The Week Ahead: Feb 16 – Feb 23
5 Game slates: NYI
4 Game slates: BOS, BUF, CAR, COL, CLB, DAL, EDM, FLA, MIN, MON, NASH, OTT, PHI, PIT, TB, VAN, WASH
3 Game slates: ANA, CAL, CHI, DET, LA, NJ, NYR, SJ, STL, TOR, WINN
2 Game slates: ARI
Back to Back games: ANA, BUF, CAR (x2), CLB, DAL, EDM, FLA, MON, NASH, NJ, NYI (x2), OTT, PHI, PIT, STL, TB, TOR, VAN, WASH
By Lane Myer
It’s a busy NHL schedule (save for Arizona) this week with the rare 5 game schedule for the Islanders (get all your Islander players into your weekly lineup), as well as 17 other teams set for 4 games each this week. That of course provides a multitude of goalie streaming opportunities if one is in need of goalie counting stats. Of particular note, should your league be of standard size, Carolina has two back to back sets of games this week which should translate to Cam Ward and Anton Khudobin splitting those starts. For those in leagues where Andrei Vasilevskiy isn’t owned, he makes a nice late week pickup with Tampa facing a back to back in Colorado and Arizona. Also of note, Eddie Lack should face the offensively challenged New Jersey Devils next weekend as well.
TTMI’s Trade Central
That, as the kids say, escalated quickly. Or at least a week earlier than expected with Evander Kane, Tyler Myers, Zach Bogosian, Drew Stafford and Jhonas Enroth as relevant to semi-relevant fantasy players who changed laundry this past week in two separate deals which both ran through Buffalo. Kane was already a loss leader in the deal both in real hockey terms and in fantasy hockey as his season ending shoulder injury led to a mass drop-exodus from rosters in redraft leagues. Kane obviously retains some value in keeper and dynasty leagues. Even if Kane sees a jump in ice-time next season, I’d probably still temper expectations given a combination of rehab from a shoulder surgery, a still terrible Buffalo team, and chances are he’ll be skating with a rookie center flanking either Sam Reinhart, McDavid or Eichel.
Tyler Myers and Drew Stafford will receive an automatic bump in fantasy relevance with the move west for no other reason than their plus/minus should improve. Stafford has begun his Winnipeg tenure skating on the Jets’ second line along with Scheifele and Perreault, while Myers appears to have jumped right into the first defensive pairing with Toby Enstrom. Both Stafford and Myers have also been deployed on Winnipeg’s second power play unit.
Conversely, Jhonas Enroth’s value, which was already middling due to playing in front of that putrid Buffalo team, takes an even deeper immediate hit as the result of his new backup role in Dallas. Kari Lehtonen has struggled all season long (2.87 GAA/.908 SV%), but he’s entrenched as the starter unless Enroth can improve on the 4 goals allowed that he posted Saturday night in his maiden action with the Stars.
Zach Bogosian began his tenure in Buffalo paired with Andre Benoit on the Sabres’ first defensive pairing at even strength and the second unit on the PP. Bogosian’s +1 on the season in Winnipeg figures to take a nosedive in Buffalo, but perhaps he’ll see a rise in PP TOI as Bogosian only averaged just over a minute on the man-advantage in Winnipeg.
Sunday’s dealings saw the much rumored Cody Franson’s return to Nashville come to fruition. Franson has been a -27 over the last year and a half in Toronto so going forward I’d suspect at worst he’ll maintain at least an even rating. Every Nashville defenseman who has played at least 10 games this season is at least a +4 this season except for Victor Bartley. As of now, it’s unclear as to how Franson will be used, but one would assume he’ll slide into the second pair along with Seth Jones behind the Weber/Josi top pair. Franson has compiled 32 points on the season with Toronto including 15 of those points tallied on the man-advantage. Unless you’re in a shallow 10 team league, chances are Franson is already on a roster, but he also becomes a potential buy low move.
Below we’ll keep a fluid list of other potential fantasy relevant trade victims ranging from – definitely gone to less likely to be dealt – through the trade deadline. There’s not much to analyze as until you see the player’s fit with his new team there’s not much to go on. Obviously the goal for us fantasy vultures is to find the David Perron types who may move from a terrible team to a Cup contender while gaining a boost with a top line, or at the very least, top 6 pairing role for forwards and a top 4 and/or a second PP unit role for defensemen. Thus when you see a given player get dealt, you’ll want to either immediately pounce on the waiver wire in your league, or keep an eye on the traded player’s new team to see how they’re used.
On Their Way Out of Town (barring a late contract extension)
* Rumored interested teams in parenthesis
– Jaromir Jagr (Islanders, Montreal, Washington)
– Jeff Petry (Calgary, Detroit, Los Angeles, Tampa Bay) Petry is probably only going to be relevant if he moves to a team like Detroit or Tampa Bay.
– Michael Ryder (Boston)
– Andrej Sekera (Anaheim, Chicago, Los Angeles, nearly everyone else)
– Chris Stewart (Boston, Calgary)
– Antoine Vermette (Chicago and pretty much every other NHL playoff team)
In the Maybe World
* I may have seen these guys rumored at some point, but I’m under the impression I’m basically making up these up as potential moves that make some sense.
