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.
So the Calgary Flames are supposed to be losing and the Vancouver Canucks are supposed to be winning. Yet the Flames are 10-6-0 in the last 16 and the Canucks are 4-11-1. If only the Canucks had Mark Giordano.
Giordano has been absolutely on fire with 17 points in his last 19 contests (plus-5). And as a bonus for fantasy owners, he has 27 penalty minutes in that span. It's enough to place him second among all skaters since January 12, when you total up the six main rotisserie categories. Courtesy of Frozen Pool:
These fellas are wielding a hot stick. Take that into consideration when you go after them in trade talks...
Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars (3-4-5-9, plus-3, 0 PIM, 15 SOG, and 4 PPPts) - Seguin is tied with Alex Ovechkin for fourth in league scoring. One of the three players he trails is Phil Kessel - that guy the Leafs got for picks that turned into Seguin, Dougie Hamilton and Jared Knight. He's also six points ahead of Taylor Hall - that guy who was the other side of the Taylor vs. Tyler debate of yesteryear.
Jason Spezza, Ottawa Senators (2-3-3-6, plus-3, 2 PIM, 7 SOG, and 2 PPPts) - It's funny how after a miserable season, just two games make it actually look pretty decent statistically. So just to recap - Spezza does not click with Bobby Ryan, but he does click with Ales Hemsky. Got it. Not really.
Erik Johnson, Colorado Avalanche (6-1-7-8, plus-3, 2 PIM, 14 SOG) - Johnson went on a run of 15 games in which he had points in only two of them. Then he was suspended for lumberjacking Frans Nielsen. Then he returns from the Olympic-break-slash-suspension and does this. Perhaps all he needed was a vacation.
Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings (6-0-0, 0.99 GAA, 0.957 SV%) - After Quick got off to a weak start and then suffered a serious groin injury, fickle fantasy owners were quick to knock him out of their personal Top 10 goalies to own. But it's a long season, as you can see. Goalies not named Rick who sign decade-long contracts are generally safe bets to be solid fantasy options for a long, long time.
Somebody wake these guys up – their fantasy owners are counting on them...
Alex Steen, St. Louis Blues (13-2-3-5, minus-6, 10 PIM, 32 SOG) - With 17 games left, Steen is already one point shy of his career high 51 (2010-11). But his pace has slowed significantly from the Ovechkin-like rate he was on back in December.
Kyle Turris, Ottawa Senators (11-3-1-4, minus-4, 10 PIM, 19 SOG) - It's been a breakthrough season for Turris and at 24 the best is yet to come. He's had a slump like this before - with three points in 11 games back in late November - so don't assume he's winding things down.
Mike Green, Washington Capitals (4-0-0-0, minus-4, 0 PIM, 7 SOG) - After giving us hope that the Mike Green of old is back with five points in two games, he's brought us back to reality with the latest slump. He's seen at least 23 minutes of ice time in five of his last six games.
Cory Schneider, New Jersey Devils (0-2-0, 5.59 GAA, 0.800 SV%) - I for one thought the days of Martin Brodeur outplaying Schneider were long gone. But Brodeur has won four straight as he looks to show the world that he has another season in him. Meanwhile, Schneider has just three wins in his last nine starts.
Mostly short-term grabs here, but as always some potential steals...
Travis Zajac, New Jersey Devils (2-2-2-4, plus-1, 0 PIM, 5 SOG) – Zajac has made it clear that without Zach Parise, he's just a 45-point player. But get in early on what could be a pretty lengthy hot streak as he's showing great chemistry with newcomer Tuomo Ruutu and oldcomer Jaromir Jagr.
Tuomo Ruutu, New Jersey Devils (2-1-3-4, plus-4, 6 PIM, 8 SOG) – Injuries have destroyed what would have been a real solid 65-point, 120 PIM roto stud. But Ruutu plays that style of game and over the years it's taken its toll. Now seeing time with Jagr, he's not only putting up points but he seems to have that edge back.
Anders Lee, New York Islanders (7-5-2-7, plus-2, 2 PIM, 18 SOG) – The 6-3, 227-pound former Notre Dame star has been on a tear for Bridgeport (AHL). Some see him as a potential left winger for John Tavares next year. He's got the size and the hands, and judging by his 83 PIM in 54 AHL games, he plays with an edge. So far, the audition without Tavares is going well.
Lee Stempniak, Pittsburgh Penguins (2-0-2-2, plus-3, 0 PIM, 4 SOG) – Instead of "Lee Stempniak, Pittsburgh Penguins" I could have put "Hot Dog Vendor, Pittsburgh Penguins" if he played with Sidney Crosby. Stempniak is going to have a fantastic final 17 games. Mark it!
Carl Soderberg, Boston Bruins (28-8-14-22, plus-9, 14 PIM, 53 SOG) – The former Swedish Elite League Superstar has been brought into the NHL slowly but steadily - and clearly he is responding. Despite averaging just under 14 minutes per game of ice time, Soderberg is likely going to end up with 50 points, but his second-half pace will be closer to 65. And he still has another year on his contract that will see him getting paid just over a million bucks.
Alex Martinez, Los Angeles Kings (5-3-2-5, plus-2, 0 PIM, 6 SOG and 3 PPPts) – Fans were wondering why Coach Sutter constantly gave Martinez all this power-play time (averages 1:44 per game). But now we're starting to see results. He's always been a decent puck mover, we just never saw the results until now.
Danny DeKeyser, Detroit Red Wings (8-1-5-6, plus-4, 2 PIM, 14 SOG) – Back in November, DeKeyser had eight points during a 10-game run before he suffered an injury that took him out of the lineup until Christmas. He's known as more of a defensive rearguard so the offense caught fantasy owners off-guard. Here he is again, on another hot streak and now he's really piqued our interest.
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:
Alexandre Burrows, Vancouver Canucks; TJ Brodie, Calgary Flames; Cam Atkinson, Columbus Blue Jackets; Brandon Pirri, Florida Panthers; Colton Sceviour, Dallas Stars; Jared Spurgeon, Minnesota Wild; Tommy Wingels, San Jose Sharks