Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play 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
Red Zone Stats
Teams
Schedules
Scores
Standings
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
Teams
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
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
Mike Green
Capitals' Green To Miss Next Two Preseason Games
Mike Green, D, WAS
11:17 AM
News: Head coach Barry Trotz said Mike Green (upper body) would miss the Capitals' next two preseason games but hopes to have him in the lineup for the season opener, Chuck Gormley of CSN Washington reports.
Analysis: Mike Green (upper body) hasn't practiced since the weekend and given the Calgary native's injury history, Trotz can't be blamed for being cautious with any minor injury having to do with the talented puck-moving defenseman.

Andre Burakovsky
Capitals' Burakovksy Practicing On Second Line
Andre Burakovsky, LW, WAS
11:11 AM
News: Andre Burakovsky skated on the Capitals' second line between Brooks Laich and Troy Brouwer during Wednesday's practice, Chuck Gormley of CSN Washington reports.
Analysis: The Capitals have apparently narrowed down the job of second-line center to Burakovksy and Evgeny Kuznetsov, with Kuznetsov the current favorite to win the job. Andre Burakovsky has had an impressive summer with the Capitals at various camps, and although he will be given another look for the job, the smart money would be on him being sent to the minors to get a full season of experience playing center with AHL Hershey. Still, this situation bears watching over the Capitals' final preseason games set to continue with Wednesday's match in Buffalo.

Nate Prosser
Blues Place Prosser On Waivers
Nate Prosser, D, STL
11:04 AM
News: Nate Prosser was placed on waivers by the Blues on Wednesday, Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Analysis: Nate Prosser played in 53 games with the Wild in 2013-14, tallying two goals and six assists with the club while racking up 58 penalty minutes. He signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Blues in the offseason, but appears to have lost the seventh defenseman spot to Jordan Leopold.

Marcus Johansson
Caps' Johansson To Move To Wing
Marcus Johansson, C, WAS
11:02 AM
News: Coach Barry Trotz said Marcus Johansson would move from center to wing this season, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports.
Analysis: It appears Trotz has settled on talented rookie Evgeny Kuznetsov as his second-line center, resulting in the position change for Marcus Johansson, who lost out on the job battle.

Jeff Skinner
Canes' Skinner Seeing Prime Minutes In Preseason
Jeff Skinner, LW, CAR
11:01 AM
News: Jeff Skinner saw 17:14 worth of ice time in Monday's 3-1 preseason loss to the Blues, skating primarily on a line with Elias Lindholm and Riley Nash.
Analysis: Jeff Skinner, who has battled concussions on numerous occasions in the past, played close to a full season last year and comes into this season fully healthy. He will be a top-six player for the Canes this year and will look to improve on last season's 54-point effort - his highest total since his rookie season (63 points in 2010-11). He makes for a fine mid- to late-round selection in most standard fantasy formats.

Ladislav Smid
Flames' Smid Returns To Ice
Ladislav Smid, D, CGY
10:58 AM
News: Ladislav Smid (mouth) returned to full practice Wednesday, Pat Steinberg of Sportsnet 960 The Fan reports.
Analysis: Ladislav Smid had been recovering from a tooth infection over the past few days, but it appears he's no longer facing any limitations. He'll provide the Flames with his usual brand of toughness on the back end this season.

Sena Acolatse
Flames Waive Acolatse
Sena Acolatse, D, CGY
10:56 AM
News: Sena Acolatse was waived by the Flames on Wednesday, NHL.com's Aaron Vickers reports.
Analysis: He's expected to clear waivers and report to AHL Adirondack. Sena Acolatse, 24, notched 17 points over 41 with the Sharks' AHL affiliate (Worcester) in 2013-14.

Peter Mueller
Blues Place Mueller On Waivers
Peter Mueller, RW, STL
10:54 AM
News: Peter Mueller was placed on waivers by the Blues on Wednesday, Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Analysis: Peter Mueller played last season in Switzerland, but signed with the Blues on a one-year, two-way deal in the offseason. The 26-year-old has failed to crack the roster, and if he passes through waivers unclaimed, he should be assigned to AHL Chicago.

Corban Knight
Flames Send Knight To Minors
Corban Knight, C, CGY
10:54 AM
News: Corban Knight was reassigned to AHL Adirondack on Wednesday, NHL.com's Aaron Vickers reports.
Analysis: The former University of North Dakota standout saw action in seven games with the Flames last season, but was otherwise a fixture in the minors. It should be more of the same for him in 2014-15, with little more than a bottom-six role waiting for him with the Flames on the few occasions he receives a promotion.

Nolan Yonkman
Flames Release Yonkman From PTO
Nolan Yonkman, D, CGY
10:49 AM
News: Nolan Yonkman was released from his professional tryout contract with the Flames on Wednesday.
Analysis: With Sheldon Brookbank also released Wednesday, only Raphael Diaz remains among the PTOs who were attempting to claim a role as the Flames' seventh defenseman. Nolan Yonkman will more than likely try to land an AHL deal somewhere.

 
 
 
Top Videos
Rankings