This week Between the Lines looks at players who could spark their lines after the Olympic break
If it felt like I was on a long vacation, well then blame the Olympics. While Canada lulled us all to sleep with incredible defensive efficiency, I realized it is time to get back to the fantasy hockey that truly matters. The action starts on Tuesday this week so there will be shortened matchups for all. Let’s go “Between The Lines” in a slightly different way. This week we spotlight a few players that could energize their lines.
Lead Us Forwards
T.J. Oshie (St. Louis Blues) -- Oshie will likely be paired with Patrik Berglund and Magnus Paajarvi. There is a possibility that Chris Stewart could be thrown into the mix or Oshie could make the move up to line number one. The Olympics were a huge learning experience for him and that could boost his value going into the home stretch of the season. It will be interesting to see what Oshie has in mind for his fantasy owners since there is a little more pressure on him to produce.
Phil Kessel (Toronto Maple Leafs) -- Kessel was one of the hottest players going into the Olympics and then the last two games happened similar to what the rest of Team USA felt. With Tyler Bozak and James van Riemsdyk by his side, the player who was tied for the point lead in the Olympics should not have any problems guiding this trio to a nine or 10 point week overall. I expect no ill effects from the Canada and Finland losses with Kessel, so play him with confidence as always.
Jaromir Jagr (New Jersey Devils) -- There is a possibility Jagr could end up with 65-70 points at the tender young age of 42. Ultimately he will be paired with Travis Zajac and “insert Left Winger” here. We wish we were joking but it is true. In most cases, Dainius Zubrus will flank Jagr on the left side. Either way, the one thing the Olympics did was make Jagr mad, which could be bad news for his opponents and further good news for fantasy owners. Stay tuned! The magical mystery point tour continues.
P.K. Subban (Montreal Canadiens) -- Everyone knew that P.K. Subban would be here as he was one of our best fantasy defenseman after the first 58-60 games. The power play magic is likely to continue with Andrei Markov as Subban almost drags Markov at times to a nice fantasy season. The real boon is Subban who now has a chip on his shoulder after getting an extended observation stint via Team Canada. It did result in a gold medal, but this may end up in a near point a game pace for Subban from now until April 13th. You have been warned NHL.
Shea Weber (Nashville Predators) -- Before the break, Shea Weber and Roman Josi were making a heck of a fantasy pairing. They were racking up solid points, playing big minutes, and having some success on the man advantage. Everyone knows the shot that Weber has can hurt. Just ask any opponent from the Olympics that very question. If Nashville is going to make a run, Weber is going to have to be an immense presence. Of course if Pekka Rinne returns and is the Rinne of old, then that can only help. Either way, Weber is a must own coming off the Olympics.
Eric Gelinas (New Jersey Devils) -- This is the classic high risk, high reward pick. You either get a whole lot or nothing from Gelinas but one thing is clear, he makes the New Jersey power play more dynamic. New Jersey went on a terrible tailspin when Gelinas was unexpectedly sent down. The Devils had a top five power play or close to it unit when Gelinas was up. You take the good and the bad with the young defenseman but that offensive potential just has to be unleashed on the rest of the NHL and for the sake of fantasy owners looking for that unexpected source of production.
As always, you can follow me @ChrisWasselTHW for the latest fantasy hockey news and more. No question is too big or difficult and I always will try and answer them promptly. Good luck this week and welcome back.
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