After launching 2023-24 in inactive fashion, Alex Lyon is now one loss to the Maple Leafs removed from a perfect 5-0 record. Since that tight 3-2 defeat on Nov. 17, the Red Wings' netminder is 4-0, while rocking a .959 SV% and 1.25 GAA, and averaging 8.1 fantasy points/game in ESPN.com standard leagues. Toss in the impression that this Detroit club is starting to look the real deal - having won six of their past seven - and Lyon is presenting as a more attractive fantasy asset all the time. One that's available in nearly 87% of ESPN.com leagues.
Sure, Ville Husso is still going to play, but perhaps not as often, if Detroit's other goalie (not James Reimer) continues to rack up victories. This run or personal success isn't completely out of the blue either. Remember, Lyon was an effective presence, when called upon, for the Florida Panthers during last year's regular season. Let's see how he manages versus the Sharks Thursday and/or the Senators over the weekend. Either matchup could result in another 'W' for the Wings' No. 1-netminder-right-now.
As usual, there are other significant takeaways from this three-game schedule to conclude the work week - featuring four Wednesday, 13 Thursday, and three Friday. Like noticing that the well-rested Oilers are hosting Carolina Wednesday before welcoming the Wild on Friday. We could enjoy a fair bit of Edmonton scoring on both lighter nights. The Hurricanes themselves are poised to produce through back-to-backs in Edmonton and Calgary, Wednesday and Thursday. Goodness knows, forward Andrei Svechnikov appears on the cusp of finally busting it open.
Elsewhere, the Blue Jackets - competitive of late - face the Islanders and Blues, respectively, Thursday and Friday. Only the New York Rangers, coming off Tuesday's loss to Ottawa, are idle until Saturday.
Nick Schmaltz, F, Arizona Coyotes: The top-line winger/power-play participant has four goals in his three most recent games for a club that's won five-straight. Don't forget, Schmaltz flirted with a point/game pace his past two seasons in Arizona. He's proven capable of producing at a regular rate. Arizona hosts the Flyers on Thursday.
Mikael Granlund, F, San Jose Sharks: Averaging 22:27/game, the play-making center has two goals and seven assists (plus-five!) in his most recent six contests. All for a Sharks team that looks far more NHL-relevant now than it did to start 2023-24. Granlund has a fantasy role to fill in deeper ESPN.com competition. At present, anyway.
Drake Batherson, F, Ottawa Senators: The Senators' new second scoring line is looking fine indeed. Through two tilts with the Kraken and Rangers respectively - both Ottawa victories - Tim Stutzle, Vladimir Tarasenko, and Batherson have combined for four goals and six assists. You can bet coach D.J. Smith isn't about to mess with that trio anytime soon.
Marco Rossi, F, Minnesota Wild Centering a top line with Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello, the rookie has a pair of goals plus two assists in his past three contests. Works for me. Traipsing through western Canada, the Wild visit Vancouver Thursday before stopping in Edmonton on Friday.
Alex Ovechkin, F, Washington Capitals: You wouldn't be faulted for sitting him when the Capitals host the Stars on Thursday. Not when there are so many other options available. A lesser version of what we've become accustomed to expect from the elite veteran over years and years, Ovechkin has a pair of assists (minus-six) in his past seven contests.
Tyson Barrie, D, Nashville Predators: By all accounts, the Predators and Barrie appear to want little to do with each other these days. Trade ask aside, the defender skated only 11 minutes in Chicago on Tuesday after sitting two-straight as a healthy scratch. Then there's the measly three assists in 10 games to consider. Time to cut the fantasy cord.
Leo Carlsson, F, Anaheim Ducks: If not interested in acquiring him outright and permanently in deeper leagues, give the rookie center an extra-long look as a streaming option in Chicago on Thursday. Averaging nearly 20 minutes/game on the Ducks' top line and power play, Carlsson has two goals and two assists in his past three games, including a pair of points with the extra skater.
Dustin Wolf, G, Calgary Flames: With Jacob Markstrom shelved week-to-week (finger), the 22-year-old is going to play - we know that much. We also know the two-time winner of the AHL's outstanding goaltender award was flat-out terrific for the Calgary Wranglers this past season, and the Stockton Heat the year previous. So maybe Wolf is worth a fantasy streaming whirl, when the match-up makes sense. Especially if your own goaltending corps isn't quite up to standard.