By Neil Parker, RotoWire Hockey Writer
Special to Yahoo Sports
The fantasy season is quickly closing in on the halfway point, so as always, be active and swing for the fences with your transactions. Catching the bulk of a mini hot streak can provide a huge boost of support alongside your go-to scorers’ numbers.
Here’s the schedule for the next scoring period, Dec. 11-17:
Two games: Coyotes, Canadiens, Sharks
Four games: Flames, Hurricanes, Avalanche, Stars, Panthers, Wild, Islanders, Rangers, Blues, Canucks, Capitals, Jets
All other teams play three games next week.
Make sure to keep tabs on who gets cut in your leagues, and note the handful of the previously covered players listed below since they might still be hanging around on your waiver wire.
(Yahoo ownership rates as of Dec. 7.)
Alex Galchenyuk, MON (40 percent): While Galchenyuk is still toiling down too far down the depth chart on the third line, his production is trending up. He’s collected two goals, eight points and 18 shots through his past six outings, and Galchenyuk’s 8.1 shooting percentage is well below the 13.5 mark he entered the campaign with.
Marian Gaborik, LA (15 percent): With two more goals Tuesday, the veteran now has four tallies, six points and 16 shots while averaging 2:43 of power-play time through seven games since returning from a knee injury. Gaborik underwhelmed the previous two seasons, and injuries have always hindered his fantasy stock. However, he’s clicking right now and could provide a fleeting scoring boost in plenty of settings.
Pierre-Luc Dubois, CLM (16 percent): An outing removed from a four-game point streak that consisted of a goal and five helpers, Dubois is centering an intriguing line with Artemi Panarin and Josh Anderson on his flanks. The trio has connected for a respectable 3.86 goals per 60 minutes for the campaign. Pedigree is also on the side of the 2016 third overall draft selection.
Kevin Fiala, NAS (8 percent): The young winger is up to five goals and six assists through 13 games since Kyle Turris arrived in Nashville. Fiala and Craig Smith joined the new Predator on a solid second line, which has combined for 3.41 goals per 60 minutes. There aren’t many settings where the 21-year-old Swiss native can’t move the fantasy needle.
Adam Henrique, ANA (19 percent): At least for the time being, the recently acquired Duck will see plenty of offensive looks atop the lineup. He skated between Rickard Rakell and Corey Perry on Wednesday, so it’s a cushy fantasy setup for the 27-year-old center so far. Additionally, Henrique has two goals and three assists though four games since landing in Orange County.
Jesse Puljujarvi, EDM (8 percent): While the 19-year-old Finn missed the scoresheet Wednesday, he still spent the bulk of his ice time with Connor McDavid. Puljujarvi recorded two goals and 11 shots through his previous two contests and owns tremendous – and to this point, largely untapped – offensive upside. If he continues to skate with No. 97, the scoring results will continue.
Sam Bennett, CGY (7 percent): An outing removed from a four-game point streak with two goals, four assists and 16 shots, Bennett has finally found an offensive groove after registering just three points through the first 23 games of the campaign. The No. 4 selection from the 2014 draft has flashed plenty of upside in the past and has owns the potential to be a solid contributor.
Nick Bjugstad, FLA (4 percent): The former 20-goal scorer has played with Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau on the No. 1 line the past two games and scored a goal in each. Bjugstad is a high-volume shooter (2.85 per game) who is also receiving consistent power-play time. The 25-year-old forward is in the heart of his offensive prime, too.
Mathew Dumba, MIN (37 percent): The 23-year-old defenseman has shown statistical improvement each season, and 2017-18 could prove to continue the upward trajectory. In the short term, Dumba projects to see an uptick in opportunities with Jared Spurgeon out with a groin injury. The results are promising, as Dumba’s averaged 25:58 of ice time (2:50 with the man advantage) and marked the scoresheet three times through the past three games.
Alexander Edler, VAN (8 percent): It’s been a nice cross-category run for the veteran lately. Edler has collected a goal, five points, 18 shots, eight PIM, 15 hits and 21 blocked shots with a plus-5 rating through his past eight contests. His track record would suggest the majority of those numbers are sustainable moving forward, too.
Jakob Chychrun, ARI (3 percent): The 19-year-old defenseman logged 22:40 of ice time and recorded a goal, three shots and three blocked shots in Sunday’s season debut. Additionally, as a rookie, Chychrun’s 1.09 points per 60 minutes at five-on-five ranked 14th in the entire league among defenseman with a least 750 minutes. There’s upside here in deeper settings.
Jacob Markstrom, VAN (42 percent): While he probably won’t ascend to being a go-to asset in most fantasy settings this season, Markstrom still offers value as a depth option. He’s allowed just a single goal through his past two starts and sports a respectable 8-8-3 record with a .917 save percentage and 2.41 GAA for the campaign.
Darcy Kuemper, LA (10 percent): With a .944 save percentage and 1.72 GAA through his eight appearances, Kuemper offers more than just handcuff insurance. He should continue to see semi-regular starts, and Los Angeles has a back-to-back set next weekend. At worst, he’s a streaming option to keep tabs on and could be worth a roster spot in deep leagues.
Steve Mason, WPG (8 percent): Back with the team and nearing a return to practice following a concussion, Mason should begin to work his way back into the crease sooner than later. The Jets are playing extremely well this season, and after a rough start, Mason posted a .952 save percentage and 1.62 GAA over five appearances before the injury.
Players to consider from past columns: Josh Anderson, Kyle Connor, Alex DeBrincat, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Pavel Buchnevich, Bo Horvat, Nick Schmaltz, Derek Stepan, Artem Anisimov, Tom Wilson, Mikko Rantanen, Jakub Vrana, Boone Jenner, Reilly Smith, Tomas Hertl, Micheal Ferland, Alexander Kerfoot, Craig Smith, Erik Johnson, Johnny Boychuk, Shea Theodore, Brady Skjei, Darnell Nurse, Noah Hanifin, Esa Lindell, Thomas Greiss, Aaron Dell, Carter Hutton, Malcolm Subban.