The Week Ahead: March 9 – March 15
4 Game slates: ANA, BOS, CAR, CLB, DAL, DET, NASH, NYI, NYR, OTT, PHI, PIT, STL, TOR
3 Game slates: ARI, CAL, COL, EDM, FLA, LA, MIN, MON, NJ, SJ, TB, VAN, WASH, WINN
2 Game slates: BUF, CHI
Back to Back games: BOS, CAL, CAR, CLB, DAL, DET, EDM, FLA, MIN, NASH, NYI, NYR (x2), OTT, PHI, PIT, STL, TOR
By Lane Myer
Trade Deadline Wrap
For your scanning/reading pleasure, the TTMI Action News Team was all over the trade deadline with five alarm late breaking hot Internet player updates from a fantasy hockey perspective. Some of those players had already donned the laundry of their respective new organizations which we covered at the above link last week, but a handful of those players acquired on Sunday and Monday were not covered as far as their roles with their new teams filtered out. So we’ll wrap that up right now. You can also consider using some of these players as potential waiver adds.
– Erik Cole began his Detroit tenure on the flank of The Overlord’s personal favorite constant obstruction running center, Hank Zetterberg, on Detroit’s second line as well as the second Wings’ PP unit. Cole will essentially replace the minutes of the concussed Johan Franzen and through 3 games in The D thus far, Cole has averaged just under 16 minutes per game with a touch under 2 minutes of PP TOI. Cole has managed 2 assists on 6 shots through 3 games.
– Tomas Fleischmann is worth a mention as in addition to the goal and assist on 5 shots along with being reunited with Bruce Boudreau, Fleischmann has garnered nearly 15 minutes per game along with a minute and a half of PP TOI. Fleischmann has been skating on the second (Kesler) line and first on the man-advantage in Anaheim thus far. He might be worth a sneaky add in deeper 12 team leagues as well as a near automatic add in 12+ team leagues that start at least 3 forwards daily as long as he maintains this current usage.
– Curtis Glencross also began his time in Washington on the Caps’ second line as well as their second PP unit. While Glencross has already tallied 2 goals (1 PP) and 2 assists on 7 shots through 3 games, he’s only managed to record about 41 seconds per game of PP TOI as the result of Trotz double shifting Ovechkin and Backstrom on the man-advantage. Despite skating second line minutes, he’s also only averaging a touch over 12.3 minutes per game. Glencross is still worth a look in deeper 12 team leagues.
– Jeff Petry was immediately deployed on Montreal’s second defensive pairing along with Tom Gilbert along with being paired with Sergei Gonchar on the Habs’ second PP unit. Thus Tom Gilbert has lost his second PP unit role. Petry has averaged fairly heavy minutes at 22 minutes per game though thus far he’s only seen an average of 57 seconds per game on the PP. It appears that Montreal double shifted the Subban/Markov pairing all week but I’m not sure if that is the result of Montreal getting shutout by San Jose on Monday and only beating Arizona by two goals and then losing to LA by a goal on the week. Gonchar has averaged two minutes per game on the PP this season so the opportunity for Petry to equal that total exists, but it’s a situation worth monitoring if you’re a Petry owner. Montreal has a bottom tier offense (22nd in goals per game) so they tend to play a lot of close games. If Therrien continues to double shift Subban and Markov that will cut into Petry’s PP time making him a more marginal standard league option.
– Andrej Sekera has been bumped to LA’s third pair with something called Brayden McNabb where Sekera is averaging around 19 minutes per game. However, more importantly for Sekera owners, he’s been dispatched on the first LA PP unit alongside Drew Doughty at an average of 2.2 minutes per game. This will obviously put a dent in Jake Muzzin’s value for the meantime as he’s moved to the second Kings’ PP unit as well as getting moved off the top pair with Doughty where Muzzin now occupies even strength minutes on the second unit with Matt Greene.
– Chris Stewart has only recorded an assist and just 3 shots through his three game Minnesota tenure. Depending on which day you catch the Wild’s line usage (seriously they rotate the top 9 every single game), Stewart is either skating on the first or second line where he’s averaging just over 15 minutes per game along with nearly 1.4 minutes on the man-advantage. Coincidentally, Stewart has also seen equal PP time on both the first and second PP units. He’s also chipped in 8 hits in 3 games.
