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 March of the Penguins - Only one team has reached the 100-goal mark.
Actually, only one team has reached the 90-goal mark. A team that can help Chris Kunitz tally 37 points in 27 games would obviously have to be the highest scoring team in the league. Otherwise, the very notion is absurd.
This week's Frozen Pool snippet gives you the Top 10 players in rotisserie categories, ranking them in each category and adding the ranks. Note the three Penguins:
Studs...(A.K.A. The Sidney Crosby Section)
These fellas are wielding a hot stick. Take that into consideration when you go after them in trade talks...
Chris Kunitz, Pittsburgh Penguins (20-17-16-33, plus-21, 10 PIM, 52 SOG) – Imagine if, on a hunch, you went to Kunitz's fantasy owner after seven games to see if they lost patience with him. Then imagine if you successfully acquired him for a low price after he had a mere four points in those seven games. Take a good look at the numbers over the 20 games since.
P.A. Parenteau, Colorado Avalanche (7-2-8-10, plus-1, 6 PIM, 19 SOG) – Doesn't become a full-time NHLer until he's 27 years old, yet he's 20th in scoring. I try not to think about how many P.A. Parenteaus have thrived in the AHL or Europe, never to get a real shot.
Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins (6-0-12-12, plus-6, 0 PIM, 21 SOG) – Looking at his 21 shots on goal, his numbers - believe it or not - could be even better with a couple of bounces. The giveback on this amazing season is the fact that he is no longer the 101-PIM player that he was two years ago.
Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets (5-0-1, 0.85 GAA, 0.965 SP, 1 SO) – Bobrovsky's averaging about 28 shots faced per game during that hot streak. Had Steve Mason been between the pipes the GAA would have ballooned to 28.00 the Blue Jackets don't win all those games. We've shied away from adding a Jackets goalie to our fantasy squad, but it's time we not do that anymore. Still only 38% owned.
Somebody wake these guys up – their fantasy owners are counting on them...
Matt Carle, Tampa Bay Lightning (11-0-0-0, minus-1, 2 PIM, 9 SOG) – Look at the person beside you. Were it not for the nine shots on goal that Carle took over the last 11 games, that person next to you would have given you better rotisserie stats than Carle, had you put him or her on your active roster. That is, if Yahoo! had a 'person next to you' setting. If Yahoo! ever gets that feature, click it and drop Carle.
Brian Campbell, Florida Panthers (7-0-2-0, minus-8, 0 PIM, 12 SOG) – Campbell's minus-17 is the league's worst. In fact, he could be a plus-2 next game and would still be the league's worst, since the next guy is Andrew McDonald at minus-14.
Jordan Eberle, Edmonton Oilers (4-0-1-1, minus-6, 0 PIM, 9 SOG) – If it's his third season, can we bend the rules a bit and call it a sophomore slump? He's had one four-game points streak this season, otherwise he's never managed to string together three games in a row in which he tallied a point.
Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado Avalanche (6-0-1-1, minus-3, 2 PIM, 22 SOG) – Here's your sophomore slump, although an early concussion certainly didn't help matters. He's more tentative this year though - his hits have dropped from 2.67 per game last year to 1.71 this season.
Mostly short-term grabs here, but as always some potential steals... (and don't forget last week's Jake Muzzin suggestion - he's still at 6% owned. Ditto for Alex Killorn at 1%)
Brian Gionta, Montreal Canadiens (8-6-2-8, plus-2, 2 PIM, 20 SOG) – Gionta is a point-per-game player, and the Habs are a good team. That's right, it's 2006. Gionta is just 7% owned, but even when he's not producing he's shooting the puck. He's always been good for SOG, so he's a safe grab.
Magnus Paajarvi, Edmonton Oilers (6-3-2-5, plus-5, 0 PIM, 18 SOG) – Since Shawn Horcoff returned, Paajarvi has been clicking on a line with Sam Gagner and Nail Yakupov. It hasn't done much for Yakupov's game, but Paajarvi has become a solid player at both ends of the ice and, judging by his ice time lately, the risk of a healthy scratch in the near future is small.
Patrik Berglund, St. Louis Blues (5-4-2-6, plus-3, 2 PIM, 9 SOG) – While Jeff Carter will walk away with the Cy Young Award this year, Berglund's 13 goals and four assists have him in the running. Berglund is subject to prolonged stretches of terrible numbers, having had a five-game as well as a four-game pointless run already this season. But when he's on a role he deserves far more than 25% ownership that he has right now. He's also pretty good for hits (33 this year).
Riley Nash, Carolina Hurricanes (5-3-2-5, plus-5, 0 PIM, 12 SOG) – That's Riley Nash. With an "iley" at the end. He doesn't carry much upside offensively, but the Hurricanes have always felt that he could be a defensive center who contributes 45 points. He's hot right now and he's also great for hits (18 in 11 games this year).
Matt Martin, New York Islanders (4-1-2-3, plus-1, 2 PIM, 6 SOG) – If you league counts hits then Martin is already owned, as he's the NHL leader for the second year in a row. But in leagues that count PIM and not hits, he's a worthy own. When he stops emulating a first liner and goes back to being an enforcer.
Robin Lehner, Ottawa Senators (1-0-4, 2.07 GAA, 0.944 SP) – Lehner has yet to lose in regulation and he's made three consecutive starts. With Craig Anderson still feeling pain in his ankle, Lehner will be one of the better goalies to own, period.
Andrej Sekera, Buffalo Sabres (3-0-4, plus-6, 2 SOG) – Sekera ended the 2010-11 season with 17 points in 20 games. That's not a typo, he really did. So hopes were high that he would build on that. But then the Sabres got Mr. Moneybags for an owner and brought in Christian Ehrhoff, thereby wiping out much of the potential that Sekera had. With Alexander Sulzer out of the lineup and Jordan Leopold only having just returned, Sekera could be showing us what he can do. Again.
Here's where I'll 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:
Adam Henrique, New Jersey; Andrei Loktionov, New Jersey; Gustav Nyquist, Detroit; Mikael Backlund, Calgary; David Legwand, Nashville; Beau Bennett, Pittsburgh; Derick Brassard, Columbus;
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- Chris Kunitz