Top 10 under-the-radar streaking players

by Tom Collins on March 7, 2016

 

The 10 streaking players who are under your fantasy hockey radar

 

It's that time of year in hockey pools where players are going to win you cash and bragging rights… or they're going to completely let you down. This is a good time to have a look at stats and try to figure out who is wielding a hot stick to optimize your lineups as fantasy hockey playoffs approach. Of course you expect guys like Alex Ovechkin, Steven Stamkos and Sidney Crosby to be near the top when it comes to hottest players.

But what about those unsung guys who are running hot? There are always under-the-radar guys who put together a few good weeks and stretch it into fantasy playoffs. Here are the top 10 hottest players you may not have realized are doing so good.

 

10. Mike Ribeiro

Everyone has spent the past month focusing on the exploits of Filip Forsberg, who has 14 goals and 21 points since Feb. 6. Not getting as much love has been his linemates, especially Ribeiro. In his last 14 games, Ribeiro has 15 points (14 of them assists, second most since Feb. 6) and a plus-nine. Ribeiro should be able to keep it up as long as he continues to have strong chemistry with Forsberg.

 

9. Mark Scheifele

I guess Andrew Ladd won't be that missed in Winnipeg after all. Scheifele has been picking up the slack in Winnipeg for the better part of a month now and has been one of the best goal scorers in the league the past few weeks. His nine goals in 15 games is tied for fourth best in the league and his 16 points is tied for seventh. What's more amazing is that he hasn't been clicking with the man advantage with just two of his last 16 points coming on the power play.

 

8. Jussi Jokinen                                                                                                                                                                                

Jokinen has 13 points in 14 games playing but what's even more surprising is that he's putting up great numbers without consistent linemates.  Just look at his most frequent linemates for the last 10 games according to Frozen Pool.

Frequency

Strength

Line Combination

29.2%

EV

JOKINEN,JUSSI – SMITH,REILLY – TROCHECK,VINCENT

12.29%

EV

BARKOV,ALEKSANDER – JAGR,JAROMIR – JOKINEN,JUSSI

10.99%

EV

BJUGSTAD,NICK – HUBERDEAU,JONATHAN – JOKINEN,JUSSI

9.34%

EV

JAGR,JAROMIR – JOKINEN,JUSSI – TROCHECK,VINCENT

3.55%

PP

JOKINEN,JUSSI – PURCELL,TEDDY – SMITH,REILLY – TROCHECK,VINCENT

3.55%

SH

BARKOV,ALEKSANDER – JOKINEN,JUSSI

2.96%

PP

JAGR,JAROMIR – JOKINEN,JUSSI – SHAW,LOGAN – TROCHECK,VINCENT

2.84%

PP

JAGR,JAROMIR – JOKINEN,JUSSI – TROCHECK,VINCENT

2.01%

SH

JOKINEN,JUSSI – TROCHECK,VINCENT

And that doesn't include the trade deadline additions of Jiri Hudler and Teddy Purcell. Most guys on streaks always play with the same linemate or two so they can build chemistry together. It's going to be hard for Jokinen to keep up this pace as there's no one specific guy he can be put back on a line with once he starts to slow down.

 

7. T.J. Brodie

Brodie owners definitely don't miss Dennis Wideman. Brodie is second among all defensemen in points since Feb. 6 with 14 points in 15 games, all of them assists. Surprisingly only two of those points have come with the man advantage. He's having a bit of an underrated season with 40 points (one of 15 dmen to hit that mark this season) but he's done it in just 56 games.

 

6. Brayden Schenn

Some poolies might believe that Schenn started his current hot streak when Jakub Voracek was injured. But he's actually been on a roll much before that. It all started right around the time his brother was traded from Philly to Los Angeles. In the 26 games since, Schenn has 12 goals and 12 assists to go along with 11 power play points. In the 36 games before that he had nine goals, 10 assists and six power play points. Averaging almost four minutes of power play time per game over the past couple of months will help Schenn continue his hot streak.

 

5. Jean-Gabriel Pageau

Pageau has stepped up in the wake of the Kyle Turris injury. Even when Turris was playing it was obvious something was bothering him. It helps that Pageau is now playing regularly with the streaky Mark Stone. What's even more astounding is Pageau been getting points without any power play time. He has just two power play points since Feb. 5 (his only two power play points of the year) and is averaging just 1:17 per game with the man advantage in that time.

 

4. Sami Vatanen

It wasn't too long ago that Vatanen was considered to be on the trade block in NHL circles. But the Ducks held on to him and hopefully you held on to him too. Vatanen is the seventh best ranked defenseman in Yahoo roto and head-to-head leagues in the past month. His 10 power play points leads the league since Feb. 6 and overall he has 13 points in his last 14 games.

 

3. Casey Cizikas

There are times in hockey when even the most unlikely player can go on a hot streak without warning. Think of Dale Weise from earlier this season. Cizikas is the frontrunner for that title currently. He's averaging about 12 to 13 minutes ice time playing mostly with Matt Martin and Cal Clutterbuck, yet somehow still has 11 points in his last 14 games despite averaging just 12 seconds of power play time per game.

 

2. Zack Smith

Probably the biggest surprise of the season so far as Smith has nine goals and 13 points in his last 15 games. He's already set career highs in goals, points, power play goals, power play points, shorthanded goals and shorthanded points. Not to mention he's currently a career-high plus-six. He's now on the top power play unit and is playing more than 19 minutes a game so things look good for him to continue his streakiness for at least a while longer.

 

1. Rickard Rakell

Rakell has been a beast in every single pool imaginable in the past month. In 14 games, he has six goals (four of which are game-winners, tops in the league in the past month), four assists, four power play points, 34 shots and nine PIM. He's 15th in the league in the last month in Yahoo roto and head-to-head leagues. If you add hits, he's seventh. It helps that he is tied to the hip of Corey Perry. Look at his top line combinations for the last 10 games, according to Frozen Pool:

 

Frequency

Strength

Line Combination

41.77%

EV

PERRY,COREY – RAKELL,RICKARD – RITCHIE,NICK

16.17%

EV

MCGINN,JAMIE – PERRY,COREY – RAKELL,RICKARD

5.2%

EV

MAROON,PATRICK – PERRY,COREY – RAKELL,RICKARD

3.09%

PP

KESLER,RYAN – MAROON,PATRICK – RAKELL,RICKARD

2.11%

EV

KESLER,RYAN – PERRY,COREY – RAKELL,RICKARD

1.97%

PP

PERRON,DAVID – PERRY,COREY – RAKELL,RICKARD

1.97%

EV

PERRY,COREY – RAKELL,RICKARD

1.55%

EV

RAKELL,RICKARD – RITCHIE,NICK – SANTORELLI,MICHAEL

1.27%

EV

MCGINN,JAMIE – RAKELL,RICKARD – SILFVERBERG,JAKOB

1.27%

EV

PERRON,DAVID – PERRY,COREY – RAKELL,RICKARD

 

With the Ducks going 18-1-1 in their last 20 games, chances are the lineups are not going to messed up too much going forward. That bodes wonders for Rakell owners.