A total of 22 teams out of 30 are in action on a typical busy Saturday. So let’s not waste any time with the Pick Six, which includes the usual batch of hot and cold players.
Alex Ovechkin, LW, WAS – start
This might seem like a “no duh” recommendation. Just in case you were wondering if Bruce Boudreau was going to bench Ovechkin for longer than the final minute of Friday’s game. Ovie played 20 minutes on Friday, recording two assists. Message sent, message received. Now we can get on with our lives.
Josh Harding, G, MIN – start
Is there a goalie controversy in Minny? Following back-to-back wins against Detroit and a win against Vancouver with a combined two goals allowed, Harding will start his fourth consecutive game on Saturday against St. Louis (Hockey Wilderness). Once considered the goalie of the future for the Wild, Harding could be another example of post-hype sleeper, as a run of injuries has slowed his development. Harding is in a great spot on Saturday, playing a Blues team on its second of back-to-back games.
Chris Stewart, RW, STL – bench
After scoring at will after joining the Blues via trade last season, Stewart has his fantasy owners filing a missing person’s report this season. In 12 games, Stewart has just two goals and an assist, with just a single assist over his last nine games. Stewart’s game logs suggest that the cold snaps are normal and that he will start scoring a bucketful of goals at some point. Until then, leave him on your bench.
Steve Mason, G, CBJ – bench
Is there any team in worse shape this season than the Columbus Blue Jackets? Following his Calder Trophy 2008-09 season, Mason has a third consecutive season of plus-3.00 GAA staring him in the face. I honestly assumed that the Jackets were on the ups following the offseason acquisitions of Jeff Carter and James Wisniewski, so I made a point to draft Mason in at least one of my leagues. However, I simply can’t feel confident putting him in the lineup right now. Mason allowed four goals on 11 shots to the Leafs on Thursday. It won’t be any easier on Saturday when he faces the Flyers in Philly.
Derick Brassard, C, CBJ – bench
Here’s another player feeling blue from playing in Columbus. Brassard looked like a great pickup following the foot injury to Jeff Carter, yet his production seems to mirror that of the aforementioned Stewart. Even with Carter still out of the lineup, Brassard was held to just 14 minutes of icetime against the Leafs on Thursday. Surely there have to be stronger centers available on your waiver wire.
Jakub Voracek, RW, PHI – start
This is an example of a player wanting to send a message to his former team that, hey, you made a mistake in trading me. Voracek, who has six points in 13 games while playing top-6 forward minutes, faces the Blue Jackets on Saturday. Call this a hunch, but sometimes a little extra motivation can make all the difference in the world.