Anyone starting to feel like it's Groundhog Day? Or Groundhog Year for that matter? For our 2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Week 11 Planner we are going to try to navigate through the recent COVID outbreak and make the most of what we have left before the Holiday break.
For those of you that follow Friedman and Marek's 32 Thoughts Podcast, you have heard them talk about how in COVID times, no matter how things are going right this second, they can change in about 15 minutes. That will be true for us here as well, which means we might do things a little bit differently in this article.
The whole point of the weekly planner is to help out on the upcoming week, and that will still be true, but this time there will be a bit more emphasis on players going forward the week after as well. Some teams have a decent schedule right now (Dallas, Edmonton, Montreal all currently have 3 games), but that can change in an instant. Quite frankly, a league-wide shutdown until the new year wouldn't be surprising.
HNIC 32 Thoughts -- As you can imagine, a lot on COVID. Other notes: players/teams not thrilled about border crossings before Christmas; and when it comes to new NFL regulations, there's a realization Canadian government wouldn't accept it right now https://t.co/bZkprhYNsu
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) December 19, 2021
With the current state of the NHL, it would be foolish to gauge new looks, new linemates, and who's eating up all the minutes, etc, etc. Nevertheless, there were some notable performances that we can look at.
Clayton Keller (23% rostered), the man once believed to be Arizona's savior, had himself a tidy week. In two games played; three goals, two assists, and 15 (!) shots on goal. Pretttay, pretty good! Coyotes are playing a run-and-gun style of hockey, so his plus-minus will be a weakness. If you can stomach that, and his lack of peripherals, he's playing the highest amount of ice-time in his career. He's crested 300 NHL games played this season, which means we might finally be seeing the Keller many were hoping for.
KELLER. THE OT WINNER!! pic.twitter.com/4okXhRxMdP
— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) December 18, 2021
Cam Atkinson (55%) appears to be thriving under the Flyers new coach, Mike Yeo. He had the same totals as Keller, three goals, two assists and 15 shots, albeit in three games played. Atkinson always had a penchant for shooting, and while he's lining up with Claude Giroux that seems to be exactly what he's doing.
The Vegas top line of Max Pacioretty, Mark Stone and Chandler Stephenson combined for a total of four goals, 13 assists, and 25 SOG's. They have been just on a tear! Makes you wonder if they break up that line once Jack Eichel factors in. We are still a ways away from that though, so Stephenson owners shouldn't be getting too worried just yet.
Alright, let's see how we did last week!
Week 10 Recap
Not starting off so hot with the Nils Hoglander take. To be fair, Canucks lost two games this week to COVID protocol, but in two games played he only managed to get you five SOG and two hits. Perhaps we will be needing to wait a bit longer to see any consistent results. I'll take an L here.
Tim Stutzle was better, he had a good all-around week, contributing two goals, eight shots, two hits and six blocks this week. Can't ask for much more out of a waiver pick-up! The Sens have two games next week (STL and CAR) so he may be worth holding on to for the time being.
WHAT A SHARP-ANGLE SHOT FROM TIM STÜTZLE!!!!
Are you kidding me! What a goal. Don't even know what to say.
— Pesky Sickos (@PeskySickos) December 19, 2021
Tanner Jeannot! My man! I'm glad I took my own advice on this one, what an impact this week. Two goals, one assist, seven SOG, 3 blocks and 13 hits all in three games played. Absolute banger play and arguably worth holding while COVID has hit the team's lineup.
Wrapping up the picks, I wouldn't say Travis Konecny was hot, nor cold, or even in the middle really. I can't get a hold of this kid. He was serviceable at least with two assists, 10 SOG, and 5 hits. Not terrible, but probably not winning you any weeks. If I had to make a guess going forward, I'd say focus your energy on Oscar Lindblom or Cam Atkinson as they seem to be getting the better deployment.
Ok, deep breath, here we go.
2021-22 Fantasy Hockey Week 11 Planner: Total Protocol
Again, we are on the cusp of what could be a holiday shut down to try and curb the outbreak. Many teams have said they will be done for the year, and I would put money on at least a couple more teams bowing out as well. Please don't be mad at me when your pick-up sits out the week.
