At first, it didn’t seem so bad. Joe Sakic was day-to-day with a groin injury, but the Avs were still winning games and the stars were scoring goals.
Sakic was out of the lineup starting Dec. 1 and yet the team went on an 8-3-1 run. The third win of those eight was a nine-goal effort that saw Milan Hejduk tally six points and Paul Stastny five.
It turns out that was where things peaked.
(Originally published by The Hockey News on January 7)
While the team did win five of their next seven, many of the wins were by one or two goal margins.
Ever since the nine-goal outburst Dec. 9, Colorado has scored just 28 goals in 12 games. In that span, Paul Stastny has just five points and Hejduk has four. To make things worse for poolies, the team lost Ryan Smyth when he fractured his ankle in a Dec. 31 game against Phoenix.
Hmmm. Sakic hurts his groin Nov. 30; Smyth breaks his ankle Dec. 31. The Avs may want to skip their Jan. 30 game against Chicago!
The losses have not exactly been mounting, but with the team struggling to score and about to enter a five-game road swing beginning Tuesday, it would be wise for roto-leaguers to shy away from players on the Avs roster for the time being…
Ty Conklin has won seven consecutive starts for the Penguins and has two shutouts in his past four games.
The Pens are hot and it probably doesn’t matter who’s between the pipes right now, but it’s Conklin who’s piling up the W’s.
Get aboard this train if you can. Marc-Andre Fleury is still a good three weeks away from a return and if the team continues to win you probably won’t see him for five or six…
The Montreal line of Tomas Plekanec, Andrei Kostitsyn and Alexei Kovalev has combined for 46 points in the past 14 games. This is the new No. 1 line for the Habs…
One youngster to keep an eye on is Carolina rookie Casey Borer. The Hurricanes are desperate for a puck-moving defenseman and the 22-year-old Borer is exactly that.
He had 14 points in 35 games for Albany before being recalled. He has two points in three games since coming up and if he can stick in the NHL he should be good for a point every two games…
Injuries, from a fantasy league perspective: Mikko Koivu is close to returning to the Minnesota lineup. While Tuesday is a no-go, he’s targeting Thursday or Friday’s game. His return will – directly or indirectly - likely take Aaron Voros off the top line and move Pavol Demitra back to the wing. Wherever he ends up in the lineup, expect a lot of reshuffling, which could see anyone from Eric Belanger to Koivu to Mark Parrish on the big line with Demitra and Marian Gaborik.