#1 Give 'em a Look
Nothing has really gone right for the Oilers this year so we understand if you’ve given up all hope for everyone involved but we’d suggest that you give Sam Gagner another look as he’s established himself as their #1C and has put up a modest 4+5=9 in his last 11 games. The most encouraging part of his play is that he’s shooting the puck a lot more, with 43 shots in his last 11. He went on a crazy run during his rookie season two years ago with 28 points in his final 29 games so lets hope that he can perform an encore this year.
Others worth a look: Thomas Vanek (Buf – W), Tomas Fleischmann (Was - W), Jussi Jokinen (Car – W) and Rick DiPietro (NYI – G)#2 Give 'em the Boot
Despite despising Jason Blake and our belief that he’s the freakiest looking dude in the entire league, we’ve actually been a pretty big supporter of his fantasy production as he’s a lock to give you a shedload of shots (he’s averaged 311 a season over the prior four years). So even though his scoring has dropped off this year we’ve been advising that you hold on to his as he can still be useful… well the gloves are off now as Blake isn’t scoring (only two points in 13 January games) and the shots are tailing off (only 32 in 13 January games)… so its time to show him the door.
Others worth a boot: Nathan Horton (Fla – W), Daymond Langkow (Cgy – C), Ryan Whitney (Ana – D) and Dwayne Roloson (NYI – G)#3 Injury Concerns
How bout some good news on the injury front for a change?… Marc Savard has missed the last eight games with a knee injury but he should return Friday; Teemu Selanne was expected to miss 4-6 weeks with a broken jaw but he may return a few weeks early as he’s eyeing a return before the Olympics; Semyon Varlamov has missed the past six weeks with various injuries but should return within the next week or so; Johan Franzen (knee) has been cleared to play and could return before the Olympic break; and David Booth (concussion) is making strides in his comeback as he continues to practice.#4 Crease Conflicts
Brian Elliott has been on an absolute tear lately as he’s started and won the last five games in a row for the Senators while only giving up five goals in aggregate. Ottawa’s regular starting goalie, Pascal Leclaire, is said to be close to returning from his latest injury (which really means he’s closer to his next injury) but with Elliott winning we don’t see why they’d be in any rush to bring Leclaire back (he was 3-5-0 with a 3.74 gaa & .870 sv% in his last 10 games before getting hurt)… so this could be Elliott’s job for a while.#5 Hit the Links
Interesting piece by Jonathan Willis of the Hockey or Die blog about how players in the Southeast Division have over-inflated point totals due to playing in the worst division in the league. It’s definitely worth a read especially with the trade deadline approaching and guys like Ilya Kovalchuk and Ray Whitney possibly moving to different locales.
Fantasy Hockey Scouts