Mikael Granlund (2 A, 2 SOG, +1) is a rookie I haven’t mentioned yet and shame on me for that. A natural playmaker with incredibly soft hands, he was largely disappointing in his North American debut last season with the Wild, so he flew under my, and many other ‘perts radar. Still, that’s no excuse for overlooking a guy who before coming to North America dominated the Finnish leagues with 20 goals, 31 assists, plus-20 and 18 PIM in 45 games for HIFK Helsinki in Finland’s SM-Liiga. His subpar debut with the Wild was fueled in part by a bum ankle and a log jam that kept him to third line minutes. Well, that log jam is gone and his TOI has spiked and would you look at that? So has his production! He has all the tools needed to be an All-Star in the NHL and he’s showing it this season posting 32 points in 49 games so far. He has four points (1 G, 3 A) in his last three games he’s going to give you more assists than goals, but he’s going to get his regardless, so why should you be left out? He’s only owned in 10% of Yahoo leagues and ~53% of ESPN Leagues, so grab him if you need some help at center. Then there’s his brother Markus Granlund (1 A, 1 SOG, +1) who didn’t want to be left out, so I tailored this post just to include him. Not really, I actually think Mikael is a great sleeper for next season and a solid add for the stretch run this season, I just think it’s cool when brothers get to play in the NHL together. Sadly Markus isn’t worth owning this season or next, but hey, he tallied a helper last night and it was just his third game on the big stage, so congrats to the Granlunds for their night o’ family hockey fun. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in the world o’ fantasy hockey last night:
Jordie Benn (1 G, 1 SOG, even) confused me for a moment when I looked at the box score this morning and saw “J. Benn (3)” in the goals scored column. When I looked deeper I found it wasn’t Jamie, but Jordie, his brother! It’s a theme, y’all! Unlike his brother Jamie (1 A, +1) Jordie isn’t worth owning. Huh, I guess that’s a theme as well! There’s one brother worth owning and the other not so much. I guess every family can’t be the Sedins, eh?
Tyler Ennis (2 G, 5 SOG, +1) scored the only goals for the Sabres in a 3-2 loss to the Stars. Ennis has an opportunity to shine lately and he hasn’t disappointed; after starting the season with just 15 points in his first 40 games he has since put up 17 points in his last 19 games. Ennis has always had the talent, but playing for the lower lines of the Sabres isn’t going to offer much in the way of opportunities for a young winger. Regardless, he’s scoring now and now is when it counts most; he’s barely owned anywhere so grab him if you need a boost. Yes, I just endorsed adding a Sabre.
James Reimer (2 GA, 31 SV, L) looked stellar stopping 31 of 33 shots against Columbus but didn’t get the offensive support he needed and took the hard luck 2-1 loss. Sergei Bobrovsky out dueled him on the other end of the ice.
Sergei Bobrovsky (1 GA, 28 SV, W) was just slightly better than James Reimer and held on for the 2-1 victory.
Zach Parise (1 G, 5 SOG, +1) scored what would become the game winning goal in the third period last night to help the Wild continue their surge towards a playoff birth with a 3-2 win over the Flames last night. The goal was Parise’s 21st and he has an outside shot at 30 goals now, which is pretty solid considering how poorly he has played this season. With goals in three straight and points in four straight Parise is getting hot at the right time, you can expect another 15 points from him going forward.
Matt Moulson (2 A, 1 SOG, +2) saw his output decline steadily as the months went by until he was traded to Buffalo, when it dropped off the map entirely. Seems like the trade rumors saying he has a possibility to get the hell out of Buffalo have motivated Moulson to step it up and he has five points in his last four games. If he sticks with the Sabres his offensive prospects are dismal, probably in the range of 10-12 points, but if he gets moved to a cup contender that could easily spike to 18-20.
Mason Raymond (1 G, 4 SOG, +1) has three goals in his last five games and will likely top the 20 goal marker this season, but unless you’ve owned him all year in a roto league you aren’t going to get much value from Raymond. He might give you 10 more points this season, but I figure it’s probably more like five.
Darcy Kuemper (2 GA, 21 SV, W) surprisingly remains owned in just 40% of Yahoo leagues, really? Do Yahoo owners not need a starting goalie that’s running red-hot lately? Winning’s not quite your thing over that at Yahoo, is it fellas? He’s at ~91% owned in ESPN leagues and that makes a lot more sense to me.
