Welcome back to another week of The Waiver Wire! This week, an MVP-to-be struggles, Drouin's demotion is an opportunity for someone else and a player from the winged wheel could be a sneaky fantasy pick up (this is your first warning). So let's take a look at our disappointments, pleasant surprises and my Shot in the Dark player of the week.
Tomas Plekanec - MON - C - 55% owned
Tomas Plekanec started of the year on fire. He had 4 goals and 1 assist in his first three games. He cooled down a bit, as expected, but now, he is ice cold. This past week, in four games, all Plekanec did was put up -5, two hits and two blocks. Not only is he not helping your team, he's most likely hurting it. He was one of the worst options to have in leagues that calculate negative points for minuses. Looking forward, Montreal has games against Chicago, Buffalo and Minnesota, so it's two tough matchups sandwiching a great one. yes
Martin St. Louis - NYR - C, RW - 95% owned
This is tough one to write about, because although Martin St. Louis did a whole lot of nothing this past week, he did nothing in only two games. Nonetheless, in those two games, he had no points, was -2, had one blocked shot and took 3 shots. That -2 he somehow managed, was in that legendary choke job done by Minnesota. He's been seeing time on a line with Chris Kreider and Anthony Duclair (who?) so hopefully he picks his game back up.
John Tavares - NYI - C - 100% owned
There are only a few players I like watching more than John Tavares. The Islanders have lost three straight, and not so coincidentally, Tavares has not produced much during those three games (sup MVP). He put up one goal and was -3. The good news is, he still seems to be doing other things well. He took 9 shots over those three games and averaged just under 23 minutes per game. Hopefully you are getting production from other members on your team, because the upcoming road trip doesn't look too easy. They have 3 games in 4 days against Anaheim, LA and Arizona, the first two being back to back.
The Pleasant Surprises
Nikita Kucherov - TB - LW, RW - 36% owned
Many fantasy owners that took a chance on Jonathan Drouin got some bad news last week. Drouin was demoted to the fourth line to ease him into the game. This left an open spot in the top six which was given to Nikita Kucherov. He is grabbing that bull by the horn and producing like a monster. In the past week, Kucherov has put up 4 goals (including a hatty against Arizona), 1 assist, was +4 and he took 12 shots. From looking at his TOI, he's been in the top six for 5 games, and has put up 5 goals and 4 assists in those games. He will absolutely cool down, but if he continues to get the opportunity to play more minutes, he may be a good pick up.
Justin Abdelkader - DET - LW, RW - 43% owned
Warning (and this is your second warning): I am about to say good things about a member of the Detroit Red Wings. If you cannot stomach this, move on to the next paragraph. If you are still reading this, then you accept that this is good stuff about a member of the Red Wings. Justin Abdelkader has put points up in three straight games. He has 2 goals and 3 assists over that span. Additionally, he is +3 and dished out 4 hits. Looks like playing with Datsyuk and Zetterberg really helps ramp up your production. If you have someone to drop, I'd absolutely add Abdelkader and keep him until he is moved to a lower line again.
Troy Brouwer - WAS - RW - 18% owned
Troy Brouwer is always a physical player. That alone could make him useful in your lineup depending on the depth in your league, and the stat categories that count. This past week, despite being in the middle of a four game losing streak, Brouwer has put up 3 goals on 11 shots and had a +1 rating. This won't last forever, but things seem to be clicking for him right now. Washington's next five games are Calgary, Chicago, Carolina, Columbus and New Jersey. This schedule is somewhat favorable and could be what they need to break out of this funk.
Shot in the Dark
Elias Lindholm - CAR - C, RW - 2% owned
Elias Lindholm put up his first point of the season in game 1. He then went pointless in his next seven games. He has taken four shots in the last 4 games, and has gotten points in the last two, totally 3 goals and 1 assist with a +3 rating. He has consistently been a physical player, having 15 hits in the past 6 games and has position flexibility. All of these could be very valuable assets to have in your fantasy league. He's seen 17+ minutes in three of his last four games, so it's possible that he continues to see a lot of time.
Well folks, that about wraps it up. What fantasy players are frustrating you? Who is saving your team? Who do you have an eye on? Let me know what you want to see next week on The Waiver Wire.