The Toronto/Philadelphia game on Friday may have decided a few fantasy seasons, mainly in a positive way for scorers or in a mainly negative way for goalies. At one point during the second period, the Flyers held a 5-2 lead before the Leafs stormed back with five unanswered goals. The Flyers ended up scoring one more to be within one before the Leafs hung on for a 7-6 win.
Both Auston Matthews and Jake Muzzin scored twice for the Leafs. Muzzin filled the stat sheet in multicat leagues, adding an assist as well as firing seven shots on goal. Since being traded to the Leafs about a month and a half ago, Muzzin has 14 points (4g-10a) in 22 games, so he’s already been more productive with Toronto than he was with Los Angeles (21 points in 50 games). This in spite of logging about a minute and a half less icetime with the Leafs than he had with the Kings. So fewer minutes, but the minutes have been more productive.
Against his former team, James van Riemsdyk scored three goals with a plus-5 rating and six shots on goal. Over his last ten games JVR has been sniping, scoring nine goals and taking an average of over three shots per game. You’ll want to make sure he’s in your lineup. It’s also worth mentioning that he has secured first-unit power-play time with Wayne Simmonds now in Nashville.
Claude Giroux added three helpers for the Flyers. He has now reached 75 points for the fifth time in his career and in consecutive seasons, although he won’t likely come close to his 101 points from last season.
It has been a downright awful week for Frederik Andersen (I’m experiencing this firsthand), but at least he earned the win on Friday. It’s not often that a goalie earns a win after allowing six goals, but that’s the kind of game it was. Andersen was pulled in his previous two starts after allowing four goals before the midway point of each game. He’ll probably be fine over the long haul, though he could be wearing down a bit after an extremely heavy workload. Andersen has a higher save total (1584) than any goalie, while only Connor Hellebuyck has faced more shots than Andersen (1725). If defense wins championships, then the Leafs will have a tough time making it out of the Atlantic the way their blueline is currently constructed.
Brian Elliott allowed seven goals, but that total doesn’t look quite as awful if you consider the fact that he faced 51 shots in total. Elliott had won his two previous starts, so don’t be surprised if he’s back out there on Sunday against Pittsburgh.
Matthew Tkachuk is turning into quite a player. The third-year Flame was in on every Flames’ goal on Friday, scoring two goals and adding three assists on five shots on goal in a 5-1 win over the Rangers. Tkachuk has been on fire over the past week, racking up ten points (including six goals) over his past three games. He’s also been scoring at a point-per-game pace this season. Development isn’t always linear, but the Oilers and Canucks have to be thinking “what if” after drafting Jesse Puljujarvi and Olli Juolevi ahead of Tkachuk in the 2016 draft. Tkachuk is also one of many pending RFAs this summer, which is something to keep an eye on.
Some bad news injury-wise for the Flames. Sean Monahan left Friday’s game after the first period and won’t be in the lineup for Saturday’s game against the Jets. Derek Ryan was elevated to the Flames’ top line after Monahan left, recording an assist. Ryan has four points in his last two games, so he could make for a sneaky Saturday waiver-wire pickup.
If the Columbus Blue Jackets are in fact going to make the playoffs, they’re going to need a few outstanding performances from Sergei Bobrovsky. That is exactly what they received on Friday, as Bobrovsky stopped all 46 shots he faced in a 3-0 win over a Carolina team they are currently battling with for a playoff spot. Bob has now won four of his last five games while posting a 1.39 GAA and .955 SV% over that span. He’s clearly second-half Bob, which usually provides the kind of goaltending you need for your fantasy playoffs.
Since being acquired by the Blue Jackets, Matt Duchene has been a bit underwhelming with five points (2g-3a) in 12 games.
It must have been “turn back the clock” night for the Ducks. Corey Perry scored two goals, while Ryan Getzlaf scored a goal and added two assists in the Ducks’ 5-3 win in Colorado. In spite of a dismal season that started in early February due to injury, Perry has heated up recently with five points in his last five games. Maybe, just maybe, he’s worth a pickup for Sunday’s game against Florida. He hasn’t shown much this season, but he could be a difference-maker on what will be a do-or-die day for many H2H fantasy teams. I have some more coming up…
Elias Pettersson has cooled off considerably, as have the Canucks. However, he managed to score his first goal in 12 games on Friday. He also scored this Peter Forsberg-esque shootout goal, which Cam was kind enough to screen capture for your viewing enjoyment.
