A day later than usual, but it’s time to take a look back at Week 7 in the world of fantasy hockey. A quarter of the NHL season is over with, and a lot of the hot starts have fizzled out, while others have taken off. Week 6 impressions can be found here. Let’s get going on this past week.
Week 7 Fantasy Hockey Impressions
New York Rangers
Defenceman Anthony DeAngelo has been steadily turning into quite the fantasy hockey stud for the New York Rangers. All eyes were on Jacob Trouba heading into 2019-20. Trouba has been a category filler, but DeAngelo is out there putting up the points. In his last seven games, he has points in six of them, with seven total over that span. He’s tied for fourth in the league in goals by a defenceman. Chipping in six power-play points increases his stock as well. Still less than half of Yahoo! leagues have DeAngelo rostered, so act fast if he’s still out there.
Owners who have patiently waited on Florida Panthers defenceman Keith Yandle to get going have been handsomely rewarded of late. Yandle went off last year, tallying nine goals and 53 assists, including a staggering 39 points on the power play. Things are even better this season. Yandle is on pace for a career-high 74 points and already has 11 of them on the power play. The Panthers top unit revolves around Yandle and he’s absolutely smashing it lately. In Week 7 alone, he had a goal, seven assists, and four power-play points. Plus eight blocked shots.
Once again, we’re talking about Colorado Avalanche rookie phenom Cale Makar. The season he’s having is simply amazing. Makar kicked off Week 7 scoring a goal on his only shot. He was blanked in the next game but busted out four assists on Saturday. He even tossed in three blocked shots in that game to help out the banger owners. It was a tad disappointing to see Makar only rack up two shots on goal all week after getting 13 the week prior, but no one is complaining about five points from a defender. Makar is up to five goals and 17 assists on the year, on pace for 90 points. The record for a rookie defenceman is 76 points, set back in 1980-81 by Larry Murphy of the Los Angeles Kings.
You’re reading that correctly, a Dallas Stars player finally makes it into Who’s Hot. Another defenceman, Miro Heiskanen, had himself a dandy of a week. The sophomore had a goal and four assists to go along with 12 shots on goal. He added a couple of hits and five blocks, as well. For fantasy hockey purposes, the 20-year-old didn’t quite have the points to fully stand out in his rookie season. But now he’s on pace for 55 points this season. John Klingberg is out with an injury, so Heiskanen is seeing a spike in power playtime. Hopefully, he can add to his lone power-play point so far.
Detroit Red Wings
Former St. Louis Blues winger Robby Fabbri has found new life as a member of the Detroit Red Wings. Fabbri is seeing top-six minutes and has six points in five games as a result. Injury woes completely shattered Fabbri’s chances of taking off for the Blues, even after a promising playoff performance as a rookie back in 2015-16. That year, he posted 15 points in 20 playoff games for the Blues. The next season, he played in only 51 games. The year after only 32. Health looks to be in order for once, and Fabbri looks like the playoff wizard from yesteryear. He’s only 16 percent owned in Yahoo! right now and is a dual-eligible winger.
Yes, Winnipeg Jets winger Patrik Laine had three assists on Thursday, but he still deserves a mention here for how invisible he’s been over the past month. Before that game, Laine had three points in his previous nine games. In the first eight games of the season, the 21-year-old had three goals and nine assists. It looked like the old Laine was back! And then he went on the skids. After last season’s epic meltdown – in case you’ve forgotten, he had six goals in his last 41 games while scoring 24 in the first 41 – any prolonged scoring issues with Laine are glaring red flags in the eyes of fantasy owners. We’re up to one goal in his last 14 games now.
There are two ways to look at this. Either it’s epic meltdown Laine in the making, or it’s just a bit of a funk. His shooting percentage this year is far below his norm, while his shot totals are higher than usual. Laine is on pace for 276 shots, which would be the most he’s had in a season. Buy low, perhaps? Surely more than 6.3 percent have to go in the net sooner rather than later. Not to mention he already has 14 assists when he had 20 all of last year.
Vegas Golden Knights
Winger Mark Stone of the Vegas Golden Knights has been ice cold for a couple of weeks. Stone did finally manage a goal Sunday night to break a seven-game goal drought – it had been six games since he’d registered a point at all. Overall, Stone still has strong numbers, with nine goals and 10 assists in 22 games. More good news is that his shooting percentage is right in line with what he’s been doing for years now. There’s no need to worry about Stone. Play him with confidence.
Montreal Canadiens defenceman Jeff Petry started the season strong, looking like the Habs defender to own in fantasy hockey. Things have taken a turn for the worse, however. The 31-year-old has one point in his last five games. Petry is still contributing an excellent amount of hits and a good amount of blocks, but the lack of points lately is a bit of a concern. Especially the low number of power play points despite averaging 2:47 power play time on ice this season. He’s on pace for a career-best 221 hits this season, at least.
Carolina Hurricanes defenceman Jaccob Slavin has gone from hot to not in the span of two weeks after getting a shoutout in Who’s Hot for Week 5. Slavin is logging serious minutes again this year, but only has one assist to show for his last seven games. The shots have been decent, but the hits and blocks have fallen off of late. He still has no power play points and isn’t filling out the categories like he was in the early weeks. It’s time to send him packing.
Almost unbelievably, Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick had a stellar week. Quick was one of two goalies to win three games in Week 7, posting a 2.00 goals-against-average and a .925 save percentage. Two wins came against two of the very worst teams in the league, the Red Wings and the Minnesota Wild. Quick also beat the Golden Knights, but they’ve been losing a lot lately. Even so, Quick stopped 74 of 80 shots overall. Not bad for a guy who was pretty much bottom of the barrel going into the week.
San Jose Sharks goalie Martin Jones is on a six-game winning streak. The Sharks offence has finally come to life, giving Jones some goal support, which is leading to more wins. His numbers are still rather terrible, but he still holds a lot of value in leagues that count wins and saves. In leagues that count ratios, however, Jones isn’t worth it, even if the wins keep coming.
It was a rollercoaster week for Colorado Avalanche rookie Adam Werner. Starter Philipp Grubauer has been out since the first week of November, and backup Pavel Francouz was injured within the first minute of Tuesday’s game. Werner, in his first-ever NHL appearance, stopped all 40 Jets shots he saw. The shutout was not awarded since he didn’t start the full game, but what a debut nonetheless. Yet in his next outing, Werner got blasted for five goals on only 18 shots. It’s a little unfair if Connor McDavid‘s power-play hat trick isn’t brought up, but it’s still a woeful outing after a remarkable one.
Only two shutouts in Week 7. One belonged to Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, his second of the season. Also earning his second shutout was Arizona Coyotes goalie Darcy Kuemper, who is currently the best goalie as far as Yahoo! standard leagues are concerned.
Schedule Highlights (Nov. 18 – Nov. 24)
Here are the most and least games by teams this week. If your fantasy hockey league locks lineups weekly, consider sitting all but the very best players who will only play once or even twice. For streaming purposes, focus on the four-game guys, or at least guys who play off-nights. Heavy nights are Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Off-nights are Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.
Arizona, Carolina, Detroit, Edmonton, Florida.
Second straight week the Coyotes play four games. Arizona has two off-night games, while the other four teams listed all play every heavy night then again on Sunday.
Every other team in the league plays three games this week.
Highlight of the Week
This week’s highlight goes to Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck, flashing the leather as time wound down in the third period.
Looks like Connor Hellebuyck's earned himself a free dinner after this save. ? pic.twitter.com/Wy1VrWhSZd
— NHL (@NHL) November 17, 2019