Crashing The Net: Backstrom, Jokinen headline fantasy stars
On Monday, Backstrom was named the NHL's First Star of the previous week after recording nine points in a mere three games (four goals, five assists). What makes his run of effectiveness even more interesting is that
Who has the longest scoring streak on the Sharks? NHL point scoring leader
Jokinen has 14 points in his last 14 games, and after recording a mere seven points in his first 14 games, that's a pretty substantial turnaround. Jokinen failed to score a goal in each of the final 13 games to end last season, and when he beat a goalie only once in the first 10 games this season there were plenty of Flames' fans that thought the club may have been stuck with a high-priced, no-talent stiff. However, the proverbial worm has turned, and Jokinen appears to be back to his potent scoring ways (he also has three goals and three assists in his last five games). Hopefully, you held on and didn't bail when things were rough.
While one King is ice-cold (see below), another, less known name is actually producing a plenty on the offensive side of the ice. After a nine goal, 23 point rookie season in which he appeared in all 82 games, Simmonds has already scored nine times while racking up 10 assists in a mere 30 games. Wayne has been on a tear of late with a point in 6-straight games (4g, 4a) during which time he has been a plus player in every game (+8 during the streak, +12 on the year). Simmonds doesn't figure to continue to produce at this lofty pace, especially while skating mostly on the third line, but he has been quite the story the past two weeks.
Fourteen goals and 35 points in 30 games so all is right in the world, right? Wrong. "We're a team that relied on him and looked to him in the early part and he came through for us," head coach
Prospal has six goals and 20 helpers in 29 games in his first year on Broadway, so the complaints with his production have to be minimal. At the same time, Vinny has a mere two assists in his last six games, and like the other names in this section this week, his biggest deficiency has been an inability to light the lamp. Prospal has but one goal in nine games, and in each of the past seven games the lamp has been dormant. Prospal should return to the world of the living soon, how could he not skating with
Setoguchi started the year off hot with four goals in his first four games spending a lot of time alongside Joe Thornton. However, injury struck in October (leg), and then he suffered a setback in mid-November with the same injury. Now healthy, Devin has been brought along slowly as the Sharks' coaching staff has been wary of pushing him too hard which could lead to another setback. Setoguchi has worked himself back into the top-6 mix on the second line, but he hasn't been able to generate any offense with zero points in his last three games since returning to the ice stretching his pointless streak to seven games. Don't be afraid to buy low on this speedy winger who isn't afraid to shoot the puck. With health, the goals, and points, should follow.
Off the top, this one is a bit unfair. Staal has been injured and missed over three weeks in November, and since returning to action he does have six points in his last five games. So how and the heck can he be on the "cold" list? Much like Kopitar above, it's because this sniper just cannot seem to score a goal. Staal has a mere three markers on the year, recall that Staal has scored 78 goals the past two years and has hit the 30-goal plateau in each of his previous four seasons, so when you are on pace to barely hit double-digits you can rightly be considered a huge failure. In addition, Staal hasn't lit the lamp once in 10 games. Back from injury, you have to think that Eric will find his scoring touch soon, his track record suggests it's a near certainty, so don't be afraid to buy low despite the struggles.
The Red Wings' vaunted offense hasn't been impressive of late.
Kane has played so well as a rookie that he has seen time on the penalty kill, and the team is intent on giving the youngster more ice-time than the 15 or so minutes he has been receiving this season up until this point. The 4th selection in the 2009 Entry Draft isn't likely to explode offensively, he has eight goals and five assists on the year (he also sports an impressive +8), but an increased role might lead to a few more chances to pile up the points making him an intriguing option in deep leagues.
The Blackhawks boast some of the most impressive firepower in all of the NHL, and recently some of that talent has been on the top line in the form of
Over his last five appearances Emery is 0-4-0 as the Flyers continue to play as if they think the season is already on the Olympic break. Emery has also been, to be honest, one of the most deficient members of the club with a 5.36 GAA and a save percentage of barely 80 percent over his last five appearances (it's actually .814 percent). Emery is said to be playing with a minor injury of some sort so we'll cut him a modicum of slack here, but he better watch out. If he keeps playing like this
Ward has been out of game action for a month with a lacerate leg, but barring a setback in the next two days he appears likely to suit up to face the Devils. The Hurricanes have been flat out pitiful this season at 6-17-5, but having back their number one tender should help them right the ship. For his part Ward struggled when on the ice with a poor set of ratios (2.97 GAA, .916 save percentage), but there is still reason to hope that he could be a bottom tier goalie one in the second half. After all, he did win 39 games with a 2.44 GAA and a .916 save percentage last year. This might be your last chance to acquire him on the cheap. The team will likely cut either