Football season’s over, but the lockout-shortened hockey season’s just getting underway – and with it, fantasy hockey is back, too. To help your team skate away with a league title, Daniel Dobish of RotoExperts.com is here with what you need to look for in the coming week of NHL action. Below, what you need to know for 2/4-2/10.
Tampa Bay Lightning W Cory Conacher is starting to garner some serious fantasy attention, and he’ll continue to do so if he keeps scoring at this kind of clip. He has managed five goals and 12 points through eight games. The point total leads all NHL rookies, and he has a tremendous plus-8 rating and an impressive .417 shooting percentage. If he is available off of your waiver wire, and he is still available in 11 percent of all leagues, he should be snapped up immediately.
Conacher isn’t the only rookie making waves: Detroit Red Wings C Damien Brunner has posted four goals with six points this season, and he made plenty of highlight reels with his drag and drop shootout goal earlier this season. Brunner, too, has watched his fantasy ownership rocket into the 80-85 percent range, but if he remains available, he should be added immediately. He isn’t going to cool off as long as he holds his own and remains on a scoring line with C Pavel Datsyuk and W Henrik Zetterberg.
The breakdown, team-by-team, for the upcoming week:
Teams with four games (9): Anaheim, Buffalo, Detroit, Edmonton, Nashville, New Jersey, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Toronto
Teams with three games (20): Boston, Calgary, Carolina, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Florida, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Montreal, N.Y. Islanders, N.Y. Rangers, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Phoenix, St. Louis, San Jose, Vancouver, Washington, Winnipeg
Team with two games (1): Colorado
TV time (national broadcasts in the upcoming week):
MON: Dallas at Colorado (NBCSN, 9:00pm ET)
TUE: Tampa Bay at Philadelphia (NBCSN, 7:30pm ET)
WED: Boston at Montreal (NBCSN, 7:30pm ET)
THU: Washington at Pittsburgh (NHLN, 7:00pm ET)
FRI: Anaheim at Dallas (NHLN, 8:30pm ET)
SAT: Pittsburgh at New Jersey (NHLN, 1:00pm ET), Winnipeg at Ottawa (CBC, 2:00pm ET), Edmonton at Detroit (CBC, 2:00pm ET), Phoenix at San Jose (NHLN, 4:00pm ET), Toronto at Montreal (NHLN, 7:00pm ET), Calgary at Vancouver (10:00pm ET)
SUN: Los Angeles at Detroit (NBC, 12:30pm ET), New Jersey at Pittsburgh (NBCSN, 7:30pm ET)
Nashville Predators W Martin Erat (ankle, foot) was clipped by a shot in the ankle or foot region during practice Friday, and he missed Saturday’s game at San Jose as a result. If you normally depend on Erat, he should be reserved heading into the upcoming scoring period.
Philadelphia Flyers W Wayne Simmonds (concussion) suffered a concussion when he was elbowed in the head by Washington Capitals D John Erskine. As such, Erskine has received a three-game suspension. Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren has said there is no timetable for Simmonds’ return. Hold on dropping him, but reserve him immediately in all formats.
Dallas Stars W Ray Whitney (foot) is expected to be sidelined anywhere from a month to six weeks due to a broken foot. It’s a shame for Whitney and his fantasy owners, since he was humming along with two goals, six points and a plus-2 rating. If you’re in desperate need of the roster spot, it might not be a bad idea to drop him.
Columbus Blue Jackets D James Wisniewski (upper body injury) left Saturday’s game after falling awkwardly into the boards while chasing a loose puck. The exact nature of his injury is uncertain, but he is likely to miss some time. He might have a concussion, and therefore should be reserved in all pools.
Photos via Getty