For those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving, hope you had a great holiday weekend.
I've been traveling and catching up on non-hockey things, so this week's post will be a little different -- fewer FA names with more trade targets. Players who are 100% owned, especially, are noted for being solid "Buy Low" candidates.
Let's check out some options that may help bolster your lineup...
Kennedy missed a month of action with a concussion (what is it with Penguins and concussions?), and since his return 7 games ago he has 6 points (2 goals, 4 assists) and 23 SOGs. Although he typically plays on the 3rd line, he has quality linemates in Jordan Staal and Matt Cooke.
Availability: Owned in 1% of leagues.
Forecast: Look for TK to score in the low 20s and fire a lot of rubber at the net (200+).
Little, like his team, had an unimpressive start to the season, but is hot as of late. In his last 9 games, he has 8 points (6 goals, 2 assists), and is a +2 with 29 SOGs. He's Winnipeg's 1C, so Little receives ample opportunities and plays with quality linemates (EKane, Ladd, Wheeler).
Availability: Owned in 12% of leagues.
Forecast: You can safely assume he won't continue his current 60-goal pace, but don't be surprised if he posts 25. Consider him if you are looking for secondary scoring at the C position.
Viktor Stalberg, Blackhawks
Stalberg continues to receive playing time with Jonathan Toews on the Blackhawks #1 line. As I wrote after week 3, "Stalberg has typically been playing 4LW, (but) I don't see a ton of talent at LW above him on Chicago's roster (Brunette, Carcillo, and Bickell)." It was relatively easy to see that he would get his shot in a scoring role, and nothing over the past 5 weeks indicates that that won't continue.
Availability: Owned in 3% of leagues.
Forecast: He has 8 points (2 goals, 6 assists) over his last 9 games, and he is a +6.
By contrast, Brunette, his primary competition, is a -6 this year.
Stefan Elliott, Avalanche
Elliott made his NHL debut last night, and received 19:36 of playing time with 2:51 on the PP (3rd highest on the team), cashing in on his 1st goal. He also played well defensively, and was awarded the #1 Star of the game.
Availability: Owned in 0.5% of leagues.
Forecast: With Erik Johnson on IR with a groin injury, Elliott was called up and accomplished something EJ has failed to do all season -- find the back of the net. He scored 81 points in the WHL last year, so the potential is there.
Cory Schneider, Canucks
Wow, what a week for Schneider! 3 GS, 2 Shutouts, a 0.67 GAA, and an unconscious .978 Save%.
For the season, his #s compare quite favorably to Luongo's.
Schneider: 12 GP, 2.01 GAA, and .931 Save%.
Luongo: 13 GP, 2.97 GAA, and .896 Save%.
Availability: Owned in 38% of leagues.
Forecast: Schneider should be owned in all daily leagues, and makes a quality Wally Pipp speculative play in weekly leagues. Given Luongo's gargantuan contract, it is unlikely that he takes over the #1 role entirely; however, he has clearly earned more starts and might also garner a fat return from a panicky Luongo owner if you beat him to the wire.
*Availability data from ESPN leagues.
**Player analyses are based on their projected value in standard scoring categories: Goals, Assists, Power Play Points, Shots on Goal, Plus/Minus, Penalty Minutes, and Average Time on Ice.