Fantasy Fare: Chimera worth look

Under-appreciated Jason Chimera led the Washington Capitals in scoring with 10 goals entering...

Under-appreciated Jason Chimera led the Washington Capitals in scoring with 10 goals entering Saturday's slate of games. (GETTY IMAGES)

JOEL COLOMBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:33 PM ET

Don’t know how many times I’ve seen Jason Chimera’s name atop the waiver wire in all three of the fantasy leagues I am in, then passed him up for someone else. And I’m obviously not alone because the 32-year-old, third-line winger sits there, unclaimed, game after game, week after week, despite the fact that — believe it or not — he was leading the star-studded Capitals in goals with 10 prior to Saturday night’s action, equalling his 81-game total from last year. Perhaps that says as much about the offensive struggles of his high-profile teammates, but Chimera has quietly put together a streak of four goals in his past five games and, with a solid plus-8 and five assists for the season, all while patrolling the third line and averaging a mere 18 seconds of power-play time a night. He has the size, the wheels and the work ethic to succeed. Maybe now, that no-hands tag is finally being shed.

— Ryan Whitney’s return was expected to boost the Oilers’ blueline production. It has, but it’s been everyone else that has been hitting the scoresheet. Combined, Theo Peckham, Tom Gilbert, Ladislav Smid and Jeff Petry are 4-11-15 the past two weeks with a plus-20 rating. Whitney, still finding his legs after an extensive stay on IR, has one assist since returning and is a minus-2.

— Bobby Ryan owners can breathe a little easier. Bruce Boudreau returned the NHL rumour mill’s latest poster boy to the Ducks’ No. 1 line for Friday’s game after Randy Carlyle had dropped him to the third line on his final night as Anaheim’s coach. Ryan has struggled much of the year with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry — hence the demotion — but Boudreau, who didn’t like to put all of his high-scoring eggs in one basket when coaching the Capitals, said he plans to give his new top line every opportunity to regain last season’s form.

— Cal Clutterbuck’s strong play of late has earned him a promotion to the Wild’s No. 1 line with Mikko Koivu and Dany Heatley. The robust winger has never had much fantasy value, except in pools where hits are a category. (He led the NHL in that department last season and sits second this year.) However, while he offers little in assists, points or plus-minus, his goal-scoring has steadily improved over his three-plus seasons in Minny, from 11 to 13 to 19. And a hot streak of five goals in his past nine games has lifted him to seven for this year, four of those on the power play. Though he suffered a charley horse on Wednesday in Edmonton and is day-to-day, those other numbers can only improve as long as he remains on the top line, which of course is no lock.

— Two games in and Dale Hunter has not yet had much luck turning Alexander Ovechkin back in the right direction. Hunter was expected to increase Ovie’s ice time — and he may still yet — but the new coach played him just 16:46 in his debut behind the Caps bench, the winger’s second-lowest total this season. The Great 8, meanwhile had only two shots on goal in those two games. Of more concern, however, is that Hunter’s fiery, more confrontational style, while intended to light a fuse under Ovie and Alex Semin, could further alienate the club’s young stars.

— Tomas Holmstrom does not have an even-strength goal this season. All four of his tallies have come on the Red Wings power play.

RUNNING A-FOWL

To say Cam Fowler is taking on a larger role with Lubomir Visnovsky hurt may be an understatement. The second-year D-man logged just more than nine minutes of power-play time on Wednesday against Montreal but had no points and no shots on goal. Overall, Fowler is 2-4-6 in eight games without Visnovsky, though his plus-minus is taking another beating (minus-12 in that span).

 

GAMES THIS WEEK

4 — BOS, FLA, NYR, OTT, PHX, SJ, TB

2 — DAL

All other teams play 3 games

HOT AND NOT

(Defencemen the past two weeks)

Tom Gilbert EDM

1-6-7, 4 PPP, plus-4

Fedor Tyutin CLB

0-5-5, plus-2

Luke Schenn TOR

1-3-4, plus-7

- - - - - -

Dennis Wideman WAS

0-1-1, minus-9

Dan Boyle SJ

0-0-0, minus-4

TRAINER’S ROOM TICKER

The Max Pacioretty hit that broke Kris Letang’s nose may also have produced some concussion symptoms ... Tyler Ennis returned to the Sabres on Friday after missing five weeks ... Jeff Carter is hurt again. He sprained an ankle on Thursday ... Brenden Morrow (back) should return for next Thursday’s game … Taylor Hall (shoulder) is already skating and may be out only a couple of weeks … Mike Richards may have suffered a concussion after taking a hit to the head on Friday. He’s out at least a week ... Dan Ellis (groin) is out for probably a couple of weeks … Goalie Niklas Backstrom exited Friday’s game with a lower body injury that’s not believed to be serious … Scott Gomez (groin) missed the weekend games ... Looks like you can activate James van Riemsdyk (LBI) for this coming week … Mike Green (groin) is still not even practising.

WAIVER WATCH

David Perron

LW, Blues

* * *

Emerging young winger returned Friday after missing 97 games with a concussion and, if available, is certainly worth the gamble. He was 5-2-7 in 10 games when hurt 13 months ago and was coming off his first 20-goal campaign the season before. He’ll play on the second line with Patrik Berglund and Chris Stewart,

Kristian Huselius

RW, Blue Jackets

* * *

Also made his season debut Friday, skating on the top line with Nash and Vermette. The key to his fantasy stock rests with him staying there once Jeff Carter returns. Huselius was working on a fourth consecutive 20-goal season when he injured his hip last season, then tore his pectoral muscle in rehab.

Carl Hagelin

LW, Rangers

* *

Smallish Swede has impressed with his speed and poise, going 1-3-4 in his first four games. A sixth-rounder in 2007, he appears to have the skill set to fit in as a top-six forward but likely tops out as a third-liner.

Andrew Raycroft

G, Stars

* *

Okay, it’s Andre Raycroft, but with Lehtonen (groin) out for another three weeks, the one-time Leaf will get the bulk of the starts for a division leader. And he looks to be up to the task, going 2-1 with a .944 save percentage since taking over.

Stefan Elliott

D, Avalanche

* * *

Avs’ second-rounder in 2010 is 2-1-3 in four games. Lack of a physical game could hurt his ice time, but he has the skating skills, vision and accurate shot to become a premier offensive defenceman in time.

 

 

 

 


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