Fantasy Hockey Mailbag: New coach bump is alive and well in Montreal

Montreal Canadiens interim head coach Martin St. Louis talks with players during first period NHL hockey action the Buffalo Sabres. (Graham Hughes/CP)

The new coach bump in the NHL is alive and well.

Sometimes it just takes a couple games.

Just ask the Montreal Canadiens, who after dropping three in a row to begin the Martin St. Louis era, have now rifled off four consecutive victories.

Undeniably, Cole Caufield and Jeff Petry have benefited the most so far from the coaching change. Through seven games under St. Louis, the rookie, Caufield, has potted six goals and 10 points. For comparison’s sake, he had one measly tally and eight points in 30 outings under Dominique Ducharme. It’s the same type of story for the veteran Petry, who has two goals and three helpers since the move.

Translation: the Canadiens have become a plausible destination for fantasy owners once again, at least for the next little while. Of course, Montreal is expected to be extremely active leading up to the Mar. 21 trade deadline.

Keep note of this recent hot streak as you put together your next roster for the Sportsnet Fantasy Hockey Pool. For what it’s worth, I’d be all over Caufield, especially at that one-point value.

Now to your questions:

Probably not. It’s a nice story but I don’t think this run for Montembeault will be sustainable enough to warrant parting with mainstays like Quick or Varlamov. Also, Jake Allen is expected back in a few weeks.

Additionally, Montreal has a tough five-game Canadian road trip coming up starting Saturday with stops in Ottawa, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver, respectively. Never say never because they’ve looked so good recently, but four of those five teams still have a lot to play for. Stand pat.

As for Mikkola, he should be viewed as no more than a cheeky streamer play. There’s too much ahead of him on St. Louis’ defensive depth chart. Orlov and Kylington remain far better options.

At this point, I’m still firmly behind Team Husso. Far and away, he’s been St. Louis’ best goaltending option for quite some time and hasn’t shown many signs of wavering. Simply put, the dude can’t lose right now.

As for Binnington, I think it would be a smart approach for the Blues to plug and play him moving forward, similar to what they did successfully on Tuesday night in Philadelphia. After all, Craig Berube’s squad has plenty to do to fortify a playoff spot. That Central Division is no joke.

Because the margin for error in the standings is so slim, it’s imperative the Blues continue to ride the hot hand of Husso.

For now, I would stand pat on Gibson. I know he’s struggled lately, but I still view him as a far better option than Binnington for rest of season purposes. In fact, if I were you, I’d dangle him on the trade market and see what he could fetch. Furthermore, a lot can happen between now and the deadline, you just never know.

Down the road, however, especially around fantasy playoff time, I don’t think it would be the worst strategy to handcuff St. Louis’ crease. They’re legitimate, a drum I’ve certainly been banging all season long. Think about it.

Yes, I think it would be in your best interest to hold onto Ullmark.

Just because Swayman has been hot, it doesn’t mean he will be in two weeks from now. From the onset, the Bruins have been transparent in saying that both their goalies will play meaningful games. Regardless of who’s hot or who’s not, I don’t see why that wouldn’t continue. This an 82-game trial for game one of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. May the best man win.

Good question.

Personally, I think you’ll be in good hands moving forward with Oettinger, even if it comes at the expense of losing Hart. I just think the Flyers are in for a lengthy rebuild, which obviously will negatively impact his fantasy value. Meantime, I do think Dallas is further along. It certainly helps when you have a nucleus of Oettinger, Jason Robertson and Miro Heiskanen to build around.

Firstly, I’d take a wait-and-see approach and see how everything plays out. Secondly, assuming your other guys are at full health once Lehner is good to go, I actually think the right plan of action would be to roster a four-goal system. It’s all about options, and good ones at that. Drop a skater, not a goalie.

First thing’s first, both players are expendable in all formats. Getting that out of the way, I’d play the schedule manipulation angle. Minnesota plays four times next week, the Panthers just twice. Keep Gaudreau, cut Marchment. You can always jump back when Florida’s schedule gets busier again.

Depending on who’s available on your waiver wire, I’d wait it out. In most standard leagues, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better long-term option anyway. Suffice it is to say, a move out of Arizona would do wonders for Chychrun’s fantasy value. And judging by multiple reports, the 23-year-old is very likely to be on the move soon.

Aside from that, the other option is to cut bait on him and hope that he’s available once a deal is consummated. Either way, this decision won’t make or break your fantasy season, so don’t sweat it too much.

When submitting content, please abide by our  submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.
We use cookies to improve your experience. Learn More or change your cookie preferences. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the use of cookies.