#1 Give 'em a Look
The Predators Martin Erat can be a streaky player during the season but he's been freakishly consistent from year-to-year as he's had six straight seasons with between 49 & 57 points. He looked like he might fall a little short of that mark this year but then he had a 10 game stretch with 12 points in February and has followed that up with 3+6=9 during a five game point streak... this has him right on pace for a 52 point season. Grab him and get him in your lineup asap as after the streak ends there is likely to be another dry spell.
Others worth a look: Andy McDonald (StL – LW), Teddy Purcell (TB - RW), Kris Russell (Clb – D) and Braden Holtby (Wsh – G)#2 Give 'em the Boot
Tomas Vokoun is a solid goalie who is typically amongst the league leaders in save percentage every season (currently 8th at .921) but there's not a lot left for the Panthers to play for and with Vokoun set to become a UFA this summer, it seems like the team has stopped playing for him. Vokoun is 2-6-1 with a 2.95 & .917 over his last nine games and has been left out to dry by his defense, having faced 35.8 shots/60mins during that stretch. This has prompted the team to turn to backup Scott Clemmensen more often lately and he's had a lot more support going 2-2-1, 2.83 & .907 while facing a more manageable 30.4 shots/60mins.
Others worth a boot: Matt Cullen (Min – C), Daniel Alfredsson (Ott – RW), Ryan Smyth (LA - LW) and Bryan McCabe (NYR – D)#3 Injury Concerns
Dmen are in the injury spotlight lately as Chris Pronger will have surgery on his broken hand and will be out 3-4 weeks, Carolina rookie Jamie McBain has a shoulder injury that will also sideline him for 3-4 weeks and Kris Letang got his bell rung the other night but seems to be ok and should be able to return soon.#4 Crease Conflicts
The Kings have an interesting situation as despite Jonathan Quick being amongst the league leaders in the key categories and while in the middle of a furious playoff race, they've been alternating Quick and Jonathan Bernier over the past seven games. Quick looked to be struggling a little but he's got back on track lately while Bernier has really responded to playing more often as he is 4-0-3, 1.76 & .934 over his last eight games. This will be a situation to monitor down the stretch as there are ramifications for this season, the playoffs and the future.#5 Hit the Links
Don't think I've hit on this one yet this season... Hockey's Future is a great resource for all kinds of information on prospects. For example, a nice list here of 10 NCAA college free agents that will likely be signing with an NHL team shortly and looking to become the next great undrafted free agent to make it big like Martin St. Louis or Dan Boyle.
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