Welcome to week 24 of the Fantasy Planner, getting you ready for next week's fantasy hockey action. (3/29 through 4/4). Only 2 weeks left to go in the regular season, so not much time for those final roster tweaks.
Week 24 Matchups
Teams with 4 games: Anaheim, Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Carolina, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Florida, LA, Minnesota, Nashville, Vancouver
Teams with 2 games: Pittsburgh
The late season rush continues, as about half the teams in the league will play four games next week. Pittsburgh is the only team with just two games, so it's a good time to rest Crosby and Gonchar. (If you're playing me next week).
As for the scheduling advantage in week 24, look to the team with all the firepower. The Capitals have played average hockey lately, but look for their stars to put up some numbers as they face Ottawa, Atlanta, and Columbus next week.
The Columbus Offense
It never fails that once a team is all but eliminated from playoff contention, they start to play their best hockey. So seems to be the case with the Columbus offense. They're averaging over 4 goals per game in the past two weeks. Here are a few Jackets currently lighting it up:
- Antoine Vermette - 9 points in his last 5 games
- Kristian Huselius - 10 points in 6 games
- Jakub Voracek - 18 points in his past 15 games
Olli Jokinen (F - NYR) - Jokinen is pointless in 3 games and has just 2 assists in his last 9 games. Hope you weren't counting on this inconsistency machine to lead your playoff charge.
Alexander Frolov (F - LA) - I tried to talk you into dropping him 2 months ago. He has a whopping 2 points in his last 7 games. With other key forwards healthy and playing well, Frolov's role in LA has been diminished. He's down to about 18 minutes a game now.
Here are a few names who may be available in your league and are worth a look:
Lee Stempniak (F - PHO) - Stempniak has bounced around a lot in the past year. However, since arriving in Phoenix, Stempniak has 10 goals in 11 games, making him the hottest goal scorer in the league. How long can he keep that up? If you're in need of one last piece for your playoff run, two weeks would be just fine.
Kristian Huselius (F - COB) - Huselius has been on a tear lately, piling up 12 points in his past 6 games. He was front and center in the 8 goal thrashing of Chicago, scoring twice on 3 shots. This isn't the first time Huselius has gone a mad rush, so don't be afraid to lean on him down the stretch. He's still available in about 1/4 of the leagues out there.
Ron Hainsey (D - ATL) - The Thrashers are still within striking distance of a playoff spot, so it's a great time for a defenseman to suddenly get hot. Fortunately for Atlanta, that's just the story with Hainsey. He has 8 points in his last 8 games and is available in just about every league.
And here is your daily fantasy file while we're at it:
#1 - Johan Franzen (F - DET) - It was a four point night for Franzen, as the Mule recorded 2 goals and 2 assists in the Wings 6-2 victory over the Wild.
#2 - Corey Perry (F - ANA) - The Ducks may have stunk themselves out the playoffs, but Perry hasn't conceded the season. He popped in two goals in the Ducks win over the Mighty Oilers.
#3 - Brian Elliot (G - OTT) - More bad news for fantasy owners of Pascal Leclaire… Elliot is still on fire. After 2 shutouts, he followed that up with an enormous 41 save winning performance against the Sabres. Following a shaky start to March, the Sens are back on track thanks to the young goaltender.
#4 - Jonathan Ericcsson (D - DET) - Ericcson was all over the scoresheet last night. He had a goal, and assists, 2 PIMs and was a plus 4. Not a bad showing.
- Ryan Getzlaf continues to be questionable on when he'll return to the Ducks lineup
- Alex Kovalev missed last night's game with a lower-body injury
- Milan Michalek was out as well, missing his 4th straight
- Mikko Koivu missed his second straight game with an arm injury
- Dan Cleary left last night's game due to an unpleasant groinery region
- Andrew Brunette scored again last night for the Wild, giving him 3 in his past 4 games
- Jimmy Howard has won 10 games in the month of March
- Jason Pominville has 12 points in his past 9 games
- Daniel Alfredsson has a 6 game scoring streak started