And you may find yourself….
The Week Ahead: Feb 23 – Mar 1
4 Game slates: ANA, ARI, CLB, DET, FLA, LA, NJ, STL
3 Game slates: BOS, BUF, CAL, CAR, CHI, COL, DAL, MIN, MON, NASH, NYI, NYR, OTT, PHI, TOR, VAN, WASH, WINN
2 Game slates: EDM, PIT, SJ, TB
Back to Back games: ARI, BOS, CAL, CAR, CHI, COL, CLB, DET, FLA, LA, NJ, NYI, OTT, STL, TOR
By Lane Myer
TTMI’s Trade Central
Week two of the run-up to the trade deadline revealed…nothing. Not even a minor trade involving a role player. Even the rumor mongering from respectable insider types was largely hushed aside from some speculation that Bruins’ GM Peter Chiarelli could be on the outs if Boston were to miss the playoffs. That led to some new names allegedly hitting the trade block including Zdeno Chara, Loui Eriksson, Malcom Subban and Dennis Seidenberg. Seidenberg is largely irrelevant for fantasy purposes and I think there is next to no chance Chara moves before the draft. I’m also putting little weight into Jordan Staal’s return to Pittsburgh rumors.
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
– Erik Cole
– Curtis Glencross (Chicago, Winnipeg, supposedly 12 other teams)
– Jaromir Jagr (Islanders, Montreal, Washington)
– Jeff Petry (Calgary, Detroit, Los Angeles, Tampa) 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, Los Angeles, Rangers, Pittsburgh, Tampa and nearly everyone else)
– Chris Stewart (Boston, Calgary, Winnipeg)
– Jiri Tlusty
– Antoine Vermette (Chicago, Boston, Montreal, 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.
– Cam Atkinson (Boston) Atkinson is an RFA after the season so chances are he stays put.
– 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.
– Loui Eriksson: this one I could see happen as Eriksson has never really been a fit in Claude Lemaire’s system.
– 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.
– Antti Niemi: only if the Sharks fall further back by the deadline.
– Malcom Subban – there has to be a reason he was recalled from the AHL despite a lack of playing time, right? Showcase?
– Marek Zidlicky
Rumored, but Less Likely to Move
Mike Green is highly unlikely to move
Phil Kessel (Florida, Nashville)
Ryan o’Reilly (Arizona, Buffalo, 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: Anders Lindback has yet to break a sweat for Buffalo so it’s definitely Neuvirth’s audition as a workhorse goalie…or to ensure Buffalo banks as few standings points as possible. Therefore Buffalo is dead to Goalie Watch unless the Sabres somehow work out a deal to acquire Eddie Lack or Malcolm Subban, or someone similar at the deadline.
* Carolina: Anton Khudobin and Cam Ward, as we predicted at the top of last week’s column, split the four Hurricane matchups for the week which largely ended in expected results. Khudobin allowed 3 goals in each of his two starts which both resulted in a loss. Conversely Cam Ward also gave up 3 goals to Ottawa but managed to hold the struggling Leafs to a single goal en route to compiling two wins on the week.
- Ward – 35 starts, 2.39 GAA, .913 SV%
- Khudobin – 20 starts, 2.73 GAA, .901%
TTMI Counsel: Ward has now recorded a win in 4 of his last 5 starts while allowing 11 goals over that span. He’s managed to slowly drag his ratios back above league average and he can be safely started in deep leagues aw well as in standard size leagues where he’s worthy of a start in favorable matchups against the likes of Toronto or Ottawa or Buffalo type teams. Khudobin, meanwhile, probably should be stapled to your bench for the time being until he can snap out of his current 5 game slump where he’s coughed up 17 goals in just over 4 games played.(he was yanked after 3 minutes in one of those starts). After a January hot stretch where Khudobin compiled 6 wins over a 6 start stretch while failing to allow more than 2 goals in any of those 6 contests, he’s faded badly in February.
