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 roller-coaster world and is unable to escape.
PA Parenteau is having the season of his life, thanks in part to playing with John Tavares — especially on the power play.
But as well as those two have been doing (along with soon to be three-time 30-goal scorer Matt Moulson), there are eight lines out there who have been performing better over the last month. With another tip of the hat to Frozen Pool, here are the hottest lines of the last 30 days:
These fellas are wielding a hot stick. Take that into consideration when you go after them in trade talks...
Ilya Kovalchuk, New Jersey Devils (4-5-4-9, plus-4, 0 PIM, 22 SOG) — Along with Martin Brodeur He's pushed the Devils into the playoffs. In his last 48 games he has 60 points, which is enough to cruise to a scoring title…if only hockey started in December.
Jeff Skinner, Carolina Hurricanes (8-3-5-8, plus-6, 18 PIM, 20 SOG) — With Eric Staal mired in another slump, it's nice to see last year's Calder winner whip back into form. And look at the little guy getting all feisty with the misconduct penalty — so cute!
PK Subban, Montreal Canadiens (5-3-4-7, plus-1, 6 PIM, 12 SOG) — While five of those seven points came against Minnesota and Edmonton — not exactly known for their stellar goaltending these days — it's fair to say that his confidence has been given a boost. And having Andrei Markov back in the lineup probably helps too.
"Sell High" pick of the week: Jordan Staal, Pittsburgh Penguins. Since returning from injury, Staal has 16 points in 13 games, including seven goals. On the Leafs many teams he's a No.1 center. But on this one, when Sidney Crosby gets back (probably possibly Thursday), he is No.3.
Somebody wake these guys up — their fantasy owners are counting on them...
Lubomir Visnovsky, Anaheim Ducks (14-0-0-0, minus-2, 8 PIM, 19 SOG) — About six weeks ago, in a limited keeper in which I have 15 or 16 good keepers and I can only keep 12, I traded John Carlson for this guy. You see, Carlson and the Caps weren't scoring, I'm in first place and I sacrificed a great future player to seal the win. What…the…@#%$? Is this joker the same guy who led all defensemen in points last season? Fortunately I'm still winning, but it's no thanks to this chump who is planted firmly on my bench.
Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks (7-1-0-1, minus-3, 0 PIM, 25 SOG) — He's shooting the puck, but the shots aren't going in. That's not going to happen forever, he'll get a bounce and then things will turn around. But it's still a pretty big setback for a guy who has improved every year that he's been in the NHL.
Saku Koivu, Anaheim Ducks (9-0-0-0, even, 14 PIM, 19 SOG) — Hey look, he's redefining himself as a tough guy.
"Buy Low" pick of the week: Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins. His recent 3-5-0 skid is further marred by the fact that he's given up four goals in three of those games. How very un-Thomas-like. In fact, prior to these last eight games, Thomas had only given up four goals in a game four times all season. He'll turn things around. It's either have faith in a turnaround or have faith in Marty Turco. Yeah, I thought so.
Mostly short-term grabs here, but as always some potential steals...
Jordan Caron, Boston Bruins (5-3-4-7, plus-8, 2 PIM, 13 SOG) — As much as the Bruins want to ease this kid into NHL duty, he refuses to be held back. Right now he's producing no matter what the ice time, or whoever the linemates.
Jamie McGinn, Colorado Avalanche (6-4-2-6, plus-2, 9 PIM, 16 SOG) — Sharks GM Doug Wilson has checked and double-checked the official transaction papers he submitted to the NHL, making sure that it was indeed Jamie McGinn he traded, and not Logan Couture. McGinn has six points for the Avalanche in six games. The entire San Jose team has seven goals in six games.
Chad Larose, Carolina Hurricanes (4-3-1-4, plus-5, 2 PIM, 16 SOG) —His production, year over year, is as steady and reliable as a Toronto media outlet whining about something wrong with the Leafs. A point every two games, more or less. But he's shooting like crazy this season (on pace for a career high despite missing 15 games). With his plus/minus turning back around, he's an excellent pickup if you need some SOG.
Cam Atkinson, Columbus Blue Jackets (5-1-0-1, plus-1, 4 PIM, 14 SOG) — Atkinson is a promising prospect for the Blue Jackets who has thrived at every level. In each of the last five games he has seen at least 15:27 of ice time, indicating that the team really wants to see what he can do as a top sixer. It's a "hunch" play that, at worst, will get you nothing but decent shots.
Dmitry Orlov, Washington Capitals (4-0-4-4, plus-4, 12 PIM, 5 SOG) — He has 16 points on the season, but half of those have come in the last 13 contests. He's playing like the Mike Green the Capitals have always wanted.
Chris Higgins, Vancouver Canucks (7-2-5-7, minus-1, 4 PIM, 18 SOG) — Higgins is finally playing like the guy the Rangers thought they acquired from the Habs in 2009. Clearly he just wanted the Rangers to look bad for giving up Scott Gomez.
Michael Stone, Phoenix Coyotes (2-1-2-3, plus-3, 0 PIM, 6 SOG) — After getting scratched for several games, Stone has bounced back with his first three career points. His ice time is inching upwards accordingly and he's worth a short-term flyer if you need a rearguard.
Two situations to act on now, hold for a week, and then drop if things don't pan out — Alexander Radulov "could" return to the Predators for the stretch run. Defenseman Justin Schultz "could" sign with the Ducks and join the team as early as this week. Both are prolific hockey players who will help your team if they sign.