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The Wire Troll: Ilya Bryzgalov’s Universe Really is Expanding

April 7, 2014 | by Chris Wassel | Comments (0)
Alexei Emelin finally looks healthy for the Montreal Canadiens.
Alexei Emelin finally looks like himself again. (Hockeyindependent.com)

This is the final week, Fantasy hockey fans. Granted, there will be playoff pools and such but for most of you, here is the week of consequence.

This Week’s Schedule

Here’s a day-by-day breakdown of the games scheduled this week:

  • Monday: three games
  • Tuesday: 10 games
  • Wednesday: five games
  • Thursday: 11 games
  • Friday: seven games
  • Saturday: nine games
  • Sunday: 10 games

Wow, this is going to be some final weekend with at least nine games on both days. Sunday will be similar to last season and yet even better. There are two 9 p.m. EST games that could potentially decide Fantasy championships. Some anxious moments will be had and it’s even possible that a few stat corrections could decide titles.

This week, we again keep the search lean and trim. The goal is to give you three quality picks from the waiver wire: one forward, one defenseman and one goaltender. Let’s get down to business because this week is “Championship Week” in the truest sense of the word. You want to win, don’t you?

We have one final surprise this week so please read ahead. It is now Troll time!

FORWARD

Josh Bailey, LW, New York Islanders: Let’s be blunt: Bailey torments Fantasy owners like few players can. For whatever bizarre reason, he goes on torrid stretches and then vanishes seemingly for months at a time. There will be these hot streaks that can last as much as a month long. Consistency is his number one Achilles heel, but no one questions his effort (see video below). However, with the Islanders having nothing to play for, “Loose Bailey” is back which means good times for all owners. The NHL has a little more on the streak as well.

— NHL (@NHL) April 6, 2014

Sadly, Bailey was shut out Sunday, however, he has a pretty good schedule so a few more points is not out of the question. Roll the dice and see where they land with him.

DEFENSE

Alexei Emelin, Montreal Canadiens: Somewhere Michael Clifford is smiling as we type this. Finally, Emelin is starting to look like the player we remember. He would hit people everywhere, provide timely offense, and play solid in his own end. Slowly, Emelin is starting to pad categories across the board which is great news and, hey, he is owned in less than 5 per cent of all leagues. The Hab has eight points in his last 12 games, and over the last three games has racked up a whopping 14 hits and 12 blocks. Here is a little visual.

Montreal still has something to play for (home ice), and that alone should make this decision easy. Get Emelin in your lineup now.

GOALIE

Ilya Bryzgalov, Minnesota Wild: We do not believe it either, but Bryzgalov is helping get the Wild to the playoffs. Saturday’s 4-0 shutout may have looked easy, but Bryzgalov faced four or five “Grade A” chances among those 20 Pittsburgh shots. He has been unusually stingy, only allowing five goals in his last four starts (three wins). With Darcy Kuemper out for “a while” longer, it looks like the Russian is going to play out the rest of the regular season. The Bryz is only owned in 25-to-30 per cent of leagues so he may very well still be out there.

Now it’s random fact time.

It might be a very good idea to claim him now before it’s too late.

Please keep in mind that the final week of the season is going to be very intense. Injuries keep rising in count and replacements will be claimed at lightning speed. Those who adapt are the ones that will survive and thrive. Ultimately, the strong do win and the waiver wire will be key. Good luck in this last week!

Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below who your favourite Fantasy hockey waiver wire pick of the week is.

As always, you can ask questions aplenty on Twitter @ChrisWasselTHW.

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The Wire Troll: Maybe Matt Hackett Can Hack it

March 23, 2014 | by Chris Wassel | Comments (0)
This week is a return to normalcy. Yes, we did say that. The schedule plays out almost like a typical Fantasy hockey week which is still music to many owners’ ears. If you are wondering what the docket looks like for this week in your Fantasy playoffs, feast your eyes.
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The Wire Troll: Paul Byron and the Rising

March 16, 2014 | by Chris Wassel | Comments Comments Off
This week is a return to normalcy. Yes, we did say that. The schedule plays out like a typical Fantasy hockey week which will be music to many owners and their ears. If you are wondering what the docket looks like for the last week of the regular Fantasy season for most head to head leagues, it looks something like this.
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The Wire Troll: Alex Killorn Moving On Up

March 9, 2014 | by Chris Wassel | Comments Comments Off
It is a rare case when there is a double nine on the weekend. What is a double nine? Simply, it’s when Sunday means as much as Saturday. This was a phrase we coined about 15 years ago when we used it to win a Fantasy hockey league on the last day because we checked schedules well in advance. Believe us, when we say it pays off.
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The Wire Troll: Zemgus Girgensons Trending Up

March 2, 2014 | by Chris Wassel | Comments (0)
Week 21 features, for one, a full week. It has been awhile, hasn’t it? When scouring through the waiver wire, the pickings are definitely more slim. For head-to-head leagues, there are only a couple more weeks left before the playoffs begin. Even rotisserie owners are feeling the pinch as March roars in. In our search for this week’s picks, we dug a little deeper than usual. There may be more questions than usual.
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