Dustin Penner has been one of few pleasant surprises in Edmonton this season. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
When you write a dozen blogs and columns every week, you’re bound to run out of topics. Yet, as a fantasy hockey addict there are always dozens of smaller notes and thoughts bouncing around my otherwise empty skull. When that happens, it’s time to spill them out in the Fantasy Pool Look section of TheHockeyNews.com for you to digest, dissect and discuss.
• Patrick O’Sullivan and Dustin Penner are in their fourth NHL seasons, but they seemed to have switched production in the first half. While Penner broke out with 38 points in 37 games, the more skilled O’Sullivan stumbled with just 16 in that span. For the second half, you could very well see the latter posting a point per game, while the former stumbles. That just makes more sense to me. In the past 10 contests, O’Sullivan has nine points whereas Penner has just three.
• Calgary rearguard Mark Giordano has seen at least 21 minutes of ice time in 19 of his past 20 contests. He now leads all Flames defensemen in points with 20, 12 of which came in the past 22 games. He seems to have usurped Jay Bouwmeester on the top power play unit and I think you’ll see him add another 18 to 21 points by the end the season.
• Guillaume Latendresse is flying in Minnesota and showing signs of the power forward he has the potential to be. He has 19 points in the 25 games he has played for the Wild, but 12 of those points (seven goals) have come in the past eight games. Still only 22 years old, he is bound to falter and hit a cold streak, but he’s looking like he has the hands of a 35-goal scorer in this league. That could happen as early as next season, with the right setup man at center. However, his style of play will probably limit him to 70 games a season, give or take, which would make that 35-goal mark tougher to reach.
• Colorado’s Chris Stewart continues to roll. Even when the rest of the team stumbled for a little bit, Stewart chipped in the points. The 22-year-old has 26 points in his past 25 games. He’s not a potential point-per-game player in my books, as I see him as more of a 70-point second-liner in his prime, so he’s bound to slow down. Look for 25 points or so the rest of the way (33 games).
• Atlanta defenseman Tobias Enstrom has 59 points in his past 74 games dating back to the day Mathieu Schneider was traded last season. That’s a 66-point clip, which is exactly the type of high-end production I think we’ll get from him for the next several years.
• It’s very difficult for a goaltender to work his way into the NHL when he’s drafted in the seventh round. And when said goaltender spends a lot of time in the ECHL, it’s almost the kiss of death for those NHL dreams. At that point, it’s hard to be taken seriously.
But Mike Brodeur posted huge numbers in the American League last season when he received a call-up from the ECHL and that earned him a contract with the Sens. With Pascal Leclaire hurt (again) and Brian Elliott struggling, Brodeur got his first NHL start last week.
He has since started three of five games – winning them all. The 26-year-old seems to be Dan Ellis-ing his way into a full-time gig. Leclaire will be out for a little while, so expect 10 starts from Brodeur over the next dozen games. If he performs well, he’ll parlay that into a job somewhere in the NHL, much like Craig Anderson did before signing in Colorado.
Farm Report: Islanders prospect Jesse Joensuu just had a 10-game point streak snapped while playing for Bridgeport of the AHL. A future power forward, who I have penciled in as a winger for John Tavares (eventually), has been ho-hum in his NHL stint this season with just one point in seven games. However, his 10-game run in which he posted 13 points has put him back on my radar. Look for him to make a strong push at camp in the fall.
Darryl Dobbs’ Fantasy Pool Look is an in-depth presentation of player trends, injuries and much more as it pertains to rotisserie pool leagues. Get the edge in your league - check out the latest scoop every Tuesday and Saturday throughout the season. Also, get the top 300 roto-player rankings on the first of every month in THN’s Fantasy section.