Here is what you need to know as you set your fantasy hockey roster for week 15 (1/10 to 1/16):
Teams with 2 Games: Atlanta, Dallas, New Jersey
Teams with 4 Games: Boston, Edmonton, Nashville, NY Rangers, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Phoenix, St. Louis, Toronto, Vancouver, Washington
Ride those Canucks this week as Vancouver cannot do wrong right now. They've got four games, though all of them are on the road. The Caps have a good chance of getting the offense rolling with 4 games, including matchups with Ottawa and Florida.
Steer clear of Devils, not that you had considered otherwise. They have just two games on the road this week. Maybe that's the mercy rule in effect.
Here's some players who have risen quickly in the past two weeks:
• Shane Doan - 11 points (6/5) in 6 games
• John Tavares - 7 points (3/4) in 5 games
• Alex Burrows - 5 points (1/4) in 5 games
• Patrick Sharp - 5 points (3/2) in 5 games
• Nicklas Lidstrom - 10 points (2/8) in 5 games
• James Wisniewski - 6 points (2/4) in 5 games
• Roberto Luongo - 3-0 with 4 GA in past 3 games
These guys have dried up lately:
• Rene Bourque - 5 straight without a point
• Daniel Alfredsson - 2 points in past 6 games
• Bobby Ryan - 1 point in last 7 games. Somebody misses Getzlaf.
• Kurtis Foster - Nine straight without a point. Did I hear a Niner in there?
• John Carlson - 5 game drought
• Martin Brodeur - lost last 6 games. Nothing good to say here.
• Antero Niittymaki - dropped last 2 with a GAA above 4
Chris Higgins (F-FLA)
Higgins has become a factor in the Florida offense. He has points in 4 straight games and has 7 in his last 6. He's currently on a 3-game goal streak. Higgins consistently gets his chances, as he hasn't gone a game without a shot on goal since October. Consider adding him to your bench if you're in need of some help up front.
Jason Pominville (F-BUF)
Between the concussion and a slow start, Pominville didn't register a point until November. After that, he had stretches of 3 and 4 games without a point. He seems to be back to form, with 9 points in his past 6 games. You can reasonably expect him to go at close to a point-per-game pace for the rest of the season. If he's still available in your league, I highly recommend seizing the chance. I just did so myself.
Kevin Bieksa (D-VAN)
Bieksa is always up and down, mostly depending on health. Right now you won't find a hotter prospect on defense. 7 of his 14 points on the season have come in the past two weeks. He's also a +14 over the past 10 games. He's logging top minutes on the Vancouver blueline and should be considered a solid fantasy option at this point.
Brendan Morrow (F-DAL)
While his point totals still aren't daunting (27 in 41 games), his goal totals are (17). He has 4 goals in his past 3 games, and seems to be back to his 2007-08 form when he last cracked the 30 goal mark. He's going quick in leagues, and probably won't last another week.
Jose Theodore (G-MIN)
Theodore refuses to go away. He had an outstanding season in Washington last year, but was kicked out of town all the same. He settled for a backup role in Minnesota, but lately has seized the reigns there. He's won the last 3 games with the Wild and looks to split time at a minimum going forward with Backstrom. He may ultimately earn the starting role if he keeps this up. Theodore is available in most leagues, so consider grabbing him now.
Keep or Drop?
Fantasy owners are facing decisions on several injured or struggling players. Here's my take on what to do.
Marek Zidlicky (D-MIN)
Zidlicky severely injured his shoulder last week, and it may be separated. If that is the case, he's not worth keeping on your roster, as he'll be out far too long. Even if it's less severe, you may find a better option than sitting and waiting for his return. It's a shame, as he was having another solid fantasy season with 20 points in 30 games.
Michael Del Zotto (D-NYR)
After sitting as a healthy scratch and missing time with injury and illness, the Rangers demoted Del Zotto to the AHL. They have given no timetable for his return. Del Zotto has been a disappointment this season, with just 9 points in 35 games, following a tremendous rookie season. Drop him until the news looks better.
Michael Leighton (G-PHI)
Leighton found himself to be the odd man out in Philadelphia after returning from injury. He was put on waivers and then demoted to the AHL. Unless there's an injury to Boucher or Bobrovsky, he's not worth hanging onto. Let him go and consider adding Theodore in his place.
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