* Edmonton: Last week’s note- 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. In true Edmonton fashion, the roles were reversed last week with Scrivens activated in time for Fasth to hit the IR with a knee injury. The anointed backup, which of course was the same backup last week, is Richard Bachman who has only seen two periods of action since being recalled back on Valentine’s Day when he allowed 4 goals to the Senators. Scrivens has basically been Ben Scrivens over his 3 game return from the IR having allowed 9 goals in those 3 starts.
* Winnipeg: Michael Hutchinson again carried two of Winnipeg’s three starts for the week and somehow managed to allow 4 goals to both the Leafs and Oilers. Despite the 4 goals allowed, he still managed to record a win against the Oil. Ondrej Pavelec nabbed one start and once again gagged up 4 goals to the Capitals (3 on the PP).
- Pavelec – 36 starts, 2.60 GAA, .909 SV%
- Hutchinson – 29 starts, 2.36 GAA, .918 SV%
TTMI Counsel: After allowing 8 goals last week, Hutchinson’s save% dropped 5 points from .923 to .918. You’ve probably missed your chance to sell high on him, but I would still make an attempt if you can afford to subtract a goalie. Meanwhile, Ondrej Pavelec continued his run of sub-league average play which extends his streak of allowing 3 or more goals in 15 of his last 19 starts. It should be noted this run of bad goalie starts isn’t all on the crease-minders themselves. Winnipeg leads the league in penalties taken and this past week was a microcosm of that undisciplined play as 8 of the 12 goals Hutchinson and Pavelec combined to allow last week were the result of special teams goals which included 7 goals on the PP and 1 short-handed goal.
Trending: The Waiver Wire
– Andrew Hammond, perhaps to the detriment of Ottawa’s draft lottery chances, has flashed stellar play in his admittedly small 2 start sample in the capital city. Thus far Hammond has allowed 3 goals in two starts against the Canadiens and Panthers which also resulted in 2 wins. Hammond wasn’t exactly tearing up AHL Binghamton given his abysmal 3.51 GAA and .898 save%, but with Robin Lehner dealing with a concussion (he may be able to travel with the Senators on their forthcoming road trip later in the week) until then, ride him while he’s hot. I’d be careful with matchups against more potent offenses if you need to protect your ratio stats, however.
– Anders Lee – this should about be last call on Lee as he makes his third appearance here on these digital pages but the first time as a mention outside of the Deep Cuts section. Of course the reason for that is that Lee has been moved up to the Isles’ first line at even strength and on the PP respectively. The move has paid off with Lee recording 4 goals and 7 assists over the last 10 games and his PP TOI has moved u towards nearly 2 minutes per game on the man-advantage. Lee also has 21 hits over New York’s last 5 games.
– Curtis McElhinney has filled in admirably, or at least league average-ably compiling a 2.69 GAA and an above league average .918 save% which is actually 5 points better than Bobrovsky since McElhinney replaced the injured Russian back on January 21st, McElhinney has only allowed more than 3 goals once in 11 starts. Of course he’s allowed exactly 3 goals in 6 of those 11 starts but that should be about what one should expect from a career backup goalie. McElhinney is worth a start in a favorable matchup against lower scoring teams.
– Milan Michalek currently occupies one-third of the top line in Ottawa along with Kyle Turris and Mark Stone. That line has been on fire as of late having recorded 10 goals and 15 assists over Ottawa’s last 6 contests. Michalek, for his part, has 4 goals and 4 assists over that 6 game sample, while also continuing his broader run of success after tallying 8 goals and 7 assists over the Senators’ last 16 games. Michalek averages just under 2 minutes per game on the PP this season while also nearly matching that time on the PK. Michalek has one shorthanded goal on the season.
– Mark Stone, also one-third of the hottest line in hockey, has banked 2 goals and 6 assists over the aforementioned 6 game sample of kerosene the Sens top line has been torching the opposition with. In a larger sample, Stone also has 24 points over his last 21 games while averaging over 18 minutes per game across that timeframe. Understandably, Stone’s PP TOI has also risen to over 2.15 minutes per game while also averaging nearly 1.5 minutes per on the PK. Stone’s shooting% currently sits at 15.4% so he’s probably due for some regression, but he’s still worth a look while he’s riding shotgun on the Turris line.
