Fantasy Hockey

Ovechkin produces despite controversy; Dobson, Chiarot, C. Smith (March 4) – DobberHockey

Due to his earlier praise for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, Alex Ovechkin has recently seen his reputation take a major hit. With everything going on in the homeland, it will be interesting to see if Ovie’s on-ice results are affected. Does he sink into his game and even get very excited, or does this situation start to get into his head and he gets jerked? Obviously, he’s a competitor and you don’t want to bet against him. It’s worth mentioning that the Capitals have a higher concentration of Russian base players than the average NHL team, which might also be something to watch.

If Thursday was any indication, Ovechkin should be fine. He scored his 33rd goal of the season in Thursday’s win over Carolina to put him within three goals of Jaromir Jagr for third on the all-time list. Will fans be thrilled if (when?) Ovie breaks Wayne Gretzky’s goalscoring record? Or will it generate the same “meh” reaction that happened when Barry Bonds broke Hank Aaron’s all-time record?

Anthony Mantha returned to the lineup for his first game since early November. Mantha played 16:13 on a line with Nicklas Backstrom and TJ Oshie with second unit power play time, but he recorded no points. Mantha is listed in just under a third of Yahoo’s leagues, so it’s worth researching him in case he gets dropped earlier this season.

Vitek Vanecek had a 36-save shutout against the Hurricanes, his second shutout in his last four games. However, this dates back to the end of January. Ilya Samsonov picked up an injury in training on Wednesday, so Vanecek could see a lot of work if Samsonov is out for a long time.

Since December 1, no defender has scored more goals than Noah Dobson (10). Curiously, those are his only 10 goals of the season, so he’s not even in the top 5 in this category among all defenders this season. Either way, he’s emerged as the clear PP1 option on the Islanders’ blue line and is at the point where he should be listed in just about every league. Dobson scored one of those goals on Thursday when he fired five shots.

Anthony Beauvillier ended a nine-game drought by scoring on Thursday. I often leave impressed when I watch him play, so I’m a little surprised that the results haven’t been there this season. Beauvillier made the most recent top 10 list — this one for players to trade in goalie leagues. Based on this advice and my own observations and the high volume of matches remaining from the islands, I will retain my Beauvillier shares.

Nils Hoglander scored his first goal since New Year’s Day, which was also his first point in nine games. His value has gone down since Boudreau’s hiring, as Bruce has publicly stated that he thinks Hoglander needs to improve his overall game. He was placed on the Elias Pettersson line in this game, which could help. Overall, Hoglander is having a second slump, as his ice time is down about two minutes per game along with his overall scoring pace. It wouldn’t be out of the question for him to spend time in the AHL if he can’t build on Thursday’s performance, where he generated three shots as well as three hits.

With a goal on Thursday, JT Miller extended his point streak to eight games. During this period, he has 15 points (5 G – 10 A). He is by far the Canucks’ leading scorer this season with 61 points, with no other Canucks forward having even reached the 40-point mark (Quinn Hughes has 43 points). If the Canucks are going to trade him before the deadline, it better be an offer they can’t refuse — whether they’re still in playoff contention by then or not. Aside from maybe Thatcher Demko and his life-saving heroism, Miller is the team’s MVP.

Ryan Hartman scored two goals while firing six shots in the Wild’s win over Philly. Hartman broke his recent cold streak, where he hadn’t scored in his previous seven games and only scored once in his previous 15 games. All the while he stayed on the high performing line with Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello. He had to score eventually, even though his goal scored earlier this season was unsustainable. Hartman has already reached 20 goals for the first time in his career.

Playing on the Wild’s other scoring line with Kevin Fiala and Matt Boldy, Frederick Gaudreau has 12 points (6 G-6 A) in his last 15 games. This includes the goal he scored on Thursday. “The other” Gaudreau is only listed at 3% on Yahoo and 14% on Fantrax, so he’s worth a look at least in deeper leagues.

Evgeni Malkin had 13 power-play points in 20 games, including a power-play assist to go with a goal and an even-strength assist. No one with at least that many power-play points has played fewer games than Malkin. His Thursday goal also extended his scoring streak to four games. He has had absolutely no problems since his return.

This seems to happen a lot more to baseball managers than to hockey coaches. In fact, the last time an NHL coach was kicked out of a game was in 2018, so it’s kind of funny when that happens to an NHL coach.

