The Fantasy Hockey Daily Roundup highlights the most prominent fantasy hockey news in the NHL. It provides analysis Monday through Friday on the fantasy implications of the day’s biggest stories.
Lehner Returns as Isles Backup
Robin Lehner will return to back-up Thomas Greiss on Thursday after missing the last three games with an upper-body injury. Greiss shutout the Blue Jackets on Monday, so head coach Barry Trotz will opt to go back to him tonight and give Lehner a few extra days of rest. Lehner and Greiss will then presumably split New York’s back-to-back on Saturday and Sunday. Getting hurt at a crucial part of the Fantasy Hockey season has made Lehner available in 33% of leagues. He makes for a great addition to any playoff team if he’s available on your league’s waiver wire. Lehner currently ranks third in the NHL in GAA (2.19) and fourth in SV% (.927).
Hart Back in Flyers Crease
Carter Hart will make his return against the Capitals on Thursday. The 20-year-old phenom backed-up Brian Elliott on Monday after missing seven games with a lower-body injury. Hart will look to get back on track tonight after being pulled in his last two starts before the injury. He’s registered an impressive .917 SV% and a 2.79 GAA in 22 games this season.
Hart could get back in the win column tonight if he can hold Washington’s dynamic power-play off the scoresheet. The Flyers have the perfect answer for Alex Ovechkin at even strength in the Sean Couturier line. Philly should be able to control the pace of play at 5v5, keeping the scoring chances to a minimum. Hart owns a respectable .886 SV% on the penalty-kill this season, slightly above league average. He’s widely available in Yahoo! leagues at 41% owned. It’s not the safest play, but he’s worth considering for the spot-start if you’ve fallen behind in goalie categories.
Brannstrom Makes his NHL Debut
Erik Brannstrom is expected to make his NHL debut against the Blues on Thursday. The centrepiece of the Mark Stone trade, Brannstrom is widely considered to be among the top defensive prospects in hockey. He carries tremendous offensive upside, but his AHL production suggests he’s still a ways away from fantasy relevance. He has seven goals and 22 assists in 41 AHL games split between the Senators and Golden Knights organizations. Impressive for a 19-year-old blueliner, but it doesn’t bode well for his NHL production this season. Still, his potential makes him worthy of a speculative-add in keeper leagues. He’s owned in just 2% of Yahoo! leagues.
Bishop Looks to Extend Shutout Streak
Ben Bishop enters tonight’s game against the Wild with a shutout in three straight games. His streak officially sits at 204:20, just over two full games away from Brian Boucher’s record of 332:01. Bishop leads the NHL with a .932 SV% and has been one of the most reliable fantasy netminders all season. He owns an 8-2-0 record and an absurd .963 SV% over his last ten games. He has a real shot at extending his streak tonight against Minnesota’s depleted lineup. The Wild have scored just 49 times in their last 20 games (2.45 goals per game).