Monday, February 12, 2007

Last week in the NHL, Who's Hot

Interesting week in the NHL.

Dominic Hasek finally went down with an injury that every one of his owner's has been fearing this season. The good news is that it is not the dreaded groin injury that would likely take him out for the rest of the season. He was out yesterday and is expected to be out of the lineup again tonight with a swollen wrist. Makes one wonder what he has been doing in his spare time...

Since Chris Osgood is also out with a broken finger Joey MacDonald is expected to start his second game in two nights. On Sunday night MacDonald made 16 saves to earn his first NHL win. The defensively minded Red Wings give any goaltender a chance to win, if you have the option, pick him up and start him in goal tonight as the Wings play the lowly Flyers.

Top Players last week:

Center: Pavol Demitra is really enjoying the return of Marian Gaborik. The return of
Gaborik has woken Demitra who has slowly increased his play of late and now has 41 points in 48 games.

Jordan Staal: 5 goals, 1 GWG
Joe Sakic: 2 goals, 4 assists, 1 GWG
Evgeni Malkin: 2 goals, 4 assists, 1 GWG
Pavol Demitra: 2 goals, 3 assists, 2 GWG
Rod Brind'Amour: 1 goal, 5 assists

Wingers: Henrik Zetterberg has definitely lived up to his promise lately. Z has sparked the Red Wings to 6 wins in their last 7 with 16 points in those 7 games. In fact the Wings one loss in that period happens to coincide with Z's one pointless game (a 1-0 loss to St. Louis, no this is NOT typo).

Henrik Zetterberg: 5 goals, 4 assists, 2 GWG
Ray Whitney: 4 goals, 4 assists, 1 GWG
Martin Havlat: 5 goals, 3 assists
Marian Hossa: 2 goals, 4 assists, 1 GWG
Jaromir Jagr: 2 goals, 4 assists

Defensemen: Michal Rozsival led all defensemen last week with 2 goals, 2 assists and a game winner, for the Rangers. Despite my recent unhappiness with Jagr's play of late the Rangers seem to have woken up in the stretch run and Rozsival has been a huge part of that.

Michal Rozsival: 2 goals, 2 assists, 1 GWG
Sergei Zubov: 1 goal, 3 assists, 1 GWG
Roman Hamrlik: 1 goal, 3 assists
Sergei Gonchar: 4 assists
Phillippe Boucher: 2 goals, 1 assist, 1 GWG

Goaltenders: Mike who? Mike Smith replaced Marty Turco twice last week and both times led the Stars to comeback wins over Minnesota and Colorado. Just to make his week even more remarkable he earned a shutout win against Anaheim on Saturday night.

Mike Smith: 3 wins, 1 shutout
Marc-Andre Fleury: 3 wins
Martin Brodeur: 2 wins, 1 shutout
Henrik Lundqvist: 2 wins, 1 shutout
Ryan Miller: 2 wins

Players to watch:
Although Mike Smith lead all goaltenders last week the odds of him permanently replacing Marty Turco as the starter in Dallas are extremely low, still he might warrant a pickup as your third or fourth goaltender. Dallas plays a lot of Sunday games so if you are behind in goaltender starts Smith may help you as you likely don't have two regular starters to go every Sunday. The Stars play Sunday games for the next six weeks in a row so you can take a flier on Smith getting a few starts/replacements for the rest of this month.

Evgeni Malkin is probably not available in your league, and if he is you might want to find a new league. However, Jordan Staal has been red hot lately with points in 9 of his last 11 games potting 10 goals and two assists in that span. If you are lacking in goal production he would be a great pickup right now. Malkin and Staal have been skating on the same line and they are playing well together, Malkin has garnered 5 goals and 13 assists in that same period.

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