Crashing the Net: Wings will enjoy offensive boost from good health
A leader on the ice, Belanger has never been much of an offensive threat, having never reaching the 40-point plateau, though he has been between 33 and 37 points each of the past six seasons. This year Belanger is on pace to notch a career best with 33 points in a mere 54 games. What's more, he has actually become a fairly solid point producer since right around Christmas time. Over his last 19 games he has lit the lamp seven times while dishing out 10 helpers, putting him on the cusp of being a point-per-game producer. Given his history and standing as a third-line player it would be wise to avoid counting too heavily on that production continuing, but that doesn't take away from the wonderful production he has been providing of late.
Finally. One of the most dynamic offensive weapons in the game, Datsyuk has recorded at least 87 points in each of the past four seasons. He won't reach that level this year without a fantastic finishing kick as he has clearly seen his production dwindle due to the fact that seemingly every player on the club has spent time on the injured list (he has 43 points in 53 games). However, he has finally started to heat up, with three goals and three assists in his last four games, and with the team finally getting healthy around him, this might be your last chance to scoop him up for a fair price before his production takes off.
After a bit of a slow start to his time with the Caps, this gritty leader has found his stride, and how, with one terrific month of January that saw him record 11 goals in 15 games. Knuble has been even more effective of late with four goals in four games and eight in nine contests to boost his total to 18 in just 43 games played (he missed a month with a broken finger). While it would be foolish to expect this run of goal scoring to continue, there shouldn't be much slowdown if he continues to skate with
All it took was an injury and being awarded the "C" to change this young man's season around. Staal leads the Hurricanes with 43 points in just 42 games, hardly a surprising total given that he had scored 327 points in 328 games the previous four seasons. However, after a mere seven points in his first 17 games his fortunes have obviously greatly improved. With 36 points in his last 26 games Staal has been as hot as
Perhaps his move out west will help him to rediscover his lost scoring touch. Blake continues to fire on the net, though his pace for just under 240 shots is a far cry from the 300 he has reached in each of the past four seasons. After having scored at least 22 goals in five of the past six seasons, Blake has only 10 goals this year. Blake has also been unable to light the lamp in 14-straight games and, just as shockingly, he has a mere single assist in that time. That's right, he has gone 14 games with a mere point. Things have to improve in Anaheim, where he is likely to suit up on the second line after
One of the more effective offensive-minded d-men in the game, McCabe has produced some fair totals this season with seven goals, 17 assists and 63 PIMs this year. Alas, his scoring pace has tanked in January, and over the last 12 games he has failed to light the lamp even a single time (he has just two goals in 19 contests). McCabe also hasn't handed out a helper in nine games. No offense, middling two-way play (+1 in nine games), and little in the way of PIM help (eight in nine contests) has rendered McCabe as a poor blue-line weapon since the calendar flipped to 2010.
Roy scored 151 points the past two years while averaging 30 goals a season. This year, well, not so much. Roy has 37 points in his 51 trips to the ice, but unless he morphs into
Overall, Wolski has produced a terrific line with 16 goals, 29 assists and a +12 rating in 54 games. Unfortunately, he continues to be a maddeningly up-and-down performer, a trait that often results in some time with the dunce cap on, and to that end he has been staring at the wall an awful lot lately. Wolski has six points in his last eight games, which isn't awful, but he also has been on one whopper of a slump in the goal scoring department with but one marker in 17 games. With seven goals and a mere six points, he will set career bests in those categories, so his season up to this point has to be considered a success, but lately the well has run dry for this on and off scoring option.
Often asked to center the third line in a defensive role behind
Nothing is official yet, but it appears that newly acquired Stajan might just get a chance to skate on the same line as one of the top-10 offensive weapons in the game in
As mentioned above in the Datsyuk write-up, the Wings are finally starting to get healthy. One of those returning players is Williams, who missed 38 games with a broken leg, and he'll spend his time on the second line at even strength while manning the point on the second power-play unit. When
* The deal that sent
Anderson won six straight games in mid-January to re-stake his claim to being a solid first goalie in fantasy leagues (he had two shutouts in that time as well). However, after going five straight games with one or zero goals allowed, he has allowed six goals in his last two starts and has lost three straight appearances. His save percentage is still terrific at .923 on the year, but his up and down work between the pipes continues.
Signed to a four-year deal worth $18 million, the Ducks clearly decided who they wanted to hitch their wagon to moving forward. They then dealt J-S Giguere to the Leafs for Vesa Toskala, who will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. Don't expect Toskala to offer much resistance at all for Hiller who figures to play nearly every game down the stretch as the Ducks try to make a playoff push.
The run of excellent work continues down south. Vokoun is second in the league with a .932 save percentage, and he has also tied
* Seven teams play four games this week: Boston, Buffalo, Calgary, Carolina, Edmonton, Montreal and Washington.
* Only one team play only two games this week: NY Islanders.