Thursday Daily Puck: Don't Succumb To Vanek Panic
Thursday Daily Puck: Don't Succumb To Vanek Panic

This article is part of our The Daily Puck series.

Around the Rink

We're almost a quarter of the way into the season and it's maybe a good idea to start tracking streaks and not just the overall stats on your players. A long enough cold streak or a couple of patches of cold streaks and you might need to cut guys who have decent overall numbers if they can't be counted on, especially in weekly head-to-head formats.

In my roto league I'm dropping Alex Goligoski, even though he snapped his slump on Tuesday night. I don't feel like I can trust him and when there are guys like Tyson Barrie out there on waivers, I don't know that my team needs Goligoski. (I'm getting good TOI and hits elsewhere on my roster and can sacrifice in those categories for the bump I'll get in offensive production with Barrie.)

Also be wary of believing that guys are going to turn it around who just haven't been there this season. It's easy to keep a guy on your roster simply based on his reputation and not based on what he'll provide for your roster. I love Mikko Koivu as a player, but I might be at the point where I'd drop him for Jaden Schwartz or maybe Johnny Gaudreau. Koivu's production will pick up some, but it's likely to be a slower pace than past seasons and his reputation and name are partially built on his two-way play and face-off ability and maybe aren't skills that are earning your team points.

Be sure that you're not looking at a guy who will turn it around though. Sticking with the Wild, Thomas Vanek is in a similar situation, but I'm not dropping him if I can help it. The goals are going to come for him. He's in a semi-defensive system and playing with lots of two-way players who are not John Tavares. He needs some more time to adjust. I'd put Patrick Marleau in the same category as Vanek, though Marleau has produced a little more overall this year. He's struggling, but I'm not giving up on him unless it's through trade and his value may be too low to get a favorable trade right now.

-- If you saw the two games that took place last night laid out in front of you -- Rangers vs. Flyers and Canucks vs. Oilers -- you probably wouldn't have expected the latter to be the most exciting of the two.

It was a great game that had the strides the Oilers have taken as an organization on display. The Oilers kept it tight, trading goals with the Canucks and potting the tying goal with about eight seconds left, but it was a kick-in from David Perron. Then Taylor Hall got a walk in on the far side off the neutral zone face-off that Ryan Miller managed to stop.

A very tight game and has Vancouver taking four straight over Edmonton already this season. Edmonton isn't a playoff team, but they are finally showing signs of progress. I think Oilers fans aren't going to get what they hoped for this season, but will have a lot to be happy about at the end of the year. They won't be drafting for Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel.

It's a start.

Projected Goalie Starters (all times Eastern)
For updates on the projected goalies later in the day, check our Projected Goalies Grid

Minnesota Wild (Darcy Kuemper*) at Philadelphia Flyers (Ray Emery), 7:00 PM
Tampa Bay Lightning (Ben Bishop) at Toronto Maple Leafs (Jonathan Bernier), 7:30 PM
St. Louis Blues (Jake Allen) at Montreal Canadiens (Carey Price), 7:30 PM
Nashville Predators (Pekka Rinne) at Ottawa Senators (Robin Lehner), 7:30 PM
Detroit Red Wings (Petr Mrazek) at Winnipeg Jets (Ondrej Pavelec), 8:00 PM
Arizona Coyotes (Mike Smith) at Dallas Stars (Kari Lehtonen), 8:30 PM
Washington Capitals (Braden Holtby) at Colorado Avalanche (Semyon Varlamov), 9:00 PM
Chicago Blackhawks (Corey Crawford) at Calgary Flames (Jonas Hiller), 9:00 PM
Anaheim Ducks (Frederik Andersen) at Vancouver Canucks (Ryan Miller), 10:00 PM
Carolina Hurricanes (Cam Ward) at Los Angeles Kings (Jonathan Quick), 10:30 PM
Florida Panthers (Roberto Luongo) at San Jose Sharks (Antti Niemi), 10:30 PM

* confirmed starter

Injury News For Teams Playing Thursday

Minnesota Wild
Matt Cooke, LW (lower body) - Is not close to a return.
Jonas Brodin, D (illness) - Won't travel with the team.

