The Waiver Wire – For the week of December 22-December 29
Mark Scheifele WPG – ADD - Currently one of the hottest players in the league, he’s wildly under-owned (8%). On top of that, it seems that Winnipeg finally has a line that's clicking – with Scheifele, Michael Frolik, and Evander Kane finally all producing. We’ve been fans of his since before the season started, and he should be a big-time player in the NHL for a long time. It remains to be seen, however, if this is the emergence of his game, or simply a hot streak. We certainly hope – and expect – the former.
Peter Holland TOR – WATCH – With the depleted Toronto roster in dire need of help up the center, it seems that recent addition Holland is fitting into that role perfectly. Combined with Joffrey Lupul and Mason Raymond on the second line, Holland has found success of late, recording 2G 3A 5P +1 2PIM 1PPP 7SOG in his last 5GP. He’s not a high-scoring center by any means, but GMs looking for emergency replacements at center in deep leagues would be well served by adding Holland if the need is there.
Valtteri Filppula TBL – HOT STREAK – When Steven Stamkos went down with a broken leg, there were cries from the Tampa faithful that the season was over. In his absence, the Lightning have emerged as more than a one-trick pony. Players like Filppula have stepped up and risen to the occasion; in his last four games, Filppula has six points and is a fantastic +6. While we’re not sure how long this is going to run, if you’re looking to ride a hot streak, grab him until he cools off.
Ryane Clowe NJ – ADD IF AVAILABLE – Unless another GM has him in your pool and has him sitting on an IR spot, chances are he’s available in your league (he’s 5% owned). If he’s free, consider adding him – he’s almost back from a concussion, and, although his recent numbers have been pretty bad, we expect that he will be able to turn it around soon. He’ll get a lot of ice time in New Jersey, and should be able to net 30 points by the end of the year.
Nathan Horton CLS – ADD IF AVAILABLE – In the same vein as Clowe, Horton is nearing a return from pre-season shoulder surgery. He’s also in a better situation than Clowe; we expect that once he gets his feet under him and finds his game (mid-January) he should be able to rack up 30-35 points by the end of the year, while also getting a nice chunk of PIM and SOG. He may also get put up on the top line with Brandon Dubinsky and one of Boone Jenner or Cam Atkinson, which would benefit all three nicely.
Dany Heatley MIN – TRADE/DUMP – We’ll be the first ones to say it – we think this may be curtains for Heatley. It has been a rapid descent from the rarified air that he was in; only four years removed from a point-per-game season with San Jose, he’s going to be hard-pressed to make 30 points this year. His stat line of 7G 4A 11P -9 12PIM in 37GP has him on pace for 24 points for the season, and has earned him a well-deserved demotion to the fourth-line on Minnesota. If this keeps up, he may not have any suitors in the summer when his contract expires.
Olli Maatta PIT – WATCH – Pittsburgh is horribly depleted right now, and nowhere more so than in their defensive corp. Five of their top six are either injured or suspended, and yet, somehow they continue to win. A large reason for that has been the play of 19-year old Maatta, which has been a standout since making the team from camp. While it rightly took him some time to find his game – three points in his first 20 games – he has certainly found it since, recording eight points in his last 17 games, and more importantly, recording a +7 in that time. He’s also chewing up big-time minutes, averaging over 20 minutes a game in his last ten games. Remember: he’s 19. He is going to be a fantastic player when he matures into his body and truly learns the position.
Zach Bogosian WPG – ADD IF AVAILABLE – Another player back from injury, Bogosian recorded an assist Friday in his first game in over a month. Winnipeg missed the stability he brought to the defense, and his return paid immediate dividends. He a good defenseman if he’s available, and at 9% ownership, he probably is. Grab him if you can – we’re expecting that he should be good for about 30 points this year, while also contributing a healthy amount of PIM.
Sergei Gonchar DAL – WATCH – After signing a two-year deal in June, the 39-year old rearguard has undergone a dip in his production, compared to his previous years in Ottawa - part of this can be attributed to his reduced ice-time, and his role as a second-pairing defenseman. We’re sure part of that is also from not playing with Erik Karlsson. Regardless, he’s on a tear of late, recording six assists in four games, and is playing like a much younger man. Keep an eye on him to see if this might be something worth buying into.
