It was just a matter of time. Jamie Benn is a genuine, legitimate, any other adjective you’d use to reinforce great star. He probably needed a little time to get his legs underneath him after jumping straight into action after a lockout, and he hasn’t exactly been playing on a team that’s filling up the net as if they’re being coached by Boudreau.
Anyway, Benn had two goals and an assist on Monday, helping the Dallas Stars edge the Colorado Avalanche 3-2. There’s no chance you could scoop up Benn, but are there others who can benefit? That’s a little tricky because the Stars are likely to mix and match with a banged-up lineup that sorely misses Ray Whitney.
Jaromir Jagr finally got an assist to break his slump, for one. The aging legend is worth a look because it seems he’ll get regular reps with Benn.
Loui Eriksson is his common running mate, but the Stars seem settled on separating them periodically to spread out the offense. He can generally create offense on his own, though, so not too many worries (if that’s not enough to cheer you up, think about the spread gun in Contra … that was awesome).
Derek Roy made his comeback tonight and assisted on Benn’s goal, but he’s likely to be a second pivot. He’s an interesting gamble; the negative side is that he’s had serious health concerns lately while the pros are that he’s been a point-per-game guy before and could convince someone he’s worth a big chunk of change in a contract year. (On the flip side, he could hurt his earning power greatly with another off year.) Benn’s trickle down could come to Roy on the PP. Roy’s been on the point, but Benn hasn’t always gotten the man advantage time I believe that he deserves (including on last night’s unproductive 5-on-3).
Brenden Morrow is the most interesting wildcard, as he got some serious time with Benn and Jagr last night. Let me be honest: Morrow’s been awful-to-invisible this season. Still, the Stars’ captain can bring a nice mix of goals, PIM and other goodies to the table in good times.
Morrow is a tantalizing reach if you like to rotate players in and out of your fringe. Just note that he’s wildly dependent on linemates, which is a sad departure for a former fantasy gem.
INJURY NOTES (full list) and QUICK HITS
Jeff Skinner collected three assists on Monday. Looks like a bounce-back season for the 2011 Calder Trophy winner … Mike Smith had his second win in a row last night. He's only allowed that single tally in the last two. Great for fantasy owners, even if the Coyotes have allowed a laughable 39 in two contests … Shawn Horcoff could be out long-term with a broken knuckle. Tough season for a captain whose fantasy relevant was already circling the drain … It’s really starting to smell like a concussion for Cam Fowler … Signs aren’t pointing to good health for Brad Marchand … Dave Bolland could be on his way to a return … Adrian Aucoin is on the IR and John Moore seems banged up, too. The Blue Jackets’ defense is an even bigger mess than you imagine … Ryan Wilson is out indefinitely with an ankle injury … Sounds like Brendan Smith’s shoulder issue will keep him out until March. Tough times for the Detroit (and many other teams’) defense … Martin Erat is day-to-day with a foot injury … David Booth could be back in the middle of the month … Milestones: Milan Hejduk found the net in his 1,000th game while Zach Parise scored his 200th goal.