Ramblings: Carlson’s slow start, Marner and Matthews split up, Tarasenko and Karlsson comeback seasons? (Oct. 26)

Michael Amato

2021-10-26

We've officially hit that point in the season where fantasy hockey GMs are starting to get frustrated with underperforming players. Whether it's Marc-Andre Fleury, Mitch Marner or Roope Hintz, now may be the time where fellow GMs are willing to accept a bargain offer for a player that is really struggling. The key is targeting a player you think is just going through a slump and will eventually bounce back, while providing you great value for the rest of the season. It's not often you can get an impact player or potential keeper for pennies on the dollar, but after a couple of lost matchups there will be a lot of desperate fantasy owners.

*

Speaking of Marner, the Toronto Maple Leafs winger is still stuck on only one assist on the season. To make matters worse, Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe juggled his lines Monday night, splitting up Marner and Auston Matthews. That's not great news if you're a Marner owner, as the best way for him to break out of his slump and get you maximum value this year is if he stays with Matthews.

Marner skated with Alex Kerfoot and John Tavares against the Carolina Hurricanes, and while that's not a bad spot, it was evident points will be harder to come by. Marner set up Kerfoot for a breakaway and he couldn't finish and while Tavares is still a good player, he's not the guy that scored 47 goals playing with Marner a few years ago. There's a good chance Marner will eventually be re-united with Matthews at some point and it's more likely than not that he still finishes with 80-90 points, but it may take him some time to break out of this slump.

*

Filip Hronek was scratched twice last weekend for the Detroit Red Wings. It's a disappointing fate for Hronek this early in the season, as the defenseman is usually good for hits, blocks, PIMs and even chips in with the odd power play point. The Wings are off to a decent start and have a handful of players providing decent value, but it doesn't look like Hronek will be joining in on the festivities.

*

It sounds like Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang could miss some time after a positive Covid test. If you're looking for a temporary replacement, Marcu