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: Making a final push

by | Rotowire.com
  •  

Goon Points

With just two weeks left in the regular season, it's also the stretch drive for most leagues, be it playoff time in Head-to-Head leagues or the waning weeks of Rotisserie. If it's a league that rewards penalty minutes, it's time to scour the waiver wire to see who is available and who can help make up goon points. Don't entirely discount the likes of Matt Carkner and Matt Martin, both of the Islanders, for a daily pickup in the hopes of getting some cheap production. The likes of Tampa Bay's Radko Gudas are a solid choice if he's bouncing around on waivers, but considering he's leading all defensemen in penalty minutes, he's probably gone. Betting on someone to get into a fight isn't a sure thing, but there are some who are more likely to drop the mitts than others. Vancouver pest Tom Sestito is leading all players in fights with 19 bouts, followed by Luke Gazdic and Rich Clune.

Switching now to what has become a more arbitrary statistic depending in whose arena the game is played (cough ... Toronto ... cough), hits are a minor statistic that can be made up late in the season via waiver pickups. True, some players are more consistent in terms of delivering points along with throwing their body around, but there are players who can contribute in a pinch. On the blue line, Philadelphia's Luke Schenn has not been shy this season, sitting third among all defenders with 229 hits, averaging 3.2 per-game. Toronto's Cody Franson is leading all defenders with 265 hits, 18 more than Gudas through Saturday's games. Toronto has been known for counting hits rather liberally while at home, likely contributing to Franson's bloated total.  Other players who can likely be had for little include: Ottawa's Jared Cowen, Winnipeg's Mark Stuart, Anaheim's Ben Jovejoy and Montreal thumper Alexei Emelin.

As for blocked shots, the list does offer some players who may be available, such as newly-acquired Flyer Andrew MacDonald. The good news about blocked shots is that the list of leaders in both categories crosses over nicely with hits.

If streaming free agent pickups in and out of a spot or two on your roster is a possibility, don't be afraid to rotate those spots to make gains in the counting categories.

Flame On?

Calgary is beginning to score goals (Friday win over the Rangers, and an 8-1 rout of Edmonton last Saturday) and Michael Cammalleri is seeking a new contract. Mark Giordano continues to lead the way on the blue line, as one of the league's more underrated defenders, but former Blue Jacket Kris Russell had been rather active of late. He snagged a goal and two assists in last Friday's loss to the Predators and has been seeing an uptick in power play time although he hasn't been shooting the puck too much. He notched four shots in goal in the Nashville game, but in the seven games before that, he put just four pucks on net. Russell doesn't have a track record of being hugely productive in his career, but the injury to Dennis Wideman (out until next season) will give Russell and T.J. Brodie the chance to see more scoring opportunities. Russell has struggled in the days since he grabbed the three points, failing to register a point in four games since.

Brodie has also been active of late with eight assists in the last nine games, despite not scoring a goal since January 28. He notched two assists in each of Calgary's tilts against Edmonton and Anaheim this past week and owns an impressive plus-10 rating in that span, although five of that came in last week's rout of Edmonton. Brodie is the better long-term option in southern Alberta, but the presence of a healthy Wideman and Giordano will limit his chances, however Brodie is a talented keeper prospect. Temper your expectations a bit more with Brodie.

-Heading north in Alberta, to the Oil Patch, Edmonton remains a team in disarray. However, the mercurial Justin Schultz has been chipping in lately with four points in the last six games. This was on the heels of a stretch more barren than northern Alberta itself, as he put up just one point in 10 games with that span bridging the Olympic break.  Schultz is guaranteed to see scoring chances and boatloads of power play time, but the Oilers are an enigma considering how talented their top end offensive players are. Use Schultz with caution.

- Blue Line Buzz on March 16 discussed the Colorado duo of Tyson Barrie and Erik Johnson, yet Nick Holden refuses to go unnoticed in Denver. Holden has six points in the last 10 games with two of those coming on the power play. In his first full season, Holden has 21 points after playing just seven games over two campaigns for Columbus. Holden has nine of his season's 21 points after the Olympic break and can be worth a look in very deep leagues, especially with the numbers Barrie and Johnson have been delivering lately. Holden can have an impact, just don't expect the world.

