Bouchard: Healthy & ProducingSaturday, March 23, 2013
Several fantasy leagues have already had their trade deadlines come and go, so finding players on waivers may be the only way left to adjust your rosters prior to the start of the fantasy playoffs. This week's Waiver Wired will give GMs another mixed bag of players who could be of service during your playoff push:
Steve Ott (C, LW - Buffalo Sabres) - Ott has been better since Buffalo's coaching change and he's taken on more responsibilities for the Sabres on and off the ice under interim coach Ron Rolston. The premiere faceoff artist has taken more draws than he did when Lindy Ruff was there. His offensive game has also picked up with 10 points in 14 games since the coaching change. Ott is a multi-faceted fantasy asset who can add penalty minutes (57) and hits (130) to your fantasy totals as well. He's owned in 40 percent of Yahoo! leagues, so there's a good chance he's available.
Jake Gardiner (D - Toronto Maple Leafs) - Whether the #FreeJakeGardiner on Twitter campaign worked like a charm or the Leafs simply couldn't wait any longer to get the 22-year-old blueliner back in their lineup doesn't matter. What is relevant is that the smooth-skating, offensive-minded defender is back with the Maple Leafs and he's already making an impact. Gardiner picked up an assist and a plus-2 rating in 24:16 of ice time against Buffalo Thursday night in only his second game since his big-league recall. He's been jumping into the rush effectively, as he did last year, when he recorded seven goals and 30 points in his rookie season. Recently, he's received some power-play time on the second unit. He's owned in just 12 percent of Yahoo! leagues, so don't waste time picking him up.
Pierre-Marc Bouchard (RW - Minnesota Wild) - The Wild have been climbing in the standings and the play of Bouchard has picked up considerably. He enjoyed his most productive stretch in March with a goal and six assists in the four contests heading into Saturday's action. Devin Setoguchi has picked up steam in the scoring department and Bouchard's adept playmaking skills have benefited from Setoguchi's ability to finish around the opposition's net. Bouchard has been a healthy scratch a few times and he had been struggling to produce, which is why he's available in 97 percent of Yahoo! leagues, but it looks like he's finally turned the corner and is back on track.
Marcus Johansson (C - Washington Capitals) - Johansson's brutal start to the 2013 season led to some early trips to the press box, but since returning from a concussion he has been clicking offensively. He has generated three goals and four helpers in his past five games, which has earned him a promotion to the Capitals' top line again alongside Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin. He's obtainable in 97 percent of Yahoo! leagues and although his center-only eligibility does sting a bit, he is worthy of your consideration. Look for the 22-year-old forward to finish the year on a much more positive note.
Roman Josi (D - Nashville Predators) - Josi's offensive statistics have received a jolt from his recent four-game point streak. During his scoring spree, the Nashville rearguard generated a goal and six assists to double his point total to 14 on the year. He registered three power-play points over that time as well and averages the second-most time on the man advantage - after Shea Weber - among the Predators' defense corps. His upswing in production is encouraging and his standing on the team should allow it to continue, even though his current pace is bound to slow down. Josi also has 56 shots and 50 blocked shots in 31 matches this campaign, so he can add more value depending on your categories. He's owned in just 12 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
Anton Khudobin (G - Boston Bruins) - Boston coach Claude Julien has shown he has no problem sending out Khudobin even though Tuukka Rask has played marvelously for most of the year. The backup goalie has performed very well when called upon, sporting a 6-2-0 record with a .925 save percentage and a 2.14 goals-against average. He's owned in 12 percent of Yahoo! leagues and not only is a good handcuff for teams that have Rask but he's also a decent option if your league is deep and you could use a third-or fourth-string keeper.
Curtis Glencross (LW - Calgary Flames) - Glencross is enjoying another successful stretch with a five-game point streak. He compiled five goals, including a hat trick, last week, and eight points over that span while on a surprisingly effective unit featuring Matthew Stajan and Lee Stempniak. Glencross, who has a 21 percent ownership percentage in Yahoo! leagues, tends to run hot and cold so feel free to take a flier on him while he's producing.
Tyler Bozak (C - Toronto Maple Leafs) - If your league credits faceoff prowess, Bozak probably isn't available. He has taken the third most draws in the league (704) and he's maintained a 53.8 winning percentage. Bozak's offensive contributions have been spotty at best this year, but he has started to pick up his game of late and is shooting much more often. He has recorded three goals and one assist during his season-high four-game point streak going into Saturday's action. Bozak is owned in 15 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
Matt Irwin (D - San Jose Sharks) - San Jose's experiment with Brent Burns at forward has given Irwin, who is owned in just three percent of Yahoo! leagues, a spot next to Dan Boyle on the team's top defensive pairing. He has netted four goals, including three on the power play, and contributed two assists in his last seven games. Irwin's minus-8 rating in 20 games may scare away some potential owners, but his power-play work and inclination to shoot the puck (46 shots) should attract others to the table.
Cedrick Desjardins (G - Tampa Bay Lightning) - Anders Lindback's ankle injury leaves the Lightning with Mathieu Garon as the team's de facto starter and Desjardins as the backup. However, given Garon's struggles this year and last, it wouldn't be surprising if Desjardins received an opportunity to get his fair share of starts. Granted, Desjardins didn't look all that impressive in his season debut with the Bolts earlier this month against Montreal, but with some practices under his belt and guidance from the coaching staff, he could be a player to watch. He's readily available in 99 percent of Yahoo! leagues, so you can take a wait-and-see approach with his acquisition.