James O'Brien

Hockey Daily Dose

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Cleaning up on hot streaks

Friday, December 09, 2011


While the Boston Bruins seem to be slowing down, a few other teams are almost as hot as the defending champions were.

 

I’ve covered the best options for the shockingly effective Florida Panthers already, but just in case you didn’t catch it, Jose Theodore, Tomas Fleischmann and Dmitry Kulikov are guys who might still be available as free agents despite their great work through the first quarter-plus of the season. The ship has almost certainly sailed on Kris Versteeg, Brian Campbell and Stephen Weiss, though.

 

Moving on, then, two Central Division teams come to mind for today’s Daily Dose.

 

First, let’s consider the Hitchcock-fueled St. Louis Blues. T.J. Oshie and Alexander Steen are two Blues forwards who are on a roll lately, although it’s important to note that they’re still quite far from a point-per-game with 19 in 28 contests.

 

Choosing between the two might be a bit of a challenge, though. Steen fires more shots on net while Oshie seemingly has a higher ceiling (although that might have as much to do with our imaginations as anything else since we’ve seen more of Steen). My gut reaction is to lean toward Oshie, even though Steen might be more reliable. Both are ultimately solid but unspectacular options.

 

Next up, we have the streaking Detroit Red Wings. It’s pretty tough to slip under the radar on one of the most famous hockey teams in the world, but if there’s one guy who is doing just that, it’s Valtteri Filppula. Corey Abbott already brought him to your attention on Dec. 4, but a leg laceration seemed like it might sideline him for a bit. Surprisingly, he only missed one game on Dec. 6 before scoring a goal and two assists against the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday. Filppula has seven points in his last five, with 23 points in 26 games overall, but seems to be available in a solid amount of leagues (at least right now).

 

Now, I doubt that he’ll continue to connect on 20.5 percent of his shots for the rest of the season. Still, if he continues to get a ton of time alongside Henrik Zetterberg and Danny Cleary/Jiri Hudler, he’ll destroy his career-high of 40 points. It’s hard to tell exactly what his ceiling is, but if you’re hurting for a depth center, then look to a rare Red Wings center who is being neglected in fantasy hockey leagues right now. (I'd take him over the two Blues forwards for now, for what it's worth.)


SCARY INJURY FOR ST. LOUIS

 

Martin St. Louis took a puck to the face during practice and it sounds bad. He’s dealing with facial and nasal fractures, so he might be out for a significant amount of time. Then again, I must also throw out the “he’s a hockey player” caveat, so he might be back sooner than he really should. Stay tuned for updates because concrete information is currently scarce.

 

After the jump: suspension updates, goalie talk and injury bits.



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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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