I’ve generally been a fan. If he keeps playing like this I might shift from fan to fanatic, because dude is a brick wall lately. He’s allowed exactly zero goals in his last nine regulation periods of play. None, zip, zilch, nada. With last night’s shutout his season line improves to a ridiculous 24-10-9/2.17/.925 in 44 starts. That’s Vezina territory if he can keep it up for another 10-15 starts, and I think he can.
Jon Quick, G (L, 23 SV, 4 GA, .852%) – Speaking of not sure what to expect, Quick used to be like clockwork but this season the Kings are in such disarray defensively that you can’t be sure if Quick will get hanged out to dry like he did last night, or just play poorly because he’s so tired from getting hanged out to dry by his D in the previous tilt. After last night’s shelling Quick’s season line degrades to a very unquicklike 17-14-10/2.51/.910 in 42 starts and with that it’s safe to say that he’s a bust this season.
Troy Brouwer, RW (2 G, 5 SOG, +1) – Yeah, this was a solid game from Brouwer, but I doubt very highly he scores another 10 goals to hit the 25-goal marker by the end of the season. His shooting percentage is a bit inflated, so expect a correction and a slight drop in goal production moving forward, which is basically all he does for you if you own him. I’d say he’s good for another 5-8 goals tops.
Mike Smith, G (W, 30 SV, 1 GA, .968%) – Smith’s save percentage is still below .900. In fact, it’s still below .895. So, inquiring minds want to know, how low can it go!? Unfortch for Smith this is hockey, not a limbo competition and his low numbers are worthy of scorn, lots of scorn.
Anton Forsberg, G (L, 25 SV, 3 GA, .893%) – After Sergei Bobrovsky went down with his latest injury the Jackets rolled mediocre backup Curtis McElhinney out for three straight games and he lost two of three. So, naturally, it was time to give the kid a shot and got rocked by one of the league’s worst offenses. That doesn’t exactly instill a great amount of confidence in his owners, but then his owners are likely out of the playoff picture by now anyway.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, D (1 G, 5 SOG, +1) – Goals, goals, goals, goals, goooooooals! The march towards 25 continues for OEL and at this rate, I can see him getting there by the end of the season. On a team that has completely fallen apart, this guy keeps on rolling. I’d love to see what he could do on a real offense.
Shane Doan, RW (1 G, 1 SOG, +1) – After he scored this goal Doan was heard complaining about the fact that he plays in Phoenix. When asked about it, he said he was displeased, but had no plans to leave. That’s a rare kind of loyalty these days. I wouldn’t own Doan with your team, but props to the vet for sticking it out with a garbage squad.
Carter Hutton, G (W, 25 SV, 3 GA, .893%) – Word has it Pekka Rinne is getting close to returning and could be back sometime this week. I wouldn’t be surprised if he wasn’t back until next week at the earliest, but either way the timetable for his return to the ice has been accelerated. In the meantime, Hutton returned to his usual form and coughed up three goals on 25 shots in a 4-3 loss to the lowly Leafs. So, is Pekka back yet? No? Hmn, how about now?
Jonathan Bernier, G (L, 24 SV, 4 GA, .857%) – Oi, Bernie.
Mike Santorelli, C (1 G, 1 A, 2 SOG) – When the Leafs started their traditional mid-to-late season breakdown this year, Santorelli bottomed out as expected. After putting up 19 points in 18 games in November and December, he’s posted just four points in his last 14 games, including last night’s two-point effort. That’s rough even for Santa, who should rebound slightly, but really isn’t worth owning at this point. He was never going to maintain that November/December pace for very long.
Colin Wilson, C (1 G, 1 A, 2 SOG) – Wilson is another guy that I would have expected to slow a bit, but his surge continues with another two-point game last night. Over his last 27 games Wilson has 27 points and that’s beyond ridiculous for a guy who really has no business putting up those kinds of numbers. I don’t know how long he can sustain it, and though it’s technically possible he could roll through the next two months of the season near a point-per-game pace, it’s more likely that he’ll come back down to earth sooner than later. If I owned him, I’d be looking to trade him before the deadline to get someone more reliable down the stretch.
James Neal, RW (1 A, 8 SOG, +2, 2 PIM) – He’s going to finish with fewer than 30 goals and around 50 points. That does not justify his ADP and he’s going to be devalued significantly come next year’s drafts if he can’t hit the 30-goal marker this season. All that does is adjust his ADP to the proper levels, he was way over valued this year after a few years living the high life with the Pens.
Ben Bishop, G (L, 16 SV, 2 GA, .889%) – This one went to OT tied 1-1 and Bish got beat in extra frames for the loss. He didn’t face many shots, but he didn’t allow many either. Regardless, Big Ben is going to need some rest soon so it won’t be long before Andrei Vasilevskiy gets a start or two.
Cedric Paquette, C (1 G, 2 SOG, +1) – Cedric keeps entertaining with another goal, his sixth in his last four games. He has at least a goal in each of those four games, at least a point in each of his last five and a hat trick mixed in for flavor over that span. He currently plays pivot on the Bolts’ third line between Jonathan Drouin, RW (1 A, +1) and Alex Killorn, LW (1 A, 4 SOG, +1) and there seems to be some solid chemistry developing there, but he gets no time on the power play, so that limits the chances he’ll keep this up for much longer. Protip: He won’t.
