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.
My favorite moves of the few days leading up to last week's trade deadline, as far as short-term fantasy boosts are concerned, were:
1. Marc-Andre Gragnani to Vancouver. This one hasn't worked out so well as of yet. I expected him to slid into the role that Christian Ehrhoff had with this team a year ago. Instead, he has slipped into the role of 'crappy fringe player'. He's only three games into his tenure with the Canucks, so I'll give him time.
2. Andrei Kostitsyn to the Predators. Now I'd like to see them try to pull off the trick of "one Kostitsyn, two uniforms" with them as teammates. The streaky older brother will be big down the stretch. After all, he has a contract to earn.
3. Wojtek Wolski to Florida. The jury is still out on this one, as he has three points in five games, shoots like a gangster, but has been defensively atrocious. As long as he can stay on Tomas Fleischmann's line though, he'll do well.
4. Zack Kassian to Vancouver. Although I think this young power forward will put up modest numbers for the first three or four years, I think he'll be a fantastic dark horse for your playoff pool.
Here is a snippet of the best rotisserie stats over the past week, via Frozen Pool:
These fellas are wielding a hot stick. Take that into consideration when you go after them in trade talks...
David Desharnais, Montreal Canadiens (24-8-17-25, plus-6, 4 PIM, 31 SOG) — Montreal's leading scorer has 31 points in the 33 games that Randy Cunneyworth has coached.
Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning (9-10-8-18, plus-3, 6 PIM, 34 SOG and 6 PPP) — These days, when Stammer gets the puck on his stick in the offensive zone, the opposing goalie just turns and grabs his water bottle. No point in even trying to stop the shot, it's going in. The 22-year-old has an outside shot at tripling his age in goals. How long has it been since we've seen that? He needs 19 goals in 17 games. Just ask Corey Perry how doable that is.
Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg Jets (7-4-10-14, plus-7, 6 PIM, 27 SOG) —I know I'm in the minority here, but I'll take this former fifth overall pick before I'd go for his former fourth-overall pick teammate Evander Kane. I'm in the minority because poolies have seen Wheeler's NHL track record. But all I see is a consistent 80-game player who is exploding in his fourth NHL season. Textbook development. Let me know when Kane plays 75 games in a season and we'll talk then.
"Sell High" pick of the week: Niklas Kronwall, Detroit Red Wings. Don't do it yet, but when you hear confirmation that Nicklas Lidstrom is returning, that's the time to shed yourself of Kronwall. But what a great sign of things to come (if and) when Lidstrom does retire. Kronwall has three points in each of the games that Lidstrom has missed, inflating his numbers to the 30-point mark and making him a very appealing asset to your fellow owners.
Somebody wake these guys up — their fantasy owners are counting on them...
Mike Green, Washington Capitals (7-0-0-0, minus-2, 8 PIM, 13 SOG) — The last time I did this column, two weeks ago, he was my "buy low" guy of the week. Luckily, thanks to a clause in my contract with Puck Daddy, I get unlimited Mulligans. Until the Caps decide that scoring more than a goal or two in a given game is a good idea, Green should be benched.
Viktor Stalberg, Chicago Blackhawks (15-1-1-2, minus-5, 6 PIM, 29 SOG) — I took a look at the Line Production tool in Frozen Pool and wasn't surprised at all with what I saw. Of his 32 points, 21 of them occurred with Jonathan Toews on the ice. So until Mr. Toews is back on the ice, Mr. Stalberg should be put on ice on your roster.
Jason Pominville, Buffalo Sabres (5-0-0-0, minus-3, 0 PIM, 8 SOG) — Buffalo's leading scorer has been ice cold since the trade deadline, despite the fact that the team is winning. Meanwhile, the likes of Ville Leino and Brad Boyes are on fire. What is this, Bizarro World?
"Buy Low" pick of the week: Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks. Sedin is pointless in his last five and his points-per-game average is now sitting at 1.00. I doubt it will get any lower than that and it actually stands a very good chance of shooting upwards. If you can get him for the price of an 85-point player and he produces like a 100-point guy going forward, you come out ahead. Unless my calculator is broken. Weird that Daniel Sedin is slumping as well.
Mostly short-term grabs here, but as always some potential steals...
Nikita Nikitin, St. Louis Blues Columbus Blue Jackets (6-2-2-4, plus-2, 4 PIM, 10 SOG, 2 PPP) — Besides owning one of the best handles in hockey today — like the second coming of Zarley Zalapski — Nikitin has more than a point every two games as a member of the Jackets (22 points, 37 games played). A great breakout candidate for 2012-13 who will help you down the stretch this year.
Wojtek Wolski, Florida Panthers (5-2-1-3, minus-1, 0 PIM, 17 SOG) — As long as Panthers' coach Kevin Dineen plays him like a big, but soft offensive forward, he'll get results. Lots of shots and decent points. But if he decides that Wolski should check more, or start playing physical, then the bottom will drop out.
Derick Brassard, Columbus Blue Jackets (33-10-15-25, minus-9, 22 PIM, 55 SOG) —Since leaving his job earlier this season as a press box sitter, Brassard has soared to third place on the team's scoring list. Of course with this team that's like saying "Brassard has sucked less than 20 other players".
Dwight King, Los Angeles Kings (9-2-4-6, plus-4, 2 PIM, 18 SOG) — On one hand, he's a Dustin Penner who actually throws fewer bodychecks than Dustin Penner. On the other hand, he's a Dustin Penner who can find the net. For a tie-breaker, let's see who can eat this stack of delicious pancakes without sustaining a single injury…
Matt Gilroy, Ottawa Senators (2-0-1-1, even, 2 PIM, 3 SOG) — At this point, the sample size is too new with regards to his game with the Senators. But he has some potential and saw more than 19 minutes of ice time on Friday. Beggers can't be choosers, when we're talking about roto leagues with a lean waiver wire.
Ray Emery, Chicago Blackhawks (2-0-0, 1.20 GAA, 0.960 SP) — Get back on the Emery bandwagon. When he gets rolling, it's a nice, lengthy streak. Just look at December when he went 7-0-1.
Carl Hagelin, New York Rangers (5-3-2-5, plus-3, 8 PIM, 10 SOG) — In the last two months, Hagelin has not gone three consecutive games without a point. Down the stretch, I don't think he'll ever give you a bad week.