At this point in the season the wire has been picked clean and then picked clean again like so many bones days after Thanksgiving. Sometimes you’ll get lucky and an owner who dumped some key guys who had no games remaining last week but lost so they’re still sitting there for you to bolster your roster with in the championship round, but normally there isn’t much to work with. Given that, the emergency recall of high scoring prospect Stanislav Galiev might be worth your attention. A former third round pick in 2010, Galiev posted 45 points (25 G, 20 A) in 64 games with the Hersey Bears this season and gets a chance late this season due to the mounting injury woes the playoff bound Caps are facing. They’ll want to rest some of their key guys and that gives Galiev a chance to play a couple games on big ice. You can’t expect a ton from the kid given his past struggles; he bounced back and fourth between the ECHL and AHL in two seasons prior to his successful campaign this year, so he hasn’t exactly torn it up and skyrocketed to big ice as a result, but like I said to open this little blurb, it’s slim pickings right now and you can expect Galiev to get decent minutes and maybe pot a goal or two over the next two games and at this point in the season that can make all the difference. If you’re in a deep league he’s absolutely worth streaming. If you’re in a more shallow league I might hold off, but not too long as the Caps only play two more games this week and if you’re going to get anything from this kid you’ll need both games to make it worth your while. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in the world o’ fantasy hockey recently:
Pavel Datsuyk will be a game-time decision tonight. He didn’t skate with the team this morning, so that’s bad. Wings GM Ken Holland says he’ll take pre-game warm ups and they’ll make a decision then. Fun.
Justin Abdelkader is doubtful for tonight’s tilt as well. Expect Darren Helm to be on the top line with Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsuyk if he’s healthy.
Vladimir Tarasenko remains out and won’t play tonight. I doubt we’ll see him suit up again in the regular season this year.
Alexander Steen is out tonight with a lower-body injury as well.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and his red-hot play are doubtful for tonight due to a lower-body injury he suffered a few games ago. Like the Avs, there’s nothing left to play for at this point so don’t expect the Oil to rush him back.
Max Pacioretty won’t play on Thursday, so be prepared to be without him for the rest of the week. He could play on Saturday, but I wouldn’t expect the Habs to risk their top goal scorer in meaningless games, especially considering the Rangers are likely going to lock up the President’s Trophy tonight against the Devils.
Erik Johnson will sit out again tonight and honestly I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t play again this season either.
Anders Lindback, G (W, 49 SV, 3 GA, .942%) – It doesn’t seem to matter how many shots get sent his way, Lindy is going to cough up three goals a game. Last night he was absolutely peppered to the tune of 52 shots and steered 49 of them away in a 4-3 victory over the lowly Hurricanes. Did anyone watch this game anywhere? Did anyone own anyone on either of these teams at this point? Why am I even talking about Lindback?
Eric Staal, C (1 G, 1 A, 4 SOG) – Considering the injuries he suffered through and the team he plays for, Staal’s season line of 23/30/53/-13 in 74 games isn’t terrible, but it’s still pretty awful for a guy who routinely posts near point-per-game production regularly. He has four points (2 G, 2 A) over his last four games so he’s worth starting at the moment and come next season you can expect him to be undervalued at the draft table. At just 30-years-old there’s no reason to expect anything but a rebound season from the talented pivot in 2015.
Brian Gionta, RW (1 G, 1 A, 2 SOG) – Gionta might only have 33 points in 67 games so far this season, but 14 of those points have come in his last 19 games. Even better, he has seven points (2 G, 7 A) over his last five. You might think his plus/minus is would be a bit of a pain to endure here but he’s been so hot he’s actually sporting a plus-1 over his last five games. Are you streaming him yet? No? How about now?
Alexander Semin, RW (1 G, 8 SOG, +1) – This is the type of game you expect out of Semin. Check that, this is the type of game you expected from him two years ago. I’m not sure if he’s going to rebound next year or what, but I know I won’t be finding out by drafting him anywhere, that’s for damn sure.
Henrik Lundqvist, G (W, 29 SV, 3 GA, .906%) – Hank wasn’t brilliant in this one but he was good enough to hold on while the Rangers offense mounted a last second comeback to down the Jackets 4-3 in OT. Expect Cam Talbot to be between the pipes for the Rangers’ tilt tonight against the Devils and for Hank to return to action and start the last two games for the Rangers as they close out what looks like a President’s Trophy winning regular season.
Sergei Bobrovsky, G (L, 38 SV, 4 GA, .905%) – Yeah, Bob’s 2.76 goals-against average is pretty hard to swallow, though his .916 save percentage helps slightly. Combine the injuries he suffered and the unreal loss of games played due to injury for the Jackets as a whole and you have a pretty solid explanation as to what the eff happened to Bob’s season. Look for a rebound in 2015, but not to his Vezina winning form. He’s good, but he isn’t that good.
Dan Girardi, D (1 G, 2 SOG, 2 PIM) – If you own Girardi it’s because you’re in a very deep league that counts hits and blocks so this goal was a huge bonus at this point. He won’t score another and if you own him outside of deep hits/blocks league, you cray.
