James O'Brien

Hockey Daily Dose

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Realignment and Fantasy hockey

Tuesday, December 06, 2011


WEISS AND KULIKOV

 

OK, Stephen Weiss isn't available in many leagues, but in the odd event that he's a free agent in yours, you should definitely give him a shot. He has 29 points in 27 games, including a stunning six in his last two. For that reason, you should make haste, because if you're in a league that's still sleeping on him, it won't last long.

 

You might have a little more luck with Dmitry Kulikov, a Florida Panthers defenseman who hasn't been on as much of a public scale as de facto leader Weiss. Kulikov probably won't fly under the radar much longer, either, as he scored a goal and two assists on Monday to push his 2011-12 total to 19 points. That's great stuff for a defenseman, even if he resides on a blueline that is surprisingly loaded with rotisserie relevant D-men.


RADIM WORKS BEST IN DESERT

 

Radim Vrbata might not be very useful when he's on any other team besides the Phoenix Coyotes, but for some reason, he becomes a viable scorer with the 'Yotes. The right-handed shooter has been absolutely on fire lately, with eight goals and 10 points in his last nine games. Overall, he has 23 points in 26 games. While he might be playing over his head to an extent, he's a nice depth option on the wing, if you need some help there. With the head start he has, a 30-goal season isn't a crazy expectation. (He already scored 13.)


ANOTHER VOTE FOR ANDERSON

 

Look, he's not a superstar, but Craig Anderson is one of the few sometimes-available starting goalies who are worth your time. He won't help you in the GAA and save percentage categories - at least if his work during this season is any indication - but wins are still gold in fantasy and he gets enough swings at that to be useful. Maybe that's not enough for pickier owners, but if you happen to be in a league that counts another quantity stat like saves, then Anderson's workload makes him pretty valuable.

 

If nothing else, he's an acceptable "settle" option. Think of him as a running back who gets 20 carries per game, even if he doesn't do a whole lot of sensational things when he gets the ball. That might not be exciting, but it's often useful to have "filler" guys like him if you boast superstars who experience dramatic highs and lows.


INJURY SNIPES

 

Sidney Crosby came back from his scary collision with Chris Kunitz, but I haven't heard much about Evgeni Malkin, who also suffered from a frightening hit on Monday. For that reason, it's wise to keep an eye out for updates at Rotoworld during the next day or so … Henrik Karlsson hurt his knee, which must be a big blow to owners in bizarro leagues involving netminders who never play … Paul Stastny is dealing with a "middle body injury," which is kind of hard to take seriously. Maybe a little time off will help him break out of his slump, though … Jose Theodore is dealing with an illness, but it doesn't sound like he'll be sidelined for very long … Kris Letang is on the IR with a concussion … Mikhail Grabovski missed last night's game with (wait for it) the birth of his child. (Click here for the full injury list.)



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James O'Brien is the Hockey Daily Dose's author and has been a contributor to NBC's Pro Hockey Talk for more than four years. Follow him on Twitter.
Email :James O'Brien



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