Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

Blue Line Buzz: Defensive movers and shakers

by | Rotowire.com
  •  

Observations and Ponderings

Mark Streit may be one of the league's best offensive defensemen no one talks about, as he suffers from the same disease as John Tavares: being a member of the New York Islanders. Streit's overtime goal against Los Angeles on Saturday was Scott Niedermayer-esque. Streit collected the puck at center ice, built up speed and smoothly navigated his way through all four Kings' players and placed a slick backhander past Jonathan Quick. True, Streit is not greatest shut-down defender in the league, so we'll disregard his minus-19 rating, but he has goals in the last two games and three points over the last four contests. If you can take the plus-minus hit, grab him before your league's trade deadline. He runs a power play with Tavares and the quietly productive Matt Moulson, logs a ton of minutes each night and has 31 points on the season.

One of the best saves of the season undoubtedly had to be Dallas netminder Kari Lehtonen's pad save against Buffalo's Thomas Vanek Friday in the waning seconds of overtime. Lehtonen denied Vanek a tap-in after a nifty drop pass from his teammate, Christian Ehrhoff, as Lehtonen somehow lifted his leg off the ice while sprawled out on his stomach. Dallas eventually lost in a shootout, but Lehtonen's mind-blowing save secured a much-needed point for the Stars.

Those looking for slick stick handling, will want to check out Jamie McGinn's goal for the Sharks from Friday night, which iced their win over Chicago. McGinn stunned Corey Crawford from the side of the goal, changing the angle thanks to some deftly skilled dragging of the puck.

Philadelphia simply can not beat the Rangers, and made it five losses to their rivals Saturday. It does not matter if Sergei Bobrovsky or Ilya Bryzgalov is between the pipes. Bryzgalov missed the game with the flu, but he seems to be conspicuously absent from games against stronger teams. When Bryz does play, it's a rough outing as evidenced by last Sunday against the Rangers and two weeks ago against Boston. Regardless, the Flyers seem to be reverting to their goonish ways on occasion thanks to Tom Sestito and Zac Rinaldo, who combined for 43 penalty minutes on Saturday.

However, Scott Hartnell is enjoying a career season and roused the Philly faithful with a unique goal celebration Thursday against Toronto. After slamming home the game's opener, Hartnell immediately celebrated by fighting Dion Phaneuf, who had leveled him moments earlier. The fight seemed to draw a greater response than the goal.

If you weren't fortunate enough to grab Hartnell during the draft, hopefully you snagged his teammate Wayne Simmonds or New Jersey's David Clarkson in leagues that reward penalty minutes. Both are having career seasons; Clarkson has 21 goals and is close to cracking the 100 penalty minute barrier. Simmonds has been red hot since the All-Star break with five goals and two assists along with 12 penalty minutes.

If Evgeni Malkin does not win the Hart Trophy this season, then the same people who vote in college football polls now cast the ballots for the NHL's awards. Malkin has carried an injury-riddled Pittsburgh squad through the league's toughest division (or second-toughest, if you favor the Central) into playoff contention and starred in Saturday's boat race with Winnipeg, notching five points. Malkin's quiet leadership and ability to improve those around him is exemplary.

Staying in Pittsburgh, Kris Letang rejoined his team's success with a two-goal, three-point effort in Saturday's win over Winnipeg, ending a six-game point drought, his longest of the season.

You have to give Montreal's Tomas Plekanec credit for flying so boldly in the face of fashion. He singlehandedly has to be keeping the mock turtleneck makers the NHL uses in business, especially considering the hit designers took when Alexei Yashin retired.

NBC is continuing to promote their seven-team league on Sunday afternoons, with Washington and the Rangers facing off in the national spotlight this week. I'm not advocating the inclusion of Columbus and Minnesota on a weekly basis, but acknowledge a few more teams than the usual seven.

Colorado's Erik Johnson scored a goal Saturday. And no, that's not a typo. Johnson notched his first tally since December 17 and just his second of the season, meaning Johnson is only nine goals behind St. Louis' Chris Stewart on the year. Johnson has had a disappointing first full season in Denver, with 20 points through 51 games. Cracking 30 points, which Johnson should do, is still a good benchmark for a defender, but the Avs had been expecting more from the former first overall pick.

Despite scoring one goal since the New Year, San Jose's Brent Burns is on a tear the last week, with eight assists in the last four games. Burns started slowly, by his standards, but a good finish can put him close to the 40-plus points San Jose had been hoping for when they dealt for him this past summer.