Mikael Granlund, C (1 G, 2 SOG, +1) – I was a big fan of Granny going into the season after he burst on the scene late last year with a solid clip of play. Fast forward to today and he has just 18 points in 36 games so far, but lately there’s some life with five points (2 G, 3 A) over his last five games. He plays on the Wild’s top line with Zach Parise, LW (1 A, 3 SOG, +1) and gets top line power play time, so he’s worth a flier if you need a boost. There’s no telling how long it will last, but he is most definitely better than he has played so far this season. He was great late last year; maybe he can be great late this year, too.
Marco Scandella, D (1 A, 8 SOG, +2) – It has been a while since Scandella found the score sheet, sadly this wasn’t a goal but he did his usual hits and blocks thing with two a piece to go along with a whopping eight shots on goal. I wouldn’t expect that kind of shot volume to continue, but Scandella has decent offensive upside moving forward. He’s a decent third and solid fourth defenseman in most leagues.
Semyon Varlamov, G (W, 30 SV, 2 GA, .938%) – I was skeptical about Varly’s second half, but he seems to be holding it together a hell of a lot better than he did in the first half, though to be fair he injured his groin like thirty times in the first half. Anyway, my biggest beef with Varly isn’t Varly himself, rather the porous defense and terrible possession play that occurs in front of him every game. It’s going to get worse now that Erik Johnson is out for the rest of the season with a serious knee injury, too. If I were you, I’d trade Varly while he’s looking as good as he did last season. It may not last much longer.
Kari Lehtonen, G (L, 22 SV, 2 GA, .917%) – Oh look, Kari Lehtonen lost a game. Shocker.
Tyson Barrie, D (1 G, 3 SOG) – In a season pot marked by various slumps, underachieving efforts and generally bleh offensive production out of the Avs, Barrie has quietly been one of the top offensive fantasy defenseman on the board. With last night’s tally he now has 30 points (5 G, 25 A) in 50 games and remains on pace for a 50-point year from the blue line. That’s elite and Barrie will remain elite years to come.
Ryan O’Reilly, C (1 G, 1 A, 4 SOG) – Speaking of underachieving efforts and generally bleh offensive production out of the Avs, here’s RyRo! Yeah, he notched a couple points last night, but generally speaking he’s been less RyRo and more Ruh-Roh, Raggy.
Frederik Andersen, G (W, 28 SV, 4 GA, .875%) – I like Freddy, I really do. I own him. But he is definitely streaky. The streaks are usually short and fast, but he streaks nonetheless. Hopefully with time he’s going to settle in, this is his first year as a starter after all, and his solid season line of 28-7-5/2.31/.917 speaks to just how good he has been overall, but damned if these two or three game stretches where he coughs up three or four goals a game aren’t annoying as all hell.
Anton Khudobin, G (L, 26 SV, 5 GA, .839%) – This is why I tell you to avoid the Carolina goalie situation regardless of how well any of them have been playing. The Canes are bad and they aren’t going to suddenly improve over the next two months. It doesn’t matter who is in the crease for them, it’s going to be ugly more often than not.
Alexander Semin, RW (1 G, 1 SOG) – He’s alive! That doesn’t mean I think he’s going to start producing again, just that I’m shocked that he still has a heartbeat.
Eddie Lack, G (W, 26 SV, 2 GA, .929%) – Lack hasn’t been terrible, but he hasn’t shown any signs that he’s the goalie of the future just getting some development time in behind starter Ryan Miller. Lack remains one of the lesser valuable backups in fantasy hockey and will remain in the basement for the rest of the season.
Ondrej Pavelec, G (L, 30 SV, 3 GA, .909%) – Since we’re talking about basements I figured I had to mention Pavs. He’ll keep getting starts because Michael Hutchinson has been showing his youth lately and playing some fairly rough hockey. The Jets have cooled as a team after a strong stretch of play put them into the playoff picture and if they want to complete that picture and earn a berth, they’re going to need Hutch to step up. That’s probably going to be a tall order for the rookie and I wouldn’t suggest you rely on him as anything more than a spot starter down the stretch. As for Pavs, it’s only a matter of time before he loses his starting job to Hutch, but like I said a few months ago, that probably won’t happen until next season at the earliest.
Bryan Little, C (1 G, 1 A, 3 SOG) – The Jets as a whole might be cooling, but Little continues to produce and has four points (2 G, 2 A) over his last two games and remains on pace for a 30-goal, 65 point season. This is the kind of guy who quietly helps you win your league. He isn’t pretty, his name isn’t sexy, but his numbers sure are relative to his ADP.
Blake Wheeler, RW (1 G, 4 SOG, -1) – Wheels didn’t get the slow down memo either, and he has points in four straight games. He’ll finish the season with 25 goals and 60-plus points, but that was expected. The real treat he brings to the table this season are PIM, he’s currently sporting 59 o’ dem bad boys and he’s likely to finish with around 85, which definitely gives his value a solid bump in the right direction.