– Michael Del Zotto should probably move, but he’s an RFA after the season which makes it less necessary for Philly deal him.
– Stefan Elliott (Detroit) with the Wings losing out in the Tyler Myers and Cody Franson sweepstakes, and Ken Holland’s general reluctance to part with young players or first round picks (Kyle Quincey notwithstanding) the Wings may look to go a much cheaper route to find their right-handed shot from the point they seem to be obsessed with. Also see Jeff Petry.
– Eddie Lack would really only be worth a mention if he’s traded somewhere like Buffalo, Edmonton, or another location where he could at least net a platoon if not a shot at a starter’s workload. Former Florida Panther top prospect, Jacob Markstrom, has rebuilt his career in AHL Utica this season posting a 1.94 GAA/.933 SV% on the season for the baby Canucks.
Rumored, but Less Likely to Move
Phil Kessel (Florida, Nashville)
Ryan o’Reilly (Arizona, Calgary, Toronto)
Dion Phaneuf (Anaheim, Dallas, Los Angeles)
Mike Richards (Toronto)
Cam Ward (no one is taking on that contract for a backup)
Keith Yandle (Anaheim, Colorado, Dallas, Detroit)
* Buffalo: With Jhonas Enroth off roping steer in Dallas, Michal Neuvirth becomes the number one goalie in Buffalo. As a result, unless Anders Lindback becomes something worth mentioning, or the Sabres somehow work out a deal to acquire Eddie Lack or Malcolm Subban, or someone similar at the deadline, this is no longer a situation worth monitoring.
* Carolina: Anton Khudobin and Cam Ward continue to split starts with both net-minders receiving one start each over Carolina’s slim two game schedule last week. Khudobin coughed up 5 large for the second start, this time to Minnesota and all at even strength. Ward only allowed 2 goals to the Ducks, but the Canes only allowed 17 shots on goal for the contest so Ward pitched to a .882 SV% for the game.
- Ward – 33 starts, 2.41 GAA, .912 SV%
- Khudobin – 18 starts, 2.69 GAA, .903%
TTMI Counsel: Two weeks ago Khudobin was on his way to reclaiming the lion’s share of starts in Carolina and then 10 goals allowed (9 at even strength) pumped the brakes on that. Meanwhile Ward has steadily kept his ratios at around league average so while they may continue to split starts it seems Ward is the safer bet going forward if you need to protect your ratio stats.
* Edmonton: As it turns out there’s a reason Viktor Fasth received the nod in three straight starts last week. Ben Scrivens has a hamstring injury that will sideline him indefinitely. Therefore Edmonton will finally be dropped from Goalie Watch unless the new backup, Richard Bachman, suddenly becomes worth a future mention.
* Winnipeg: Michael Hutchinson carried two of Winnipeg’s three starts for the week both resulting in wins despite allowing 4 goals to the Red Wings. Hutchinson did manage to hold Minnesota to one goal which essentially kept Hutchinson’s ratios status quo for the week. Ondrej Pavelec nabbed one start and for the third straight outing, allowed 3 goals (2 on the PP).
- Pavelec – 33 starts, 2.55 GAA, .910 SV%
- Hutchinson – 25 starts, 2.24 GAA, .923 SV%
TTMI Counsel: Ondrej Pavelec continued his run of mediocrity which extends his streak of allowing 3 or more goals in 14 of his last 18 starts.
Trending: The Waiver Wire
– Dan Boyle has compiled 4 goals on 16 shots and a +4 over the Rangers’ last 7 contests. Oddly, no assists over that stretch despite averaging over 3 minutes per game on the man-advantage which happens to lead the team. Boyle is about 50% owned in standard Yahoo leagues, but that’s largely based on name value as he really hasn’t been worth rostering for most of the year.
– Blake Comeau has returned from the IR and has reclaimed his slot on the Malkin line where he’s recorded a goal and 2 assists over his three game return from injury sample. Comeau has also jumped on the second PP unit where he’s averaged 1.4 minutes per game as well landing 11 hits in those 3 games.
– John Gibson is this week’s automatic add with Frederik Andersen landing on injured reserve. In Gibson’s three game sample since returning to Anaheim, he’s allowed 9 goals (3 on the PP) in 3 games, but regardless, he’s obviously the better option over Ilya Bryzgalov and even if you need to protect your ratios in Gibson’s starts against more potent offenses, he’s certainly worth an add.
– Mikko Koivu has seen his ownership rise to 42% with his recent run of success which has coincided with moving back to Minnesota’s top line centering Parise and Pominville. Mikko isn’t denting the net per se, with 2 goals over Minnesota’s last 20 games (5.8 shooting% on the season), but he does have 2 goals, 11 assists, and is a +3 over Minnesota’s last 13 games. Koivu is also skating on the Wild’s top PP unit along with Parise, Pominville, Vanek and Suter where he’s averaging 3.5 minutes per game. Also of note, Koivu has also been great at the dot with 55.5% of face-offs won on the season.
