Evgeni Malkin may be the hottest player of the last 10 games, but his linemate James Neal has been racking up PIM like they're going out of style — 22 in that span. That's enough to make him the best rotisserie-player own of the last three weeks. The third member of the line, Chris Kunitz, has also performed well ranking 16th among skaters.
Let's take a look at the Frozen Pool Roto-Ranker snippet:
These fellas are wielding a hot stick. Take that into consideration when you go after them in trade talks...
P.A. Parenteau, New York Islanders (18-6-13-19, minus-2, 18 PIM, 44 SOG) — Let's face it. Not one team in the NHL would have given this guy a chance, other than the Islanders. Parenteau could have scored five goals per game in exhibition and the best he could have hoped for was a fourth-line job that would be destined to cool him off enough for the organization to send him down without looking silly doing it. That's the uphill battle that ninth-round picks who have spent far too long in the AHL have to face. Full credit to the Isles for giving him a real shot on a scoring line. You have to wonder how many other potential point-per-game players we'll never see come out of the AHL.
Tyler Seguin, Boston Bruins (2-2-1-3, even, 2 PIM, 3 SOG) — Seguin is coming off of a three-game pointless skid, which marks the first time all season that he's done that. Call it throwing darts a hunch, but I think we're in for something pretty sustained in the coming weeks.
Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings (18-1-12-13, plus-9, 24 PIM, 48 SOG) —Doughty has nearly as many shots on goal in the last 18 games as he had in the prior 27. This is a great indication that the shoulder issues are fully behind him and that the Doughty of old is back.
"Sell High" pick of the week: Mike Fisher, Nashville Predators. He has 12 points in his last 10 games, but we've seen enough of these runs from Fisher to know that a cold streak is on the way. In the 20 games prior, he managed just six points.
Somebody wake these guys up — their fantasy owners are counting on them...
Dion Phaneuf, Toronto Maple Leafs (8-0-0-0, minus-3, 7 PIM, 20 SOG) — As a team, the Leafs have only scored 18 goals in those eight contests, so there hasn't been a lot to pick up an assist on. His production pro-rates to 46 points, thanks to this dip, which sounds about right for Phaneuf and still gives him a solid bounce-back campaign.
Vinny Prospal, Columbus Blue Jackets (8-0-0-0, minus-3, 0 PIM, 12 SOG) — He's not shooting, he's not taking penalties and he's a minus player. Yes, an empty space on your roster has helped your team more than Prospal. After 27 points in his first 34 games, it was being hailed as a comeback year for Prospal. In the end though, the black hole that is this franchise's 2011-12 season has sucked in another victim.
Thomas Vanek, Buffalo Sabres (12-1-1-2, minus-7, 6 PIM, 24 SOG) — He has 25 points in 25 games at home, but just 16 points in 24 road games. He has just gone six games in a row — all on the road —without a point. Buffalo plays two of three on the road before a run of eight out of nine games at home. So it would seem that help is on the way.
"Buy Low" pick of the week: Tuomo Ruutu, Carolina Hurricanes. Ruutu's skill is underrated. Now that he's in his prime and in a contract year, he should be building on his career high of 57 points of a year ago, instead of regressing. It's a month before the trade deadline. He's bound to be moved and that's when business will pick up for Ruutu owners.
Mostly short-term grabs here, but as always some potential steals...
Nik Antropov, Winnipeg Jets (5-3-3-6, plus-1, 6 PIM, 9 SOG) — Antropov has shown in the past that he can put up the points, but it has taken him 118 games to get 67 points after reaching that number in 2009-10 alone.
Colin Wilson, Nashville Predators (3-2-1-3, plus-2, 0 PIM, 9 SOG) — A big worry for fantasy owners when it comes to Wilson is his ice time. But he's played at least 17:15 in 10 of his last 11 games. The ice time is trending up, which should mean that the points will too.
Lars Eller, Montreal Canadiens (3-2-1-3, plus-2, 2 PIM, 7 SOG) —After going six games without a point on the heels of his five-point effort January 4, Eller has points in three straight. His ice time is creeping back up to the 15-16 minute range.
Kyle Clifford, Los Angeles Kings (8-2-2-4, plus-3, 24 PIM, 11 SOG) — Clifford is a great solution in roto leagues where you need an injury fill-in for a week or two. Because at worst, he'll be a great PIM guy. At best, he chips in the odd point, is a plus-player and he's shooting the puck more.
Mathieu Perreault, Washington Capitals (4-4-2-6, plus-5, 4 PIM, 10 SOG) — Perreault got another shot on Alex Ovechkin's line last week and picked up a pair of assists. Unfortunately, Ovechkin was suspended for the next three games. But Perreault scored a hat trick in Game 1 of the suspension, further endearing him to Coach Dale Hunter. His hold on a scoring line is still tenuous, but if he can pick up a point or two in these next two games, he'll get to play on a line with Ovechkin again. With Nicklas Backstrom still a ways off, Perreault could actually give you help for the long term.
Tom Gilbert, Edmonton Oilers (injured) — Gilbert is expected back this week and is notorious for his strong February/March streaks. Absolutely worth a flyer.
Gilbert Brule, Phoenix Coyotes (5-3-1-4, plus-2, 2 PIM, 10 SOG) — This is a risky one, given Brule's history of sucking ice time (still hovering around 12 minutes per game), but it's a new environment for him which often sparks players for the short-term.
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