NHL Fantasy Hockey Pool Strategy Guide

Hot and Cold

Welcome to Hot and Cold, the article that shines a spotlight on the latest performance trends in fantasy hockey. To start, here’s who’s hot…

HOT

Sidney Crosby (PIT – C) and Steven Stamkos (TBL – R)  Sid the Kid (34 points) and Steven Stamkos (32) have risen to number one and two overall in NHL scoring, with Stamkos leading the goal scoring race (15).  Crosby has 9 points in his last 4 games, while Stamkos has 8 goals in his last 8 GP – over that span Stamkos has just one game without a goal!  Our take: it wouldn’t be going out on a limb to predict that these two will finish 1-2 in NHL scoring. 

Andrew Ladd (WPG – L) and Evander Kane (WPG – L)  The Jets’ top two left wingers have been on fire of late.  As of this writing Ladd has 10 goals in his last 15 games, while Evander Kane was riding an 8 game point streak that ended two games ago.  Our take: both players will continue to produce, but they’re bound to cool off. 

Brad Marchand (BOS – L), Patrice Bergeron (BOS – C), and Tyler Seguin (BOS – C/R)  Arguably the Bruins top line, of late these three dynamos are delivering the goods on a nightly basis, with Marchand doing most of the goal scoring and Bergeron and Seguin playing the set-up roles.  Yes, Seguin owners are probably still hoping for more, but his 9 points in his last 8 games is solid.  Our take: a point-per-game from all three is a reasonable expectation through the rest of the season.

Wayne Simmonds (PHI – R) and Brayden Schenn (PHI – C)  While Claude Giroux and Jakob Voracek take most of the headlines, Simmonds and Schenn are playing their best hockey in supporting roles.  Simmonds currently leads the Flyers in goals and PPGs, while in just 22 games Schenn has already surpassed his point production from his entire 54 game rookie season last year.  Our take: the time is now for both Simmonds and Brayden Schenn; expect both to finish with a career-high point/game.

Nazem Kadri (TOR – C)  Kadri is reaching his potential in real-time.  His hat trick against the Islanders last week was a thing of goal-scoring beauty, while his passing skills have been on display throughout the early season.  The Toronto media is already starting to draw comparisons with Doug Gilmour (which might be a bit too soon, if you ask us) because he leads the Leafs in scoring (21 points), and sits 18th overall in the NHL.  Our take: Kadri could finish the season as the Maple Leafs’ top point-getter.

Saku Koivu (ANH – C) Koivu has 20 points in 20 games, including 3 points last Saturday, March 1st.  Our take: don’t count out veterans like Koivu who’ve proven in the past they can score.

Corey Perry (ANH – R) and Ryan Getzlaf (ANH – C) Perry has 11 points in his last 8 games, while Getzlaf has 13 points in his last 9.  These are two highly skilled veteran players, playing out the final year in their respective contracts, on a team that is winning frequently.  Our take: expect more of the same until playoff time.

Now let’s turn our attention to some recent cold snaps in the NHL.  Here’s whose cold…

COLD

Patrick Kane (CHI – R)  Kane remains fifth overall in scoring in the NHL, but he's cooled recently with only 3 points in his last 5 games.  The Hawks continue to win, but they’ve played some low-scoring games of late, in which Kane hasn't been a key contributor.  Our take: a cold streak for Patrick Kane still involves points, so expect some big games again soon.

Martin St. Louis (TBL – R)  Much like Kane, St. Louis has cooled over the previous 2 weeks, notching just four single-point efforts in his last 6 games.  After his exciting start, this was bound to happen, but St. Louis still plays alongside the game’s most dynamic goal-scorer.  Our take: we have little doubt that there are multi-point nights in St. Louis’ near future.

Patrick Marleau (SJS – L)  Wow!  We knew Marleau wouldn’t be able to keep up his early season pace, but his disappearance from the score sheet since the end of January is more extreme than we expected.  In the last 14 games, Marleau has just 4 points.  Thornton and Couture have got it going of late, but along with Pavelski, Marleau has gone from being a great sleeper pick to a bust, all in the same season.  Our take: Marleau has always been a streaky player, and he could quickly catch fire.  He will likely get hot again this season.

Travis Zajac (NJD – C)  Zajac is a former 67-point player, and last year he was a key contributor to the Devils’ run to the Cup Finals.  Yet, he has just 6-points in 21 games this year.  Is something going on with Zajac that isn't being reported?  Our take: we wouldn’t trust him with a roster spot until he shows consistent up-tick.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (EDM – C)  He’s pointless in 6 games and has just 7 points on the year.  Is there a bigger early season bust than RNH?  If he keeps this up, he’s a shoe-in for the 'Sophomore Slump of the Year Award.'  Our take: if you haven’t already deactivated the Nuge in favor of a deserving reserve, what are you waiting for?

Kris Versteeg (FLA – R)  After posting the highest point total of his career in 2011-12, on paper Versteeg looked like the Panthers’ best player heading into the season.  However, a groin injury sidelined him to start the year, and after only 7 games of action, he’s now been out with a chest injury since Feb. 12th.  He’s the missing cog in Florida’s arsenal.  Our take: don’t wait on Versteeg, as there is currently no update regarding his potential return.

Jason Pominville (BUF – R)  It’s hard to believe that Pominville is on our COLD list considering that he plays alongside one of the league’s hottest players in Thomas Vanek.  Yet, his two goals on Saturday, March 2nd, were his first points in 5 games.  Worse still, he now has just 3 points in his last 12 games.  Our take: buy low.  Current Pominville GMs may have given up on him, but his stats should start to return to normal.

Other cold players to note:

Benoit Pouliot (TBL – L)  Zero points in his last four, and left the game on SAT with a UBI.

Jussi Jokinen (CAR – L)  Just seven points on the season, and that's including his 3 point effort last SAT. 

Daniel Alfredsson (OTT – C)  Only 11 points in 22 games.  The culprit: long-term injuries to Spezza, Karlsson and Michalek.

Jason Garrison (VAN – D)  3 goals and 4 points in 20 games is a major fantasy disappointment.  Garrison is not the Canucks’ top weapon from the point, so his PP time is limited.  Last year he was a soon-to-be UFA, while this season he has a comfy new contract.

There you have our Hot and Cold for this week. To post a comment, login to your user account.