– Tyler Myers is currently only 19% owned despite the move to Winnipeg. In Myers’ two game sample with the Jets he’s recorded 2 assists (1 PP), 5 shots, 2 hits and a block. As mentioned above, Myers jumped right onto Winnipeg’s first defensive pairing along with Tobias Enstrom and he has been paired with Jacob Trouba on the Jets’ second PP unit where he’s already averaged 1.5 minutes per game in his early tenure with Winnipeg.
– Mats Zuccarello makes his second appearance on the season as the result of 4 goals, 5 assists and a +7 over the Blueshirts last 8 games. Zuccarello is skating on the Rangers’ top line along with Nash and Brassard at even strength and has also been moved up to their first unit PP. On the season, Zuccarello has averaged around 1.45 minutes per game on the man-advantage but should see a bump up in TOI as long as he remains on the first PP unit.
Deep (League) Cuts
– Cam Atkinson has 4 goals, 1 assist, and is a +6 over Columbus’ last 5 games. He’s currently only 10% owned so he makes for a nice pickup until he cools off. Atkinson is deployed on both the Jackets’ second line and their second PP unit where he averages a tick over 2.3 minutes per game.
– Kevin Hayes, you may recall, was one of three Blackhawk prospects (along with his brother Jimmy and Brandon Pirri) that were singlehandedly run out of town by Chris Block. [Editor’s note: Is that how it happened, exactly?] He has recovered, though, and follows Brandon Pirri as the hottest former Blackhawk goal scorer for the week recording a goal (one short-handed) in each of the Rangers’ three matchups for the week. Hayes also tallied 2 assists and a tidy +5 over that span His hot stretch now gives Hayes 4 goals and 5 assists over NY’s last 8 games. Captain Stairwell has been skating on the third line at even strength, but has been moved up to the second PP unit along with Kreider and Zuccarello.
– Dwight King is also on a roll since moving to LA’s second line having tallied 3 goals, 2 assists, 12 shots, and a +5 over the Kings’ last 3 games. Apparently that was deemed worthy of also gaining first PP unit time despite having only averaged less than 27 seconds per game on the man-advantage on the season. King has also kicked in 81 hits in 55 games.
– Oscar Klefbom currently only a scant 2% owned (Oilers and all), is very quietly starting to emerge as a top pair defenseman for the Oil having compiled 2 goals, 6 assists, and for the Oilers, a staggering +4 over Edmonton’s last 10 matchups. Thus far his run hasn’t amounted to PP time as Edmonton only uses one defenseman per pairing on the PP and Justin Schultz and Jeff Petry currently occupy those two spots. With Petry’s impending exit from Edmonton, that could/should mean Klefbom nets his spot on the second unit.
– Morgan Rielly, currently only 9% owned, has 3 goals and 4 assists over Toronto’s last 10 games. Unfortunately that production is accompanied by a -6 over that span. More importantly, with Cody Franson’s return to Nashville, Rielly seems to be the best bet to replace Franson on Toronto’s top PP unit. Rielly has averaged a tick under two minutes per game on the man-advantage this season, but considering Franson was deployed over 3 minutes per game on the PP, Rielly has the opportunity to net an extra minute per game on the man-advantage.
– Drew Stafford also receives a proactive mention with the move west which thus far has resulted in a PP goal on 7 shots along with deployment on Winnipeg’s second line at both even strength and the PP. Stafford has already racked up over 5 minutes of action on the man-advantage in two games.
Fantasy Hawk Factor
Second Line Heroes Watch (for the week)
- Kane – 1 goal, 3 assists, 12 shots, -1
- Richards – 0 goals, 0 assists, 10 shots, -4
- Sharp – 0 goals, 0 assists, 6 shots, -3
- Toews – 1 goals, 4 assists, 15 shots, +5
- Hossa – 5 goals, 1 assist, 14 shots, +4
- Saad – 1 goal, 3 assists, 8 shots, +4
– Art Ross Trophy Watch: with Patrick Kane’s 4 point week, he moves into first place at the top of the points leader board with 63 points. Jakub Voracek with 60 points remains in second place. Kane has now recorded 23 goals and 30 assists over Chicago’s last 41 games.
– Marian Hossa is the story with 7 goals (3 PP) on 16 shots over Chicago’s last 5 games. Hossa has also averaged over 20 minutes per game over the last 4 games.
– Patrick Sharp, it appears, may either be nursing an injury or has drawn Q’s ire for something that at press time, I haven’t seen reported. His ice time over the last two games has dropped to just over 13 minutes per game and he started Sunday’s game on the 4th line. He had a very un-Sharp like four game stretch for the week recording only 6 shots which was 1 shot less than his total for the matchup against the Blues last Sunday. On the season, Sharp has recorded 7 of his 10 goals on the PP which has his shooting% at even strength resting at an abysmal 1.9% this season.
– Kris Versteeg bounced around the bottom 6 since returning from injury, but spent some time on the second line on Sunday. Versteeg tallied a goal on 7 shots with a -2 over his 3 games since returning.
– Teuvo Watch: Picture unavailable