Former first rounder Eric Fehr (right) is suddenly looking like a dangerous scorer for the Caps. (UPI Photo/ Mark Goldman)
In the NHL, players will suddenly go very hot. In the fantasy world, the big question is always, how long will they stay hot?
Take Eric Fehr from the Washington Capitals. He’s got seven goals on the season, but four in his last five (plus two assists). Has the former first-round pick suddenly found his game? The Capitals have to be hoping so. He’s only got three goals in the previous three seasons, much of that spent in the minors. So is Fehr worth the risk? He’s certainly worth keeping an eye on.
Also, look for some great players to return to their lineups. A lot of times, players get injured and dumped out of fantasy lineups, and former owners forget to go pick them up. It’s like free money!
Pittsburgh defenseman Sergei Gonchar has been cleared to play, meaning he should appear in the Penguin lineup soon. While Gonchar will have to ease himself in (he hasn’t played all season), he’s a fixture on the Penguin power play — a unit that has really suffered without him. Look for Gonchar to see special teams time, if not regular even-strength minutes.
Also consider Andy McDonald from the Blues, who returned to the St. Louis roster Tuesday night. McDonald played on the wing instead of centre, but things still worked out, as he scored a goal and added an assist. Not bad, considering he hadn’t played since November 2008. The Blues just signed McDonald to a four-year extension, so if he’s good enough for them, he’s certainly good enough for your fantasy team.
The Blues also recently sent goalie Manny Legace down to the minors, so if he’s somehow on your roster, you might want to dump him. If New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur is available, grab him. He’s been cleared to practice and he could be back relatively soon.
If you’re looking for a slightly damaged goalie, Steve Mason from Columbus could be back Friday. He was out with mono. Don’t ask how he got it. Don’t even let your mind wander to the situations that could have caused it. Just think about his .923 save percentage and his 2.09 goals against. And in case you’re wondering, you can’t get mono through a waiver transaction.
And New York Islander Doug Weight is expected to be out six weeks with an MCL sprain. Weight’s numbers haven’t been great, but he seemed to be prime trade bait, and if he had been dealt, his numbers would presumably would have improved. I don’t see a team trading for him unless they really want to say “Wow. We really gained Weight this season.” And none of my uncles run NHL teams, so that’s not going to happen.
The Week Ahead
- Saturday, the Wild looks to get back on track against Ottawa. Minny is clinging to the final playoff spot in the West, but unfortunately the team has a date in Detroit next weekend — and that spells doom for the Wild. After Thursday’s 4-2 loss to Detroit, Minnesota is now 0-10-2 in its last dozen tries against the Wings. On the plus side, Brent Burns potted his first goal in almost a month. He’s been a real disappointment this season after enjoying a breakout campaign last year. He’s no longer a must-own fantasy defenceman.
- Sunday, the Sharks play the Devils in what could be a Stanley Cup Finals preview.
- Sunday, Colorado plays Detroit. For Detroit, it’s like when you see an old girlfriend on the street and she’s kind of let herself go, and you tell her she looks great, but she can tell you’re lying, and you just kind of stand there and then she bursts into tears.
- Monday the Rangers play the Blues. You have to hope the Rangers will tell John Davidson to stop running the team and go back to simply calling the games.