Every Monday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey contributor Matt Sitkoff will provide you with fantasy hockey advice in his weekly piece: "Fantasy All-Access." From the waiver wire watch to roster trends and prospect rumblings, Sitkoff is here to help you all season long.
Of the 538 goalie starts so far going into Monday's action, there have been 72 goalies to see action and 69 goalies to start in a game. Already this season we have seen starters Craig Anderson, James Reimer, Miikka Kiprusoff, Mike Smith, Kari Lehtonen, Corey Crawford and Jaroslav Halak spend time on the injury list.
As teams deal with injuries in goal, fantasy owners are advised to always keep their eyes peeled for the current hot hand. (Photos: Andy Devlin / Andre Ringuette - NHLI)
Some more in-depth numbers to confuse fantasy owners, as 15 teams have their starting goalie play 75 percent or more of the games and 12 teams have their starting goalie play 68 percent or less. Finally, 11 teams have played three goalies this season, while the Flames have played four.
What does all this mean for fantasy owners? Hop onto the goalie carousel, ride the hottest one of the week to a fantasy victory, and just because you have one of the top goalies this week, don't feel comfortable as the carousel will continue.
WAIVER WIRE WATCH
Jakub Voracek (owned in 71 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) -- Currently one of the hottest players in the NHL, he should be owned in 90-100 percent of leagues. Though he was added 3,194 times this weekend in Yahoo! leagues, he apparently needs to be added in more. The 23-year-old is currently on a five-game point streak and has 12 points (4G-8A) in those games. He is currently playing with Claude Giroux and now Scott Hartnell, and playing 4:06 power-play minutes per game. The Flyers, who have played a League-high 20-games, only play three this week but all at home (TOR, WSH, OTT), and we expect by the end of the week Voracek will be owned in nearly all leagues, so get him quick.
Cody Franson (owned in 38 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) --
The fourth-year defenseman is off to one of the best starts of his career with 11 points and a plus-11 in his first 16 games played. This while playing the fourth-most minutes for defenders on the Leafs (257:10) and third most total minutes for defenders on the power play (44:50). The Maple Leafs have a front-loaded schedule this week (Mon. @PHI, Wed. vs. MTL, Thur. @NYI), so grab him quickly and get immediate dividends.
PIMs are hard to find --
Right Wing - PHI
GOALS: 7 | ASST: 8 | PTS: 15
SOG: 43 | +/-: 0
The top 12 players with the most PIMs this season have a combined 35 points. Go even deeper and out of the top-30 ranked players in PIMs, only two have double-digit points: Wayne Simmonds
of the Flyers, with 44 PIMS and 15 points, and David Clarkson
of the Devils, with 35 PIMs and 16 points. This has caused fantasy owners to scramble to pick up one-dimensional players in attempts to win a category each week. With that in mind, target in trades and on the waiver wire players like Chris Neil
and Steve Ott
, who could wake up from offensive slumps and be dual threats once again.
We're going streaking -- Already this season we have seen the Blackhawks have the longest consecutive point streak to begin a season while individually, fantasy owners have been rewarded by Patrick Kane with goals in five straight and points in eight straight. Right now the longest current point streak is the Jets' Evander Kane, who has points in seven straight. A good fantasy owner is up to date on who is on a point streak and his upcoming schedule, and riding that hot player could be the difference in a fantasy matchup.
Center - MTL
GOALS: 3 | ASST: 9 | PTS: 12
SOG: 33 | +/-: 9
Alex Galchenyuk -- The No. 3 pick in the 2012 NHL Draft is finally hitting his stride with points in four of his last six games. As the Canadiens are surprisingly at the top of the standings in the Eastern Conference, it is no shock this 19-year-old is making an immediate impact. Playing mainly on the third line he is still producing (3G-9A) while playing good two-way hockey (plus-9), getting shots to the net (33 SOG) and even winning some faceoffs when called upon (43.8 percent). The knee injury that limited him before the draft seems to be a thing of the past, and the player who had eight points for gold medal-winning Team USA at the World Junior Championship is starting to hit his stride at the next level, which should put him on the fantasy map for years to come.