The coaching change in Minnesota has sparked a major offensive resurgence. Since the hiring of interim John Torchetti, the Wild have scored 22 goals in five games. Compare that to the end of the Mike Yeo era, where it took the Wild 14 games to muster 25 goals. If this keeps up, Torchetti may be able to lose the “interim” tag soon – particularly if the result is a playoff spot.
As a result of this recent offensive outburst, several Minnesota scorers (among others) may be worth a look in your fantasy league.
Waiver Wire Adds
Jason Pominville, RW, MIN
Pominville was banished to the waiver wire in many leagues after not scoring his first goal of the season until November 28. But with six points over his last four games, including three goals, he’s worthy of a spot on many fantasy rosters again. Since joining the Wild, Pominville’s point totals have been on a steady decline. But he’s clearly benefitting under the new system.
Matt Dumba, D, MIN
Dumba had scored only 11 points over the first four months of the season. But now the former first-round pick is coming into his own as a fantasy asset, scoring nine points over his last 11 games with 31 shots over that span. He’s also found his way onto the power play, as 11 of his 19 points have come with the man advantage.Erik Haula, C, MIN
Holla if you thought Erik would be one of the NHL’s Three Stars last week. Three points in Sunday’s Stadium Series game left Haula with 12 points over his previous 14 games and seven points over the four-game week. Moving from a line with Ryan Carter and Chris Porter to a unit with Nino Niederreiter and Jason Pominville has helped Haula’s production. He’s probably more ideal in pure points leagues, as he has not yet scored a power play point this season. Find out why Dave Holcomb believes that Haula should be added in deep leagues.
Jordan Staal, C/RW, CAR
For the first time in his career, Jordan is currently the higher-scoring Staal. Compare the numbers (both over 60 games):
Jordan Staal: 16 goals, 23 assists, 39 points
Eric Staal: 10 goals, 22 assists, 32 points
Yet because of reputation, Jordan is owned in just over half of the leagues that Eric is owned in. On his own merit, Jordan has a six-game point streak and goals in four of his last six games. He is also having a February to remember with 12 points over his last 10 games. If Eric is traded at the deadline, will the Hurricanes become Jordan’s team?
Boone Jenner, C/RW, CBJ
The Blue Jackets haven’t had a lot to get excited about this season. But coach John Tortorella should be pleased about the play of Jenner, who is tied for the team goal lead with 22. Fantasy owners will especially appreciate the fact that Jenner has five goals over his last five games, including two 2-goal efforts. Jenner should be especially desirable in leagues with physical categories, as his 65 penalty minutes and 164 hits help teams in those categories.
Drops of the Week
Karri Ramo, G, CGY
Ramo is expected to miss the remainder of the regular season and should obviously be dropped in single-season leagues. But is Jonas Hiller, who started less than half of the games Ramo did before Ramo’s injury, worth a pickup? Hiller has a 3.29 goals-against average and an 0.886 save percentage, both league worsts among qualified goalies. Hiller’s February numbers are on par with his season numbers, so stay away if possible. The Flames will need to drastically improve their goaltending from Ramo and Hiller, who are both UFAs in the offseason.
Brian Elliott, G, STL
Unlike Ramo, Elliott may return before the end of the season. However, just as the Blues were in no rush to get Jake Allen back into the lineup because of Elliott’s recent play, they won’t be in a rush to get Elliott back into the lineup if Allen performs the way he had before the injury.
Stash Elliott on IR in case you can get some starts out of him before the season, but don’t feel guilty if your roster situation means that you have to drop him outright. Because of his stretch of fine play before the injury, Elliott is one of the league leaders in both goals-against average (2.14) and save percentage (0.929).