Philadelphia Flyers
Michael Raffl, LW (lower body) - Will miss a number of weeks.
Kimmo Timonen, D (blood clots) - Is unlikely to play this season.
Ryan White, RW (chest) - Likely to return in December or January.
Claude Giroux, C (lower body) - Was supposed to miss last night's game, but played like a beast.
Andrew MacDonald, D (lower body) - Participated in Wednesday's morning skate.
Luke Schenn, D (upper body) - Did not play Wednesday.

Tampa Bay Lightning
Victor Hedman, D (hand) - Has resumed skating in full gear, but won't play Thursday.
Cedric Paquette, C (lower body) - Was removed from Tuesday's game.
Brett Connolly, RW (lower body) - Hopes to play Thursday.

Toronto Maple Leafs
Brandon Kozun, RW (ankle) - Practiced Tuesday.
Carter Ashton, RW (suspension) - Has been suspended for 20 games.
Joffrey Lupul, LW (hand) - Practiced Wednesday.
David Booth, LW (foot) - Is back at practice.

Montreal Canadiens
Mike Weaver, D (upper body) - Didn't play Tuesday.
Michael Bournival, C (shoulder) - Has resumed skating.

Nashville Predators
Mike Fisher, C (Achilles) - Is skating.
Viktor Stalberg, LW (knee) - Is on IR.

Ottawa Senators
Marc Methot, D (back) - Is skating again.

Detroit Red Wings
Stephen Weiss, C (groin) - Could return to NHL action on Saturday.
Pavel Datsyuk, C - Will travel with the team on their upcoming road trip.
Brendan Smith, D (hand) - Has been placed on IR.
Jonas Gustavsson, G (shoulder) - will miss about two months.

Arizona Coyotes
Martin Hanzal, C (lower body) - Did not play Tuesday.
David Moss, RW (upper body) - Hopes to return to practice next week.
Brendan Perlini, LW (hand) - Is out indefinitely.
Rob Klinkhammer, LW (upper body) - Didn't play Tuesday.
Brandon Gormley, D (lower body) - Will miss about a week.

Dallas Stars
Patrik Nemeth, D (arm) - Is out for the season.
Ryan Garbutt, RW (upper body) - Will not play in the next week.
Valeri Nichushkin, LW (hip) - Underwent surgery and will not return in the near future.

Washington Capitals
John Erskine, D (neck) - Remains out.
Brooks Laich, C (shoulder) - Did not play Tuesday.
Edward Pasquale, G (hip) - Is out indefinitely.
Dmitry Orlov, D (wrist) - Practiced with the team this week.
Aaron Volpatti, LW (neck) - Resumed practicing on Monday.
Liam O'Brien, C (lower body) - Did not play Tuesday.

Colorado Avalanche
Patrick Bordeleau, LW - Remains on IR.
Semyon Varlamov, G (groin) - Is considered day-to-day.
Jamie McGinn, LW (back) - Is questionable for Thursday's game.
Jesse Winchester, LW (concussion) - Suffered a setback in his recovery.
Ryan Wilson, D (shoulder) - Will undergo surgery and miss the remainder of the season.
Brad Stuart, D (hamstring) - Will not return Thursday.

Chicago Blackhawks
Trevor van Riemsdyk, D (knee) - Will miss three to four months.
Patrick Sharp, LW (knee) - Is making "good progress" toward a return.

Calgary Flames
Matt Stajan, C (knee) - Is on IR.
Mason Raymond, LW (upper body) - Has resumed skating.
Kris Russell, D (lower body) - Is questionable for Thursday's game.
David Jones, RW (upper body) - Did not play Tuesday.
Mikael Backlund, C (abdomen) - Is considered week-to-week.
Joe Colborne, C (wrist) - Is skating again.
Michael Ferland, LW (concussion) - Has been cleared to play, but is undergoing further evaluation.
Sam Bennett, LW (shoulder) - Had surgery and will remain out for a while.

Anaheim Ducks
Sheldon Souray, D (wrist) - Is still questionable to return to the game.
Francois Beauchemin, D (illness) - Is likely to return Thursday.
Dany Heatley, LW (groin) - Remains out.
Mark Fistric, D (lower back) - Is day-to-day.
Ben Lovejoy, D (finger) - Will miss three-to-five weeks.
John Gibson, G (groin) - Is still not ready to return to action.
Stefan Noesen, C (achilles) - Will be sidelined for four months.
William Karlsson, C (illness) - Hasn't been cleared to fly with the team and is unlikely for Thursday.
Chris Wagner, LW (upper body) - Will not travel with the team.

Vancouver Canucks
Tom Sestito, LW (lower body) - Remains out.
Luca Sbisa, D (undisclosed) - Has returned to practice.

Carolina Hurricanes
Jay Harrison, D (lower body) - May be available Thursday.
Jordan Staal, C (leg) - Remains out.

Los Angeles Kings
Alec Martinez, D (finger) - Will miss a week.
Slava Voynov, D (suspension) - Will not return until after issues are resolved from his domestic violence charges.

Florida Panthers
Sean Bergenheim, LW (lower body) - Will remain out Thursday.
Dave Bolland, C (groin) - Has yet to resume skating.
Dmitry Kulikov, D (knee) - Didn't play Tuesday.
Brandon Pirri, C (concussion) - Participated in Tuesday's morning skate, but is unlikely to appear Thursday.
Aleksander Barkov, C (illness) - Is questionable for Thursday.

San Jose Sharks
Alex Stalock, G (knee) - Will miss another couple weeks.
Raffi Torres, LW (knee) - Will be out at least another month.
Mike Brown, RW (hand) - Is skating again.

Hot

Anze Kopitar, C, LAK -- Kopitar has been crucial to LA shifting the scoring burden away from That 70s Line in recent games. He's got three multi-point nights over the last five games with a total of three goals and four assists in that span. The return of Marian Gaborik will help him keep that going after a slow start to the season.

Braden Holtby, G, WSH -- Holtby might not be the first goalie you drafted this year, but he's been playing like he should have been recently. Over the last four games he's crossed a .950 save percentage three times and won three of four. In the one loss he took he only allowed two goals and finished with a .923 save percentage. He's hot right now and worth riding as long as it lasts.

Cold

Patrick Marleau, RW, SJS -- Marleau found himself getting called out (not by name) by Sharks coach Todd McLellan following Tuesday's loss to the Buffalo Sabres, their second loss to the cellar dwellers this season. Marleau exploded out of the gate this season with four goals in the first five games. Since then he has gone 16 games without a 5-on-5 goal and has just one power play goal in that span. He's also gone five games now without recording a point at all. Marleau will recover, but owners should be a little concerned about McLellan getting frustrated with Marleau. With all the talent the Sharks have that could mean some reduced ice time and/or reduced power play time. He'll recover, but the team might make it tough on him.

Devin Setoguchi, RW, CGY -- Seto is a ways removed from the 30-goal and two 20-goal seasons he posted with San Jose, but this season has been rough even by the lower standards of recent years. Through his first 11 games this season he has yet to record a point. His ice time is being limited and he could quickly work his way out of the lineup on a more permanent basis if the numbers don't start to appear -- especially with the rise of so many talent young players in Calgary. At this point, outside of strange formats and incredibly deep leagues, there isn't a reason to have Setoguchi on your roster.

Recommended Pickup

Markus Granlund, C, CGY -- The "other" Granlund is making his mark in his rookie season. Despite battling an injury early on, he's been incredibly productive, registering three goals and five assists in his first nine games. He's also gaining the confidence of the coaching staff who turned to him when the game was on the line in Tuesday's game against Anaheim. He found himself playing over 21 minutes and logging good time on the power play. Granlund could very quickly become a coveted commodity in fantasy. In 16 career games he has five goals and six assists. Grab him; play him. However, be wary and keep an eye on him. He's young and could falter. Also, his career shooting percentage is in the low 20s and that's an unsustainable level. It will come down. That doesn't necessarily mean he won't produce -- his play keeps getting better and with power play time and increased ice time overall he may be able to sustain those production levels, but if you're rostering him you should be monitoring his ice time and production for signs of that shooting percentage regression effecting his overall fantasy value.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dustin Nelson
Dustin Nelson is a writer based out of NYC. His fantasy team is full of loafers.
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