Every Sunday this season, we’ll share 20 Fantasy Thoughts from the writers at Dobber Hockey. These thoughts are curated from the past week’s “Daily Ramblings” on DobberHockey.com.
1. Kyle Turris did not score one of the Senators’ five goals against the Kings on Saturday. So that’s 14 games and counting without a goal for Turris, who scored 7 of his first 13 goals back in October.
2. Henrik Lundqvist owners might already know that December was a rough month (3.27 GAA, .892 SV%), just as it was for the Rangers. January has been better, with this week in particular a strong one. King Henrik was solid again on Saturday, stopping 34 of 36 shots and all three Flyers’ shootout attempts in his second win of the week. So that’s a 1.63 goals-against average, a .950 save percentage, and 95 saves over three games this week.
3. Not that you’re likely discouraged from starting King Henrik anyway, but you’ll want to roll with him next week as well. The Rangers face two bottom-third offenses in Vancouver and Carolina, along with an Ottawa team whose offense has cooled off recently (Saturday notwithstanding).
4. I’m not rushing to the waiver wire to add either David Perron or Carl Hagelin, but both players’ season shooting percentage is significantly lower than their career shooting percentage (Hagelin 4.9%, Perron 4.2%). With both percentages due for an increase, there may be something there after the deal.
5. Here we go again. Kris Letang is a game-time decision on Sunday. I’m just going to stick him into my weekly lineup next week anyway, even if he is absent Sunday. Tanger is on quite a run lately with 12 points over his last seven games, so I’m not going to risk benching him only to watch that run continue. One game from Letang right now might be better than three from either Damon Severson or Dan Boyle, who are my replacement options if Letang is still hurt.
7. Rinne is one of the league’s busiest goalies, so longer breaks between starts might help. One area where he and the Predators have surprisingly struggled this season, however: penalty killing. The Preds are 28thmwith a 76.8 per cent kill rate, a very un-Predator-like number.
8. Jori Lehtera and Robby Fabbri, who each scored a goal and added an assist Saturday, are solid plays while their linemate is Vladimir Tarasenko. I added Fabbri in one deep league after realizing he is a rookie with 11 goals who is owned in only two per cent of Yahoo leagues.
9. Cam Talbot earned his third win in six starts this month on Saturday, which is quite a feat for an Oilers’ goalie. With a 1.60 goals-against average and .942 save percentage in January, Talbot is rendering Anders Nilsson obsolete in fantasy leagues. Nilsson was the player I dropped for the above-mentioned Fabbri.
10. Back on the Joe Pavelski – Joe Thornton line, Tomas Hertl scored the overtime winner and added an assist Saturday. Although Hertl had been held without a point in each of his previous three games, he’s a sneaky good add while he is on that line.
11. Ryan Spooner remains available in two-thirds of all Yahoo leagues. Go out and grab him if he is available in yours. He has 11 points in nine games since David Krejci went down. I was advising picking Spooner up before Krejci went down anyway, but now Spooner is skating with Matt Beleskey and Loui Eriksson and is sizzling hot. I can’t advocate for Spooner enough. He is legit and the opportunity is fantastic. Nothing but dividends for those who scoop him for free.
12. Worth mentioning is that Jonathan Toews has been pretty hot lately. He has eight goals and 16 points in his past 15 games. That run gets him back on the 60/65-point pace he normally puts up.
13. It doesn’t get mentioned enough how vastly overrated Toews is in fantasy. He was the 15th-ranked player on Yahoo before the season began. Toews is good but not great when it comes to fantasy.
14. Nikita Kucherov has been hot for two months, Steven Stamkos has been doing well in spurts and now the team is healthy again and in a playoff spot. Health permitting, here comes a big run in the second half.
15. Three-point effort for Patric Hornqvist on Friday. He has scored 11 points in the last 11 games. It’s awfully sporadic in those 11 games, but the scoring does appear to be perking up.
16. Connor Hellebuyck is almost certainly sticking around whenever Ondrej Pavelec returns from injury. He got both starts in the Jets’ back-to-back against division rivals Nashville and Minnesota. The Jets are already in urgency mode.
17. Now, I do think there is a universe where the Jets fall out of the playoff race entirely, sell off Dustin Byfuglien and maybe even Andrew Ladd and throw it into tank mode for two months. In that scenario Hellebuyck is headed back to the AHL.
18. Strong performance from Jacob Markstrom on Friday. I’ve been saying it for a while now but he is definitely taking that Canuck starting job from Ryan Miller. Thirty-eight saves on 40 shots for the overtime win. Granted, it was 40 shots from the inept Hurricane shooters but still, don’t scoff at a .950 save percentage.
19. Incredible run of scoring for Jakob Silfverberg with six points in the past four games. Bruce Boudreau went as far as giving the bulk of the power-play minutes to the second power-play unit with Silfverberg, Ryan Kesler, Patrick Maroon, Kevin Bieksa and Hampus Lindholm. Something to watch for in the near future.
20. David Savard is out long term. John Tortorella indicated that he would be out for “weeks”. They really could use Kevin Connauton back. I’d say this helps Seth Jones but Jones has been playing huge minutes already.