Anton Forsberg earned his paycheck Thursday, stopping 45 of 48 shots he faced against Florida, including 25 shots in the first period alone. Meanwhile, Sergei Bobrovsky posted an 18-save shutout. It doesn’t seem fair, but that’s why the team matters a lot when selecting a goalkeeper. Simple enough.

Forsberg was at least the goaltender who ended Jonathan Huberdeau’s 10-game point streak. During that span, Huberdeau had 17 points, all but two of which were assists.

With both James Reimer (now week-to-week) and Adin Hill struggling with injuries, the Sharks acquired Alex Stalock from the Oilers for good future consideration. Stalock may be an option for short-term goaltenders, especially with back-to-back games this weekend against Nashville and Anaheim. Stalock missed all of last season due to COVID-related complications, so he last played an NHL game during the playoff bubble for Minnesota.

Video tributes these days are handed out like ribbons of attendance at elementary school athletic events, but there should be no doubt that Duncan Keith deserved a big “welcome” from the Chicago Blackhawks. I’m a Canucks fan, so I naturally have some angst towards Keith. But I’ll leave it here anyway.

Since joining the Oilers, Evander Kane has scored seven goals in 16 games, including a pair on Thursday. Kane also had a season-high seven shots in that game. The Oilers only used 11 forwards on Thursday, meaning Kane played over 20 minutes for the fourth straight game. Even though Kane and the Oilers have had their own issues, the signing seems to be mutually beneficial so far.

Mikko Koskinen has played in all but four of the Oilers’ last 15 games. He seems to stumble less when timeshare than when he’s the guy. He came into this game with quality starts in each of his last three starts (the really bad start between the two was a relief appearance), but he couldn’t extend that streak in the eventual loss 4 -3 in overtime.

Did you choose Craig Smith to score a goal on Thursday? No, you probably didn’t, because he hadn’t scored a goal in 12 games. Still, he scored three on Thursday, while finishing the game with a plus-3 and four shots.

Trent Frederic also had three assists, including two on goals from Smith. Frédéric hadn’t scored a single point in his previous eight matches.

With two goals on Thursday, David Pastrnak has a seven-game point streak. During that span, he has 11 points, including seven goals. Pasta also fired seven shots on Thursday, giving him 34 shots during that streak – an average of almost five shots per game!

The Golden Knights have won just two of their last eight games. Should we discuss whether they can still hang on to a playoff spot? Not having Mark Stone or Max Pacioretty doesn’t help.

Get in on Blake Coleman early, folks…or the Flames you can find next week.

And you should follow Mike on Twitter if you aren’t already.

Tyler Toffoli is already lined up in the majority of leagues, although he’s only just starting to find his form as a Flame. With an assist on Thursday, Toffoli collected eight points in eight games for his new team. Six of those points have come in the last three games.

The Habs weren’t expected to be this bad this season, which means Mike Hoffman hasn’t been as good as originally expected. Still, Hoffman had an impressive game on Thursday, scoring one goal while adding three assists with a plus-3 differential. Hoffman entered this game with just one point in his last five games. On what is barely 40-point pace, Hoffman just doesn’t have a ton of value right now, unless it’s something he can lean on. At least for multi-category leagues, 10 of Hoffman’s 21 points have been on the power play.

With two goals (including the winner in extra time) and an assist on Thursday, Ben Chiarot increased his commercial value. For what it’s worth, Chiarot has six points in his last five games. With seven goals this season, Chiarot has more goals than Kris Letang, Morgan Rielly, Mackenzie Weegar, Torey Krug, Moritz Seider, Brent Burns, Quinn Hughes and Seth Jones. That’s a lot of attack-minded defenders. And it also shows how random goalscoring defenders can be.

Cale Makar has a 10-game point streak – it all helps. Makar hasn’t scored a goal in 13 games, but you’re probably not complaining about that. During those 10 games, Makar had 15 assists.

Congratulations if you had the cojones to start Karel Vejmelka against the Avalanche. The Veggie Man stopped 42 of 43 games in a 2-1 victory for the Coyotes. As we all predicted! Vejmelka was leaving for the first time in five games, as Scott Wedgewood had started the previous four games for the Yotes.

This game ended with some shenanigans. Nathan MacKinnon only missed one goal for a Gordie Howe hat trick. Although he didn’t score a goal, he did a lot for the peripheral categories with 7 PIM, 7 SOG, 3 HITS and 2 BLKS.

For more fantasy hockey discussions, follow me on Twitter @Ian_Gooding