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One of the major keys in helping you win a fantasy pool is to make note of current trends. This week we’ll take a look at the 15 Western Conference teams to see if we can identify some.

 

Anaheim

Latest trend: 8-0-1 since Jan 6th, averaging four goals and 1.78 goals against per game with a 29.2 percent PP efficiency.

 

Advancers

Jonas Hiller is 6-0-1, 1.50 GAA and .947 SP in the last eight contests. There probably isn’t a “hotter” goalie at the moment than him, which makes now a perfect time to acquire him from an unsuspecting owner. Cam Fowler has increased his SOG per game average from 1.24 up to 1.44.

 

Decliners

Watch Jason Blake: he has 8 points and 25 SOG during this “hot streak”, while averaging just 13:26 and 1:16 per contest. The point production vs. TOI ratio just doesn’t match up, so expect a decline moving forward.

Interesting stat: Ducks now need to go 22-8-5 to have a better than 50 percent chance of making post-season.

 

 

Calgary

Latest trend: 5-1-1 since Jan 7th, averaging 2.86 goals and 1.86 goals against per game with a 23.8 percent PP efficiency.

 

Advancers

Miikka Kiprusoff has been just as hot as Hiller, as he’s gone 5-1-1, 1.53 GAA and .944 SP in the last seven starts. Michael Cammalleri is averaging 18:39 with 2:40 on the PP and 2.25 SOG per game in a Flames’ uniform. He’s really gelling with Jarome Iginla and Micheal Backlund on the top line. Speaking of Backlund (2 percent Yahoo! owned), he’s averaging 18:11 per contest and the reigns have finally come off.

 

Decliners

Watch Lee Stempniak, he has 8 points and 18 SOG during this “hot streak”, while averaging just 16:31 and 1:34 per contest. Same situation as Blake, the point production vs. TOI ratio won’t last, so expect a bit of a decline moving forward.

 

 

Chicago

Latest trend: 5-1-1 since Jan 10th, averaging 3.86 goals and 2.57 goals against per game with a 25 percent PP efficiency.

 

Advancers

Since Patrick Sharp’s injury, Viktor Stalberg has filled in nicely on the Hawks’ top line. He has seven points and 23 SOG all while averaging 15:43per contest. Only drawback is he’s seeing next to zero PP TOI, as he’s averaging just 16 seconds per game. On the flip side, Steve Montador is averaging 2:02 on the PP per game during the last seven games. The Hawks are experimenting with him playing a “Byfuglien-like” role creating traffic in front of the opposition’s net. Jonathan Toews splits: 1.24 points-per-game on the road compared to 0.86 at home, which should be favourable since the Hawks have a ratio of 20 to 13 road to home games moving forward.

 

Decliners

Corey Crawford has a pretty decent 18-11-4 overall record, but it’s the peripherals that are the killer. His 2.88 GAA and .902 SP are ranked 35th and 36th amongst all goalies respectively.

 

 

Colorado

Latest trend: 3-2-0 during the last five, averaging 2.4 goals and 2.8 goals against per game with a 28.6 percent PP efficiency.

 

Advancers

Paul Stastny has been on fire since Peter Mueller has returned back from his concussion issue. Stastny has seven points along with 17 SOG in the last five. Mueller (16 percent Yahoo! owned) is seeing his ice-time spike, averaging 18:38 and 2:37 on the PP per game in the last three.

 

Decliners

Semyon Varlamov has been a major flop as an off-season acquisition, especially given the high price that the Avs sacrificed in order to land him. His GAA and SP rank 39th are tied for 38th in the league respectively.

Interesting note: The Avs have over $65 million in pro-rated cap space to spend at the deadline according to capgeek.com. With the Devils in huge financial trouble, could they possibly use a package of Ryan Stoa, Tyson Barrie and maybe a second round draft pick to land Parise?

 

 

Columbus

Latest trend: 2-5-1 since Jan. 8th, averaging 2.25 goals and 3.63 goals against per game with a 19 percent PP efficiency.

 

Advancers

One of the lone bright spots for the Jackets has been the play of Derick Brassard (12 percent Yahoo! owned). He has four points and 21 SOG while spending plenty of time (49.6 percent of his overall TOI), alongside star Rick Nash during the last eight contests.

 

Decliners

Vinny Prospal has hit a bit of a dry spell after starting this campaign on nearly a point-per-game pace. He has just three points in the last 10 contests and has seen his ice-time dip down to 17:03 and 2:35 on the PP compared to 18:43 and 3:41 before the change of the calendar year.

 

 

Dallas

Latest trend: 0-4-1 since Jan. 14th, averaging 1.2 goals and 2.6 goals against per game while going 1 for 13 (7.7 percent) on the PP.

