Phil Kessel leads one of the hottest lines in the NHL.
It has been a while since I have posted. I apologize for those who follow this segment or my weekend game picks. Unfortunately, I ran into some bad luck over the past month and tore my pectoral muscle which has put me on the IR up until now. Anyways, happy to be back!
Lead us forwards…..
The Penguins have been on a rampage as of late and surprisingly this line as done a ton of damage. Phil seems to be heating up at the right time with a whopping seven points in his last two games. What is most encouraging is he seems to be shooting the puck a whole lot more and one thing he does have is a sick release (refer to this goal versus Mrazek). According to Looking Ahead, the Penguins have a favorable schedule in the coming week and I’d be looking at Kessel and Hagelin to continue their solid production down the stretch. As for Bonino, he may also be worth a look but keep an eye on him against the Sabres tonight. The question remains however, what happens when Evgeni Malkin comes back? My thoughts are you test out Geno with Sid on the top line and leave this second line alone. I really love this line you have incredible speed and a solid pivot who can play two-ways in the middle. The only way I breakup this line heading into the postseason is if it totally fizzles down the stretch but something tells me it won’t.
EV Strength Production = 8 points
I can’t begin to tell you how much money I have made off the Wild over the past few weeks. I haven’t had the greatest year in NHL wagering but the last month of the season is always the most profitable as the big dogs come out to play. So when a team like the Wild are battling for their post-season life, you know players like Parise are going to step up when it counts. The Wild are currently on a five-game winning streak as they sit in the final wild card spot with a three-point lead on the Avalanche. I would bank on this trio producing down the stretch and most especially Parise who has come alive as of late with five goals and seven points in his last three games. The Wild also have a favorable schedule in the coming week with four games and I would be surprised if they did not at least notch three wins if not win all those games.
EV Strength Production = 5 points
PP Production = 8 points
Boy oh boy are the Blues looking scary. I mean 240 minutes and 18 seconds without allowing a goal…. WTF? Both goalies are coming in and getting the job done and the Blues seems to be getting healthy at the perfect time with Alexander Steen set to return tonight. A lot of hype has been around the Blackhawks and Kings in the Western Conference but I think the Blues are the team to be feared most as they are looking deadly heading into the post-season. This line has done well for the Blues over their recent four-game winning streak and Fabbri has been a little gem with nine points in his last 10 games. The Mississauga native had a rather slow start to the season but has really turned it on as of late which makes him a sneaky post-season pick. The future is bright for Fabbri as he really seems to be assimilating to the NHL game and with 37 points on the season thus far, next year he can produce handsomely. As for the other pieces of this line, Brouwer is a nice option if your league counts PIMs as he has 62 on the season. Troy is becoming somewhat of a poor man’s Scott Hartnell. Last, Stastny has had somewhat of a letdown season due to injuries but if you look at his numbers he has 43 points in 58 games which is elite considering he’s played injured. With 13 points in his last 10 games, Stastny seems to be ready to roll in the post-season and besides Tarasenko he’d be by next player drafted on this Blues squad.
EV Strength Production = 8 points
The Predators have played well as of late with a 6-3-1 record in their last 10 games. Much of their recent success is due to the emergence of Johansen and Neal. I have watched many of the Predators games over the past week and the combo of Johansen and Neal has looked very menacing every time they take to the ice. Neal is on fire with seven goals in his last seven games as Johansen continues to make things happen for the talented sniper. The third piece of this line has been somewhat of a revolving door as both Wilson and Jarnkrok have gotten time. The point is that Johansen and Neal seem to be building chemistry which does not bode well for the Western Conference so start these studs at all costs.
EV Strength Production = 6 points
A first appearance for this duo on this segment and deservedly so. When you take a look at Suter in fantasy you think “meh”. I mean he is a decent own in most standard pools but he doesn’t really do anything in a single category that wows you. However, this year is the first time that he is stepping into elite territory as he has already set a career high in points with 49 and will inevitably break the 50-point mark in the coming week. His power play production has been solid with 21 points on the man advantage and he has also produced shorthanded with two points on the season. All things considered Suter seems to be trending in the right direction and will play a pivotal role for the Wild in the playoffs if they get in. As for Spurgeon, he has also set a career high with 28 points and could potentially break the 30-point mark by seasons end. Would I consider him down the stretch? Yes, the Wild are hot and he seems to be getting top PP time which is where he’s done most of his damage.
PP Production = 5 points
I mean what more can I really say about this tandem. The Predators are on a roll and guess who appears on this list? This duo. In order for the Predators to have any success in the post-season this tandem is going to have to produce. The Preds are a scary team when these guys get up the ice and activate. This season has been somewhat of a passing of the torch as Josi has out produced Weber in most categories. However, Weber will always have that booming shot which will almost guarantee a high PPG output as he has 13 on the year. The only category these two fail to deliver on his plus/minus as they are a combined minus-five. Many people would be confused by this stat as they are so dominant but you have to remember that they are playing against top talent night in and night out. Furthermore, Pekka Rinne has not had the greatest year and in order to produce up the ice you’re going to have to take chances and thus allowing the occasional goal on the other end. Regardless, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that this duo is fantasy gold.
EV Production = 4 points
PP Production = 1 point
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