Originally posted by the Hockey News, ESPN.com and MSN.ca on February 22.
Guess who is up above a point per game and now sits in the top 20 in league scoring. Here is a hint – he started the season off with 19 points in 32 games and poolies were frantically emailing me for advice on whether to dump him. It got to the point where even I myself wrote (for all to see) that he would be lucky to finish in the mid to high 60’s.
Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg is there right now – 64 points as of Tuesday and he is the hottest, most productive player in the NHL since the all-star break. Hell, he even gave the rest of the league a head start by putting up zero points in the first game coming out of the break!
In 10 games since, Zetterberg has clicked on a line with Pavel Datsyuk and has posted 24 points.
Kudos to all the poolies out there who scooped him up at the end of December from a fellow owner in a full panic. The 26-year-old Swede is coming off an 85-point season and was expected to blossom even more this campaign. One month ago I never thought I would say this, but I think he will. Consider this: Detroit has 22 games left, all Zetterberg needs is 27 points to match his points-per-game from last season and increase his point total.
One more note: his linemate, Datsyuk, has 14 points in those 10 games…
Injuries from a fantasy pool perspective: With Cristobal Huet now out for the season and rookie Jaroslav Halak now with back-to-back wins under his belt, I highly recommend picking the latter goaltender up. He is worth taking a flyer on as your second goaltender – all the stars seem to be aligned here. The Habs needed a beacon of hope, he pulled them out of a slump, and finally – Montreal’s starting goaltender is out for the season. They will keep riding him until he stumbles…
Farm Report: I mentioned in a recent column how well Montreal prospect Andrei Kostitsyn has been doing lately in the American League. Time to mention his brother. Sergei Kostitsyn, also a Montreal prospect, is playing for the London Knights as a 20-year-old in the Ontario League. The younger Kostitsyn is on a 20-game point streak in which he has 15 goals and 42 assists. This is not as big a deal when the player is 20 in that league, however it is still pretty impressive and it moves him up the depth charts. All the same, he is still four years away from making a serious claim at a Montreal roster spot…Speaking of the Knights and point streaks, Patrick Kane is on an 18-game streak. Kane is eligible to be drafted this summer and projects as a top 10 pick. He has an incredible 56 points in that span. His 123 points lead the entire league – as an 18 year old, that is mighty impressive.