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.
Malkin Out Week-to-Week
The Penguins announced over the weekend that Evgeni Malkin is out week-to-week with an upper-body injury. The news was a serious blow to the championship hopes of all Malkin owners, but it’s had a favourable trickle-down effect on one of his teammates. Jared McCann dropped down from Sidney Crosby’s line to take Malkin’s spot on the second line. Bryan Rust is the new flavour of the week as he jumps up to skate alongside Crosby and Jake Guentzel. Rust was very productive in this spot earlier in the season and is worth owning so long as he’s there. He’s racked up 17 goals and 16 assists in 64 games this season. He’s just 10% owned and has an ATOI of 19:03 since re-joining the top line.
Grubauer Taking Over as Avs’ No.1
Phillipp Grubauer has seemingly usurped Semyon Varlamov of the starting job in Colorado. Grubauer will get the call in Dallas on Thursday for the fifth time in six games. He’s played unbelievable during that stretch, registering a 3-1-0 record, a pair of shutouts, and a .973 SV%. It’s a drastic turnaround for Grubauer, who logged a 3.47 GAA and an. 890 SV% in his first 22 games with the Avalanche. Varlamov hasn’t looked quite like himself this season despite an above-average .910 SV%. If available, Grubauer (34% owned) is a must-add for Varalmov owners. He seems poised to run away with the job as Colorado gears up for their final playoff push.
Monahan, Bennett Back in for Flames
The Calgary Flames will be back at full strength for tonight’s clash with the Senators. Sean Monahan and Sam Bennett will both return to the lineup after missing the last two games with an illness and upper-body injury, respectively. Bennett, a third-line staple, offers little to no value in standard leagues, but Monahan’s return should be a huge relief to Johnny Gaudreau, Elias Lindholm, and Monahan owners alike. There’s no reason not to expect Calgary’s dynamic top-line to steamroll the lowly Senators. Looking down the Flames’ lineup, Mikael Backlund (34% owned) is a terrific spot-start in this cushy matchup. Backlund has 19 goals and 26 assists this season, including 2 goals and four assists in his last six games. He sees heavy usage in all situations, giving him plenty of upside for tonight’s game against Ottawa.
Bobrovsky, Fleury Banged Up
A pair of high-end fantasy netminders will not play on Thursday. Sergei Bobrovsky is “nicked up” according to John Tortorella and will not dress for tonight’s game in Edmonton. Tortorella’s language thankfully suggests the injury is nothing that will keep Bobrovsky out long-term. Bob owners missing out on a premium start tonight against Edmonton should be able to spot-start his backup, Joonas Korpisalo. Korpisalo is just 4% owned and played great in his last two appearances, posting a .937 SV%.
The Golden Knights will also be without their star goaltender for tonight’s game against the Jets. Marc-Andre Fleury will miss his third-straight game with a lower-body injury. He is listed as day-to-day and was reportedly close to playing tonight, hinting at a probable return on Saturday against Detroit. Malcolm Subban will start his third-consecutive game for the Golden Knights. Despite being available in 93% of leagues, his mediocre numbers suggest he’s not worth spot-starting tonight against Winnipeg. If you have the room to stash him, don’t be afraid to pick Subban up now in case Fleury is unable to play against the Red Wings on Saturday.
Pavelski Skates, Still Out Thursday
Joe Pavelski returned to Sharks practice on Thursday but will not play against the Kings. He missed Monday’s game against the Golden Knights with a lower-body injury. Pavelski said he could probably play tonight if necessary, but San Jose will opt to give him an extra night’s rest as they prepare for their playoff run. Pavelski did travel with the team, so there’s a good chance he plays tomorrow in Anaheim. The 34-year-old 37 goals and 26 assists in 72 games this season. Pavelski owners looking for immediate help will want to rush to the wire to claim Gustav Nyquist (44% owned). Nyquist has just five goals in ten games with the Sharks but replaced Pavelski on the top line on Monday. He is worth rostering so long as he’s skating with Logan Couture and Timo Meier.