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Second half recoveries

Matt Carle has six points in 25 games after tallying 42 last season.

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Matt Carle has six points in 25 games after tallying 42 last season.

Hi Dobber, I’m in a 15-team keeper league and am currently sitting third. My forwards and goalies are firing on all cylinders, but my two key defensemen, Matt Carle and Ryan Whitney, are keeping me from taking a run at first place. Our league counts only goals and assists, so I am a little concerned with the production the two blueliners are currently giving. Do you think they will snap out of their current funk or that their roles with their current teams have changed?
Tim, Halifax, N.S.


Hi Tim. I think Whitney will snap out of his funk and still take a run at 50 points, but Carle is another matter. San Jose will score more goals in the second half and Carle will benefit from that, however I don’t believe he will benefit enough to make it up to 40 points.

Is Patrice Bergeron coming back this season? Should I unload him at my re-draft or can he still pick up 50-plus points this season?
Ric, Victoria, B.C.


Ric – no way he gets 50. He may still come back (doesn’t look promising), but if he does, even 40 is out of the question.

Hey Dobber, I was just wondering if you think Matt Carle will produce anytime soon this season? I have him along with Sergei Zubov, Lubomir Visnovsky and Brent Burns as my defense and I am not getting much from Carle at all. The free agent defensemen on offer aren't spectacular either; headlining them are John-Michael Liles, Craig Rivet, Derek Morris and Brett Lebda. Is Carle worth dropping for one of these guys or should I be patient?
Matt, Melbourne, Australia


As I indicated above, I do see Carle improving, but not enough to keep you happy. However, given your options here, Carle is still likely your best bet.

I’m getting concerned about a couple of my fantasy players including Andrew Brunette and Eric Staal. Brunette seems to be getting less and less ice time, which is a mystery to me considering he plays so well with Sakic. Now Sakic is slumping partly because he's not playing with Brunette. Staal should be leading the Canes in scoring, but he gets very few shots on net. Is he slumping or overrated?
Ken, Vancouver, B.C.


With Brunette – Ryan Smyth has taken his role and this will be his worst season in years. I think even 60 points is out of reach. As for Staal, this is just a slump, although it has been a long one. He’s still young. Staal should get 80 or 85 this season and will be a 100-point player in future years.

I am in a keeper league and have an opportunity to trade for Ryan Getzlaf. I really want him as a key piece in my offense, but the other manager is asking for Roberto Luongo in return. I am not hurting at goaltending with Chris Osgood and Cam Ward, but am concerned I may be giving up a little too much. I would like to hear your take on the trade and if you think it’s worth giving up maybe the top goalie in the league.
Steven, Metairie, Los Angeles, Calif.


Never trade Luongo. No matter what the format of your pool, he needs to be in the same category as Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin – your competitors will need to pry him out of your cold, dead hands!

I'm currently in first in a Yahoo! league (I'll join up on THN next season), but wanted to know if Bill Guerin is going to turn it around. He's dead weight on my roster, but I'd like to keep him as a "just in case." Am I nuts? Also, is Marc-Andre Fleury going to be up and down all season or is he going to permanently turn things around? Thanks,
Alex, Dallas, Texas


With Guerin, you’re probably nuts. My gut says he has run out of gas and will struggle to reach 50 points. As for Fleury, he may struggle, but Pittsburgh as a team will get better as the season wears on. By default, Fleury will pile up the W’s even when his play slips.

Darryl Dobbs’ Fantasy Mailbag appears Wednesdays only on The Hockey News.com. To send the Dobber your question, click HERE.

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