#1 Give 'em a Look
After a hat-trick on Wednesday, the Panthers' Stephen Weiss might be a little harder to come by but he's definitely worth a look, if he's available, as he's been very productive lately with points in nine of his last 11 games and 7+7=14 during that stretch. Other than his recent hot streak, Weiss has a few other things going for him... he's Florida's undisputed #1C, he's seen his ice-time increase lately (up to over 20 minutes most nights) and the Panthers are playing four games in each of the next two weeks... so pick him up and give him a whirl.
Others worth a look: Antoine Vermette (Clb - C), Nigel Dawes (Cgy - W), Alex Edler (Van – D) and Randy Jones (LA – D)#2 Give 'em the Boot
We mentioned Alexei Kovalev in this space a while back but we thought he was worth another talk as despite having all the talent in the world, he's having just a horrific season. Here's what Kovy averaged the prior two seasons in Montreal... 31 goals, 75 points, 72 PIMs with 220 shots, and here's what he's on pace to put up this season... 14 goals, 39 points, 43 PIMs with 114 shots. So, almost incredibly, you'd be bang on if you said that he's playing at about half speed this year. He has some name recognition, so you might be able to package him in a deal, just don't hold out for anything more than a roll of tape.
Others worth a boot: Erik Cole (Car – W), Ales Hemsky (Edm – W), Joe Corvo (Car – D) and Jason Demers (SJ – D)#3 Injury Concerns
Goalies, in general, seem to be staying pretty healthy this year but we've had a few scares lately... Nikolai Khabibulin has missed the last six games with a sore back and it doesn't sound like its getting any better as he still hasn't been able to skate yet. Tomas Vokoun almost had his head chopped off the other night by teammate Keith Ballard, but it sounds like he'll be ok and may only miss a game or two. On Wednesday night, Ballard was at it again as he ran into Craig Anderson and knocked him a little woozy. Anderson should be ok as well but might rest for a few games. None of the backups on these teams are really worth owning so you'll probably need to look elsewhere for help.#4 Crease Conflicts
The goaltending situation in Detroit is probably going to end up with Chris Osgood and Jimmy Howard splitting the games this year despite Ozzie not playing very well and Howie playing great... but we can dream can't we? We're big Jimmy Howard fans and so when he goes 6-2-0 with a 2.10 gaa & .923 in November while Osgood was an inferior 2-3-1, 2.31 gaa & .909 (and lost his last four in a row), we're starting to get our hopes up that Howard can take over the #1 job and put up huge numbers for our fantasy team. Wings coach Mike Babcock is teasing us again as he's expected to give Howard his third start in a row on Thursday night against the Oilers.#5 Hit the Links
It's not really a fantasy hockey blog, but Jonathan Willis' Hockey or Die blog on theScore.com is a worthwhile and enjoyable read... good hockey talk, independent thinking and there's quite a bit of statistical analysis that has relevance to fantasy hockey... go ahead and bookmark it.
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