Fantasy Friday: Spezza out, Luongo in, Ward a question mark

Spezza Out Indefinitely

The Ottawa Senators were dealt a major blow earlier this week when it was announced that center Jason Spezza is expected to miss significant time this season with a herniated disc in his back that will require surgery to repair. While no timetable has been given for a return, Senators GM Bryan Murray hopes that Spezza will at least return to play again before the end of the season.1302291090967_ORIGINAL

While this is definitely bad news for Spezza owners, this will likely create a significant opportunity for Kyle Turris, who is expected to center the top line in Spezza’s absence. Turris already has four goals and three assists on the season but is owned in only 22 percent of Yahoo Fantasy Hockey leagues. With Turris’ hot start and the fact that he will be elevated to the top line in Spezza’s absence, you don’t have to look hard to see the writing on the wall that he would be a good pickup­­—especially as a replacement for Spezza.

Luongo Making a Strong Case

Vancouver Canucks starting goaltender Cory Schneider has two wins, two losses, one shutout, 11 goals against, a 3.13 goals against average and a .897 save percentage in 211:12 minutes of ice time. Meanwhile, backup goalie Roberto Luongo has one win, which was a shutout, six goals against, a 1.61 goals against average and a .938 save percentage in 223:23 minutes of ice time.

The Canucks reportedly tried hard to trade Luongo away during the offseason, much to no avail. Now, Luongo, who was pegged as the backup goalie this season, is outplaying Schneider and doing what he can to hold onto the number one spot. So where does that leave fantasy owners?

That depends on how this all shakes out. Vancouver will likely ride whichever goalie is hot at the moment, which happens to be Luongo right now. But when Luongo slips, Schneider will get his chance. The season is still young, so there isn’t a need to panic just yet if you own either player.

Ward Plagued By Slow Start

Cam Ward is struggling big time for the Carolina Hurricanes. Ward won 30 games for Carolina last season while posting a 2.74 goals against average and a .915 save percentage. Not great numbers by any means, but head and shoulders above his current 4.51 goal against average and .861 save percentage. It’s still too early to call it a day on Ward, but keep an eye on Hurricanes backup netminder Dan Ellis, who has only allowed two goals this season, while Ward shakes off his slow start. If you need help in net immediately, other options include Corey Crawford of the Chicago Blackhawks, who is only owned in 67 percent of Yahoo leagues, Anders Lindback, who has four wins on the season in Tampa Bay, and Tomas Vokoun.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *