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
2015 Draft Prep Guide
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
Mats Zuccarello
Rangers' Zuccarello (Upper Body) Still Day-To-Day
Mats Zuccarello, RW, NYR
9:13 AM
News: Zucarrello (upper body) will not skate Sunday and remains day-to-day, but coach Alain Vigneault indicated he's "getting better," Andrew Gross of The Record reports.
Analysis: Mats Zuccarello continues to work his way back from an upper-body injury that occurred against the Penguins in the first round. While he won't play Sunday, the fact that he's day-to-day doesn't rule out a return at some point in the series.

Matt Carle
Bolts' Carle (Undisclosed) Expected To Play Sunday
Matt Carle, D, TB
8:59 AM
News: Coach Jon Cooper indicated he expects Matt Carle (undisclosed) to play in Sunday's Game 5 matchup with the Lightning, Bryan Burns of NHL.com reports.
Analysis: Matt Carle left Game 3 on Wednesday after taking a hit midway through the first period, and it cost him Friday's Game 4 as well. He participated in morning skate Sunday, and it appears that may be a precursor to him taking the ice with his teammates for Game 5.

Trevor van Riemsdyk
van Riemsdyk (Wrist) Out Monday
Trevor van Riemsdyk, D, CHI
7:58 AM
News: Trevor van Riemsdyk (wrist) will not travel with his team to Anaheim, Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Analysis: This essentially rules Trevor van Riemsdyk out for Game 5 against the Ducks on Monday, but he could still play in this series. He was recently recalled from the AHL, and could be used as a depth defender, however it's unclear just how healthy van Riemsdyk actually is at this point.

Brandon Saad
Blackhawks' Saad Dominant In Game 4 Win
Brandon Saad, LW, CHI
6:42 AM
News: Brandon Saad tallied a shorthanded goal and a pair of assists in Saturday's Game 4 double-overtime win over the Ducks.
Analysis: Brandon Saad notched the shortie when Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin got tied up with a referee during his team's first-period power play, allowing the Blackhawks winger to break away unmarked to the net. It went down as his first goal since Game 1 of the second-round matchup with the Wild, but that wouldn't be where his night would stop. Saad had a hand in each of the Blackhawks' next two goals to finish with a game-high plus-3 rating.

Kyle Palmieri
Ducks' Palmieri Notches Assist In Loss
Kyle Palmieri, RW, ANA
6:36 AM
News: Kyle Palmieri registered an assist and five hits in Saturday's Game 4 loss to the Blackhawks.
Analysis: Kyle Palmieri often found himself near the Blackhawks' crease, but was unable to capitalize on it until he got a stick on the puck before it led to an eventual goal by teammate Emerson Etem. The 24-year-old winger has a goal and three assists in his 13 postseason matches.

Ryan Kesler
Ducks' Kesler Pots Goal In Defeat
Ryan Kesler, C, ANA
6:33 AM
News: Ryan Kesler netted a goal and fired off three shots in his 27:16 of ice time in Saturday's Game 4 double-overtime loss to the Blackhawks.
Analysis: Ryan Kesler has been mostly effective this series in limiting the impact of Jonathan Toews, even though the Blackhawks center did record two points in Game 4. However, Kesler at least mitigated the damage by scoring his first point of the series, while kicking off a string of three unanswered goals in a 37-second span. The Ducks wouldn't be able to parlay that third-period surge into a victory, but their fortunes could change when the series shifts to Anaheim on Monday for Game 5.

Emerson Etem
Ducks' Etem Pots Goal In Game 4
Emerson Etem, RW, ANA
6:30 AM
News: Emerson Etem cleaned up a Francois Beauchemin shot attempt to score the Ducks' first goal of the match in an eventual 5-4 double-overtime loss to the Blackhawks in Saturday's Game 4.
Analysis: Emerson Etem now has three goals in the postseason, despite missing two games of the previous series against Calgary as a healthy scratch. It appears coach Bruce Boudreau values Etem's energy more than Tomas Fleischmann's experience at this stage in the playoffs, so don't expect a switch to be made for Game 5.

Francois Beauchemin
Ducks' Beauchemin Sets Up Goal In Game 4
Francois Beauchemin, D, ANA
6:26 AM
News: Francois Beauchemin registered an assist, three shots on goal, and four blocks in Saturday's Game 4 loss to the Blackhawks.
Analysis: It's the 27th career postseason helper for Francois Beauchemin, who tied Scott Niedermayer for first among defensemen in franchise history. The set up for Emerson Etem allowed Beauchemin to atone for his miscue earlier in the game that allowed the Blackhawks' Brandon Saad to pot the game's first goal.

Frederik Andersen
Ducks, Andersen Fall In Double OT In Game 4
Frederik Andersen, G, ANA
6:24 AM
News: Frederik Andersen stopped 35 of 40 shots in the Ducks' Game 4 double-overtime loss to the Blackhawks.
Analysis: Frederik Andersen was lucky the Ducks stayed alive in this game as long as they did, since he provided one of his weaker performances of the postseason. He was trailing 3-1 in the third period before his mates picked him up with three unanswered goals in the span of 37 seconds to give the team a 4-3 lead. However, Andersen couldn't close the door on the road, as Patrick Kane notched the equalizer later in the period before Antoine Vermette tallied the game-winner 5:37 into the second overtime. Andersen's .875 save percentage on the night was his lowest mark of the postseason and his worse since April 8 against the Stars.

Corey Crawford
Crawford, Blackhawks Score Double OT Win In Game 4
Corey Crawford, G, CHI
6:20 AM
News: Corey Crawford denied 47 of 51 shots as the Blackhawks pulled out a 5-4 double-overtime victory over the Ducks in Saturday's Game 4.
Analysis: Corey Crawford looked like he would cruise to a fairly comfortable victory when Brent Seabrook's goal gave the team a 3-1 cushion with a little over 12 minutes remaining in the match, but that wouldn't be the case. The Ducks then responded with three unanswered goals in 37 seconds to take the lead, quieting the rapid United Center crowd. Instead of pulling the goalie in favor of Scott Darling, coach Joel Quenneville stuck with Crawford, and then watched as he made several key saves while the Blackhawks sent the game to overtime. He would continue to shine in the extra 25:37 of action, stopping all 21 shots he faced in that span before Antoine Vermette notched the game-winner. Despite the bumpy outing, look for Crawford to be back in the crease for Monday's Game 5 in Anaheim.

 
 
 
Top Videos
Rankings