Three up, three down: Be optimistic about Klefbom, O’Reilly

Welcome to the fantasy hockey stock market. Each week we will look at three players trending up and three players trending down.

Three Up

Oscar Klefbom – D – Oilers – 3 Goals, 12 Assists, 161 Shots, 53 Games
Klefbom was expected to build off of last season’s 38-point performance that declared to the world that he was a No. 1 defenceman. Instead, he has played hurt and played terribly. He looks more comfortable since the all-star break, returning to his role as the lone defenceman on the top power-play unit and bombing shots from the point.

The Oilers power play is still terrible, but the defenceman has two power-play assists and five assists overall in nine games this month. Consider it time for cautious optimism.

Ryan O’Reilly – C – Sabres – 18 Goals, 25 Assists, 157 Shots, 58 Games
O’Reilly has skated nearly 24 minutes per game in four games since Jack Eichel went down with an ankle injury. This is nothing new as the centreman carried a similar load when Eichel missed the first six weeks of last season. O’Reilly averaged 3.5 shots per game without Eichel last time around and is putting up similar production with 16 shots in the past four games. Points may a bit tougher to come by, though O’Reilly did put up back-to-back three-point games last week.

With the Sabres power play finding more success in the second half, and all the minutes he can handle, O’Reilly looks to be about the best replacement for Eichel you might still find on the waiver wire.

Antti Raanta – G – Coyotes – 12 Wins, 20 Losses, 77 Goals Against, 35 Games
Raanta was supposed to help the Coyotes rise to respectability this season, but early struggles with injury and inconsistency derailed those hopes. Raanta has been healthy in the second half, providing some consistent goaltending to a now feisty Coyotes team.

His numbers since the start of January are elite, boasting a 7-3-4 record with a 1.98 goals-against average and .938 save percentage. Those numbers could help any fantasy team. There is bonus value in getting in now as the pending UFA could potentially be a contender’s solution in goal.

Three Down

Nino Niederreiter – W – Wild – 15 Goals, 6 Assists, 81 Shots, 39 Games
Coming off of a breakout 57-point campaign, Niederreiter was expected to flourish in a key role for …read more

Source:: Sportsnet.ca – Sports news

      

Oil Spills: Edmonton Oilers Letestu and Maroon top targets as NHL trade deadline looms

Monday, Feb. 26 is the NHL trade deadline and Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are perhaps the only two Edmonton Oilers players who won’t be in play.

The team’s encouraging performance in last year’s playoffs raised hopes of another post-season appearance this year. But a devastatingly disappointing season so far has the Oilers out of playoff contention and struggling for answers as the team sits out a chance to play for the Stanley Cup for the 11th time in the last 12 years.

Sports editor Craig Ellingson and sports writer Derek Vandiest talk about the looming trade deadline and who the Oilers might be looking to move.

…read more

Source:: Edmonton Journal – Sports

      

Pyeongchang by the Numbers: #NipSlip, Rippon’s About-Face

An embarrassing wardrobe malfunction for French ice dancer Gabriella Papadakis, a ticket sale milestone, and figure skater Adam Rippon’s change of heart. Here are the Pyeongchang Games by the numbers.

Photo Credit: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser. …read more

Source:: NBC New York – Sports