The All-Star festivities meant that there weren’t many games played this week and none since Wednesday. This pause is a good opportunity to take stock of your team and look at what adjustments can be made.
As always, we have a list of players for you to consider during that process...
Benoit Pouliot (EDM) – LW – Owned in 4% of Yahoo leagues
Edmonton’s chances of making the playoffs are long gone, but the Oilers have started to bounce back regardless. They were always, at least on paper, a solid team offensively, which made their anemic play with the puck for much of the first half all the more glaring. Replacing coach Dallas Eakins with Todd Nelson seems to have helped matters, but the Derek Roy, who was acquired from Nashville on Dec. 29, has also helped round out Edmonton’s top-six forwards. Pouliot had a foot injury that forced him to miss December when Edmonton’s situation was at its bleakest, but he’s benefited from the changes the Oilers’ made since he returned on Jan. 2. He’s meshed well with Roy and under Nelson to score seven goals and eight points in nine contests since his return.
Anton Forsberg (CLM) – G – Owned in 3% of Yahoo leagues
Sergei Bobrovsky is expected to miss at least a month due to a groin injury and while that’s terrible for both him and Columbus, the silver lining is that it gives them an opportunity to test Forsberg. The 22-year-old goaltender hasn’t inspired confidence in his two contests at the NHL level this season, but he has an impressive 2.04 GAA and .927 save percentage in 27 AHL games. Given that Curtis McElhinney is far from an ideal starter option, Forsberg should get a fair shot at the job. If you have any room for an extra goaltender, pick up Forsberg now and see what happens.
Milan Michalek (OTT) – LW/RW – Owned in 3% of Yahoo leagues
The Ottawa Senators signed him to a three-year, $12 million contract over the summer and for much of this season, that’s looked like a bad call. After being held to 17 goals and 39 points in 82 contests last season, Michalek has struggled to do much of anything offensively in 2014-15. He’s bounced back recently though with three goals and six points in his last six contests. The All-Star break was certainly ill-timed for him, but he would make for an interesting gamble once play resumes. At the age of 30, he’s capable of bouncing back and that’s what we might be seeing the start of. Just don’t be afraid to dump him if he has a bad week.
Mark Scheifele (WPG) – C – Owned in 12% of Yahoo leagues
Scheifele got off to a slow start this season, but he has six goals and 24 points in his last 36 contests. Even brushing his early season struggles, Scheifele has been streaky this season, which might frustrate some fantasy owners. Still, when the dust settles, his sophomore campaign should be seen as a significant step forward from his solid rookie campaign. Look for him to add about another 25 points in Winnipeg’s final 36 games.
Michael Frolik (WPG) – C/RW – Owned in 14% of Yahoo leagues
If you have the choice between Scheifele and his linemate Frolik though, you might want to consider the latter. He took a similar path to Scheifele this season in the sense that he slumped out of the gate, but Frolik’s gone on to record 10 goals and 23 points in his last 37 contests. He doesn’t have the offensive upside that Scheifele possess so in a keeper league there’s no question that Frolik is the lesser option. If we’re just talking about how they’ll perform for the remainder of the season though, there’s a good chance that they’ll put up similar numbers. With that in mind, Frolik will be the better option in many cases given his duel positional eligibility.
Mark Stone (OTT) – RW – Owned in 4% of Yahoo leagues
Stone slipped to the sixth round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft and since then he’s been an offensive force in every level he’s played in. He went from recording 28 points in 39 WHL contests in the season before being drafted to 106 and 123 points in his subsequent two junior-level seasons. He made the jump to the AHL after that, recording 38 points in 54 contests as a rookie and 41 points in 37 games in his sophomore campaign last season. He also got his first taste of NHL action in 2013-14, although he was held to eight points in 19 contests. He’s become a full-time NHLer this season, but the Senators initially used him sparingly. He averaged just 13:47 and 14:18 minutes respectively in October and November, but that’s jumped to over 16 minutes per game since the start of December. He’s rewarded Ottawa for giving him an increased role by scoring six goals and 16 points in his last 22 contests. He’s a gamble, but not a bad one to take in standard leagues going forward.
Patrick Maroon (ANA) – LW – Owned in 6% of Yahoo leagues
Maroon was hot going into the break with two goals and five points in three games. His value mostly comes from his role as the third man on the top line with Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf. As long as he maintains that role, he’ll have some fantasy value. I wouldn’t read too much into his recent hot streak, but as an injury replacement or a depth player, he’s serviceable. Look for him to get around 20 points in Anaheim’s final 35 contests.
Alex Tanguay (COL) – LW/RW – Owned in 23% of Yahoo leagues
With Tanguay, what you see is what you get, but that’s not a bad thing in his case. With 13 goals and 32 points in 46 contests, he’s a decent option in standard leagues, especially given his eligibility on both wings. He also gets regular minutes with the man advantage and has collected eight of his points that way. He’s not the most exciting of options, but if you’re looking for a reliable injury replacement or a replacement for a chronically underperforming winger, then Tanguay might be your man.