Fantasy Hockey Mailbag: As Price struggles, is Allen worth picking up?

Toronto Maple Leafs' Ilya Mikheyev scores past Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price during third period NHL hockey action in Montreal on Wednesday, February 10, 2021. (Paul Chiasson/CP)

Memo to Carey Price owners: It may be time to bench your number-one goalie indefinitely until he can figure things out again.

It’s just one game, but tough start to the Dominique Ducharme era in Montreal. The Canadiens are now 3-5-2 over their past 10 games.

All things being equal, recent memory suggests that more often than not, NHL teams actually gain a considerable boost from an in-season change behind the bench. In fact, of the eight teams who made a coaching change last season, only the San Jose Sharks failed to produce a record above .500 the rest of the way. Again, it’s just one game, but I’d say Ducharme certainly has his work cut out for him.

Keep all that in mind moving forward as you continue to set your rosters for the Sportsnet Fantasy Hockey Pool. Looking ahead at next week, Montreal will play three times: one against the Ottawa Senators and two with the Winnipeg Jets.

Now to your questions:

First and foremost, you’re right — Montreal’s offence has slowed considerably from that torrid first month. In January, they averaged 4.12 goals per game. That number has dropped to 3.1 through 10 games here in February. Personally, I think their offence is somewhere in the middle of that.

When it comes to Jeff Petry and Tyler Toffoli, I’ll maintain what I said early on: there’s no way they can keep up this pace. From the two-week mark of the season, I’ve been endorsing a sell-high for both files, nothing has changed on those fronts. In 19 games, Petry has 18 points and Toffoli has 12 goals — it’s time to maximize value and move on.

Never say never, but I don’t think a Price trade is coming anytime soon.

It’s no secret, the Canadiens need more from their veteran number-one goalie if they have any aspirations of doing something substantial this season. Thursday night’s 6-3 loss was pretty much a microcosm of his year to-date. Look for Jake Allen to play much more over the next little while as Price looks to find himself again.

To your fantasy question, I’m thinking the exact opposite actually (even with last night’s display) — now’s an excellent time to buy-low on Price. I mean, let’s call a spade a spade here, the 33-year-old hasn’t consistently been an upper-echelon goalie in the league for a couple years now. That said, I fully expect Price to turn things around this season. Montreal is a better team than they’ve been showing.

I have no idea, but I’m supremely curious about this. Allen has grossly outplayed Price this season. At the very least, Allen has earned some extra playing time. We’ll see what Ducharme elects to do.

Depending on league settings and format, I think there is.

For example, if you’re in a weekly league and you’re sitting quite comfortably against your opponent when it comes to goalie statistics, I’d be inclined to sit my goalies.

Now, if you’re in a rotisserie league, it’s imperative to be strategic with your goalie starts. Your objective is to maximize production and if that means benching a goalie or two, by all means. That said, don’t overthink the process. That’s when you tend to make mistakes. Trust your gut.

Sweet job! It goes without saying but the Burlington native is on pace for his most productive season yet in the NHL. He’s been fantastic. Unfortunately, Anderson left Thursday night’s game and did not return due to injury. Monitor that situation closely.

Cut him.

With three goals and seven points in 21 games, Domi has been a massive disappointment in fantasy hockey so far this season. At this point, there’s no time to wait around, especially as he continues to rot away on Columbus’ third line. The Blue Jackets acquired Domi to play centre, he’s currently on the wing. Alrighty then.

Additionally, the lack of ice-time is another huge factor for me. Since Feb. 4, Domi has played more than 16 minutes in a game just once. Last time I checked, that’s not conducive to point production in the NHL world.

I’m out, you can always circle back down the road.

Simply put, there’s no reason to go anywhere near Viktor Arvidsson right now in fantasy hockey. Did you know that the 27-year-old winger is currently mired in a nine-game pointless drought? Ouch! Nashville is a disaster. Stay away.

Between Chicago’s lack of centre depth and the MVP type season that Patrick Kane is having, I think it’s worth hanging onto Kirby Dach for the time being.

After breaking his wrist in December in world junior exhibition play, the 20-year-old recently started skating again but is still nowhere near a return. I’d say late March, early April is a fair expectation. Upon his return, Dach will almost certainly factor back into Chicago’s top-six once again. That means plenty of Kane and Alex DeBrincat attachment and, as a fantasy owner, that is superb news.

Yes, I think I would. By a landslide, Sean Couturier is by far the best fantasy player in the trade. When it comes to Matt Duchene, I think his days of being an elite fantasy contributor are far behind him. Right now, I don’t look at him as much more than a potential daily play. Make the move!

Good fantasy player, I like him. After a slow start, Kevin Fiala has three goals and four points over his past five outings. Be patient. The Wild have been an amazing story so far this season.

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