With all the hype surrounding Martin Havlat‘s glorious debut as a Blackhawk, his productive linemates have been overshadowed. Granted, Havlat has almost as many points as Michal Handzus and Radim Vrbata combined, but the fact remains the latter two are off to fine starts.
Vrbata, whose career high is 39 points set last season (with both Carolina and Chicago), has yet to be shut down for an entire game this year. During his five-game point streak, he picked up seven points. Havlat and Handzus have 12 and six points respectively.
Those fantasy owners who did their homework should not be surprised Vrbata is turning into a solid fantasy asset. He tallied 33 points in his last 41 games last season, which pro-rates to a 66-point season. Somewhere in the sixties certainly looks about right at this point. That said, his slowdown in production will coincide with the return of Tuomo Ruutu to the lineup.
Handzus is an example of a player who has just moved into an ideal position Â– every bit as ideal as former Blackhawk Mark Bell changing teams and playing with Joe Thornton in San Jose. Handzus went from third-line responsibilities in Philadelphia to the first line in Chicago, complete with Havlat on the wing.
Chicago currently sits second in NHL offense behind the Rangers (who have played an extra game). Though that is not likely to remain the case, what’s for certain is Vrbata and Handzus are in for pretty big seasonsÂ…
Poolies are quite familiar (unless they live in a cave) with how well Mats Sundin and Kyle Wellwood are doing together. What may not be well known is how well the line of Jeff O’Neill, Matt Stajan and Alexei Ponikarovsky are clicking. In the last two games, Stajan has four points, O’Neill three, and Â‘Poni’ twoÂ…
Florida goaltender Alex Auld is putting up better numbers than his summer-trade counterpart Roberto Luongo over in Vancouver. While the goals against and save percentage numbers are similar, Auld has yet to lose a game in regulation and seems to have established himself (as expected) as the No.1 goaltender in Miami. Luongo will still play 15-20 more games than Auld this season, but the wins will wind up being surprisingly closeÂ…
Farm Report: The head injury to Mattias Weinhandl has led the Minnesota Wild to recall Matt Foy. Since Benoit Pouliot is still a little raw and Roman Voloshenko has just two points in five games in the American League, Foy was the logical choice (he had four points in five AHL games). Foy is a bit of a high risk/reward fantasy prospect. The talent is there, but he is far from a guaranteed NHLer.
Darryl Dobbs’ Fantasy Hockey 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 Monday and Wednesday afternoon. Also, get the top 300 roto-player rankings on the first of every month in THN’s Fantasy section.
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