Feb 092015
 

The Week Ahead: Feb 9 – Feb 15

4 Game slates: ARI, CHI, EDM, FLO, MIN, SJ, VAN
3 Game slates: ANA, CAL, CLB, DAL, LA, MON, NASH, NJ, NYI, NYR, OTT, PHI, PIT, STL, TB, TOR, WASH, WINN
2 Game slates: BOS, BUF, CAR, COL, DET
Back to Back games: ARI (x2), COL, DAL, EDM, FLO, MIN, NJ, PIT, VAN, WASH

By Lane Myer

With three weeks before the NHL trade deadline, the mix of possible trade targets will begin to become a little clearer over the next 7-10 days. Thus next week we’ll take a closer look at some of the players who are relevant for fantasy purposes that also may already be on your league’s waiver wire. The object here of course is to target players such as David Perron who was irrelevant in Edmonton this season and dropped to waivers in about 70% of leagues. He then became immediately addable after the trade to Pittsburgh and a plush role on the Crosby line.

Some names to consider in the interim are those who have popped up in trade rumors already at various times this season such as Chris Stewart, Jaromir Jagr, Cody Franson, Tyler Myers, Antoine Vermette, Mike Richards, Andrej Sekera, Drew Stafford, Jhonas Enroth and so on. One could also consider the more unlikely trade possibilities of long-shots such as Kessel, Phaneuf and Cam Ward. Those trades, if they ever come to fruition, likely won’t occur until the off-season unless the recent injury to the Kings’ Alec Martinez gets the Leafs and Kings engaged in a package involving Phaneuf and Mike Richards.

Goalie Watch

* With Hank Lundquist placed on IR, Cam Talbot is obviously the goalie to own in New York for at least the next three weeks. In a related note, Steve Mason left Sunday’s start early with what was deemed the dreaded “lower body injury”. Mason has had back problems this season so for now, if you’re desperate for goalie counting stats, Ray Emery may be worth an add once again.   Darcy Kuemper has also been recalled from his conditioning stint from AHL Iowa, but it’s pretty safe to assume that with Dubnyk’s recent dominance, it’s his job to lose.

* Buffalo: Michal Neuvirth has returned from his “lower body injury” seeing his first action in over 3 weeks. It resulted in expected results with 3 goals allowed to the Islanders. Meanwhile, Jhonas Enroth carried Buffalo’s three other starts for the week resulting in unexpected results. Only two goals allowed to each the Blues, Canadiens, and Stars respectively. We’ll continue to track whether Neuvirth can net more than 1 out of every 3-4 Buffalo starts.

* Carolina: Anton Khudobin and Cam Ward continue to battle it out in the most meh-like fashion. Khudobin coughed up 5 large to the Ducks while Ward allowed 4 to the Sharks after being awarded a gift start against the offensively inept Coyotes.

  • Ward – 32 starts, 2.42 GAA, .913 SV%
  • Khudobin – 17 starts, 2.55 GAA, .909%

TTMI Counsel: Thanks to the Arizona start where Ward allowed just one goal, his ratios remained exactly equal to his season total.   Conversely, Khudobin seems to receive more than his fair share of the tough starts which probably shouldn’t be all that surprising for a team that is looking to unload Ward’s contract.

* Edmonton: A week after it appeared the Oilers were about to fall off Goalie Watch due to Viktor Fasth’s relative inactivity, Fasth was called upon to start both Oiler starts for the week where he predictably allowed 7 goals over those two matchups.

  • Fasth – 20 starts, 3.34 GAA, .889 SV%
  • Scrivens – 33 starts, 3.05 GAA, .894 SV%

TTMI Counsel: Fasth gave up 4 goals to the Sharks last Sunday and yet he received the start for the following two matchups….makes sense.   Perhaps the Oilers are attempting to trade Fasth and thus are trying to showcase whatever it is he brings to the crease. Not that Scrivens has been much better, but this week made no sense other than to create more busy work for the present author.

* Winnipeg: For the first time in nearly two months, Ondrej Pavelec saw the ice more than former Winnipeg crease savior, Michael Hutchinson, at least for one week’s sample. Granted, each netminder received two starts, but after Hutchinson was pulled after allowing four goals to Calgary, Pavelec came on in relief to shut the door on the Flames in the final 12 minutes of action.

  • Pavelec – 32 starts, 2.54 GAA, .911 SV%
  • Hutchinson – 23 starts, 2.23 GAA, .923 SV%

TTMI Counsel: Hutchinson’s market correction continues, but apparently all he needs to stop the bleeding at any given slumping interval is a matchup with our heroes from Chicago. Ondrej Pavelec, meanwhile, also continued his decline after allowing 3 goals in each of his 2 starts which extends his streak of allowing 3 or more goals in 13 of his last 17 starts.

