HEADS UP: Our weekly 'Fantasy Five' feature is up over at HockeyDraft.ca... we thought we'd spread the good word of Couture around to some different sites.
Thomas Vanek continued his surge with two more goals last night and he has 9+8=17 over his last 14 games (with points in 12 of 14). He only had 28 goals & 182 shots last year but he's on pace for 291 shots so I'm expecting a bevy of goals this season.
Those of you that were patient with Erik Johnson (I know it wasn't easy) are now being rewarded as he has five assists over his last five games. He's still got a ways to go to reach his expected production level but this is a step in the right direction.
The switch has been turned off by Alex Kovalev lately as he only has points in two of his last 12 games and played less than 10 minutes last night on the 4th line... what a clown.
Guess who? That's right... Logan Couture with another two points last night to extend his point streak to five games where he has 6+2=8 with a plus-6. He now leads all rookies in goals, points & shots and based on all the chatter about him lately, sounds like he's becoming a lot of people's favourite... too bad, I claimed him first.
One of the keys to LC's success has been some nice chemistry with Ryane Clowe as the newfie has 2+7=9 over his last six games and other than PPP, he's been chipping in across the board.
An assist last night for Pierre-Marc Bouchard and he has points in three straight, so he's picking up where he left off before missing a season due to concussion problems. He's a good little setup guy, just don't expect much else.
Tomas Vokoun blanked the Capitals by stopping all 36 shots last night and he had been struggling giving up at least three goals in each of his prior six starts so this was a nice change. Racking up the wins is always a challenge but he is, year-over-year, one of the most consistent & reliable goalies in the league.
No action necessary yet but keep an eye on Nathan Gerbe as he's been lining up with Roy & Vanek on Buffalo's top line lately and had two assists last night. He only had three assists in 18 games coming into the game.
It's good to be Danny Briere (or a GM who owns him) right now as he had two more goals last night and has 10+4=14, plus-12, 22 PIMs & 57 shots over his last 15 games.
If you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything... that's pretty much our theory on the Islanders as their one player of some potential, John Tavares, has only 2+4=6 over his last 17 games. If you're really desperate and feel the need to support this sad bunch, then Frans Nielsen has 2+5=7 with 20 shots over his last seven games.
Michael Del Zotto was a healthy scratch last night and hasn't been very good this year as he's on pace for only 21 points after putting up 37 as a rookie last year. He's still the Rangers best option on the PP and while I'm not sure if he'll pick it up this year, if you're taking a long-term approach then I'd see if you can get MDZ at a discount.
Mark Giordano with another assist last night and his point streak is up to six games where he has 1+5=6 with 12 PIMs. He was a very solid season last year with 30 pts, plus-17, 81 PIMs & 111 shots but is on pace to top it with 41 pts, 113 PIMs & 172 shots (but only a plus-3 so far) this year.
Kyle Clifford with his first NHL goal last night... good for him as he's only 19 but don't waste your time with him.
Milan Lucic showed no ill-effects from that sliced wrist as he had two goals last night and has 5+2=7 over his last six games. We're loving him this year as the shots are way up, averaging 2.3/gm this year vs 1.3/gm for his career coming into this year.
Rene Bourque will likely be suspended for spearing Drew Doughty last night... if only Bourque did this while the refs were looking then maybe he would have given his owners more than just 2 minutes for slashing... just kidding, it was a dangerous play (don't try this at home kids) and Doughty's lucky he's not hurt.