Is Bishop a Savior?Saturday, March 10, 2012
The NHL's regular season is four weeks from completion, so most leagues will be kicking off their playoff formats soon. This could be your last chance to make up ground and qualify, or to bolster your lineup, so with that in mind here are some options for your consideration:
Steve Sullivan - LW - Pittsburgh Penguins - The Penguins have been the league's hottest team recently and Sullivan has been flying offensively after playing most the year in a complete fog. He has registered four goals and nine assists in his past 10 games. Sullivan has contributed five power-play points over that time to give him a total of 19 on the year, which ranks third on the team behind point-producing juggernauts Evgeni Malkin and James Neal. The diminutive forward should continue to flash his playmaking skills as the 2011-12 season winds down, and the prospect of playing alongside a returning Sidney Crosby could enhance his fantasy value tremendously.
Ryan Malone - LW - Tampa Bay Lightning - It's been another tough year for Malone in terms of staying healthy, as injuries seem to follow him around because of his willingness to play in rough areas of the rink. He has skated in 53 of Tampa Bay's 67 games this season going into Saturday's match-up with Carolina. However, he has displayed plenty of fantasy worth since returning to the lineup from an upper-body ailment in mid-February. The feisty forward has nine points in 12 contests over that span and thanks to his outburst against Montreal's Alexei Emelin on Feb. 28, where he was assessed 17 minutes in the sin bin, Malone has 25 PIMs as well. Health permitting, Malone should provide your team with points, penalties and hits down the stretch
Curtis Glencross - LW - Calgary Flames - Glencross has been an underrated fantasy contributor all-year long and is scoring regularly again. He is currently riding a six-game point streak that has seen him generate at least a goal in each contest. The hard-working winger has picked up 41 points in 53 games this year for a .77 points per match average. Glencross has formed a successful duo with Olli Jokinen, who co-leads the Flames with 57 points, this campaign and he should continue to chip in offense for the remainder of 2011-12.
Ray Emery - G - Chicago Blackhawks - Emery had his shot to claim Chicago's number one slot in the crease earlier this season, but the Blackhawks seem to always turn back to Corey Crawford. Unfortunately, for the Hawks, Crawford has displayed spurts of inconsistency and Emery has started the club's past four games as a result. Aside from Tuesday's hiccup against a surging St. Louis Blues squad, Emery has rattled off four victories in last five appearances. He should be utilized more frequently down the stretch and makes for a good handcuff for Crawford owners.
Ben Bishop - G - Ottawa Senators - The demotion of Bishop to the minors by Ottawa following his acquisition from St. Louis was a head scratcher, but with Robin Lehner back in AHL with Binghamton and Craig Anderson on the shelf with a finger injury, the towering goalie has been solid since his recall on Monday. He has won his first two starts with the NHL version of the Senators and should conceivably see the majority of the team's starts while Anderson recovers. Bishop represents a similar gamble to Lehner, though, because he is unproven; however he is a decent short-term replacement if you are hurting in goal.
Jamie McGinn - LW - Colorado Avalanche - McGinn has been excellent with the Avalanche since coming over from San Jose at the NHL trade deadline. He has recorded four goals and six points in his last three games after being held scoreless in his first two outings and has looked much more comfortable playing alongside Paul Stastny and David Jones. The 23-year-old forward has a career-high 14 goals and 30 points in 66 contests this year and he should add to those totals before the 2011-12 campaign is over.