Here is what you need to know as you set your fantasy hockey roster for week 10 (12/13 to 12/19):
Teams with 2 Games: Edmonton, Florida, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Vancouver
Teams with 4 Games: Atlanta, Chicago, Columbus, Colorado, Dallas, Detroit, LA, Nashville, Ottawa, San Jose
Lots of teams with 4 games on the schedule heading into the Christmas week. Worth noting that Pittsburgh and Tampa have just 2 games next week, so some of the leading scorers may not rack up the points we're used to seeing. Atlanta has a nice 4-game slate next week, with home stands against the Canes and Devils. Detroit and Nashville each have 3 of 4 games at home.
Aside from Crosby, who's in a world by himself right now, here are some players on a roll:
• Logan Couture (F-SJ) - 5 goals and 1 assist in past 4 games
• Dany Heatley (F-SJ) - 14 points (7/7) in last 12 games
• Tomas Kaberle (D-TOR) - 5 points in 5 games
• Roberto Luongo (G-VAN) - won 5 of last 6, with 1 shutout
• Ryan Miller (G-BUF) - back to back shutouts last week
• Patrick Marleau (F-SJ) - despite the success of those around him, Marleau has been struggling with just 1 point in his last 5 games. He's scoreless in 3.
• Jarret Stoll (F-LA) - 1 point in last 6 games after a decent run before that
• P.K. Subban (D-MON) - has been a healthy scratch for the past week
• Drew Daughty (D-LA) - scoreless draught extended to 8 games now. Is the injury lingering?
• Sergei Gonchar (D-OTT) - also scoreless in 8
• Steve Mason (G-COB) - 4 game losing streak. Jackets bouncing back to Garon again.
Justin Braun (D-SJ)
With the success of other rookie defensemen (Shattenkirk, Carlson, Subban, Fowler), few have noticed the play of the Sharks' Justin Braun. Since getting the call, he has 6 points in 6 games, while seeing limited minutes. If his role increases, fantasy owners will start to take notice.
Chris Kunitz (F-PIT)
With the streak Crosby has been on, somebody has to ride the wave. His name is Kunitz. He now has 7 points in his last 4 games.
Ryan Malone (F-TB)
With Downie and Lecavalier out, Malone's role has increased with the Bolts. He has 12 points in the past 11 games and 5 goals in the past 7. He's averaging over 5 shots a game and is finally starting to earn his silly salary. Pick him up and ride him until Downie returns.
Roman Hamrlik (D-MON)
Hamrlik has been very productive for Montreal over the past two weeks. He has 6 points (2/4) in the last four games. He's veteran with a strong fantasy reputation that's worth filling in on your roster.
Keep or Drop?
Fantasy owners are facing decisions on several injured or struggling players. Here's my take on what to do.
Ales Hemsky (F-EDM)
With the news of Hemsky going down for a month, there's no point keeping him on your bench. It's doubtful anyone will claim him before January, so check back then if you're still interested. By that point, some of the young guns may be filling his spot permanently on the top line anyway.
Tuukka Rask (G-BOS)
It may be time to come to terms with the reality of Tim Thomas. Many GMs made Rask an early draft pick, so it's tough to let go. With just 1 victory through mid-December, sitting behind the Vezina favorite, it may be time to consider this season a wash for Rask.
Marty Turco (G-CHI)
This is a tough call. The signs are pointing to the predictable rise of Crawford as the Hawk's number 1 goalie. However, Chicago has been all over the board for the past several years in terms of naming a #1. It's just as likely that Turco will go on a run in late December. If you've got space on your bench, keep him there for the time being. If you're looking for immediate help in goal, it may be best to walk away now.
John Tavares (F-NYI)
No doubt Tavares has been a disappointment lately. I've started to see his name show up on waiver wires lately, which I think is very short-sighted. Just look at last season's pattern. He started on fire, went cold for two months, then went on a tear in the final 3rd. Don't be shocked to see that happen again when the Islanders start to get healthy. Okposo may be returning soon, which may be enough to spark Tavares back to being productive. Keep him on your roster.
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