"Elias Forsberg" pic.twitter.com/aUKnd7un8I
— /Cam Robinson/ (@Hockey_Robinson) March 16, 2019
The New Jersey Devils have some interesting scoring stats, although they’re not the kind of stats you want to act on for your fantasy team. Stefan Noesen scored a goal on Friday while taking seven shots on goal. The goal was his first point in nine games and his first goal in 16 games. Meanwhile, Eric Tangradi recorded his first NHL point (an assist) in five seasons (since the 2013-14 season). Do they bring you the puck when that happens? Needless to say, the Devils are at the moment probably the last team you want to check out for fantasy options.
As promised yesterday, here are some potential waiver-wire options for what is an important weekend for many of you. I’m going to separate these into two categories based on schedule: options for both Saturday and Sunday, and options for Sunday only, while listing the teams with these schedules.
Saturday and Sunday – “I need to maximize production with players with two games on two days”
Teams: Buffalo, Edmonton, Florida, Minnesota, NY Islanders, Pittsburgh, St. Louis
Samuel Montembeault – Mentioned in yesterday’s Ramblings, the young Panthers’ netminder will likely start one of the Panthers’ weekend games. He’s won three consecutive games and will roll up to a match against either the Kings or Ducks.
Jared McCann – A very popular waiver-wire add at the moment, it’s fair to say McCann’s value has skyrocketed since being traded to Pittsburgh (nine goals in 21 games as a Penguin). In fact, he’s only three goals shy of his first 20-goal season, which may not have been possible this season had he stayed in either Vancouver or Florida. That’s because he’s been playing on a line with Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel.
Nick Bjugstad – The other guy in the trade from Florida (or was McCann the other guy?), Bjugstad has been decent himself. Over his last five games, Bjugstad has three goals while firing 21 shots (over four per game). He doesn’t seem to be used in a scoring role as much as McCann, but he still might be good for another goal or two.
Sunday only – “My roster is already full on a busy Saturday, so I need a streaming option or two to seal the victory”
Teams: Anaheim, Colorado, Dallas, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Vancouver, Vegas
Damon Severson – Maybe this is the state of the Devils at the moment, but Severson is being trusted to log more minutes than any Devils’ blueliner at the moment. This increased responsibility may help propel Severson to his first 40-point season. Yet he’s only owned in 17 percent of Yahoo leagues. Adding him might hurt your plus/minus; otherwise, you’re adding a blueliner that has four points over his last four games.
Roope Hintz – Mike has mentioned Hintz once or twice in his Ramblings, so I’ll just summarize by saying he’s been receiving time on the Stars’ top line with Tyler Seguin and Alexander Radulov. Hintz also has four goals over his last three games, so he might provide your team with a late-season push if this deployment continues.
Anton Khudobin – The Stars recalled Landon Bow for Friday’s game against Vegas, as Ben Bishop is still day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Khudobin, who stopped 35 of 37 shots in a 2-1 loss to Vegas on Friday, seems like a good bet to be back between the pipes on Sunday against Vancouver. He’s a solid speculative short-term add.
Jakob Silfverberg – Although he was held without a point on Friday, Silfverberg had recorded at least one point in each of his last seven games. This season has been unspectacular for him (33 points in 64 games), so he’s unowned in enough leagues where he could make a difference on Sunday.
Troy Terry – You might have added him (like I did) after consecutive three-point games. Now he’s gone without a point in his last four games. You might be thinking drop, but doesn’t Murphy’s Law suggest that as soon as you drop him, he’ll score multiple points the very next game? If you’ve hung onto him all week, then at least he serves the purpose of having one more warm body in your lineup. Plus he’s been skating with scorers Perry and Adam Henrique, so at least he’s not being held to limited minutes and responsibilities like a lot of other young players.
For more fantasy hockey information, you can follow me on Twitter @Ian_Gooding.