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.
It must be nice to have your second line become the hottest line in the league while your top offensive player battles through a slump. And that's exactly what's happening in Chicago. While Patrick Kane has managed just three points in his last eight games, the trio of Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp is on fire. If you want to know why this team is a Cup contender every year, you can start there.
Meanwhile, as the Toronto Twitterverse whines about a lack of a No. 1 center, Tyler Bozak is going nuts on the scoresheet. And over in Tampa, the Lightning are saying "Steven who?"
Here's a report of the hottest lines in the NHL, courtesy of Frozen Pool:
There's no Sidney Crosby on this list because the Evgeni Malkin and Pascal Dupuis injuries had him switching linemates faster than Bob Murray denies Jonas Hiller trade rumors.
These fellas are wielding a hot stick. Take that into consideration when you go after them in trade talks...
Kyle Turris, Ottawa Senators (7-4-3-7, plus-3, 2 PIM, 20 SOG, and 2 PPPts) - The most interesting thing about those seven games noted above is not the production. We've known about Turris' potential for years. Actually, it's the fact that they include the four games that Jason Spezza was sidelined, as well as three games with Spezza back in the lineup - and yet Turris didn't lose any ice time. It's now Spezza playing the role of 'second fiddle'.
Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis Blues (6-2-7-9, plus-4, 0 PIM, 16 SOG, and 4 PPPts) - After a slump that saw Pietrangelo manage just six points in 17 games, he stepped it up, secured his spot with Team Canada, and continued on. He's back on the 60-point pace again.
Jeff Carter, Los Angeles Kings (16-9-8-17, plus-7, 12 PIM, 63 SOG) - The man who will be know in Canada over the rest of January as "the guy who took Claude Giroux's spot" is showing why he deserves a look on Sidney Crosby's line in Sochi. He has 42 goals in his last 85 games playing for a team not big on scoring goals. And with Crosby feeding him pucks?
Teddy Purcell, Tampa Bay Lightning (9-1-9-10, plus-6, 0 PIM, 13 SOG) - Purcell has never been a PIM guy. In fact, he makes Kyle Wellwood look like Zac Rinaldo. But because owners drafted him accordingly, they're happy with the two stat categories that he's helping with right now.
Somebody wake these guys up – their fantasy owners are counting on them...
Mike Smith, Phoenix Coyotes (0-4-0, 3.40 GAA, 0.873 SP) - Smith's last regulation win was December 21 and he's only had three regulation wins since November 16. Man, did I ever sound like a Leafs blogger just now.
Jay Bouwmeester, St. Louis Blues (8-0-2-2, plus-3, 2 PIM, 7 SOG) - Bouwmeester started the campaign with 19 points in 23 games, but he has just nine in 22 since then. Seven shots on goal over the course of eight games, it's not difficult to put your finger on the problem here.
David Perron, Edmonton Oilers (7-0-2-2, minus-5, 2 PIM, 13 SOG) - As with Bouwmeester, the problem here is shooting, or lack thereof. Perron was averaging over three shots per game before this slump. Not playing with any of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall or Jordan Eberle anymore…could also be a tiny factor.
Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars (6-0-1-1, minus-3, 0 PIM, 22 SOG) - Now here's a slump that can't be attributed to a refusal to shoot. The Stars have lost six in a row. Teams, like players, get hot and cold. This is just one of those things and I'd be surprised if it lasted any longer.
Mostly short-term grabs here, but as always some potential steals...
Ryan Clowe, New Jersey Devils (5-1-6-7, plus-3, 2 PIM, 14 SOG, 2 PPPts) – While I don't have a lot of faith in this being for real, I do feel obligated to bring the hot streak and waiver-wire candidate to your attention since I've been so vocal about Clowe being pretty much done fantasy-wise… and this contract being so terrible. Just 9% owned in Yahoo.
Tyler Bozak, Toronto Maple Leafs (9-5-6-11, even, 4 PIM, 14 SOG) – Bozak owners don't care what label you put on him. "Number One Center", or "Number Two Center", or "Number-One-Center-Wannabe", or "Third-Line Checker", or "Hot Dog Guy". Whatever. They're just enjoying all the points while the Bozak haters continue arguing with the Bozak lovers.
Ryan Garbutt, Dallas Stars (23-7-8-15, plus-5, 28 PIM, 52 SOG) – Garbutt is putting up all these points without exposure to the power play and rarely seeing his ice time top 14 minutes. Pick him up for the hits and penalty minutes. Keep him for the goals and assists.
Calvin de Haan, New York Islanders (5-1-6-7, plus-4, 8 PIM, 5 SOG) – Unless things change with de Haan's situation (no power-play time right now), this is a very short-term hot streak. But well worth the pick up for the time being and he certainly has my attention again in keeper leagues.
Tyson Barrie, Colorado Avalanche (12-5-5-10, plus-6, 12 PIM, 15 SOG, and 6 PPPts) – Barrie has struggled at times and has been a healthy scratch often, especially early on. But his game is rounding out and his production of late should keep him in the lineup now. Especially with Erik Johnson possibly sidelined.
Patrick Maroon, Anaheim Ducks (11-1-7-8, plus-1, 36 PIM, 18 SOG) – Maroon has picked up at least five minutes in penalties in five of his last six games, and he finished scrimmage with some junior players the game against the Canucks Thursday with a couple of assists. A must own in roto leagues with any kind of depth.
Patrik Berglund, St. Louis Blues (5-4-1-5, plus-5, 0 PIM, 16 SOG) – It's not often that you see a big, young player with Berglund's skill move sideways for so long when it comes to offense. How much longer do we have to watch him put up 45 points? Maybe TJ Oshie can explain to him that there is another level one can strive for. At any rate, Berglund does tend to have his little hot runs and this is one of them.
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:
Olli Määttä, Pittsburgh; Jakob Silfverberg, Anaheim; Brad Marchand, Boston; Tyler Ennis, Buffalo; Ryan Ellis, Nashville; Devan Dubnyk, Nashville; Ben Scrivens, Edmonton; Mark Letestu, Columbus.