Red Wings right wing Marian Hossa (concussion-like symptoms) left last night’s game in San Jose in the second period. The game was an impressive 4-1 win for the Wings, but Hossa’s status was uncertain after taking an elbow in the head from Sharks defenseman Doug Murray.
Wings coach Mike Babcock said Hossa was fine; but the Associated Press used the phrase “concussion-like symptoms.” When I read or hear “concussion,” I get nervous: I wonder — why would the Wings take chances rushing Hossa back into action?
Perched high in the Western Conference standings (No. 2 seed, 88 points, only three points behind the first-place Sharks, whom they just defeated handily), the Wings have no reason to play Hossa in Friday night’s home game vs. Los Angeles.
Here’s the fantasy question: Is it worth picking up a free-agent right wing to fill Hossa’s possible one-game absence?
If you have games to spare at right wing, absolutely. There are about 20 games left in the season; you should be slightly ahead of your games-allowed maximums at this stage.
And with that bit of Fantasy 101 advice out of the way, here are two widely available right wings that you can plug-and-play for Hossa:
Eric Fehr, Washington Capitals. Three percent owned in ESPN leagues, four percent in Yahoo! leagues. Fehr has six goals and four assists in his last 10 games. He’s not riding Ovechkin’s coattails either: In fact, he’s playing on the second line with Sergei Fedorov and Tomas Fleischmann. The 23-year-old Fehr has some pedigree of his own, too: he is a former first-round pick (18th overall in 2003). The Capitals don’t play Friday night but their Saturday afternoon tilt in Boston should be a high-scoring affair. You want a piece of that action.
Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers. Two percent owned in ESPN leagues, three percent in Yahoo! leagues. It’s been quite a month for the 21-year-old Giroux who, like Fehr, is surrounded by megastars but carries his own first-round pedigree (22nd overall in 2006). In his last month, Giroux has four goals, four assists, +5, 10 PIM. The Flyers have a home game vs. Montreal Friday night, and that, too, could be a high-scoring piece of fantasy action.