The Wire Troll: Descent Into Hockey Hell
Ryan Malone and his tats are on a tear.
It is now that time of year when the Fantasy playoffs just are nipping at everyone’s heels. With just a few weeks left, if you want to make the playoffs or just want to secure seeding, the little things matter. No one said this was going to be a cakewalk. We are going to preface this post by indicating it will be concise. Why? That is simple.
Players are surprising us and disappointing us like never before. Heartburn is hitting the Fantasy owner along with a side of throbbing panic the likes few have ever seen or can comprehend. The goal this week is to find three players worthy of selection for The Wire Troll as we descend into hockey hell. There really is no more delicate way to put this.
Why do we say such a thing? There are just a few weeks left in the hockey season and the biggest questions I get are why do these injuries keep happening and what can I do for my team? Are you ready? Let’s go!
Ryan Malone, C, Tampa Bay Lightning: Malone is healthy and needs to be placed into your lineup ASAP. In the two games since returning, he has a goal and an assist. More importantly, he has slotted back in with Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos in all scoring situations (including the power play). Malone’s numbers are pretty good and his ownership rate is right around 10 per cent in most Fantasy leagues (but that won’t last). The opportunities will keep coming from a Fantasy standpoint. However, health will remain a question because of the bruising style in which Malone plays. You just have to live with the potential consequences and roll with it anyway.
John Mitchell, C, Colorado Avalanche: Mitchell has relished the role that was almost meant for Steve Downie and turned it into a pretty lucrative payoff for Fantasy owners. He has eight goals in 22 games while producing pretty decent numbers in hits and shots. The pivot also averages right around a block per game which is a modest boost in some leagues. It doesn’t hurt that he owned in less than five per cent of all fantasy leagues across the board (2.1 per cent in ESPN). What are people waiting for? I don’t know. He has been playing pretty big minutes of late and has a respectable +8 for the Avalanche which is another pleasant surprise. Please pick Mitchell up before someone else does!
Matt Cooke, LW, Pittsburgh Penguins: I can see the hate mail coming for this one but the guy has eight points in his last 12 games while firing 20 pucks at goalies over that span. Yes, Cooke’s reputation is well known but if he continues to produce like this while occasionally sniping some top six playing time, it cannot hurt to give him a try. He is owned in less than three per cent of all Fantasy leagues (0.5 per cent in ESPN). You will never see Cooke rack up much in the way of power play time but for a slight rise in your bottom line, he is a guy that can aid your quest for the playoffs.
That is all for this week, so we’ll see you next week on The Wire Troll with more amazing finds. Everyone can follow me on Twitter @ChrisWasselTHW. Good luck!
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