Mike Ribeiro has really come into his own since joining the Dallas Stars in 2006. But this year things have been different. Ribeiro owners are hoping for more from him in the final 21 games than they saw in the first 61.
Ribeiro has led the team in scoring every year he has been there, but that streak will end this campaign. Even if he didn’t take a puck in the throat and been sidelined for 15 games, the 30-year-old would have still fallen short of continuing his streak. Things are different now. The Brad Richards of old – the one who was a superstar for the Lightning and notched 91 points in 2005-06 – is back.
It seems like Ribeiro hasn’t taken to being the No. 2 center very well. Though his ice time has dropped by a minute-and-a-half from last year, it’s still above 19 minutes a game. That’s more than enough to post 80 points again. However, his numbers pro-rate to 68 points over a full season.
There are signs he is adapting to the fact there is another top offensive center on the roster. The hunger is there – hunger from watching his team compete for a month while being fit physically, but unable to play due to damage in his throat. And it shows. Ribeiro has been limited to about 17 or 18 minutes in the three games since his return, yet he has managed five points, tallying at least one in each contest.
I realize “hunger” is a pretty lame reason for my “buy” recommendation on him, but it’s difficult to express this hunch. With 21 games left, I think he’ll post 21 to 24 points…
Still with Ribeiro, I’m reminded of the dangers of over-analyzing players for your fantasy leagues and this is the perfect example. When the Fort-Worth Telegram reported Feb. 7 Ribeiro was planning to play about 10 to 12 minutes when he returned to the lineup, several rotisserie websites picked up on that. If you benched Ribeiro as a result, you missed out on a power play goal and more than 17 minutes of ice time. We love our information, but sometimes too much of it can make us over-think. In the end, just play your best players…
Atlanta’s Rich Peverley has two points in five games since Ilya Kovalchuk was traded and he has 21 points in his past 43 games. He is also a minus-18 in that span. Prior to that he had 23 points in 17 games and was a plus-5…
Since Jan. 1, 2010, Alex Kovalev has 25 points in 22 games. The Sens star had a difficult start with his new team, capped by his exclusion from the Russian Olympic squad, but he’s clearly turned back into “good Kovalev” (as opposed to “nonchalant Kovalev”). He may be 37, but he still has the legs for one more 80-point season next year. That is – if he cares enough.
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 throughout the season. Also, get the top 300 roto-player rankings on the first of every month in THN’s Fantasy section.
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