When trying to identify value in daily hockey, or when considering waivers and trades, it's critical to know what players have been doing lately. Blindly following the leading scorers to date will give you a host of bad information.
The leading scorers over the past 2 months are dramatically different than those who led the league through the first 2 months of the season. From a fantasy perspective, you've got to care much more about what players have done lately, than what they were up to when the season began. So let's break down the top performers over the past 2 months to get a better view of who the elite players are heading into the playoff stretch. These are the guys you should target when making your daily roster selections:
Starting off, here are the top 10 scorers from the past two months, highlight those that have surged significantly during that time.
The Top Guns
1. D. Sedin
2. Kesler * - Through the first 2 months, Kesler was sitting at 21 points. Since then, he's wracked up 33 points, including a whopping 20 goals, in 29 games.
3. Tavares * - Following the up and down streaks of his rookie season, Tavares has been a different player in the last two months. He has 33 points (13/20) over that span. He had just 14 points through the first 2 months.
4. H. Sedin
7. Bergeron * - Bergeron wasn't on the fantasy map after the first 1/3 of the season, sitting at 15 points. Since then, he's cranked it up several notches, delivering 30 points in 28 games (14/16).
9. B. Richards
10. St. Louis
A number of other players have surged significantly over the last 2 months. Here are the players who have made the biggest leap in the standings over that time (number of spots they've risen):
1. Burrows -127 - has shaken off the early injury rust to be a major contributor in Vancouver
2. O. Jokinen -126 - hit his hottest streak in years before getting hurt on Monday
3. Grabner -121 - All goals, all the time for this rising Islander star
4. Tavares -116
5. Doan -114 - got crazy hot in January, is cooling off a bit
6. Stafford -110 - Up to 23 goals after a shaky start
7. Cole -103 - cracked the top 100 for the first time in years on the back of a strong couple months
8. Bergeron -103
9. Kovalchuk -81 - is relevant once more, on his way back to stardom?
10. Boyes -70 - not scoring goals like his old self, but the assists are piling up
Mostly due to injury, a number of star performers have dropped significantly in the standings. Here are the 10 players who have fallen the farthest over the past 2 months (with the number of spots they've dropped). I'll note those that can't use injury as an excuse for tanking.
1. Callahan - 101
2. C. Stewart - 100
3. A. Kostitsyn -75 - 9 points in 26 games. No longer relevant on the Habs front line.
4. Semin - 71
5. Roy - 70
6. Cleary -67
7. Cammalleri -66
8. Eberle -64
9. R. Bourque -59 - while most of the Flames have caught fire, Bourque has fizzled out. 10 points in 29 games.
10. Laich -57 - predictably, after a strong start, he's collapsed, earning just 11 points in 25 games
1. Yandle * - while he was expected to be one of the top defensemen this season, he took his time getting there. He's had a point-a-game over the past 2 months. He's now sitting on top and should stay there.
2. S. Weber * - Weber was slow out of the gate with just 11 points in the first 2 months. Since then, he's had 24 points in 28 games. He should finish top 5 for defensemen on the season.
4. Doughty * - plagued by early injury problems, he had just 7 points through the first 2 months. Since then, it's been 22 points (6/16).
6. J. Johnson * - many fantasy owners bailed on Johnson after the first month of the season. Patience pays. He's delivered 21 points in the last 29 games for LA.
1. Tyutin -95 - Is starting to show his potential. Has 18 points (5/13) in the last 2 months.
2. Doughty -63
3. Bieksa -55 - 14 of his 19 points have come since mid-December
4. R. Suter -42 - Suter has been streaky all season, and is currently on the good side of those streaks
5. McBain -42 - had just 6 assists through the first 2 months. Has since added 4 goals and 9 assists to his numbers.
6. Kulikov -41 - 13 of his 19 points recorded in mid December through January
7. Weber -35
8. Subban -34
9. Babchuk -33 - Babchuk has been a beast over the past month, fueling Calgary's surge
10. Seidenberg -29 - 4 of his 5 goals have come in 2011
Nearly all these guys are off the hook, due to injuries, but a few need to provide other explanations:
1. Stuart - 38
2. Foster - 36 - after a fantastic start, Foster has disappeared. A lousy 3 assists in the past 2 months.
3. Zidlicky - 35
4. Jovanovski - 32
5. Klein -29 - Klein has just 3 assists to speak of since mid-December
6. Gilbert -28 - after 5 goals in the first half, Gilbert has none in the past 2 months
7. Rozsival - 27
8. Gonchar -23 - his start was disappointing. His performance since then has been embarrassing. He remains a -16 and just went down with an injury.
9. Montador -23
10. Whitney -23
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