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Waiver Wired

Look toward the playoffs

by Corey Abbott
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Most fantasy leagues will be kicking off their playoffs shortly, so some roster tweaking could be on the agenda. Some of you are probably wrestling with the idea of dropping big name players who are failing to live up to expectations and I'll attempt to give you some options for replacements. Congrats to you if you have clinched a playoff berth and good luck the rest of the way!

 

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Jori Lehtera (STL) - C - Owned in 25% of Yahoo leagues

 

The STL Line has been heating up again, which is great news for Lehtera. It's been an up and down first season in the NHL for the 27-year-old center. He has 10 goals and 38 points in 61 games, but he has enjoyed some very productive stretches. Skating between Vladimir Tarasenko and Jaden Schwartz provides him with a significant boost. He has contributed one goal and four assists in his past four games.

 

Mikael Backlund (CGY) - C - Owned in 4% of Yahoo leagues

 

Backlund extended his point streak to eight straight games on Saturday night against Colorado. He has collected three goals and six helpers over that span. Backlund has played alongside a variety of linemates during his hot streak, but that hasn't stopped him from contributing. He's also been getting plenty of ice time in that stretch and he's topped 20 minutes four times. Backlund, who has been limited to 39 games this season due to injuries, is enjoying the highest point-per-game rate of his career at 0.64. He has registered 25 points on the year.

 

Mark Stone (OTT) - RW - Owned in 17% of Yahoo leagues

 

Stone has been churning out points for the Senators since the calendar shifted to 2015. He had 11 points in 12 games in January, which was followed by another 11 points in 12 games in February and now he has six points in seven contests in March. Stone ranks third in scoring among rookies with 45 points in 65 games. He's been a comfortable fit on a line with Kyle Turris and Milan Michalek and sees plenty of time on the power play.

 

Ryan Spooner (BOS) - C - Owned in 4% of Yahoo leagues

 

Spooner has received an elevated role with the Boston following a knee injury to David Krejci. He has been taking advantage of his opportunity to replace Krejci on a line between Milan Lucic and David Pastrnak. His seven-game point streak came to an end on Saturday afternoon against Pittsburgh, but he still generated three shots and a plus-1 rating. Going into that match, the 23-year-old center had three goals and five assists during his scoring spree. He has registered nine points in 10 games since he rejoined the big club in late February. David Pastrnak is another player who can target because he's been meshing well with Spooner. He's owned in 8% of Yahoo leagues and has three goals and six assists as well in his last 10 outings as well.

 

Kris Russell (CGY) - D - Owned in 32% of Yahoo leagues

 

Russell is another player who has stepped up after a big injury. Captain Mark Giordano is out for the rest of the year because of surgery for a torn biceps tendon. That gave Russell a shot at manning the point on the top power-play unit. He has collected five of his eight points when Calgary has had the man advantage in his past six matches. Russell also leads the league with 237 blocks. That's 46 more than Nashville's Roman Josi, who sits second overall.

 

Michael Frolik (WPG)- RW, C - Owned in 13% of Yahoo leagues

 

Frolik took an eight-game point streak into Saturday's game versus Tampa Bay, but it came to an end in Winnipeg's 2-1 victory. For most of that time, he was skating with Andrew Ladd, who leads the team in scoring, and Bryan Little. When Little got hurt, the two of them were joined by Adam Lowry. Winnipeg is battling for a playoff spot and Frolik is looking for a new contract as pending unrestricted free agent, so he has plenty of motivation to finish the season strong.

 

Jakob Silfverberg (ANA) - LW, RW - Owned in 15% of Yahoo leagues

 

Silfverberg has been a fixture on the second line with Ryan Kesler and newcomer Tomas Fleischmann for a while now. He has registered five goals and nine assists in his last 19 matches.  He has posted six points in seven games so far this month to go with a plus-4 rating and 17 shots.  Silfverberg is a bit under the radar right now because he struggled mightily in January, so snatch him up if you can.

 

David Booth (TOR) - LW - Owned in 1% of Yahoo leagues

 

Booth's appearance on the list certainly comes as a surprise after he had just one goal and five points in 39 games through the month of February. He has been vastly improved since the start of March and he's generated five goals and two assists in his last seven contests. He had a seven-game scoring streak snapped on Saturday night against Vancouver, but he still had his chances. Booth has been taking advantage of an increase in ice time and could be an option as a short-term addition.

Corey Abbott

Corey Abbott is an Editor for Hockey on Rotoworld. Feel free to follow him on Twitter @CoreAbbott.