As I did last weekend, I’ll attempt to preview the final two days ahead to help you plan your lineup as the roster decisions come down to the crunch. Currently, I’m attempting to extend my playoff life at least one more week in three different leagues. If you’re reading this, chances are you’re in the same predicament that I am, so I’ll help you with everything (okay, almost everything) I know about trying to win when it counts.
Only six teams are idle on Saturday, meaning that 24 teams are in action with 12 games being played. Simple math, I know, but the long and the short of it is that you may have a roster decision or two on your hands for Saturday. Part of determining who to start or sit will depend on the individual player’s performance both for the season and career, goals for and against by the team, home and road production, and performance against the opponent (probably in that order). Seeing as how we are at the end of another week, perhaps we should look into the number of games played over the weekend as well.
Teams that play both Saturday and Sunday: Boston, Philadelphia
Teams that play neither Saturday nor Sunday: No one
Yes, it’s time to load up on Bruins and Flyers, whether you like those teams or not. Since these two clubs both own top-10 offenses in the NHL, there’s a good chance that you own at least one player from each of these teams. It would go without saying that you would start a universally-owned player like a Jeff Carter or a Zdeno Chara. However, with back-to-back games, Brian Boucher and Tuukka Rask will probably split starts with Sergei Bobrovsky and Tim Thomas, respectively. So my emphasis in the Pick Six will be on players from these two teams that would be a possible waiver-wire grab, seeing as how you’ll get two games for the price of one.
Adam McQuaid, D, BOS – start
The plus/minus gravy train keeps on rolling for McQuaid, who is up to a team-leading +29 this season. With 96 penalty minutes on the season, he is also nearing the triple-digit penalty minute mark. He won’t provide your team with a whole lot of offense, but two of his three goals this season have been scored over his last three games. He’ll also provide some hits and blocked shots, if your league happens to count that category.
Mark Recchi, RW, BOS – start
At age 43, Recchi is on his way to reaching the 50-point mark yet again. Known more for his comments prior to Thursday’s Adams Division match with rival Montreal, Recchi has also posted points in three of his last four games. He is still available in over two-thirds of Yahoo leagues, so as he has done throughout his career, he could “quietly” help your point totals this weekend against the Rangers and Flyers.
Matt Carle, D, PHI – start
When Chris Pronger was sidelined with a foot injury earlier this season, the consensus on this site was that Carle would benefit minutes-wise. Pronger is injured again, and Carle is currently making the most of his opportunity. The Alaskan-born defenseman is currently riding a four-game point streak with a +6 over that span. He played nearly 25 minutes on Thursday against Pittsburgh, so expect him to be a big factor in this weekend’s games against the Islanders and Bruins.
Torrey Mitchell, C, SJ – start
Mitchell isn’t the first Shark that comes to mind when you think about scoring, but fantasy owners should be taking note of his recent stats. Although Mitchell was held without a point on Thursday against LA, he has four goals, six points and a +6 over his last five games. He may be your answer in deeper leagues.
Nathan Gerbe, C, BUF – start
I’m not sold completely on Gerbe because of his icetime (under 15 minutes per game), but the goals and points always seem to come in spurts for the 5’5” Killer Bee. Gerbe currently has a three-game goal streak, including a two-goal effort against Montreal on Tuesday. Like Mitchell, Gerbe is another option for deep leagues.
Sergei Kostitsyn, LW, NSH – start
The younger Kostitsyn brother has come into his own with the Predators with a career-best 42 points (19g-23a). Perhaps more fantasy owners would be noticing Kostitsyn had he connected for a third goal on Thursday, as his teammates were trying in vain to pass him the puck so he could convert the hat trick into an empty net. Despite not earning the hat trick, Kostitsyn is on a five-game point streak with a +4 over that span. Nashville isn’t exactly the 1980s Oilers when it comes to scoring options, so Barry Trotz will continue to use him as long as he is producing and not making defensive miscues.
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