Marko Dano, C (1 G, 2 SOG, +1) – The gritty rookie winger potted a goal last night on the heels of a two-helper game against the Pens on Saturday. He sports a season line of 8/11/19/+10 in 32 games and that’s probably the offensive pace you can expect from the kid in 2015 as well. The real value here will be the hits, blocks and penalty minutes he brings to the table. I’m not all about Dano for next season, but he’s absolutely worth drafting in deep leagues.
Brandon Dubinsky, C (1 G, 3 SOG, -1) – Dubs has seven points (3 G, 4 A) over his last five games. That’s great. It would have been a lot greater if he did it last week when my team actually needed this kind of explosion. Now? Not so much. I love Dubs’ multi-category goodness but I don’t know if I can deal with the injuries again next season. I won’t advice you to avoid him, but I probably will.
Derek Stepan, C (2 G, 1 A, 6 SOG) – Step had that long 13 game scoreless streak and everyone was freaking out about it and justifiably so. The drought came as most teams were fighting for a fantasy playoff berth and Step was doing little to help the cause. Well, if you made it this far and held on to him he’s coming through for you in a big way lately with six points (3 G, 3 A) over his last four games.
Martin St. Louis, RW (1 G, 3 SOG, +1) – Is there any questioning whether Marty is past it? I mean sure, he’s still somewhat effective, but he certainly isn’t worth the 5 million-plus bones he gets per year. He’s a UFA at the end of this season and I doubt very highly that he’ll retire, so expect Glen Sather to re-sign him for somewhere in the range of too much to way too much. Don’t make the same mistake and draft him, though.
Ondrej Pavelec, G (W, 32 SV, 1.000%, SHO) – Sure, Pavs gives you a shutout here steering away all 32 shots he faced to do it, but come on, it’s A Clockwork Ondrej we’re talking about here. He was playing way over his head recently and came back down to earth coughing up seven goals over the two games prior to this stellar effort. One way or the other Michael Hutchinson will be the starter by the end of next season, but for now if you own Pavs and you’re still alive, you might as well ride him.
Devan Dubnyk, G (L, 32 SV, 2 GA, .941%) – Starting in his 876th straight game for the Wild Doobie stood tall steering aside 32 of 34 shots but received little offensive support and suffered the loss. There isn’t much more to say here, just treat him like the Wild do and start him no matter what.
Drew Stafford, RW (1 G, 2 SOG, +1) – After getting traded away from the woeful Buffalo Sabres Staff came alive and put up 14 points (6 G, 8 A) over 14 games in March and has three points (1 G, 2 A) over his last five. He remains a solid streaming option with three games left to play this week.
Blake Wheeler, RW (1 G, 4 SOG, +1) – I didn’t get to draft Wheels anywhere this year and I regret that. He’s had a solid season, as ever, and I’ll make it a point to draft him next season when I think he’ll put up a career year.
Eddie Lack, G (W, 36 SV, 1 GA, .973%) – Ugh. Shout out to frequent commenter Fungazi who asked whether he should start Lack or not and I said no. In my defense the Kings were coming off back-to-back wins and potted 11 goals over those two games while Lack had lost his previous two starts and coughed up eight goals doing so. Combine that with the Canucks’ lack of drive and the Kings’ desperation to make the playoffs and you’d have thought Lack would at least cough up two or three goals in this one, but now, he played out of his mind and stopped 36 of 37 for the shootout victory. My bad, dude.
Jon Quick, G (L, 37 SV, 1 GA, .974%) – Over the second half of the season Quick really tried to take the Kings’ destiny in his own hands and played some incredible hockey but alas, they don’t seem to want to play in the post season this year. He pushed away 37 of 38 shots he faced but Eddie Lack and the Canucks out lasted him in the shootout. At least he provided his owners stellar peripherals. I’d start him no matter what over the last few games.
Jhonas Enroth, G (W, 23 SV, 1 GA, .958%) – It’s rare that I can say something good about a Dallas goaltender. So rare, in fact, that I have no idea what to say when the opportunity arises to say something nice. So… yeah.
Alex Stalock, G (L, 20 SV, 5 GA, .800%) – I noticed the Sharks starting to give Stalock a bunch of starts once they were eliminated from the playoffs and started to get excited. I figured they were giving him an opportunity to show he’s worthy of a chance to start in 2015, and it started to look like that was the case, until this game.
Jason Spezza, C (2 A, 4 SOG, even) – Spaz was able to limp his way past the 60-point plateau with a couple helpers last night, but by and large is season was a lost one given the expectations set out for him in the preseason. Honestly, I think the days of Spezza being a source of near point-per-game production are over so if you draft him in 2015 do so expecting around 15 goals and 60 points and you’ll be fine.
Tyler Seguin, C (2 A, 2 SOG, +1) – The only reason Seguin doesn’t have more than 50 goals and close to 90 points by now is because of missed time due to injury. That is all.