Welcome back to another week of Fantasy hockey. We’re down to less than two weeks remaining in the regular season, so time to make your final push.
This week, the IIHF-NHL impasses over the Olympics continues to ratchet up; Logan Couture could miss some time after taking a puck in the face on Saturday; and Florida Coach/GM Tom Rowe admits he may have rushed Aaron Ekblad back to the lineup.
Now let’s get to our Fantasy hockey waiver wire picks of the week…
Sean Couturier, C, Philadelphia Flyers (ESPN: 10.3 per cent; CBS: 18 per cent): Couturier has found his scoring touch as of late. He began his run in a home win against Pittsburgh, in which he had a goal and an assist, while going +2. Then, in another home win against Carolina, Couturier had three assists and went +3. Finally, in a win in Minnesota, he scored a goal (which was either fluky, or incredibly skilled; see video below) and went +2. In March, Couts has 10 points (three goals, seven assists), has gone +10 and is really showing some improved playmaking ability. For the season, he’s averaging about 2.5 shots.
Brayden Point, C, Tampa Bay Lightning (ESPN: 17.7 per cent; CBS: 20 per cent): In the last seven games, Point is living up to his name and then some by averaging over a point. Some recent highlights include a two-goal game, one of which came on the power play (that was also the game winner), in a road win over the Rangers. In the next game, Point scored a goal against Ottawa, then, after a two-assist performance, he had a goal and assist and was +2 in a big win in Boston. He kept the party going by setting up the overtime winner in Detroit. Point has moved to the top line, so with the Lightning making a run for the playoffs, he is someone to consider scooping up.
Michael Del Zotto, D, Philadelphia Flyers (ESPN: 10.5 per cent; CBS: 10 per cent): After a long pointless drought, Del Zotto has stepped up his play of late, including a two-assist performance and a +5 ranking in a win in Buffalo. Then, against the New Jersey Devils, he scored his first goal since December, and picked up an assist. Finally, he picked up a short-handed assist in Winnipeg. So far this month, MDZ is +8 and is averaging nearly 2.5 shots while playing his usual 20 minutes per game.
Eddie Lack, G, Carolina Hurricanes (ESPN: 3.9 per cent; CBS: 8 per cent): Lack has won each of his last three starts, beating Minnesota, Nashville and Montreal — all teams that will be heading to the postseason. Lack’s GAA over this stretch is 1.33. Need a DFS play? Lack is expected to start Monday against Detroit.
Jaroslav Halak, G, New York Islanders (ESPN: 13.8 per cent; CBS: 31 per cent): After being called up from the minors last week, Halak stopped 37 shots in a win in Pittsburgh. After going 17-7-3 with a .925 save percentage in the minors, he’ll be counted on to help the Islanders push towards the playoffs, even if he is a backup to Thomas Greiss. Still, the team might put Halak in to face some tough opponents, especially with his confidence back. Clearly, Halak is happy to be back in the NHL, so expect the veteran to do everything in his power to remain there.
Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below who your favourite Fantasy hockey waiver wire pick of the week is.
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