By Jason Chen, RotoWire
Special to Yahoo Sports
Another week of fantasy hockey and some food for thought …
That's Kieffer Bellows' CF/60, third-highest on the Islanders even though he's played just two games, according to Natural Stat Trick. The sample size is very, very small, but he's only one of four Isles forwards who have a CF/60 rate higher than 60, joining Anders Lee, Jordan Eberle, and Mathew Barzal. But, as always, the No. 1 question: Is it sustainable? There's no denying Bellows' pedigree — father Brian's 1,022 points rank 82nd on the all-time list, Kieffer is a 2016 first-round pick and is one of two forwards with double-digit goals for Bridgeport, which ranks last in the AHL in goals scored. The ice time will be an issue, but if he sticks with the big club, he should start getting some power-play time for added value.
However, the bigger elephant in the room is the regression that everyone outside of Long Island was expecting is here. The Isles' points percentage since Jan. 1 is a paltry .536 (20th), compared to .697 (4th) from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31 earlier this season, and .671 (4th) for all of calendar 2019.
The offense has improved a little, but only good enough to be average, and if we're really being honest, Bellows was the recipient of a nice pass from Anthony Beauvillier, a lucky bounce, and some what-are-you-doing goaltending from Jonathan Quick. Tampa Bay, Washington and then a road trip out west will be a challenge. I still think Nick Suzuki (22 percent rostered on Yahoo) is the better choice.
That's the number of games Igor Shesterkin can play before he has to go through waivers for a minor-league assignment. Why is this important? Because the Rangers have a goalie conundrum on their hands, having to decide what to do with the aging but expensive Henrik Lundqvist and two young Russian princes battling for the seat being vacated by the King. Lundqvist is the odd man out because Alexandar Georgiev (.908 Sv%) is part of the future and Shesterkin (.927 Sv%) is outplaying both of them, but let's keep this in perspective; as of Sunday morning, the Rangers are seventh in their division and 11 points out of a playoff spot. Shesterkin and Georgiev may give you the best chance, but how good are your chances to begin with? (Less than five percent, according to Sports Club Stats).
Shesterkin will start Sunday's game against LA, and how he plays will affect the timing of the Rangers' decision. If he plays well, he stays in, and everyone sticks around a little longer because winning cures all. Once the losses kick in, carrying three goalies just causes unnecessary drama. From a developmental point of view, it's beneficial for everyone's future having Georgiev start for the Rangers and Shesterkin start for AHL Hartford, which is first in the Atlantic Division and allows Shesterkin to finish what he started.
Both Shesterkin and Georgiev are rostered in about 20 percent of Yahoo leagues, but Georgiev just seems like the more logical hold for the rest of the season.
That's Kyle Turris' TOI/GP the last two weeks, including a team-high 21:56 last night, and during which he's scored five points, including three on the power play, in just seven games. That's a big jump from the 14:20 he averaged from October to December, and a large part of that is his usage under John Hynes. Despite being used as a two-way forward, Turris never really killed penalties under Peter Laviolette, and now under Hynes, he's a staple on the second unit (1:10 SH TOI/GP), and also getting more time on the top power-play unit. At even strength, he's playing with Craig Smith and Filip Forsberg, the team's best forward, and it's worked out in Turris' favor.
Who knew playing with elite talent would mean more points? The Predators have won five of their last seven entering Saturday, and so the lines will likely remain intact. After a disappointing few seasons, Turris' increased role now puts him back into top-six status. He's rostered in just one percent of Yahoo leagues.
That's Tyler Seguin's shooting percentage this season, dipping to a career-low after going 0-for-23 in his last five games. He failed to score a single goal in January, the first time in his career he's gone an entire month without scoring (min. 5 GP), and he hasn't scored a goal since Dec. 28. With about one-third of the season still left to play, Seguin still has time to get his season back on track but remember that head coach Rick Bowness has a defense-first reputation, and the Stars have relied on strong two-way play and excellent goaltending to win games all season.
Seguin and Jamie Benn have been two of the most underperforming players this season, and according to Natural Stat Trick have a differential of at least minus-7 in expected goals vs. goals for entering Saturday's games. Their overall luck this season has been disastrously poor; Seguin (33.35, 27th) and Benn (31.19, 47th) both rank in the top 50 in xG, but have the fewest goals for with 24 each. They trail Jordan Staal (25 GF), who is a prime candidate to bounce back, and Tyler Toffoli (26 GF), who remains a hot commodity in the rumor mill. Other than having to face the Blues three times, the rest of the Stars' schedule shouldn't be difficult, ranking 12th most favorable in strength of schedule.
If patience hasn't already been worn out, Seguin and Benn continue to be holds, and if their career-low shooting percentages continue — especially for Seguin — they will be strong bounce-back candidates next season.