Dobber checks in every Thursday to force-feed you the latest fantasy hockey trends. The founder of DobberHockey.com and a columnist for The Hockey News website, he long ago immersed himself into this rollercoaster world and is unable to escape.
The Flyers have awakened. Those fantasy owners who stuck it out with their Philly players are being rewarded, while those who panicked and bailed are being teased and taunted until my throat is hoarse and dry. In the last six games they have scored 4.33 per game, up from the 2.4 per game they had before that. Needless to say, poolies who own Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn and Jakub Voracek have probably made the biggest gains of the past two weeks.
Here is the Frozen Pool Roto Rater report for the last 14 days, based on basic Yahoo! scoring categories:
These fellas are wielding a hot stick. Take that into consideration when you go after them in trade talks...
Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh Penguins (5-1-0, 2.00 GAA, 0.929 SV%) – Fleury's miserable start is behind him, like so many 2012 postseason beach balls.
Max Pacioretty, Montreal Canadiens (7-6-4-10, plus-8, 4 PIM, 27 SOG) – Replacing Erik Cole with Brendan Gallagher on their line seems to have sparked the Pacioretty-David Desharnais duo, while at the same time tweaking the average height of that line down to 4-11.
Evander Kane, Winnipeg Jets (8-6-4-10, plus-7, 36 SOG) – Kane held back all of his KHL goals in November, and now he's releasing them . He's looking like the 40-goal scorer we all hoped he would be.
Paul Martin, Pittsburgh Penguins (7-3-6-9, plus-5, 6 PIM, 9 SOG) – Everyone is telling you to 'sell high' on Martin but I'm not sure I agree. He's not shooting the puck enough to score at even half the rate (just 19 shots in 20 games), so the goal rate will definitely decline. But seven of his 11 assists were primary assists, which is fourth on the team. Here is another Frozen Pool graphic, taking a look at the Penguins primary and secondary assists:
Somebody wake these guys up – their fantasy owners are counting on them...
Jose Theodore, Florida Panthers (0-2-2, 4.84 GAA, 0.852 SV%, got the hook once) – The Jacob Markstrom era can't come soon enough for Panthers fans. But Steve and Tony will have to wait just a little longer - Theodore's contract is up after this season and Scott Clemmensen's will expire after 2013-14.
Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks (4-0-0-0, minus-1, 6 PIM, 12 SOG) – Just as they did when Duncan Keith slumped early in the season, the Blackhawks pull together around a Jonathan Toews slump and continue putting up W's.
Kyle Turris, Ottawa Senators (7-0-1-1, even, 2 PIM, 17 SOG) – Turris may have had a breakthrough season, were it not for injuries to Erik Karlsson and Jason Spezza. Take them out of the lineup and Turris is seeing far too much defensive focus. And having Andre Benoit feed you pucks isn't as sweet as having Erik Karlsson do it.
Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning (7-0-2-2, minus-2, 9 PIM, 11 SOG) – Even with this slump, Hedman's career trajectory is still moving upward steadily:
2009-10: 0.27 points-per-game
2010-11: 0.33 points-per-game
2011-12: 0.38 points-per-game
2012-13: 0.53 points-per-game (after 19 games)
Mostly short-term grabs here, but as always some potential steals...
Grant Clitsome, Winnipeg Jets (3-1-2-3, plus-4, 0 PIM, 3 SOG) – A healthy scratch one minute, the next he's a top power-play quarterback. It's amazing what an injury in the depth chart can do for a player. While Clitsome will magically go back to sucking once Tobias Enstrom returns, for now he'll surprise you with his production.
Marc-Andre Bergeron, Tampa Bay Lightning (6-1-2-3, plus-2, 2 PIM, 6 SOG) – This one is hit or miss, but Bergeron has a track record of producing points in bunches and he's seeing lots of power-play time. Worth grabbing for a week and deciding from there.
Alexander Burmistrov, Winnipeg Jets (3-1-2-3, plus-4, 4 PIM, 5 SOG, 10 Hits) – The production may be modest, but if your league counts hits then Burmistrov makes a nice addition. He's also C/RW eligible, giving you some flexibility.
Tomas Kopecky, Florida Panthers (6-6-1-7, minus-1, 8 PIM, 17 SOG, 3 PPP) – The four-point game that Kopecky had on Tuesday probably helped zero fantasy owners, since everyone either had him on their bench or he was still in the FA pool. But he's a streaky player who can still probably help out for another three or four games.
Francois Beauchemin, Anaheim Ducks (8-0-10-10, plus-7, 2 PIM, 15 SOG) – The return of Cam Fowler to the lineup hasn't slowed Beauchemin any, although his PP time has taken a hit. Toronto wouldn't undo this trade (for Lupul, Gardiner) in a million years, but for this season at least, the Ducks surprisingly get the win.
Colin Greening, Ottawa Senators (4-2-3-5, plus-1, 0 PIM, 6 SOG) – Although his penalty minutes make Kyle Wellwood look like Zenon Konopka, Greening is actually very aggressive as his 47 hits indicate. The points will come sporadically, but he is a must-own in leagues that value hits.
Joakim Andersson, Detroit Red Wings (3-2-1-3, plus-5, 0 PIM, 5 SOG) – The defensive specialist is strictly a plus/minus patch for your ailing team, but he is capable of decent offense at times. And right now seems to be one of those times. At this point he's just holding down the fort until Darren Helm returns.
Here's a new section in which I fire off a few names of players who may be at the very beginning of a nice little run. Just a gut feeling, but worth looking into and/or taking a chance on.
Kyle Palmieri, Anaheim;, Trevor Lewis, Los Angeles; Anton Stralman, N.Y. Rangers; Cam Atkinson, Columbus; Josh Bailey, N.Y. Islanders; Andrej Sekera, Buffalo;
Also, strange but true - Paul Bissonnette has points in each of his last three games. And I'm talking three "NHL" games, not the EIHL ones that he was playing in January.