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Fantasy Pool Look: Devils made him do it

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

New Jersey veteran Jamie Langenbrunner has been a pretty consistent player. In four of his past five seasons he has seen his points-per-game average finish between 0.64 and 0.73, which pro-rates to 52-60 points over a full campaign. His penalty minutes have also been fairly reliable, hovering just below one per contest.

Langenbrunner was blessed two years ago in finding chemistry with linemates Travis Zajac (then a rookie) and Zach Parise (then a sophomore). At the time, this ‘blessing’ wasn’t anything special. After all, these kids were just getting their feet wet and Langenbrunner was his usual productive self. This season, things have changed. Parise is in that magical fourth year when a budding offensive prospect usually breaks out. Zajac is also breaking out, albeit a year early.

Now, instead of being the driving force on the line, Langenbrunner finds himself being carried along for the ride. Parise is on pace for 95 points and Zajac is on track for 66. It’s only natural that the 33-year-old veteran of the troika sees an uptick in his numbers. Things only seem to be getting better, too. Heading into Friday’s game, Langenbrunner has 18 points and is a plus-10 in his past 16 games. Zajac is a plus-13 (17 points) and Parise is a plus-12 (17 points) in that same span.

He has the privilege of playing with these two kids as they enter into their prime, because he is under contract through the 2010-11 season. Langenbrunner will beat his career high (60 points in 2006-07) in each season prior to the end of his contract, barring a serious injury…

Tim Connolly took four games to find his groove, but the Buffalo pivot is on a roll now. He has eight points in his past five games and with 15 in 15 he is again proving that he is a point-per-game player. Connolly needs to prove this, because we often forget. We don’t see him very often, given the amount of time he spends in the infirmary. I think he is a good bet to play most of the remaining games – at least enough to get 40 points, but he could possibly top 50…

We have our answer to the question: “What will happen to Kyle Quincey when Jack Johnson returns?” So far, Quincey’s ice time has slid from about 22 minutes per game down to about 20 minutes per game, but he does have four points in the four games since Johnson’s return…

Injuries, from a fantasy league perspective:
Colorado’s Paul Stastny (broken arm) is back skating and is due back in the lineup before the initial “late February” forecast. T.J. Hensick has six points in his past seven games thanks to the added ice time…

Farm Report: Calgary prospect Mikael Backlund has seven points in seven games since joining Kelowna of the Western League. The team is a good one, boasting top prospects such as Jamie Benn (Dallas), Tyler Myers (Buffalo) and Colin Long (Phoenix). Of the mentioned players, Backlund has the strongest chance of joining the NHL in the fall, but don’t count out Benn, who will get a long look as well. Backlund has the highest upside, though, by a wide margin. He has the potential to be a No.1 center.

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 1st of every month in THN’s Fantasy section.

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