Peaks and Valleys- Halfway Through the Marathon
The next seven to ten days will bring each NHL team to the middle point of their season, thus making your fantasy season half done. It really is a sad realization, but the season has given fans and fantasy owners a lot to be cheerful and depressed about. While those lists are too long to write, you know what has transpired up to this point.
Injuries continue to be an overwhelming issue. Stars like Evegeni Malkin continue to miss time with concussion issues. Borderline fantasy player Rene Bourque is now on that list of concussion victims. Others such as Vladimir Tarasenko and Matt Read still have a little time before they return. Until then, there are rosters spots that need to be filled until they return.
Ryan O’Reilly, Center, Colorado Avalanche: Fresh off of signing a new deal in Colorado, O’ Reilly is 100% ownable in all formats. The 22-year old may not have the high levels of scoring immediately, but once he gets through his “pre-season” games in the regular season, he will be worth nearly a point per game player.
Bryan Little, Center, Winnipeg Jets: Little is one of the more up-and-down scorers that I have no problem playing. He is seeing over 19 minutes a game, and is playing in all important situations. Despite logging longer minutes for a forward and extensive travel (Winnipeg plays in the Southeast Division while playing in the Central Time zone), Little is a plus-7. Little is a player to watch or stash on your bench.
David Desharnais, Center, Montreal Canadiens: The victim of a breakout slump, David Desharnais is finally playing like the guy who had 60 points in his first full season in 2011-12. Montreal is playing extremely well and Desharnais is just the latest Canadien to join in on the fun. His three points last week were the second most in one week so far this season. He had 4 the week of February 18th.
Down In the Valley
Jiri Hudler, Left Wing, Calgary Flames: Once he made his season debut, Hudler had a nearly point per game start. Now, like Calgary, he is stuck in neutral. Hudler has a nice three assist game on February 28th, but one game does not get you off the bubble as an add/drop candidate.
Tomas Kopecky, Center, Florida Panthers: To no ones surprise, Kopecky’s daily ownership numbers nearly quintupled after his hat trick this past Tuesday. Not to my surprise, Kopecky has zero points since. Kopecky has been a solid player in real life, but in fantasy terms, he is not worth the spot. Let others drop their bench players for him so you can grab their dropped players that should be on a roster.
Kyle Turris, Center, Ottawa Senators: The third overall pick in the 2007 draft appeared to have turned a corner once he was acquired by Ottawa. He had as many points in January (seven) as games played, but saw his point total drop to five in February…in 14 games. If you were playing Turris in hopes of a turnaround, it is now time to give up on that dream. Turris has been sputtering offensively much like the rest of his team.