The Thrashers may lack depth up front, but they sure don’t lack scoring punch.
Marian Hossa, Ilya Kovalchuk and Slava Kozlov can all be found in the top four in league scoring and the trio is white hot right now. They’ve combined for 27 points in the last four games for a Thrashers team that has only failed to score at least two goals once in 20 games this year.
While both Hossa, the NHL’s current leading scorer with 30 points, and Kovalchuk (26 points) have the ability to win the Art Ross Trophy, Kozlov (26 points) certainly seems out of his element. He is tied for second in league scoring with Kovalchuk and New York’s Jaromir Jagr. The 34-year-old Kozlov is coming off a 71-point season and has a career high of 73 from his days with the Red Wings. His torrid 107-point pace certainly will not continue.
Kozlov will most assuredly finish in the low-70s this season, making him a prime candidate to be traded in your fantasy pool. His value will not get any higher than it is right now.
Incidentally, the trio of scorers has a total of 38 goals for Atlanta this season. The rest of the team combined has just 34.
Â• New Jersey’s leading scorer from last season, Brian Gionta, is pointless in his last seven games. What should be more concerning to poolies is that he has had three three-point games this season, meaning he has only hit the scoresheet seven times in 16 games. That said, the entire New Jersey team has only bulged the twine 19 times in their last nine games and sophomore Zach Parise has, for the most part, been the source of their offense. Parise has seven points in seven games and is now tied for the team lead with Gionta. Expect Gionta to produce in the mid-70s this season, while Parise finishes in the mid-60s Â…
Injuries, from a fantasy pool perspective: With Stephen Weiss on the shelf with a sprained knee, Joe Nieuwendyk in and out of the lineup with a wonky back and Todd Bertuzzi sidelined due to back surgery, Florida’s power play unit will take on a completely different look. Expect Juraj Kolnik, Ville Peltonen and Rostislav Olesz to start getting more power play time and a corresponding numbers boostÂ…
Farm Report: Pittsburgh’s Erik Christensen, who made a splash with the Penguins last year before tailing off and being sent back down to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, is off to a strong start in the American League this season. He has 21 points in 14 games (including 12 in his last seven) and is a plus-5. The 23-year-old should be their next call-up and should be an full-time NHLer by next season. The two-way forward has an upside in the high-60s as a second-liner.
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