We’re almost at the halfway point of the NHL season and the Edmonton Oilers are still holding a playoff spot. However, if the Kings and Ducks were to win their games in hand it would create a very tight race for the final 2 playoff spots in the division. The Oilers are going to have to “buck-up” during the last half of the season if they want to stay ahead of the experienced teams from SoCal.
Tonight the first domino in this year’s NHL coaching carousel has fallen, and it was definitely a surprising one.
photo via: .todaysslapshot.com
We’ve been hit by the injury bug!!
The list of players that were injured this week is endless! There’s Bobby Ryan, Steven Stamkos, Taylor Hall and Johnny Gaudreau, just to name a few.
This may be the most important waiver wire list I’ll have to do all season, so no pressure on my part.
Alrighty then! Here we go.
First up we’ve got the Vancouver Canucks forward Sutter who had an excellent past week putting up a point in every game. The forward was recently moved up to the top line replacing winger Loui Eriksson. The Canucks likely won’t stay this hot for long, the most points he’s ever had in a season was way back in 2009 when he scored 40 points. Right now he has 11 points so enjoy the ride whilst you can.
clofert max price Jesse Puljujarvi – Edmonton Oilers
ESPN Owned Percentage: 7.3%
I put out a tweet earlier this week saying how Puljujarvi should be picked up in all leagues and I still stand by that. The rookie was moved to the top line to play alongside Mr. Connor McDavid, in his first game beside him, the young Fin grabbed himself two assists. This is much like the situation we’ve had with Maroon the last couple of weeks where you’re picking him up because he’s playing with McDavid. However, Jesse is a much more talented player than Maroon is, we should expect him to pick up plenty of points in his new role. The Fin is a player you’ll be able to play for weeks to come if all stays as is.
Andrei Vasilevskiy – Tampa Bay Lightning
ESPN Owned Percentage: 37%
I don’t really know what’s going on with the goalie situation in Tampa, but what I do know is that Vasilevskiy just had back to back shutouts making him a must-add this week. In seven games this season, Vasilevskiy had recorded five wins with two shutouts and 1.43 goals against. It’s safe to say he’s been a brick wall for Tampa, but yet still owned in less than 50% of ESPN leagues. If the Russian continues this form it won’t be long before he starts to get the bulk of the games, pick him up whilst you can.
Cam Ward – Carolina Hurricanes
ESPN Owned Percentage: 25.6%
The second goalie on our list, Cam Ward didn’t start the season strongly but seems to be picking it up. Four straight wins in four straight starts for the Canes netminder, exactly what we want to see as fantasy owners. The goalie market isn’t the greatest if there is a netminder playing this way he deserves to be on your roster. His schedule does get tougher but due to his recent form that shouldn’t be an issue.
Mitch Marner – Toronto Maple Leafs
ESPN Owned Percentage: 62.1%
The hottest rookie in the league right now, Mitch Marner has had a surprising start to the season. Tied for 8th in scoring, the young Maple Leafs forward hasn’t shown any sign of slowing down after putting up four points in his last three games. Compared to other leafs rookies, I think Marner will find it easier to stay consistent throughout the season due to playing with two veteran players, James Van Riemsdyk and Tyler Bozak. Over the past week, the youngsters owned percentage has increased by almost 20%, pick him up before it’s too late.
Seth Jones – Columbus Blue Jackets
ESPN Owned Percentage: 62.9%
After suffering a hairline fracture in his foot, Seth Jones has been removed from the IR. Jones was off to a hot start scoring six points in ten games until his unfortunate injury. There is no guarantee that the Blue Jackets d-man will be put right into the lineup for Monday’s game against Colorado, however, we will be seeing him back on the ice shortly. When healthy, Jones is arguably the best young defensemen in the league and if his momentum continues from before his injury he’ll be back on track for a career year.
(photo courtesy of thehockeywriters.com)
Playing hockey in the NHL’s Western Conference is proven to be a physical task. The biggest (if not sole) difference between the East and the West is the physicality of the two conferences. The way teams build themselves in the modern day NHL not only depicts what kind of strategy they play, but what conference they go head-to-head with the most.
The Vancouver Canucks belong to, what is arguably, the most tightly contested division in the conference- and the league.
Make the Canucks great again. Right?
It won’t be easy, it won’t be quick, but it shouldn’t take 10 years.
For Canucks management to turn this around they need to recognize the situation this team is in and not go through the phase of trying to rebuild on the fly. It wont work with the current make-up of this team.
Here are 5 moves I believe the Canucks should make regardless of where the lottery balls fall on saturday: