Every week, PHT will look to give you some fantasy hockey advice. This column will attempt to shed some light on the waiver wire by helping you pick up quality players that are owned in less than 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
Also, we’ll let you know which players owned in more 50 percent of leagues you should part ways with at this point.
As you can tell from today’s headline, Teuvo Teravainen is going to be involved in the article. But when you read the headline, I want you to read it with Arnold’s voice in mind (top).
Alright, now that that’s out of the way, we can start.
–Teuvo Teravainen-C/LW/RW-Carolina Hurricanes (owned in 43 percent of Yahoo leagues)
Not only is Teravainen eligible to play all three forward positions, he’s also been extremely productive in 2017-18. After collecting three points in a win over the Islanders on Sunday, the ‘Canes forward now has 19 points in 19 games this season. Definitely worth an add.
—David Perron-LW/RW-Vegas Golden Knights (44 percent)
Perron is averaging close to 18 minutes of ice time per game, which means he has ample opportunity to chip in offensively. That’s exactly what he’s done in the first quarter of the season, as he leads the Golden Knights in points with 17 in 19 games. Even though he saw his six-game point streak come to an end on Sunday, he should continue to produce going forward. Like Teravainen, the fact that he can play multiple positions in fantasy also helps his value.
—Mathew Barzal-C-New York Islanders (33 percent)
I’m not sure why fantasy GMs keep snoozing on Barzal, who has emerged as a legitimate Calder Trophy candidate this season. The Isles forward has registered at least one point in nine of his last 11 games. He’s already up to 19 points in 20 games in his first full season.
—Brock Boeser-RW-Vancouver Canucks (42 percent)
Like Barzal, Boeser continues to be criminally under-owned in standard fantasy leagues. The Canucks forward is currently riding a three-game point streak and he’s been able to stay on a point-per-game pace in his first full NHL season. Boeser has 17 points in 17 games right now.
—Mattias Ekholm-D-Nashville Predators (44 percent)
Ekholm has been fantastic since the end of October. Since Oct. 28, he’s accumulated nine points in nine games. As of this moment, he’s scored a goal in three straight games and he has five points during that stretch. He’s the number one defenseman to add on the waiver wire this week.
—Matt Niskanen-D-Washington Capitals (45 percent)
Niskanen is finally back from the upper-body injury that kept him out of the Caps lineup for 13 games. In three games since returning, he’s managed to pick up just a single assist, but that should change going forward. He isn’t a major point producer, but he still has value at that position.
—Ondrej Palat-LW-Tampa Bay Lightning (57 percent)
Palat is on pace to record a 50-point season, which is nothing to scoff at, but he’s clearly behind guys like Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov in Tampa when it comes to offensive options. Picking up one of the forwards listed above at Palat’s expense makes a lot of sense.
—Derick Brassard-C-Ottawa Senators (55 percent)
Brassard got off to a great start this season, but he’s cooled down considerably over the last few weeks. He’s failed to collect a point in each of his last three games and he’s registered just five points in his last 11 games (he has no goals during that span). Brassard might get hot in the future, but for now you can safely drop him from your lineup.
—Patrick Maroon-LW-Edmonton Oilers (56 percent)
This isn’t the first time Maroon’s been mentioned on this list. Unless you play in a league that awards points for penalty minutes, I don’t get why you’d still have him on your roster. Maroon has two points in his last eight games and both of those came in the same contest. Adding Barzal, Teravainen or Boeser would make more sense.
The New York Rangers were able to take down the Ottawa Senators on Sunday even though they were forced to play with five defensemen for most of the third period.
With the Rangers leading 2-0 in the third (they ended up winning 3-0), defenseman Brendan Smith was given a five-minute major plus a game misconduct for interference on Sens defenseman Mark Borowiecki.
Borowiecki needed help getting off the ice, and after the game Sens head coach Guy Boucher confirmed that his defenseman lost consciousness on the ice. He’s been diagnosed with a concussion.
You can watch the play by clicking the video at the top of the page.
After the game, Smith made it clear that he didn’t agree with the referee’s decision to toss him from the contest.
“I think it was a bit harsh,” Smith said, per Newsday. “I’m OK with two minutes [for interference] . . . We made eye contact and he was expecting to get hit. He’s a pretty big guy, a strong guy. I kind of just connected with my shoulder. You see those plays happen all the time. It’s just unfortunate, the outcome. You don’t want to see anyone get hurt. Hopefully, he’ll be OK.”
Guy Boucher called the play “one of the most dangerous hits you can make in hockey.”
It’ll be interesting to see if the NHL’s Department of Player Safety hands out any supplemental discipline to Smith on this one.
Welcome to the PHT Morning Skate, a collection of links from around the hockey world. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at email@example.com.
