As fantasy hockey owners start their final descent towards the playoffs, it’s time to start searching for quick wins and hot hands to replace slumping players on your roster. During last week’s Crashing the Net, we hit on Dwayne Roloson, Jordan Staal, and James Wisniewski.
Kevin Bieksa – D, Vancover Canucks
Just as the Vancouver Canucks have been hot over the past month, so has defenseman Kevin Bieksa. Over his past ten games, the 29-year old has collected three goals and a total of eight points. His plus-minus rating of plus-16 is currently good for 12th among all NHL players. Being owned in less than half of standard leagues makes him an easy target for acquisition.
Rich Peverley – C, Atlanta Thrashers
After posting just two goals and six points during the last month of December, Peverley has already tallied half of his points total for last month. In four games in January, he has three goals, including a power play goal. The top line combo of Peverley, Andrew Ladd, and Niclas Bergfors has been cold, but all fortunes could change over the upcoming weeks.
Jose Theodore – G, Minnesota Wild
Niklas Backstrom owners should definitely scoop Theodore up not only for a handcuff, but for his rent hot play. Theodore has posted four wins over his last five games while collecting a shutout and a 2.56 GAA on the season. During his career, Theodore has played at his best during the month of January. Over 104 career games in January, Theodore is 54-40-9 with a .916 SV% and a 2.39 GAA. He also has nine shutouts, which is the month among any month of the season. If you’re going to take a risk on Jose, this is the month to do so.
Chris Higgins – LW, Florida Panthers
Scoring five goals and seven points over your last seven games played will get you noticed among fantasy owners. His ice time has increased over the past two weeks, but was recently a scratch against the Washington Capitals last week due to a lower-body injury. This injury isn’t expected to keep Higgins out for an extended period of time, so feel free to add him. Remember, fantasy owners are looking for production at any cost at this point in the season, so don’t feel obligated to keep dead weight around on your roster for the final two months.
Michael Ryder – RW, Boston Bruins
Who has one less goal than Nathan Horton and now his linemates and ice time? You guessed it, Ryder. While Horton continues to recover from first a slump and now a day-to-day injury, this former 30-goal-scorer moves right back into the spotlight alongside Milan Lucic and Marc Savard. In his first season he potted 27 with Savard as his pivot so he should be a lock to finish the season around 25 markers. If you still see him available in your league, Ryder should be a solid option as the Bruins inevitably start scoring again.