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Fantasy waiver wire: PIMs specialists to consider

Forwards Andrew Shaw, Matt Martin can help cover category

by Ben Zweiman @BZweimanNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

Some fantasy owners are fine having penalty minutes in their league, and others are adamantly against it. If PIMs are something you must endure throughout a season, it's important not to ignore the category when considering who to pick up off the waiver wire. If you can find a player to give you a boost in PIMs as well as chipping in a few points here and there, all the better for you against the opposition.

Andrew Shaw (C/RW, 25 percent owned) of the Montreal Canadiens has been an asset in deeper formats. The agitating forward has dual eligibility and has scored a goal every three games since Nov. 12, when he had a goal and two assists in a 5-0 win against the Detroit Red Wings. Shaw ranks fifth in the NHL with 41 PIMs through 22 games this season. He ranks among the top 50 in PIMs (341; 15 major penalties) since entering the League in 2011-12, and has done a nice job providing shots on goal (42) and plus/minus (plus-8) coverage this season. Shaw, ranked 70th in Yahoo's performance-based rankings, sees time on the power play (2:13 per game; one power-play point) for Montreal and has scored at least 14 goals in each of the past three seasons. Don't be surprised if more pucks start going into the net for him. 

It could be a fluke, but Matt Martin (LW, 11 percent owned) of the Toronto Maple Leafs has scored goals in back-to-back games despite limited ice time. Used primarily to protect Toronto's young talent, Martin is coming off an NHL career-high 19 points with the New York Islanders last season. He's ahead of Shaw in terms of PIMs, ranking third in the League with 46 in 21 games. 

If you're targeting a defenseman as a PIMs specialist, Josh Manson (4 percent owned) of the Anaheim Ducks has been a steady contributor despite his offensive deficiencies. He's failed to get any PIMs in his past three games, but before that he had 25 in a five-game stretch from Nov. 10 to Nov. 20. Manson isn't as appealing as some of the other options on the wire, but PIMs are a necessary evil and the Ducks defenseman chips in assists every so often.

Video: CAR@MTL: Shaw bags a top-in to level the score

 

WAIVER WIRE WATCH

Sam Reinhart, C/RW, BUF (25 percent owned)

Reinhart hasn't exactly set the League on fire in his second season, but the eventual return of center Jack Eichel to the Buffalo Sabres lineup could have a trickledown effect throughout the roster. If Eichel returns and coach Dan Byslma decides to put Reinhart on his wing again, that could boost the latter's offensive numbers. Reinhart has a respectable 10 points (four goals, six assists) with five PPP and 53 SOG in 21 games. If you have room to stash Reinhart in hopes that Eichel brings some life into the Sabres lineup, go for it. Evander Kane (LW, 21 percent) and Matt Moulson (LW, 10 percent) are two other Sabres forwards that could potentially benefit from Eichel's return as well.

 

Jarome Iginla, RW, COL (22 percent owned) 

Sticking with the PIMs theme, Iginla is tied for 16th in the League with 31 PIMs for the Colorado Avalanche. With five points through 20 games, he's on pace to finish with his lowest point total in a full season since 1997-98 (32 in 70 games with the Calgary Flames). That said, he has experienced some bad luck that should turn around soon; he has three goals on 42 shots (7.1 percent). Iginla has been productive in his past four games with a goal, an assist and a plus-5 rating with four PIM and 13 SOG. If you're willing to be patient, Iginla could pay off for your team down the road, especially with the possibility he could be traded in his contract year.

Video: VAN@COL: Iginla's shot goes in off defender

 

Trevor Daley, D, PIT (12 percent owned)

Daley is another veteran who should start to produce at a higher rate, closer to what he's accustomed to in his NHL career. The 33-year-old had 22 points in 53 games after being acquired by the Penguins in a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks on Dec. 14. Daley added six points in 15 Stanley Cup Playoff games before breaking his ankle. He's second in ice time per game (21:12) on the Penguins behind Kris Letang (26:05) and gets time on the second PP unit (1:33 per game; two PPP). Once Pittsburgh's forward group gets fully healthy, Daley will likely see more assists and PPP.

 

Travis Zajac, C, NJD (12 percent owned)

If anyone deserves comeback player of the year through the first quarter of the season, it's Zajac. The 31-year-old center has 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) in 21 games and is on pace for his highest point total since 2009-10 (NHL career-high 67). The return of left wing Michael Cammalleri (48 percent owned) has been particularly helpful for Zajac, who has a goal and four assists in his past three games. Another good sign is Zajac is putting up points mostly at even strength after getting 17 of his 42 points last season with the man advantage. The New Jersey Devils offense is starting to turn things around (T-19th in NHL with 2.43 goals per game) and Zajac has been the catalyst.

 

Jonathan Bernier, G, ANA (12 percent owned)

Ducks coach Randy Carlyle has become hesitant to go with struggling young goaltender John Gibson, and Bernier has taken advantage of the opportunities. The two goalies are essentially in a time share and Bernier is proving he may deserve the bulk of the starts. He's 4-1-1 with a 2.02 goals-against average and .933 save percentage in nine games; Gibson is 6-7-3 with a 2.62 GAA and .906 SV% in 16 games. Bernier hasn't allowed more than three goals in a game all season, which isn't surprising considering the Ducks are a strong defensive team. Anaheim has a road back-to-back set coming up this weekend, Saturday against the Edmonton Oilers and Sunday against the Calgary Flames -- each being a winnable game. Bernier has plenty of short- and long-term fantasy value in standard and deep formats.

 

Others to consider: Mikko Koivu, C, MIN (17 percent); Matthew Tkachuk, LW, CGY (14 percent); Bo Horvat, C, VAN (10 percent); Jonas Brodin, D, MIN (9 percent); Martin Hanzal, C, ARI (6 percent)

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