It’s been another great week of Fantasy hockey with surprise sleepers and studs lurking around every corner. Here at RotoRob.com, we’ve adjusted our teams accordingly and suggest you do, too.
Without further ado, here are this week’s Fantasy hockey waiver wire picks.
Kyle Palmieri, RW, Anaheim Ducks (ESPN: 7 per cent; CBS: 29 per cent): Palmieri, 219th in our Dynasty League Rankings, has been a decent second and third line scoring winger for the Ducks the past few seasons and that hasn’t changed. In Week 19, he had a goal, four points, a plus-3 rating, two penalty minutes, a power play point, a game-winning goal, 12 shots on goal, five hits and two blocks. He has 12 goals, 22 points and a minus-1 rating in 35 games this season, making him a very intriguing option likely still available on your waiver wire. Just look at the touch Palmieri had as a nine-year-old boy (see video below). Snatch him up!
Blake Comeau, LW/RW, Pittsburgh Penguins (ESPN: 19.4 per cent; CBS: 42 per cent): Comeau had a three-game drought there, but still has three goals and six points in as many games since returning from an upper-body injury that saw him miss a considerable amount of time. He had two goals, three points, a plus-3 rating, four penalty minutes, a game-winning goal, 13 shots on goal, 17 hits and three blocked shots last week. Comeau has 14 goals, 25 points and a plus-10 rating in 38 games.
Nail Yakupov, RW, Edmonton Oilers (ESPN: 6 per cent; CBS: 39 per cent): Like his team, Yakupov hasn’t had the best of seasons (not to mention the best start to his career). In 61 games, the 2012 first overall pick has nine goals, 21 points and a thoroughly abysmal minus-28 rating. However, he’s been on a roll since February 9, scoring four goals and eight points in eight games. Yakupov had three goals, four points, a power play point, 13 shots on goal, five hits and two blocks last week. We’re not suggesting you scoop this guy up immediately, but if he keeps up his current pace, he’ll be worth adding for sure.
Milan Michalek, LW/RW, Ottawa Senators (ESPN: 3.9 per cent; CBS: 14 per cent): Michalek has elevated his play of late with four goals and eight points in Ottawa’s last six games. He had a pretty solid Week 19 with a goal, four points, a plus-1 rating, a power play point, 11 shots on goal, a face-off won and two hits. Michalek has 11 goals, 24 points and a minus-3 rating in 52 games this season.
Curtis McElhinney, G, Columbus Blue Jackets (ESPN: 19.5 per cent; CBS: 32 per cent): Are you looking for a third goaltending option? If so, McElhinney is just the man for the job. So far this season, the Blue Jackets backup has 10 wins, a 2.68 goals against average and a .918 save percentage in 25 appearances. He’s coming off a great week with two wins, a 1.68 goals against average and a .948 save percentage in three appearances.
STUDS AND DUDS
“Studs and Duds” is our weekly segment on who was hot and who was not in Fantasy hockey in the previous week.
No. 1. Alex Ovechkin, LW/RW, Washington Capitals: “Alex the Great” has been a beast this season and is currently ranked as Yahoo’s No. 1 Fantasy hockey skater. That didn’t change with his four-goal, eight-point effort last week, in which he also added a plus-4 rating, four power play points, a game-winning goal, 23 shots on goal, seven hits and three blocked shots. Unsurprisingly, the Caps are on a four-game win streak.
No. 2. Nicklas Backstrom, C, Washington Capitals: Washington’s other superstar also had a great week, with two goals, seven points, a plus-3 rating, five power play points, 12 shots on goal, 47 face-offs won, three hits and two blocks. Often overshadowed by names like Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Steven Stamkos, Backstrom is one of the most underrated superstars in the league with 145 goals and 558 points in 555 career games. Not too shabby.
No. 3. Carey Price, G, Montreal Canadiens: Price continued his bid as the season’s best netminder with two wins, a 0.97 goals against average, a .962 save percentage and a shutout in three of Montreal’s four games last week.
No. 1. Kari Lehtonen, G, Dallas Stars: Lehtonen was having a relatively decent week, then he ran into a Detroit meat grinder in a 7-6 overtime loss on Saturday. In three appearances last week, he had one win, 11 goals against for a 4.50 goals against average and an .864 save percentage.
No. 2. John Gibson, G, Anaheim Ducks: Gibson is one of the world’s best young up-and-coming netminders. After an awful beginning to the week, he showed that by consistently improving over his four starts, wrapping it up with a great one-goal against effort on 27 shots in a 2-1 win over Edmonton on Saturday. Gibson had two wins, 13 goals against for a 3.28 goals against average and an .887 save percentage.
No. 3. Tuukka Rask, G, Boston Bruins: Like the rest of the Bruins, Rask is struggling right now. In three appearances in Week 19, the Finnish backstop had nine goals against, a 3.40 goals against average and an .864 save percentage.
And that’s it for our coverage this week. How did you do? Tell us in the comment section below.
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