NHL News

The first-half slump is over — deal for Alex Ovechkin

Nick Suzuki #14 of the Montreal Canadiens. (Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images)


Alex Ovechkin, LW, Washington Capitals (97% rostered)

Ovechkin has notched seven goals and 21 points through 34 games this season. That puts him on pace to finish 2023-24 with just 17 tallies and 51 points over 82 appearances. If Ovechkin doesn’t start finding the back of the net at a much more frequent rate, he’s in danger of failing to reach the 20-goal mark for the first time in his illustrious NHL career. He lit the lamp twice over five contests to close out December. Based on what we’ve grown accustomed to seeing from him in the past, he still isn’t quite back to normal yet. Still, putting an end to his career-long, 14-game goal-less drought should provide him with a bit of a boost going into the new year.

Ovechkin’s career-low 5.6 shooting percentage is bound to improve. The Capitals rank 31st in the league in goals per game (2.29) and 30th on the power play (11.3%). However, the offense will get a lift once Max Pacioretty (Achilles), who is very close to playing, is cleared to make his season debut. The 38-year-old Ovechkin stands a good chance of being able to salvage his statistics with a successful second half.

Example of a completed deal from the Yahoo Trade Market: Ovechkin for Travis Konecny

Marc-Andre Fleury, G, Minnesota Wild (63% rostered)

Fleury will move into the No. 1 goalie slot for Minnesota because of a lower-body injury to Filip Gustavsson. Gustavsson, who was placed on injured reserve Monday after leaving Saturday’s contest against Winnipeg, is projected to be out of action for at least a couple of weeks. Fleury should not be viewed as a long-term acquisition, but he could help provide some goaltending depth or help fantasy managers facing a crisis in the crease.

Fleury was much better in December following a sluggish start to the season. In six outings prior to the start of 2024, he posted a 3-2-0 record with a 2.66 GAA and a .919 save percentage. The loss of Kirill Kaprizov, who sustained an upper-body injury in the same game that Gustavsson was hurt, is another stumbling block that the Wild will need to overcome….

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