Welcome to the second addition of Mid-Week Deke! Weekly Dekes serves a great purpose at the onset of a match up – but in the world of fantasy hockey, things can change quickly. The Mid-Week Deke will provide a short update on recent developments – continue to use the Weekly Dekes as your weekly scheduling guide.
Noteworthy Performances (not necessarily hot streaks)
Mikkel Boedker Hattrick – after scoring his 3rd goal of the season on Saturday night, Boedker doubled his goal totals with another 3 on Tuesday against Edmonton. The Sharks surely hoped for much more contribution from their off-season addition but it has not panned out well so far. But could this be a sign of resurgence? Likely not – Boedker has seen limited ice-time (less than 14 minutes in 5 straight) and he only had 4 shots on goal in the two games where he scored 4 goals. 100% shooting does not often last long. However, he did register one assist and 5 shots on goal against Calgary Wednesday – one on a penalty shot and another on a breakaway as well.
Ryan Hartman Hattrick – the Chicago Blackhawks 3rd liner also scored 3 goals recently (Sunday) and then had a strong follow up performance on Tuesday with two assists. Hartman now has an impressive 19 points on the season and a +10 rating with 83 shots on goal. Keep an eye on the potential here for a short-term pickup opportunity to ride the hot streak.
Evgeny Kuznetsov – While all the spotlights are on Ovechkin for scoring his 1,000th career NHL point on Wednesday night, all Kuznetsov owners have been extremely excited about Washington’s other Russian star. Kuz has 9 points in his last 5 games, 1PPP and a +7 rating. He only has 28 points on the year (still not too shabby) but he is starting to score at a pace that many expected from him earlier this season as well. Side note that Carlson owners have also been seen smiling lately – the Capitals defender has 6 points in his last 5 games to go along with 16 blocked shots, 14 shots on goal, 2 PPPs and a +7 rating as well. Washington as a whole seems to have found their form.
Andreas Athanasiou – Mantha is not the only exciting young player currently playing with the Red Wings. Athanasiou has 3 goals and 3 assists in the last 3 games (and a +6 rating with 10 shots on goal) before Thursday night’s contest where he had a -2 and no points.
Gustav Nyquist – A line shuffle in Detroit put Mantha and Zetterberg together with Nyquist; although the Red Wings lost 4-2, Nyquist put two points on the board and ended a 7-game point drought.
Matt Dumba – The young defenseman is putting together a solid fantasy season so far, something many experts had been waiting for over the past couple of years. He piled up 3 assists on Thursday night’s 7-1 victory over Montreal which puts him at 6 goals, 13 assists, and a +17 rating on the season. He has 8 PPPs on the year and should continue to evolve into a top offensive defensemen as he develops.
Derick Brassard – The ex-Ranger and new Senator seems to be finding his way in Ottawa now. He only has 20 points on the year but 8 of those points have come in his last 10 games. Keep an eye on Brassard, he is only 31% owned but deserves to be much more if he is able to turn his season around and return to the form he had shown in New York.
Calgary – Johnson is currently in favour over Elliott since Elliott’s unfortunate 4-2 loss on 13 shots against Vancouver (unlucky rather than per performance). Johnson has played well in his last 3 starts, especially Wednesday night in a big win against division-rivals, the Sharks. Johnson kept the game tied at 2-2 with around 5 minutes remaining by stopping a penalty shot from Boedker – and then preserved the 3-2 lead with less than ten seconds remaining on a short-handed breakaway save, also on Boedker (how do you give up a breakaway in the last ten seconds of a game while you are on the powerplay and only up one??). Gulutzen will likely continue giving starts to Johnson while he’s in the zone.
Dallas – After a nice stretch of three wins in a row, Lehtonen has now lost 4 straight and has been pulled in the last two games. Niemi pulled off a one save win in relief of Lehtonen’s last start (Jan 9th) and then lost a tough 2-0 decision on Jan 10th while making 36 saves. Niemi got the call on Thursday night and picked up a 4-2 win. He’ll likely continue starting games while his short-term performance remains better than Lehtonens – remember, the Stars like to ride the hottest goalie.
Detroit – The Wings have continued to struggle, winning only 4 of their last 11 games. The surprise here is that youngster Jared Coreau has picked up each of Detroit’s last 3 wins. His GAA is above 3.00 and his save percentage is only 90.3% on the season, but he if he is winning games, he might start getting an edge of Mrazek (Mrazek gave up 4 goals on 20 shots on Thursday night). Keep your eye on this situation.
Philadelphia – With Mason going winless in 7 straight appearances, Neuvirth could be back in charge for the Flyers after he has finally gotten healthy again. Neuvirth won on January 8th (his only game after returning from injury) and will likely get the starting call if he continues to play well and generate wins. On Thursday night this was reinforced by a Philadelphia win when Mason was pulled after letting in 4 goals on 24 shots – Neuvirth came in and made 14 saves to register the shootout win for the Flyers.
Winnipeg – This one hasn’t really been a battle lately, but still worth noting. Hellebuyck has taken the starting role for the Jets, beating out Hutchinson for the honours. He has played well too, shutting out the Flames on Monday night and winning 4 of his last 7 starts. Wednesday night was a game to forget however, Hellebuyck gave up 3 goals on 7 shots and then Hutchinson gave up 4 goals on 23 shots in relief.
image source: sonsofpenn.com