By KFFL Staff on February 11, 2011
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The big news this week is that Pittsburgh Penguins C Sidney Crosby (concussion) is hopeful of returning to action this season, but he is uncertain if that will happen.
The Penguins, and Fantasy owners, desperately need Sid the Kid to return, as they are already without C Evgeni Malkin (knee). This week, Malkin had surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament and a torn medial collateral ligament. It's terrible news for Fantasy owners in re-draft leagues, as there is no real good reason to keep Malkin rostered at this point. He won't be coming back. Crosby might, but he leaves an awfully big hole in rosters right now.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that doctors sent Crosby on vacation to a warm-weather destination to rest and relax, so we'll see if that made any difference. It looked like he might try to play in the All-Star Game in Raleigh a couple of weeks ago, but obviously that was just wishful thinking on his part. Concussions aren't anything to mess with, especially when it is to one of the brightest stars in the NHL. The Penguins likely won't take any chances with their big prize, so Fantasy owners should dig in.
Fantasy owners of Jordan Staal should be extremely pleased. He is now the No. 1 center with all of the injuries, but he is failing to produce. He is scoreless over his past three games with a minus-4 rating, and his goal drought is now at nine games dating back to a three-game goal streak from Jan. 12-18.
Colorado Avalanche W T.J. Galiardi (wrist) suffered a wrist injury Wednesday against Minnesota, and he is now out indefinitely. If you've been waiting to drop him in Fantasy leagues, this should help your decision. Galiardi looked to have some usefulness at the end of December, but he has been ice cold lately. He has no goals in 15 games dating back to Dec. 31, and is a minus-7 over his past six games.
The Anaheim Ducks got a double-dose of good news this week. First, G Jonas Hiller (concussion-like symptoms) might return Friday. He was able to go through practice for a third straight day Thursday. Hiller was dinged up at the All-Star Game Jan. 30, when he was hit in the mask on two different occasions by hard shots. A mixture of fatigue and lightheadedness had his on the shelf. However, it looks like that's a thing of the past.
The second part of the good news is that C Ryan Getzlaf (sinus fractures) was back in action Wednesday against Vancouver. He wasted no time mixing it up, smashing D Dan Hamhuis with a questionable hit. However, there was no penalty called and it doesn't appear he'll face discipline from the NHL.
Lastly, it might sound like a broken record, but Chicago Blackhawks F Marian Hossa is on the mend yet again. He suffered the dreaded "upper body injury" Wednesday night. Hossa has already missed 16 games this season, so Fantasy owners are certainly used to this. It's uncertain if he'll miss more time, but he is once again considered day-to-day.
HOT OR NOT
We're starting to see some trends now, as we get deeper into the season. Here are a few not-so-obvious players at each position that you might want to add or avoid.
Montreal Canadiens D Roman Hamrlik is ice cold again, going scoreless with a minus-2 rating over his past four games.
Ottawa Senators RW Daniel Alfredsson can't seem to get out of his own way lately. He has no goals, three assists and an abysmal minus-7 rating over his past four games.
Detroit Red Wings D Nicklas Lidstrom is a rare addition to the cold list, as he has gone scoreless with a minus-1 rating over his past four games.
Buffalo Sabres C Rob Niedermayer has three assists with a plus-2 rating over his past three contests. Only Fantasy owners in deeper leagues will want to take action and add him.
New Jersey Devils RW Dainius Zubrus has managed three goals, an assist and a plus-3 rating over his past five games. The same rules apply to Zubrus, as they did to Niedermayer above. Only those in deeper formats should add the veteran.
Toronto Maple Leafs G Jean-Sebastien Giguere is on fire lately. He is 2-0-0 with a .900 save percentage over his past three games.
Tampa Bay Lightning G Dwayne Roloson continues his ups and downs. Last week, he was red hot. However, he is now 1-2-0 with a 3.69 Goals-Against Average (GAA) and .891 save percentage in his past three. It's either sink or swim with this guy lately.
A lot of people might have missed it, but Ottawa Senators C Mike Fisher was traded to the Nashville Predators this week for a first-round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, and a conditional pick in 2012. Fisher isn't a huge Fantasy option, but he does get time on the power play. However, do you think he and his agent wanted this badly, since he is married to country singer Carrie Underwood, who spends a majority of her time in the Music City?
Phoenix Coyotes F Radim Vrbata is at it again. He posted a game-winning goal in overtime Wednesday against Dallas, giving him three goals in two games. We've seen this before from Vrbata. He scores goals in bunches, then is a total flop once Fantasy owners pick him up. Be very, very careful if you plan to add him, as we've seen this movie before.
The Chicago Blackhawks picked up former first-round pick F Michael Frolik from the Florida Panthers in a deal involving D Jack Skille. Frolik has been a huge disappointment for the Panthers, but perhaps a change of scenery is what he needs. Fantasy owners need to just take a wait-and-see approach with this deal. If Frolik can emerge as a top-six forward, however, grab him based on potential.
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