Ah, Friday is here and it's time to watch some hockey. Let's gather everyone around the TV for…yep, one game. NHL scheduling. Buddy. Pal We're right in the thick of a stretch of lopsided slates, but let's see if we can't help swing a matchup or two. Let's dive in!
The Immediate Fix (Grab this guy and use him for the next several days)
Filip Gustavsson, G, Minnesota Wild (Rostered in 2% of ESPN leagues, 31% Fantrax, 17% Yahoo) – We got some tough news out of the Wild's practice earlier this week concerning starting goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, which is tough for those who roster him in fantasy. Replacing him could make for an interesting pivot.
I can't say I follow Minnesota Wild morning skate or optional skates too closely, but when Wild head coach Dean Evason spoke with the media on Wednesday, he informed us that Marc-Andre Fleury is dealing with an upper-body injury and that he doesn't know at this time just how long Fleury will be sidelined for. This is troubling news for the 37-year-old netminder, but it does give us an opportunity in fantasy to potentially get some starts in net with a lower rostered option in now-starter Gustavsson.
It's next man up when it comes to injuries. Last week I wrote up Antti Raanta (even though Pyotr Kochetkov has looked good in Carolina). This week we can turn to Gustavsson, who hasn't been horrible for a backup goalie (1-3-1, 2.81 GAA, .914 SV% entering Thursday's action).
Fleury got off to a slow start at the beginning of this season, but both him and the Wild were starting to turn it around some here in the past week or so. I think Gustavsson might be a slight step down, but with the fantasy goalie landscape being as it is this season, being able to plug and play a goaltender is a big relief with not needing to worry about if someone is starting or not on a given night. Gustavsson will be tested coming up with Carolina, Winnipeg, and Toronto on the schedule, but Minnesota will be on home ice where the past couple of seasons they have been significantly better than on the road. With no timetable set for Fleury, I think Gustavsson could help your fantasy squads going ahead.
The Building Block (Buy now, sit back and enjoy the production)
Kirby Dach, C/RW, Montreal Canadiens (Rostered in 23% of ESPN leagues, 70% Fantrax, 45% Yahoo