Welcome to the third 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.
Washington Offensive Frenzy: Washington is on an offensive tear of late. They have scored at least 5 goals in 8 of their last 11 games – that’s insane. Another interesting fact: in the last four games the Capitals have buried 25 goals, NONE of which have been scored by Ovechkin. Fantasy owners competing in category/rotisserie leagues may be disappointed but overall Ovechkin has still been very productive. He has 3 goals and 8 assists during a 6-game point streak. Deeper fantasy leagues have also seen Orlov and Burakovsky ownerships jump as almost every Capital player has benefited from the offensive outbursts that occur on an almost nightly basis. If you are in the 48% of leagues where Williams remains unowned, pick him up now – he has 9 goals in his last 15 games and 4 goals in the past 3.
Panther Woes: Florida has had some bad luck this season with injuries to two of their best players (Huberdeau and Barkov), injuries that may not heal this season. As a result, the team has heavily been leaning on Vincent Trochek who has been averaging over 22 minutes of time on ice over the past two weeks. He’s been productive too, sniping 6 goals in the last 6 games and adding 4 assists as well (really, his shot has been deadly lately). In fact, he has 5 multi-point games in the Panthers’ last 10 games. If he’s already owned in your league (59%), you may want to consider acquiring the 23-year old through a trade – he’s bound to be Florida’s top scorer for the remainder of the season.
Allen Blues: Jake Allen has allowed 10 goals on the last 36 shots that he has faced over the past 3 games in which he has played. His last win came on January 2nd. Hutton has given up 8 goals on the last 30 shots he has faced over the past 2 games. However, he has won 2 of his last 3 starts, including a 23 save shutout against San Jose last Saturday followed by a 22 save (1 goal against) win the next night in Anaheim. Allen is obviously the team’s future goaltender, as made clear when the Blues let Elliott go over the summer. But at least short term, Hutton could take over in St. Louis – keep a keen eye on this. It could also be a potential spot to buy low on Allen, he’s bound to bounce back… right?
Winnipeg Goaltending: After Hellebuyck seemed to be pulling away with the starting gig, the youngster hit a rough patch of two games where he allowed 6 goals on only 13 shots. Pavelec has now been brought up from the AHL and Michael Hutchinson has been sent down as a result. Pavelec earned a win in his only start since returning, making 30 saves on 33 shots. I’d be surprised if Pavelec lasts long as the Jets’ backstop, but the team is in desperate need of improvement and the team could therefore run with the veteran if he is able to earn some much needed wins for Winnipeg.
Philly Netminders: Mason has struggled immensely lately, but Neuvirth allowed 5 goals in his last start, therefore neither goalie has a significant edge for the Flyers’ starting role. With back-to-back games on Saturday and Sunday, each will get a shot to prove that they are the #1… keep an eye on this situation and you might be able to come away with some additional depth on the back-end (Philadelphia could easily go on another significant win streak if one of the goalies can get hot).
Sheary-Crosby Lock: Sheary’s 32% ownership could be blamed on the fact that his value appears to be highly correlated with his linemate, the NHL’s best offensive player this season on a point-per-game basis, Sidney Crosby. Therefore many fantasy owners could be worried that this is not a permanent match. However, all indications seem to point towards this being a very favourable matchup. Sheary has been playing with Crosby almost all season while other lineup changes have been made. Additionally, Sheary and Crosby are often paired up with a defenseman during OT – this includes Sheary’s OT GWG on Monday where Crosby drew the primary assist (and Schultz had the secondary). It’s high time more owners buy into Sheary’s emergence, he should be owned in all deep leagues at the very least.He has only been held off of the score-sheet once in the last 11 games and has 11 points through the stretch.
Top Line Takeaways: A few noteworthy additions to very talented first lines.
Boston placed Frank Vatrano alongside Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand on Wednesday- young Vatrano can only continue to benefit after scoring 2 goals in his 1st line debut.
San Jose played a game with Melker Karlsson on the top line alongside Pavelski and Thornton but Marleau received the privilege in the Sharks’ most recent game. Keep an eye on the situation for potential spot starts for low ownership players who get a shot up front with the Joes.
Derek Ryan continues to play on Carolina’s first line with Skinner and Rask. Recently the McGinn and Staal line has been the most productive, but keep your eye out for the Hurricanes’ leading scorers to provide benefit to their linemate, Ryan, who provides better long term potential in deeper leagues.
On the flip side, Parise has fallen out of Minnesota’s top two lines. He has no points in his past 5 games and has only registered 8 shots during that time. Pretty disappointing for Zach who was 15th in the entire NHL in 2014-2015 for shots on goal.
Weekend Back-to-Backs: Keep your eye on the following back-to-back opportunities so that you can add man-games in an attempt to win a close week in the final days:
Montreal plays New Jersey and Buffalo on Friday and Saturday, two teams that provide potential opportunities for Montreal’s scorers. Andrew Shaw, Nathan Beaulieu, Phillip Danault, and Paul Byron are all less than 30% owned and have the offensive skill to put a few points up on the board for your squad this weekend.
The Islanders play back-to-back games on Saturday and Sunday, both on home ice. Only Tavares is >50% owned for skaters. If you think the Isles can extend their 2-game winning streak, take a go at Anders Lee or Andrew Ladd.
Philly plays New Jersey and the Islanders on Saturday and Sunday, their only two games this week. Take a go on rookies Provorov (24% owned) or Konecny (11% owned) who could easily come out flying this weekend (rookies sometimes have trouble adjusting to the longer seasons).
image source: sportingnews.com