Week 21 Fantasy Hockey Planner
It's crunch time in the Fantasy Hockey season with the playoffs underway or positioning at stake. Who is playing well and who might be an injury risk for the upcoming scoring period? Our Ross Devonport lays it all out in his latest Fantasy Planner.
(All stats through Friday, March 5)
Week 21 (March 8-14)
Teams playing four games: Atlanta, Columbus, Dallas, Los Angeles,
Minnesota, Nashville, N.Y. Islanders, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Toronto,
Teams playing three games: Anaheim, Boston, Buffalo, Calgary, Carolina, Chicago, Colorado, Detroit, Edmonton, Florida, Montreal, New Jersey, N.Y. Rangers, Ottawa, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Jose, St. Louis.
New Jersey Devils:
has three goals and six points in his last four games ... Olympic silver
has five goals and
three assists during a five-game point streak ... C
has 26 points in the last 23 games ...
returned to the lineup Tuesday after being out since
Dec. 30. Consider him once again in deeper leagues ... Defenseman
(arm) could be back in the scoring period.
N.Y. Islanders: Goalie Rick DiPietro is out indefinitely with swelling in his surgically repaired knee ... Blake Comeau completed his first career hat trick on Wednesday, and is really clicking with his new stick (six goals in last four games) ... Low-end winger Trent Hunter (upper-body injury) is unlikely to play in the scoring period ... Defenseman Jack Hillen is back in the lineup after missing nine games with a broken jaw, and could see extra ice time following the trade of Andy Sutton to Ottawa ... Rookie center John Tavares goal skid has reached 16 games.
N.Y. Rangers: Marian Gaborik is day-to-day with what is rumored to be a groin injury. He shook off a lacerated thigh to play in the Olympics but got dinged up in Vancouver ... Defenseman Michael Del Zotto could be close to returning from a lacerated chest ... Vinny Prospal has 12 points in his last 11 games ... Goalie Alex Auld was picked up off waivers and will likely back up Henrik Lundqvist the rest of the way ... Erik Christensen has five points in his last three games ... Little-used defenseman Anders Eriksson was shipped off to the Coyotes at the trade deadline.
Philadelphia Flyers: Goalie Ray Emery is out for the season with a hip problem that will require surgery. Michael Leighton should continue to get the majority of starts ahead of Brian Boucher ... Jeff Carter saw his six-game goal streak come to end Friday ... Daniel Briere has six points in his last six games ... Danny Syvret will continue rehabbing his shoulder and will begin his comeback in the AHL ... Ville Leino played his first game for the Flyers on Wednesday and scored a goal. He played on the fourth line.
Pittsburgh Penguins: In his first game with the Penguins, newly-acquired winger Alexei Ponikarovsky played on the second line with Evgeni Malkin and Ruslan Fedotenko ... The team also acquired Jordan Leopold from Florida, who has been partnered with Alex Goligoski ... Evgeni Malkin has recorded a point in 15 straight games after scoring a goal in just one of his previous 15 contests ... Olympic hero Sidney Crosby has been reunited with wingers Chris Kunitz and Bill Guerin , with whom he scored 15 playoff goals during last year's playoffs ... Eric Godard (groin) has been downgraded to out indefinitely.
Favorable matchup: N.Y. Islanders (@PHI, STL, EDM, TOR) While the Flyers and Blues are not particularly great matchups, the Oilers and Maple Leafs rank last and second-to-last respectively in goals against.
Unfavorable matchup: Pittsburgh (@CAR, @NJ, @TB) The Devils have the best goals-against average in the NHL, while Carolina has only allowed more than two goals once during their current seven-game home winning streak.
Boston Bruins: Goalie
who had been getting the majority of starts lately, is day-to-day with a
(groin) hasn't played since the Olympic break ...
, acquired in a deadline-day trade with Florida,
on Thursday vs.
Toronto. Seidenberg leads the league in blocked shots ... Center
hasn't scored a goal in his last 18 games but does have
14 assists over that span ...
has no points and a minus-9 in his last 18 games.
Buffalo Sabres: Buffalo is struggling as a team, going just 2-6-3 in its last 11 games ...Newly acquired winger Raffi Torres , who immediately becomes the team's goal-scoring leader with 19, played all over the lines against the Flyers on Friday ... Jochen Hecht has points in three of the last five games (two goals and an assist) ... Paul Gaustad is out for at least a week with an upper-body injury.
