#1 Give 'em a Look
The Panthers Mike Frolik came on at the end of his rookie season last year with 15 points and 50 shots in his final 20 games and so a lot of people had high hopes (included us) going into this season. Well he started slow with only five points in his first 14 games but has really carved out a place on Florida's top line and #1 PP unit lately with some fine play and his production is around the level that we expected, 4+5=9 with 28 shots in his last eight games. He's worth a long look with the hope that his production will ramp up even more at the end of the season again.
Others worth a look: Brad Boyes (StL – W), Mason Raymond (Van - W), Mark Giordano (Cgy – D) and Jaroslav Halak (Mtl – G)#2 Give 'em the Boot
Calgary's Jay Bouwmeester is usually very steady, never misses a game, is a consistent fantasy producer averaging 12+30=42 with 182 shots over the past four seasons but something's not right with J-Bo this year as he's on pace for only 4+27=31 with 134 shots and those numbers could be heading even lower as he's only managed one assist and 11 shots in his last 10 games (to go along with a minus-5). He's got enough name value that you probably don't want to drop him outright but it's definitely time to look for an upgrade.
Others worth a boot: Devin Setoguchi (SJ – W), Milan Michalek (Ott – W), Jaroslav Spacek (Mtl – D) and Brian Boucher (Phi – G)#3 Injury Concerns
A few Swedes to worry about as Henrik Zetterberg is out for a few weeks with separated shoulder and now Daniel Alfredsson is also out with a shoulder injury... Alfie's could be more serious but as of now they're saying that it will be a few weeks. These injuries are not going to help your fantasy teams and they're also not going to help their clubs either as the Wings have been besieged with injuries this year and Ottawa is already without #1C Jason Spezza.#4 Crease Conflicts
Predators Coach Barry Trotz has a pretty simple strategy, he plays the goalie that's playing better... and while Dan Ellis started the season as his #1 based on some strong play in the pre-season, Trotz handed the #1 cap to Pekka Rinne when the Finn won 11 of 12 games during a stretch in October and November. In December, the Predators offense has been on fire and that's masking Rinne's subpar performance (3-0-2, 3.62 gaa & .884 sv% in seven games) while Ellis has wins in three of the Predators last five and his numbers over the past two months (6-3-0, 2.57 gaa & .917 sv%) could intrigue his coach enough to return him to the #1 role.#5 Hit the Links
Matt Romig has a semi-occasional fantasy hockey column over at Yahoo! Sports called the NHL Skinny where he hits on some players heating up, bargain adds and the goalie hot-seat... it's worth checking out.
This is our last Fantasy Five of 2009, so want to wish everyone happy holidays and all the best in the new year... see you in 2010!
Fantasy Hockey Scouts