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The Wire Troll: Shane Pinto Picks Up the Pace

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Shane Pinto has been producing for the Ottawa Senators.
Shane Pinto has provided a spark for the Sens. (Jenn G)

Welcome back to another week of Fantasy hockey. We’re getting down to the nitty gritty now, so this will be the pen-ultimate NHL Wire Troll of the season. Having said that, you can still find some juice on the wire.

This week, Ivan Fedotov was finally be able to escape Russia; Ethan Bear became the second Capital to enter the player assistance program; and St. Louis forward Oskar Sundqvist (knee) is done for the season.

And now, let’s get to this week’s…

Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wire Picks of the Week

Shane Pinto, C, Ottawa Senators (ESPN: 26.5 per cent; CBS: 47 per cent): We last pimped Pinto about 14 months ago and it was a strong pick as he enjoyed two fine months before slowing a tad in April. We’re back to give him more love as he snapped a mini slump on Wednesday with a four-point showing that included one goal. Pinto has logged nine helpers this month and averaged nearly a point per game to reach 25 points in just 31 games since returning from his suspension. He’s more of a shooter than a distributor, but this week’s three-assist effort proves he is quite capable in that regard. The Sens may not be playoff bound this season, but watching Pinto’s improved play down the stretch is a bright spot.

Jonathan Drouin, LW, Colorado Avalanche (ESPN: 11.3 per cent; CBS: 48 per cent): Just before the calendar flipped to 2024, we recommended Drouin as he had begun to heat up. He carried that into January with a point per game showing before failing to bulge the twine last month. Drouin has reversed that trend this month, especially lately (eight points in four games before getting shut out in the last two). He’s stayed healthier this season and is a great source of assists and power play points (he’s on PP1), and it certainly doesn’t hurt that he’s playing on the Avalanche’s top line with Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen.

Ivan Fedotov, G, Philadelphia Flyers (ESPN: NA; CBS: NA): As alluded to in our intro, Fedotov is now free to pursue an NHL career in the wake of his KHL deal being terminated. It’s been a long, strange trip for the goaltender who was signed to an ELC by the Flyers in May 2022 and then expressed his intent to come over to this continent. Instead, Russian authorities forced Fedotov to complete his military duties at a remote base in the Article Circle for a year. The shit show didn’t stop there, and included conflicting NHL/KHL contracts, a suspension, and finally his KHL contract being torn up. Fedotov is already with the team, joining a Flyer goaltender situation in need of help with Carter Hart on indefinite leave, Samuel Ersson wearing down from a massive workload, Felix Sandstrom proving too inconsistent and Cal Peterson unable to return to a competent enough level to stick in the NHL. Most assumed Fedotov’s story was over and that he’d never make it to North America, but this may have a happy ending after all, and he could very well offer some Fantasy value.

Ice Chips

  • Alexander Holtz scored Sunday, giving him two goals in five games before getting shut out Friday. He’s now playing on the second line for the Devils while seeing PP2 time and seems to have picked up the pace a bit after a rough February. In his first full season, Holtz has definitely shown improvements and has become a deep league asset, but will he ever live up to being the seventh overall pick in 2020?
  • After spending the first half of the season as a whipping boy for Leaf Nation, Tyler Bertuzzi sure has turned things around. He fired home another two goals on Thursday, giving him a half dozen in the last seven games. Bertuzzi had a total of six goals at the end of January, and has now enjoyed that many in each of the last two months. He’s stayed healthy this season and has managed to get his shooting percentage back closer to his career norms. Grab Bertuzzi for the stretch run if he’s still on your wire.
  • Wow, has Frederik Andersen ever been on a roll since coming back earlier this month from the blood clotting issue that cost him most of the season. He made 24 saves Thursday for his 26th career shutout as Carolina clinched a playoff spot, and is now a perfect 7-0 since returning to action. Andersen hasn’t given up more than two goals in a gamesince October 14 and has a streak of 10 straight with a save percentage of .900 or better. His GAA for March is 1.15. It’ll do.
  • While we’re talking about Metro Division goalies, Charlie Lindgren sure has been inconsistent of late. He had a couple of rough outings last week, and then seemed to right the ship with a shutout on Sunday followed up by a 30-save (on 33 shots) performance on Tuesday. But then Lindgren got ripped for five goals against the Leafs on Thursday. In his defense, he did face 48 shots, so it could have been way worse. Even through the inconsistency, Lindgren has been strong this month (2.50, .918 with two shutouts) as has generally responded very well to the increased PT as the Caps’ No. 1 goalie.

RotoRob Tune of the Day

William Henry Cosby Jr. is better known as Bill Cosby, the former American comedian. In 1992, he released a compilation album, Bill Cosby at His Best, featuring “Bill’s Marriage.”

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