Dick Clark once said “I don't set trends. I just find out what they are and exploit them.”
While he may not have been talking about fantasy hockey, exploiting trends is a good way to give your squad at least a short-term gain as it can give you an idea on who is hot, cold or droppable
Below are 10 players and teams going through both good and bad trends. It’s no guarantee these trends continue to even the next game, but it’s something to keep in mind when you are making lineup decisions.
10. Sebastian Aho
The Hurricanes right winger is in the middle of a big breakout season, but his trend comes in the goal-scoring department. He now has six goals in his last seven games and 10 in his last 14. That brings his season total to 17 and putting him on pace for 30 goals. He’s also on pace for 69 points and 243 shots. He’s also turning into a slow starter. Last year he had four goals and 13 points in his first 28 games, and then 20 goals and 36 points in 56 games. This year he went scoreless in his first 15 games and had 21 points in 30 games before putting up nine goals and 16 points in his last 14 games. Let’s hope his injury Sunday isn’t serious…
9. Cam Ward
Ward has become the number one goalie in Carolina for the time being, and while his numbers aren’t that great, he’s picking up wins. Ward seems a lock to get to 35 games (unless Scott Darling turns into Dominik Hasek) as he has already played 19. Since Dec. 1, Ward has started 13 of 21 Carolina games and nine of the past 11. Most of their underlying numbers are similar, but Ward has a much better record (11-5-2) compared to Darling (9-11-6).
8. Martin Jones
Jones has allowed at least four goals in seven of 12 games since Dec. 1. It could have been eight games, but he was pulled on Saturday night after allowing three goals and six shots in less than 14 minutes of play. By comparison, Jones only allowed four-plus goals in three of his first 17 games to start the season. He’s only won three games in that stretch, making him fantasy poison for now.
7. New York Rangers
Many of the Rangers have apparently taken a pact to all go on cold streaks at the exact time. The team has only scored more than two goals once in the past nine games, and that was a 3-2 overtime win in the outdoor game against Buffalo on New Year’s Day. Overall, the team has scored just 15 goals in those games. In those nine games, no Ranger has more than three points. Past those nine games, many a Ranger is struggling. Here is a rundown:
Mika Zibanejad: Three points in his last 11 games since returning from injury
J.T. Miller: Three points in his last 11 games
Rick Nash: Zero goals and one assist in his last 12 games