We're now nearing the quarter pole of the National Hockey League regular season with the 48-game condensed schedule. One thing fantasy owners are learning is that patience should be tossed out the window. If players you drafted haven't produced yet, it is time to cut bait and grab someone that is putting up the numbers. Normally, I'll be the first person to preach patience, but the season will be over in the blink of an eye. You simply cannot afford to wait.
Andy Greene, defenseman, New Jersey Devils
Strike while the iron is hot if you need a rearguard that can pinch up and give you solid offensive production. Greene started out with no points in his first six games this season, but he has managed two goals with four assists during a four-game point streak from Feb. 2 to Feb. 7.
Peter Mueller, center, Florida Panthers
Sure, Mueller is scoreless in his past two games, but he had a four-game goal-scoring streak, giving fantasy owners a glimpse of what he is capable of doing. He sees plenty of power play time, and he logs about 15-16 minutes each night. The eighth pick overall in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft is finally starting to produce.
Fedor Tyutin, defenseman, Columbus Blue Jackets
Tyutin certainly gets overlooked because he plays for the low-profile Blue Jackets, but he has been turning in solid production along the blue line. The Russian sniper has posted a goal with seven assists through the first 11 games. The biggest drawback is his poor plus/minus rating, a result of playing for a bad team.
Matt Giordano, defenseman, Calgary Flames
Fantasy owners simply cannot afford to wait any longer on Giordano. Sure, he scored his first goal of the season Tuesday in Detroit, but that was just his second point of the season. It was also only the third time this season he hasn't been in the negative in plus/minus rating.
Kyle Okposo, right wing, New York Islanders
Okposo was picked one spot ahead of Mueller, but he is starting to look like a bit of a bust for the Islanders. He has just one goal this season and only three helpers through 10 games. Fantasy owners could stand a marginal plus/minus rating if he was producing, but he's not.
Drew Stafford, right wing, Buffalo Sabres
There is simply no excuse for a player of Stafford's talent level to have gone 11 games without a goal. However, he sits no goals, just four assists and a minus-6 rating. He should be dropped in all pools right now until he is able to rediscover his scoring touch.