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ELI FROM TORONTO is deciding whether or not to add Martin Havlat via free agency for his fantasy postseason. His league categorizes goals, assists, rating, PPP, SOG, PIMs and hits. With Mike Cammalleri out of the lineup, he needs all the help he can get for his playoff run.
Havlat has only played in 30 of the San Jose Sharks' 73 games this season after the team acquired him for goal-scoring specialist Dany Heatley in a trade with the Minnesota Wild last July. Between Havlat's inability to stay healthy and his pedestrian numbers through his first 25 games of the season, his fantasy owners endured a bumpy ride. But in a fantasy world of "what have you done for me lately," Havlat's performance over the past week has quickly put him back on the map as a game-breaking fantasy forward.
The 30-year-old right wing has hit the ground running since returning from a hamstring injury March 15
Right Wing - SJS
GOALS: 6 | ASST: 15 | PTS: 21
SOG: 73 | +/-: 9
SOG: 73 | +/-: 9
Cammalleri has produced decent numbers (6 G, 5 A, minus-4, 10 PIM, 4 PPP, 46 SOG, 8 hits) to contribute to the Flames' playoff push, but there's a big probability that Havlat could be just what the Sharks need to ignite their potentially potent offense. He's operating on San Jose's second line with Ryane Clowe and Patrick Marleau as his team pursues of one of the final playoff spots in the West. Havlat's ownership (56 percent in Yahoo! leagues) has grown significantly over the past few days, and with good reason. It's important to nab him off the waiver wire while you still can.
JEFF FROM ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI is locked into a playoff matchup that is down to the wire. He's debating dropping either Ryane Clowe or Milan Michalek for Tyler Kennedy, who has benefited from the return of Sidney Crosby. One of his concerns in the move is that PIM's count in his league.
On the surface, most people would not even consider dropping either Michalek or Clowe for Kennedy, but if you dig deeper into the argument, it's a pretty intriguing dilemma. Crosby's affect on the Penguins' third line is becoming well-documented, as Kennedy (8 G, 20 A, plus-5, 29 PIM, 3 PPP, 164 SOG, 61 hits) has accumulated two goals and four assists in four games since his linemate's return. Matt Cooke, the other component of that line, has also blossomed with six points in four games and is another beneficiary of Sid's point-producing surge. Kennedy (LW/RW eligible - 13 percent) is 25 years old is playing his best hockey of the season as evidenced by his two-goal performance in the Pittsburgh Penguins' 8-4 rout of the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday. During playoff time, you can't ask for more from a fantasy asset, but here's some food for thought against the move.
Center - PIT
GOALS: 8 | ASST: 20 | PTS: 28
SOG: 164 | +/-: 5
SOG: 164 | +/-: 5
Basically, it's a guessing game, but it's more promising for you to rely on Michalek and Clowe for the rest of this week. With Kennedy, you are forced to bank on Crosby to produce at a high level, while also hoping that Kennedy continues to be a beneficiary of that. This could certainly change if your team moves onto next week's round, though, as the Penguins have a home-and-home on tap with the New York Islanders. If Kennedy's spike in production continues into next week, and either Michalek and Clowe continue to slump, it may be worth pursuing at that time.
KEVYN FROM STIRLING, ONTARIO is in a keeper league that allows him to retain two forwards. He will keep Hart trophy favorite Evgeni Malkin, but is torn on his second forward selection. He's deciding between Jamie Benn, Evander Kane and Taylor Hall in a league that takes goals, assists, plus/minus, shots, hits, PPP and SHP into account.
It's extremely difficult to pick one of these emerging young forwards over the others, but since you are forced to make a tough decision, let's break it down. Hall, the first overall pick in 2010, had a stretch of four straight games with a goal before he was injured in last Friday's loss to the Flames. Hall (71 percent - 27 G, 26 A, minus-3, 36 PIM, 21 PPP, 207 SOG, 44 hits) has put together a phenomenal season when healthy alongside Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle, but the reality has been that he's only played in 61 of the Edmonton Oilers' 73 games this year because of a number of injuries. He's going to be a premier goal-scorer in this League and a power-play juggernaut for years to come, but he doesn't quite stack up to the other two forwards in this comparison in hits or PIMs. His injury woes are also a concern moving forward.
Left Wing - WPG
GOALS: 28 | ASST: 23 | PTS: 51
SOG: 260 | +/-: 12
SOG: 260 | +/-: 12
Don't you wish you could meet somewhere in the middle and incorporate the strengths of Benn and Hall into one superior player? Well, you're in luck, because Kane (77 percent - 28 G, 23 A, plus-12, 47 PIM, 9 PPP, 260 SOG, 152 hits) can be that guy on a long-term basis for your team. The 20-year-old stud has taken his game to a new level for the Winnipeg Jets' secondary line this season and has especially stifled his opponents over the past month with nine goals and 10 assists over his last 15 games. Kane will only improve on the man advantage as he matures and has already distinguished himself from the pack because of his goal-scoring prowess, strong rating, high PIM and shot total and his elite hit output. You've seen his consistent prowess on display all season long, and he's only going to get better. Having him alongside Malkin for your fantasy team next season is a fantasy owner's dream.
To submit a question for NHL.com's weekly Fantasy Mailbag, contact fantasy insider Pete Jensen at PJensen@NHL.com.