HEADS UP: Our weekly 'Fantasy Five' feature is up over at HockeyDraft.ca... it was a Ray Whitney kinda week.
Jamie Benn just keeps on truckin'... two more points last night to extend his point streak to five games (4+4=8) and he's been great for the past month with 6+10=16 & 47 shots over his last 15 games.
A goal and a fight last night for Scott Hartnell and he's having a stellar season across the board, on pace for 27+27=54, 164 PIMs & 188 shots, with a plus-17 to boot. Of the top 100 scorers in the league, his 94 PIMs are easily the best, only Corey Perry (82) is close.
Do not look now but, after a shutout last night, Martin Brodeur is 4-0-1, 1.99 & .930 over his last five games and the whole team looks like they're starting to come together under Jackie Lemaire.
The Red Wings have signed Evgeni Nabokov to a cheap one-year deal and he'll be on waivers for everyone's enjoyment until Saturday. I gotta think that the Wings have something worked out so he'll end up in Detroit but we shall see... let's see where he ends up before getting into the fantasy ramifications as they might not be as good as you think.
I wasn't fully aware of the severity of this hot streak... Pekka Rinne is 8-1-0, 1.45 & .955 over his last nine games... that's hot.
The Devils have been trying to give Brian Rolston away but nobody wants him and now he's screwing the Devils chances at getting the 1st overall pick as he's put up 2+4=6 & a plus-6 over his last five games.
Sergei Bobrovsky has won his last four starts, giving up exactly two goals in each, so he seems to have come around after struggling a little in December. I'd say the needle is pointing in his direction as the #1 option in Philly right now but things can change quickly.
I said the other day that I hadn't really seen any signs that Jiri Hudler was going to break out of his funk but he had 3A last night and that gives him 3+8=11 over his last 12 games, so I guess that's not too bad but I'm still not feeling him really.
Hudler's linemate, Valtteri Filppula had two assists last night and now has 4+9=13 over his last 14 games... worth a look but remember that he'll give you next to nothing in most peripheral categories.
Colin Wilson had 2+4=6 in his first 20 games this year and now 10+8=18 in his last 27.
The win-and-you're-in strategy isn't really that effective if your goalies can't win... Jonathan Quick only faced 15 shots last night but gave up two goals and took another loss. Quick's now lost seven of his last eight and Bernier three of his last four.
The Caps gave Braden Holtby the start last night in the unfriendly confines of Nassua Coliseum and he somehow came out alive, stopping 24 of 25 to pick up the win. Both Varlamov & Neuvirth are a little banged up so he could be with the big club for a while.
Magnus Paajarvi has points in four of his last five games (2+2=4) but he's only on a 31 point pace for the season, so this is nothing more than an encouraging sign for the future star.
2+3=5 over his last 10 games for Taylor Hall... FYI for those of you expecting a 2nd half Stamkos-like surge.
The streak continues... Nikolai Khabibulin lost his 10th in a row last night but the team insists on rolling him out there. I would say that they'd be better off sitting him and getting a better draft pick but the way he's playing, leave him in there and lose your way to #1 overall.
Game #2 this year for Sergei Shirokov didn't go as well as game #1 as he only played 7:26 and was shotless last night.
Andrei Loktionov was called up by the Kings and played 16:30 (6:01 on the PP) last night. He's been scoring at a point-a-game down in the A.
With Backstrom & Theodore almost back to full health, Anton Khudobin has been sent back to the AHL.
The Thrashers called up Nigel Dawes from the AHL and he had an assist last night in his first game since October... he's tied for the AHL lead in goals with 21 in 40 games.
T.J. Galiardi has been sent to the AHL by the Avs, bit of a surprise but I'd bet he's back up shortly. Ryan Stoa was brought up to replace him, he's been pretty productive for Lake Erie with 13+9=22 in his last 25 games.
The Jonas Andersson Part II Era appears to be over as he's heading back to the KHL after bombing out with Nashville & Vancouver this season.