Fantasy 50MC: NHL’s Final Week
It is the final week of the NHL regular season. For those leading the pack, you cannot wait til it is over and you can wrap the belt around your waist. For those who are in 2nd and 3rd wish the season can be one or two weeks longer. Nonetheless, the season is over next Sunday with the Rangers taking on the hot hot hot Philly Flyers. Whether fighting off pesky teams from your first place spot or trying to nab a podium position, I am here to provide you with players that may be in the free agent pool to help you need to finish off the season strong.
Blake Wheeler – the Bruins have a favorable 4 games remaining, even though 3 of 4 are on the road (@ Ottawa, vs. Montreal, @ Buffalo, @ New York Islanders). Wheeler has cooled off since the all-star break, but is now playing on the top line with Marc Savard and PJ Axelson.
Zach Bogosian – on an absolute tear since the all-star break. Decent schedule ahead for the Thrashers too (Washington, Florida, Tampa). Got a rocket for a shot and is getting a great opportunity for the re-building Thrash.
David Moss – Calgary is a desperate team and are going to need someone to step up. Jarome Iginla is surely to put up his numbers, but secondary scoring will be led by Moss. Flames play LA, @ Vancouver, @ Edmonton and Edmonton.
Scott Walker & Chad LaRose – Carolina is playing unreal right now, especially at home. Two of their last three games are at home (Islanders and Buffalo). Walker is back from post-concussion syndrome and LaRose has been on fire lately.
Nikita Filatov – He’s back from Syracuse. Columbus doesn’t have that great of a week (@ Chicago, @ St. Louis, v. Minnesota) it’s actually pretty terrible. But Filatov doesn’t know any better – he just wants to produce. He knows he needs to make an impression now to build on a roster spot next season.
Niklas Kronwall – He should already be taken in your league, if not, get him now. Detroit has a great schdule this week (@ Buffalo, vs. Nashville, vs. Chicago @ Chicago) and with Brian Rafalski nursing an injury, Kornwall is your man. Also, watch out for the younger kids (Filpula, Hudler) who will get a chance to produce if Babcock wants to limit his stars’ minutes.
Jamie Langenbrunner & Travis Zajac – The Devils have not been playing well of late, but have a really nice schedule this week: vs. Toronto, @ Ottawa, vs. Carolina. If these two guys are stil available, put them atop your watch list immediately.
Kyle Okposo – The Islanders really don’t have a good schedule coming up, plus they are the Islanders. However, Okposo has been on fire lately. He is proving why he has comparisons to Jarome Iginla. 13 points in the last 11 games for KO. Even if you don’t need him, stash him in keeper leagues and give yourself the option of keeping him next year. That’s what I’m doing.
Claude Giroux – MUST MUST MUST PICK UP. Giroux has been lighting it up lately, finding chemistry with Danny Briere. In addition, the Flyers have the most favorable final week in hockey: vs. Florida, @ New York Rangers, @ New York Islanders, vs. New York Rangers. The Flyers are flying high and will continue through the week. If the Flyers decide to rest their stars before the playoffs, Giroux will get more TOI and more opportunity. 7 points in the last 3 games for Giroux.
Bill Guerin & Chris Kunitz – The Pens have a really nice final 3 games: @ Tampa Bay, vs. New York Islanders, @ Montreal, and these two are more than likely going to be playing with either Malkin or Crosby. Both guys have been close to a point per game since coming to Pittsburgh, so if you want a sure thing, take one.
TJ Oshie – St Louis is a very hungry team and is very much in the hunt for a playoff spot. They will be psuhing really hard in the last week, and they have a great schedule to make some noise: @ Phoenix, vs. Columbus, @ Colorado. Oshie has been great lately. He has been scoring highlight reel goals and PWNing Rick Nash. Twice!
David Backes – Having an unbelievable season so far. He has 8 goals in the past 10 games, including 4 goals last game. Must be looked at very hard, due to the desperation of the Blues. They are playing well, clicking on all cylinders, which is led by Backes.
Jonathan Cheechoo – Not the 50 goal scorer he used to be, but he is finding his touch lately with goals in his last 2 games. He is playing more and more with Joe Thornton and it has paid dividends. He has . In addition, San Jose has a really favorable schedule this week: vs. Colorado, vs. Phoenix, @ Los Angeles. They also want to win that President’s Trophy, so they will want to win these games. They have also been kind of weak lately, so a good week will get them in a groove for the playoffs.
Alex Burrows & Ryan Kesler – Vancouver is on fire. Every line is productive and both of these guys have been great down the stretch. Canuck’s final week: vs. Calgary, vs. Los Angeles, @ Colorado.