A few housekeeping notes: The default trade deadline in Yahoo! leagues is Thursday, March 6. If you're going to fleece someone for stretch-run talent, you'd better get the deal offered and accepted before midnight Thursday. Also if you're in a head-to-head league, this is it: the final weekend before the playoffs. If ever there was a time to churn players (not that I'd ever condone that) to pull off an extra category win, this is it. If you need help getting in the playoffs, that is. Here's hoping the games still matter for you. There's plenty of time to worry about baseball later. On to the Skinny …
MID-WEEK UPDATE: Need-to-know info from the past few days
Things to do ASAP: Might as well ride Florida goalie Craig Anderson while he's hot. Sunday he set a modern NHL record for saves in a shutout by turning away 53 Islanders shots in a 1-0 win. Twenty-nine of those stops came in a sublime second-period performance. About 48 hours later he made 40 saves in a 1-0 win at Boston to tie Miikka Kiprusoff in season shutouts with two. Though no decision has been announced for Thursday's starter, the folks at the Palm Beach Post state that it would be a "shock" if Anderson wasn't in net against the Penguins. Makes sense. When breaking the news to a starter that he's sitting for a third straight game, explaining that his backup stopped 93 straight shots in back-to-back road wins should go a long way toward smoothing things over. Going back further, by the way, it's 133 of 134 shots. Tomas Vokoun has been just fine. Before the All-Star break his goals-against average was .915. In 14 starts since it's .916. All it will take is one Anderson misstep – whenever that may come – for the Panthers to go right back to their guy.
Following up on last week's action items, Carey Price remains available in close to 30 percent of Yahoo! leagues. There's no excuse for what's going on in those leagues. Someone having password problems? Are Western Conference-only leagues suddenly all the rage? Honestly sometimes I don't get our audience. New Tampa Bay goalie Mike Smith also remains bargain-bin eligible at 47-percent owned. His numbers are off in Florida – as they should be – but I still think he's worth a No. 3 goalie spot on someone's roster in your league. The Skinny's other post-deadline marquee upgrade was Steve Bernier, who went cold in back-to-back games before rebounding with two assists Tuesday. He now has five points in four games with Buffalo.
One-timers: Colby Armstrong has two points in three games with the Thrashers and Erik Christensen is minus-4 with no points. … Looks like Martin Havlat will have season-ending shoulder surgery, not that most fantasy owners hadn't already effectively ended his season. … Peter Forsberg played close to 20 minutes Tuesday on a line with Milan Hejduk and Joe Sakic in his Avalanche re-debut. … Youngster Gilbert Brule has been promoted to Columbus' No. 1 line, but so far the offense has sputtered. … Promising points-PIM winger Daniel Carcillo (knee) skated Tuesday, but his immediate playing future remains in doubt. … Flyers center Mike Richards will return no earlier than March 15.
BARGAIN BIN: Top player available in 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues
Joe Pavelski, C, SJ – Since arriving in San Jose, defenseman Brian Campbell has four points in four games. Joe Thornton has seven points since the deadline deal. But the Sharks player who may benefit the most fantasy-wise is Pavelski, who has taken up a spot alongside Campbell on the Sharks' No. 1 power play unit. Since Soupy's arrival, Pavelski has three goals and five points in those four games. Three of those points have come with the man advantage.
MARKET MOVERS: Charting player values
Doug Weight, C, Ana – Weight picked up a power-play assist Monday in his first game in almost a month. Against the Senators he centered Teemu Selanne and Chris Kunitz. That's as good an assignment as this veteran playmaker could ask for.
Toni Lydman, D, Buf – Buffalo still has plenty of weapons up front, so somebody should pick up some points on the blueline now that Brian Campbell is gone. So far that's been Lydman, who has five points in four games. Fellow rearguard Nathan Paetsch deserves a similar upgrade.
Maxim Afinogenov, RW, Buf – Still in Buffalo, Afinogenov is fresh off a three-point night. That gives him two goals and two assists in three games since missing close to two months with a groin tear.
Sergei Samsonov, LW, Car – Reborn in Carolina, Samsonov is streaking with five goals and three assists in five games. He now has 21 points in 24 games with the Hurricanes, matching Eric Staal's output in the same span.
Eric Fehr, RW, Was – His three-assist performance Monday could be the breakout performance the Capitals have been looking for. Or it could have been an anomaly like just about everything else when a game results in a 10-2 final.
Joffrey Lupul , RW, Phi – Lupul (available in about 60 percent of Yahoo! leagues) could be playing by the weekend after mending his right ankle sprain. He has 18 goals and 39 points in 44 games.
Jason Williams, RW, Chi – No reason to downgrade as he now has a six-game point streak with three goals and six assists.
Tomas Plekanec, C, Mon – Hovering at about 25-percent unowned, Plekanec is streaking again with five goals and two assists in his last three games.
Patrick Marleau, C, SJ – With trade speculation in the rear-view mirror, Marleau has picked it up with four points in four games. The 11th center drafted on average in Yahoo! leagues is now a free agent in about 48 percent of pools.
Niklas Kronwall, D, Det – Healthy again, he's got four assists in two games. Brian Rafalski returned Wednesday, but there's no reason to expect Kronwall's production to drop. He's a free agent in 60 percent of leagues.
Yahoo! Friends and Family League
Rotowire-Maingot maintains a 0.5-point lead. As many as six teams have a shot, including a Pucks and Pylons squad that was left for dead earlier in the season. Transactions this week involve Craig Anderson, Sergei Samsonov, Mike Komisarek and Brian Rolston among others.