Deep (League) Cuts
– Kyle Palmieri – the Ducks’ have curiously bumped Corey Perry to the Kesler (second) line allowing the former Domer to replace Perry at RW on the Getzlaf line. Thus far it’s resulted in 1 goal, 3 assists, 9 shots, and a +3 in 3 games. Also worth mentioning is that Palmieri had been skating on Anaheim’s second PP unit, but spent Saturday’s game on the first unit.
– Kimmo Timonen has obviously not played this season as the result of some troubling blood clots, but reportedly Timonen could return on Saturday. I’m mentioning him here solely on the chance he’s 80% of what he normally is which is a force on the man-advantage. Even at the age of 38 last year, Timonen still managed to record 35 points with 20 of them as the result of the PP. He might be worth speculating on in deeper leagues.
– Nail Yakupov, quietly, is on a bit of a run with 4 goals and 4 assists over Edmonton’s last 8 matchups. He’s only a -2 over that span as well. Yakupov is skating on Edmonton’s second line along with Derek Roy and Teddy Purcell which also happens to compose the Oilers’ second PP unit of which Yakupov averages nearly 2 minutes of deployment per game. Yakupov is only firing at a 6.9% clip this season so there is also some room for improvement (career understatement) in the goal scoring department.
– Nikita Zadorov, when not being benched for disciplinary reasons, continues to flash high upside recording a goal and 6 assists in his last 9 games. Prior to the benching, Zadorov had worked his way up to the Sabres first PP unit where he’s averaging 1.51 minutes per game. Zadorov has also been a bit of a force in the physical stats department compiling 100 hits and 52 blocks in 42 games. He might not be worth a roster spot for standard size leaguers, but for those in dynasty leagues with deeper stat categories, this might present itself as an opportunity to either pick him up or buy low on him.
Fantasy Hawk Factor (or Non-)
Second Line Heroes Watch (for the week)
- Kane – 1 assist, 13 shots, even
- Richards –1 assist, 4 shots, -1
- Versteeg – 2 goals, 0 assists, 5 shots, +1
- Toews – 1 goal, 0 assists, 4 shots, +1
- Hossa – 1 assist, 8 shots, even
- Saad – 1 goal, 0 assists, 5 shots, -3
– Art Ross Trophy Watch: Patrick Kane’s 1 point week allowed Nicklas Backstrom to catch him atop the NHL points leader-board with 64 points. Jakub Voracek stands one point back with 63 points to remain in second place. Kane has recorded 23 goals and 31 assists over Chicago’s last 44 games.
Individual Blackhawk Goal Scoring Slump Watch
Hjalmarsson – 1 goal over the last 45 games
Keith – 1 goal over the last 31 contests (76 shots)
Kruger – 1 goal over the last 34 games (40 shots)
Oduya – Goalless over the last 17 games (19 shots)
Richards – Goalless over the last 17 games (44 shots)
Seabrook – Goalless over the last 24 games (56 shots)
Sharp – 1 goal over the last 19 games (45 shots)
Shaw – Goalless over the last 12 games (19 shots)
Smith – Goalless over the last 25 games (27 shots)
– Patrick Sharp, as noted above, has recorded just 1 goal over his last 19 games. Sharp has 9 assists and also a -8 over that timeframe. Sharp’s shooting% at even strength took another dip from an already abysmal 1.92% to 1.79% on the season. His even strength points per 60 minute average is now tied with Bryan Bickell at 1.73 points per game. Of course, skating on the fourth line with offensive black holes like Kruger and Smith are not going to help matters. Sharp has also been bumped from his spot on the first PP unit. Even though one would assume a market correction should be forthcoming, it won’t be as long as he’s losing time on the PP and skating on the fourth line at even strength. Thus it’s probably time to play it safe and shop Sharp around your league to see if your competition hasn’t noticed his current standing.
– Teuvo Watch: our sources indicate Teravainen remains in Rockford under the evil eagle eye of TTMI’s resident French adult-entertainment site spam magnet, Christophe LeBloc.