Steven Stamkos had successful surgery on his broken tibia and is now wearing a removable cast and set to begin an “aggressive” rehab program. I’m not sure how you can “aggressively” make you broken tibia heal, but mmkay then. The bone wasn’t completely broken, so that’s good news, and it makes a return this season seem somewhat more likely. The best guess right now is a February return, so send him to the IR and hope against hope that he spends the Olympic break healing up and is able to return to action afterwards. I’m slightly concerned that he’s trying to rush back to play in the Olympics as he made it no secret that playing for Canada this year was extremely important to him after his 2010 snub. If he comes back too early or pushes himself too hard and has a setback it could cost him the rest of the season. All we can do now is wait and see, as Stevie Y tells us. All you can really hope for is that he makes it back for your stretch run.
Rick Nash was activated and started last night but did not record a point. He did, however, spend almost 18 minutes on the ice with some PP time as well. The Rangers desperately need him to be the centerpiece of their offense and he’ll see his usual big minutes. So long as there are no lingering effects from his concussion he’s good for a point per game. Somehow he’s only owned in 93% of Yahoo! Leagues. It’s a small chance, but if you happen to be in that 7%, add him unless scoring goals is a bad thing in your league.
Cory Schnieder is effin’ magnificent almost every game so far this season and what does he have to show for it? A 1-5-3 record… are you kidding me?! Yes, the Devils are that bad. Jagr leads them in scoring and is on pace for a whopping 65 points and that’s if he plays a full season (Ha!). In any case, Cory will help keep your ratios down with his 1.98 GAA and .918 SV% if nothing else.
Ilya Bryzgalov was called up and will get his first start sometime this week. You can’t expect much from Bryz. I’d tell you what he did in the AHL but it means nothing, here are the facts; the Oilers are awful, they give up 31 shots a game and Bryzgalov’s only successful years game when he was younger and with far, far superior defensive teams in front of him. He will be worse than he was in Philly and they bought him out, so only add him if you’re as desperate as Edmonton.
Valeri Nichushkin (1G/+1) scored a goal and has 3 points in his last two games and he’s +5 over that span. He’s got the size, the skill and now he’s spending the majority of his time playing with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. This former top 10 pick is ready to break out is only owned in 8% of Yahoo! Leagues and he’s absolutely worth an immediate add.
Tyler Toffoli (1G/+1) now has 8 points in 7 games played with a plus-5. This is a deceiving hot start from a guy who should continue to score, but not nearly at this rate. He’s worth an add in deeper leagues because he plays top 6 minutes for the Kings, but don’t go dropping Giroux for him.
Chris Kreider is playing top-six minutes for the Rangers and making the best of it with 2G/6A for 8 points over his last seven games. With Nash coming back he should keep seeing decent minutes, but there may be a slight down tick. That being said, Kreider is immensely talented and this is not a fluke, he should only get better with time. I’d add him in deepish formats, especially with that C/LW eligibility, but he’s quickly becoming a guy to consider in most formats.
Patric Honrqvist (1G/1A/+1/6 SOG) has the ability to score 30 goals but won’t give you much else. He sees regular time on the Preds’ powerplay and loves to shoot the puck, so if you’re looking for secondary goal scoring, Hornqvist is definitely worth a look.
Mark Acrobello was sent down to the AHL, didn’t play a game and was then called back up for no reason. He had a great start but the diminutive center couldn’t keep it up and put up just 2 goals since, both coming in the same game. If you own him, drop him, the Oil aren’t getting better fast and Marks Acrobatic start to the season is a distant memory already.
Jiri Hudler (1G/+1/2 PIM) continues to make me look bad by consistently scoring for the Flames. I told you the window to sell high on him closed weeks ago and people, I was wrong. Ah well, can’t win ‘em all and this is a marathon not a sprint, he’ll start sucking sooner than later and I’ll be giddy with schadenfreude. Learnin’ y’all some hockey and German!
James Wisniewski (1 PPA/17 PIM) is 4th overall in scoring among defensemen with 16 points, right behind Subban, Buff and Karlsson. He’s on pace for a career year with 50-plus points and is absolutely worth owning as he contributes across the board. So why is he only owned in 73% of Yahoo! Leagues?! Pick him up!
Sergei Bobrovsky (W/1.00/9.69/30 SA) had his best game of the season in a win @ OTT. Listen, Bobrovsky isn’t a 2.00/.932 guy over the course of a full season. You can expect his season totals to end up more in the 2.50-2.70/.905-.910 range. I’d sell high if he strings together a few good games, some owners might still believe he’s got some of last year’s magic left in him.
Craig Anderson is looking pretty Craig Andersony lately, right? His monster year last season is a thing of the past and we’re getting the real Anderson back. His career averages of 2.73 GAA and .915 SV% say his current blech of 3.26/.904 will come down a bit, but Lehner is going to keep eating into Anderson’s starts if this continues.
