You think you are golden, in terms of fantasy D, if your No. 1 blue liner is Washington Capitals stud Mike Green (23 goals, 33 assists, +20) or Boston Bruins ace Zdeno Chara (15 goals, 23 assists, +23).
Last night both all-stars played like waiver-wire fodder. In Washington’s 5-2 home loss to the mighty Carolina Hurricanes, Green was -3 with no points (though he did manage eight shots on goal and two penalty minutes). After the game, Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau said, “Mike Green was doing nothing.”
Then there’s Chara, who assisted on the Bruins’ first goal but ended up -3 in Boston’s 4-2 home loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. Chara also managed four penalty minutes and five shots on goal. Still, the -3 stings. While Bruins head coach Claude Julien did not cite Chara by name, he did say, regarding Bruins goalie Manny Fernandez, “I don’t think we really helped him, to be honest with you.”
Two fantasy takeaways:
1. Trade for either Green or Chara. You won’t be able to buy them too low just because of last night, but perhaps you’ll catch an owner in your league napping. Sometimes one bad game turns an untouchable player into an available one. And sometimes owners get itchy to swap just for the sake of swapping, especially when the trade deadline draws nigh.
2. Beware of starting your Capitals when Michal Neuvirth is in goal and your Bruins when Fernandez is in goal. Neuvirth has been singularly unimpressive since his February 14 debut, to the point where it wouldn’t shock me if the Capitals acquired a goaltender today. Fernandez, for his part, has stunk it up in four of his last five starts.
Two other tidbits from last night:
- Nashville Predators winger Steve Sullivan is redefining the cliche “on fire.” His name is boring but his game is too scorching to ignore. In his last seven games, Double S has notched six goals and five assists. Sullivan is widely available in both ESPN leagues (six percent owned) and Yahoo! (20 percent owned). In the latter, he is eligible at right wing and left wing. In other words, if you own a slumping Ryane Clowe (no points in his last four games) or Scott Hartnell (one assist in his last four games), Sullivan could provide some scoring relief.
- I am benching all goalies — yes, all of them — if they face Nashville anytime soon. The Predators have scored 23 goals in their last four games. Going forward, this means you should bench Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Steve Mason tomorrow. Mason has hardly been a brick wall lately anyway: he only stopped 22 of 26 in last night’s 5-4 home win vs. the Los Angeles Kings.
photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons