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Anze Kopitar
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The Roundtable

The Roundtable: Week 8

by Michael Finewax

This week’s question is:

Which player who is off to a bad start, is worth trading for right now?


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Joey: I'm going with Max Pacioretty. After a down year and a trade out of Montreal, expectations were sky-high for the 30-year-old winger. Unfortunately, he's gotten off to a slow start for a couple of reasons. First, this was the first time he had been traded in his NHL career. The adaptation to his new team has taken a while, but he's already starting to look more comfortable. Second, the center he was supposed to play with, Paul Stastny, has been hurt for most of the year. Pacioretty has always been a streaky scorer, and he now has six goals in his last five outings. Don't be surprised if he scores between 35-40 goals, again, this season. 


Ryan: Anze Kopitar seems like a good one to target because he's someone fantasy owners might be losing faith in.  After all, Kopitar had 52 points in 2016-17, so is the fact that he's been limited to six goals and nine points in 20 contests a slump or a regression?  It's certainly possible that 2017-18 was simply a last hurrah for Kopitar, but he's only 31-years-old and is far from the only player on the Kings that has gotten off to a rough start.  I see him as a prime bounce back candidate and if you can get him cheap enough now than the risk to you might end up being minimal.


Corey: It's been a sluggish start to the season for Victor Hedman.  His 0.56 points per game is his worst since 2012-13 when he posted 0.45 over 44 appearances.  However, he has started to be more productive with one goal and three assists in four matches going into Sunday night's action.  If you can pry him away from someone then that move should pay off.  Hedman was much better in the second half in 2017-18 with 30 points, including 11 goals, in 33 matches after the All-Star break.   


Daniel: I have been targeting Ivan Provorov in many of my fantasy leagues, as he is off to a brutal start. Through 23 games he has just two goals and seven points after managing 17 goals with 41 points and a plus-17 rating in a breakout season last year. He is a hit machine who helps fantasy owners in that category, and he has a willingness to sacrifice his body with plenty of blocked shots. However, it was his offense that really made him special last season, and there is no reason to believe he can't ratchet things back up again. If so, he'll be an outstanding buy-low target.


Brian: Ryan makes a good case for Anze Kopitar, but an equally good argument could be made for Jeff Carter. Since 2013, Carter has been a 60-point per season player. But in 22 games so far this campaign, Carter is stuck on 11 points, about 20 points per season behind his usual production. The Kings are not a good team, but I still expect Carter to improve his point-per-game total to a more respectable .70 over the Kings' final 60 games. 



Michael: Shayne Gostisbehere of the Flyers. He had 65 points in 78 games last season and 46 points in 64 games as a rookie so he is capable of scoring a lot. He has only three goals and 11 points in 23 games thus far and is floundering much like most of the Flyers this season. He can be counted upon to return to form as he leads the Flyers in power play time on ice and is quarterbacking the first unit. Look for the Flyers to bounce back with Gostisbehere leading the charge.

Michael Finewax

Michael Finewax is entering his 16th season as the Senior Hockey Writer and Editor for Rotoworld. You can follow him on Twitter @mfinewaxhockey.