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

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Bruins at Blackhawks: Sturm is the secret weapon

December 18, 2009

Sabres LW Thomas Vanek (i.e. "Player B") has been outperformed by Bruins LW Marco Sturm in the past month.

Seeking fantasy action in Friday’s Bruins at Blackhawks matchup, I painstakingly researched stumbled upon the following statistical nugget:

In the last month, Player A has these numbers:

5 goals, 3 assists, +7, 8 PIM, 1 PPP, 32 shots.

In the last month, Player B has these numbers:

3 goals, 7 assists, -3, 2 PIM, 3 PPP, 35 shots on goal.

Player A is Bruins LW Marco Sturm (15 percent owned in Yahoo!, 83.7 percent in ESPN). He amassed these stats in 12 games.

Player B is Sabres LW Thomas Vanek (89 percent owned in Yahoo!, 96.6 percent in ESPN). He amassed these stats in 15 games.

Lessons learned:

1. Trade your LWs for depth at other positions. A name brand like Vanek could have fetched you a goalie or a No. 1 D. If you’d started Sturm over Vanek during the last month, your team would have been better off.

2. Vanek is due to break out. The 25-year-old has a zesty matchup hosting the defensively challenged Leafs  Friday.

3. Sturm is a sneaky start at Chicago. The Blackhawks have posted two straight shutouts and they have allowed only four goals in their last five games. They also lead the league with an incredible 1.96 goals-against average.

Still, I endorse Sturm as a sneaky start. The Blackhawks have won four of five. They are riding high. The Bruins are desperate. They have lost two straight games, both in the final few minutes of action. (A shootout loss at the Islanders on 12/12 and a third period choke job vs. the Flyers on 12/14).

Also: Despite Chicago’s gaudy defensive numbers, the Genius remains unsold on the Blackhawks goaltending. He has a hunch Sturm will sneak one between the pipes.

photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons


A word on Savard

October 21, 2009

Bruins C Marc Savard (foot) is out 4-6 weeks, but fantasy owners should wait a few games before dropping his teammates.

Bruins C Marc Savard (foot) is out four-to-six weeks, but fantasy owners should wait a few games before dropping his teammates.

Matt Kalman of ESPNBoston and The Bruins Blog reports that Bruins C Marc Savard has been placed on Long Term Injured reserve with a broken left foot.

According to the Bruins, Savard is expected to miss four-to-six weeks.

Do not even think about dropping him; he is the rare fantasy center worth holding onto for a prolonged absence.

The players you should downgrade are RW Michael Ryder and LW Marco Sturm, who are the biggest beneficiaries of Savard’s passing magic.

But do not drop Ryder or Sturm just yet. Wait to see how the Bruins play tonight at 7pm, hosting the Predators, who will be without C Jason Arnott (arm). If the Bruins are deep at any position, it is center. And it is possible Ryder and Sturm will produce if they find themselves flanking C David Krejci or C Patrice Bergeron in the weeks to come.

photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons