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Fantasy Hockey Mailbag: Moulson, Getzlaf, Kovalev

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Here is another round of your fantasy hockey questions and my extremely well thought-out professional answers (get used to the sarcasm)...

Question from Brian from London, Ontario:

Jim, I play in a keeper league and I have been trying to pry Matt Moulson away from another owner for several weeks. He says that the only player on my roster he has any interest in is Ryan Getzlaf, and he would do a straight-up one-for-one deal.

That kind of makes me nervous. I know Getzlaf has been hurt a lot this year, but I think I may be giving up too much for Moulson. What do you think?

Jim's Answer:

Brian, you said you play in a keeper league, but you didn't say what stats are counted in your league so that makes it a bit more difficult for me to analyze. But, for argument's sake, let's say your league counts goals, assists, points, and power play goals. The edge in goals goes to Moulson. Getzlaf is a three-time 20-goal scorer, but he is more of a playmaker. Moulson is a pure goal-scorer, and with 27 already this year, he has proven that the 30 he scored a year ago was no fluke. Assists and points are a clear advantage to Getzlaf due to his superior playmaking ability. Getzlaf has scored 91 and 82 points before, and I don't think Moulson will ever approach those numbers because he does not pick up nearly the amount of assists Getzlaf does. Both players score on the power play---Moulson with 8 PPG this year, Getzlaf with 6---and both are solid in other categories such as shots on goal and game-winning goals.

This is a toss-up. Moulson is scorching hot right now with 6 goals in his last three games, and I believe he has 35-40 goal potential as he matures. Getzlaf has 10 points in his last six games, though he is hurt again, and 47 points in 46 games this season---a point-per-game pace. Believe it or not, Getzlaf is actually two years younger than the late-blooming Moulson, too. Tough call, but I'd stick with Getzlaf in a keeper league.

Question from Kenny in Queens, NY:

Alex Kovalev is a free agent in my league and I was thinking about picking him up and dropping Saku Koivu. What do you think? My league counts goals, assists, and points only. Thanks.

Jim's Answer:

Fantasy hockey managers might be hoping that today's trade to Pittsburgh will rejuvenate Kovalev. But you're still talking about two players who have struggled mightily this season. Both are providing their best production of the year at present, as Kovalev and Koivu each have nine points in their last ten games. Kovalev has six goals and three assists in that span, while Koivu is 2-7-9. On the season Kovalev is 14-13-27 continuing his four-year downward spiral in every offensive category; and Koivu is 13-20-33. Despite Alexei's return to Pittsburgh, I see no reason to drop Koivu for Kovalev, unless you need goals more than assists. Kovalev is showing us that he's still capable of getting on a run of goals, and the run could continue now that he's out of Ottawa. Right now, I'd say stand pat, but keep monitoring both players closely.

Question from Danielle in Montclair, NJ:

I don't know if you'll get my question in time for this week, but Anaheim just picked up Dan Ellis in a trade. With (Jonas) Hiller hurt, I think Ellis will get the playing time over Ray Emery, who you wrote about yesterday. I need a number two goalie...mine is Jaroslav Halak, and he is hurt right now. Should I grab Ellis? I am losing out on goalie points with Halak hurt because we can play two goalies a week in my league. Let me know what you think!

Jim's Answer:

You are right on top of the latest news, Danielle! That trade just happened!! My take is that there has to be a better choice as a No. 2 goalie in your fantasy hockey league than Dan Ellis. He is having an extremely mediocre season, which fits because he has strung together three straight mediocre seasons in a row now. His save percentage and goals against will kill you. Halak is going to be out for a bit with that hand injury, so have you considered Ty Conklin? If he is still available, Conklin could be a decent No. 2 for you since he will get the bulk of the playing time in St. Louis while Halak is out.

Send your fantasy hockey questions and comments to Jim at jimcerny@gmail.com.
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