Fantasy Hockey News for Thursday

Derek Leung

A fantasized look at Wednesday's NHL action

David Booth is suddenly hot, scoring two goals Wednesday after one in the Canucks' previous game. He might be worth a look. Then again, the noted bible-thumper was practicing goal abstinence for the last 32 games, over which time he had just four assists. So yeah, maybe not.

Daniel Sedin scored on a tip and broke a 23-game goal famine. He hadn't even had a point in 13, so this was a huge relief for him. Jury is out on what to expect from the Sedins next year. I say 70 points each if they can stay healthy. The top line hasn't been together and healthy for many games this year.

Zack Kassian scored his 12th of the season on a real power move. He also had four shots, following up on his four-assist night last week. Several commentators have remarked recently that this is a glimpse of Kassian's bright future. For now, his 122 penalty minutes rank him 9th in the NHL.

Charlie Coyle scored his 10th and is now on a modest three-game point streak. He's paired with Mikko Koivu and Matt Moulson to form a solid second line behind Parise-Granlund-Pominville. Moulson's arrival seems to have squeezed Nino Niederreiter and Dany Heatley out of their occasional spots in the top six. Back to Coyle - while this season wasn't the breakout many of us hoped for, don't forget it was only back in 2011 that he put up 15 goals and 19 assists in 17 playoff games for the QMJHL's Saint John Sea Dogs. Dude just turned 22 in March.

The Flames think they may have found the answer to their post-Kiprusoff goaltending woes. Karri Ramo, prior to last night, had let in just three goals in his last four starts. He's playing very well and coach Bob Hartley somehow has the Flames motivated to compete every night, so there are worse goalies you could be starting in your fantasy league.

DucksMathieu Perreault has a career-high six-game point streak going after netting his 16th goal last night. He has 36 points in 59 games this season. I see the 26-year-old topping out at 55 points. The Ducks have a lot of similarly-skilled players that are younger and need ice time.

Sami Vatanen had two assists last night. I've definitely gushed about the undersized blueliner on here before, but for good reason. He's a great passer and really smart about getting his point shots around or through the defence. To wit:

Henrik Lundqvist earned his 30th win and improved his save percentage to .919. That's more like it.

Martin St. Louis continues to be smitten by the God Of Demanding a Trade Because Your GM Made a Defensible Decision You Took Far Too Personally. This god has no concern whatsoever about innocent bystanders and third parties such as your (or my) fantasy team.

I extolled the fantasy virtues of Ryan McDonagh here just two days ago, and he goes and scores a beauty again last night. He's fifth among defencemen in goals and 11th in shots. Wow.

CHL Junior Playoff Watch

Canucks fans may have something to look forward to after a dreadful season: four of the current top 15 OHL playoff scorers are future Canucks: Dane Fox (1st, 10 points), Bo Horvat (T6th, 7 points), Brendan Gaunce and Cole Cassels (T13th, 6 points each). I found this article on Dane Fox good for tempering expectations.

In WHL action, the Portland Winterhawks swept the Vancouver Giants 4-0. Brendan Leipsic (NSH) led the way with five goals and four assists, while Oliver Bjorkstrand (CBJ) had four and four. Leipsic's numbers slipped a bit this season compared to last, when he led the entire CHL. He's listed at 5'9" or 5'10", so there is some uncertainty around his projection. Bjorkstrand, meanwhile, has been steadily climbing up some prospect rankings.

And over in the Q, Jonathan Drouin (TBL) and Nikolaj Ehlers (2014) have combined for 17 points in three games. That's not even fair.

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