Ryan McDonagh (1 G, 2 A, 3 SOG, +3, 2 PIM) lead the way for the streaking Rangers scoring the game winner in OT. He also dished out two primary assists, ended up plus-3 and even threw in a couple PIM to make the game complete. I didn’t think he’d get there, but McDonagh is looking at breaking the 50-point/15 goal markers this season and that easily sits him among the league’s best fantasy defenseman. To give you an idea of just how quickly McDonagh has found his way into the ranks of the elite, chew on this factoid; with 13 goals in 73 games so far this season he has eclipsed his total from his previous three seasons, where he scored 12 goals over 169 games. That’s no joke! Does it mean he’s a flash in the pan? That he’ll regress back to the mean starting next year? I don’t think so. I think what we’re seeing here is a premiere defensemen coming into his own and he should, at the very least, maintain this kind of production for seasons to come. The coaching change is a big help here; John Tortarella put McD out there for less than a minute, on average, of power play time per game. You could justify that and say it’s because he was young, but come on, less than a minute? Alain Vigneault puts him out there for an average or 2:53, and he’s cashing in on that like whoa. If you were lucky enough to grab him in a keeper league on the cheap this year, enjoy the ride, because he’s not going to be cheap again until he’s aging and fading. So why does this matter right now? Could a guy like this possible be available? Why yes, yes he can! Try 31% of Yahoo leagues. He’s owned in 100% of ESPN leagues, so that does nothing for you ESPN folks, but I added him on two of my Yahoo teams just for the playoff run. Seriously. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in the world o’ fantasy hockey last night:
When the Ducks dealt Bobby Ryan to the Senators everyone wondered just what they were getting back in Jakob Silfverberg (1 G, 3 SOG, +1), the key player in the deal for the Ducks. Well, if last night’s return to action after missing 24 games with a broken hand is any indication, they might have something special. Jacke (swedish nickname for Jakob, just an FYI) scored a goal and picked up right where he left off back in October when he was matching Ryan point for point through most of the first month of the season. He wasn’t keeping that beautifully OCD parity with his goals and assists that Bobby likes to maintain, but despite missing those 24 games he’s on pace for as many goals. I guess he figures he needs to score a goal for every game he misses? What a work ethic on this kid! So what can he do for the rest of the year? It remains to be seen whether or not he pans out into a top-six forward or not, but he’s absolutely worth a flier in most leagues because the boy loves to score some goals and we love guys who love scoring goals. Jacke is mature for his age, strong, smart and a great skater with a solid set of technical skills. He has a nose for the net, as I’ve mentioned, but his shot lacks a bit of accuracy at this point in his young career. Still, he’s an immensely talented young player and worth a flier in most leagues. That’s the second time I’ve said so in this paragraph alone, so go get him! Anyway, here’s what else I saw in fantasy hockey last night: