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The Wire Troll: Goaltending Help For the Second Half

January 12, 2019 | by RotoRob | Comments Comments Off on The Wire Troll: Goaltending Help For the Second Half
Collin Delia has established himself as the goalie of the future for the Chicago Blackhawks.
Collin Delia has created some excitement in Chicago. (Twitter.com)

Welcome back to another week of Fantasy hockey. We’re now into mid-January and in about a week and a half, NHL Central Scouting will release its mid-season rankings, a boon for prospect hunters and dynasty league owners.

This week, Sergei Bobrovsky got in some hot water with his team, prompting a benching; Commissioner Gary Bettman has promised the new Seattle franchise that it will get a chance to host both the draft and the All-Star Game within the first seven years of its existence; and Alexander Steen will miss a couple of weeks after suffering a shoulder injury thanks to a punishing hit by Radko Gudas.

And now, let’s get to this week’s Fantasy hockey waiver wire picks…

Collin Delia, G, Chicago Blackhawks (ESPN: 3.5 per cent; CBS: 28 per cent): Delia has found himself as the main man in net for Chicago right now, and if nothing else, the youngster is facing plenty of rubber. He endured 37 shots on Wednesday, the fourth time in his last five games he’s dealt with that many or more (including games of 50, 48 and 42 shots against). Delia is vastly outplaying veteran Cam Ward, and the youngster seems to be establishing himself as the Blackhawks’ goalie of the future with just 15 goals allowed through six games after looking star struck in his two appearances last season. In his season debut on December 21, Delia looked like a different man, stopping 35 of 36 in a 2-1 win, and he’s been a big part of Chicago’s recent improved play that has pushed the team back into the wild card race. Starter Corey Crawford has proved very injury prone in recent seasons, opening the door for Delia, who has shot up the Blackhawks’ prospect list in the last year — not bad for a dude signed as an undrafted free agent. Delia is also a kid with an appreciation for old school stuff (see video below).

Anders Nilsson, G, Ottawa Senators (ESPN: unowned; CBS: 8 per cent): Starting back-to-back games this week, Nilsson showed a bend but don’t break mentality, giving up plenty of juicy rebounds, but only two goals allowed on 67 shots faced over the pair of contests. Recently traded from Vancouver, he now has a chance to play more often and is taking advantage so far, with a 2.25 GAA since joining the Sens. And for what it’s worth, both Nilsson’s Corsi For and Fenwick For percentages have risen since heading east.

Anton Khudobin, G, Dallas Stars (ESPN: 1 per cent; CBS: 15 per cent): Since being drafted by Minnesota in 2004, Khudobin has bounced around in his NHL career despite the fact he’s put up solid numbers everywhere he’s gone. Now with Dallas, he looked superb on Thursday, thwarting multiple odd man rushes by the Flyers to keep the Stars in the game. In his two previous games, Khodobin stopped all 49 shots in a shutout win against Nashville, and turned aside 36 of 37 to beat Washington. The veteran is worth a look in very deep formats.

Ice Chips

  • Washington centre Nicklas Backstrom shook off a three-game slump and a game off due to illness by scoring the game-winning goal on Thursday. He’s now +14 and is on pace for the fifth season of his career of more than a point per game.
  • Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds had scored twice in four games before looking nearly invisible — except a questionable minor penalty — on Thursday. He’s been healthy this season, but is on pace for just 35 points, his worst full-season total since arriving in Philly. The Wayne Train is sure to be dealt soon as the Flyers’ swoon continues, and a change of scenery may be just what he needs to get going.
  • Boston goalie Jaroslav Halak is enjoying a tremendous bounce back season and had been on a nice roll, but has slumped in the past couple of weeks. After giving up three goals on just 21 shots on Thursday, he’s now surrendered 11 tallies on 90 shots over his last three. With Tuukka Rask rolling now, Halak could see less action in the second half.
  • Toronto defenseman Ron Hainsey scored on Thursday, giving him two points in his last four games. He’s on pace for his best offensive output since he was a Thrasher, but more impressive is that he’s already a career-best +25 with nearly half a season to play.
  • Josh Bailey scored the game-winner on Thursday, but he’s had a tough time producing like he did last season with John Tavares gone. Bailey got off to a great start, but has been slipping since the beginning of November. Still, with a big second half, he could reach 20 goals for the first time.
  • New Jersey centre Blake Coleman is thrusting himself onto the Fantasy radar. With goals in back-to-back games and three in the last four, he’s already surpassed his total from last season with 14 tallies. Coleman could flirt with 30 goals this season the way he’s tearing it up lately.
  • At the beginning of December, we lauded the comeback season Henrik Lundquist was having. Uh, yeah. About that. He slipped in December (3.21 GAA, .906 save percentage), and has been absolutely putrid so far in January (.786 save percentage with 15 goals allowed in three starts). This stretch has taken GAA above 3.00 and his save percentage below .910 for the season — two places he’s never been over a full season.

RotoRob Tune of the Day

The late Buddy Miles was a well-traveled drummer, having been an original member of The Electric Flag and doing a stint in Jimi Hendrix‘s Band of Gypsys. As a solo artist, Miles’ debut album from 1970, Them Changes, made it into the top 10 of jazz albums for the year. From this effort comes “Dreams,” a cover of the classic Allman Brothers tune.

Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below who your favourite Fantasy hockey pickup of the week is.

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The Wire Troll: Cody Ceci to Get More Responsibility

January 5, 2019 | by RotoRob | Comments Comments Off on The Wire Troll: Cody Ceci to Get More Responsibility
Eakin was on a three-game point scoring streak, but was shut out Friday despite ripping four shots on net. Still, he failed to reach seven goals until February 21 last season, doing it three months faster this season, and with 12 already, should easily reach 20 goals for the first time.
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The Wire Troll: Chad Johnson Gets a Chance for Ducks

December 29, 2018 | by RotoRob | Comments Comments Off on The Wire Troll: Chad Johnson Gets a Chance for Ducks
Reimer is enduring a tough season, but he was better in beating Chicago on Sunday and will get the start vs. the Flyers on Saturday, a decent matchup. He’s earned six wins with a 3.45 GAA, and has gone 5-3-2 over his last 10 games.
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The Wire Troll: Brandon Carlo Getting More PT in Beantown

December 22, 2018 | by RotoRob | Comments Comments Off on The Wire Troll: Brandon Carlo Getting More PT in Beantown
Carlo keeps seeing more ice time, receiving at least 21 minutes in three of the last four games — especially at even strength, when he’s getting as much or more than any Bruin blueliner. Sure, some more PP time would really jack up his value, but did manage his first goal of the season just over a week ago, and he’s gone +2 over the last four. Expect Carlo’s +/- to continue to improve as the season progresses (he was +10 last season), and he’s improved his secondary numbers with 31 blocks, 15 takeaways and 21 PM already. An RFA at the end of the season, this U.S.-born player might get more chances with a team that had fewer offensive defensemen. Even so, Carlo reached the NHL very quickly, and has proven he belongs, but he’s not likely to ever put up a ton of points, so you really want him more for those peripherals.
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The Wire Troll: Alexander Edler Active on Power Play

December 15, 2018 | by RotoRob | Comments Comments Off on The Wire Troll: Alexander Edler Active on Power Play
A couple of weeks ago, the Jets brought up Appleton from the AHL, and while he’s yet to light the world on fire (one assist through his first eight games), we like his long-term prospects. Currently playing on the Jets’ fourth line, he’s not seeing much ice time, but he has managed shots in each of the last two games. Given what Appleton did in the AHL as a rookie last season (66 points) and this season (nearly a point per game), he’s clearly a dude to keep an eye on.
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