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: Dealing with the deadline

by | Rotowire.com
  •  

Friday Night Lite

Once more, the Devils lost a game when outshooting their opponent, falling 2-1 to Vancouver on Friday evening despite outshooting the Canucks 31-16. Cory Schneider turned in an outstanding performance in what essentially could have been an audition when the offseason plays out. Schneider is an obvious fit for the Devils as Martin Brodeur is approaching the end of his career, as evidenced by his spotty play this season (also, his contract is set to expire). Schneider's status as a Canuck will hinge upon Vancouver's playoff success and the play of Roberto Luongo during said playoffs. Schneider has won his last seven starts and allowed two goals or less in five of those games.

You have to wonder how Jack Johnson felt while watching his new team get blitzed 5-0 by Colorado Friday. Columbus struggled mightily, but the Avalache's David Jones played nicely while in the league's shop window posting two goals and an assist. The Denver Post's Adrian Dater noted that scouts from numerous teams were in attendance presumably for Jones and grinder Cody McLeod. Jones grabbed the opening goal late in the first period on a 2-on-1, beating Steve Mason on a shot the netminder definitely wants back. Why was it a 2-on-1? Because Columbus had four players below the faceoff circles in the offensive zone. Welcome to the team, Mr. Johnson.

Great game on Long Island Friday, with the Isles snagging a 4-3 shootout win over the Rangers. Matt Moulson and Pierre Parenteau each finished with two points and were responsible for all three Islanders' goals. The two have combined for arguably the most surprising 108 points in the league; Parenteau is fifth in the NHL in assists with 42 through Friday. Moulson, meanwhile, owns 26 goals and is well on his way a third-consecutive 30-plus goal season. Not bad for a Cornell grad.

Has someone watched The Big Lebowski too many times when they want to shout "it's a league game, Smokey," whenever a play-by-play commentator says "over the line"?

Deadline Dealing

The Jeff Carter trade to Los Angeles is a risk, but a risk worth taking for the offensively challenged Kings (just ask Jonathan Quick, who has seven losses this season when giving up just one goal). I'm still not sold on moving Johnson, who's already been dealt twice in his career. Carter acted like a petulant child once the trade to Columbus was announced last summer and effectively played his way out of the city. The move was smart for Jackets' GM Scott Howson from a contract perspective considering Carter has a no-trade clause that kicks in after this season, saddling the Kings with both the long-term Carter and Mike Richards contracts the pair inked in Philadelphia several years ago.

Johnson is a franchise-type of defender, which Columbus does need, but it would have been nice to see he and Drew Doughty develop together over the years in Los Angeles with Quick and Anze Kopitar. An Indianapolis native, Johnson now gets to play a bit closer to home and will hopefully become the leader on a team desperate for direction on the blue line. Johnson was having a serviceable offensive season with 24 points, but a minus-12 rating certainly was not sitting well the Kings and GM Dean Lombardi. In the weeks prior to the trade, Johnson had three points and a minus-4 rating over 11 games. Johnson had found his offensive stride the last two seasons with a breakout campaign of 42 points one season earlier and he's missed a mere two games the last three seasons.

To say that Columbus received an upgrade from James Wisniewski, Nikita Nikitin and Fedor Tyutin is an understatement, but Johnson has struggled with consistency this season. You have to believe that Johnson will receive every opportunity to produce offensively considering Wisniewski and Nikitin are the only defenders generating some consistent production. Nikitin has shown some ability with 19 points in 33 games, but Johnson has a chance to reinvent himself in Columbus. Odds are, Johnson will post a handful of points this season while adapting to going from a playoff hunt to a likely gig with Team USA in this April's IIHF World Championships. Johnson could be a better option next season, but there are worse players to take a chance on this year if you're in need of defensive help.

New Wings?

While Jack Johnson gets to go from a playoff race to, well, Columbus, Kyle Quincey receives a reprieve from his situation in Denver, where, according to The Denver Post's Adrian Dater, Quincey didn't hide his feelings about exiting Colorado. Quincey landed in Detroit following a three-team trade with Tampa Bay where the Lightning sent Steve Downie to Colorado while shipping a first-round pick to the Wings. Quincey was originally drafted by Detroit and endeared himself to the Joe faithful with a goal in Thursday's shootout loss to Vancouver.

The well-traveled defender finds himself on a more crowded offensive blue line than he did in Denver, as Nicklas Lidstrom and Ian White are a slight upgrade Erik Johnson and Ryan Wilson. Add to the mix Nick Kronwall, and Quincey will have his work cut out for him to find his niche. In his Thursday debut, Quincey did earn 2:58 of power play time, putting him third for the game behind Lidstrom and Kronwall for Detroit defensemen. Quincey certainly has the talent to make an impact with Detroit, there's just a little more competition for points on this roster than with the Avs. His 24 points on the season make him well worth the risk, especially on a stronger team that will benefit his plus-minus.

Escape From the Twin Cities

On Friday, the Devils swapped Kurtis Foster for Minnesota's Marek Zidlicky, as reported by TSN's Bob McKenzie, thus ending the wild Zidlicky situation (pun absolutely intended). The Devils sent Foster, along with minor-league forwards Stephane Veilleux and the underperforming Nick Palmieri, a 2013 third-round conditional draft pick, as well as Washington's 2012 second round pick for Zidlicky. (The Devils acquired Washington's second-round pick in the Jason Arnott deal last Spring). Zidlicky was once one of the most consistent offensive defensemen in the NHL, but has a mere 14 points this year, all assists. However, the Czech veteran had three helpers in the last four games prior to the trade.

Zidlicky simply has clashed with the Wild management this season due to philosophical differences in styles of play, as Zidlicky is much more offensively minded than the Wild would like their defenders to be. Throughout his career, Zidlicky consistently cracked 40 points, a feat he accomplished in five of his eight seasons. The Devils have not had a blue liner with this offensive acumen since they let Brian Rafalski walk several years ago, but what Zidlicky are they getting?

Is it the Zidlicky that snagged 53 points as a rookie for Nashville and had consecutive seasons of 43, 42 and 43 points or is it the Zidlicky with the declining skill set that missed 36 games due to injury one year ago?

Zidlicky has three power-play assists and a paltry 50 shots on goal this season in 41 games, but he has not been a bomber in his career, failing to average two shots per-game in any one season. Zidlicky is close friends with Devils' veteran Patrik Elias (who has 57 points in 59 games) and could fit in nicely on this team. The short-term effect should see a bump in production for Zidlicky thanks to the change of scenery alone; heading to a playoff-bound team could motivate Zidlicky more, especially considering the Devils have had a gaping Scott Niedermayer-sized need for an experienced puck-moving defenseman for years.

Zidlicky is a right-handed shot, so it will be interesting to see the Devils with two right-handed shots on the point of their power play. Expect Zidlicky to be at the top of the umbrella more often while Ilya Kovalchuk, the other right-handed shot, will drift more toward the left face-off circle.

Odds are, Zidlicky will put up 10-12 points in season's final 22 games but it will be interesting to see him in Newark for a full campaign, as Zidlicky is under contract for one more year. With players that attempt to play themselves out of a city, there usually is resurgence in their play following the trade, so, in the short-term, we'd grab Zidlicky if he's kicking around in your league, which, given his play this season, he probably is.

As for Foster, returning to Minnesota marks his third team this season. He didn't fit in with Anaheim and was shipped to New Jersey in early December but struggled to produce consistently on the power play, a task he was specifically acquired to achieve. Odds are Foster won't do much with Minnesota, but keep an eye on the Wild's Jared Spurgeon with Zidlicky now out of St. Paul.

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
Jesse Winchester
Avs' Winchester Has Concussion
Jesse Winchester, C, COL
10/2/2014
News: Jesse Winchester sustained a concussion in Tuesday's preseason tilt against the Kings, Adrian Dater of the Denver Post reports.
Analysis: Coach Patrick Roy suggested Jesse Winchester could be out a while, as he'll be subjected to the league's concussion protocol before returning with the ice. With the regular season just over a week away, there's a good chance Winchester could land on injured reserve if he fails to make much progress.

Jonathan Ericsson
Wings' Ericsson Iffy For Preseason Finale
Jonathan Ericsson, D, DET
10/2/2014
News: Jonathan Ericsson (hip flexor) isn't certain if he'll play in the Red Wings' remaining two preseason games, MLive.com's Ansar Khan reports.
Analysis: Though Jonathan Ericsson returned to practice Wednesday, he may not be operating at full speed when the Red Wings conclude their exhibition schedule Saturday. He does, however, feel that he will be 100 percent healthy for the Oct. 9 opener against the Bruins, especially after he gets in a few more hard skates. The blueliner is also returning from a broken finger that prevented him from playing in the final 14 regular-season contests and the playoffs, but that particular injury isn't expected to hinder him any further.