—Nico Hischier hasn’t been in Jersey long, but he already has his own sandwich at a local deli. What’s inside? Grilled chicken, raw onion, lettuce, tomato and Swiss cheese. The concerning thing is that Hischier refused the chance to add bacon to his sandwich. Who doesn’t like bacon? (Sports Illustrated)
–Luke, who is a young Capitals fan, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that is inoperable. Caps winger Alex Ovechkin recently spent time with Luke. That’s just awesome. (Russianmachineneverbreaks.com)
—Cam Atkinson‘s new contract can be used as a comparable for potential free agent Patric Hornqvist, according to pensburgh.com. If that’s the case, it doesn’t sound like the Pens will be able to keep him beyond July 1st. (Pensburgh.com)
–Golden Knights defenseman Shea Theodore opened the year in the AHL, but his days in the minors appear to be over. The 22-year-old is a key piece of Vegas’ present and future. (Sinbin.Vegas)
–The Dallas Stars have had plenty of problems this season. They aren’t getting goals from depth players, their goaltending has been inconsistent, and a group of struggling defensemen. Why haven’t they fixed this issues? Maybe because they just can’t. (Blackoutdallas.com)
–Artist Tony Harris painted portraits of all of the top 100 players. It took a while, but he finally finished the project with paintings of Yvan Cournoyer and Wayne Gretzky. “All of a sudden, I went from a struggling artist to having as much work as I wanted,” Harris said. (Toronto Star)
–The New Jersey Devils have surprised the hockey world this year. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Pavel Zacha, who’s been a colossal disappointment so far. There’s a few things they could do to try to get him out of this funk. They could send him to the AHL, move him to the wing full-time, or even force the experiment to work down the middle. (pucksandpitchforks.com)
–Gary Bettman has been really pleased with the NHL’s revenue stream (he says it’s around $4-5 billion), so don’t be surprised if the salary cap goes up to anywhere between $80-82 million next season. (Spectorshockey.net)
–The Capitals are barely over .500, which means that this next 10-game stretch will be huge for their them. If they don’t show significant improvement, a major change or two could be coming. (novacapsfans.com)
—Adam Henrique is doing his part to raise money during Movember. Not only is he raising money by growing a mustache, he’s also organizing the inaugural Rico’s Soiree to benefit Movember. “I’m looking forward to just meeting all of the people who will be at the soirée,” said Henrique. “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous, but we will have some of the players joining me which will help a lot and may even have some family in for the event.” (NHLPA.com)
–Gabe, a 14-year-old boy from Ottawa that has a prosthetic leg, has turned out to be an incredible goalie for his youth hockey team. “I just love playing the game and play whenever I can. When I’m playing, there are certain moves that are more challenging, so I have to adapt those moves to fit my mobility. I just push myself to go to the highest level possible.” (Ottawa Citizen)
–Here’s a Q&A with Lightning rookie Mikhail Sergachev, where he talked about the difficulties of playing in the NHL, where he’s made the biggest improvements, and Tampa’s Russian mafia. (Rawcharge.com)
–There’s been a lot of talk about Houston getting an NHL team. If that were to happen in the near future, what should they be called? (Chron.com)
It’s 20 games into the regular season, give or take, and your team is looking pretty far down the standings.
It looks bad, American Thanksgiving is approaching quickly, and prayers to the hockey gods are going unanswered.
Aye, but it might not be all doom and gloom. Not yet, at least.
Take the Philadelphia Flyers, for instance.
Flyers fans are concerned given their team’s current four-game winless streak. They’ve won just three of their past 10 contests and are sitting with a less than superb 8-8-4 record.
Yet, given how tight the Metropolitan Division has started, the Flyers, who sit in the basement of the division, are only five points off its pinnacle despite their recent downswing.
If you’re looking for a silver lining, you can find some solace in that.
Anything appears to be possible in the stacked Met. The New York Rangers began the season 3-7-2 but are just three points adrift of the summit now. Sure, their 7-3-0 record in their past time games is certainly helping their cause, but it goes to show that stringing together a few wins can reverse early season misfortunes.
Now, if the Flyers could only figure out how to stop blowing two-goal leads and fix their discipline issues…
Over in the Western Conference, the Vancouver Canucks have only won three out of their last 10 games dating back to Oct. 30. This, after starting the season 6-3-1.
Their recent skid hasn’t done them any favours, but the pending return of defenseman Chris Tanev could be the shot in the arm they need.
What about some of the teams that really look down and out, you ask?
The Edmonton Oilers have most certainly failed expectations so far this season.
With just seven wins and the team sitting in 28th spot in goals for, despite having Connor McDavid in the lineup, there’s definitely a cause for concern.
Their current two-game skid coupled with losing four of their past five is far from ideal, but the Oilers, despite their poor play, are only five points back of the final wild card spot in the Western Conference.
The Oilers have the goal scoring in them. They finished eighth last season in the category. Some consistency would be nice. They put up eight against the Vegas Golden Knights last Tuesday but just two goals combined in their losses to Washington prior to that game and St. Louis following it.
Continuing with the five-point trend, the Montreal Canadiens — yes, these Montreal Canadiens — find themselves five points behind the Washington Capitals for the final wild card in the Eastern Conference heading into Monday’s action.
Losers of two straight and four of their past five, things don’t look great from Les Canadiens and it would appear changes are coming.
Indeed, the problems in Montreal are numerous: low goals for, high goals against, bad save percentage, bad shooting percentage, bad power play, bad penalty kill.
At this point, it’s going to take a minor miracle in La belle province but they’re still in the mix despite their unfavourable results.
Things might be looking up, however.