For the majority of the public, T.J. Oshie broke onto the scene during the Olympics when Dan Blysma had him shoot every time in the shootout against Russia. He had played well for years on the Blues and now is continuing that run in the nation’s capital. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Marv: What a difference a week can make, I’m back! A little too many video games combined with a little too much sleep equals one quick week, but a good one. Video games, movies, hockey & complete laziness aside, with the New Year came an itch to shake things up in my hockey league. I might not have needed the players or the trade, but the act alone and the wheeling a dealing has brought me back to life. To my point, if you’re feeling a bit stretched or a little unmotivated around the halfway mark, throw some trades out there, see who’s biting, just don’t get bit, Ha! Marv: I initially compiled most the players off this list around a week and a half ago. I’ve updated the information for most the players that required an update. Some might have been snatched up after great new year starts but there is still some value to be had. The only Sell I had I removed only because it broke my heart, Marian Gaborik. After a descent December I thought he was pulling out but has barely registered a blip in January and is now on the fourth line, the mighty have fallen.
Before Wednesday, three of Cory Schneider's last four starts have been disappointing, especially factoring in for the opposition. Naturally, when he goes against one of the highest scoring teams in the league, he locks it down completely. Schneider had a 36 save shutout against the Senators on Wednesday night placing him in the top 10 in the NHL in wins, GAA and sv%. The Devils can thank Schneider for being in a playoff spot at the new year. Here's what else I saw on Wednesday night:
Shane Doan has been around for so long that he was on the Winnipeg Jets in the mid 1990's. As a kid, he was one of my favorite players for the two way game that he played. He was one of the most consistent players in the league who quietly went about his business and has been part of the Coyotes since they moved to Arizona. So far, his biggest plus in the fantasy world was that he was racking up the penalty minutes until he had two goals and an assist with four shots in the 3-2 win against the Maple Leafs on Tuesday. If you are short on PIM, I'd definitely grab Doan in 12'ers because his offense is better than most of the big PIM guys. If you don't need PIM, he's starting to work his way onto the fringe and is a solid streamer. Jaromir Jagr is getting a ton of attention for what he's doing at his age but Doan at 39 is going under the radar again. Here's what else I saw on a busy Tuesday:
Welcome back to the Defenseman portion of Assume the Position. We’ll be taking a look at D-men that can help you, primarily in deeper leagues. Sneaky free agent pickups and buy low candidates that you should be targeting in trades.
On Wednesday, one of my streamers for the day was Beau Bennett with his recent promotion to the first line. Well, Beau knows! Bennett buried two goals on six shots in the Penguins win over the Oilers. He's available in almost all leagues and I'd look to stream him again tonight against the Kings. He has a ton of upside that he's shown in flashes in the past and if this role sticks, this streamer could turn into somebody you keep on your roster for the rest of the season. Here's what else I saw the last two nights:
As a Sabres fan, I must admit that I thoroughly enjoy seeing the Bruins struggle to start the season. It seems like so long ago that they were a defensive juggernaut shutting down all comers and making deep runs in the playoffs, including a Stanley Cup victory. In actuality, it was in 2013 that the Bruins were last in the Cup finals, a paltry two years ago. Now, their defense is an absolute trainwreck which is bad news for Tuukka Rask, who gave up 6 goals on 23 shots today against the Lightning. He's an incredible goalie but there's only so much that you can do when you're repeatedly facing great chances. If you're a Rask owner, I'd be asking around to gauge interest, not to sell very low but if someone wants Rask based on his reputation, I'd pounce. Here was else I saw around the league on Monday:
The New York Rangers are built to win right now and general manager Glen Sather drove that point home in a big way yesterday completing a trade to bring four-time All-Star Keith Yandle to Broadway in exchange for top prospect Anthony Duclair and the few remaining draft picks the Rangers had left to give. With the move both players will see a fairly substantial jump in value and while Yandle is likely unavailable and any buy-low window on him has likely closed with the deal, the new Duke of the Desert is likely available and worth a flyer up in deep leagues if he gets called up to finish the season with the ‘yotes. That being said, if you can swing a deal for Yandle before the deadline now is the time to make it happen because as soon as he steps on the ice for the Rangers he's going to shine.
The New York Rangers have one of the most potent offenses in the NHL this season. Lead by NHL goals leader and all around beast Rick Nash, LW (1 G, 1 A, 5 SOG, +3) they’re fourth in the league potting three goals per game and lately they’re finding offense from all corners of their top nine. The latest Broadway Blue to find his stride is the hulking Kevin Hayes, RW (1 G, 2 A, 3 SOG) who extended his point streak to four games with a huge three-point performance last night against the Avs. The goal he scored was an end-to-end beauty just minutes after a nifty little pass that allowed Dan Boyle, D (1 G, 1 SOG, +4) to roll in all alone on Semyon Varlamov, G (L, 25 SV, 5 GA, .833%) who was deked out of his pads for the first goal of the game. This isn’t the first time Hayes has impressed over the last month or so and he’s starting to show fantasy owners why he was such a coveted commodity coming out college a few years ago, and why he should be on your short keeper list this season.
Johan Franzen can’t go very long without getting hurt and he kept the streak alive last night after hitting the IR with what the Wings are calling an “upper-body issue.” An issue? Like he has emotional baggage from his childhood issue? It’s an injury, call it what it is. Does calling it an “issue” make it seem less severe? Even if it did, why bother? Franzen’s 22 points in 33 games aren’t exactly bringing the house down, eh? Anyway, the point of this anti-Franzen rant is that his absence frees up an opportunity for AHL goals leader Teemu Pulkkinen and his cannon of a shot to get a chance on big ice and it will be exciting to see what he can do.