The Los Angeles Kings have been devastated by injuries all season, most notably to their defense and it has cost them quite a bit so far this season, but they’re still in the playoff hunt and that’s all that matters. Still, going into the post season with their patchwork defense isn’t something the Kings were keen on, so you knew they’d make a deal before the deadline and sure enough they lifted Andrej Sekera from the humid hockey hellhole of Carolina to the royal court of the defending Stanley Cup Champions yesterday. While the move doesn’t make Sekera a must-add across all formats, he’s definitely going to see a significant bump in value from the move.
Last season Sekera had his best year putting up a line of 11/33/44/+4 in 74 games. On a team like the Hurricanes that’s pretty damn impressive. Going into this season a lot of peeps were high on Sekera and drafted him accordingly, but were met with the lackluster offensive production that they should have expected. It was clear moving out of the basement from the Sabres to the Canes he was going to see an uptick in production, but Sekera went big and owners over valued him at the draft table accordingly. For a guy who had never put up 30 or more points in any season in his career before last year it kind of baffled me that peeps expected so much from him this year, but now that he’s on the Kings his owners could see a similar uptick in scoring with the move.
If Sekera is available in your league I’d add him just for the upside the Kings provide. They are clearly far, far superior offensively and given how depleted the Kings’ D corps have been all season you can expect Sekera to continue to play 23-25 minutes a game and probably find his way onto the second power play unit as well. There’s no telling what he’ll do, honestly, because his track record is spotty at best and confused further by the fact that he wasted away in upstate New York all those years, but one thing is for sure, the move makes him a commodity worth owning down the stretch and pick ups like this may make the difference between advancing to the next round in the playoffs and not. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in the world o’ fantasy hockey recently:
Victor Hedman is hurt again apparently but there’s no word on how bad or the nature of his injury. Joy. We’ll get more news as it comes down, but hopefully he isn’t out for too long. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was playing hurt for a bit given how poorly he’s produced lately.
Mark Giordano left last night’s game with an injury and did not return and will be evaluated today to find out what the skinny is. Just like Hedman there’s no word on what the deal is, but be prepared to be without Gio for a bit.
Patrick Kane is officially out for the rest of the season, or for 12 weeks to be exact, after he undergoing successful shoulder surgery. If you can keep him for next season, stash him on IR, otherwise he’s worthless to you in redraft leagues for the remainder of the season. Kane owners have my condolences.
And now for some good news! Tyler Seguin is apparently “beyond ahead of schedule” and could return to the ice within a few days and be back in the lineup within the next week or so. He said he hopes to be back to help the Stars push for the playoffs, but we’ll see how the team feels about pushing their franchise player back that fast for a team that clearly won’t survive the first round of the playoffs. Still, there is hope that Seguin could be back to help fantasy owners in their playoff runs, and that’s all we really care about here.
Rick Nash will be back in the lineup tonight after missing a game with neck spasms so get him back in your lineups, he’ll probably score a goal or two.
The Jets added Jiri Tlusty in a trade with the Canes and put Blake Wheeler on IR yesterday. Lusty makes for a solid addition to the Jets and any move out of Carolina is going to boost a skater’s value. That said, I don’t expect Lusty to make a huge contribution to fantasy owners now that he’s with the Jets. He could make himself a streamable option in the near future, though.
Karri Ramo, G (W, 26 SV, 1 GA, .963%) – The revolving door that is the Calgary crease continues to merry-go-round the goalies and Ramo is starting to grab hold with his fourth straight stellar start for the Flames. He pushed away 26 of 27 shots to help the Flames down the Devils 3-1 and has stopped 95 of the last 102 shots he’s faced, good for a .931 save percentage over his last five. The Flames have shown a willingness to ride the hot hand all season and I doubt that changes now, so Ramo could be in for a string of starts and could get the majority moving forward if his play holds up. It hasn’t in the past; so don’t be surprised if Jonas Hiller gets the call as soon as Ramo stumbles.
Cory Schneider, G (L, 23 SV, 2 GA, .920%) – Schneids has been brilliant for a bit now and last night was no different. Sadly, it really was no different than the rest of the season as Schneider’s stellar play gave his team a chance to win and their lackluster offense failed to deliver him any support. He’ll continue to provide sexy peripherals with almost no wins moving forward.
T.J. Brodie, D (1 G, 2 SOG) – Brodie exploded out of the gates to start the season posting 21 points in his first 25 games, but that party ended with November and from December on he’s put up just 14 points in his last 36 games. Don’t expect him to surge to end the season, but he’s going to make his way steadily towards a 50-point season regardless. He probably won’t make it all the way to 50, but he’s going to come close. His upside for 2015-16 is high; so don’t drop him now if you can keep him for next season.