– Kimmo Timonen, though he isn’t technically skating on the third pair, is essentially skating third pair minutes in the early going as he attempts to shake off the rust while paired with Brent Seabrook at just over 16 minutes per game, though during high leverage minutes Seabrook is being paired with Hjalmarsson while Kimmo warms the pine. Timonen has also managed just 51 seconds per game on the man-advantage along with just one shift per game on the PK. So until he shakes off the rust, Timonen probably isn’t worth a roster spot for any league that isn’t comprised of at least 15 teams.
– Jiri Tlusty continued to skate on the second line opposite Mark Scheifele and fellow recent acquisition Drew Stafford along with deployment on Winnipeg’s second PP unit though it’s only amounted to 53 seconds per game. Things haven’t exactly turned around for Tlusty since departing Carolina as in an admittedly small sample size, through four games Tlusty has an assist on 8 shots and is a -3 in Winnipeg thus far. Unless Tlusty can creep up to at least 90 seconds per game on the man-advantage, he’s going to remain a marginal standard league option.
– Antoine Vermette, thus far in Chicago, is oddly a bit allergic to special teams play. One would presume this is just Quenneville’s way of breaking Vermette into the rotation slowly, but it still seems odd that through two games Vermette has only seen one shift on the penalty kill. The 51 seconds per game of PP TOI is probably what was expected in the early going, but for Vermette to maintain value in standard leagues that do not count face-offs, he’s going to need to net more time on both the PP and PK (for leagues that count short-handed points among the 5 or 6 categories).
– Marek Zidlicky, as we predicted last week, has taken over Jakub Kindl’s occupancy of the Wings’ second unit PP. It’s already paid huge dividends with Zidlicky firing home 2 PP goals on only 5 shots while averaging 2.2 minutes per game on the man-advantage. Zidlicky is only skating third pair minutes at an even 17 minutes per game, but as long as he’s running the point on at least the second Wings’ PP unit that’s all that really matters.
* Anaheim: Though things could change should Frederik Andersen get back on a role, but apparently Bruce Boudreau is prepared for his two net-minders to share the net for the remainder of the season.
- Andersen – 45 starts, 2.38 GAA, .915 SV%
- Gibson – 14 starts, 2.41 GAA, .924 SV%
TTMI Counsel: Gibson has been stellar in two March starts allowing just two goals, but he’s coming off of a 8-start February where he was mediocre having compiled a 2.80 GAA and .908 SV%. Meanwhile, Andersen even prior to his injury had been on a cold streak and basically since the end of January he’s also struggled having allowed 16 goals on 150 shots.
* Buffalo: in lieu of deadline acquisition, Chad Johnson, going down to injury (might be season ending), we’ll give a cursory note to those in super deep counting stat leagues that are forced to rely on the smoldering remains that is Buffalo’s crease.
- Lindback – 2 starts, 3.33 GAA, .915 SV%
- Hackett – 2 starts, 5.22 GAA, .867 SV%
* Calgary: I completely failed to notice that Karri Ramo started 5 straight games last week. And for good reason as Ramo has been lights out since the All-Star break having recorded a 1.91 GAA and a .941 SV%. In fairness, Hiller hasn’t been terrible since the break himself compiling an above average 2.40/.919 respectively himself. But after Hiller coughed up 5 large twice over the span of four starts, Ramo was given a five start run.
- Hiller – 37 starts, 2.45 GAA, .914 SV%
- Ramo – 23 starts, 2.43 GAA, .917 SV%
TTMI Counsel: The Ducks’ tandem in goal is pretty even ratio wise, but Calgary, without looking it up, has to lead the league in goalie tandem evenness with both options moderately above average. Hiller did end Ramo’s 5 start run thanks to the second end of a back to back on Friday night where he allowed just 2 goals to Detroit. If you currently own one of the two, you’ll still want to hedge with the other as long as a close timeshare as it’s still a bit early to tell if Calgary will be sticking with Ramo considering his numbers haven’t been that far ahead of Hiller.
