The Islanders did their job last night, believe it or not. Alex Ovechkin was held off the scoresheet with 10 shots on goal in 20:51 of ice time – almost a full minute more icetime than any other forward from both teams. However, the Islanders got a great taste of what it’s like when the pure potential of the Caps’ second and third lines run on all cylinders. It’s no secret that depth is a key element to a team’s success and the Caps are finally showing they have a bit more to offer than the best sniper in the game.
Washington has a league-leading 3.81 goal-per-game average, over a half-goal better than second place San Jose – and we all know how good they are. They’re lead by the obvious fantasy powerhouses in Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin and Mike Green but there is much more beneath that surface that fantasy owners can jump on in the later months of the season.
Mike Knuble (61% owned)
If your league is one of the 29% of leagues with a team that doesn’t own Mike Knuble, you better be sporting some pretty awesome right wingers if you haven’t scooped him up yet. He’s lining with Ovechkin and Backstrom and has 8 goals in 12 games this month – two of them are on the powerplay. Knuble has gotten off to a slow start by his standards but anyone at RW on the Caps’ top line will offer much more than your typical first-line winger. He’s typically a 50+ point player and should give you ample powerplay, plus-minus and PIM numbers as well.
Tomas Fleischmann (44% owned)
Tomas Fleischmann gives you a much sought-after LW-RW combo (even though he’s actually playing centre right now) and is rewarding fantasy owners with a stellar January. This dishmaster has put together his best month of the season with 3 goals and 9 assists in 12 games with 4 PPP. He’s en route to a career-year with 36 points in 41 games and should be owned in most deep leagues. Spending time on the powerplay with Nicklas Backstrom won’t hurt either.
Eric Fehr (7% owned)
Eric Fehr has quietly been pleasing owners in the deeper leagues all year with a surprising career-best 28 points in 41 games. Keep your eye on Fehr in upcoming games, though, as he’s seen significant powerplay time in place of Brendan Morrison. In return, he’s delivered 5 points over his last 3 games and 2 PPP over that span. He’s got a limited upside as a third liner but any time on that top powerplay unit is a boost for any fantasy owner. At minimum, add him to a watchlist.
Jose Theodore (53% owned)
Pretty much every Caps fan seems to despise Theodore but the fact is that he wins games, and that’s good for anybody. Theodore has amassed 6 consecutive wins and is 7-1 with a 2.32 GAA and .930 SV% in January. How can you argue with those numbers? He wrestled the starting job back from Neuvirth after getting vocal about his lack of playing time and it appears that he’ll be the odd man out in the offseason but he’s certainly making his case for a job right now. Varlamov is still over a week away from a return and Theodore is listed as day-to-day from his injury sustained in the Islanders game. There’s still time to capitalize on Theodore but keep an eye on the latest news on the Caps’ crease situation before making a move.