With the holiday season in full swing, it only means one thing – Santa Claus is fine tuning that sleigh, warming up the cocoa and just about set for Christmas Eve.
He knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good. No, I’m not talking about Boomer Gordan.
In fantasy relation, it’s the perfect time to compromise a list of players who’ve been naughty and also nice this fantasy campaign. For many, this could be a tale of the Grinch who stole away your fantasy season. It sucks – I know.
Andrew Ladd – LW – New York Islanders
The veteran forward takes the cake by far. It has been a downright dreadful first season with the New York Islanders. In 27 games, Ladd has just three goals and six points while tallying a dreadful minus-six rating. For anyone holding out hope for a resurgence, I don’t see it. Dump him and don’t look back.
Cory Schneider – G – New Jersey Devils
Normally a bona fide top-5 fantasy goaltender, Schneider has been streakier than anticipated. The Devils have been the model of inconsistency. With nine wins, a GAA hovering around 2.7 and basically a 910 SVP%, there’s no question Schneider can be much better. There’s still more than half a season to salvage things so here’s hoping he catches fire at the right time.
John Klingberg – Dallas Stars
Having already been a healthy scratch twice so far, it’s been a tough go of things so far for Klingberg in his third NHL season. After notching 58 points last year while posting a plus-22 rating, he’s tallied 13 points in 27 games to date while tallying a minus-8. Without the insulation of Alex Goligoski in Dallas, it’s been a tough transition period for Klingberg.
Zach Parise – LW – Minnesota Wild
For someone who has 98 million reasons to be happy, the pressure is surely mounting for Parise in Minnesota. He’s on the wrong side of 30 and the numbers are starting to progressively slip. Through 20 games, he has four goals and six assists for 10 points. While he’ll most probably pick up his production, the fact that he plays in Minnesota is always a worry. Find me a top-10 scorer in the NHL from the Wild ever.
Justin Faulk – D – Carolina Hurricanes
After he put some gaudy power play numbers up last year, Faulk has been inconsistent to say the least thus far. With that in mind, he’s still getting good looks whether it be on the power play or even strength. He’s a good guy to own in the second half.
Boone Jenner – C, LW – Columbus Blue Jackets
It seems like everyone in Columbus has strong offensive production but Boone Jenner. This is surprising considering he’s coming off a 30 goal season. He has just four goals in 26 games and finds himself lower in the totem pole this season.
Chad Johnson – G – Calgary Flames
I decided to exclude Brian Elliott from any talk in this week’s blog. I genuinely feel awful for him. It just hasn’t worked out just yet with the Flames. Elliott’s struggles opened the door for Alberta native Chad Johnson to take the number one job in goal. The Flames are currently riding a six game winning streak and a lot of it has to do with the emergence of Johnson. He’s 13-4-1 with a 1.98 GAA and a .932 SVP%. Oh yeah and he has three shutouts to boot too. He’s been fantastic but something tells me that this isn’t the last we’ve heard of Elliott.
Cam Atkinson – RW – Columbus Blue Jackets
At first look, Atkinson’s breakout offensive production this season seems to be very random. Well, look again. His body of work in the last couple of years has really paved the way for his explosion this season. He notched 40-40-53 points in the last three years and is currently on pace for 80-85 points. While obviously that’s probably a reach, he’ll probably land nicely in the 60-70 point range.
David Pastrnak – RW – Boston Bruins
These days, it seems like David Pastrnak has no intentions of piling up assists at all. And that’s okay especially when you’re scoring goals at a ridiculous pace. The youngster has 18 goals in 24 games. No, that’s not a typo. No one is really talking about it. I think he goes off for 35-40 this season.
Patrik Laine – LW, RW – Winnipeg Jets
Speaking of goals – Patrik Laine is pretty good at that too. The rookie is off to a torrid start with the Jets and don’t expect him to slow down. In fact, I think he’s the purest sniper we’ve seen in the NHL since Alex Ovechkin broke in all those years ago. Similar to Pastrnak, Laine knows how to get open and when he does, he makes it count. It’s a treat to watch him on a nightly basis.
Alex Radulov – LW, RW – Montreal Canadiens
Habs GM Marc Bergevin took a gamble signing Radulov and simply put – he’s looking like a genius for doing so. Radulov has been fantastic. He still has the hands and the IQ and it appears he’s staying away from the Montreal night life. (Which is good) He’s on pace for 65-75 points and there’s nothing to suggest he won’t achieve that. I would expect an extension from Montreal in the near future too.
Mike Hoffman – LW – Ottawa Senators
The slow start for Hoffman is certainly a thing of the past. He’s been tremendous the last month or so. In the last 10 games, the sniper has notched 5 goals and 10 points. He’s streaky so be careful but it’s definitely fun to watch him do his thing. He has one of the best releases in the game right now.
Travis Zajac – C – New Jersey
I had to give some love to Zajac. It’s been a throwback season for him. It’s inevitable that he’ll soon be passed by Taylor Hall for the team point lead but he deserves some credit for his production. He’s on pace for about 25 goals and 65 points. Not bad if you ask me.
Tomas Plekanec – C – Montreal Canadiens
Conor Sheary – LW, RW – Pittsburgh Penguins
Anders Lee – LW – New York Islanders
Andrej Sekera – D – Edmonton Oilers
Devin Shore – C – Dallas Stars
Steve Laidlaw of dobberhockey.com was my guest on Episode Nine of the Fantasy Fix Podcast. We touched on my naughty/nice list as well as some other things. Enjoy!
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