It's that time of the week again when we go through some of the names that you need to know in your fantasy hockey league. These players may be heating up and available for your fantasy hockey roster. So without further ado, let's look at some of the best options available in this week's run through the waiver wire.
More firepower in Pittsburgh
Andrew Ebbett, Center, Vancouver Canucks - Ebbett has heated up over the last week, checking in with three goals. He is also available in almost all fantasy hockey leagues polled. Ebbett is recently coming off a foot injury and plays mostly on the bottom two forward lines, but as long as he continues to keep scoring, it may be worth a waiver pickup in deeper leagues, just make sure your expectations are tempered.
Tyler Kennedy, Left Wing/Right Wing, Pittsburgh Penguins - Kennedy was strong last week, with a goal and four assists. He also appears to be a player on a mission after Flyers forward Jaromir Jagr mentioned him as possibly being one of the reasons Jagr did not return to Pittsburgh. Kennedy went on to have a two point game against the Flyers that night. Kennedy is only owned in 13 percent of all fantasy leagues polled and is definitely a player to keep an eye on.
Nazeem Kadri, Center, Toronto Maple Leafs - Kadri is a recent call up from the Toronto Marlies; he has a lot of hype that follows him. So far, he has delivered. Even though Kadri has only played third line minutes for the most part, he has three points in the last four games. Kadri spent some time playing on the wing and is in a good situation on that third line to potentially continue success. Kadri is only owned in four percent of all fantasy leagues polled.
Steve Downie, Left Wing/Right Wing, Tampa Bay Lightning - After an abysmal start of the year for Downie, he started to contribute offensively, notching a goal and three assist last week, with one of those points coming on the power play. Downie also had two penalty minutes and is always a candidate to rack up penalty minutes. He is only owned in 29 percent of all leagues and his value has increased fantasy wise.
Rapheal Diaz, Defenseman, Montreal Canadiens - Diaz had quite the week, checking in with five points, all assists. He was also plus-three and added a point with the man advantage. Diaz is only owned on one percent of all hockey teams polled; with the week that he had, he now provides some value if you are looking for a point-scoring defenseman.
Matheiu Garon, Goaltender, Tampa Bay Lightning - So much has been made of the Lightning goaltender situation, but Garon has steadied the ship for the Lightning of late, earning wins over the Philadelphia Flyers and the Montreal Canadiens, and looking good in the process. Garon has started nine of the last 10 games and appears to be the guy with the hot hand. He is owned in only 23 percent of all leagues polled, and may be worth a look as long as he continues to be the guy in Tampa. Beware though, the Tampa goaltending situation is still a high risk proposition fantasy wise.
Around the league
If you are looking for a deep sleeper, keep an eye on forward J.T. Wyman of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Wyman, a recent call up, had a goal and an assist in his second NHL game against the Montreal Canadiens and received high praise from head coach Guy Boucher postgame.
Forward Sean Avery, of the New York Rangers, was placed on waivers again Friday. It was the second time he was placed on waivers this season. Avery cleared waivers the following day and the team sent him to AHL Connecticut. He has no fantasy value at this time.
Something to monitor, Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene hurt his left knee Thursday night and left the arena in a brace. It appears he will miss at least four weeks and was put on Injured Reserve as of Dec. 30, 2011.
About Mike Corcoran
Mike Corcoran joined KFFL in 2011 as their senior fantasy hockey writer. The Tarrytown, New York, native hosts a hockey radio show on ESPN Radio in Tampa, and covers the Tampa Bay Lightning professionally.
You can follow Mike on Twitter @MikeCorcoranNHL