Ramblings: Tkachuk’s Value Taking Off (Feb 20)

steve laidlaw

2018-02-20

 

Thomas Greiss was placed on IR yesterday with a lower-body injury. It was retroactive to the 16th so we could see him back sooner than later. Christopher Gibson was recalled, but it’s doubtful he sees much action. Gibson’s now 25 and his AHL numbers leave something to be desired. Any goalie can go on a run though.

Jaroslav Halak was the number one for the Islanders before the Greiss injury and will continue in that role. Halak got beat up by the Wild in matinee action yesterday. This after a 50-save shutout over the weekend. The Islanders’ defense is so porous that it’s impossible to accurately judge the Islanders’ goalies. Halak and Greiss have not offered much value to fantasy owners though.

*

Joel Eriksson Ek scored his first goal in 50 games. He has been well buried in Minnesota skating just 13:10 per game with next to no power play time. He’s also been the victim of shooting percentage swoons clicking on just 2.2% of his own shots and an on-ice shooting percentage of 4.7%. He’s only 21. Seems like a good post-hype buy in keeper leagues.

*

Brad Marchand ends it in overtime:

*

David Rittich had a strong outing despite taking the overtime loss, turning aside 30 of 32 shots. This was his first strong start since Mike Smith went down but we are dealing with such a small sample size that we don’t want to get carried away. That said, these small samples are all we (and NHL decision makers) get to make evaluations on. Rittich figures to be in the mix for any goaltending openings this summer, and a strong run could be enough to earn him a starting gig. So far, you’d have to bet against him.

This strong start does mean Rittich is likely to get the next game, rather than us seeing Jon Gillies get another shot. The Flames have a back-to-back Wednesday/Thursday though. If Smith isn’t ready by Thursday, perhaps Gillies gets a look!

Since Christmas, which is right around when he was put onto the top power play unit Matthew Tkachuk has 22 points, nine of which coming with the man-advantage, in 24 games. He’s still a 5-on-5 beast on the 3M line, but the extra PP use kicks him from 55-point threat into the 70-point range. He won’t get there this season because of a slower first half but keep this pace in mind as you head towards the fantasy playoffs and als