If you take a 2nd-overall pick, all-star center and a 3-time Olympian, 5-time all-star and Captain off of a team that was supposed to be bad this season, you couldn’t expect them to actually win, could you? Well that’s not the case in Ottawa where the Senators have won 3 of their last 4 games since both players were taken out of the lineup with their respective IR injuries. To be accurate, the Senators were 2-3 in the 5 games between Spezza’s and Alfredsson’s injury, but I’m talking about after both players were removed from the lineup.
They’ve picked off the Habs and the Sabres during that stretch, so what’s going right? Does winning games equal fantasy success? It’s mind boggling when you see who is actually stepping up for the Sens. Let’s break down their top six and some other clutch performers:
Seeing extended time on the top unit after being a healthy scratch or 4th liner for much of the year, Shannon has put together 4 points in his last 5 games with a +1 rating – that’s over half of his current point total on the season. Shannon potted 20 points in 35 games for the Sens last season and put in the right situation, could help your fantasy team, but there’s more reliable options out there.
It’s as if Fisher has resumed the role of the centerman he replaced. Fisher has a dismal 2 points in his last 6 games and hasn’t scored a goal in 8 straight games. His productive second line was essentially moved to the first line when the top-2 went down but hasn’t produced in nearly the same way. Are the Carrie Underwood wedding plans getting in the way?
The on-again-off-again right winger is currently off-again when the Sens desperately need him to pick up his game. Like Fisher, Kovalev’s production has reduced since moving to the top line (2 points in his last 4 and 4 points in his last 9 games) but we don’t see any wedding plans on the horizon. Kovalev owners know the risk of owning him but he’s shown flashes of his earlier self this season.
If you haven’t dropped him by now…. Michalek has 4 points in his last 17 games (all of December) and that includes time spent as a left winger to Alfredsson and Spezza. He’s been demoted to the 2nd line now and if the production doesn’t pick up, he could go even lower.
Jumping at the opportunity to center the 2nd line, Regin has 4 points in his last 6 games and a +2 rating during that span. Not bad for the second year player but there’s going to be better options for you.
Another unlikely source of production, Neil has 4 points in his last 5 games since returning from injury and is +1 with 11 PIMs in that same span. The gritty Neil will always get you your PIMs but the point production is a nice bonus. To see him continue regular consecutive point streaks, though, is highly unlikely.
Another member of the healthy scratch and 4th line forward (or 7th defenseman) club, Campoli has stepped up his game to the tune of 4 points in his last 3 games and a +4 rating with two PIMs but no PPP. Campoli was a huge sleeper candidate on the season who has fallen way below expectations after notching 13 points in 25 games after coming over from Long Island last season. He might be picking up steam now so keep a close eye on him if you are boasting some weak D.
Maybe he was rushed back one game too early when Pittsburgh potted 6 goals in 2 periods on him in his return but since then he’s been very solid for the Sens. In his last 4 starts, he is 3-1 with a 2.45 GAA but still a sub-.900 SV%. Two of those wins are shootout wins against the Sabres and Islanders but in fantasy, a win is a win.
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