Lucy Moved The Football Again

After Ryan Whitney jumped in on Edmonton's fun last week, and Fantasy owners pounced on him, but Whitney disappointed owners this past scoring period. The brittle blue liner failed to register a point in three games this week, not contributing to any of Edmonton's nine goals. He's notoriously streaky, but his bull market phases help owners immensely, you just have to deal with the bear market days.

Another Panther on the Prowl?

Florida defender Jason Garrison, still leading all NHL defensemen with 13 goals, left Saturday's win over New Jersey with a lower-body injury, playing only 9:08. Garrison has been quiet lately compared to his rate of production earlier in the season, with five points in the last 15 games. Garrison will not play in Sunday's game, according to Florida play-by-play announcer Steve Goldstein. The nature of Garrison's injury is not known, but if he is out for a while, the Panthers will be down both him and Dmitry Kulikov.

True, Kulikov's production while he has been injured was the same as when he was playing prior to the injury, but the Panthers need someone other than Brian Campbell to shoulder the load. Youngster Erik Gudbranson played solidly in Saturday's win over New Jersey, grabbing an assist and seeing power-play time later in the game. Gudbranson has just five points on the season but boasts tremendous upside as one of the Panthers' top prospects. The former third overall pick who played his OHL hockey in Kingston probably won't challenge Erik Karlsson for the defensemen scoring lead, but he did pot 12 goals his last year in the OHL. Gudbranson has been on the radar of keeper league owners since 2010 and he could see a boost in value if Garrison is injured for a while. Gudbranson is a physical player with much upside.

Sword Play

Buffalo enigma Tyler Myers has been enjoying his team's recent run of success, as Ryan Miller is not the only player apparently turning their game around. Let's face it, Myers was primed for a bounceback season only to start abysmally, yet is starting to find his way back to relevance. Myers grabbed an assist in three straight games this past week while his teammate, Christian Ehrhoff, had a goal and an assist in two contests. There is nowhere but up to go for both Myers and Ehrhoff, but they appear to be on their way, following their teammates' lead.

Talk To Me, Goose

It might seem like we're jumping to conclusions, but Pittsburgh may have won the James Neal-for-Alex Goligoski trade from last winter. Goligoski can still go on to have a great career, but it won't be riding shotgun with Malkin or Sidney Crosby. Goligoski has certainly had his ups and downs this season, but the Minnesota native is turning the corner as Dallas battles for a playoff berth. Goligoski has six points over the last six games and eight in the last eight dating back to before the All-Star break. The talent has always been there, as evidenced by his breakout season last year, but it has been frustrating as he is one of those players that has too much potential to simply reserve on a weekly basis.

Conversely, Sheldon Souray has been mostly invisible since the calendar turned to 2012, as he has two points in 13 games. Souray is battling an ankle injury, but given that he has five points since November 11, most owners probably moved on after being rewarded with a strong start.

Something Blue

To say Columbus is having a slightly forgettable season is putting it lightly. Newly acquired Jeff Carter is a shell of himself and Rick Nash remains buried in obscurity. The Jackets did get a glimpse of their future this past week courtesy of rookie defenseman David Savard, who registered a two-point night in Tuesday's rare win, grabbing his first career goal. Keep your eye on him. Fedor Tyutin continues to lead the way for Columbus rearguards with 22 points. Sure, he has a minus-14 and his three points over two games may have ended a nine-game points drought, but he could be kicking around on your league's waiver wire if you're willing to endure his inconsistency.

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Anders Lindback
Sabres Turn To Lindback On Tuesday
Anders Lindback, G, BUF
9:19 AM
News: Anders Lindback is slated to start Tuesday's game against the Lightning, Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News reports.
Analysis: In the wake of Monday's trade that sent Michal Neuvirth to the Islanders, Anders Lindback is now in line to work in tandem with newcomer Chad Johnson, though playing behind a rebuilding Sabres' squad, neither of the goalies represent reliable fantasy options at this time.

Ben Bishop
Lightning Set To Start Bishop On Tuesday
Ben Bishop, G, TB
9:13 AM
News: Ben Bishop is slated to start Tuesday's game against the Sabres, NHL.com's Bryan Burns reports.
Analysis: Ben Bishop, who allowed four goals on 26 shots in Sunday's 4-3 loss to the Panthers, will look to bounce back Tuesday against a re-tooling Buffalo squad that traded forwards Chris Stewart, Torrey Mitchell and Brian Flynn, as well as goalie Michal Neuvirth on Monday.

Roberto Luongo
Panthers Turn To Luongo On Tuesday
Roberto Luongo, G, FLA
9:04 AM
News: Roberto Luongo is slated to start Tuesday's game against the Maple Leafs, George Richards of the Miami Herald reports.
Analysis: Roberto Luongo returns to the Panthers' net Tuesday after giving way to Al Montoya in the second game of the team's back-to-back set on Sunday. He'll face a Toronto squad that has dropped two straight 4-0 decisions (to Montreal and Washington).