Jeff Carter (1 G, 3 SOG, even, 2 PIM) had that one good year where he scored at a point-per-game pace and a lot of people, including the Columbus Blue Jackets, hung on to that idea as the truth and got burned by it. In reality, Carter is a 65-point guy, not an 80-point guy, who can give you 30 goals and what’s he done this year? After last night’s goal he’s posted 40 points in 53 games so far and he’s on pace for 30 goals and around 65 points for the year. Sounds about right! Expect that from Carter from here on out and you’ll never be disappointed again.
Nikita Nikitin (1 A, 4 SOG, +1) is mostly getting a mention because his name reminds me of some old Russia Cold War spy and it make me chuckle. Truth be told I kind of think this about most of the Russian names I read or hear, perhaps I watched one too many bad action movies as a child. Anyway, Nikitin is mostly useless but hey, here’s a goal that absolutely no one benefited from because no one owns the guy. Wait, you do? Shame on you!
Tyler Seguin (1 A, 4 SOG, +1) continues to do what Tyler Seguin does and you can count on another 20-25 points from him. I’d write more, but what else is there to say? Dude’s a beast.
Artem Anisimov (1 G, 2 SOG, even) scored the game-winning goal for the Jackets and that extends his goal scoring streak to three games with an assist thrown in there for flavor. He only has 30 points in 61 games this season and while he’s hot right now, I can’t imagine he has more than another 10 points left in the tank this season. If you’re thinking of adding him you’re either in the deepest of leagues of you’re fooling yourself into thinking there’s a chance to save your fantasy season, because if you’re after Artem, your team is already done.
Jason Pominville (1 A, 3 SOG, +1) has three points in his last four games (3 A) and actually has semi-respectable numbers with 42 points (22 G, 20 A) in 60 games so far. Given how well the Wild are playing lately you can actually hope for another 10-15 points from Pominville and get it, so he’s worth a look if you need an emergency fill in for injury down the stretch.
Mark Giordano (1 G, 2 SOG, +1, 2 PIM) notched his 10th goal and 30th point of the season with his tally last night and remains on pace to score around 45 points when all is said and done and that’d be the most points he’s ever put up in a single season. Honestly, this is about what anyone expected from him, so kudos for being predictable in an unpredictable world, Gio! If you’re too tired to do the math from a few sentences up, I figure he has another 15 points left in the tank this season.
P.K. Subban (1 G, 2 SOG, +1) scored a goal giving him goals in back-to-back games after a long 13 game drought that saw him post nada but goose eggs. Subs isn’t hurt, his pairing hasn’t changed and his TOI remains consistent, so you just have to ride those stretches out and wait for it to rain, and it will rain for P.K.
David Desharnais (1 A, 3 SOG, +1) now has six points in his last give with points in three straight (4 A). I still think he’s hella yawnstipating, but he could give you another 10 points before the season’s done.
Alex Goligoski (1 G, 4 SOG, even) is also ridiculously boring to watch in my opinion, but he scored a goal last night and that’s never something to scoff at. Still, his scoring is too inconsistent to rely on for anything more than a 3rd or 4th defenseman, and I figure he has another 6-8 points left to give.
Jonathan Quick (1 GA, 17 SV, W) keeps doing what he does best, winning. He’s 3-0-0 since returning from the Olympics and in that span has allowed just two goals. Yeah, he’s pretty solid.
Jhonas Enroth (3 GA, 36 SV, L) keeps doing what he does best, losing. His record is now 3-13-5. Seriously.
Drew Stafford (1 A, 2 SOG, +1) might actually be developing some chemistry on the “top” line with Matt Moulson and Tyler Ennis, so he might be worth a deep flyer for H2H leagues down the stretch, but only for that last game of the week where you add whoever has even a remote chance of putting up points in the categories that you need to get your team over the hump and into the next round.
Jake Muzzin (1 G, 1 SOG, +1, 2 PIM) is another one of those young defensemen with good offensive upside that I love so much. At 6’4” he has the size to go along with an accurate shot that comes with a quick release. He’s more focused on his defense at the moment so his scoring output has been a bit meh compared to other young defenseman this season, but he has all the tools to succeed for season’s to come. For the rest of this season he’s got maybe five points left in the tank, so he isn’t worth an add.
Dennis Wideman (1 A, 1 SOG, +1) could give you another 10 points this season, but that’s reaching. Even if he does, his minus-15 (and counting the wrong way) rating basically offsets whatever offensive punch he can provide.
Kari Lehtonen (2 GA, 21 SV, W) won again and looked pretty solid doing it, and so I say it again, and say it with me now “Please stay healthy, please stay healthy, please stay healthy…”