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The Wire Troll: Kris Russell Fuels Flames

March 8, 2015 | by Dakota Case | Comments Comments Off
Curtis Glencross is having a huge impact on the Washington Capitals.
Curtis Glencross (left) sure got the fresh start he needed in Washington. (Newsobserver.com)

It’s been another great week of Fantasy hockey with surprise sleepers and studs lurking around every corner. Here at RotoRob.com, we’ve adjusted our teams accordingly and suggest you do, too.

Kris Russell, D, Calgary Flames (ESPN: 16.8 per cent; CBS: 36 per cent): Are you looking for that reliable veteran defenseman to put your team over the top? Well, you’re certainly not alone as that was the case with nearly every NHL GM at last week’s trade deadline. With a goal, 23 points, a plus-9 rating and a surprisingly good Calgary Flames team in his corner, Russell could easily be the waiver wire steal of the week in your league. We recommended him back in late-October, but for some reason he hasn’t really gained much Fantasy traction since then, so we’re back for another pimping session.

When consider that Calgary’s top defenseman, Mark Giordano, is out for the remainder of the season with a torn biceps tendon, Russell’s stock couldn’t go any higher, but his average nightly ice-time of 23:02 certainly will. In three appearance last week, Russell had three assists, a minus-1 rating, two penalty minutes, three power play points, nine shots on goal, five hits and an astounding 26 shots on goal while averaging 29:10 of ice-time over that span. Wow.

Andrei Vasilevskiy, G, Tampa Bay Lightning (ESPN: 4.8 per cent; CBS: 24 per cent): If big Ben Bishop is the reigning king in net in Tampa Bay, “Andre the Giant” is definitely the heir apparent. In two appearances last week, the young Russian had two wins, a 2.00 goals against average, a .937 save percentage and a shutout. For the season, Vasilevskiy has six wins, a 2.37 goals against average, a .917 save percentage and a shutout.

Curtis Glencross, LW, Washington Capitals (ESPN: 9.9 per cent; CBS: 40 per cent): Glencross was looking for a fresh start and he got one in Washington. In three games last week, he had two goals, four points, two power play points, seven shots on goal, seven hits and two blocks. We slotted Glencross inside the top 40 in our Left Wing Rankings heading into the season, but he was struggling to rediscover the form that allowed him to score a combined 50 goals in 2010-11 and ‘11-12. However, he sure has picked things up since the trade to the U.S. capital (see video below). Overall, he has 11 goals, 32 points and a plus-3 rating in 56 games played between the Flames and Caps.

Alex Killorn, C/LW, Tampa Bay Lightning (ESPN: 6 per cent; CBS: 31 per cent): If Killorn isn’t owned in your league, he probably should be. Through 59 games this season, he has 14 goals, 35 points and a plus-8 rating. Last week, Killorn had two goals, four points, a plus-1 rating, a power play point, nine shots on goal, four face-offs won, five hits and two blocked shots.

Jason Chimera, LW, Washington Capitals (ESPN: 0.3 per cent; CBS: 2 per cent): Chimera isn’t a good option in leagues with six to 10 teams, but he could be a dark horse candidate on the wires of leagues with 12 teams or more, and those that track statistical categories like hits and penalty minutes. In Week 21, he had two assists, a plus-1 rating, 16 penalty minutes, 11 shots on goal, a face-off won, seven hits and a blocked shot. He has five goals, 16 points and 49 penalty minutes in 62 games played this season.

STUDS AND DUDS

“Studs and Duds” is our weekly segment on who was hot and who was not in Fantasy hockey in the previous week.

Studs

No. 1. Alex Ovechkin, LW/RW, Washington Capitals: “Alex the Great” has been just that this season, and continued to prove why with five goals, seven points, a plus-3 rating, three power play points, two game-winning goals, 22 shots on goal, five hits and a block.

No. 2. Semyon Varlamov, G, Colorado Avalanche: After making our duds list last week, Varlamov was nearly flawless with two wins, a 0.50 goals against average, a .986 save percentage and one shutout.

No. 3. Evgeni Malkin, C/RW, Pittsburgh Penguins: The man drafted the very next pick after Ovi in the 2004 draft has also had an outstanding career, and a similar week with four goals, six points, a plus-2 rating, two power play points, 13 shots on goal and 16 face-offs won.

Duds

No. 1. Curtis McElhinney, G, Columbus Blue Jackets: With Sergei Bobrovsky back in the lineup, McElhinney will revert to backup status, which is good, because his zero wins, 6.03 goals against average and .849 save percentage in two appearances were just awful.

No. 2. Colin McDonald, RW, New York Islanders: McDonald has never been a scorer, so his performance in Week 21 isn’t all that surprising. He was scoreless with a minus-4 rating, 10 hits and two blocked shots.

No. 3. Pekka Rinne, G, Nashville Predators: Rinne has struggled since a 4-2 loss to Minnesota back on February 26. He’s allowed 16 goals in five games of Nashville’s current six-game losing streak. Like his team, Rinne will bounce back soon enough, but he’s certainly lost ground in the Vezina race. In three appearances last week, the big Finn was winless with nine goals against for a 3.13 goals against average and a .900 save percentage.

And that’s it for our coverage this week. How did you do? Tell us in the comments section below.

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Panthers Aiming to Spook Bruins?

March 2, 2015 | by David Harrison | Comments Comments Off
The Panthers last reached the Stanley Cup playoffs in 2012 when they were beaten by the Devils in the Conference quarterfinals. Having endured a disappointing run since, they will be desperate to make a return in 2015 and their fans will be happy to take any advantage that they can over their rivals. Whether the stacking of the roster with men who have history with the Bruins was a preconceived plan, or whether it is just coincidence, the Panthers will be hoping that it gives them a psychological edge and is enough to make the difference this time around.
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The Wire Troll: Andrew Hammond in Command

March 1, 2015 | by Dakota Case | Comments Comments Off
This time of year, every Fantasy owner (not to mention real life NHL GM) is looking for that special player that can put them over the top. With many goaltenders out of the lineup with injuries, it can be hard to ice a respectable Fantasy goaltending tandem. If this is what you’re facing, you need to check out Hammond now.
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The Wire Troll: Kyle Palmieri Flying High with the Ducks

February 22, 2015 | by Dakota Case | Comments (2)
Comeau had a three-game drought there, but still has three goals and six points in as many games since returning from an upper-body injury that saw him miss a considerable amount of time. He had two goals, three points, a plus-3 rating, four penalty minutes, a game-winning goal, 13 shots on goal, 17 hits and three blocked shots last week. Comeau has 14 goals, 25 points and a plus-10 rating in 38 games.
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The Wire Troll: Anders Lee Emerges on Island

February 16, 2015 | by Dakota Case | Comments Comments Off
Hayes is one of many rookies having a quality debut. Through 51 games, he has 10 goals, 25 points and a plus-7 rating, good enough for eighth-best among NHL greenhorns and three points shy of seventh-leading rookie scorer Lee. The big (6′5″, 225-pound) forward had three goals, six points, a plus-6 rating, two penalty minutes, a shorthanded point, 11 shots on goal, 13 face-offs won, two hits and four blocks last week.
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