The Wire Troll: Michael Carcone Gets Chance With Coyotes
Michael Carcone (left) is getting more PT for the Coyotes. (Elliot Lake Today)
Welcome back to another week of Fantasy hockey. We are so close to the finish line… keep your foot on the gas and use the waiver wire judiciously.
This week, Clayton Keller‘s season is over thanks to a broken leg (see below for an opportunity this presents); Auston Matthews became the first Maple Leaf to reach 50 goals in almost 30 years; and both Sebastian Ahos tickled the twine at almost the same time — in different games.
And now, let’s get to this week’s…
Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Picks
Michael Carcone, RW/C, Arizona Coyotes (ESPN: unowned; CBS: unowned): Let’s dig deep here, shall we? With Keller (leg) done for the season, Carcone could be shifted up the lineup, giving him a golden opportunity to establish himself down the stretch. Carcone potted his first NHL goal last weekend (see video below), his only point through eight games to date (though he’s been adding a physical presence in the way of hits and his first NHL fight), and while he’d been playing in a fourth line role, he’s now seeing more ice time thanks to injuries. The rookie has 40-point upside, proving he can excel in the AHL with 24 goals and 41 points in 48 games this season. Looking to take a late-season flier on someone? Carcone could fit the bill as he tries to breathe some life into a disastrous season for Arizona.
Sean Durzi, D, Los Angeles Kings (ESPN: 10.2 per cent; CBS: 33 per cent): Durzi is another relatively unknown rookie in Fantasy circles, but he’s been trending up as the season wanes. He’s -10 in traditional plus/minus numbers, but has managed 20 assists in a bit over 19 ATOI. Durzi was on a nice roll a couple of weeks ago with six points in seven games, but what we really like is that he’s been producing on the PP and that his PT was way up in March — and he’s delivered. A second round pick in 2018, this kid has some nice upside, but with plenty of blueline talent on the way for the Kings, the time to establish himself is now.
- In continuing this week’s theme of newcomers, Boston recently signed undrafted centre Marc McLaughlin out of Boston College, and he wasted no time contributing in his NHL debut in potting a goal. The Massachusetts native averaged nearly a point per game as captain of BC this season, and is known for his defensive prowess, earning NCAA (Hockey East) Best Defensive Forward honours last season.
- At the other end of the experience spectrum, veteran defenseman Ryan Suter started March hot, but had gone five games without a point before scoring his sixth goal of the season on Thursday. He matched his season-best with five assists in March and is enjoying a decent bounce back campaign while logging his most PM since 2018-19. The old dude can still log a ton of minutes.
- The Devils’ recent road woes ensured they were eliminated from playoff contention, but don’t blame Jack Hughes. He scored New Jersey’s only marker on Thursday, giving him four goals over his last three games and six in the last five. Hughes has gotten better and better as the season has progressed and is enjoying a breakout effort in his third (albeit, injury-shortened) season. We’re definitely starting to see why he went first overall in 2019.
- It’s been about three and a half years since we last recommended Anaheim centre Isac Lundestrom, and he’s gotten better and better each season since. He was very quiet in the second half of March (although he did manage a rare minor penalty and went +1 with three shots on Thursday), but then opened this month with two goals and a helper. Consider Lundestrom a 20-goal candidate for next season, assuming his PT keeps rising.
- Despite scoring at least one goal in five straight (eight in total) before Friday (when he was held to two assists… what a stiff, huh?), Leon Draisaitl lost his battle to become the season’s first 50-goal man. Still, all he did last month was score 13 goals with 10 assists in 15 games, leaving him a single tally away from his second career 50-marker season. If you own Draisaitl, enjoy the ride!
- Carolina keeps rolling thanks to the stellar play of goalie Frederik Andersen. He earned his fourth shutout of the season on Thursday, and has now given up two goals or fewer in four of his last five outings. His play improved in February and was even better last month as he yielded just 15 goals (1.87 GAA). Andersen has stayed healthier this season in enjoying a career-best effort, one worthy of Vezina Trophy consideration given that he leads the league in goals saved above expected and GAA.
- The last Leaf to hit the half-century mark? Back in 1993-94, Dave Andreychuk potted 53 goals, the second time he reached the milestone en route to 640 career goals, still good for 15th place all-time.
- Montreal has gone back into the tank the last couple of weeks as goalie Jake Allen has been inconsistent at best, alternating good and bad outings over the final stretch of March. The thing is, he actually enjoyed his best month with a .921 save percentage, yet still gave up 3.31 goals per game thanks to getting shelled with shots. To wit, Allen’s save percentage is the same as last season, yet he’s giving up over a half a goal per game more.
RotoRob Tune of the Day
French journalist Claude Pierrard is best known for his time hosting the 1980s children TV show Croque-Vacances. Here’s the theme song.