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.
Curtis Glencross, Left Wing, Calgary Flames
The only reason Glencross’s ownership number remains low is his health. In fact, one isolated injury took him off the radar for the most part. However, this gritty winger certainly knows how to put the puck in the net. After playing just two games following his knee injury, the left winger scored goals in seven consecutive games. The better part was doing so without the help of Jarome Iginla at even strength, giving the Flames a reliable source of secondary scoring. While he’s cooled down with only two assists in his last four games, he can still help out in some peripheral categories such as PIM and shots.
Mathieu Perreault, Center, Washington Capitals
Entering his third NHL season, Perreault was pretty close to out-of-options. He stuck with the big club mainly because he would be lost on waivers but wasn’t immediately included in the Caps’ plans. However, a major injury to Nicklas Backstrom has given him the opportunity to play every day. So far, the 5’9″ pivot has not disappointed, scoring 13 goals and 23 points in 54 games. What might be more impressive, or lucky rather, is scoring 13 goals while only taking 50 shots at the net. Perreault is certainly gifted, and if used in the right situation, he could post similar totals to another diminutive Quebecois — P.A. Parenteau. If you need to stream some cheap goals, Perreault has luck on his side this season and gets healthy minutes at even strength and the power play.
Mike Fisher, Center, Nashville Predators
Fisher is on pace for a career year during his first full season with the team. Mr. Carrie Underwood had never previously eclipsed 25 goals but should do so with 23 tallies in 63 games. Furthermore, it really is a great time to be a center in Nashville with the addition of snipers Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn. Considering the only other option to play alongside Radulov is David Legwand, we like the chances of Fisher setting career highs across the board. Grab him now if you need a fix down the middle.
Matt Read, Right Wing, Philadelphia Flyers
It is no secret that the Flyers boast one of the NHL’s most lethal offenses — they currently sit in first offensively with 228 tallies. The rookie Read has been no exception to their forward corps, helping the team with minimal ice time. Playing mainly on the second and third lines, this Ilderton, Ont., native has 20 goals and 41 points, the former being good for second among rookies. TSN’s Bob McKenzie spilled the beans on Read before the season began, making him his prediction for the Calder Trophy. If you need a good right winger to stream, grab Read with confidence.
Drew Stafford, Right Wing, Buffalo Sabres
Stafford’s 30-goal season last year may be a fantasy hockey mirage but his talent level is certainly serviceable. While the 26-year-old hasn’t filled the net with regularity, he has helped his ever-evolving center and supplementary winger to get their fair share of goals. Additionally, Stafford has regularly seen time on the top PP unit which features established scorers like Christian Ehrhoff, Jason Pominville, Derek Roy and Thomas Vanek. Stafford should eclipse his career high of 25 assists this season and finish just shy of his career-high of 52 points set last season. Not a bad value play as the Sabres attempt a late-season push.
Jussi Jokinen, Center/Left Wing, Carolina Hurricanes
Similarl to Stafford, Jokinen doesn’t quite have that scoring touch anymore. Yes, 30 goals over that last two seasons isn’t bad, but the guy is just two campaigns removed from a 30-goal season. Having said that, the talent level is still there even if his linemates have somewhat depreciated during the Canes’ latest rebuild on-the-fly. Over the last three seasons, Jokinen has produced at least 30 assists– he’s already reached that point with eight games remaining. He should also be a nice source of apples as Kirk Muller has his squad play the spoiler.
Martin Hanzal, Center, Phoenix Coyotes
Hanzal just returned from injury which might keep his ownership levels a bit lower. Nevertheless, his talent level is certainly there as he continues to distribute the puck to recently-unstoppable sniper Radim Vrbata. Through 55 games, Hanzal totaled 23 assists as he tries to achieve career highs in assists and points. Head coach Dave Tippett clearly likes his big center and intends on playing him in all situations down the stretch. Expect him to continue one of his better seasons over the next three weeks.
Christopher Higgins, Left Wing, Vancouver Canucks
New season but similar story with Higgins. When he’s healthy, the Smithtown, New York native generates a great deal of offense. This season, he’s been playing mostly alongside star pivot Ryan Kesler, which has helped his playmaking abilities thrive– he’s registered assists in five consecutive games. Furthermore, staying relatively healthy this season, the 28-year-old posted his highest totals since his Montreal days. Once the Canucks turn their slump around Higgins could be grabbed by the mobs of owners looking for points. Grab him now if you need an assist machine.