Given the complex, never-steady landscape of fantasy hockey, each week, NHL.com Fantasy Insider Sergei Feldman will give you The Real Spiel on some of the quirks and trends that permeated your week of fantasy hockey by way of in-depth analysis.
TIP OF THE CAPS: The Real Spiel on Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin
Left Wing - WSH
GOALS: 23 | ASST: 20 | PTS: 43
SOG: 189 | +/-: -5
The Washington Capitals
have been fighting for a lead atop the Southeast Division the whole season and, currently, they sit two points out. In turn, the typically dominating Caps are sitting outside the playoff picture. As for why, there are many factors to point to. As for whatwill get them over the hump, there are two factors to point to: Alex Ovechkin
and Alexander Semin
. The dynamic Russian duo haven’t been so dynamic in 2011-12. In fact, while Ovechkin is on pace for a career-low, Semin is on pace for his lowest output since 2007-08. Tempting as it might be to remain worried about their production the rest of the way, there are recent examples of productive play, and the two Russians may be en route to dominant final stretches. Former Hart and Art Ross
Trophy winner Ovechkin has seven points in his past five games, including three multi-point nights. In that span, he’s been a minus player just once and has collected 20 shots. For most fantasy owners, Ovechkin is still a valuable piece. After all, through 51 games, the Moscow native ranks fourth in the NHL in power play goals (10) and eighth in the League in shots (189).
Meanwhile, Semin has played well too of late. He’s got three points in two games and five points in his past five games and has been a plus player or better on every occasion in that span. As he approaches 200 NHL goals, and 200 NHL assists—he has 190 goals and 197 assists right now—Semin could be poised for a bounce-back back-end of the season. If the two continue to click, watch as you fantasy teams emerge into contenders, much like the Caps might emerge into contenders in the East.