Every Monday, NHL.com contributor Matt Sitkoff identifies waiver wire pickups, roster trends, schedule notes and a prospect to watch in fantasy hockey.
The fantasy pre-draft talk focuses on whom to take with the first pick, and that conversation usually starts with Sidney Crosby vs. Steven Stamkos. On Monday, we won't see the 15th head-to-head matchup between these two because of Crosby's illness. This will be the ninth time in this matchup that one of the superstars did not suit up. In the previous 14 head-to-head matchups the Penguins have won 10, with Crosby scoring 10 goals and 12 assists. Stamkos has been productive despite the losses to the Penguins, with eight goals and 10 assists. Yet, when Crosby misses the matchup, Stamkos only has four assists in nine games.
WAIVER WIRE WATCH
Sean Couturier, Philadelphia Flyers (owned in 6 percent of Yahoo Leagues) -- The Philadelphia Flyers are finally getting some depth scoring, and leading that charge is this fourth-year center. Couturier is on a career-high six-game point streak that has seen him score three goals and four assists with eight shots on goal, four hits and five blocked shots. The Flyers have a busy schedule this week with four games scheduled (home vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers and on the road vs. the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets). Expect the No. 8 pick from the 2011 NHL Draft to continue his red-hot play.