Montreal Canadiens: Mike Cammalleri (knee) says he's still on schedule for a mid-March return, but would be a very risky start in Week 21 ... Benoit Pouliot (shoulder) returned in Tuesday's game in Boston and scored a goal. He now has four points in his last five games as he continues to play well since coming over from Minnesota ... Maxim Lapierre has been suspended four games without pay for a late hit on Sharks forward Scott Nichol .
Ottawa Senators: Brian Elliott , who was making his 15th straight start, was pulled early in Tuesday's loss to the Rangers. He was replaced by Pascal Leclaire , who was yanked himself against Carolina on Thursday ... Andy Sutton came over from the Islanders at the deadline, but will continue to be a low-end Fantasy option ...Youngster Erik Karlsson returned to action on Wednesday after missing the five games before the break with a shoulder injury ... Milan Michalek is the new team leader with 21 goals ...Winger Nick Foligno 's return from a broken leg has been pushed back to late March at the earliest.
Toronto Maple Leafs: Luca Caputi , acquired from the Penguins in the Ponikarovsky deal, played alongside Christian Hanson and John Mitchell on Thursday at Boston. He also saw 2:35 of power play time ... Coach Ron Wilson now says he might alter his plan of using goalie Jonas Gustavsson just once a week in goal in favor of veteran Jean-Sebastien Giguere ... Mikhail Grabovski (broken wrist) could return soon after a two-month absence ... NHL.com reports that Mike Komisarek (shoulder surgery) is with the team on their current road trip that ends Sunday.
Favorable matchup: Montreal (TB, EDM, BOS) While the Canadiens don't score at home or on the road, they face the Lightning (22nd in goals against) and Oilers (30th), two of the league's worst defenses.
Unfavorable matchup: None
|1.||Steve Downie , RW, Lightning||52|
|2.||Alexei Ponikarovsky , LW, Penguins||49|
|3.||Michael Leighton , G, Flyers||32|
|4.||Wojtek Wolski , LW, Coyotes||59|
|5.||Vinny Prospal , C, Rangers||55|
|6.||Devin Setoguchi , RW, Sharks||47|
|7.||Cristobal Huet , G, Blackhawks||48|
|8.||Steve Mason , G, Blues||44|
|9.||Joe Corvo , D, Capitals||35|
|10.||Joe Pavelski , C, Sharks||58|
has 11 points in his last seven games ...
19th goal of the season on Tuesday moved him
temporarily into a tie for the team lead with
, but then the Russian scored on Thursday ... D
registered his sixth goal of the season in the win over
Florida and has seven points in his last six games ...
was acquired from the Sabres at the deadline. The
24-year-old has some potential, but remains a low-end Fantasy option for
now ... The team also traded for bruiser
and signed 48-year-old
... Veteran winger
has requested to be traded because of a lack of playing time, according
to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution ...
is off IR after missing 13 games.
Carolina Hurricanes: Cam Ward will not need surgery on his injured back, but remains out indefinitely ... LW Jussi Jokinen 's point streak ended 10 games on Thursday ... The team added defenseman Brian Pothier , goalie Justin Pogge and forward Oskar Osala at the deadline. Pothier should get plenty of minutes for his new team, but none of these guys are expected to factor Fantasy-wise the rest of the year ... LW Chad LaRose scored in his first game back in the lineup Tuesday. He had missed all seven February contests.
Florida Panthers: Nathan Horton (broken leg) is back skating again and could return in the scoring period ... David Booth has six points in his last two games ... Bryan McCabe has a goal and six assists in his last five games ... Byron Bitz was picked up in a deal with the Bruins.
Tampa Bay Lightning: Steven Stamkos has a team-record scoring streak of 15 games, the third-longest scoring streak in the league this season. Stamkos, who has 38 goals on the season, has picked up 13 goals and 26 points during the scoring streak ... Steve Downie has a career-best scoring streak of nine games. The third-year pro, who has six power-play goals, has scored five goals to go with seven assists during the nine-game streak ... Teddy Purcell , acquired from Los Angeles at the trade deadline played on the second line with Vincent Lecavalier and Ryan Malone in his team debut.
