February 28, 2012

From goal scorers to defenders to the men who keep the puck out of the net, each week we'll take a spin around the rink and touch on some of the players that are in the news.

• Shocked that Rick Nash, Ryan Smith and Evgeni Nabokov weren't moved? I am a little bit as well. If you're looking for a review of Monday's trade deadline click on the link to Deadline Day Lack Of Surprises.

• Ryan O'Reilly has 50 points this season, not bad for a guy who produced a total of 52 points in his first two seasons. The Avalanche center has been killing it in the month of February with 13 points in his last 11 games.

• Gabriel Landeskog is going to be an elite player for years. The Avs rookie hits, takes shots on net, plays solid defense and is extremely well-rounded for such a young player. He's also been a point producer lately, posting a point in six-straight games (5g, 5a).

• Taylor Hall had 22 goals, 42 points and 186 shots in 65 games as a rookie. This season the Oilers' forward has 23 goals, 48 points and 180 shots in 52 games. He's been hot of late with three goals and six points in his last four games.

• Alex Burmistrov has a middling 13 goals and 12 assists this season, but he's picked up the pace of late for the Jets. In his last nine games he's scored three times while dishing three assists. That's a moderate level of production that might help out some in deep leagues.

• Matt Cooke, yes that Matt Cooke, has been an offensive force of late. Cook has four points in three games and seven points in five contests. He won't keep it up, but it's interesting to note that his recent hot streak has him up to 12 goals and 15 helpers, numbers in line with his previous three seasons. At least he is consistent.

• Steve Downie was recently dealt to the Avalanche, a move he seems to love. In four games with the Avs, Downie has only two penalty minutes, this after 121 in 55 games in Tampa. He's a plus-7 since the move and has scored two goals and handed out 5 assists. In other words, he's been a fantasy star in his new sweater.

• Carl Hagelin has been a point-producing machine for the Rangers of late. In each of his last two games he has a goal and an assist, and over his last 12 games he's given the Blue Shirts nine points and a plus-4 rating.

• Mikael Samuelsson dished out two helpers in his last contest and has four points in his last three games. He also has 15 shots in those three contests. That's more like it for a guy just two years removed from a 30-goal effort with the Canucks.

• The ever-injured Steve Sullivan is healthy, and not surprisingly he's racking up points for the Pens. Sullivan has eight points in his last five games with at least a point in each contest. He has only one goal in that stretch, but why quibble with his success?

• Why didn't the Capitals trade Mike Knuble? I know he hasn't been producing, but what's the point in keeping him around if they are just going to seat him in the press box game after game? Knuble is scheduled to be a healthy scratch for the sixth time in 10 games Tuesday.

• Erik Karlsson is out of control. He has 65 points in 63 games and an amazing 17 points in his last seven games -- from the blue line mind you. Karlsson has seven goals in those seven games, and only once in that stretch has he failed to record at least two points. It's been a remarkable run for the man we can now call the best offensive defensemen in hockey.

• Dustin Byfuglien isn't going to match his total of 20 goals from last season with only 10 to this point on the season, but he does have a shot to better his point total. With points in seven-straight games, Byfuglien has 42 points in 49 games this season after tallying 53 last year.

• Duncan Keith had 14 goals and 69 points in 2009. Last year he had seven goals and 45 points. This year he has four goals and 34 points. That's not a trend anyone wants to see.

• Tyler Myers is finally showing some of that old flair on the offensive side of the ice. Myers has points in four of six games and seven of 11 games for the Sabres (he has seven points in those games). Myers is also a rather impressive plus-7 for the month. Oddly, though, Myers wilts on Saturdays as he is a minus-1 skater on that day of the week.

• Jared Spurgeon has 22 points, including 12 on the power play, in his second season with the Wild. The undersized defender, who barely stands 5-foot-9, has points in each of his last four contests -- with three of those four points coming with the man-advantage.

• Jaroslav Halak has a 1.93 GAA through 35 games for the Blues. Halak has won each of his last three starts, and over his last five games he's allowed a total of seven goals. Impressive indeed.

• For Miikka Kiprusoff, the beat keeps marching on. With 27 victories he is three wins short of his seventh straight 30-win season.

• Henrik Lundqvist might finally get his due this season as the best keeper in the league. His GAA of 1.75 is phenomenal, he's allowed two or fewer goals in each of his last 12 outings and his save percentage of .940 would set an all-time single season record. He's possibly the best keeper on the planet right now.

• Semyon Varlamov is taking over in net for the Avalanche. Not only has he won his last three outings, allowing just two goals mind you, but he's allowed one or zero goals in five of his last six outings. J-S Giguere has better numbers, his GAA is 2.16 compared to the 2.78 mark of Varlamov, but the youngster is seeing the puck well right now.

Ray Flowers can be heard daily on Sirius/XM Radio on The Fantasy Drive on Sirius 210 and XM 87, and Saturday's from 3-4 PM he hosts the SiriusXM Fantasy Hockey Show. His NHL thoughts can be read at Rotowire.com. Ray's baseball analysis can be found at BaseballGuys.com and his minute to minute musings can be located at the BaseballGuys' Twitter account.To e-mail Ray a question for next week's piece, drop him a line at fantasyfandom@yahoo.com.

You May Like

Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)