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Fantasy Hockey Analysis

Fantasy Hockey Scouts: The Fantasy Five - Week #19

#1 Give 'em a Look

Alexei Ponikarovsky leads the Leafs forward group in goals and points and although that's not saying much, the reason he's worth a look is that he's been increasing his value lately with 4+7=11 in his last eight games and is probably punching his ticket out of town as a trade deadline rental acquisition. He'd really be a useful piece for a number of contenders (including the Penguins) and a move like that would give him a nice boost for the last six weeks of the season.

Others worth a look: Mike Knuble (Was – W), Joe Pavelski (SJ - C), Joe Corvo (Car – D) and Josh Harding (Min – G)

#2 Give 'em the Boot

When the big trade between Calgary and Toronto went down there were a lot of people saying the Ian White could replaced Dion Phaneuf's production and while Phaneuf was having a brutal year, methinks people are overrating White just a smidge. Yes, he's in the middle of a breakout season with 26 points but he was playing upwards of 25 minutes some nights and averaged 23:47 with the Leafs. In two games with Calgary, he's averaging 19:11 after only playing 16:39 in his second game. His production had even been sliding before the trade as after starting the year with 8+13=21 and plus-9 in his first 41 games, he's been 1+4=5 and a minus-7 in 17 games since January 1st.

Others worth a boot: Scottie Upshall (Phx – W), Niclas Bergfors (NJ – W), Sheldon Souray (Edm – D) and Michal Neuvirth (Was – G)

#3 Injury Concerns

Mike Cammalleri took a pretty nasty hit on Saturday and went down very awkwardly... despite it looking much worse he only suffered a knee injury and while it's expected to keep him out 6 weeks, the good news is that he won't require surgery. With the two week Olympic break coming up he may end up only missing around 10-15 games and so he's probably worth holding onto for the final three or four weeks of the season.

#4 Crease Conflicts

Well the biggest shakeup in the crease this week was in Toronto where JS Giguere was brought in and Vesa Toskala shipped out. The Leafs declared right away that Giggy would be their guy down the stretch and Jonas Gustavsson would be relegated to spot duty. We're fans of Giguere as before his struggles the past season & a half, he's been a very consistent and reliable goalie. He made Brian Burke look like a genius as he posted a shutout in his first game with the Leafs and while you want to take caution as he's coming to the worst defensive team in the league, they are middle of the pack in shots allowed so a lot of their defensive woes were due to inadequate goaltending.

#5 Hit the Links

Gabe Desjardins' excellent Behind the Net blog is a must for any hockey stathead and one of his recent pieces of analysis that we think is useful for fantasy GMs is where he estimates the peak age of point production. His findings show that the peak years were between 24 and 26 years old and this has shattered the myth that some had that players peaked in their late 20s... so get ‘em while they're young.

Fantasy Hockey Scouts

Each week the scouts from Fantasy Hockey Scouts will give you a quick blast of five things to keep an eye on in fantasy land...

Check out what the experts have to say at FantasyHockeyScouts.com.

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