Well, the 2011-12 National Hockey League season is settling in rather nicely. A lot of people have itchy trigger fingers during the early part of the season, but I like to try and advise against rash moves and let players settle in. Let a few trends develop, allow players to play through their struggles, and don’t compound the early struggles by cutting a guy, only to see him blow up for one of your competitors.
That being said, it’s time. It’s time to cut a few guys who have been struggling, and replace them with other less heralded players who have been doing well. Hopefully these suggestions can help jump-start your Fantasy team, or strengthening an already good roster. Good luck.
Brian Elliott, G, STL: During his career, Elliott hasn’t been the most consistent performer, but that certainly hasn’t been the case lately. He is 3-1-0 with a 1.00 Goals-Against Average (GAA) and .959 save percentage over the past four appearances. Overall, he has six victories, a 1.49 GAA and a sparkling .946 save percentage through eight games. As long as he consistently outperforms G Jaroslav Halak, look for new bench boss Ken Hitchcock to keep riding the hot hand. Elliott is available in about half of all Fantasy leagues off the waiver wire, but he should be picked up as a low-end No. 2 netminder, or at least as insurance.
Dan Hamhuis, D, NSH: Hamhuis has caught fire over the past seven games, posting two goals and seven points with a plus-1 rating. He is consistently getting 22-24 minutes of ice time, but only about a third of all Fantasy owners are taking advantage of his hot play of late.
Chris Kunitz, W, PIT: Kunitz got off to a terribly slow start in Pittsburgh, but he has picked up the pace over his past six games. Kunitz has four goals and two assists over the past six games, putting him on pace for 47 points, which is just one short of what he had a season ago. He’ll give you 20-25 goals normally, and he is certain to spend a decent amount of time in the sin bin. In addition, Kunitz helps Fantasy owners in leagues which reward hits, as he has logged 39 through 17 games. He is owned in about 60 percent of most Fantasy leagues, but look for that number to spike soon.
Stephane Robidas, D, DAL: Robidas is likely to see a lot more responsibilities with D Alex Goligoski (hand) sidelined at least a month. Robidas should see more time along the blue line with veteran D Sheldon Souray. Even when Robidas isn’t getting onto the scoresheet for goals and assists, he helps those in formats which reward blocks and hits. Robidas has 44 hits and 27 blocked shots through 16 games.