The (fantasy) silver lining of Savard’s loss

March 16, 2010

Bruins C Patrice Bergeron has been one of the top centers in fantasy since his teammate Marc Savard (concussion) got hurt March 7.

The Bruins are 1-2-1 in the four games since C Marc Savard (concussion) went down March 7.

Obviously, the Spoked B’s aren’t as potent without their top playmaker.

Still, we couldn’t help but notice that three Bruins forwards have found fantasy relevance in Savard’s absence.

C Patrice Bergeron (27.2 percent owned in ESPN, 26 percent in Yahoo!). In his last four games: three goals, three assists, +5. He ranks No. 29 in ESPN and No. 25 in Yahoo! among all players in the last seven days. Interestingly, Bergeron’s minutes have not increased in the four games sans Savard. But his scoring has. Still, you should be wary of one thing: Bergeron’s hot streak does not include a single power play point.

RW Blake Wheeler (84 percent owned in ESPN, 34 percent in Yahoo!). In his last four games: three goals, two assists, +4, good for a No. 44 rank in ESPN and No. 41 in Yahoo! over the last seven days. Whereas Bergeron’s minutes have not changed in Savard’s absence, Wheeler’s have spiked: He has logged more than 19:00 in each of his last two games. Up till now, he’s been lucky to crack 17:00 in a given contest. However, Wheeler does share one trait with Bergeron: no productivity on the power play in Savard’s absence.

LW Marco Sturm (82.9 percent owned in ESPN, 15 percent in Yahoo!). In his last four games: two goals, two assists, +4, and yes, a power play goal. He ranks No. 12 in Yahoo! and No. 19 in ESPN over the last seven days. However, like Bergeron, he has not seen an increase in ice time in Savard’s absence.

Like most teams, the Bruins face a packed upcoming schedule, a cramming designed to offset the regular season’s two-week Olympic hiatus. Specifically, the Bruins visit Carolina Tuesday night, host the Penguins Thursday night, and then host the Rangers Sunday afternoon.

So, which of these three Bruins — a center, a left wing, and a right wing — should you pick up for the stretch run? None, if your biggest need is power play points. But if your biggest need is simply points in general — i.e. goals and assists — then let positional scarcity be your guide.

photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons


Don’t grab Wheeler just yet; clearly, Hartnell is back

October 31, 2009

Bruins RW Blake Wheeler was Jim Dandy on Halloween Day, but don't pick him up just yet.

The offensive hero for the Bruins on Halloween day was RW Blake Wheeler, who tallied one goal, one assist, and a +2 in the Bruins 2-0 home win vs. a solid Oilers squad.

You may need help at RW, but do not pick up Wheeler just yet. He only played 11:09, and even counting his two points earned today he only has seven for the season. Until his minutes and points increase, leave him in the free agent pool. But keep him on your radar — it is easy to forget he finished a whopping +36 last season.

And: If you wrote off Flyers LW Scott Hartnell for going scoreless in four straight games from Oct. 8-22, you are not alone. But on Halloween day Hartnell returned to fantasy relevance with a bang, delivering one goal, two assists, three shots on goal, eight penalty minutes, and a +2 in the Flyers 6-1 home drubbing of the Whalers Hurricanes, who fall to 2-7-3. Maybe the Flyers should think about trading for Canes G Cam Ward.

For Hartnell, it was his second straight game with a goal. If you were benching him in deeper leagues to save your LW games for hotter players like Oilers LW Dustin Penner or Stars LW James Neal, it is now officially time to change your ways. That’s not to say you bench Penner or Neal — it’s just to say that Hartnell has returned to “must start” status.

photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons