First off, sorry for the delay in getting a post up following the trade deadline. I’m in Vegas to see the Sabres Friday night and with the snow in Buffalo, traveling issues came up cutting into my time to write along with my airplane losing WiFi multiple times during the flight. Anyways, this seems like a good point to highlight certain things around the league that are having an impact in fantasy hockey. Next week, I’m going to start with my playoff manifesto so everyone in head to head leagues can plan ahead in regards to streaming and bottom end holds. Let’s get to it!
Petr Mrazek avoided a long term injury after his collision with Clifford. Reimer being out “longer term” means that Mrazek is going to be the workhorse for the rest of the season. It hasn’t been the greatest season, but Mrazek is capable of swinging leagues down the stretch. Hold onto him if you own him.
Igor Shesterkin and Pavel Buchnevich getting injured in a car crash is a tough beat for the Rangers, although they continue to win. Alexandar Georgiev has received the last two starts and should be owned everywhere while Shesterkin is out. He’ll be re-evaluated in two weeks, but I’m not expecting him to be back for a bit. Mika Zibanejad is currently on a line with Artemi Panarin, which you would think would hurt Ryan Strome, but he had three points on Thursday. Things are looking up for the Rangers.
Juuse Saros has clearly taken over as the #1 lately for the Predators. He’s another goalie that can swing leagues down the stretch despite having a rough season to this point. He’s available in 80% of leagues and would be my first choice of waiver wire goalies to grab if you need help.
Tyler Ennis and Andreas Athanasiou were rewarded by Tippett by getting to play with McJesus right away. They both had a goal and an assist in their Edmonton debuts before they were shutout against the Golden Knights. Even worse, Athanasiou left the game with a lower body injury and did not return. I grabbed Athanasiou everywhere I could and Ennis is an elite streamer now. Hopefully Athanasiou is back in action Wednesday, but it’s worth monitoring.
I wrote in December that Dominik Kubalik needed to receive more playing time. He has and has delivered. Kubalik had a hat trick on Thursday to reach 29(!) goals on the season. Incredible rookie season which could have been even better if he played more earlier. Regardless, he’s still available in over 30% of leagues and I don’t understand it. Grab him if you’re in one of those leagues.
Erik Gustafsson went right onto the first power play unit in Calgary in place of Mark Giordano. The minutes have been solid in both games as well. He’s capable of going on a big run so hopefully he salvages this season.
Darcy Kuemper returned on Tuesday and had a solid start in a loss. He was dropped in a lot of leagues while he was out despite being a top 5 goalie on the season. With the Desert Dogs in a playoff battle, look for Kuemper to be the workhorse down the stretch.
Jacob Markstrom is out for 3-4 weeks paving the way for Thatcher Demko to carry the load. I’m a big fan of his, but unfortunately he had a rough outing against the Senators on Thursday. Of all the goalies listed here, Kuemper would obviously be my first choice, but then I would go with Saros, Mrazek, Georgiev, Demko.
I wasn’t a huge fan of the Jean-Gabriel Pageau trade and extension for the Islanders. Pageau is a solid player, a great 3C on a Cup contender and could be the #2 on a playoff team. This season is probably going to be an outlier in terms of goals for Pageau, but for now, we might as well roll with it. Pageau has scored in both Islanders games so far and even had 17 PIM against the Rangers after instigating a fight with Trouba. He’s on the first power play unit which gives him a chance to build on this recent success. My first thought after the trade was that Pageau belonged back on the fringe, but now he’s an easy hold again.
In Bobby Ryan‘s second game back, he had a hat trick plus a fight. Do I expect much from Ryan the rest of the way? No, but good for him to get his life back on track and perhaps he does well down the stretch. At this point. Nick Paul, Connor Brown, and even Chris Tierney are viable streamers. Like Pageau and Ennis before them, getting top six minutes makes these guys relevant by default. Brown is my preference, but Paul definitely intrigues me.
Conor Sheary went right back onto Crosby’s wing in his return to Pittsburgh. Do I expect that to last? Given what I’ve seen from him this season, definitely not. I would stream him in deep leagues, but that’s it.
Logan Couture made his return against the Flyers. I figured that the Sharks would play it safe with Couture, but considering that they don’t have their own first round pick, there’s no reason to not bring guys back right away. Get Couture back in your lineups.
Mikael Granlund has 17 goals on the season. Eleven of those have come since John Hynes took over as the Nashville coach. He’s been receiving the most minutes of all forwards on the team and the production has come along. After being a massive disappointment, Granlund should be held in all formats.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back on Monday with a new post, more than likely weekend notes. As always, feel free to ask any questions, leave any comments, or make any suggestions below. Thanks for reading, take care!