Karri Ramo
Flames' Ramo In Net Tuesday
Karri Ramo, G, CGY
8:53 AM
News: Karri Ramo will be the starting goalie for Tuesday's game against Philadelphia, Pat Steinberg of Sportsnet 960 reports.
Analysis: Karri Ramo has allowed only a goal a game the last three contests and is on a major roll, despite losing his last start. While he's playing this well and with the Flames fighting for their postseason lives, he's not a bad start Tuesday.

Marco Scandella
Wild's Scandella Sidelined
Marco Scandella, D, MIN
8:41 AM
News: Marco Scandella (unspecified issue) is not slated to play Tuesday against the Sens, Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
Analysis: Given that Marco Scandella's undisclosed injury doesn't involve any sort of structural damage, consider the blueliner day-to-day for now.

Jerry D'Amigo
D'Amigo Recalled By Sabres
Jerry D'Amigo, RW, CLB
8:23 AM
News: The Sabres recalled Jerry D'Amigo from AHL Rochester on Tuesday, the team's official site reports.
Analysis: Jerry D'Amigo, who has recorded 26 points in 59 AHL games this season, bolsters the Sabres' depth up front, along with fellow recalls Tim Schaller and Mikhail Grigorenko in the wake of the team having dealt the forward trio of Chris Stewart, Torrey Mitchell and Brian Flynn on Monday. D'Amigo is expected to be used in a scoring role, and although he's not particularly big, is very strong for his 5-foot-11 frame. In 22 career NHL games, D'Amigo has a goal and three points. His fantasy value is very limited on a weak Buffalo squad.

Tim Schaller
Schaller Recalled By Sabres
Tim Schaller, LW, BUF
8:19 AM
News: The Sabres recalled Tim Schaller from AHL Rochester on Tuesday, the team's official site reports.
Analysis: With forwards Chris Stewart, Torrey Mitchell and Brian Flynn dealt by the Sabres at the NHL trade deadline, the team restocked up front Tuesday by recalling Tim Schaller, Mikhail Grigorenko and Jerry D'Amigo. Schaller has recorded just one goal in six games with the big club to date, so a wait-and-see approach is in order from a fantasy perspective until his role with the rebuilding Sabres is established. However, Schaller looked very comfortable in his last stint with the Sabres. The former Player of the Year for Providence College can score a few goals but is known more for his two-way play, something that doesn't really get translate to fantasy.

Mikhail Grigorenko
Sabres Recall Grigorenko
Mikhail Grigorenko, C, BUF
8:14 AM
News: The Sabres recalled Mikhail Grigorenko from AHL Rochester on Tuesday, the team's official site reports.
Analysis: With forwards Chris Stewart, Torrey Mitchell and Brian Flynn having been dealt by the team at the NHL trade deadline, the Sabres have recalled the trio of Mikhail Grigorenko, Tim Schaller and Jerry D'Amigo. Grigorenko has recorded just two points in 12 games with the big club to date this season, but if the ice time is there for him down the stretch, the 20-year-old could carve out some deep league fantasy utility. The Sabres are without top center Zemgus Girgensons and had been using Mitchell in that spot, but now that both are unavailable Grigorenko will likely be anointed as a top-2 center. His has tremendous upside given his talent but the Sabres are a weak squad and won't score very often.

Sergei Bobrovsky
Blue Jackets' Bobrovsky Starts On Tuesday
Sergei Bobrovsky, G, CLB
8:05 AM
News: Coach Todd Richards has confirmed that Sergei Bobrovsky will start Tuesday's game against the Caps, the Blue Jackets' official site reports.
Analysis: Prior to sustaining a groin injury on Jan. 21, Sergei Bobrovsky -- the 2012-13 Vezina Trophy winner -- had compiled a 16-15-2 record, to go along with 2.85 GAA, and .913 save percentage. He returns to the Blue Jackets' lineup, with the team currently in 13th place in the Eastern Conference with 56 points and in the midst of a six-game slide.

Damon Severson
New Jersey's Severson Set To Return
Damon Severson, D, NJ
7:51 AM
News: Damon Severson (ankle) is slated to play Tuesday against the Preds, Tom Gulitti of The Record reports.
Analysis: With Damon Severson in line to be activated from IR in advance of Tuesday's contest, GM Lou Lamoriello indicated that New Jersey will roll with seven blueliners on Tuesday, with forwards Michael Ryder and Martin Havlat on track to be lineup scratches.

 
 
 
Top Videos
Rankings