Ryan Dadoun

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Legwand & Kostitsyn Shine

Saturday, March 26, 2011


As expected, with the NHL playoffs a mere two weeks away, a number of great players on playoff bound squads such as Alexander Ovechkin and Mikael Samuelsson are taking some time off to heal up. You might find yourself needing temporary reinforcements. Below are a few of our recommendations:

Teddy Purcell – RW – Tampa Bay Lightning

Purcell has been one of the Lightning's better players since the All-Star break, scoring nine goals and 18 points in 23 games. Over the past two months, he's occasionally been spectacular, but above all, he's been consistent, never held off the score sheet for more than two games in a row. Of course, it helps that he's playing alongside Vincent Lecavalier. As long as he can stay on the Lightning's second line, he should be worth owning.

David Legwand – C – Nashville Predators

Legwand's season can be easily split up into two halves. He got off to a lackluster start, scoring just two goals and eight points in 17 games before he suffered a lower body injury on November 18th. He attempted to return on December 8th, only to be pulled out of that game. He didn't play again until December 31st, but he set the tone for the remainder of the season by registering two points in that contest. Since his second return from the lower body injury, Legwand has recorded 31 points in 39 games and he's only gotten better lately. He has five goals and 13 points in 12 contests this month and is currently riding a five-game point streak.

Tyler Kennedy – LW – Pittsburgh Penguins

The 2010-11 Penguins can be defined by the injuries they've endured. Although Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin have certainly left the biggest shoes to fill, they are hardly the only players on this team to have missed a significant chunk of the season. Yet, the Penguins still hold the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference and aren't far behind the Atlantic Division leading Philadelphia Flyers. Their continued success has been, in large part, due to several of their other players picking up the slack. Kennedy can certainly be included in that category after scoring 11 goals and 18 points in 24 games since the All-Star break. Kennedy averaged just 11:45 minutes of playing time in October, but he's up to 16:40 minutes this month and he's currently playing alongside Chris Kunitz and Jordan Staal. Look for him to finish the season on a high note.

Mike Knuble – RW – Washington Capitals

Knuble, like a number of Capitals' players, has regressed this season when compared to his 2009-10 numbers, but he's been on fire lately. He has five goals and 11 points in 12 March games, including six points in his last three games going into Saturday's contest. Normally we'd describe Knuble as more of a short-term pickup, but this late into the season there's really no such thing as a long-term acquisition.

Sergei Kostitsyn – LW – Nashville Predators

Kostitsyn has been a hot and cold player this season, but right now he's hot. As we alluded to when discussing Knuble, at this point in the season, being hot can be justification enough for picking up a player. You no longer need to concern yourself with what kind of player Kostitsyn will average out to be – although it's worth noting that he's shattered his old career highs in goals and points with 19 and 42 respectively. You just have to ask yourself if you think he'll do well over the next week or two. We think he will.

Frans Nielsen – C – New York Islanders

The Islanders have actually been a pretty decent team since the All-Star break, and Nielsen has been one of the reasons for their surge. He has six goals and 21 points in his last 26 games. He's steadily improved in each of his first three full seasons with the Islanders, which has led him to set a new career-high in points each season. It's also worth noting that he's second on the team with a plus-13 rating, even though the Islanders have allowed 28 more goals than they have scored. In 2009-10, Nielsen was just one of two Islanders players to participate in more than 70 games and still maintain a positive plus/minus rating. He's currently playing on a line with Kyle Okposo and Calder Trophy candidate Michael Grabner, which should help him stay strong for the remainder of the season.


Ryan Dadoun is an Associate Editor for Hockey on Rotoworld. Feel free to follow him on Twitter or check out his blog.
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