 

Advancers

Tom Wandell (0 percent Yahoo! owned), has managed to take advantage of Mike Ribeiro’s knee injury to average 2.8 SOG and 1:56 on the PP per game. Although Trevor Daley has always been thought of as a “defensive defenseman”, he’s on pace to establish a new career-high in points (29), and SOG (141). Daley is averaging 2.2 SOG in the last five.

 

Decliners

After starting the season 14-5-1, Kari Lehtonen is just 2-6-0 with a 3.01 GAA and a .895 SP in January. Read note below.

 

Interesting note: If the Stars slip any further down the standings in the next couple of weeks, they could be “sellers” at the trade deadline. They could potentially lose both Sheldon Souray and most importantly Nicklas Grossman who are both headed to UFA status in the off-season. Nicklas Grossman leads the team with 90 BS as well as chipping in with 79 HITs, which could really change the complexion of the defensive unit in front of him.

 

 

Detroit

Latest trend: 7-0-0 since Jan. 12th, 3.29 goals and 1.57 goals against per game with a 16 percent PP efficiency.

 

Advancers

Pavel Datsyuk is on a hot streak with 10 points and 14 SOG during the last seven contests. Todd Bertuzzi, who’s Datsyuk’s line mate, is also reaping the benefits with seven points and 15 SOG during the same span. At just 30 percent Yahoo! owned, he’s a great buy for the remainder of the season. Tomas Holmstrom doesn’t have the points to show for it, but he is receiving plenty of PP TOI (2:39 per contest), alongside Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg on Detroit’s top unit, which should see the points pick up fairly soon.

 

Decliners

Jiri Hudler has had “okay” numbers (17:02 and 1:49), during this seven game span, but the big one that jumps out at me is the lack of SOG. He has registered only eight since Jan 12th (1.14 per contest).

 

 

Edmonton

Latest trend: 2-7-1 since Jan. 3rd, averaging 1.6 goals and 3.2 goals against per game with a 21.4 percent PP efficiency.

 

Advancers

Sam Gagner’s offensive game is starting to come around. He has five points in the last 10 contests. With Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle returning it should help him pick up a few more extra points until Ryan Nugent-Hopkins returns after the ASB. I’ve been reading quite a few rumors regarding Ales Hemsky and Ryan Smyth being poached. If they end up going to contenders, Detroit, Pittsburgh or Nashville, their value could sky rocket.

 

Decliners

Shawn Horcoff has a monstrous lone point in the last 10 contests. The days of the high octane Smyth-Horcoff-Hemsky offensive trio are truly over. I know it’s never a good thing to give up on a young 20-year old prospect, but could the Oilers be better off moving him while his value is still relatively high at the deadline? I mean with RNH, Hall, Eberle, Gagner, Horcoff and a plethora of young offensive talents, would he really get a fair crack at a top-six gig anyway?

 


Los Angeles

Latest trend: 3-1-3 since Jan. 12th, averaging 2.57 goals and 2.29 goals against per game with a 23.1 percent PP efficiency.

 

Advancers

After calling him out in last week’s column, Justin Williams has made me look like an idiot with nine points in his last seven contests. A lot of that could be attributed to the increased SOG where he’s averaging 3.43 per game during this span. Drew Doughty has also seen a spike in production with five points since mid-January.

 

Decliners

It appears that the high priced off-season acquisition of Mike Richards isn’t paying off, as he has just two points in the last seven games. He still carries a big enough name that if you dangled him on the wire, he could still net a decent return.

 

 

Minnesota

Latest trend: 1-3-1 during the last five, averaging 2.2 goals and 3.8 goals against per game with a 16.7 percent PP efficiency.

 

Advancers

Since Mikko Koivu’s arm injury, Kyle Brodziak (7 percent Yahoo! owned), has seen a massive increase in ice-time averaging 20:37 per contest during the last five contests. Devin Setoguchi is a career 11.7 percent shooter. If he continues along his trend of 3.8 SOG per game, he could approach his career-high of 31 goals tallied three years ago.

 

Decliners

Prior to this season, Marek Zidlicky was a 0.56 point-per-game player. This campaign he’s just operating at just 0.32. Add that to the fact that he doesn’t contribute much to the peripheral stats (SOG or PIMs), which makes him droppable in one-year leagues.

 

Interesting note: Dany Heatley averages the 17th most ice-time per contest amongst all forwards, but is tied for 64th in scoring. He did have a three point outing last game. Is this the starting point where the stats begin to realign themselves?

 

 

Nashville

Latest trend: 8-1-0 since Jan. 7th, averaging 3.44 goals and 1.56 goals against per game with a whopping 33.3 percent PP efficiency.

