Crashing the Net: Blackhawks' Eager proves a bruiser with touch
A rough and tumble winger, Eager has been at his pugnacious best of late. Eager has 43 PIMs in his last eight games to give a nice boost in the PIM category, but unlike many bruisers who are all PIM and nothing else, Eager has also been contributing some offense, as well, with two goals and two assists in that time. These kind of things are cyclical; you can never count on a guy dropping the gloves in any given game, and Eager doesn't figure to continue to produce much offense, though he did score 11 times last season. Regardless, he has been mighty useful of late and clearly warrants a roster spot in deep leagues.
Mr. Connolly is an offensive force. In fact, since the start of the 2005 season he has had 175 points in 202 games (0.87 per game). Alas, as you can tell from the games played, Connolly is perpetually injured, making him a huge risk to rely on. Still, when healthy, he is productive, and that is certainly the case of late as Connolly has been on a tear with points in 6-straight games (5g, 4a with a +7). Ride him while he is hot but have a backup plan for when he inevitably enters sick bay.
You can't teach an old dog new tricks, but that doesn't mean an old dog doesn't remember his old tricks. A letdown for the majority of the year (1g, 18a), Lidstrom has found the scoring touch of late with an impressive six helpers in his last four games. Not surprisingly, in that time he also been a boon in the plus/minus category with a +6 rating. He won't be cheap to acquire given his name recognition and recent work, but if his current owner is asleep at the wheel and tired of his season long struggles, now is the time to pounce.
You might look at his overall line (3g, 8a, +11 and 16 PIMs) and move on, but of late, Anton has certainly been worth a second look. Not only did he have three assists in his last game, he was also a magnificent +5 in that outing against the Flyers. Moreover, Volchenkov has been a solid producer in the plus/minus category for weeks, and while it might not be as sexy as scoring goals and then saluting the fans, it matters in the world of fantasy. Over his last 13 games Anton has been a negative player only once and in that time he is a +12. You'll take that, right?
The Sharks are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games, but one player who hasn't exactly been tearing it up in that time is Team Canada member Dan Boyle. Mr. Boyle did have a seven game point streak from Dec. 5-Dec. 22, but since then he has a mere point in five games while posting a (-1). He also has only seven shots on net in those five games, a low total for a man averaging 2.31 shots per game. Boyle will continue to function as one of the top scoring rearguards in the league, so just bide your time with this point-producing force.
Uh oh. Penner has been the Oilers MVP so far with 19 goals, 20 assists and a +11 rating through 42 games, but after a blazing start to the year he has started to resemble the inconsistent Penner of old. Penner has been goalless in six games, has only one score in 10 games, and has a mere single helper in eight contests. Overall, the numbers are terrific, but based upon an ever bumpy career-long path, the Oilers' overall struggles, and his recent play, now might be your last chance to parlay Penner's fantastic start into a nice return on the trade market.
Finally healthy, Knuble hasn't enjoyed an offensive resurgence of late. In fact, since returning from about a month-long absence for a broken finger, Knuble has produced a mere two goals and two assists in 10 games while also burdening his fantasy owners with a (-5) rating. Overall, Knuble has a mere seven goals in 29 games, meaning he will have to go bonkers in the second half to match his lowest goal-scoring mark of the past four years (24 goals). A nice buy low candidate, Knuble should see his production improve moving forward.
Thanks to injuries to
Your value certainly goes up when you move from eating Doritos on your couch while watching re-runs of
Sturm, who won the Winter Classic on New Year's Day with a game-deciding goal, has lit the lamp five times in six games. Not surprisingly, Sturm has been skating on a line with
DiPietro suffered another setback in his recovery from injury, but the good news is that he made yet another start in the AHL on Sunday and stopped 35 shots in the effort. We don't know quite when he will return to NHL ice, but the time is drawing near. What will the Isles do then? Good question. They have more money tied up in DiPietro than
Leclaire was supposed to solidify the picture in net for the Senators. He hasn't. Leclaire has missed time due to injury, and when on the ice his performance has been decidedly inferior (.891 save percentage, 2.95 GAA). Of late, he has also allowed a bunch of "soft goals" and that just won't get it done. "It's frustrating," said head coach
Mason has been a disappointment for most of the year, and as such the Jackets had started to go with the
This is a flat out goalie rotation at this point with the keepers having alternated starts over the past six games. "I think both of them are going pretty good right now," Predators coach
Nearing a return to action from a groin injury, Seymon suffered a setback on Sunday while working on a conditioning assignment with the Hershey Bears of the AHL. At this time it is believed that his groin made it through this most recent outing just fine. However, he spent "extensive time receiving treatment" after the contest for another injury according to the
* Nine teams play four games this week: Anaheim, Boston, Calgary, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, NY Rangers, Ottawa and Toronto.
* One team plays two games this week: Edmonton.