Here is what you need to know as you set your fantasy hockey roster for week 16 (1/17 to 1/23):
Teams with 2 Games: Chicago
Teams with 4 Games: Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Carolina, Calgary, Florida, LA, Montreal, NJ, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Tampa Bay
It's worth noting that Chicago is the only team with a mere 2 games on the schedule, and they come against Detroit and Phoenix. In other words, give your Hawks the week off and play some other guys this week.
On the favorable side, Florida has a strong schedule, with 3 games at home (ATL, COB, TB) and one on the road against the Devils. Buffalo gets the honors of a home-and-home with the Islanders, along with matchups against Boston and Montreal. Look for Pominville to keep it rolling and for Miller to have a big week.
Here are some of the hottest scorers over the past 2 weeks:
- Patrice Bergeron (F-BOS) - 11 points (6/5) in 7 games
- Tuomo Ruutu (F-CAR) - 11 points (4/7) in 7 games
- Nikolai Kulemin (F-TOR) - 9 points (3/6) in 7 hames
- Phil Kessel (F-TOR) - 8 points (5/3) in 7 games
- Shea Weber (D-NAS) - 11 points (2/9) in 7 games
- Alex Goligoski (D-PIT) - 8 points (3/5) in 6 games
- Lubomir Visnovsky (D-ANA) - same as Goligoski
- Jonas Hiller (G-ANA) - 5 wins in 6 games
- Pekka Rinne (G-NAS) - 5 wins in 6 games
- Dwayne Roloson (G-TB) - 4 wins in 5 games
- Kurtis Foster (D-EDM) - 0 points in 12 games
- Stephane Robidas (D-DAL) - 0 points in 10 games
- Brian Elliot (G-OTT) - hasn't won in 6 straight
- Dustin Brown (F-LA) - just 1 point in his last 7 games
- Claude Giroux (F-PHI) - has dried up recently with just 1 assist in 6 games played
- John Carlson (D-WAS) - pointless streak now at 8 games
Kyle Okposo (F-NYI)
Okposo should be finding his way into the Islanders lineup in the next few weeks. He was poised for a big season, but was sidelined up til now with the separated shoulder. With few other options up front, Okposo should quickly rise to the top line and provide adequate goal production down the stretch. Add him now if you've got the bench room to spare.
Sergei Kostitsyn (F-NAS)
Kostitsyn (Sergei, that is -- the banished one in Nashville) caught fire in January, scoring goals in 5 straight games for the Preds. He's finally getting top tier minutes (close to 20 a night) and he's producing admirably. He's been dry for the last two games, but still has 9 points in his last 8 games played.
Andrew MacDonald (D-NYI)
MacDonald has been tearing it up on the Islanders blueline since the departure of Wizniewski. It appears his opportunity has come. He has 12 assists in the past 14 games. If he could just get himself a goal. He has just one in his career, coming back in 2009.
James Reimer (G-TOR)
Reimer has temporarily taken control of the Toronto net. He's been the goaltender in 6 of Toronto's last 7 games and has won 4 of them. His stats so far have been excellent: 2.27 GAA with a .933 save percentage. If you're in need of a short-term goalie fix, consider Reimer.
Keep or Drop?
Fantasy owners are facing decisions on several injured or struggling players. Here's my take on what to do.
Simon Gagne (F-TB)
Gagne present quite a pickle for fantasy owner. At any moment, he could wake up from his funk and go on a goal-scoring tear. Owners are losing patience waiting for that day. After going 7 games without a point, he finally scored a goal on Wednesday. Sign of things to come, or just an interruption in his forgettable season? This choice comes down to depth on your bench. I'm holding onto him in one league, but recently let go in another.
Niklas Backstrom (G-MIN)
Between Backstrom's hip injury, and Theodore's recent hot stretch, many fantasy owners have started to dump him. Theodore suffered his own hip injury, making the picture more confused. When he comes back to health, Backstrom will most likely resume the role of #1 in Minnesota. While it's looking rather bleak at the moment, don't jump the gun. He's a solid starting goalie who is putting up decent numbers so far this year with a 2.58 GAA and a .919 save percentage. You've got to know when to hold 'em.
Dan Ellis (G-TB)
It would appear that the Lightning are seriously sticking with Roloson. As a result, a good number of owners have been dumping Ellis. While I'm not sold on Roloson as the #1 option in Tampa, I can't see Ellis having much value in the near future either. Take your chances on another goalie and let Ellis go.