Forwards for Free: Another chance for Alexei Kovalev

Scott Pianowski

Some of these forwards can help your team, and you can get them for nothing. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Alexei Kovalev (17 percent): Okay, he's burned you in the past. He's as consistent as a paper cup in a windstorm. But Kovalev is headed back to Pittsburgh, a contending club, and he's been productive in February (six goals, two power-play markers). Try to stay open-minded in this case.

Curtis Glencross(notes) (20 percent): He's had the hot stick since the calendar turned, putting 13 of his last 51 shots into the back of the net. The Flames haven't extended a lot of specialty time to Glencross – he's still a second-liner here – but he should be owned in any competitive pool right now.

Andy McDonald(notes) (35 percent): In a lot of ways he's an everyman – undersized and undrafted, a 30-something veteran that can get lost in the shuffle. But the Blues are giving McDonald plenty of ice and power-play time of late and he's making good on the opportunity, piling up a 6-6-12 line this month, including four points on the man advantage. The game isn't about names, it's about numbers. McDonald also brings dual-position eligibility to the cause, checking in at center and left wing.

Danny Cleary(notes) (33 percent): Nothing too complicated on this one; Clearly is clicking on the Pavel Datsyuk(notes) line, on a 5-5-10 roll over the past eight games. You think of Cleary more of a scrappy forward than a raw collection of skills, but he was a first-round pick back in the day and he's also piling up plenty of shots (31 over this segment). You can also look into linemate Jiri Hudler(notes) if you like, though he reluctantly shoots the biscuit (1-8-9 this month, nine shots).

Devin Setoguchi(notes) (27 percent): He's been dead to you for a few seasons, I get that. But after watching Seto pump in six goals over the last five games (including a hat trick against Colorado and two at Detroit), I'm willing to give him another look. He's getting plenty of chances, give him that – he's collected 24 shots over his last five starts, including nine at Nashville. A little confidence can go a long way.

Tyler Kennedy(notes) (13 percent): The Penguins have needed players to step up in the absence of Crosby and Malkin and Kennedy has been one of the players accepting the challenge, scoring seven times and firing 41 shots in February. He'll probably finish the year with 20-25 markers, and that's worth owning in any deep pool.

Shawn Horcoff(notes) (5 percent): The scrappy Oilers are on a 5-2 push over their last seven games, and Horcoff has been in the middle of it (1-5-6, plus 24 penalty minutes). Edmonton opens a four-game homestead Friday night.

Brian Rolston(notes) (13 percent): He hasn't been able to match the point-per-game pace we saw in January, but Rolston still looks good on New Jersey's second line and he's always a relentless source of scoring chances (38 shots over 11 February starts). When Rolston scores, the Devils tend to win – he's only got four points in their 22 defeats.

Milan Michalek(notes) (5 percent): You watch him on the right night and you wonder why he's not a star, or at least a household name. Michalek has five points in his last five games, and he's fired 13 shots over the last two starts, clicking on the top unit with Jason Spezza(notes).

Benoit Pouliot(notes) (6 percent): Mostly you're getting him for the goon points – he's got two fights and 31 penalty minutes over his last seven games – but also note that he's scored three times this month and he's already set a career high for points. Not a bad rental for the middle of the week; come for the fists, but maybe you'll get a goal or two out of the deal.


Image courtesy Associated Press