This past weekend was trying for Fantasy owners, particularly those who had Southeast Division goaltenders. There is plenty of opportunity out there for those who are short in the goaltending area, especially in those pools that require two starters at the position. In fact, all of your fantasy pick-ups this week come from the Southeast Division. Enjoy!
Dan Ellis, goaltender, Carolina Hurricanes
Goaltender Cam Ward (knee) suffered a Grade 3 sprain of the medial collateral ligament Sunday in Florida, and he will be sidelined six to eight weeks as a result. Ward was placed on Injured Reserve, and goaltender Justin Peters will get the starting nod Tuesday against Buffalo. Don't be concerned, though, as the move is simply being done to give Ellis rest. He has been under the weather and was forced into action Sunday while sick. Ellis is the No. 1 guy for the next month and a half, and he has actually put up better numbers than Ward this season, albeit with a smaller sample size.
Matt Hendricks, center, Washington Capitals
Hendricks was bumped up to the team's scoring line in Saturday's game at Winnipeg, and he responded with the first goal of the contest, which turned out to be the game-winning marker. As long as he is skating with center Mike Ribeiro and left wing Alex Ovechkin, he will have fantasy appeal. His goal snapped a four-game goal drought. One thing to know about Hendricks, he has 44 penalty minutes (PIM) this season, so if your league discourages bad behavior, he is not nearly as good of a pickup as those pools that reward PIMs. He is also a very physical player, racking up 35 hits in 20 games, so he can help in advanced scoring formats, as well.
Jacob Markstrom, goaltender, Florida Panthers
General manager Dale Tallon declared Tuesday, March 5, that the time is now for Markstrom to serve as the team's top netminder, at least while veteran goaltender Jose Theodore (groin) is sidelined. It was determined Theodore suffered a torn groin, and will miss a minimum of a month, which gives Markstrom plenty of time to show what he can do. Do not pick up goaltender Scott Clemmensen, as he will simply be picking up the scraps. Markstrom has played two games this season already, but he lost both starts. However, his goals against average (GAA) of 3.05 was not too terrible. He could be a good low-end No. 2 fantasy goaltender given the regular starts that are coming.
Patrik Berglund, center, St. Louis Blues
Berglund has had a very strange season so far. There isn't much gray area with this guy. He is either red hot or ice cold. From Feb. 13 to Feb. 19, Berglund had a four-game goal-scoring streak with a plus-3 rating, but since Feb. 20 he is scoreless in five games with a minus-4 rating. The cold streak likely comes just as many fantasy owners picked him up. He also followed up a five-game point streak from Jan. 24 to Feb. 1 with a four-game scoreless skid from Feb. 5 to Feb. 11, prior to the goal-scoring binge. There is streaky and then there is ridiculous.
Cory Conacher, center, Tampa Bay Lightning
We saw Conacher in the more favorable area of this column earlier in the season, but he has tailed off recently. He is scoreless over his past three games with a minus-3 rating, and he has just two goals over his past 15 games after lighting the lamp five times in his first seven games this season. While it isn't a great idea to drop Conacher at this point, he should be reserved until such point he regains his deft scoring touch. Over his past 15 games, he has been even or in the negative in plus/minus rating 14 times. That's not good, either.
Jamie McGinn, left wing, Colorado Avalanche
The physical McGinn had been cooking right along in a seven-game span from Feb. 2 to Feb. 18, posting all three of his season's goals with five helpers. He is not a point-per-game guy, and fantasy owners were pleasantly surprised. However, over his past six games, there have been no goals and he has just one assist and a minus-3 rating. Even his penalty minutes have been disappointing, with just seven PIM over the past six games. Until he can get back on track, if he can get back on track, he should be dropped from all rosters except the deepest of leagues.