The Wire Troll: Sam Gagner Pacing Columbus Blue Jackets
So, a fire sale should be starting any time now in Colorado. The mighty Habs systematically dismantled the Avalanche 10-1 Saturday in what was just the latest of an unusually large amount of high scoring games this season. Seriously, some of these scores are getting ridiculous. Anyway, on to this week’s Fantasy hockey waiver wire picks.
Sam Gagner, C/RW, Columbus Blue Jackets (ESPN: 30.8 per cent; Yahoo: 30 per cent): The Jackets have emerged as a potential Eastern Conference powerhouse, and it’s due in large part to the team scoring by committee. A former Edmonton and Arizona castoff, Gagner has found a home in Columbus, and is proving to be a great teammate (see video below). In three games last week, he had three goals, six points, a plus-4 rating, two power play points and 11 shots on goal.
Anders Lee, C/LW, New York Islanders (ESPN: 10.1 per cent; Yahoo: 7 per cent): Unlike the Blue Jackets, the Islanders have been unnaturally bad this season. That said, some key players are starting to show signs of life, including Lee. He had three goals, five points, a plus-4 rating, a power play point, a game-winning goal and 13 shots on net in four games last week.
Mikael Backlund, C, Calgary Flames (ESPN: 30.8 per cent; Yahoo: 9 per cent): It’s a topsy-turvy world in the NHL and the West is no different. Calgary sits on top of the Pacific Division, and it’s thanks to guys like Backlund. In four games, he had a goal, four points, a plus-1 rating, two power play points and 12 shots on goal. Backlund only has 15 points on the season, but the season is still young and he’s a good option off the bench.
Andrew Shaw, C/RW, Montreal Canadiens (ESPN: 29.3 per cent; Yahoo: 44 per cent): Montreal’s token sheet of sandpaper, Shaw can also put up the points — as if we didn’t know that from his time in Chicago. He had a goal, five points, a plus-3 rating, a power play point and seven shots on goal in four games last week.
Antti Raanta, G, New York Rangers (ESPN: 12 per cent; Yahoo: 21 per cent): Henrik Lundquist will always be king of New York, but it was his backup who led all NHL goaltenders last week. In two starts, the Finn had two wins, a 0.50 goals against average, a .977 save percentage and a shutout. Raanta has seven wins, a 1.83 goals against average and a .939 save percentage so far this season, making him the best No. 2-3 goaltender on your league’s waiver wire.
Rookie of the Week
Montreal’s Artturi Lehkonen comes from out of left field this week with a pair of goals, a plus-4 rating and 11 shots on goal. The 2013 second round pick has five goals, six points, a plus-3 rating and 44 shots on goal in 19 games.
Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below who your favourite Fantasy hockey waiver wire pick of the week is.