#1 Give 'em a Look
The Sabres Tim Connolly has played 161 games and recorded 143 points over the past four seasons. Two things about those numbers should stand out... one, his .89 points per game is very solid for a guy who's available in around 75% of leagues right now and, two, 161 games over 4 years averages out to 40 per season, so you want to grab him while he's hot (3+7=10 in his last eight games) and enjoy his good health but have a Plan B for when he breaks down.
Others worth a look: Ryan Kesler (Van - C), Tomas Fleischmann (Was - W), Jonathan Ericsson (Det – D) and Pekka Rinne (Nsh – G)#2 Give 'em the Boot
Alexei Kovalev is on pace for 33 points this year, which is about half of his usual output and about a third of what he could put up if he was motivated. Now, Kovy has a ton of talent and could end up kicking it into high gear at some point but the thing that really bothers us about his play is that he's only on pace for about 116 shots, which is a ridiculously low number for a player of his ability... just shows that he's not even really trying this year and that's not something that we tolerate on our fantasy teams.
Others worth a boot: Andrei Kostitsyn (Mtl – W), Peter Mueller (Phx – W/C), Dan Ellis (Nsh – G) and Kari Lehtonen (Atl – G)#3 Injury Concerns
Alexander Ovechkin left Monday's game with a UBI and ever since then his status has been a bigger secret than Andre Agassi's wig (I had no idea???). Officially he's listed as week-to-week but the big guy says that he's going to try to play this weekend. C'mon, this is Ovie we're talking about... he'll be back soon.
Another ironman went down recently as Eric Staal suffered a UBI on the weekend and is listed as week-to-week. Now week-to-week may only mean one week as the Canes are saying that he won't play this weekend but that he could return sometime next week. Staal has been incredibly healthy during his career, as he's only missed one game during his first five seasons in the league so we don't think he'll be out long.#4 Crease Conflicts
For a guy who been convicted of running an illegal gambling ring, Rich Tocchet sure hasn't been playing the odds this year. He should be putting his money on Antero Niittymaki and his sparkling 1.95 gaa & .940 sv% and take comfort in the fact that Niitty's only allowed more than two goals in one of his six appearances this year. But Tocchet insists on going back to Mike Smith, he of the horrid 3.64 gaa & .879 sv%. Now Tocchet might be catching on as he's expected to give Niittymaki his third start in the past four games Thursday in Ottawa... fantasy GMs, don't be so slow on the up-take, Niittymaki's the guy you want in T-Bay.#5 Hit the Links
Here's a great resource that some fantasy GMs might not know about... Chris Nichols' blog over at Sportsnet.ca. He breaks down each and every game, giving you the rosters, line combos, top performers and hot streaks... its really great stuff and very valuable info for fantasy GMs.
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