Get ready for a steady dose of Canadian content, it’s NHL catch-up time.
At the start of the season, fantasy owners were banking on some rest and relaxation in the month of February. Instead, thanks to the obvious, it will be like nothing happened, and more.
A total of 95 games were added between February 7 and February 22, a period originally designated for the Olympic break. Additionally, on top of all the postponements due to attendance restrictions in Canada, a slew of January games have also been postponed.
As you can see, navigating this uneven schedule will be fun. At this point, it is what it is.
1. Due to the four-day All-Star break, Week 16 will continue until February 13.
Monday: 7 games
Tuesday: 9 matches
Wednesday: 5 games
Sunday: ALL STAR
Total: 21 games
Monday: 2 games
Tuesday: 7 matches
Wednesday: 6 games
Thursday: 7 matches
Friday: 4 games
Saturday: 8 games
Sunday: 4 games
Total: 38 games
2. Stock up on the Ottawa Senators, they’re expected to play a league-high six times over the next two weeks. On the other side of the spectrum, the Kings, Rangers and Sharks will only play once. Keep that in mind.
6 games: OTT (1)
5 games: ARI, CGY, EDM, NJD, NYI, TOR, VAN, WSH (8)
4 games: BOS, CAR, CHI, CBJ, DAL, MTL, PIT, SEA, WPG (9)
3 games: BUF, COL, DET, MIN, NSH, TBL, VGK (seven)
2 games: ANA, FLA, PHI, STL (4)
1 Games: LAK, NYR, SJS (3)
3. However, it is difficult for the Senses to be busy. Just last week they lost two-thirds of their top-line. All-Star Drake Batherson will be out for at least two months with a sprained ankle. Meanwhile, Josh Norris has a shoulder problem and is also out indefinitely.
With that in mind, Tim Stutzle and veteran Tyler Ennis are worth grabbing. They were pushed to the first line to play with Brady Tkachuk.
4. Speaking of which, I wonder what all of this means for the value of Tkachuk’s rest of the season. Honestly, a compelling argument could be made for both sides. On the one hand, it is possible to suggest that its stock could continue to decline given that it has been cold for some time now. But on the other hand, it’s easy to justify buying low just because the dude is so talented it doesn’t matter who he plays with.
Tkachuk hasn’t scored since Dec. 14, 12 games and 50 shots ago. For what it’s worth, I’d still go for the purchase; he’ll be fine.
5. Believe it or not, Matt Murray has started to emerge again as a viable goalie option. In five appearances since being recalled from the AHL, the two-time Cup champion is 3-0-2 with a 1.97 goals-against average, .937 save percentage and one shutout. A few lines of thought.
6. Some RW-eligible Batherson replacement options: Jeff Carter, Adrian Kempe, Tage Thompson and Alex Tuch.
seven. New tanker Evander Kane is another. If it’s available in your league, take it immediately. The 30-year-old, who is coming off a career-high 0.88 points per game last season with San Jose, scored 17:52 in his debut on Saturday night in Montreal.
Oh yeah, at first he skates a line with Connor McDavid.
8. Put Kailer Yamamoto, Kane’s other new linemate, on your watch list. Talk about a garden seat.
9. It might be time to cut your losses and start doing business deals on Connor Hellebuyck. In general, there’s just something wrong with Winnipeg this season. The 2020 Vézina winner had a terrible January going 3-5-2 in 10 starts with a lackluster 3.49 goals-against average and .896 save percentage.
Maybe he’s just tired. After making 13 consecutive starts, Hellebuyck was finally able to breathe on Saturday afternoon in Saint-Louis. Eric Comrie was fantastic.
ten. No Nathan MacKinnon for the foreseeable future means more for Valeri Nichushkin, Alex Newhook and JT Compher at Colorado.
11. On the outside, Brayden Schenn, Trevor Zegras, Robert Thomas and Mikael Granlund are four eligible center options worth considering.
12. Cut the cord on Jamie Benn. The Stars captain has been knocked off the scoresheet in 11 straight games. Ouch.
13. Do the same with Ivan Barbashev, who is now useless in five straight games. In my opinion, the Blues will not play again until February 10, so there is no reason to stay. You can always go back on the road.
14. Pick up Dylan Strome and ride the hot hand. In his last nine outings, the Hawks forward has four goals and 11 points. In recent games he skated with Patrick Kane and Brandon Hagel.
Strome has been on the trading block for a while, this push should help his market value.
15. Attention Erik Karlsson owners: You will likely have to go the commercial route to find a suitable long-term replacement. Until then, Jared Spurgeon, Nate Schmidt, Mark Giordano and Evan Bouchard are some short-term looks.
16. For my money, there are plenty of low-cost shopping opportunities in Washington right now, but you better act fast. The Capitals are 4-6-2 over the last 12 games. I don’t know how long this cold streak will last. Tom Wilson, John Carlson and Nick Backstrom should be firmly on your radar.
17. Pick up Jeremy Swayman. Tuukka Rask is struggling with a lower body issue, which has opened the door for the 23-year-old to be recalled from the AHL. In 16 appearances this season for Boston, Swayman has been very steady (8-6-2, 1 SO, 2.26, .918). The youngster could get the green light on Tuesday night against Seattle.
18. Make a move for John Gibson. In five starts since returning from injury, the Ducks goalie is 3-1-1 with a 1.78 goals-against percentage and .949 save percentage. Health is always a talking point with Gibson, but there’s no denying that when he’s healthy, he’s as elite as he is in the NHL. Anaheim has been a great story this season.
19. If you can afford it, pick up and stash Jakub Vrana. Slowly but surely, the Red Wings winger, who is returning from shoulder surgery, is getting closer to a possible comeback. In theory, it could happen sometime in February. Stay tuned.
20. File this one under a possible cheeky DFS game. With Chandler Stephenson in the Covid protocol, Nolan Patrick is at the center of the Vegas front row alongside Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone. Looked.