Travis Sanheim, D, Philadelphia Flyers (2%)
Opponents: WSH, @PIT
I'm not sure if it's an affinity for the Flyers or guys named Travis, but here we are again. Given how the last couple of weeks have gone for him, I'm surprised ownership is this low. That means you get to catch the wave!
In the days since Alain Vigneault was let go, Sanheim has played seven games and in those, he has collected two goals, four assists, 15 SOG, 10 hits, and 11 blocks. Nothing to sneeze at!
As someone drafted at 17th overall, he's always had pedigree, but he was touted as more of a shutdown role-type. It will be difficult for him to break into powerplay time. However, with COVID and all the injuries plaguing Philly and the NHL on the whole, don't write him off completely. In the WHL he showed offensive prowess, check out this stat:
Neat stat found by @avappleyard: Travis Sanheim's 1.32 point-per-game avg (41 pts, 31 GP) highest among all D-men in WHL since 1997-98
— Bill Meltzer (@billmeltzer) February 4, 2016
This was some time ago, and his game has changed to be what the Flyers need him to be. It is good to know that given the opportunity he has flourished offensively, and with peripherals to back it up, you could do worse!
Jake Bean, D, Columbus Blue Jackets (3%)
Opponents: @BUF, BUF
I liked Bean in Carolina, I really thought that after Dougie Hamilton moved on that he would step up. Alternatively, I was expecting the Kraken to pick him up in the Expansion Draft as a nice cheap offensively-minded defenseman. I can't for the life of me understand why Carolina let him go for a 2nd round pick.
You don't come here for a history lesson though, so here are the goods. First off, Bean is definitely not a long-term play. I like him right now with Adam Boqvist injured. Since then Bean has logged about 4-5 minutes more of ice time, 1 goal, 2 assists, 13 SOG, 3 hits, and 5 blocks.
It's worth checking out his time in the WHL if you have a moment, he had a couple of point-per-game seasons with the Hitmen. His tenure in the NHL is still young, surprisingly only 72 games played (thanks COVID!), so we may have to wait for his offensive game to shine. Knowing that he can finish chances, and get pucks to the shooters, he's worth rostering while he's getting all the minutes he can handle.
Oliver Wahlstrom, RW, New York Islanders (21%)
Opponents: MTL, WSH
The islanders are a tough team to pick up fantasy-relevant players from. The goalie tandem of Semyon Varlamov and Ilya Sorokin has been a pretty consistent tandem, but they struggle to create offense. Wahlstrom has been a lone bright spot in that regard, recently being bumped up to the top right-wing spot.
Matt Barzal recently entered COVID-protocol, so Wahlstrom could have a tough time producing without their most electric player. I'm not trying to talk myself out of this pick, he still is a talented winger and he gets all the powerplay time you could want from a player on the waiver.
He has been putting up 2.5 SOG/G this season which is encouraging. Barry Trotz is stingy with ice time, but once again with players going into the protocol, there is a good chance they lean on him more to produce.
As of writing this he just assisted on a powerplay goal by Brock Nelson. Another edit, two assists!
It is worth noting that next week the Islanders will play Buffalo twice, Edmonton and Detroit, a good chance for Wahlstrom to continue putting up points going forward, and hopefully by then Barzal is back in action. While we are on the subject of hoping for things, here's hoping the season is still going on!
Wahlstrom with the setup and JGP with the finish pic.twitter.com/TDdX33UlUh
— Isles on MSG+ (@IslesMSGN) December 19, 2021
Normally there would be a handful of players I throw in here that are worthy buy-low targets. I think this week my best advice will be to hold the line. It is anyone's guess as to who will be sitting games, if there will be teams postponing, or even a league-wide postponement. Then there is the big Olympic question; if players decide against going to the Olympics, do they make use of that time to make up games?
Like I said, at this point, let's hold. If they start rescheduling games it might be worth waiting to see what teams/players benefit from that and then start making some moves.
At the time of writing this, the NHL just released a statement that all cross-border games will be cancelled.
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) December 19, 2021
At this point, I don't even know how accurate my calendar is right now, or how accurate it will be 10 minutes from now. This is what I know for sure, the following teams will play NO games next week:
Boston, Calgary, Colorado, Florida, Nashville,
If there is another update I'll edit this article to keep up with the news. For now, just hold tight and above all else, stay safe!
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