We have hit the one-month mark in the fantasy hockey world, and there is plenty of news and notes that could have an impact on your fantasy hockey teams this week. Whether it is coaching changes or injuries, staying up on trends in fantasy hockey will be huge in helping you have success with your teams this season. Let's take a look at some of the fantasy hockey trends you need to be aware of as the season continues to roll on.
Coaching change in Buffalo: Long time Buffalo Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff was fired on Wednesday. From a fantasy hockey perspective, when a coaching change is made, often times there is a bit of an adjustment period as the new coach implements his system and players feel out their new coach. Often times, players' ice times may also be impacted as a new coach learns about his team and tries to rock the boat a bit. The good news is that the new coach in Buffalo, Ron Rolston, was the head coach for the Sabres' minor league affiliate, so the new system could be similar to those used by Ruff. Also, this move could serve as a bit of a wakeup call, and the Sabres may surge a bit here. If you own any Buffalo players, keep an eye on their ice times over the next week or so and adjust your rosters accordingly if necessary.
Goaltending in Toronto: When goaltender James Reimer went down to a minor knee injury, many people thought it would signal a trade that could land Roberto Luongo. While there has not been a trade, what there has been is the emergence of goaltender Ben Scrivens. Scrivens was terrific in two starts in games against Ottawa and Florida. While he struggled a bit against Tampa, that was a tough spot for him being on the back end of a back-to-back games situation. If you are looking for goaltending help, it may be wise to pick up Scrivens off the waiver wire. Even when Reimer does return, Scrivens is earning starts with his play.
Ryan Kesler returns: The Vancouver Canucks center returned to the lineup this week after offseason shoulder surgery and promptly contributed a goal and an assist in three games. It is great news for fantasy owners that have shown patience with Kesler now that he's back on the ice, but the issue moving forward will be actually keeping him there. In a short season with the schedule being what it is, that may end up being a bit of a challenge over time. For now, play him as you normally would and just monitor his status as the season moves on.
That will do it for this week's edition of the fantasy hockey trends. Make sure you check back later in the week for the Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire and at the beginning of each week for the Fantasy Hockey Weekly Planner to make sure you are up to date on the latest news and notes to help you win your fantasy hockey league.
About Mike Corcoran
Mike Corcoran joined KFFL in 2011 as their senior fantasy hockey writer. The Tarrytown, New York, native hosts a hockey radio show on ESPN Radio in Tampa, and covers the Tampa Bay Lightning professionally.
You can follow Mike on Twitter @MikeCorcoranNHL
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