Maxim Noreau
Avalanche Place Noreau On Waivers
Maxim Noreau, D, COL
10/2/2014
News: Maxim Noreau was placed on waivers by the Avalanche on Tuesday, Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports reports.
Analysis: He has only played six NHL games in his career and has spent the last three years playing in Switzerland. If another NHL team does not claim him, Maxim Noreau will report to AHL Lake Erie. Noreau last appeared in the NHL during the 2010-11 season with Minnesota, where he only lasted five games with the team. There is a very low chance that he will see NHL action this season, minimizing his fantasy value.

Bruno Gervais
Colorado Places Gervais On Waivers
Bruno Gervais, D, COL
10/2/2014
News: Bruno Gervais was put on waivers by Colorado on Tuesday, Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports reports.
Analysis: He spent all of last season in the AHL where he played 59 games, scored 10 goals, and added 16 assists. Bruno Gervais who has played over 400 games in the NHL, will report to AHL Lake Erie if he goes unclaimed on waivers. The only way he could see time with the Avalanche is if the team falls victim to a rash of injuries. Otherwise, he will have very little fantasy value even in deeper leagues.

Niklas Backstrom
Wild's Backstrom May Be Trailing In Job Battle
Niklas Backstrom, G, MIN
10/2/2014
News: Niklas Backstrom appears to be losing ground in the battle for the No. 1 goalie gig with Darcy Kuemper, Chad Graff of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
Analysis: Niklas Backstrom was the frontrunner for the starting job entering camp, but after Kuemper reported to the Wild upon agreeing to a new contract with the team, the declining veteran looks on track to eventually settle into a reserve role. The 36-year-old has performed respectably in training camp with 29 saves on 32 shots over two appearances, but the memory of last season's 5-11-2 record, 3.02 GAA and .899 save percentage will probably make the Wild somewhat reluctant to use him regularly. Though some of his struggles could be attributed to injury, the youthful Kuemper posted far better numbers as a rookie and probably gives the Wild a better chance at ascending to the Western Conference's elite in 2014-15. Expect Backstrom's long tenure in Minnesota to allow him to cut into Kuemper's workload early in the season, but Kuemper should soon separate himself as the team's clear No. 1 option.

Scott Laughton
Flyers' Laughton Sent To AHL Lehigh Valley
Scott Laughton, C, PHI
10/2/2014
News: Scott Laughton was assigned to AHL Lehigh Valley on Tuesday, Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News reports.
Analysis: The former first-round pick had a strong preseason thus far, but his performance was not enough to make the final roster. Scott Laughton is held in high regard as a prospect in the Flyers' system, and he's still young enough to stay in the AHL for the year to develop his skills further. Barring injury, he won't see much playing time in the NHL this year since the Flyers seem rather settled at center, but keeper league owners should still give him a look.

Jonathon Blum
Wild Recall Blum
Jonathon Blum, D, MIN
3:07 PM
News: Jonathon Blum was recalled from AHL Iowa on Wednesday, Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
Analysis: Jonathon Blum was among three players the team placed on waivers earlier in the week, but he'll return to provide depth for Thursday's preseason game against the Blues. Chances are, Blum will head right back down afterward, but he did play in 15 games with Minnesota last season and figures to get another chance at some point in 2014-15.

Justin Falk
Wild Recall Falk
Justin Falk, D, MIN
3:03 PM
News: Justin Falk was recalled from AHL Iowa on Wednesday, Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
Analysis: A handful of players were added for depth ahead of Thursday's exhibition with St. Louis, leaving the team with one extra skater. Presumably, a defenseman will be scratched, and even if it isn't Justin Falk, he'll likely just head back down after the game.

Joel Rechlicz
Wild Recall Rechlicz
Joel Rechlicz, RW, MIN
2:55 PM
News: Joel Rechlicz was recalled from AHL Iowa on Wednesday, Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
Analysis: Joel Rechlicz, who posted one goal, one assist and 87 penalty minutes in 25 games with AHL Hershey last season, will be up merely to provide depth for Thursday's preseason game against St. Louis.

Zack Phillips
Wild Recall Phillips
Zack Phillips, C, MIN
2:51 PM
News: Zack Phillips was recalled from AHL Iowa on Wednesday, Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
Analysis: The Wild added some reinforcements ahead of Thursday's exhibition against the Blues, Zack Phillips included. A first-round pick in 2011 (28 overall), Phillips put up 33 points (12G, 21A) and a minus-30 rating in 76 games with Iowa last season. He'll likely head back down right after the game.

 
 
 
Top Videos
Rankings