 

Advancers

Pekka Rinne is 11-1-0 with a 1.65 GAA and a dazzling .946 SP since Dec. 28th. If you want to date it back to Dec. 8th, he’s 16-2-0 with a 2.15 GAA and .929 SP. He’s arguably the number one goalie to own for fantasy hockey. Martin “Mr. Consistent” Erat is at it again with 12 points and 15 SOG in the last nine. His career-high of 57 points is in certainly in jeopardy. Mike Fisher (12 percent Yahoo! owned), is also blazing with 11 points and 21 SOG and a worthwhile roster investment.

 

Decliners

I mentioned Craig Smith as a decliner last week, and seven days later, the situation still remains status quo.

 

Phoenix

Latest trend: 1-3-3 since Jan. 10th, averaging 2.71 goals and 3.29 goals against per game with a 12.5 percent PP efficiency.

 

Advancers

Despite owning a 1-2-3 record in his last six starts, Mike Smith still maintains pretty strong peripherals (2.57 GAA and .916 SP). Oliver Ekman-Larsson is really trending upwards as he’s averaging close to 25 minutes per game and getting some solid PP time (2:16), with the Yotes’ “big unit”.

 

Decliners

With OEL trending upwards, someone has to take the hit in ice-time, which unfortunately is Keith Yandle. He’s still receiving decent overall TOI (23:48), but it’s the PP TOI that has really taken a nose dive (1:46 compared to 3:45 prior).

 

 

San Jose

Latest trend: 1-3-1 since Jan. 15th, averaging two goals and three goals against per game with a 18.2 percent PP efficiency.

 

Advancers

Danny Boyle has been carrying the Sharks’ offense with four points and 19 SOG in this last little stretch, which is a major problem when you have a blue-liner playing that role for your team. Logan Couture also has three goals in the last two contests and is starting to garner a bit of PP TOI alongside the big unit of Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski and Boyle.

 

Decliners

Patrick Marleau has just one point in the last seven contests. What you do need to keep in mind is that Marleau generally has an end-of-January lull and really picks it back up offensively in March. He has recorded 16 and 19 points in March during the last two seasons.

Interesting note: The trio of Thornton, Marleau and Pavelski have combined for 57 points in 21 away contests, but just 51 in 25 home contests. The Sharks are on the road a lot more from here on out, which might help increase the production of the trio.

 

 

St. Louis

Latest trend: 6-1-1 since Jan. 7th, averaging 2.38 goals and a stingy 1.25 goals against per game with a 12.9 percent PP efficiency.

 

Advancers

David Backes has been on fire with nine points and 20 SOG during this eight game span. After a slow start to the season, Alex Pietrangelo has finally joined the offensive rush with nine points and a whopping 30 SOG all while averaging 24:10 per contest since Jan. 7th.

 

Decliners

Despite averaging 17:46 per contest, 2:38 of which is on the PP, Patrik Berglund has just a lone point during the last eight contests. He’s essentially droppable in one-year leagues moving forward.

 

 

Vancouver

Latest trend: 5-2-1 since Jan. 4th, averaging three goals and 2.63 goals against per game with a 20.6 percent PP efficiency.

 

Advancers

Should the Nucks play Cody Hodgson more? Click here for a great breakdown. Hard to argue when he has seven points in eight contests averaging just 13:24 per game. There are always one or two players that throw my points/TOI theory out of whack. Milan Lucic, last year, with 62 points while averaging 16:34, Jussi Jokinen, in 2009-10, with 65 points while averaging 16:48 and Devin Setoguchi, in 2008-09, with 65 points while averaging 16:12. Could Hodgson hit 50 averaging just 13?

 

Decliners

With David Booth returning from his knee injury, it has completely destroyed the value of both Mason Raymond and Jannik Hansen, as both are just seeing next to zero time on the PP.

Interesting note: Roberto Luongo has splits of 2.16 and .925 at home compared to 2.68 and .908 on the road. Cory Schneider is 2.21 and .932 on the road, but 2.48 and .918 at home. Could the Nucks play the odds and start Schneider more on the road and Luongo more at home?

 

 

Questions or comments? As always I’ll discuss them in the section below.

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Comments (5)add comment

Ryan Ma said:

Maaaasquito
RE: Berglund To be fair last time he did that he had 2 points in the next 13 games, so don't hold your breath expecting him to maintain this pace.
January 26, 2012
Votes: +0

derek said:

buck0198
PB Patrik Berglund had 2 goals last night...he musta read an advanced copy of your piece.
January 25, 2012
Votes: +0

Ryan Ma said:

Maaaasquito
RE: 20 year-old Yep MPS it is!
January 24, 2012
Votes: +0

Steffen said:

Steffen
Paajarvi? Did you mean Paajarvi when you wrote about Edmonton maybe moving a 20-year-old?
January 24, 2012
Votes: +0

horrorfan said:

horrorfan
Great! Nicely done Ryan - thanks for the effort!
January 24, 2012
Votes: +0
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