Everyone loves having five days off. It’s a chance to take a deep breath, walk away from the job and not just relax your body, but push all thoughts of work out of your mind. When you go back to work, you’re a new man (or woman). Find me one person who comes back after five days off in the same mindset as when they left and I’ll point out mannequins don’t count.
In the NHL world it’s no different – and this means three things. One, hot streaks should be ignored. A player who had six points in four games heading in (David Moss, Calgary) is no longer riding the wave by the time Tuesday rolls around.
Two, by the same token, cold streaks should be ignored. Anyone currently snakebitten gets some much needed time off to rest any nagging injuries that he has been playing through and relax the brain that has probably been over-thinking every play.
And finally, there will be a pile of injured players returning to action. Anyone who was almost ready to return last Tuesday probably saw a lot of value in missing one final game and getting another full week off to get to 100 percent. Here are some things to look forward to, focusing more on points two and three:
The line of Michael Frolik, Stephen Weiss and Evgeny Dadonov will get back on track
Up until three weeks ago, this line could be counted on for a goal every game. But Frolik has been pointless with an ugly minus-8 in his past 11 games, while Weiss and rookie Dadonov have been almost as disappointing.
The streaky Patric Hornqvist/Sergei Kostitsyn duo is ready to rise again
These two were on a tear in December/early January and were better than a point per game for four weeks. However, Hornqvist has four points and Kostitsyn has three points in their past nine games.
Ryan Getzlaf is back
Look for Corey Perry to start rolling again, while Matt Beleskey is back to a depth role.
These guys are close
Players who would be on the shelf for another week or two at the most will wind up missing just another game or two; in a normal part of the schedule, this would have meant four or even five games missed. These players should be back without missing too much more time: Atlanta’s Evander Kane (lower body), Buffalo’s Tim Connolly (hip), Dallas’ Jamie Benn (shoulder), Edmonton’s Jordan Eberle (ankle), Ottawa’s Jason Spezza (shoulder) and Washington’s Alexander Semin (groin).
Evgeni Malkin’s nightmare coming to an end
Malkin has been battling a knee problem for the better part of a year, but has always responded after a few days of rest. But, after a half-dozen games or so of showing us his superstar self, he breaks down again. In taking just three games off, Malkin gave himself a 13-day break. Look for an intense hot run that could last two to three weeks.
The Pittsburgh duo
A hot Malkin means a hot Kris Letang and Alex Goligoski. The two of them have combined for just one point in Pittsburgh’s past five games.
The Big Buff
Dustin Byfuglien has been the surprise fantasy player of the season, but did you know he has zero points in his past 10 games? And to think this is after he tallied 41 points in 42 games. He needs a breather – and playing in the All-Star Game counts as a breather.
The Ageless Wonder
Nicklas Lidstrom was producing at a prolific rate before the 40-year-old finally started to tire. One of the captains of the All-Star Game, Lidstrom has a busy weekend, but at least he gets his mind off the task at hand in Detroit. He has points in just two of his past nine contests.
The ‘Streaming’ Advantage
The fewest games played by a team is 49 and the most is 52. If your league doesn’t have any kind of maximum games rule, perhaps you can get an edge by trading a player on a 52-game team for a player on a 49-game team and squeeze out an extra three games in the deal.
The 52-game teams: Rangers, Atlanta, Anaheim
The 49-game teams: Buffalo, Florida, Toronto, Islanders, New Jersey, Detroit, Minnesota, Columbus, St. Louis, Edmonton.
Darryl Dobbs’ Fantasy Pool Look is an in-depth presentation of player trends, injuries and much more as it pertains to rotisserie pool leagues. Get the edge in your league – check out the latest scoop every Tuesday and Saturday. Also, get the top 300 roto-player rankings on the first of every month in THN’s Fantasy section.
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