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Posts Tagged ‘Minnesota Wild’

The Wire Troll: Alex Stalock Heating up for Wild

December 17, 2017 | by RotoRob | Comments Comments Off
Alex Stalock is now manning the net for the Minnesota Wild.
Few pucks have gotten past Alex Stalock; players, however, is a different story. (Sergei Belski/USA Today Sports)

Welcome back to another week of Fantasy hockey. We’re into mid-December, and this weekend marked the 2017 Scotiabank NHL 100 Classic, featuring Montreal against Ottawa.

This week, Tampa Bay right wing Ryan Callahan had his arm in a sling after Thursday’s game and is now out indefinitely; Minnesota has lost goalie Devan Dubnyk to a lower body injury that will have him out week-to-week; and Auston Matthews (upper body) has missed the last four games for the Leafs.

And now, let’s get to this week’s Fantasy hockey waiver wire picks of the week…

Alex Stalock, G, Minnesota Wild (ESPN: 12.6 per cent; CBS: 21 per cent): With starter Dubnyk out (as mentioned above), Stalock is enjoying life as the starting goaltender in Minnesota, as he looked better in each of his three starts since Dubnyk’s injury — all wins, before a weaker effort Saturday. After a so-so effort against the Sharks on Sunday, Stalock looked very sharp in beating Calgary on Tuesday and then capped it off against Toronto with his first shutout of the season (see video below for his reaction). He’s already seen way more action than he did last season and is up to his highest win total since 2014-15. Even though Stalock was unable to bag his fourth straight win on Saturday, Coach Bruce Boudreau is sure to ride this athletic netminder hard until Dubnyk returns. Need a goalie on a short-term basis? Stalock is the one you want, especially while he’s on a roll, as he is known to be streaky, so when that turns bad, you’ll want to be ready to find another option.

Cam Ward, G, Carolina Hurricanes (ESPN: 3.4 per cent: CBS: 12 per cent): It was just over a year ago when we last recommended Ward in this space, and it was a good call as he had his best month in November (.935 save percentage) and remained strong in December before cooling though January and February and finishing strong in March. He’s no longer the No. 1 in Carolina, but he faced a barrage of 41 shots on Friday and still came away with the win, to move to an impressive 6-2-1. Ward’s been horribly inconsistent and his GAA is unsightly this season, but his save percentage is actually improved. At this stage, if you are seeking a veteran goalie that you can use for specific matchups, he’s a decent option.

Erik Haula, LW, Vegas Golden Knights (ESPN: 28.7 per cent; CBS: 23 per cent): Getting a crack on an expansion team comes with its perks, as you’re generally going to get a way bigger opportunity to play a key role than on your previous team. Such is the instance with Haula, whose PT is up nearly three and a half minutes per game and he’s responded big time. With assists in the past two games, he now has four helpers to go along with three goals over the last five. Haula is averaging over a point per game this month and he’s already within shouting distance of tying his career high of 15 goals, set last season. Better yet, his recent goals have been massive. Last week, Haula scored the tying goal in the last five minutes of back-to-back games, becoming the first player to do that since Teemu Selanne in 2011.

Kevin Fiala, C, Nashville Predators (ESPN: 21.2 per cent; CBS: 45 per cent): After ending November in a slump, Fiala has absolutely been on fire this month, getting points in all seven games (six goals, three assists). His +6 rating in December has him back to even. Through just 31 games, Fiala has already tripled his assist total from all of last season. In fact, since playing his first NHL game in 2014-15, he had accumulated five helpers in 60 games. In basically half the number of games this season, he has 15 helpers. Can you say breakout?

Chris Tierney, C, San Jose Sharks (ESPN: 0.7 per cent; CBS: 1 per cent): This is strictly a speculative pickup based on Logan Couture leaving early Friday with a suspected concussion. If the Sharks’ No. 1 centre is out for any length of time, Tierney is likely to see an uptick in minutes, even above the last week, when he’s been playing extra and responding, drilling three shots Friday after scoring a goal with an assist the night before. His PT has risen each month, and he’s on pace to shatter his career high in goals while topping his assist total from last season.

Carter Hutton, G, St. Louis Blues (ESPN: 5.2 per cent; CBS: 13 per cent): It’s the week of the backup goalies, apparently! Hutton (foot) was activated off the IR on Friday and thrown right into the fire on Saturday at home against the Jets. There are few backup goalies in the league that can offer the kind of numbers he’s put up this season, and despite not having an easy matchup in his return against one of the top offensives in the NHL, all he did was turn away all 48 shots for his first goose egg of the season.

Aaron Dell, G, San Jose Sharks (ESPN: 12.4 per cent; CBS: 20 per cent): Did we mention we love a lot of backup goalies this week? Dell saved 32 of 34 shots on Thursday in another fantastic effort, and as good as he was as a rookie last season (2.00 GAA), he’s been even better so far this season (1.75 GAA). Talk about a dude that needs a No. 1 job. Dell is now 6-3-1, having won his last four starts.

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

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The Wire Troll: Minnesota’s Young Talent Ready For Prime Time

November 27, 2016 | by Dakota Case | Comments Comments Off
A journeyman, Johnson seems to have finally found his place in the NHL. The Flames’ netminder led all goaltenders last week with three wins, a 1.00 goals against average, a .968 save percentage and a shutout. He has seven wins, a 1.98 goals against average and a .928 save percentage this season, meaning you should have already added him to your team.
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The Wire Troll: Jason Zucker Producing For Wild

October 30, 2016 | by Dakota Case | Comments Comments Off
No player has more points in the last week than Bennett. The Flames’ top pick from 2014 has three goals, six points, a plus-3 rating, eight penalty minutes, a power play point and eight shots on goal in four games. He’s only averaging 12:51 of ice-time per game, but Bennett is obviously making the most of it. Calgary is young. Calgary is talented. Calgary will eventually be perennial playoff contenders, and youngsters like Bennett are a big reason why.
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The Wire Troll: Charlie Coyle Powers Surging Wild

February 21, 2016 | by Dakota Case | Comments Comments Off
Eaves hasn’t been a big Fantasy contributor in his career or even this season, but he’s had a big string of success in recent games that should at least command part of your attention. In his past seven contests, the Dallas winger has managed to collect four goals (three coming on a hat trick), seven points, a minus-1 rating, two penalty minutes, three power play goals, 15 shots on goal, 14 hits and a blocked shot. It’s impressive, but Eaves still only has seven goals, 12 points and 61 shots on goal in 39 games played this season.
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The Wire Troll: Matt Dumba Shining for Dismal Wild

February 14, 2016 | by Dakota Case | Comments Comments Off
In the past six games, Dumba has two goals, six points, a minus-1 rating, two penalty minutes, two power play goals, 19 shots on goal, eight hits and four blocked shots. With a change in coaching staff, the former seventh overall pick could see an expanded role in all game situations, making him even more valuable to Fantasy GMs.
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