Sorry I missed last week’s article. I’m taking a vacation and doing a bit of backpacking in Europe and couldn’t scramble to get an article together. Hopefully you are still alive this week so that I can make it up to you.
Depending on your league settings you could be heading down a few different paths. Among them: those who are gunning for a money spot in Roto leagues, or those in the playoffs for H2H leagues. If you are in a tight league where every little stat matters, making the smart adds/drops could definitely determine whether you are the league champion or just another one of the nine to 13 disappointed losers in your fantasy pool. .
Tomas Holmstrom – The 37-year old Swede is definitely one of the hottest players to pick up for the final stretch run as he has 18 points and 38 SOG in 18 contests since the Olympic break. The Red Wings play on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday which are the shallowly scheduled days of this week, so Holmer would make a great addition to your fantasy squad as a third-RW this week.
Michael Grabner – Grabner has five points and 13 SOG in the last four contests for the Nucks. Vancouver pretty much has the third spot in the Western conference locked up, so they might give the Sedin twins a few games rest prior to their post-season run, which might open up a few opportunities for Grabner to gain some added responsibilities for the final three contests. If you aren’t too concerned about FW, definitely consider Grabner.
Alex Steen – The Steen machine continues to roll as he also has five points in the last four contests in which he has also amassed 18 SOG during that span. Steen is also only three points off of Andy McDonald for the team-scoring title, which would definitely help off-season RFA negotiations in the summer. The Blues play four times this week, twice on the weak Wednesday and Friday night schedules which should definitely help those who are looking to get in a few extra games this week.
Pavol Demitra – In a similar situation as Grabner mentioned above, Demitra has also seen a spike in production last week with four assists in three contests. You won’t get a lot of SOG with Demitra, but if you are looking for a few points here and there, the 16-year NHL vet might just provide that for you this week.
James Neal – It might be too little too late for the Stars but Neal could still provide you with a much needed final boost this week. Dallas faces the Hawks, Ducks and Wild to finish off the season. In 10 contests against those teams this season, Neal has 13 points. It probably wouldn’t be unfathomable for Neal to pick up three or four points and definitely not a bad replacement for one the players listed below.
Jack Johnson – After a nine-game pointless drought in mid March, Johnson has rebounded well with four points in the last four games. He has seen his ice-time near the 22 minute per contest mark in the last two contests, and has seen some decent second unit PP time. He’s probably not going to make a huge difference in fantasy hockey leagues this week, but hey if you’re down what do you have to lose?
Kari Lehtonen – Marty Turco was sent home and presumably it’s going to be for the rest of the season, which means that Lehtonen should see at least two starts this week. He’s heading into the off-season as a RFA. A few solid outings could boost his value positively in contract negotiations come June/July. If you are a Turco-owned it’d probably be smart to make the swap right about now.
Ryan Getzlaf – Getzlaf’s ankle injury has been bothering him since the Olympic break, which has caused him to miss the last five contests. With no IR status and the Ducks out of post-season contention, it’d probably a smart idea to drop the Canadian Olympian for the rest of this week.
Jarome Iginla – It’s time to drop Iggy. With one point in his last six games and the Flames desperately in need of points, now should be the time that Iggy should be shinning and not faltering. Either way last week he was ranked 1403 overall in terms of overall production according to Yahoo! rankings, and there’s probably 10-15 RW I’d rather own over Iggy for this final week. Make the smart choice and drop him already!
Patrick Marleau – Marleau’s line for the last four contests: one point, zero plus/minus rating, two PIMs, zero PPP, and eight SOG. Steen’s line in the same span: five points, plus four, two PIMs, one PPP and 18 SOG. Or Ben Eager: four points, plus four, five PIMs, zero PPP and seven SOG. Are you kidding me? Eager has a similar stat line that Marleau had last week... Do your fantasy team a favour and drop him immediately.
Shane Doan – Doan has two points in the last nine contests and has really struggled in those contests but surprisingly the Coyotes have gone 5-3-1 during that span which cemented a spot for the post-season. The Coyotes face the Sharks, Kings and Preds who are ranked eighth, ninth and 14th respectively in goals allowed per contest, so the signs aren’t prevalent for Doan to be very productive fantasy-wise this week.
Brad Boyes – I don’t quite understand why he’s still 53 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues. Boyes has pretty much gone cold turkey with just five points in 16 contests since the Olympic break. If you are a Boyes owner definitely cut bait and pick yourself up a better fantasy asset for the final week.
Christian Ehrhoff – Ehrhoff tweaked his knee in the third period of Sunday night’s contest against the Wild. The Nucks don’t have very much to play for this week, so they might just take the precautious route and rest up their top-scoring defenseman for the playoffs. It might not be a bad idea to swap Ehrhoff for fellow team mate Alex Edler for the final week of the fantasy season.
Marty Turco – As mentioned above, Turco was sent home and probably has played his last game in a Stars’ uniform. It’d probably be wise to drop him immediately as you’ll probably get nothing but goose eggs from Turco this week.
With head-to-head playoff hockey pools being as tight as they are, a single point here, a PIM there, and a SOG possibly could make or break your fantasy season. That’s why it is essential to take advantage of the players that you have at your disposal, and cut loose any of the dead weight that might be dragging your fantasy squad down. After all this is your last opportunity to claim the crown even though you might not have had a great regular season. It’s not about emotions, but purely based on stats from here on in. Good luck!