-Arguably one the most frustrating players in the league this season, Tobias Enstrom, who finally managed to stay healthy, was unbelievably inconspicuous for the first half of the year. The Jets, who were sniffing at a playoff spot a few weeks ago, are seeing Enstrom deliver the way most expected him to with three goals and six assists in the last 11 games. His tally in Thursday's win over San Jose turned out to be a game-winner off a tremendous pass from Blake Wheeler. From a point-per-game perspective, Enstrom was one of the better bets for assist-heavy numbers the last few years, but he was always susceptible to nagging injuries. Considering what his teammate, Dustin Byfuglien is doing (seven goals in the last two weeks and a point in each of the last two), Enstrom has been capitalizing himself as the Jets are scoring goals.

While Enstrom and Byfuglien are the present in the Peg, Jacob Trouba continues to eat first-pairing type minutes and could be available in shallower leagues. Trouba is seeing a healthy amount of power play time and has three points in the last nine games. While his production has fluctuated, Trouba is the future of the blue line in Winnipeg and isn't too far away from breaking out.

-Minnesota's Jared Spurgeon is contributing as the shifty blue liner has six points in the last seven games, including three in the last four. Most notably, he slammed home the game-winner Saturday in a vital win over Phoenix as the Wild are all but assured the West's first wild card slot. Spurgeon has 12 of his season's 24 points since early February and has acclimated himself well after missing some time due to injury. Obviously, Ryan Suter and Jonas Brodin are the future in the Twin Cities, but Spurgeon has a tendency to remind people of what he can contribute offensively every few weeks. In terms of a point-per-game pace, this season has been his most productive and Spurgeon has a distant shot at cracking 30 points for the first time in his career.

-Once forgotten in Toronto, Jake Gardiner is finding his name on the scoresheet often as the Leafs are crashing dramatically out of the playoff race (losers of eight straight after Saturday's defeat by Montreal). Gardiner, however, is riding a four-game points streak with six assists over that span and eight points in the last seven.

-In the wake of the Cam Fowler injury, Sami Vatanen is capitalizing on his added ice to following his most recent call-up to Anaheim. The promising young Finn has a four-game points streak with five helpers in that span. He's eating power-play time and put six shots on goal in Friday's win over Edmonton. With Fowler out until the playoffs, the odds of Vatanen seeing additional scoring chances are quite high. Conversely, fellow rookie Hampus Lindholm has been quiet the last five games, failing to register a point and he was rested for this past Saturday's contest against Vancouver.

-Buffalo is getting a good look at what the team will have in the future considering how their regular season has played out. The Sabres are assured to have one of the best chances of winning the draft lottery, but now are getting to see one of their two future stud defenders in action, as Rasmus Ristolainen, last year's eighth overall pick, has put up a goal and an assist in the last two games following his most recent call-up. He might have a chance to produce in the season's final two weeks, but it's unlikely.  This kid is going to be a centerpiece around Buffalo's rebuild and is definitely worth a look in deep keeper leagues next year.

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
Gabriel Landeskog
Avs' Landeskog Picks Up 10 PIM In Loss
Gabriel Landeskog, LW, COL
12:38 PM
News: Gabriel Landeskog was held pointless Saturday, but he picked up 10 PIM in a loss to the Wild.
Analysis: Gabriel Landeskog, who has recorded six goals in his last nine games, also fired three shots on goal in Saturday's loss. Landeskog is impressing right now and considering the top-line forward has racked up 65 PIM on the season, he makes for a good all-around fantasy option.

Cody McLeod
Avs' McLeod Tagged For 17 PIM In Loss
Cody McLeod, LW, COL
12:35 PM
News: Cody McLeod was dinged for 17 PIM in Saturday's loss to the Wild.
Analysis: A spirited outing from Cody McLeod, who now has a whopping 167 PIM this season -- second-most in the NHL. While he's only produced nine points in 63 games, the 30-year-old piles up the PIM, making him worth owning in deep specialty leagues.

