Fantasy Hockey Weekly Planner: Feb. 25-March 3
Center Jonathan Huberdeau is proving to be the real deal, just ask the Philadelphia Flyers. He roasted the Flyers for two goals, including the game-winner, with two assists and a plus-3 rating in Thursday's 5-2 road win. Huberdeau now has three multi-point games in his early career, and he has lit the lamp five times over the past five games. There aren't many must-starts on the Panthers, especially in leagues which penalize plus/minus rating, but the rookie is an exception.
Must start: Jonathan Huberdeau
The Canadiens had been red hot until the visiting Islanders cooled them off at Bell Centre Thursday. The upcoming week looks difficult, with road trips against three divisional opponents and a home date with the high-flying Pittsburgh Penguins. It could be an ugly week for the goaltending combination of Carey Price and Peter Budaj. If you're in a fantasy pool which rewards penalty minutes, you have to love left wing Brandon Prust so far. He has 76 PIM in just 17 games, and he has also delivered 35 hits with 12 blocked shots and a respectable plus-7 rating.
Must start: Rene Bourque (PIM leagues), Raphael Diaz, Andrei Markov, Max Pacioretty, Tomas Plekanec, Carey Price, Brandon Prust (PIM leagues)
According to the Ottawa Citizen, the Senators expect left wing Milan Michalek (knee) back at some point next week. But he should be kept on reserve until he can return and knock off the rust. He has missed five games this season, but he still sits fourth on the team in points. Goaltender Craig Anderson (ankle) suffered a sprained left ankle, and he is considered day to day. He is a risky play going forward, but since the team has four games, he might be worth a roll of the dice since he has been so good. However, be prepared for a potential mid-week, or later, return.
Must start: Daniel Alfredsson, Craig Anderson (use caution), Kyle Turris
The Flames have really struggled this season, and it is hard to find must-start fantasy options when they have three or four games in a scoring period. However, when they have two games, it is best to reserve almost every option on the team. Left wing Alex Tanguay leads the team with 12 points (4 G, 8 A), but he is also tied with a team-worst minus-7 rating. That's how it has been in Calgary this season.
Must sit (cumulative leagues): Mike Cammalleri, Jiri Hudler, Jarome Iginla, Alex Tanguay, Dennis Wideman
Columbus Blue Jackets
If the Columbus Blue Jackets took a week off, would fantasy owners notice? Defenseman Fedor Tyutin had ascended as a fantasy option for a bit, but even he has tailed off lately. Center Artem Anisimov (upper body) was crushed in Thursday's game against Detroit, sending him to the hospital for a while. The good news is that he regained consciousness and was released. Will the Jackets ever regain consciousness?
Must sit (cumulative leagues): Derick Brassard, Brandon Dubinsky, Jack Johnson, Mark Letestu, Fedor Tyutin
New Jersey Devils
Even with two games, left wing Patrik Elias (5 G, 16 A, plus-11 rating), right wing Ilya Kovalchuk (6 G, 10 A, plus-4 rating) and right wing David Clarkson (10 G, 6 A, plus-4 rating) should remain in your starting lineup. With favorable road games against the Buffalo Sabres and Winnipeg Jets, goaltender Martin Brodeur should be kept active, too. Other than that, all Devils should be sent to the bench.
Must sit (cumulative leagues): Stephen Gionta, Andy Greene, Adam Henrique, Travis Zajac, Marek Zidlicky
About Daniel Dobish
Daniel is a Hot Off the Wire Analyst who joined the KFFL staff in 2010. He is a veteran of the fantasy industry dating back to 1999, with stops at CBSSports.com, The Sports Forecaster, OPENSports.com and RotoExperts.com. His work has also appeared on NFL.com and Yahoo.com. Daniel was named the 2011 Fantasy Golf Writer of the Year, 2011 Fantasy Racing Writer of the Year, and he was nominated for the 2011 Fantasy Hockey Writer of the Year. Daniel lives in North Carolina with his wife and two sons. Follow @danieledobish
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