There comes to a point in the fantasy hockey season where one is ready to not only cry uncle but just want to throw a hockey puck against a window.
These are one of those times if you are the Vancouver Canucks, Colorado Avalanche, or New York Islanders.
It just seems the injuries have mounted to the point of the absurd. The time has almost come where the blurred line between turkeys and injuries have nearly meshed.
We had never thought this day would come close but with about a week and half to go until the trade deadline, it seems holes that were filled need filling again and worse. Picture being in the Northeast and watching the same potholes just get deeper and deeper. That is what most fantasy league GM’s are experiencing right this minute. They need help NOW not later. Your fantasy team may be lucky but surely someone in the league that you are in is writhing in pain wondering when the next healthy body will come back into their lineup.
Injury lists on teams are literally running near double digits in some cases. Many teams have four or five guys hurt or on their IR. Take a look sometime at team rosters and it looks like the teacher who got too happy with the red marker. It has been a tough week for many and now more players seem to be going down.
For example, I went to pick three turkeys this week then realized hey, they are actually injured. Rarely has that happened this year. Plan A usually does not turn into Plan D or E so quickly. What we are going to do is warm up the injury bus here and tell you some of what is going on as best as we can so you can make the most informed decision.
ON THE MEND
Wojtek Wolski (NY Rangers)
Good news is that Wolski played tonight after injuring his ribs and missing only a little bit of time. How effective will he be is anyone’s guess.
Wolski does have 10 points in 15 games as a New York Ranger but has no goals on the man advantage and only three over all in the Gotham colors. That is the one aspect of the game that he has to pick up on because the Rangers are in dire need of secondary scoring on the power play for the stretch run. How he does tonight and tomorrow night should be a bit of a barometer to see how he really is health wise.
Olli Jokinen (Calgary)
Jokinen took a knee on knee hit against Colorado and many thought he might miss the game against Dallas but to his credit he was back in the lineup. It will be essential to see how he does in his next game but that OMG line actually has some legs in Calgary and they are one of the hottest teams in hockey.
Patrick Kane (Chicago)
Kane had the flu as so many players around the NHL have seemed to come down with this season but he looked okay last night. It will be fine for Chicago fans as the snowstorm clearly caused another bout with the flu for many residents including their hockey players.
With that seemingly over now, guys like Kane can go on playing hockey and score some goals. He will be fine and if not in the lineup, then get him in there already!
Now on to the Fantasy Turkeys because everyone needs those.
Fantasy Hockey Turkeys
Cam Ward (Carolina)
The ‘Canes goalie has looked very ordinary since the new year posting a not so good 3.15 GAA and .898 save percentage in that span. This could not have come at a worse time as Ward looked pretty shaky against New Jersey and really has not been himself the last month and a half. Hopefully he can turn it around but one has to wonder if it is going to come too late.
Time is a wasting and that All Star selection may not have been worth it as he looks exhausted out there. One may want to even bench him in their fantasy leagues.
Any Islander Goalies
It is extremely rare that we go team dishonor here but the point is worth to be noted that if you even have an Islander goalie on your fantasy team, he should be waived immediately. The numbers do not lie and even when they fight it gets ugly. It may turn into a good fight between them and Ottawa to see who ends up 30th in the league because the goaltending on both teams is putrid.
Rarely do we say this but we are using putrid kindly here as opposed to what could really be said. Stay away from these netminders as they are not minding anything.
Joe Thornton (San Jose)
We have just seen enough from the tall guy who does not shoot at all anymore. It has become just plain pathetic to watch this guy on a nightly basis. Three points in his last nine games for “Jumbo Joe” and only seven shots on goal (less than one shot a game!). He is a mediocre plus-1 in that span and still posts a minus-12 on the season and is averaging less than a point a game.
There is a level of fantasy ugly that suggests that Thornton may find his way out of San Jose at some point, maybe even next year. Sharks fans cannot take much more of this nor can fantasy fans at this point.
Some InjurIes Of Note
Derek Brassard (Columbus)
A left hand injury will keep Brassard out 2-3 weeks which could potentially last into the end of the fantasy regular season for most owners out there.
Matt Duchene (Colorado)
Duchene may have a broken hand and may not but he is out indefinitely at the moment. There is more information being gathered at press time.
Mike Green (Washington)
Green still has a strange inner ear condition that some are speculating is a bit more. It really becomes a guessing game at this point so keep him out for the rest of this week and next week, even if he plays.
We hope you enjoyed this week’s edition of the Fantasy Hockey 201 and we really appreciate the feedback so keep it coming. If you have suggestions, just drop us a line. However we will not take the blame for all of the injuries that have happened tonight but check your fantasy rosters Friday. See you next week.