Add these Forwards to your Playoff Sleeper List?
(4/4/12) Going into last night, with Buffalo sitting two points behind Washington for the final playoff spot in the East, the Sabres needed to take full advantage of their game at hand as they took on the Leafs. They definitely used up one of their nine lives, but some late heroics saw them make a late comeback for a 6-5 OT victory, earning them two crucial points to draw even with the Caps.
The OT hero was a fantasy goat this year, but Derek Roy netted the winner on the PP, with Vanek and Pominville assisting. Roy had two PP goals on the night and also recorded six shots. Potential playoff pool sleeper? Well, let's not get too carried away. Roy had one goal in his previous 16 games, and the Sabres still need help from the Caps to get in. We need to see a little more before we believe it's a sign of a playoff breakout for Roy. Gotta admit though, it was a nice one. And the Rick Jeanneret call is always awesome! Where was this all season?
Another huge fantasy disappointment this season is Devils forward Travis Zajac. We pegged Zajac as a potential sleeper in our pre-season Draft Guide, but the wheels came off the wagon and he missed most of the year recovering from a torn Achilles. He's been back for five games now and, like Roy, he notched a PP game-winner last night in a 3-1 win over the Isles. But unlike Roy, we see him as a more legitimate playoff sleeper. A big reason for the optimism is that Zajac is playing on New Jersey's top line with Kovalchuk and Parise, and he's also manning the top PP unit. He has back-to-back 60+ point seasons on his resume - '08-09 and '09-10 - and he's a guy the other owners in your league might forget about. Throw in the fact that the Devils are all but locked into a first round matchup with the Panthers, and you've got yourself all the ingredients of a major playoff pool sleeper. In fact, we're going to go move him up our rankings for the final edition of the playoff guide. Here's his goal...
A couple of other possible playoff heroes we're keeping tabs on are Flyers forwards Wayne Simmonds and Jakub Voracek. They're each currently riding a hot streak, and they kept it going last night in a 5-3 loss to the Rangers. Both players tallied, as Simmonds scored for the fifth consecutive game - six goals over the span - and Voracek notched his fourth multi-point night in his last five outings - nine points overall. The Flyers are in tough with a looming first round matchup against the Pens, but if the way they played against Pittsburgh over the weekend is any indication, Philly is a team that's going to give the Pens everything they can handle.