* Carolina: appears to be heading back to an even platoon with Cam Ward and Anton Khudobin halving the Canes’ last 8 starts.
- Ward – 41 starts, 2.47 GAA, .909 SV%
- Khudobin – 23 starts, 2.63 GAA, .903%
TTMI Counsel: A week after Ward seemed on the verge of reclaiming a two-thirds share in goal, he’s taken it upon himself to cough up 8 goals in 2 March starts which ballooned his GAA by 10 points and once again drug his ratios below league average. Fortunately for Ward owners, Khudobin didn’t fare much better as he allowed 3 goals on only 19 Minnesota shots en route to a loss to the surging Wild.
* Dallas: Lindy Ruff hasn’t been happy with the goaltending in Big D and probably for good reason though some of that blame should also rest with Dallas’ defense. After the (linked) Ruff blowup towards Lehtonen’s 7 goal effort in their loss to Detroit, Enroth wall called upon in the subsequent next 3 starts. Comically enough, Enroth proceeded to allow 6 goals in that first start and then followed that up by allowing 3 goals in the next two starts which resulted in Lehtonen removing the baseball cap before allowing just two goals to the Islanders en route to a win.
- Lehtonen – 53 starts, 2.98 GAA, .905 SV%
- Enroth – 5 starts, 3.35 GAA, .873 SV%
TTMI Counsel: Enroth has started 5 of Dallas’ last 8 games, but that shouldn’t be taken as a sign that he’s the incumbent starter in Dallas. Ruff clearly wants Enroth to win the job, but that just hasn’t happened as one can reasonably see when Enroth’s numbers in a small 5 game sample in Dallas are actually worse than his sreason’s ratios in Buffalo.
Trending: The Waiver Wire
– Mikael Granlund has recorded 2 goals, 9 assists and is a towering +12 over Minnesota’s last 10 contests. Granlund still seems reluctant to shoot more as despite an above average 9.5 shhooting% and 2 GWG on the season he’s only taken 74 shots in 51 games. He’s averaging nearly 18 minutes per night along with 2.13 minutes of PP time which has resulted in a modest 5 PP assists on the season. As noted above with Chris Stewart in the trade deadline wrap notes, Minnesota changes up their top 9 quite often, but recently, Granlund has been spending most of his even strength time skating with Parise and Pominville on Minnesota’s top line.
– Karri Ramo as noted above in Goalie Watch, has carried 5 of Calgary’s last 6 starts with Hiller only seeing action in the backend of a back to back. He’s been terrific since the All-Star break rolling up a 1.91 GAA and .941 SV%. Ramo has recorded 4 wins in his last 5 starts and for now should be considered the favorite in goal until his performance drops off. It’s been clear most of the season that Calgary will lean on which goalie is hottest at any given time so ride Ramo during this stretch where Calgary is fighting for its playoff life.
– Mika Zibanejad on the strength of his recent 3 goals, 6 assists and +6 over Ottawa’s last 10 games makes his second appearance on these TTMI fantasy digital pages (though the first time outside of Deep Cuts). Zimanejad seems to on the verge of a breakout as his overall ice-time has increased over 2 minutes over last season’s usage. In 17 games since the All-Star break, Zimanejad has 13 points including 6 goals on 35 shots good for a 17.1 shooting%. His TOI has also increased just over a minute per game since the break clearly earning the confidence of the coaching staff in Ottawa. That can also been seen in his surge of PP TOI as he has climbed to nearly 2.45 minutes per game on the man-advantage. His faceoff% still needs some work resting at 47%, but FO% doesn’t matter much if your league only scores counting faceoff wins. Also of note, in standard Yahoo leagues, Zibanejad is eligible at both C and RW.
Deep (League) Cuts
– Francois Beauchemin, at least until James Wisniewski returns to action, is worth a look as he’s netting first PP unit time in the wake of Sami Vatanen’s absence. He’s largely paired with Lindholm on the first unit while averaging nearly 23 minutes per game. Over the recent 10 game stretch, Beauchemin has recorded 4 goals (1 PP) though just one assist, but he’s a +6.over that span Beauchemin is also a solid contributor in real-time stats having tallied 84 hits and 82 blocks in 49 games. He’s currently only 18% owned.
