Fantasy Hockey: The Blues’ offensive awakening; Olli Jokinen hot, Mikhail Grabovski not

Dobber Hockey
February 20, 2012
View photos

Dobber checks in every Monday to force-feed you the latest fantasy hockey trends. The founder of and a columnist for The Hockey News website, he long ago immersed himself into this rollercoaster world and is unable to escape.

Is there a bigger oxymoron in hockey than the term "scoring in St. Louis"?

Well, yes "scoring in Los Angeles" would fit the bill. But there is more to Roto hockey than mere goals and assists, but it sure helps that Kevin Shattenkirk, David Perron, TJ Oshie and Patrik Berglund have finally joined David Backes and Alex Pietrangelo on the scoring sheet lately.

It's no coincidence that Andy McDonald's return to action has give the power play a new look. And this new look is putting the odd puck in the net.

Gone are the 1-0 wins. Bring on the 2-1 wins!

Here is a snippet of Frozen Pool's top roto players of the last two weeks. Note that the Blues have five players in the Top 12.

View photos


These fellas are wielding a hot stick. Take that into consideration when you go after them in trade talks...

Max Pacioretty, Montreal Canadiens (12-9-4-13, plus-2, 6 PIM, 43 SOG) — His 204 shots on goal place him 11th in the league. So the Habs have a forward who is 11th in the league at something.

Olli Jokinen, Calgary Flames (12-6-8-14, plus-10, 8 PIM, 32 SOG) — Unlike the last couple of seasons, MDZ has maintained his strong play throughout. He's also one of five Rangers in the Top 50 in the league in Hits with 119. Between Mike Cammalleri rejoining the Flames 14 games ago and Alex Tanguay returning from injury 10 games ago, Jokinen's numbers have spiked. Amazing what added scoring depth can do for the rest of the team.

Keith Yandle, Phoenix Coyotes (6-2-2-4, plus-6, 6 PIM, 12 SOG) —The third-highest scoring defenseman of a year ago has crept up to 11th in 2011-12 and rising. Getting into the Top 5 is certainly doable.

"Sell High" pick of the week: Marian Hossa, Chicago Blackhawks. Again. I had him here January 9, using the strategy of his injury history being as reliable as a Blue Jackets loss. But here we are six weeks later and he's still healthy. Sometimes a player will miss 10 or more games in a season for four straight years and then suddenly play 80 games. But if you had to bet money on it, would you?


Somebody wake these guys up — their fantasy owners are counting on them...

Mikhail Grabovski, Toronto Maple Leafs (6-0-0-0, minus-3, 2 PIM, 15 SOG) — This is the second time this year that Grabo has gone six games without a point. He's also had six-game runs of 12 and eight points. His inconsistency is remarkably consistent.

Ryan Smyth, Edmonton Oilers (20-1-4-5, minus-8, 2 PIM, 41 SOG) — The Oilers seem to win a lot of hockey games with all hands on deck. But take a scoring-line player out of the lineup and the entire house of cards collapses. That speaks to depth issues, but knowing the 'why' of it doesn't help Smyth owners.

Francois Beauchemin, Anaheim Ducks (14-0-0-0, minus-5, 0 PIM, 39 SOG) — Beauchemin had seven points in six games during a run in January. Then he signed a three-year contract extension. Since then, he has yet to record a point.

"Buy Low" pick of the week: Mike Green, Washington Capitals. Owners have tired of Green's "one and done" method of returning. That's why you should be making inquiries, because this time he's had the surgery, he's given it the proper recovery time and he's doing it right. I think it's worth the risk to get him now.

The Wire...

Mostly short-term grabs here, but as always some potential steals...

Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg Jets (5-1-9-10, plus-3, 2 PIM, 18 SOG) — It's hard to believe that he's only owned in 35% of Yahoo! leagues at this point. The guy has 39 points in his last 41 games, breaking out in this his fourth NHL season.

Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning (9-1-6-7, plus-6, 8 PIM, 20 SOG) — Hedman is going to be a stud in this league, but you need to have patience. It's rare for a defenseman to step into the league immediately after being drafted and post 60 points. He'll get there, but if you expected it in his first three seasons you were probably shooting a little high.

Jiri Tlusty, Carolina Hurricanes (7-4-3-7, plus-7, 0 PIM, 13 SOG) —Coach Kirk Muller is using him properly. Either put him on the first line with skilled linemates and lots of ice time, or stick him in the minors. None of this fourth-line stuff. He's not a checker. For the short term — because I don't think anyone other than his girlfriend is ready to commit to this guy long-term — he is earning every minute of ice that he's getting.

Matt Cullen, Minnesota Wild (1-1-0-1, even, 0 PIM, 1 SOG) — Cullen is a streaky player who gets his points in bunches. With Mikko Koivu sidelined for gawd knows how long, Cullen's goal Sunday should spark things.

Bobby Butler, Ottawa Senators (4-1-5-6, plus-4, 2 PIM, 5 SOG) — From the press box to the top line with one of the hottest players in the league. Butler is lining up with Jason Spezza, who has stormed into the Art Ross picture with his play of late.

Shawn Matthias, Florida Panthers (6-1-3-4, plus-4, 0 PIM, 11 SOG) — He hasn't been the most consistent player in the league, but in the first quarter he was producing at a 20-point pace. Since then the pace has been closer to 40 and he should finish up with around 35.

Sami Salo, Vancouver Canucks (2-2-0-2, plus-1, 0 PIM, 7 SOG, 2 PPP) — Salo is obviously an injury risk, but that's why we have benches and IR spots in rotisserie hockey. For now, he's a great asset in the plus/minus and even the PPP categories.

For more fantasy hockey tips, take a gander at DobberHockey. And while you're at it, follow Dobber's fantasy hockey musings on Twitter.