Welcome back to another week of The Waiver Wire! This week, Tampa is having some goaltender issues and Buffalo is on fire. So let's take a look at our disappointments, pleasant surprises and my shot in the dark.
Erik Karlsson – OTT – D – 100% owned
Erik Karlsson, in my opinion, is the premier offensive defenseman. Over his career has has .75 p/g and over the past four years, this year included, he scores at a rate of .89 p/g. He might as well be a rover. This makes him super valuable in mostly all fantasy leagues. More often than not, he is probably the first defenseman taken, if not, one of the first three. Although he is the premier offensive defenseman, he did not have a premier week. He put up, well, nothing, 0-0-0 and was -2 in three games. He did have 4 hits and 3 blocked shots, but he’s not counted on for that. His saving grace in a few leagues may be that he averaged 30:45 in his three games. That will definitely pull up your TOI average if you have that as a stat category.
Anze Kopitar – LA – C – 97% owned
One of the underrated parts of Kopitar’s game are on the defensive side of the game. Maybe he just scares other players into giving him the puck because they think a zombie apocalypse is here. Offensively, he’s pretty good as well but this past week was not one to celebrate. Unlike Karlsson, Kopitar actually scored a goal. His stat line was 1-0-1 but he was also a -6 in his three games this past week. That’s absolutely brutal and may have cost you a point in your league if you had him. Then again, maybe that’s what you deserve if you are in a fantasy hockey league that uses +/-. The one bright spot for Kopitar is that it seems in the most recent game against Toronto, Kopitar was playing mad because he laid 6 hits in one game.
Ben Bishop – TB – G – 99% owned
I know, I know. “Oak, how can you pick on someone who was injured this past week?!” Well, easily, because before he was injured, he was pretty terrible all week. I believe Ben Bishop is the first goalie to make my disappointments list and with absolutely good reason. It was a rough week for the poor fella. First, allows 8 goals in under 7 periods. He only had 58 saves in those 7 periods giving him a save % of .878. Unsurprisingly, Bishop came away with no wins in the past week. And then to cap it all off, he gets hurt. Bishop left the game with a lower body injury and Tampa will most likely need to call up another goaltender.
The Pleasant Surprises
Jhonas Enroth – BUF – G – 39% owned
Buffalo is on a four game win streak, and is one of the hottest teams in the NHL at 7-3 in their last ten. Jhonas Enroth is a very large part of this. It seems like they don’t want to win the McAwesome sweeps. In the past week, Enroth was 4-0 with a save % of .928. Hmmm, where have I seen that number before? Ah, that’s right, .001 higher than Varly’s Vezina-nominated season. So that just shows how well Enroth is playing, and it turns out, when most teams get that type of goaltending, they do pretty well. I have no clue how long Buffalo will ride this wave, but if you are desperate for goaltending, picking up Enroth is a solid bet.
Matt Martin - NYI – LW – 5% owned
Matt Martin is a player who is well known for very little more than being top 5 in hits almost every year. Hits are usually pretty useless in fantasy leagues, so it makes sense that he is only 5% owned. This past week though, he may have had the offensive week of his life. He doubled his total season point totals putting up 2-1-3 and was +4 in his four games this week as well. Combine that with the fact that he had 11 shots, 20 hits and 5 blocked shots and Martin was quite the well rounded player this past week. He may not be worth a pick up, but if you have hits in your league, I’d take a shot.
Tyler Ennis – BUF – C, LW – 18% owned
“Ugh, this guy is such a Buffalo homer!” Well, sure, but they are also playing super well, so deal with it. Let them have their week in the spotlight, it won’t last forever. Tyler Ennis had a hell of a week this past week. In four games, he put up 1-5-6 and was +2. He also wins the heart, soul, character and leadership award this week for having 10 hits while only being 5’ 9” and 169 pounds. If you are in a cap league, his contract is hard to swallow but if you own him, you at least got your money’s worth this past week. I don’t expect him (or the rest of Buffalo) to keep it up, but you never know. Riding a hot goalie all year can do some great things cough cough Avs cough cough.
Shot in the Dark
Andrei Vasilevskiy – TB – G – 1% owned
Who? Many of you are probably saying that. Andrei Vasilevskiy is one of the goaltenders in the Tampa Bay system. We don’t know how long Ben Bishop is out yet, and we don’t even know who Tampa Bay will call up yet. But looking at the stats, my guess would be Vasilevskiy over Kristers Gudlevskis. If you’re saying to yourself, you recognize that name it’s because Gudlevskis was the Lativan goalie who made nearly every Canadian shit themselves in the Olympics, putting up a 55 save effort in a 2-1 loss to Canada. But right now, Vasilevskiy’s GAA is .7 better, his save percentage is .020 better and he has played two more games. If he gets called up, and Nabakov doesn’t play well, Vasilevskiy could get some playing time. Pick him up if you are super desperate in a super deep league.
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.