Washington Capitals: Deadline day acquisitions Scott Walker , Joe Corvo and Eric Belanger all played well in their first game with the Caps. Walker scored twice to lead the newcomers. The other new pickup, Milan Jurcina , is out for at least a month with a sports hernia ... Goalie Semyon Varlamov is 8-0 at home this season.
Favorable matchup: Washington (DAL, CAR, TB, @CHI). While the Blackhawks have allowed the fewest goals in the league, the other three teams Washington face rank in the bottom 10 of the same category.
Unfavorable matchup: Florida (@MIN, @COL, @SJ). The Avalance and Sharks both rank in the top 10 in fewest goals allowed, while the Panthers rank 21st in road scoring.
Chicago Blackhawks: Chicago picked up some role players at the
, but none of the additions are likely to have much, if
any, Fantasy impact the rest of the way. Johnsson did have an assist and
was a plus-4 in his first game for Chicago, though ...
has four straight multiple-point games and has a goal and
seven assists during that stretch ...
has a seven-game point streak.
Columbus Blue Jackets: Jakub Voracek has one goal and six assists during a five-game point streak after going eight games without a point ... Antoine Vermette has two goals and four assists during a five-game point streak ... Derick Brassard is still dealing with a hand injury ... Mike Commodore (charley horse) should be back soon, while Rostislav Klesla (groin) might be out for the season.
Detroit Red Wings: Darren Helm scored twice in Friday's win over Nashville. It was his first two-goal game and enabled the fourth-line energy player to hit the 10-goal mark ... Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg have combined for 17 points over the last seven games ... Goalie Jimmy Howard has three wins in his last four games and has allowed two goals or less in four of five.
Nashville Predators: Must-start Fantasy defenseman Shea Weber is day-to-day with a wrist or hand injury sustained on Saturday against the Wings ... The team added former Oilers defenseman Denis Grebeshkov and Dustin Boyd at the deadline. Grebeshkov will remain an option in deeper Fantasy leagues, while you should continue to avoid Boyd ... Solid defensive prospect Cody Franson has been removed from injured reserve and is back plying his trade in the AHL for the time being.
St. Louis Blues: Goalie Chris Mason has won five straight games as he tries to earn a contract extension ... T.J. Oshie has scored in four consecutive games. He has seven points in his those contests ... Matt D'Agostini , acquired from Montreal at the deadline, played right wing on a line with D.J. King and B.J. Crombeen in his debut. D'Agostini had one shot on goal and two hits in 11:50 of ice time ... Cam Janssen is eligible to return from his five-game suspension on March 14 ... Keith Tkachuk has yet to return from his finger injury.
Favorable matchup: St. Louis (@NYI, @CLB, @MIN) The Blues are ninth in road scoring and will play three teams in the bottom half of league defenses, including two in the bottom five (New York, Columbus).
Unfavorable matchup: Detroit (CGY, MIN, BUF) The Sabres and Flames rank fifth and sixth respectively in team defense, and the Red Wings are 25th in home scoring at just 2.65 goals per game.
six points in his last six games after having just one in his previous
four ...Deadline day acquisition
played mainly with
his defensive partner in his first game for Calgary ...
, who was also acquired on Wednesday, is likely to play
four or five games down the stretch in relief of
ended a 21-game goal drought on Friday night ...
has been removed from IR, but was a healthy scratch
Colorado Avalanche: Brandon Yip is out 4-6 weeks with a shoulder injury ... The team has scored four power-play goals in two games with John-Michael Liles and trade deadline acquisition Peter Mueller manning the points after the team went 3-for-37 with the man advantage in the previous 11 games ... Stephane Yelle is back with his old team following his acquisition from Carolina on Wednesday. Yelle played 9:51 and helped the Avalanche kill both of Phoenix's power plays in Thursday's win. Yelle centered the fourth line with Darcy Tucker and Matt Hendricks ... RW Marek Svatos had five shots on goal in just 6:59 of ice time Thursday against Phoenix.
Edmonton Oilers: Lubomir Visnovsky was traded to the Ducks in return for Ryan Whitney , who played 26:20 in his first game for Edmonton ... Ladislav Smid is out for the season, as the bulging disk in his neck will require surgery ... Ryan Jones home-ice debut with Edmonton on Friday lasted all of half a period before he left the game with a sprained knee. Jones was claimed off waivers on March 3 ... In his last seven games, Fernando Pisani has no points and is a minus-8, while Patrick O'Sullivan has zero points and minus-8 in his last eight.
