Fantasy Top-10: Players on Cold Streaks
There’s nothing more agonizing in hockey than watching a player of yours go on an extended cold streak.
A few games is fine, as it might only cost you a single matchup in weekly head-to-head leagues. But a cold streak that lasts for 10 or more games can lead to some panic moves.
Below are 10 players who are in the midst of a cold spell and a look at whether they can recover.
10. Tyler Toffoli
There was a lot of love for Toffoli a few years ago but his production has been dropping the past couple of seasons. He picked up an assist on Saturday, his first point in 10 games. He has been playing on a line with Anze Kopitar for the past few games, but it took a while for him to be rewarded. If he stays in that spot, there’s a good chance he’ll rebound. Or even if he plays with Jeff Carter once Carter returns from an injury. That’s a couple of big ifs. Toffoli is not on the top power play unit so it will be tough for him to reach 50 points.
9. Zach Parise
Technically speaking, Parise’s entire season has been a cold streak as he didn’t play his first game until Jan. 2nd because of a back injury. Since returning, he’s got three points in 13 games. There are some positive signs if you’re hoping for him to pick it up. In those 13 games, he’s top for Wild forwards in power-play time (even though he doesn’t have a man-advantage point), fifth in even-strength ice time, second in shots, and is starting in the offensive zone almost 61 per cent of the time. As long as he gets the opportunities, there’s a chance he can bounce back. At some point, though, the coach will have to start leaning toward players who are actually producing.
Many Red Wings could have made this list. Gustav Nyquist and Anthony Mantha have one point in eight games. Dylan Larkin is pointless in five. Mike Green has two points in 11 games. Tomas Tatar has four points in 11 games. However, Zetterberg is the big name in fantasy circles, and his two points in eight games is especially hurtful to poolies. Zetterberg is no longer elite but he’s still a 65-point player. Expect a small comeback.
7. Kyle Turris
There was plenty written about Turris when he posted 17 points in his first 17 games as a Pred, but now he has five points in his last 18 games. The true Kyle Turris lies somewhere between his hot and cold streak, so expect a small bounce back soon. The biggest question is what happens once Mike Fisher comes out of retirement. Does Turris lose power-play time to Fisher? Keep an eye out for that if you’re a Turris owner.
While it hasn’t been a great year for many Senators, Brassard seemed to defying the expectations a little bit and appeared to be back to his normal self. On Jan. 9, he was on pace for 58 points as part of a rebound season. He’s now on pace for 47 points after notching one point in his last 10 games. I believe Brassard can still be a 55-60-point player, but it will be tough in the Ottawa system. He does play regularly with Mark Stone, so that will help Brassard once the former returns from injury.
We all knew he was going to cool off after his hot start to the season, so it should be no surprise to see the rookie have only two points in his last nine games (with a couple of healthy scratches in there to boot). Don’t expect any type of rally anytime soon. His ice time dropped dramatically the past two games (13:04 and 12:33) now that Victor Hedman is back in the lineup. Sergachev is not on the top power play unit and has one power play point in his last 23 games. It was a nice run but he can be safely dropped in one-year pools.
4. Anders Lee
Lee was one of the 2017’s biggest surprises. Playing on a line with John Tavares and Josh Bailey, Lee was 15th in the league in points as of Dec 31. Then the clock struck midnight and Lee has turned into a pumpkin with three points in his last 15 games. He’s still getting primo power play minutes but isn’t playing as often with Tavares. He will rebound, but don’t expect 2017 production levels.
3. Nick Leddy
Defensemen are notoriously streaky but Leddy is taking it to an extreme. He started the season with 24 points in 28 games, but has six points in his last 25 games, and only one of those was a power play point. Is there a reason to worry? Not really. He’s still on pace for 46 points, which is pretty much what you expected when you drafted him. He’s on pace to smash his career high in shots, he’s still the Islanders’ top PP QB and the Islanders have announced they’re not trading John Tavares. Expect Leddy to go on another crazy hot streak at some point.
2. Evander Kane
If you listen real hard, you can hear the trade value of Kane dropping. It sounds a lot like the Wile E. Coyote when he falls off a cliff. Kane has zero points in his last eight games, one in his last 12 and two in his last 15. Most telling is the fact his power play ice time has plummeted. Up until Dec. 31, Kane averaged 2:48 of power play time while playing on the top line. Since then, he’s under two minutes while the top unit averages four minutes. With a much-improved Buffalo power play, Kane won’t get that top spot back unless there’s an injury. However, he is still getting lots of playing time with Jack Eichel at even strength, so expect a small bounce back.
1. Kris Letang
I’ve always been a believer that Letang could easily notch 70-plus points if he could stay healthy. This season is destroying that theory. He’s only missed three games but is on pace for 46 points. He’s really struggled lately however, with six points in his last 20 games. Pittsburgh has been rolling in that time, with 69 goals scored, making Letang’s lack of production even more frustrating. On the bright side, he’s been doing everything right. He’s getting the power play minutes, ice time, shots, etc. As strange as it sounds, it’s really just a matter of luck. He’ll turn around and this is a good opportunity to buy low.
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