My big pickup for this week was Tom Wilson, which has worked out better than I could have imagined. The power forward is enjoying his time on the top line with Nicklas Backstrom and Alexander Ovechkin. He put up a four-point night along with four PIM, three SOG, two hits and two blocked shots. I scooped up Wilson for the peripheral value and potential for a point or two with that top line exposure, but he has provided five points in two games. It’ll likely be back to the waiver wire after Friday’s action as the Capitals have the weekend off, but he may have done enough to earn a longer look.
A lot will depend on how my squad is performing, but I am also monitoring the injury situations of Andre Burakovsky and TJ Oshie. Both could potentially return on Friday. Those two would soak up the top-six opportunities and push Wilson back down the depth chart.
Also benefitting from the absence of these top wingers is Brett Connolly with goals in three straight games. He has skated in Oshie’s spot on the top power play unit the past two games. He isn’t skating much otherwise, so he is a pure PP specialist, and scheduled to lose that gig at some point.
Backstrom put an end to a 21-game goalless drought. We never rely on the playmaking centerman for many goals, but the career 12.0% shooter is sitting at just 8.3%, so he should see an uptick. That being said, remember that assist-heavy players are more heavily subject to swings in performance because a blip in shooting will show up more significantly in a smaller sample of shots. They are also heavily reliant on strong shooting from their teammates.
Can you keep up with the line shuffling in Chicago? I’ve barely been able to. Here’s what they rolled out last night: