Enforcer Update: Konopka Back on the Bench
(3/12/12) On Saturday, Ottawa's Zenon Konopka was a healthy scratch for the second straight game. It's the 10th time Konopka has watched from the press box in the last 14 games, and the Senators are favoring a faster, more skilled lineup as they try to hold onto a playoff spot.
It's become quite a dilemma for Konopka's fantasy owners. The Ottawa tough guy has spent three seasons atop the enforcer heap, but suddenly he can barely be relied on as a starter. When he's active, he's probably the most willing combatant of any fighter in the league and his potential to score fantasy points is huge. Unfortunately, a major aspect of being a top enforcer is having the skills to stay on the ice. And at this point, it's Konopka's fatal flaw. If he gets back into regular action, he's a mandatory start, but for now we have to advise benching him.
If you're one of the owners in this situation, a player you might want to take a look at as a temporary replacement is Chicago's Brandon Bollig. Bollig was called up from Rockford Feb. 29, and he's been a one-man wrecking crew in six games of action. He's already fought four times and has 24 PIMs, and he's dropped the gloves in each of his last three games. He's also a prolific fighter in the minors - 17 fights, good for 7th overall in the AHL - and he's doing whatever it takes to stick with the big club. Of course, he may be sent back down at a moment's notice, but it's worth riding the hot streak while it lasts.
The other great thing about Bollig: he's a fun player to own. He's a tough customer and takes a rare pleasure in his role. Check out the smile on his face throughout this fight from last night against Kyle Clifford...