Crashing the net: Iginla's time as fantasy force may be at an end
A solid two-way forward, Cleary has channeled his inner Dino Ciccarelli of late. Cleary has recorded a point in seven-straight games for the Wings (10 points), and even more impressively he has lit the lamp in five-straight contests (six goals total). A 20-goal scorer in 2006-07 for the Wings, Cleary has lit the lamp only 29 times the past two years. Ride the wave that is this hot streak, but it would be wise to explore the trade value of this 1997 first round selection.
Leopold, the proud owner of 135 points in 436 games prior to this season, has recorded four goals and nine assists in just 18 games. He has also been hot in the month of November with six points in six games, including points in four of his last five outings. It's hard to think that his production will continue to be this impressive on the offensive side of the ice, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be rolling with him right now every time he takes the ice.
OK, you are only going to look this defender's way in very, very deep pools, but that doesn't change the fact that he has been a beast of late. Non only did he have 27 PIMs in his last game, a fight-filled tilt with the Rangers, Peckham also had an assist in the game. In fact, he has two points in his last three games, and over his last five contests he has 39 PIMs, 17 hits and 12 blocked shots. If your league is deep, or it counts non-traditional fantasy categories like hits and blocked shots, he is worth a look.
Not only does Gilbert have only three points this season, he is also the owner of a dreadful (-8) rating. But that's just the start. Gilbert hasn't scored a goal in nine games, and he has only one point in his last 13 forays onto the ice. In addition, get this,
It might seem odd to have Hossa on this list given that he has eight goals and 13 points in 15 games on the year. It might also seem strange if you saw him play on Sunday, when he recorded two points. So why is he here? Simply put, he was virtually invisible from Oct. 20 through Nov. 13 as he failed to produce a single point in seven games. I know he was injured, and that likely contributed to his offensive woes, but when Hossa goes seven games without a point, that's something that needs to be written about.
Here is a legitimate question -- are Iginla's days as a fantasy force over? After scoring 89 points in 2008, he slumped to just 69 points last season. This year, through 16 games, he has just 10 points, a pace for barely 50 points on the year, and has lit the lamp only three times, including just one in his last eight games. For a man who has recorded at least 30 goals in each of the past nine seasons, that is simply dreadful production.
When you skate on a line with Marian Gaborik you can't help but see an uptick in your production given that Gaborik is arguably one of the top-10 talents in the game. On Sunday night Gaborik did his thing, recording a hat trick, the 11th of his career, in just his second game back from a shoulder injury. You guessed it -- Christensen recorded three assists in the game while also sporting a massive +5 rating. There is no way to know how long he will be able to ride shotgun, but for now, he is worth a pickup.
Hudler came back from Russia with great hope this season, but it took him 13 games to record his first goal. So why would I bother to list him here? Because he was moved up to the second scoring line, and skating with Johan Franzen and Valtteri Filppula will turn anyone's frown upside down. Hudler is almost certainly on waivers at the moment, but don't overlook what moving up to the second line could do for his outlook. After all, he did score 23 goals and record 57 points in 2008.
Andrei Markov is having more tests on his knee on Monday, but early reports suggest that he could miss up to three months after hurting his surgically repaired knee in a knee-on-knee collision with Eric Staal. Even if Markov isn't out that long, it appears that his absence from the lineup will be rather lengthy, which should give the youngster, Subban, a chance to see even more time with the man advantage. Subban has seven points and a +5 rating through 17 games this season, and he is averaging 2.8 shots a game on net. Subban has a lot of offensive upside and is a must add at this point if he is still on waivers.
You may not have known who he was six weeks ago, but everyone knows who this Russian-born keeper is now. Bobrovsky has been nearly unconscious over his last nine games, going 8-0-1 with a 1.79 GAA an a .944 save percentage. Those numbers aren't any different than what he has done all season (10-2-1, 2.08 GAA, .932 SV%). At this point, if you have been waiting for Michael Leighton to return from injury it's time to move on -- this is Bobrovsky's team.
His GAA is 2.83 and he barely has a winning record at 8-5-2, but Hiller has actually tended some good net this season. Hiller is 12th in the league with a .920 save percentage, and before losing to the Blackhawks on Sunday he had won five-straight games. Moreover, Hiller has allowed more than two goals only twice in 10 starts, and as he has gotten sharper as his teammates have finally decided to join the party after a painfully slow start. Hiller might struggle a bit with his GAA this season, but he should pile up wins while producing a strong save percentage.
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* Ten teams play four games this week: Anaheim, Boston, Buffalo, Colorado, Los Angeles, NY Rangers, Philadelphia, San Jose, St. Louis and Vancouver.
* No teams play two games this week.