Trending: The Waiver Wire

– Ales Hemsky has recorded 2 goals and 3 assists over the Stars’ last six contests along with 11 shots. Dallas is club where their bottom 9 rotates quite heavily with various line combos including Hemsky seeing time on the first line with Seguin and Benn twice over this 10 game stretch. Hemsky does see regular shifts on the second PP unit where he averages over two minutes per game.

– Evgeny Kuznetsov has settled into the second line center position in the Capital centering our old pal Troy Brouwer and fellow comrade Andre Burakovsky. Thus far it’s translated to 2 goals and 5 assists over Washington’s last 7 games. Kuznetsov sees regular second unit shifts on the man advantage at around 1.5 minutes per game. He won’t contribute much of anything in the physical stat department and he’s underwater at the dot at 44.8%.

– Chris Stewart has been all kinds of awful this season but he has compiled 4 goals and 7 assists over Buffalo’s last 13 games. Unfortunately that also comes with a -14 rating over that span. Those in head to head leagues may be able to absorb his plus/minus rating a bit easier, but the main point here is that Stewart will be traded at some point over the next 3 weeks. So if you’re in a deeper league, it may be a good time to scoop him up now before he’s traded to Boston and rides shotgun with Krejci and Lucic on the Bruins first line (or a similar position elsewhere at the very least).

– Cam Talbot checks in with the week’s Captain Obvious selection in lieu of Henrik Lundquist’s injury which will sideline the veteran Swede for at least 3 weeks. Not that anyone is going to confuse Talbot for Lundquist, but in 12 starts this season, Talbot is basically Lundquist’s equal ratio wise at 2.28 GAA and a .918 SV%. Lundquist stands at 2.25/.922 respectively.

Deep (League) Cuts

– Mark Arcobello has been awarded the LW slot on the Penguins’ second line flanking Evgeni Malkin and Patric Hornqvist. Thus far it has translated to an assist and 7 shots in 3 games. Pittsburgh shuffles up the LW slot on the second PP unit with a rotation of Arcobello, Downie and Sutter so he doesn’t see regular PP time.

– Joe Colborne has tallied 3 goals and 5 assists over Calgary’s last 10 games on only 14 shots. Calgary has been line shuffling quite a bit of late with Colborne seeing time with Hudler and Raymond one game on the first line and then bumped to the third line with Bouma and Stajan the next. At any rate, Colborne still checks in with an average of two minutes per game on the PP. Colborne is stout at the dot with 52.7% of face-offs won to go along with 83 hits in 35 games.

– Brandon Pirri is the hottest goal scorer in the NHL with 6 goals in the last 7 Florida matchups. Pirri is regularly deployed on the Panthers’ third line with fellow former Blackhawk great, Dave Bolland, and perpetually underachieving Tomas Fleischmann. Pirri does skate regular second PP unit minutes along with Brad Boyes and Jussi Jokinen.

– Jakob Silfverberg has two goals and two assists in Anaheim’s last 4 skates along with 10 shots on goal. Anaheim has been shaking up their lines lately with the second and third lines seeing some rotation, so Silfverberg has seen time on the Kesler and Cogliano second and third lines respectively. That said, Silfverberg has seen regular shifts on the Ducks’ second PP unit with Kesler and Beleskey. Silverberg doesn’t contribute much in the way of hits or blocks or draws so ride the offensive production while he’s hot and once he cools it’s on to the next guy.

Fantasy Hawk Factor

Second Line Heroes Watch (for the week)

  • Kane – 1 goal, 2 assists, 7 shots
  • Richards – 1 assist, 8 shots, -1
  • Sharp – 1 assist, 10 shots, -2

First Release

  • Toews – 0 goals, 0 assists, 2 shots, -2 (guh)
  • Hossa – 2 goals, 5 shots, -1
  • Saad – 1 goal, 2 assists, 5 shots

Art Ross Trophy Watch: with Patrick Kane’s 3 point week, he moves into a three-way tie at the top of the points leader board with Tyler Seguin and Jakub Voracek with 59 points. Kane has now recorded 22 goals and 27 assists over Chicago’s last 37 games.

– Marian Hossa’s two goals Sunday versus the Blues broke a 5 game pointless streak which also saw Hossa held to only 6 shots in those 5 contests. After seeing his shooting% revert back to around his career average in December at 12.5%, Hossa’s shooting% sunk again throughout January falling to 5.4%.

– Teuvo Watch: Teravainen was held scoreless along with a -1 over Chicago’s 3 game schedule this week. On the plus side, after averaging just 9.2 minutes per game last week, Teravainen’s TOI rose to an average over 13 minutes per game this week including peaking at nearly 14.3 minutes in the matchup versus the Jets. Unfortunately, Teuvo is still being withheld from special teams play because – Andrew Shaw!

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Lane Myer

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