Dobber checks in every Monday 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.
Roster alert — from Monday through Sunday, Boston plays five times. And just like Boston is the only team to line up five times over the next week, the Canucks are the only team to line up just twice. There. That tough 'Benoit Pouliot or Jannik Hansen?' question was just answered for you.
Over the last couple of weeks I've noticed Matt Moulson and John Tavares going nutty. I mean Matt Moulson, who was all but left for dead in the AHL, is suddenly looking like he'll push for 40 goals and 70 points at the NHL level. How many other gems are rotting in the AHL right now? I gotta wonder.
Anyway, I was curious to see how this line ranks league-wide. Using Frozen Pool, I selected a tool that gives me the top line production and set it for the last three weeks. Here are the results:
These fellas are wielding a hot stick. Take that into consideration when you go after them in trade talks...
John Tavares, New York Islanders (8-4-11-15, plus-7, 0 PIM, 32 SOG) — Your time to trade for him would have been around the 22-game mark, in which he had just 16 points. After seasons of 54 and 67 points, to hit the quarter pole on pace for about 60 wasn't exactly impressing. But Tavares has now emerged as a point-per-game player and next year he'll take that one step further.
Milan Lucic, Boston Bruins (7-4-5-9, plus-3, 14 PIM, 9 SOG) — Lucic has run hot/cold throughout his short career and this year has been no exception. He was held off the scoresheet in 19 of 40 games so far, yet still has 34 points which is on pace for a career high. His penalty minutes are off the charts with 77. The next highest point getter with that many PIM is Steve Ott, who has 20 points and 90 PIM.
Dan Boyle, San Jose Sharks (4-1-6-7, plus-7, 0 PIM, 16 SOG) —Boyle broke his foot on November 10 but continued playing. He then managed just one point in 12 games after that. The foot has obviously healed, given his nice run of 13 points in 15 games since then.
"Sell High" pick of the week: Jason Spezza, Ottawa Senators. After missing an average of 11 games over the each of the last six seasons, Spezza has managed to avoid the injury bug so far. If I was a Spezza owner, I'd be feeling a little nervous, as if I'm pushing my luck each game I hold onto him.
Somebody wake these guys up — their fantasy owners are counting on them...
John Carlson, Washington Capitals (11-0-1-1, minus-4, 8 PIM, 19 SOG) — That honeymoon that he was having with his former-and-now-current coach Dale Hunter is now over. Hunter has a new favorite in Dennis Wideman and Carlson is left talking with Dale about the old London (OHL) days while sitting on the bench during power plays.
Artem Anisimov, New York Rangers (11-0-0-0, minus-2, 2 PIM, 11 SOG) — I didn't know it was possible to play the majority of 11 games with either Marian Gaborik (mostly) or Brad Richards (a few times) and not manage a single point, but here we are.
Jaromir Jagr, Philadelphia Flyers (5 GP, 0-1-1, minus-2, 2 PIM, 6 SOG) — The 39-year-old pulled his groin a few games ago trying to keep up with the young pups. Let that be a lesson to ya, Jaromir.
"Buy Low" pick of the week: Stephen Weiss, Florida Panthers. He has four points in his last 14 games, which has dropped his pro-rated pace down to 63 points. Although that kind of number is about what we get from Weiss each year, it's hard to imagine that's all he'll get this year. After all, he's in his prime, he's in a contract year and he's got some solid linemates. He's a streaky player who you can get for cheap, but do it quick before he hits his next hot run.
Mostly short-term grabs here, but as always some potential steals...
Lauri Korpikoski, Phoenix Coyotes (4-1-3-4, plus-2, 0 PIM, 5 SOG) — Korpikoski's a player I find myself owning two or three times each season. Often reluctantly. He'll never be a top sixer, but at the same time he's often one of the better choices available on the wire in deeper leagues. He's steady in terms of plus/minus and getting you a point every two games. Nothing to write Mom about, but a decent stopgap when you need one for a week or two.
Patrick Kaleta, Buffalo Sabres (4-1-2-3, plus-1, 6 PIM, 8 SOG) — Normally a one-category wonder, the PIM machine has found some offense lately. But then, playing with Paul Gaustad and Matt Ellis, who wouldn't? Actually, given his ice time lately, which was a season high 18:57 Saturday, I think he'll be closer to a 30-point player in the coming weeks than the five-point player he was until now. And if I'm wrong, you still get a wackload of penalty minutes.
Sean Couturier, Philadelphia Flyers (4-4-1-5, plus-4, 0 PIM, 8 SOG) —Although the youngster is still seeing ice time that makes even Biz Nasty point and laugh, Couturier has been making the most of it. His plus/minus is going to be ridiculous by season's end.
Derick Brassard, Columbus Blue Jackets (12-4-5-9, minus-7, 6 PIM, 22 SOG) — Now that the pesky 'healthy scratch' stuff is behind him, Brassard has been playing like a decent 60-point guy. A decent 60-point guy who will kick the snot out of your plus/minus, but in Columbus that's really all you can ask.
Kyle Turris, Ottawa Senators (13-2-7-9, plus-10, 15 PIM, 32 SOG) — Turris is playing inspired hockey now that he's in Ottawa. His plus/minus alone could help turn your team around. And the penalty minutes are a nice bonus.
Justin Faulk, Carolina Hurricanes (9-3-3-6, plus-2, 4 PIM) — Faulk has seen at least 20 minutes of ice time in each of his last 28 games, and at least 21 minutes in 24 of those games. In the nine games shown here, he has four power-play points. He has unseated sophomore Jamie McBain.
Josh Harding, Minnesota Wild (3 GP, 1-1-1, 10 GA on 108 shots) — The Wild are struggling and although Harding's numbers haven't dazzled, he is coming off his best game since returning from a head/neck injury in December. He stopped 47 of 49 shots that game, and while Niklas Backstrom struggles Coach Mike Yeo is leaning more on Harding.
For more fantasy hockey tips, take a gander at DobberHockey. And while you're at it, follow Dobber's fantasy hockey musings on Twitter. For midseason help in your fantasy league, get some second-half projections, prospect info and more in Dobber's sixth annual Midseason Fantasy Guide.