Fantasy Hockey Cliffnotes is an article that will attempt to find bargains for fantasy hockey teams hurting in certain categories. The below analysis will be in shorthand form, with the emphasis being on short-term, relevant value based on various aspects of the game. Enjoy.
Happy Tuesday, fantasy hockey owners.
I understand those of you in head-to-head formats are now firmly entrenched in their playoffs– whether consolation or championship– and might be digging around for some penalties. While this category might be one of the cheapest ways to winning your week, it’s also one of the cheapest ways to win your week. There’s no asterisks in fantasy hockey so let’s take a good look at who will drop the gloves.
Shawn Thornton, Left Wing, Boston Bruins
The Bruins play four games this week including back-to-back contests in the New York area. With the Rangers dressing a plethora of goons as well as the Lightning carrying a fighter, you should be guaranteed with a bout or two. Thornton is currently tied for the league lead with Brandon Prust with 19 fighting majors which averages to roughly under one per week. Considering he probably will need to provide some energy during the stretch drive, his participation should be imminent.
Brandon Prust, Left Wing, New York Rangers
We just mentioned Prust, but figured he could use another look. The guy leads the league in fighting majors and also plays four games. Furthermore, his hands aren’t quite made of stone, scoring 18 goals over the past two seasons.
Brandon Bollig, Left Wing, Chicago Blackhawks
Simply put, Bollig is a PIM machine. A few people questioned the Blackhawks sending John Scott out East as they still were in the playoff hunt but clearly Bollig was more than deserving of a long look. Through 12 games, he has 52 PIM which includes seven majors. With four games left this week, he should be considered a must-add for those needing a fight or two. What the big guy lacks in scoring prowess, he certainly fills the gaps with his fists.
Stu Bickel, Defenseman, New York Rangers
Bickel may have made a name for himself by taking the faceoff in last week’s now-infamous line brawl between the Rangers and New Jersey Devils. The defenseman, and occasional forward, has been a hard-working grunt for John Tortorella’s blue collar team, providing decent defense while keeping grit on the ice. A good friend of the blog, Al Festa, recently tracked down the Rangers tough guy, shaking hands with him in the process. His hands, as he described, had “chunks of flesh missing from his knuckles & his skeleton seemed slightly exposed.” Clearly, the man is dedicated to his craft.
Nick Foligno, Left Wing, Ottawa Senators
One of these things is not like the others. I know. But I really don’t need an excuse to write about my latest mancrush in Foligno. The winger plays on the edge and has a very skilled element to his game as well. Just five games ago he fought Luke Schenn and he’s received at least a minor penalty in six of his last nine games. Last night, Foligno moved back up to the second line where he played next to Kyle Turris and Daniel Alfredsson. That combination should work on all levels with sneaky value in the PIM category.