Given the complex, never-steady landscape of fantasy hockey, each week, NHL.com Fantasy Insider Sergei Feldman will give you The Real Spiel on some of the quirks and trends that permeated your week of fantasy hockey by way of in-depth analysis.
PAT ON THE BACK: The Real Spiel on Patrik Elias
Center - NJD
GOALS: 17 | ASST: 28 | PTS: 45
SOG: 96 | +/-: -2
Milestone seasons are hard to come by, but don’t tell that to New Jersey Devils
center Patrik Elias
. On top of surpassing the 1,000 game mark his season, Elias’ game has returned to a point-per-game pace, an accomplishment that has eluded the veteran since 2008-09. Through 45 games, Elias has a healthy 45 points on 17 goals and 28 assists. Those are the numbers of an obviously impactful player, but in the case of the 51st overall pick of the 1994 NHL Draft, those are the numbers of a player who knows how to pick his spots, as Elias has thrown just 96 shots on the cage, good for 129th in the NHL. Recent success has propelled the 35-year-old to greater heights among fantasy players, as Elias is happily in the midst of a seven-game point streak, in which he’s collected 11 points and has been a minus player just once. While the Czech native won’t steal the show with hits, PIMs or shots, his point production certainly makes him a valuable option for fantasy owners.
MOULSON ICE HOT: The Real Spiel on Matt Moulson
Left Wing - NYI
GOALS: 22 | ASST: 21 | PTS: 43
SOG: 123 | +/-: 10
The toast of the town on Long Island is justifiably franchise player John Tavares
, as the third-year center has points in 11 straight games, but colleague Matt Moulson
deserves praise for his production, too. A ninth-round selection back in 2003, Moulson made his mark in 2009-10, when he reached the 30-goal mark. The breakout campaign was followed up with another breakout campaign, as Moulson reached 30 goals again and increased his point total from 48 to 53. We’re headed toward a third-straight increase this season, as the 28-year-old has 22 goals and 21 assists (1 shy of his career-high) in just 45 games. While his goal scoring hasn’t dipped, Moulson’s playmaking skills have risen. During his current six-game point streak (10 points), the 6-foot-1 winger has 6 assists. With his dishing abilities coming to form and a goal-scoring touch that hasn’t faltered, Moulson may be the next complete fantasy player.
CRAIG’S LIST: The Real Spiel on Craig Anderson
Goalie - OTT
GAA: 2.87 | SVP: 0.911
Just win, baby. That’s what many ask of goaltenders. That’s what many have gotten from Ottawa Senators
Crease Protector Craig Anderson
. One of the League’s hottest teams bring to the ice one of the hottest netminders, as Anderson has just two regulation losses since Dec. 14 (16 games). Want more proof? The 30-year-old has allowed three or more goals just once in his past seven games, and non in six-straight. Want more? How about during this scorching hot six-game stretch Anderson has made no fewer than 29 saves and five wins? Any way you slice it, the former Chicago, Florida and Colorado goalie has found a home in not only Ottawa, but in the world of fantasy hockey among the elite.
SLAM DUNCAN: The Real Spiel on Duncan Keith
Defense - CHI
GOALS: 3 | ASST: 24 | PTS: 27
SOG: 103 | +/-: 15
broke into the League in 2005-06 and increased his point totals in each of the five following seasons. Then, last year saw a dip in production, however, as the Chicago Blackhawks
blueliner went from 69 points to 45. Things are looking up again this year. Through 45 games, Keith has 27 points and is on pace for a 47-point season. But while that’s a step up from 2010-11, Keith’s recent play could propel him to a strong second-half push. Keith has points in three of his past five games, including a multi-point night against Buffalo and a game-winning power play goal against Florida. While his hit and PIMs totals are far from staggering, Keith’s value as a defenseman comes in point production and shots, as he has eclipsed the 100-shot mark on the season already. If recent play is any indication, Keith could begin to resemble the player who put up 60-plus points not long ago.
Author: Sergei J. Feldman | NHL.com Staff Writer