For several years now, Cam Ward has been the starting goaltender for the Carolina Hurricanes. This season however, thanks to injuries and poor play from Ward, both Justin Peters and Anton Khudobin have taken their turns as being the team’s starter. With Ward still on Injured Reserve and Peters not seeing the ice since December 27th, Khudobin has taken over for the Hurricanes.
After backing up Tuukka Rask last season with the Boston Bruins, Khudobin has shown that he can play well in the NHL. With six wins in eight starts this season, Khudobin has a 1.99 GAA and a .936 save percentage. Ward might be close to returning to the lineup, but until then grab Khudobin and let his numbers help your team. He is owned in 90.7 percent of ESPN leagues and has been picked up in 75.3 percent of leagues over the last week.
As for another Hurricane that might be worth looking into, John-Michael Liles might become a noteworthy name in the NHL again. After spending most of this season in the AHL with the Toronto Marlies, Dave Nonis finally dealt the mobile d-man to the Hurricanes in exchange for Tim Gleason right before The Winter Classic. Since the trade, Liles is plus-7 with a goal and an average of 17:34 TOI in his five games since joining Carolina. The blue liner should be available in your league, as he is only owned in .9 percent of ESPN leagues. Gleason with the Maple Leafs has an assist and a minus-4 rating.
With the Lightning, a pair of forwards you should look into adding to your team are Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat. According to Daily Faceoff, the pair of forwards have joined Martin St. Louis on the team’s top line and the results have proven positive for everybody involved.
Johnson, who is owned in 56.4 percent of ESPN leagues at the moment, has three goals and three assists in Tampa’s last eight games. On top of that, he is plus-4 with 19 shots on goal while averaging 20:39 of ice time per contest in that same span of games.
As for Palat, he has four goals and five assists in the team’s last eight games. Although his average TOI is a little less than Johnson’s at 19:13, Palat has 20 shots on goal and a plus-8 rating. He is currently owned in 50.5 percent of ESPN leagues.
TEAMS WITH BACK-TO-BACKS THIS WEEK
Anaheim Ducks – @ Chicago Blackhawks on Friday and @ St. Louis Blues on Saturday.
Buffalo Sabres – Hosting the Philadelphia Flyers tomorrow night and @ Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday.
Carolina Hurricanes – Hosting the Florida Panthers on Saturday and the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday.
Calgary Flames – @ Carolina Hurricanes tonight and @ Nashville Predators tomorrow night.
Columbus Blue Jackets – Hosting the Washington Capitals on Friday and @ Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.
New York Rangers – @ Ottawa Senators on Saturday and hosting the Washington Capitals on Sunday.
Phoenix Coyotes – @ Winnipeg Jets tonight and @ St. Louis Blues tomorrow night.
Tampa Bay Lightning – @ Columbus Blue Jackets tonight and @ New York Rangers tomorrow night. Hosting the San Jose Sharks on Saturday and @ Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday.
Toronto Maple Leafs – @ Boston Bruins tomorrow night and hosting the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday night.
Vancouver Canucks – @ Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday and @ Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday.
Washington Capitals – Hosting the San Jose Sharks tomorrow night and @ Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday.
LEAGUE LEADERS WHO AREN’T 100 PERCENT OWNED
Goals: Forwards – Michael Ryder (NJD, 46.9% owned), Tied for 26th among forwards with 16. Defensemen – Michael Stone (PHX, 3.5% owned), Tied for sixth among d-men with eight.
Assists: Forwards – Mikko Koivu (MIN, 71.9% owned), Tied for 12th among forwards with 27. Defensemen – Andrew MacDonald (NYI, 92.6 owned), Tied for 16th among d-men with 19.
Plus/Minus: Forwards – Dustin Penner (ANA, 31.9% owned), 10th among forwards with plus-18. Defensemen – Hampus Lindholm (ANA, 30.8% owned), Second among d-men with plus-23.
PIMs: Forwards – Antoine Roussel (DAL, 6.4% owned), Leads NHL with 109. Defensemen – Radko Gudas (TBL, 58% owned), first among d-men with 90.
Power-Play Points – Forwards – Marcus Johansson (WSH, 58.4% owned), Tied for 11th among forwards with 16. Defensemen – Cody Franson (TOR, 97.9% owned), Tied for ninth among d-men with 13.
Average TOI/Game: Forwards – Mikko Koivu (MIN, 71.9% owned), Third among forwards with 21:35. Defensemen – Andrew MacDonald (NYI, 92.6% owned), Sixth among d-men with 25:45.
Shots on Goal: Forwards – Chris Higgins (VAN, 63.7% owned), Tied for 21st among forwards with 136. Defensemen – Kevin Bieksa (VAN, 96.3% owned), 12th among d-men with 98.
Goalie Wins – Josh Harding (MIN, 94.3% owned), Eighth with 18.
Save Percentage – Cam Talbot (NYR, 21.8% owned), .938.