Nick Bonino has three points in his last three games and is getting top-six minutes on the Ducks’ luxury offense. There is no telling what Bonio will do if he continues to see the nearly 17 minutes TOI he has been getting, so keep an eye on him, if he keeps scoring, snatch him up in deeper formats!
Slava Voynov (1A/+1) and has 5 points over his last four games. If other owners were getting impatient with the young Russian the time to buy low is evaporating. The Kings have a solid offense and Voynov is far better than he’s been playing so far. Grab him where you can.
Alex Ovechkin (2G/+2) potted a couple more rubber biscuits in the basket. That’s 4 in his last thee games and 17 in 19 games overall. It would be amazing if it wasn’t so bloody routine for him, you know?
John Carlson (1PPG/+2) is lighting it up with 4 points in his last three games and 5 in his last six. He has always had this kind of ability and now the Caps are deploying him as a top pairing offensive tool. His TOI is up on the PP and 5-on-5, Mike Green is hurt (again) and he should be immediately added everywhere.
Ben Scrivens (1W/ SHO/37 SA) has not allowed a goal in two straight games now, blanking the Rangers last night and the Devils before them. Not exactly powerhouse offensive competition for Scrivens, but with Jon Quick hurt and the magnificent LA D in front of him Scrivens should be owned everywhere.
Jon Quick has a grade-two groin strain and there is still no timetable for his return. It looks like he’s going to be out for at least 5 weeks and any kind of groin/hammy problem with a goalie is very bad news. Add Scrivens. I just told you that, but now I’m telling you again from dramatic effect.
Henrik Lundqvist (L/1.02/.967/30 SA) took the loss despite another great game as his teammates again left Hank out to dry. To be fair, the Kings D is very solid, but the Rangers offense is as bad as the Kings D is good. Does that make sense? Suffice it to say that despite losing his last two contests, the King is just fine.
Patrick Sharp (2G/1A/+3/4 SOG) is playing with Toews and you’ll continue to see him score. What’s crazy is Sharp has actually been unlucky on the powerplay and may see an increase in production there. Don’t sell on him, hold on and enjoy the ride.
Brandon Saad (2A/+2) is showing he’s probably a 50-60 point guy over the course of the season but has a decently high ceiling that he’s yet to reach. Anyone getting top-six minutes for the Hawks is worth owning, and Saadly I dropped Brandon early on this season.
Kris Versteeg (1G/1A) will give you 20ish goals and 50ish points like he always does and don’t expect more. Versteeg is a guy who always flirted with the idea of being an offensive talent yet to develop, but he’s never notched more than 54 points in a season. Meh.
Brandon Pirri (1G/1A/+2) has found himself getting time on the Hawks’ second line with Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad and he’s responding, with points in bunches! He’s scored goals in each of his last three games, has 6 points in his last 6 games and Quenneville is reportedly talking about giving him a real chance to lock down the no. 2 center job for the Hawks! If you’re floating some less than optimal centermen out there every night Pirri is absolutely worth grabbing.
Marian Hossa (Nothing/Nada) I’m bitter about it. Moving on!
Antti Niemi (L/5.00/.815/27 SA) has hit a bit of a rough patch with just one win and a 3.89 GAA and .885 SV% over the last week. He’ll be fine, just ride it out.
Josh Harding (W/1.00/.955/21 SA) is playing out of his mind and now sports a 12-2-0 record with a miniscule 1.25 GAA and a staggering .946 SV%. While you have to expect these numbers to regress to the mean at some point, Harding has always had the chops to be a fine goaltender and he’s showing it now. I expect many championship teams will have Harding on their rosters at season’s end.
Mikko Koivu (2G/+2/3 SOG) is hot right now with nine points over his last six games. He slumped a bit to start the season but he’s scoring now and he’ll do so until he goes down with an injury.
Dustin Byfuglien (1G/+1) has 3 goals in his last two games after not scoring until his 19th game. I doubt few gave up so quickly on the big fella, but if you did you’re hating life now. His 17 points ties him for second overall among defensemen with P.K. Subban and just 3 back of Erik Karlsson’s 20. He’s a beast!
Kari Lehtonen (1W/1.00/.977/43 SA) has started 12 straight games for the Stars and is living up to his pedigree with a Josh Hardingian start to the season. The only thing that held him back in the past was his health, which can be sketchy so make sure you have a backup option if you’re relying on Kari to anchor your goaltending.
Cam Fowler (+1) is showing the offensive promise that he teased us with in his rookie campaign back in 2010. It’s all clicking for him again like it did then and he’s playing point on the Ducks’ potent power play. He’s worth adding in all formats and owned in just 29% of Yahoo! Leagues yet 88% of ESPN leagues. I… don’t really know how to explain that. Thoughts?