NHLHS Endorsed Pickups

Carolina Hurricanes v Dallas Stars

Any player written about is under 50 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues.

This week we will go over several streaking players in the NHL leading us to another extended version of NHLHS Endorsed Pickups.

Here are today’s picks:

C: Alexander Steen, St. Louis Blues –  Despite his position in most fantasy leagues, Steen plays left wing on the second line for the Blues.  Although this team deals with lack of production at times, this second generation forward continues to score at an alarming rate.  With nine points in his last five games the chemistry with current line-mates TJ Oshie and David Backes seems electric

Prognosis:  Hopefully Steen will gain LW eligibility.  Regardless, his production rivals many top fantasy superstars so ride him while he is hot!

C:  Tim Connolly, Buffalo Sabres –  With Derek Roy day-to-day, Connolly should get extended ice time.  This news comes on the heels of a four-game point streak in which this 28-year-old center produced six points.  Since the lockout, the Syracuse, New York, native averages nearly a point-per-game making him a safe bet in all formats.

Prognosis:  Another grab him while he is hot comment would fit here.  When healthy, Connolly makes a solid number two center in all formats.  If your league excludes PIMs, even better.

C: Scott Gomez, Montreal Canadiens –  His scoring pace of 53 points certainly does not inspire confidence in most owners.  Gomez, however, sports a three-game point streak in which he produced six points.  The recently turned 30-year-old currently plays with the red-hot Andrei Kostitsyn and spending time with the man advantage with star Michael Cammalleri.  Combine those facts with the return of friend and linemate Brian Gionta and Gomez looks better and better.  Over the years, the Anchorage, Alaska native provides much better production down the stretch so 65-7-0 points at season’s end is likely.

Prognosis:  A must grab with his track record and recent production.

LW: Jussi Jokinen, Carolina Hurricanes –  The younger Jokinen potted only two less points than his star namesake, yet he gets no respect.  Playing top line minutes on a terrible Carolina team certainly would instill little confidence in most fantasy owners but when you center Eric Staal anything can happen.  The 26-year-old produced five points in his last two games, could your team use that production?

Prognosis:  There are much worse solutions out there.  Jokinen boasts a modest minus two even though he plays on a terrible team.

LW: Dan Carcillo, Philadelphia Flyers –  This maniac boots your PIMs.  Somewhat of a favorite of coach Peter Laviolette, the left wing often slots in with Mike Richards amongst other talented forwards in Philly.  The antagonist produced a modest four points in his last ten but added 46 penalty minutes.

Prognosis:  If you need the PIM here is your guy.  He should finish with around 25 points and 10 goals when the season is over.

RW: Steve Downie, Tampa Bay Lightning –  A quick look at his statistics and Downie looks like a steady PIM and points combination.  Subtract some of the points and essentially you have Carcillo’s production.  Playing primarily with Vincent Lecavalier would boost anyone’s stats and this 22-year-old is no exception.  In his last three games, Downie posted three points with eight PIMs.  In fact, the Newmarket, Ontario native boasts a 10 game PIM streak.

Prognosis:  This PIM streak is news to me, pretty rare.  Get this unique player while you can, a 40 point, 200 PIM season does not grow on trees.

RW:  Lee Stempniak, Toronto Maple Leafs –  When this 26-year-old came to Toronto, most pundits believed he would break out.  Instead Stempniak finished with similar numbers to his career average but did not take advantage of his near point-per-game pace.  The trend continues this year until the West Seneca, New York native’s recent outburst.  In his last 14 games, Stempniak posted 10 points.

Prognosis:  Proceed with caution, only pickup if incredibly desperate. His inconsistency kills and another dry spell will kill your team.

D: Kim Johnsson, Minnesota Wild –  The veteran defenseman scored in his last three games landing him on this list.  A mirage? Most likely.  The 33-year-old has not scored over 6 goals since 2003-2004, pre-lockout.  The same can be said with breaking the 30 point barrier.  Combine those tidbits with the small fact this instance marks the first time in his career he posted a goal streak.

Prognosis:  Not unless you are desperate.  As mentioned before, fantasy mirage.

D: Jaroslav Spacek, Montreal Canadiens – Spacek averages 35 points post-lockout.  At this point he projects to finish with 25.  With Marc-Andre Bergeron and Andrei Markov both healthy and productive and the returning Roman Hamrlik more than capable of handling himself in the offensive zone this 35-year-old seems lost in the fray.  Despite a recent boost in fantasy value I would stay very far away from a fourth string offensive defenseman

Prognosis:  Unless this Czech native receives his walking papers I would not recommend an add.

D: Fedor Tyutin, Columbus Blue Jackets –  Over the last two games the Jackets show signs of life.  Like second-year player Steve Mason, Tyutin stepped up since recent news of a team shakeup.  Although he only scored one goal so far the young Russian projects for a 38 point campaign good enough numbers for a number three or four defenseman.  This 26-year-old will only get better as his team does.

Prognosis: Grab him now if he is still available.

G: Michael Leighton, Philadelphia Flyers –  With Brian Boucher and Ray Emery currently sidelines, Leighton is your man.  Over his last three games the backup journeyman goalie won all three decisions, only allowing more than two goals once when the game went into a shootout.  His value is limited with little shutout potential and the possibility of the Ontario native to pitch a stinker, however he clearly has value with his current production.

Prognosis:  Stream him while he still has value.

G: Michal Neuvirth, Washington Capitals –  Similar to Leighton, Neuvirth will only start as long as Semyon Varlamov remains in Hershey.  Once Varlamov returns he should change places with his 21-year-old counterpart regardless of his impressive string of starts.

Prognosis:  Would a 1.67 GAA and .945 SV% help your team? We thought so.

Hope you enjoyed our latest edition of NHLHS Endorsed Pickups. You can help NHLHS stay alive by visiting our sponsors to the right or donating money at the top tab.

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-Alexander Monaghan
NHLHS Founder

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