Scott Clemmensen FLA – WATCH –With 33 points, Florida is only six behind Toronto for the last wildcard, and with the teams above them all in the midst of slides, it’s highly possible they might be able to close the gap further, especially with the stellar play of Clemmensen. While his season stats are anything but noteworthy (4-2-1 2.60GAA/.902SV%), he has only allowed more than two goals once in his last five games, and posted a 2.00 GAA/.933 SV% in that time, earning all four of his wins. If Florida is anything more than just a flash in the pan, we expect Clemmensen will have a major role in that.
Jeff Zatkoff PIT – WATCH – Starting the season as the third-string goalie, Zatkoff wasn’t expected to see NHL time whatsoever. With Tomas Vokoun going down to injury, and starter Marc-Andre Fleury running hot-and-cold, it’s not surprising that Zatkoff managed to get a chance. What is surprising is what he’s done with it – he’s won his last six starts, and has posted a 2.46GAA/.912SV%. While nobody is suggesting he’s going to steal the job away from Fleury, if you spot-start him, he’s going to do well for you, and he’s almost certainly available in your league.
Eddie Lack VAN – WATCH – In a similar situation to Zatkoff, Lack is performing very well in Vancouver with the chances he’s been given from Coach John Tortorella. In his seven starts this year, he’s 5-2-0 with a 1.98GAA/.927SV%, which is great for a backup. Given Luongo’s ups and downs, and penchant for injuries, we would suggest grabbing Lack and sitting on him if your roster can support it. Luongo will almost certainly play for Team Canada in February, and goalies on Olympic teams have a much higher chance for groin injuries – which Luongo is already well versed with. If that happens, Lack will have the crease until his return.
How did we do last week (as of end-of-day Saturday December 21)?
(When we judged our correctness, we looked at whether we were expecting performance or lack thereof.)
Ryan Strome NYI– WATCH /ADD – 3GP 0G 1A 2PIM [Neutral]
Jaden Schwartz STL – WATCH – 2GP 2G 1A +5 [Correct]
Vladimir Sobotka STL- WATCH – Injured [N/A]
Daniel Winnik ANA – WATCH – 3GP 0G 2A +1 [Correct]
Cam Atkinson CLS – SHORT-TERM ADD – 3GP 1G 0A +0 6PIM [Correct]
Matt Calvert CLS – SHORT-TERM ADD – 3GP 0G 1A -2 5PIM [Correct]
Nick Foligno CLS – ADD – 3GP 1G 2A +0 12PIM [Correct]
Jeremy Morin CHI – ADD IF NEEDED – Sent to minors [N/A]
Antoine Roussel DAL – ADD – 3GP 1G 0A +1 4PIM [Correct]
Jacob Trouba WPG – WATCH – 3GP 1G 1A +2 5PIM [Correct]
Victor Hedman TBL – ADD – 2GP 1G 2A +3 [Correct]
Martin Jones LAK – SHORT-TERM ADD – 3GP 3-0-0 1SO 0.95GAA/.963SV% [Correct]
Jonas Gustavsson DET – WATCH – 3GP 2-1 3.75GAA/.809SV% [Incorrect]
This week, we went 9-1-1, with two N/As. Historically, we’re now 55-23-21 for the season.
Grab players from these teams this week, if you can:
1. Boston Bruins – Three games this week – Nashville, then a home-and-home against Ottawa
2. Toronto Maple Leafs – Three games this week – New York Rangers, Buffalo, and Carolina
3. Pittsburgh Penguins – Three games this week – Ottawa, Carolina and Columbus
Avoid players from these teams this week, if you can:
1. Vancouver Canucks – One game this week – Calgary
2. Philadelphia Flyers – Two games this week – Minnesota and Edmonton
3. Montreal Canadiens – Two games this week – Back-to-back against Tampa Bay and Florida