13 percent – that’s the sum of teams that have now made a head coaching change since the start of this NHL season. We’re not even at the halfway mark yet.
This past week, alone, Jim Montgomery (Dallas – unprofessional conduct) and Pete DeBoer (San Jose – results based) became the fourth and fifth bench bosses to be replaced. Aside from the Toronto Maple Leafs, who named Sheldon Keefe outright right away, the rest chose to assign interims for the time being. Do you blame them?
|Toronto Maple Leafs||7-4-0||Sheldon Keefe|
|Calgary Flames||7-1-0||Geoff Ward*|
|New Jersey Devils||1-4-1||Alain Nasreddine*|
|Dallas Stars||2-0-1||Rick Bowness*|
|San Jose Sharks||1-1-0||Bob Boughner*|
1. The easy buy-low targets in San Jose are located on the blue line.
Brent Burns, the NHL’s top point-producing defenceman over the past five years, is currently in the midst of a nasty 11-game pointless drought. That will change. In case you haven’t figured it out, Erik Karlsson is the other name to go after.
2. Also, whatever you do, stay away from San Jose’s goaltending situation until further notice. Let’s see if Bob Boughner can work a miracle.
3. Meantime, I’m not expecting much of a difference from Dallas. They’re a perennial contender and they’ve been playing like so. I’m more interested to see how things play out in net. In recent memory, they’ve used their backup goalie more than most teams. Monitor closely.
4. Speaking of the Stars, Valeri Nichushkin is another formidable example of a player who just needed a change of scenery. Now with Colorado after an offseason buyout from Dallas, the 24-year-old is starting to rebuild confidence after last season’s debauchery. The 10th overall pick from the 2013 NHL Draft has six goals in his last 10 outings. Take him for a spin!
5. Calgary’s seven-game win streak came to a screeching halt Saturday afternoon versus Carolina with a 4-0 loss. Despite that blip, Calgary’s depth could offer you some decent short-term value. That’s mainly because Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Elias Lindholm are currently dispersed through the first three lines. Have a look at Dillon Dube and Andrew Mangiapane.
6. Everyone’s waiting on a Taylor Hall trade and I’m just sitting here wanting to talk about Chandler Stephenson. The 25-year-old has two goals and one assist in his first six games with the Golden Knights. He’s currently centering Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone, making him fantasy relevant for the first time in his career. Enough said.
7. With a trade seemingly imminent, the fantasy world waits with bated breath to see what kind of haul the Devils can fetch for Hall. For rest of season purposes, life without the 2018 Hart Trophy winner in New Jersey won’t be easy. The three goals in two games this past weekend was a firm indication of the growing pains ahead. The sell-off is just beginning. Be ahead of it.
8. Prayers out to Philadelphia’s Oskar Lindblom. The 23-year-old was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer and will be out for the rest of the season.
9. Earlier in the week, the Flyers lost Travis Konecny (concussion) too. Quietly, Lindblom and Konecny share the team lead for goals with 11. Rookies Morgan Frost and Joel Farabee as well as veteran James van Riemsdyk will be counted on to step up in the absence of not one, but two top-six forwards. Take note.
10. Multiple reports have suggested that the Coyotes could be the frontrunner to land the aforementioned Hall. Add that tidbit to the growing list of reasons to be optimistic about Clayton Keller’s recent hot streak. The 21-year-old has tallied three goals and eight points in the past eight contests. Buy.
11. Staying in the desert, another cheeky waiver file to contemplate adding is veteran centre Carl Soderberg. The 34-year-old has two goals and five assists so far in December.
12. Fresh off his hat trick performance against one of his former teams (Columbus) on Saturday afternoon, Ottawa’s Anthony Duclair is now on pace for a robust 45 goals. That’s a thing. That said, there’s clearly a distinct sell high opportunity available here. Act upon it!
13. With Anthony Mantha back from injury for Detroit, now’s a logical time for you to looking at acquiring Tyler Bertuzzi and or Dylan Larkin. That trio enjoyed offered some fantastic value to start the season. They’re dope.
14. For now, just keep tabs on St. Louis blue-chipper Jordan Kyrou. The 21-year-old forward is back in the NHL for his second tour of duty and by all accounts, it sounds like Craig Berube will give him every opportunity to stick in a prominent scoring role. Remember, Vladimir Tarasenko’s absence leaves a big hole. The Blues are another team rumoured to be in on Hall.
15. Trade for Columbus’ Cam Atkinson pronto. After a slow start, the 30-year-old has potted four goals in the last five games. I’m willing to take a calculated risk on a player who’s averaged 34 goals over the last four seasons. Yes please!
16. Staying with Columbus, Pierre-Luc Dubois could be primed for a breakout soon too. You won’t have to overpay for him, either.
17. Scoop up Jakob Silfverberg. The dual-eligible Ducks winger is quietly on track for a career-high 29 goals and 57 points. Boom!
18. I’ve seen enough from Chicago defensively to feel confident in advising you to pull the chute on that crease situation. That’s not an indictment on Robin Lehner and Corey Crawford, by the way. The Blackhawks seem disinterested in helping their goalie out. Move on.
19. We’re about to jump into a 50-game week in the NHL. A grand total of seven teams (ANA, COL, CBJ, DAL, EDM, NSH, & OTT) play four times, the rest of the circuit have three-game dockets.
20. From a schedule manipulation standpoint, you might want to zone in on the following three squads:
Dallas Stars: Mon (EDM), Thurs (@TBL), Fri (@FLA), Sun (CGY)
Waiver Looks: Roope Hintz (38%), Anton Khudobin (18%)
SN Fantasy Pool: Tyler Seguin (3), Ben Bishop (3), Roope Hintz (1)
Edmonton Oilers: Mon (@DAL), Wed (@STL), Fri (PIT), Sat (MTL)
Waiver Looks: Mike Smith (33%), Alex Chiasson (1%),
SN Fantasy Pool: Connor McDavid 4, Leon Draisaitl (4), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2)
Colorado Avalanche: Mon (@STL), Wed (@CHI), Thurs (CAR), Sat (CHI)
Waiver Looks: Samuel Girard (13%), Valeri Nichushkin (9%)
SN Fantasy Pool: Nathan MacKinnon (4), Andre Burakovsky (1), Joonas Donskoi (1)
Other SN Fantasy Pool Targets: Ryan Getzlaf (2), Seth Jones (2), Roman Josi (2), Anders Nilsson (2)