Fantasy owners will have interesting choices to make in the upcoming week, at least in cumulative formats. The Vancouver Canucks and their fantasy owners are the big winners, as they have five games in the upcoming week. Not only that, but four of those games are viewed as very winnable, which is great news for the prospects of goaltenders Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider.
On the flip side, the Chicago Blackhawks, Edmonton Oilers and Philadelphia Flyers will get plenty of rest, as they have just two games on tap. For the Blackhawks, it's actually the second consecutive week the schedule maker has been so kind as to give them a two-game week. It's news for those who normally use left wing Patrick Sharp (shoulder), who suffered a shoulder injury March 6. He has resumed skating but might end up missing just a handful of games.
Center Henrik Sedin is finally rolling along at a point-per-game clip, posting seven goals with 19 assists, a team-high plus-14 rating and 14 penalty minutes (PIM) in 26 games. Patient fantasy owners are really rolling it up lately. Defenseman Alexander Edler is solid in standard formats, but he has really become a force in advanced scoring systems with 51 blocked shots, 37 hits and 22 PIM in 26 games.
Must start: Alexandre Burrows, Alexander Edler (blocked shots/hits leagues), Dan Hamhuis, Jannik Hansen, Roberto Luongo, Mason Raymond, Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin
Defensemen Francois Beauchemin and Sheldon Souray have produced in various ways for fantasy owners, either with scoring, PIM or both. However, they have been most helpful in the plus/minus rating category, as each has a team-best plus-17 rating. Center Andrew Cogliano has really endeared himself to fantasy owners lately, too, amassing a plus-15 rating while tying for a team-high with 10 goals and checking in with seven assists. If you are in a positive PIM league, Cogliano isn't your man, as he has just one minor penalty all season. But in leagues which discourage bad behavior, he has been fantasy gold.
Must start: Francois Beauchemin, Andrew Cogliano, Viktor Fasth, Ryan Getzlaf, Saku Koivu, Corey Perry, Bobby Ryan, Teemu Selanne, Sheldon Souray, Daniel Winnik
The major drawback with most Flames players, including right wing Jarome Iginla, is a poor plus/minus rating. Iginla checks in with a minus-4, while left wing Alex Tanguay has eight goals and a team-best 20 points, but a minus-8 rating nearly offsets the offense. One such player who has been unaffected is right wing Lee Stempniak, who somehow has a plus-6 rating and 18 points (7 G, 11 A).
Must start: Mike Cammalleri, Jiri Hudler, Jarome Iginla, Matt Stajan, Lee Stempniak, Alex Tanguay
It's hard to believe, but even at 41 years old, right wing Jaromir Jagr is a fantasy stud. He has team-highs with 10 goals and 18 points, and he has lit the lamp five times with the man advantage. Left wing Antoine Roussel is a bit of a sleeper, as he has two goals, five points and 22 PIM over his past seven games. Be careful with center Jamie Benn (wrist), as he is nursing a wrist injury and is day to day.
Must start: Jamie Benn, Loui Eriksson, Jaromir Jagr, Kari Lehtonen, Derek Roy
Not that he was doing much anyway, but right wing Kris Versteeg (knee) can be dropped in all formats. He is expected to be sidelined for the season after it was determined he needs knee surgery. Defenseman Brian Campbell would be a fantasy stud normally with his six goals and 16 points in 28 minutes, but an awful minus-19 rating nullifies almost all fantasy appeal. Rookie center Jonathan Huberdeau is one of the few must-starts on this team, as he has a team-high 12 goals while tying for the team lead in points with 17. He has a minus-6 rating which isn't great but not too terribly damaging.
Must start: Jonathan Huberdeau, Tomas Kopecky
Los Angeles Kings
Defenseman Jake Muzzin is really gaining some fans among fantasy owners. He has three goals and seven points over the past six games, and he has racked up 25 PIM over his past two outings. Defenseman Slava Voynov has emerged as a must-start in all formats. He has five assists over his past four games, and he has managed 18 points (8 G, 10 A) with a plus-10 rating in 26 games.
Must start: Dustin Brown, Jeff Carter, Anze Kopitar, Jonathan Quick, Mike Richards, Slava Voynov, Justin Williams
New York Islanders
Defenseman Andrew McDonald is a guy who can help and hurt in rotisserie formats. He has one goal and six points with a minus-13 rating, which isn't great, but he also has picked up 70 blocked shots in just 27 games. His namesake, right wing Colin McDonald, has racked up 70 hits in 24 games with a respectable four goals, 10 points and 25 PIM.
Must start: Brad Boyes, Matt Moulson, John Tavares
New York Rangers
Left wing Rick Nash is finally giving the fans and fantasy owners what they wanted to see. He is tied for the team-high with nine goals while leading in points with 23. He is also the only played in double-digits with a plus-10 rating. Center Derek Stepan has quietly ascended the team's points list, managing seven goals with 18 points and a plus-8 rating. He is a must-start for all fantasy owners again.
Must start: Ryan Callahan, Marian Gaborik, Carl Hagelin, Henrik Lundqvist, Rick Nash, Brad Richards, Derek Stepan
Tampa Bay Lightning
Center Steven Stamkos gets all of the attention for the Lightning, and praise is certainly deserved with 20 goals, including seven power play markers, resulting in 38 However, right wing Martin St. Louis is nipping at his heels with 36 points, and center Vincent Lecavalier has enjoyed a rebound season with seven goals, 15 assists and a plus-1 rating in 26 games.
Must start: Victor Hedman (blocked shots/hits leagues), Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis, Steven Stamkos
Center Mike Ribeiro has a pair of tough games earlier in the week, going scoreless with a minus-5 rating. However, he still enjoys a seven-point spread for the overall team lead in points, with left wing Alexander Ovechkin (10 G, 12 A) and center Nicklas Backstrom (3 G, 19 A) tied for second with 22 points. Speaking of Backstrom and Ovechkin, left wing Aaron Volpatti is getting a chance to skate with them on the top line, replacing center Matt Hendricks.
Must start: Nicklas Backstrom, Troy Brouwer, Braden Holtby, Alex Ovechkin, Mike Ribeiro
Left wing Evander Kane has stepped up his play in recent days, firing in two goals while posting 22 SOG in just three games. Kane has just those two goals in the past eight games, but his confidence certainly isn't lacking. Expect more results soon. Kane is also among the league leaders with 80 hits in just 27 games. Goaltender Ondrej Pavelec remains a decent fantasy option with 11 wins and a .905 save percentage, and his goals against average (GAA) of 2.70 is decent for a No. 2 backstop.
Must start: Dustin Byfuglien, Evander Kane, Andrew Ladd, Bryan Little, Ondrej Pavelec, Blake Wheeler