The 17 points marked MKG's second-highest total of the season, as he also set a season-high with 15 shots taken and 37 minutes played. The only issue is the lack of defensive statistics, as he's averaging just 4.4 rebounds and 0.5 steals per game for the season. That's simply too low from a player who specializes in defense, but he's due for some positive regression if he continues to see 30 minutes a game.
Howard has been feasting the last four games, as he's collected 87 points and 62 rebounds in that span. What makes it all the more impressive is the fact that he's doing it without taking more than 14 shots in any of those games. That's incredible efficiency, as he's 32-of-47 from the field in that span as well. This looks more like the Orlando Howard than the Houston Howard and fantasy owners are surely reaping the benefits.
Hainsey came up big against his former team and finished the night with 23:57 of ice time. Hainsey logs some heavy minutes and has put together a solid 12 points in 24 contests. His lack of power-play time hurts his fantasy value, but Hainsey's solid plus-7 rating and prominent role make him of value in deeper leagues. Don't buy into the hype too much, however, as Hainsey isn't typically known for his offense and the last time he recorded over 20 points was 2009-10. Know what you're getting.
Those are the first points in six games for Gardiner, who hasn't scored since the second game of the season. He logs monstrous minutes, but Gardiner's fantasy value lies in his power-play time, as he's picked up almost half his points this season with the man advantage. The 27-year-old isn't a massive offensive contributor, but he jumps into the rush often and possesses enough skill to warrant a look in deep leagues.
Van Riemsdyk has been tearing up the goal column recently, notching seven goals in his last nine games. He's fired a whopping 71 shots on goal in 23 contests and picked up five of his tallies with the man advantage. JVR set a career high in points (62) last season and could very well surpass his previous career high in goals (30) this time around. The sniper is simply a must-start whenever the Leafs are in action.
It was already the fourth game-winning goal of the season for Marleau, who has picked up points in three of his last four contests. The veteran may be centering the fourth line right now, but he struck on the power play Friday and is now up to nine goals and 16 points in 21 contests on the season. Considering the fact the veteran has been held off the scoresheet in just two of his last nine outings, Marleau makes for a valuable fantasy play in a wide array of formats.
The former Blackhawk entered the game in the third period after Ward allowed four goals on just 16 shots. The Hurricanes rallied and almost completed the comeback, meaning Darling was credited with the loss. The 28-year-old has been seeing the majority of starts for Carolina, but his .900 save percentage leaves lots to be desired. Darling is a decent fantasy option just due to his heavy workload and mediocre 6-6-4 record, but if you're looking for quality rate stats, it's best to steer clear of Carolina's netminders.
After two excellent performances in his two most recent starts, the veteran netminder turned in a lackluster showing against Toronto. The 33-year-old has only appeared in six games this season, posting a 3-2-0 record with a .907 save percentage. He's been sensational on a few occasions, but it's outings such as what we saw Friday that make him a frustrating fantasy option. Even when he does get a start in place of starter Scott Darling, Ward isn't consistent enough to warrant a start in most fantasy formats.
Coach Steve Kerr made the announcement following Friday's victory over the Bulls, which was played without Durant. The star forward tried playing through the injury in Wednesday's return to Oklahoma City, although Kerr also stated Durant probably should not have played in the contest. Omri Casspi started at small forward Friday, but it remains to be seen who will get the start Saturday should Durant ultimately sit out. Andre Iguodala and Patrick McCaw would be other options.
Daley collided with opposing forward Paul Carey in the first period, limiting the Wings defenseman to 4:16 of ice time. Fortunately, this won't cause a stir in fantasy leagues since Daley's ownership levels have to be low in the first place; he's the owner of just one point (an assist) through 23 games and remains a blue-collar player who likes to step in front of shots and shut down the enemies.
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