– Justin Abdelkader has compiled 4 goals (2 PP) on 21 shots and 2 assists over Detroit’s last 8 games. Abdelkader averages 17.4 minutes per game in addition to just over 2.5 minutes per contest on the man-advantage. Abdelkader has been skating on Detroit’s second line at even strength and splits time between the first and second PP units. Abdelkader has also chipped in 131 hits in 57 games.
– Kris Russell, noted shot blocking machine, received the tap as the man to replace the injured Mark Giordano on Calgary’s top PP unit. Calgary has shuffled their lines a bit in the wake of Giordano’s season ending injury as Giordano’s usual partner, T.J. Brodie, has been moved to the second pairing with Deryk Engelland as well as the second PP unit. Since moving up to the first pairing, Russell has recorded 2 goals, 3 assists (all on the PP) 11 shots, and for those of you in shot block stat leagues, 31 blocks in 4 games. Russell had been averaging 23.5 minutes per game and skating second PP unit minutes throughout most of the season and he’s averaged over 2.1 minutes per game on the man-advantage. Also of note, of course, are Russell’s ridiculous 226 blocked shots on the season.
Fantasy Hawk Factor
Note: Versteeg, Richards and Saad moved around the top 9 this week
Second Line Duds Watch (for the week)
- Sharp – 0 goals, 0 assists, 11 shots, +1
- Richards –0 goals, 0 assists, 11 shots, even
- Vermette – 0 goals, 0 assists, 3 shots, even
- Versteeg – 0 goals, 0 assists, 2 shots, even
- Toews – 2 goals, 2 assists, 8 shots, +1
- Hossa – 1 goal, 1 assist, 13 shots, +3
- Saad – 1 goal, 0 assists, 3 shots, -1
Blackhawk Goal Scoring Slump Watch
- Hjalmarsson – 1 goal over the last 51 games
- Keith – 1 goal over the last 37 games (84 shots)
- Oduya – Goalless over the last 17 games (19 shots)
- Richards – Goalless over the last 23 games (59 shots)
- Seabrook – 1 goal over the last 30 games (72 shots)
- Sharp – 1 goal over the last 25 games (59 shots)
- Shaw – Goalless over the last 18 games (31 shots)
- Vermette – Goalless over the last 3 games (3 shots)
- Versteeg – Goalless over the last 5 games (4 shots)
– Corey Crawford appears to have righted the ship as he starts the week new having allowed just 4 goals over his last 4 starts. Crawford has been dominant in March thwarting 108/112 shots good for a 1.30 GAA and .964 SV%.
– Patrick Sharp, if nothing else, trumped his 3 shot total last week with 11 this week. Unfortunately, Sharp ran his goal scoring drought to just 1 goal over his last 25 games. Sharp’s shooting% at even strength took yet another dip and is now down to 1.67% on the season. His even strength points per 60 minute average is now 1.62 just ahead of Daniel Carcillo’s 1.60 points per 60. Also of note, Sharp remained on the Hawks’ first PP unit throughout the week where he still averages 3.1 minutes per game on the man-advantage.
– Teuvo Watch: Teravainen was scratched for the matchup with Edmonton, and although it didn’t result in points, Teravainen played his strongest game Sunday night against the Blueshirts generating 3 shots along with strong possession stats (+17 Corsi For, +12 Fenwick For) as well as drawing 2 minor penalties. He also totaled 17:11 in ice-time including an even 4 minutes of time on the man-advantage. Teuvo’s 17+ minute total is over 2 minutes more than any other game this season.
– Kris Versteeg has caught the Patrick Sharp virus as he’s had a difficult time generating shots over the last 5 games only managing 4 shots total, along with no points. That’s a bit troubling considering he played two of the three matchups this week on the Toews line where Toews and Hossa combined for 21 shots. Versteeg still maintained his second PP unit role and averaged around 17 minutes per game over that stretch.