Justin Fontaine
WIld's Fontaine Pots Game-Winner Vs. Avs
Justin Fontaine, RW, MIN
12:28 PM
News: Justin Fontaine scored the game-winning goal Saturday against Colorado.
Analysis: Justin Fontaine has been productive of late, compiling three goals and nine points in his last eight games. He's now got eight goals, 22 points and a plus-11 rating in 52 games on the season. He can be trusted in some very deep leagues, but considering he averages just 11:32 of ice time, the bottom-six forward doesn't hold much fantasy value.

Erik Haula
Wild's Haula Records Multi-Point Game
Erik Haula, LW, MIN
12:21 PM
News: Erik Haula recorded his second straight multi-point game Saturday, scoring his seventh goal of the season and picking up an assist in a win over Colorado.
Analysis: While he's been hot these past two game, Erik Haula had recorded just one point in his previous 15 games. Considering he skates on the fourth line and has just 12 points in 55 games on the season, the 23-year-old currently only has fantasy value in the deepest of leagues.

Semyon Varlamov
Avs' Varlamov Gives Up Three Goals In Loss
Semyon Varlamov, G, COL
12:14 PM
News: Semyon Varlamov gave up three goals on 32 shots in Saturday's loss to the Wild.
Analysis: Semyon Varlamov has now given up at least three goals in each of his last four games. The 26-year-old owns a 19-17-7 record on the season with a .917 save percentage and 2.69 GAA. He may be struggling a little right now, but he's played in a whopping 43 games and is the go-to-guy in Colorado. He'll rebound soon.

Devan Dubnyk
Dubnyk Leads Wild Past Avs
Devan Dubnyk, G, MIN
12:10 PM
News: Devan Dubnyk was outstanding once again Saturday, stopping 33 of 34 shots in a win over Colorado.
Analysis: Devan Dubnyk has won five of his last six games, allowing two goals or less in each of those contests. He's also suffered just two regulation losses in his last 16 games played. Simply remarkable. He's an automatic roll every game.

Mark Stone
Sens' Stone Scores 15th Goal In Win
Mark Stone, RW, OTT
2:29 AM
News: Mark Stone potted his 15th goal of the season and had an assist in Saturday's win over the Sharks.
Analysis: Mark Stone has recorded two goals and six points in his last five games, giving him 39 points and a plus-11 rating in 58 games on the season. Skating on a line with Kyle Turris, the 22-year-old is an emerging fantasy threat and is worth adding while the Senators are hot.

Mike Hoffman
Sens' Hoffman Records Three Points In Win
Mike Hoffman, LW, OTT
2:24 AM
News: Mike Hoffman scored twice and added a helper in Saturday's win over San Jose.
Analysis: Mike Hoffman has recorded at least one point in all but two of his last 13 games and has scored six goals in his last eight games. He's simply on fire right now. With an impressive-plus 23 rating and 23 goals in 57 games, the 25-year-old has been one of the best fantasy surprises this season. He's become an automatic roll every game.

Kyle Turris
Sens' Turris Contributes Two Assists In Win
Kyle Turris, C, OTT
2:17 AM
News: Kyle Turris collected two assists in Saturday's win over San Jose.
Analysis: Another strong game from Kyle Turris, who has racked up five goals and 11 points in his last eight games. The second-line center is coming up huge for the surging Senators and now has 43 points in 60 games on the season. Now that he's caught fire, Turris is worth adding off the waiver wire if he's available.

Erik Karlsson
Sens' Karlsson Strike On PP In Win
Erik Karlsson, D, OTT
2:05 AM
News: Erik Karlsson scored a goal and added an assist -- both on the power play -- in Saturday's win over the Sharks.
Analysis: Erik Karlsson has been dazzling of late, with five of his last eight outings being multi-point games. He now has 15 goals and 47 points in 60 games on the season. Karlsson has been a key part of Ottawa's recent surge, as they now stand just five points out of a playoff spot. With a whopping 215 shots on goal and 21 power-play points, the 24-year-old is an automatic roll every game.

 
 
 
Top Videos
Rankings