SUN Hockey Pool

Fantasy Fare: Deadline deals no sure thing

Are Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp the Chicago Blackhawks' new super line?...

Are Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp the Chicago Blackhawks' new super line? (Christian Petersen/Getty Images/AFP)

JOEL COLOMBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:32 PM ET

With the NHL trade deadline less than a week away, one question that pops to mind is this: Does being dealt from a bottom-feeder to a playoff contender actually enhance a player’s fantasy value?

You would think so. After all, that player is going to a team and, in the case of most forwards, a line with superior talent. And that should hold true for the Blue Jackets’ star duo of Rick Nash and Jeff Carter, should they wind up elsewhere. While the two have yet to mesh as linemates, put them in playoff-bound lineups and they have the skill level and pedigree to regain their status as fantasy studs, if only for the final month of the season.

However, being traded up is not always a slam-dunk boost for fantasy value. In fact, of 14 fantasy-worthy skaters dealt to a better team a year ago, most didn’t take advantage of it. Taking a before-and-after points-per-game comparison (see the accompanying chart), only three of the 14 actually improved their production.

-- The Blackhawks, desperate to win a hockey game, tossed arguably their three best forwards — Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane — on to the same line for Thursday’s game at MSG. The result? The Blackhawks scored four times in the first 10 minutes — two by the new super-line — and ended the losing streak, which should mean they won’t be split up right away. This would

seem to be a fantasy setback for Marian Hossa, though he still managed a goal and an assist skating on the second line with Andrew Brunette and Marcus Kruger.

-- One of the hottest lines in the NHL has been the unlikely Panthers trio of Marcel Goc, Sean Bergenheim and Mikail Samuelsson. Since Feb. 1, the three have combined for 9-8-17 totals in just eight games. Goc has six assists in that span setting up Bergenheim (5 goals) and Samuelsson (4 goals).

-- After spending his first couple of games back from a groin injury on the Devils’ third line, rookie Adam Henrique is back as the No. 1 centre between Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise. In Henrique’s absence, Dainius Zubrus moved up from the second line to the first while third-line winger David Clarkson was promoted to the second. But when Henrique returned, it was Zubrus who wound up out of the top six and not Clarkson, who is 6-6-12 in his past 13 games.

MINUTES MAN

Too bad that Tom Sestito appears to be out for the rest of the regular schedule after undergoing groin surgery this week. The hulking Flyers winger might have been a crafty final-week pickup for any owner needing a late hit in PIMs. The Flyers play the Rangers for the final time on April 3 and Sestito piled up 54 minutes in three games against NYR, 49 of those in his last two games against them.

WAIVER WATCH

With fantasy rating out of 5

Mark Olver

LW, Avalanche

* * *

An undersized grinder with decent hands, he made his season debut Friday with a goal and an assist on an impressive new line with playmaker O’Reilly and shooter Landeskog. Was out with a concussion after going 2-7-9 in 18 games with the Avs last year.

Victor Hedman

D, Lightning

* *

Dismissed as a defensive D-man since being taken No. 2 overall in 2009, he had a career-high three assists against San Jose on Thursday and, since Feb. 1, has more than doubled his season scoring stats with 1-6-7 totals in eight games. The plus-5 is a pleasant surprise, as well.

Jiri Tlusty

LW, Hurricanes

* *

Moved up to play on Eric Staal’s wing, ex-Leaf has, at long last, may have found some fantasy consistency, recording a point in each of his six games this month (three goals and three assists) while piling up an impressive plus-7 rating.

Byron Bitz

LW, Canucks

*

We didn’t bother to include the big fella here last week, amidst the hysteria surrounding his playing with the Sedins. As we expected, the experiment lasted parts of only three games before Alex Burrows was back where he belonged next to the twins. As for Bitz, if you picked him up, he may give you some PIMs, but don’t count on much else.

GAMES THIS WEEK

4 — CHI, DAL, NYI, OTT, SJ, TB, VAN, WASH

All other teams play 3 games

HOT AND NOT

Forwards, the past two weeks

David Perron STL

7 GP, 7-2-9, +4

Radim Vrbata PHX

7 GP, 4-4-8, +5

Wayne Simmonds PHIL

8 GP, 5-2-7, 18 PIMs

- - - - - - -

John Tavares ISL

7 GP, 0-1-1, minus-7

David Krejci BOS

7 GP, 1-0-1, minus-6

INJURY UPDATES

RW on the Bruins top line is a jinx lately. First Nathan Horton sustains a concussion. Now his replacement, Rich Peverley is out perhaps until the playoffs with a knee injury ... Jamie Benn (cut on his leg) should be back Tuesday … J-S Giguere’s groin has sidelined him again … Mike Green (hernia) was a maybe for Saturday’s game in Tampa. If not, he should finally return next week … Jimmy Howard (finger) has been tabbed to start in goal Sunday … The Oilers hope Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (shoulder) is ready for Tuesday ... Patric Hornqvist suffered a UBI a week ago and was listed as doubtful for Sunday … Jason Garrison’s LBI will likely keep him out until next weekend … Peter Mueller hurt his torso in the pre-game skate on Wednesday.

-- STATISTICS DO NOT INCLUDE SATURDAY'S GAMES --


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