Curtis Glencross, LW (1 G, 1 SOG, 5 PIM) – Glengary Glencross is a name that’s coming up in trade rumors pretty frequently and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was moved before the deadline. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see him do eff all on his new team, just like he does on the Flames. He might be a valuable asset in real hockey, but in the fantasy world he’s pretty bleh.
Mike Cammalleri, LW (1 G, 3 SOG, -1) – I guess Squids didn’t get the memo about the Devils offense being junk and he potted another goal last night. You know, he provides a great example of how bad the Devils offense truly is this season. With 23 goals so far he could very well end up with 30 on the season, that’s great! Sadly, he only has eight assists in 49 games. Ouch. He has 23 goals and 31 points total. Does no one else on that team know how to put the biscuit in the basket?
Sean Monahan, C (1 G, 1 A, 3 SOG) – The Flames have a bright future, no pun intended, and Money is at the heart of it. Yeah, we all love Johnny Gaudreau, C (2 SOG, 2 PIM) and for good reason, but Monahan is going to be the leader of this team and hey, what a coincidence, he’s already leading them… in goals. After last night’s two point performance his season line sits at a robust 21/21/42/+2 in 61 games and he’s on pace to flirt with a 30-goal season as a rookie. The sky is the limit for him moving forward and he should remain at the top of your keeper lists.
Sidney Crosby, C (1 G, 2 SOG, 2 PIM) – There are some Crosby owners out there that are actually disappointed with his season so far, but I have no idea why. It’s true that he won’t top the century mark and when you use the number one pick on Crosby that’s what you’re hoping for, but consider that he’s on pace to finish with 85 points in 78 games and there is no one, yes count them, absolutely no one on pace to even flirt with 100 points. In fact, 90-plus is going to be a rarity this year and Sid remains a top 3 skater, if not the best player in the league.
Patric Hornqvist, RW (1 G, 2 SOG, +1) – It should come as no surprise that now that Crosby has a three game point streak going, Horny has followed suit. He’s taken over for Chris Kuntiz on the top line for the Pens and his owners should enjoy the surge they’re seeing because of it. Don’t worry about Kunitz, though, he’s been moved “down” to the Pens’ second line with Evgeni Malkin, C (3 A, 1 SOG, even) so it’s not exactly a death sentence for his production by any stretch of the imagination.
Chris Kunitz, LW (1 G, 1 A, 3 SOG) – See what I mean?
Andrew Hammond, G (W, 25 SV, 1.000%, SHO) – I’ve been pretty surprised by how well Hammond has played since he took over for the injured Robin Lehner and from the sounds of it, neither Lehner nor injured starter Craig Anderson are close to returning, so Hammond is the guy for the Sens for the time being. I doubt he’ll keep this up, but he’s worth streaming in sheltered minutes while he’s playing this well.
Kyle Turris, C (1 G, 5 SOG, +1) – Believe it or not, but moving Milan Michalek on to Turris’ line has ignited them both and Turris stretched his point streak to three games, but that’s not all! He has seven points (4 G, 3 A) over his last five games, but that’s not all! He also has 11 points (6 G, 5 A) over his last 10 games. Damn, that’s nice. Can he keep it up? Yes, yes he can. He’s actually really talented and has been limited largely by his supporting cast. I wouldn’t have expected Milan to be the key to unlocking his scoring potential this season, but whatever works.
Milan Michalek, RW (1 A, 1 SOG, +1) – You should be streaming Milan by now. He has eight points (3 G, 5 A) over his last five games and like I said in the Turris blurb, the two are clicking like whoa. It may not last, hell it probably won’t, but while he’s scoring he should be owned.
Mika Zibanejad, C (1 G, 3 SOG, +1) – Zibs is another guy who is more limited by his supporting cast than he is by his own skill. I think he’s going to be strong moving forward and could have a 50-60 point season in 2015-16. As for the rest of this season, eh, I’m not a huge fan.
Mike Hoffman, LW (1 A, 3 SOG, +1) – You haven’t forgotten about The Hoff, have you? With five points (2 G, 3 A) over his last five games and a sexy season line of 20/15/35/+21 in 55 games so far this season the rookie is showing every sign of being a key cog in the rebuilding efforts of the Senators. Between Turris, Hoffman and Zibanejad, if Bobby Ryan, RW (1 A, 6 SOG, +1) can rediscover his scoring touch, the Sens are actually building a really solid top-six for the future. The bottom-six on the other hand, that’s another story entirely.
John Gibson, G (L, 31 SV, 2 GA, .939%) – It’s not often that I can say the Ducks didn’t provide any offensive support, but here we are. Gibs looked solid yet again pushing away 31 of 33 shots, but it wasn’t enough as Andy Hammond blanked the Ducks and they lost 3-0. Gibson remains a no-brainer keeper despite the presence of Frederik Andersen. They will compete for the starting job in camp next year and Gibson could very well come out on top, or at the very least a 1A/1B situation. Hell, that might even be the case this year once Freddy gets back in the lineup.