Hat tricks have been in vogue lately so Blake Wheeler decided to take it to another level. Wheeler scored a hat trick in the first period on Sunday and later added an assist in the 7-1 win over the Penguins. Wheeler has been the fantasy stalwart we've become accustomed to in the early going with 4+8, +3, 12 PIM, 35 SOG and 4 STP in 10 games. I don't know how many more years Wheeler will keep up this level of play but for now, he's a top 20 player with relative ease. Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
Early in the season a lack of patience is one of the biggest mistakes new fantasy owners make. They are quick to drop established stars starting slow, quick to add and overvalue upstart rookies and old vets that are hot out of the gate and predictably, this is a recipe for disaster. As such, I preach patience as a virtue early on pretty heavily and try and reinforce the idea whenever I can. It’s important to troll the wire constantly throughout the season for streaking players, but now that we’re in the second half of the season you don’t have the luxury of time that you had in the first half and waiting for players like Matt Duchene (1 A, 2 SOG, -1) or Jordan Eberle, RW (1 G, 3 SOG, +1) to get going may cost you a playoff berth.
It’s not often that a second year defenseman ends up on the top pairing for a cup contending team, but Dougie Hamilton (1 G, 2 A, 3 SOG, +2, 2 PIM) broke that mold and earned a place along side Zdeno Chara (1 SOG, even) on the Bs top pairing for a few games in a row now and the results have been very positive at both ends of the ice. When asked about his new weapon on the blue line Bs head coach Claude Julien had nothing but glowing remarks for Hammy’s performance of late; “He’s been good. He’s been steady. He’s moved the puck well. He’s got good vision. He’s got good size, good reach. This is a player that with time will get stronger. He’s a big body. He’ll get stronger. He’ll probably be more impactful than he is right now. But his game has been really good. I think he’s handled it well.” All of this bodes well for his chances of staying on that pairing moving forward, and that also bodes well for his ability to give you those tasty blue line points down the stretch. “Bodes” sounds like a word a sufer would use, doesn’t? “Oh man, Hammy’s gnarly bodes rocked last night!” Come to think of it, that doesn’t sound too family safe. Hmn. Anyway, Hammy contributed in just about every way you could hope for as a fantasy owner and given his choice new home next to Chara, you can expect more of this moving forward from the rookie defenseman. So far he has 18 points in 44 games which puts him on pace for around 28 points in 66 games by season’s end and I think it’s probably that he’ll hit that mark, so look for another 10-15 points from Hammy, so if you need help on your blue line down the stretch here’s a great option as he’s only owned in 12% of ESPN leagues and 26% of Yahoo leagues. Anyway, here's what else I saw in the world o' fantasy hockey last night:
Tyler Bozak (2 G, 1 A, 3 SOG, even) seems to be working really hard to make up for the fact that he listens to Miley Cyrus. No, seriously, he does! He chose the Leafs’ postgame song once earlier in the year and put on the ole’ wrecking ball herself. That might be why he sucked so hard to start the season despite having the mighty duo of James van Riemsdyk and Phil Kessel on his wings. Just how well has he been doing? Over the last five games he has four goals and six points with three goals coming in the last two games. Stretch that out a bit more and he has 15 points in his last 12 games and if you look at his whole year he’s rockin’ a line with 22 points in 24 games with a plus-12 rating to boot! This is easily Bozak’s best season as a pro and had the first half not been, well, cut in half, he might be among the league leaders in scoring if it wasn’t for one scary indicator, his shooting percentage which sits at an obese 28.1% so far. Why obese? Because that shiz is not healthy and it screams regression to the mean, that’s why! Sorry, didn’t mean to get uppity there. I digress, his track record to date isn’t that great and with that big shooting percentage gut of his hanging over his belt I doubt we can expect him to continue this torrid pace for the rest of the season. With that being said, he plays with some seriously nasty snipers and even if he slumps a bit he can still live off their table scraps and his TOI has spiked up over 20 minutes per. He’s basically gone in ESPN leagues (~99% owned) but he’s only owned in 33% of Yahoo! Leagues. Oh, Yahoo, you let me down again. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in the world o’ fantasy hockey last night: