NHL Fantasy Files: Week 19
Last week I recommended rookie Milan Lucic.
Did you listen?
Lucic picked up five points on the week. He didn’t collect the PIMs that I promised would come along with his points, but when a player is scoring like that, who cares?
Two of my other picks, Jordan Staal and David Clarkson, each picked up a goal and an assist last week. I suspect these young guns will continue to produce for the balance of the season as the playoff race tightens.
This week I recommend some streaky players including a Young Gun I purposely left out of last week’s column because I didn’t trust his hot streak.
Who did I neglect?
Brandon Dubinsky (NYR – C)
Brandon Dubinsky could’ve been included in last week’s Fantasy Files. He did play in the Young Guns game this year, but I was hesitant to include him for one reason—the depth that the Rangers have at center.
Dubinsky battles for ice-time down the middle with Scott Gomez and Chris Drury who were each paid big dollars to come in and play 20-plus minutes per game for the Rangers.
He might not be playing on a scoring line, but that’s not stopping him from finding the score sheet. Dubinsky has been earning every minute he’s been given. Including today’s goal against the Canadiens, the Alaskan centerman now has nine points in past 11 games.
With only 43 points in 71 games for the AHL Hartford Wolfpack last year, don’t expect his hot streak to last long, but ride it while you can.
Jamie Langenbrunner (NJ - RW)
Jamie Langenbrunner missed the beginning of the season after undergoing hernia surgery, but returned in November on a hot streak.
He then disappeared from the score sheet for the month of December and early January, but has since found his scoring ways again.
Langenbrunner is currently riding a six-game point streak. He loves to pass the puck and will continue to pick up assists for Brent Sutter’s Devils.
With only 28 points on the season the captain of the New Jersey Devils is likely available in your league. Pick him up while you still can.
Doug Weight (ANA – C)
The minute Teemu Selanne announced his return to the Anaheim Ducks the right-winger was picked up in every fantasy league around the country.
Who stands to benefit the most from the return of the Finnish Flash? The answer you’re looking for is Doug Weight.
Weight has been held scoreless for nine games, so the veteran centerman cannot wait (pun intended) for Teemu’s eventual return to the ice.
If Doug lines up alongside Teemu for faceoffs, he can simply park himself in front of the net to bang home the rebounds for the talented playmaker.
Ryan Malone (PIT – RW)
Only two forwards played more than 20 minutes in Pittsburgh’s victory over the Carolina Hurricanes—Evgeni Malkin and Ryan Malone. And both players found the back of the net.
In fact, Ryan scored three goals last week, and at the most opportune times—two of them were game winners.
With Crosby on the shelf for at least another month, Ryan Malone has stepped up hugely.
Typically, Malone is only good for a point every other game, but since Crosby’s injury on January 18th, Ryan Malone has responded well with seven points in six games.
Now is his time to shine.
Jonathan Cheechoo (SJ – RW)
On December 24th, I recommended picking up Jonathan Cheechoo citing his production jumps half a point per game after the calendar flips pages. He is the prototypical second-half player.
Like clockwork, the Cheechoo Train has started rolling again.
In 2007, he was held to only ten points, but so far in 2008 he’s almost doubled his season point total.
On February 2nd, he demonstrated his rediscovered confidence by firing seven shots at Nikolai Khabibulin; one of them got past the Stanley Cup winning goaltender.
Cheechoo will continue to shoot and continue to score, and he is still available in most leagues.
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