Fantasy Hockey Mailbag: Ride the Canucks while they're hot

Vancouver Canucks' J.T. Miller celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Undeniably, one of the most fascinating teams to watch between now and the NHL trade deadline (March 21) is unequivocally the Vancouver Canucks.

Honestly, how do you sell off right now?

Under coach Bruce Boudreau, the Canucks, who've won six of the past seven, are a scintillating 21-8-4. Impressively, they’ve been able to secure 46 of a possible 66 points, closing major ground in the Western Conference playoff chase.

That said, the Canucks still have their work cut out for themselves. Friday night, they’ll host the Washington Capitals for the second game of a crucial seven-game homestand, one that conveniently enough will conclude a day before the deadline.

Next time you put together a roster for the Sportsnet Fantasy Hockey Pool, rostering some Canucks would probably be a smart idea. Goalie Thatcher Demko is on fire, and so is J.T. Miller. The 28-year-old forward, who’s been in and out of trade rumours since Jim Rutherford took over, has 15 goals and 44 points in 31 games under his new head coach.

Ride the hot hand. Enough said.

Now, to your questions:

Honestly, it’s too early to tell. In short, Darcy Kuemper’s future with the Avalanche will hinge on a variety of different factors — most notably, how will he fare in the Stanley Cup playoffs? If the veteran has a good showing, I think it would be difficult for GM Joe Sakic to let another goalie walk in free agency. After all, the Avalanche are smack dab in a championship window.

Needless to say, a postseason implosion for Kuemper would likely steer Colorado in another direction. Having said that, my money is on the veteran signing long-term. For the most part, especially here in the second half, he’s been solid.

For now, I would just continue to monitor closely. There’s no denying Pavel Francouz has been steady lately, but I still think Kuemper’s profoundly the No. 1 goalie in Denver. There’s no controversy, at least for now. For what it’s worth, Francouz should be considered an excellent streamer option when he gets the nod.

Yes, I would make the move with minimal hesitation.

In 15 appearances since Jan. 1, Anton Forsberg has posted an impressive 2.31 goals-against average and .932 save-percentage for an underperforming Sens squad. The wins aren’t necessarily always there, but the stats have been superb, which should undoubtedly help to keep you in matchups.

On the contrary, the Red Wings' Alexander Nedeljkovic is trending in the wrong direction, fast. He’s surrendered five or more goals in three of his past six appearances.

Pull the trigger.

Damn, sorry to hear that. In general, it’s been a volatile time for goaltending in the NHL world. It seems like everyone outside of a couple guys is either injured or struggling, or both.

Furthermore, unfortunately now that Vegas' Robin Lehner and Toronto's Jack Campbell are down, I think you have no choice but to scour the trade market and make a move. Good luck!

Yup, it’s certainly time to move on from John Gibson. And to be fair, that’s more of an indictment on the team in front of him. Since the All-Star break, the Ducks are 4-8-0. Suffice is to say, their aspirations of making the Stanley Cup playoffs are dwindling by the day. Additionally, it’s looking like Anaheim will be a seller at the trade deadline, which will only worsen Gibson’s rest-of-season value. As for replacement options, Nico Daws would probably be your top look. I like what he’s been doing for the Devils since being thrusted into action.

No, hold on to Nicklas Backstrom. In general, the Capitals are starting to heat up — they’re 3-0-1 over the past four games. In that time span, Backstrom has started to show signs of finding his production by tallying a goal and three helpers. Be patient, he’s coming around.

Stop it.

Simply put, drop him. Now’s not the time in the fantasy season to wait around for someone to find their offensive game again. The Golden Knights are so banged up, I don’t like where they’re trending. Chandler Stephenson has four points in the past 16 games; you can find a far better pivot option on the waiver wire. Remember, you can always circle back if he heats up again.

Firstly, I’d say this debate is very close. In the grand scheme of things, you’ll be happy with whomever you pick. Personally, I’d probably go with Kyle Connor, but again, you can’t go wrong with either guy. As for reasoning, I just like what’s around Connor a bit more than Alex DeBrincat. Obviously, a lot can change this offseason. We’ll see.

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