There is one week to go before the NHL All-Star Game. For people who are participating in fantasy hockey pools, please make sure to check how long your week goes. In many pools, you need a minimum of three goaltending starts and with the National Hockey League stopping its play on Thursday for the weekend, you might have to pick up a goaltender for the week.
One goaltender you may want to stay away from acquiring however is Steve Mason of the Philadelphia Flyers. Mason has not been sharp whatsoever for the Flyers over the last month. Mason did make 36 saves in 38 attempts for the Flyers on Sunday in a 3-2 win over the New York Islanders. His last win prior to Sunday came on December 21 in a 3-2 Flyers upset win over the Washington Capitals.
From December 22 to January 21, Mason played in ten games for the Flyers and failed to win a single contest during that period. He also lost eight of those contests.
Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers continues to roll as he leads the National Hockey League with 40 assists and 56 points. However he is not be the number one player in fantasy hockey rankings at the moment. That player is Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins, who is second in the NHL with 54 points. The reason why Malkin is ahead of McDavid is because of his penalty minute totals. Malkin has 32 more penalty minutes (54) than McDavid who has 22 penalty minutes in 2016-17.
Malkin also has the benefit of playing regularly with Sidney Crosby on the power play. Malkin has 19 power play points, which is the fourth most in the NHL. He trails Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers (21), Alexander Wennberg of the Columbus Blue Jackets and his teammate Phil Kessel at 20 points.
Two of Malkin’s teammates are red hot at the moment. Conor Sheary had six goals and three assists for nine points this past week. Yes folks, he just might be available to pick up on the wire as he is only available in 52% of Yahoo! Fantasy Leagues. The other is Penguins defenseman Justin Schultz, who had a NHL high seven assists this past week and now has 26 assists on the season. What makes Schultz an asset however is his plus/minus. He is a +27 this year in Pittsburgh after being a horrible -78 in his four seasons in Edmonton.
This week most teams only play twice. However six teams play thrice. That list includes the Calgary Flames, Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks, Toronto Maple Leafs, Washington Capitals and Winnipeg Jets. In Calgary, the Flames are getting strong secondary scoring from Mikael Backlund and Michael Frolik. They have had much more productive seasons on both ends of the ice than their superstars of Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan who are a combined -27 to start the season.