Minnesota Wild: Derek Boogaard , who was suspended five games last year for elbowing Calgary's Brandon Prust , might get another call from league disciplinarian Colin Campbell. Boogaard stuck his knee out on Edmonton's Ryan Jones on Friday and sprained Jones' knee ... Defenseman Cam Barker is a plus-4 with a goal and an assist in three games for the Wild after coming over in a trade from Chicago ... Mikko Koivu has seven points in his last six games ... Niklas Backstrom earned just his second shutout in his last 49 decisions when he blanked the Flames on Wednesday.
Vancouver Canucks: Goalie Roberto Luongo was pulled for the third time in his last eight games in Friday's loss to the Blackhawks. he has now allowed 13 goals in his last three starts ... Ryan Kesler has five goals and four assists during his current eight-game point streak ... Willie Mitchell (concussion) has been downgraded to out indefinitely ... LW Steve Bernier flew back to Vancouver on Wednesday to see an abdominal specialist, leading to speculation he may have a sports hernia. His situation will be cleared up on Monday... Mikael Samuelsson scored for a second consecutive game Friday in Chicago to match his career high with 23 goals.
Favorable matchup: Edmonton (OTT, @MON, @TOR) While the Oilers have the second-worst offense in the NHL, they will face three very average defenses in Week 21. Edmonton has scored three goals in all three games against these Eastern Conference opponents this season.
Unfavorable matchup: Vancouver (@COL, @PHX, OTT, CGY) The Canucks face three teams in the top eight in fewest goals against, while the other squad, Ottawa, held Vancouver to one goal in their February meeting.
points in his last eight games ... The Ducks bolstered their blue line
at the deadline with the acquisitions of
Ducks also swapped backup goaltenders, landing
from the Flames for
, and picked up another backup goalie,
... There has been no recent word on the only injured
(back) ... Coach
Randy Carlyle experimented with some different line combinations at
practice Saturday. The top line was
, while the second line was
Dallas Stars: Marty Turco , who was playing very well before the break, has allowed nine goals in his first two games since the break ... RW Loui Eriksson goal Thursday was his first point in four games ... Brad Richards has points in seven of his last eight games (1-6-7) ... Mark Fistric has been removed from IR, but was a healthy scratch Thursday.
Los Angeles Kings: Alexander Frolov has three goals and six assists in his last seven games... The Kings acquired two veteran forwards at the deadline, Jeff Halpern from Tampa Bay and Fredrik Modin from Columbus. Both are expected to play on the lower lines ... Brayden Schenn , the Kings' first-round pick in the 2009 draft (No. 5 overall), has been signed to a standard three-year entry-level contract. He has 87 points in 55 WHL games this season ... RW Justin Williams (broken leg) has been participating in practices for the past week and seems to be on track for a return before the end of the month. He has been out since Dec. 26.
Phoenix Coyotes: Defenseman Ed Jovanovski missed Thursday's game with an upper-body injury. He is listed as day-to-day ... Wojtek Wolski , acquired from Colorado at the deadline, scored the game winner in Thursday's victory over the Avalanche ... Lee Stempniak , another one of the new Coyotes, also scored in the game ... The team also traded for winger Petteri Nokelainen and defenseman Derek Morris ... In his last seven games, Daniel Winnik has no points and a minus-5.
San Jose Sharks: Patrick Marleau scored a short-handed goal Thursday. It was his 39th goal of the season, a new career high ... Joe Thornton , Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi have combined for 16 points in the last seven games ... Ryan Vesce has been called up from the AHL and could stick around for a while ... Center Scott Nichol will miss 7-10 days with an upper-body injury.
Favorable matchup: San Jose (NSH, FLA, @ANA) Not like the Sharks need much help scoring, but they will face the 19th, 18th and 23rd-ranked defenses in Week 21.
Unfavorable matchup: Phoenix (VAN, @CAR, @ATL) While the Canucks are tough defensively, the Hurricanes and Thrashers can be scored upon. Unfortunately, the Coyotes are only 26th in road scoring.
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