Just like the Chicago Blackhawks' historic 24-game points streak to start the 2012-13 season, we are witnessing another incredible run this year by the Anaheim Ducks, who have won 17 of their past 18 games.
Let's look at the Ducks' recent run of victories from a fantasy perspective. Jonas Hiller has been carrying fantasy teams with a franchise record 14 consecutive wins. Eleven different Ducks have scored a game-winning goal in their past 18 games, with Kyle Palmieri leading the way with three. Captain Ryan Getzlaf, although day-to-day with lower-body, leads the team with 21 points in this stretch followed by Corey Perry with 18 points in the past 18 games. The Ducks have outshot their opponents in 14 of the 18 games, but have given up the first goal in 11 of those games.
WAIVER WIRE WATCH
Ondrej Palat, Tampa Bay Lightning (owned in 10 percent of Yahoo leagues) -- The Lightning continue to win games without Steven Stamkos and now top goalie Ben Bishop, led by the non-Olympian Martin St. Louis and the play of their rookies. Palat, the 208th pick of the 2011 NHL Draft is playing on their top line with St. Louis and rookie center Tyler Johnson and contributing with 10 points in his past nine games. The 22-year-old is playing in all situations for Tampa, including being a part of the top penalty-kill unit, and is second on the team with a plus-14 rating. The Lightning have five, yes five games scheduled this week (@CBJ, @NYR, NYI, SJS, @CAR) and expect the member of the Czech Olympic team member to continue his hot play.
Alexander Edler, Vancouver Canucks (owned in 53 percent of Yahoo leagues) -- The Swedish Olympian is getting closer to returning from a knee injury that has sidelined him since Dec. 3 and should be added in all fantasy formats. The 27-year-old has six-straight seasons of 20-plus points, including two with 40-plus points in his career. Before his injury Edler was playing both on the Canucks' power play (2:46 of ice time per game) and penalty kill (2:11 of ice time), the former which is struggling and could use a boost while the latter is still top-ranked in the NHL. Vancouver has a busy schedule this week with four games (@LAK, @ANA, @PHX, CGY) and the All-Star defenseman could be back for some if not all of them.
Anton Khudobin, Carolina Hurricanes (owned in 35 percent of Yahoo leagues) -- This week the Kazakhstan goalie set franchise records for most winning decisions to start a season and a career with Hartford or Carolina (six) before finally being beaten Friday by the Columbus Blue Jackets. With Cam Ward on injured reserve with a lower-body injury and no timetable for his return, it is now time for the 27 year-old netminder, who signed a one-year contract this offseason, to run with the Hurricanes' starting job. Carolina has three games scheduled this week, all at home (CGY, FLA, TBL), so expect Khudobin to start two or even all three of these games.
Getting defensive -- Last week we updated you on some goalie facts around the League; here are some defensive stats you need to know when shaping up your roster. The Blackhawks lead the League with 135 points and 111 assists from their defensemen. They are joined by the Ottawa Senators and San Jose Sharks as the only three teams that have a goal from all of their defensemen that have dressed in a game this season. The defending Stanley Cup champs are also one of two teams with over 100 assists from their defense, with the St. Louis Blues (102) being the other, and one of four with over 100 points from the backline, joining St. Louis (124), Ottawa (107) and the Phoenix Coyotes (102). The Boston Bruins lead the League with 29 goals from their defense. On the opposite side, the Buffalo Sabres with 53 points are last in defensive scoring.
Changing of the Jet -- The Winnipeg Jets became the fourth team to change coaches this season as Paul Maurice takes over for Claude Noel. The former Whalers, Hurricanes and Toronto Maple Leafs coach has now been brought in to the change the culture for the Jets and hopefully players on your fantasy teams. Most importantly might be Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec, who has not won a game since Dec. 20, but it's not a good sign that in Maurice's last six seasons of coaching he had only one team ranked better than 20th in goals against. Keep an eye on the situation in Winnipeg, as new players could emerge in different roles, which could benefit your fantasy team.
Sam Reinhart and Aaron Ekblad -- The top two prospects for the 2014 draft were named the captains of the 2014 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospect Game being held in Calgary on Wednesday. Reinhart, the forward from the Kootenay Ice of the Western Hockey League, will captain Team Cherry with his 53 points in 34 games. Ekblad, a defenseman for the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League, will wear the "C" for Team Orr with his 31 points in 31 games. Both players were played for Canada in the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship. Reinhart finished with two goals and five points and Ekblad contributed a goal and two points in the tournament. We have seen what No. 1 picks can bring to your fantasy team this season; with that in mind, enjoy watching some of the top prospects perform on a big stage.
Follow Matt Sitkoff on Twitter: @MSitkoffNHL
|Back to top|