After scoring two goals in Vancouver’s 6-4 comeback win in St. Louis last night, Canucks center Mats Sundin (six goals, four assists, -4, 16 PIM) has returned to full-fledged fantasy relevance. He’s 77.3 percent owned in ESPN leagues, 57 percent owned in Yahoo! — so there’s a chance you can snag him as a No. 2 center.
In his last three games, Sundin has four goals and three assists. In his last 10 games, Sundin has six goals and four assists. In the last month, Sundin (five goals, four assists, -2, 10 PIM) has produced comparably to Sabres center Derek Roy (three goals, six assists, +2, two PIM). And there’s no way you’re getting a player of Roy’s caliber (99.1 percent owned in ESPN, 88 percent in Yahoo!) for free.
In real NHL terms, San Jose’s 5-2 win in Boston was the game of the night. In fantasy terms, it was the Canucks-Blues clash that had all the cache. Aside from the Sundin showcase, there were these items of interest:
- It was a fourth consecutive healthy scratch for Canucks defenseman Shane O’Brien (no goals, seven assists, +7, 132 PIM). O’Brien has not played since January 28. At this point, he’s worth dropping, especially because the Canucks have won three in a row. O’Brien is a useful fantasy player to own because he provides abundant PIM as a No. 4 defenseman, but it doesn’t look like he’s getting ice time anytime soon.
- Blues center Andy McDonald (left ankle) returned after missing 36 games and notched one goal and one assist. Earlier this season, McDonald had emerged as a No. 2 fantasy center, scoring five goals in the six games prior to his injury. He’s only 29.6 percent owned in ESPN leagues, 26 percent in Yahoo — so he’s worth a pickup if you need a No. 2 center and Sundin is unavailable.
- The seven-game hot streak of Blues goalie Chris Mason (8-15-3, .913, 2.64) is over. You might still be able to trade him to someone desperate for a No. 2 goalie, and I encourage you to do so.
All that, from the Canucks-Blues game. From the other games, here are the items of note:
- Bruins right wing Blake Wheeler played 13:07 and fired four shots on goal. Compared to the 7:30 with one shot he logged in the previous game, Wheeler appears to be working his way out of the doghouse and remains the prime candidate to pick up the scoring slack while right wing Michael Ryder (orbital) is out.
- Islanders goalie Yann Danis (4-6-2, .918, 2.70) continues to play well. The Kings beat the Islanders 4-3 in overtime in Uniondale, but Danis stopped 36 of 39 shots (.923) in 65 minutes. In the last month, he has four wins, a 2.01 GAA and .941 save percentage. He is only seven percent owned in Yahoo! and two percent in ESPN. That you can grab Danis for free is one reason you should feel fine about trading Chris Mason.