Mike Fisher is in the midst of his tenth NHL season. This year he has delivered some unexpected lofty offensive numbers (22-10-11-21). He sits tied with Mike Richards and is ahead of both Vincent Lecavalier and Pavel Datsyuk in the scoring race, three centres who would have been drafted much, much higher than Fisher in your hockey pools this season. In his last year of major junior hockey, Fisher recorded 106 points in 68 games for Sudbury of the Ontario Hockey League. He’s really found his offensive groove under Cory Clouston. It appears that he will obliterate his career high of 48 points, but beware; Fisher has a history of missing the odd game or two (dozen) due to injury.
Jason Spezza. Wow. The former three time 30 goal scorer has only one goal and 13 points in 20 games. Just wow. If you can buy low, he’s definitely worth making a pitch for. Spezza is playing like he’s confused and frustrated. He’s pressing too hard and trying to play defensively to please Hockey Canada and his coach. The coach should just accept the fact that he’ll make some costly giveaways and tell him to go out there, work your magic and be creative. Put a defensively responsible guy and a sniper on his line and he’ll more than make up for any turnovers.
How far has former Rocket Richard winner (56 goals) Jonathan Cheechoo fallen? The 29-year-old has just four points in 21 games and is on pace for seven goals and 15 points. All that for a cap hit of $3 million dollars over each of the next two seasons. He was to Joe Thornton what Rob Brown was to Mario Lemieux. That San Jose second round pick that came over in the Heatley deal had better pan out, otherwise the trade looks like Heatley for Michalek straight up.
Nathan Horton has 19 points in 23 games with 16 of those points coming over the last 14 contests. Horton averages over 19 minutes of ice time per game including 3:24 on the power play. His career high is 62 points, but he is currently on pace for 68. During each of the last two seasons, Horton’s points per game have improved in the second half. Last year between October and December, Horton scored at a 0.50 pace. From January onwards, he improved to 0.74 points per game. Two seasons ago, the split was 0.64 and 0.86 points per game. I wouldn’t bet against him having a career season this year. The 24-year-old had his six game, eight point streak snapped by the Rangers last night.
Steve Reinprecht is second in scoring for the Panthers with 17 points in 23 games and his ten goals lead the team, but he only has one goal in his last ten games.
Including last night’s game, Florida is currently riding an eight game point streak (5-0-3) and is 8-2-3 over their last thirteen games.
Who would have thought that Matt Moulson would be the second leading scorer on the team, one point behind (20 to 19) and two goals ahead (11 to 9) of wunderkind John Tavares? In his three AHL seasons, Moulson scored 160 points in 188 games. He has been pretty consistent so far this season for the Isles. In the month of October, he recorded ten points in 13 games. In November, he has nine points in 12 games. He’s averaging 17 minutes of ice time, including three minutes per game on the power play. It must the Samson-like hair that gives him his goal-scoring strength. Please Matt, don’t tempt fate by getting your flowing locks cut.
Rich Peverley continues to prosper no matter who he plays with. The Pev Dispenser leads the team with 24 points. Max Afinogenov and Nik Antropov both have 21 points in 21 games, while Tobias Enstrom has 16 points in 21 games and is on pace for 62 points. I’m surprised that rookie Evander Kane has four more points (12 to 8) than Bryan Little, but expect that to change over the next 20 games or so.
As a Patrice Bergeron owner, it’s nice to see him atop the Bruins in scoring with 18 points in 23 games. Now that Marc Savard and Milan Lucic are back in the fold, look for increased offensive production throughout the Boston lineup.
Flyers rookie James van Riemsdyk has 18 points in 19 games. Emery has given Philadelphia solid, sometimes spectacular netminding and Chris Pronger has been dominant both in real life and for his fantasy owners. Pronger has 18 points, seven power play points, 30 penalty minutes and is a lofty plus-13 in 22 games. Just a great fit.
Mike Green quietly leads all defensemen with 25 points and 74 shots on goal in 24 games. Brendan Morrison has 19 points in 25 games. Until he was injured, Mike Knuble was fitting right in with 15 points in 19 games. Tomas Fleischmann had scored all 11 of his points during a nine game streak, but is pointless in his last four games.
I will be updating the Dobber Experts and two Pro Divisions shortly after the end of the month. Unfortunately, yours truly has been occupying the bottom of the standings since the start of the season. My goal is to move out of the dungeon before Sid the Kid moves out of Uncle Mario’s basement.
Happy Thanksgiving to all our American friends!