Is there any worse feeling in fantasy hockey than when your stud goes frigid for 10 games?
You can survive if your scrubs aren’t scoring, or when the sleeper pick goes cold. However, when your first-round pick decides to stop producing for a few weeks, it can cost you head-to-head matchups and trick your mind into thinking you need to make a bad trade to counter.
Using Frozen Tool’s hot/cold feature, we spent last week looking at the top 10 hottest players in fantasy hockey leagues. This week, I’m flipping the script and looking at the coldest players. Just as a heads up, we’re looking at points only for skaters. Depending on your league categories, players on this list can still be valuable in many leagues even when they are not producing.
10. Craig Smith: Zero points in 10 games
Most of the time, when a player goes weeks without notching a point, you don’t reward him by giving him a plum power-play assignment. Yet that’s what’s happening in Nashville and Smith. In the last three games, he has been promoted to Nashville’s top power-play unit with Ryan Johansen, Viktor Arvidsson and Filip Forsberg. That hasn’t helped, as he is still snake bitten with zero points in 10 games. Smith isn’t owned in a lot of leagues, but those who do roster him have to be very frustrated right now.
9. Neal Pionk: One point in 13 games
Pion had many fantasy general managers scrambling to the waiver wire in the first half of the season, but now they are rushing just as fast to drop him. After 19 points in his first 32 games, Pionk has just one in his last 13. The big reason in the decline would be his power-play production. Of those first 19 points, 12 of them came with the man advantage. However, his power-play ice time has gone from 2:16 during his points binge to one minute per game. He’s still taking plenty of shots and is averaging 22 minutes a night, but he hasn’t proven that he can score at even strength. Until his power-play time goes back up, keep him on the waiver wire.
8. Cam Talbot: Zero quality starts in his last five games
Talbot had a pretty good run at the end of December/start of January, but his numbers have really dropped off lately. He has zero quality starts in his last five games, and in that time, he has one win, a 4.84 GAA and .862 SV %. Even though he’s been struggling, he still has a chance to be a number goalie, especially with Mikko Koskinen struggling (zero wins in his last four starts). With the Oilers only one point out of a wildcard spot, the team will go with whatever goalie goes on a hot streak.
7. Jake DeBrusk: Two points in 11 games
Debrusk was having an okay sophomore season with 16 points in 32 games. With two points in his last 11 games, he is now on pace for a measly 32 points. That’s not great considering how many people considered him a sleeper last offseason. On the bright side, he is getting ice time and some power-play time, and he is only two goals away from matching his rookie season of 16 goals. He’s just not picking up any assists, notching just four helpers so far.
6. Brandon Pirri: Zero points in five games
Pirri was a great story by the middle of January. Never really getting an opportunity to shine in the past, the 27-year-old had 13 points in his first 11 games with Vegas after being called up from the AHL just before Christmas. However, he’s now pointless in five and finds himself on the third line. As the Knights get healthier, it will be tougher for Pirri to get back to a top-six role.
5. Patric Hornqvist: Two points in eight games
Hornqvist has two points in his last seven games, although it’s important to note that three of those games happened before mid-January concussion cost him a few games. However, he is pointless in five games since returning. This is despite the Penguins scoring 17 goals in those five games and Hornqvist returning to his normal top power-play line. He’s been down on the third line at even strength with the recent injury to Evgeni Malkin, so that isn’t helping matters.
4. Thomas Chabot: Zero points in five games
After a surprisingly hot first half of the season, Chabot has cooled since returning from a shoulder injury. He had an assist in his first game back, but has been pointless in five games since. Obviously, this is just a small cold streak in what should be an excellent season for Chabot. Even in those five pointless games, he’s been excellent in other categories, with a plus-one, 17 shots and nine blocked shots. He’s been on the top power-play unit and has been averaging 26:22 in those five games, so don’t expect the cold streak to last long.
3. Sergei Bobrovsky: One quality starts in last nine starts
There’s probably no goalie that is more pleased that the calendar has turned to the month of February than Bobrovsky as he was awful throughout most of January. In his last nine games, he has one quality start to go along with three wins, a 4.02 GAA and 0.861 SV %. Columbus is in a free fall and Bob is the subject of many trade rumours as he is a UFA this summer. However, goalies are extremely streaky, and you have to expect a market correction is coming soon.
2. P.K. Subban: Three points in 11 games
Even if you discount time missed due to injury, Subban is on pace for one of his worst seasons. His 0.51 points-per-game average is the lowest since his rookie and sophomore seasons, and he is on pace for only 32 points if he plays the rest of the season. There are plenty of other reasons for Subban owners to be frustrated: Hits hits-per-game average is down, he has just four power-play points in 35 games, and his overall ice time is down about two minutes a game from a year ago.
1. Patrik Laine: Five points in 19 games
Laine isn’t on the Dobber cold list, but he’s obviously been the biggest headache for owners this year. Laine is having a horrible season, and is losing a significant amount of ice time because of it (he’s played less than 16 minutes in six of the Jets’ last 12 games). He has two goals and five points in his last 19 games. This is a good buy-low opportunity in both one-year and keeper leagues, and if you own him, you need to be patient.
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