Sergei Kostitsyn has 13 points in 28 games for Nashville this season. (Getty Images)
Just when you were about ready to write him off – OK, actually you wrote him off last spring – Sergei Kostitsyn is back, baby, and he’s suddenly fantasy-relevant.
Of course, the disappointing thing for poolies is he’s doing this in Nashville. Nothing against the Predators, but it is difficult to envision any player on that squad reaching 60 points. So the excitement in seeing S.K. show signs of his potential is quite tempered.
Andrei’s younger brother had a slow start in training camp and failed to make much of an impact. And his season had been rather ho-hum as he saw time on any one of the four lines and didn’t make an impression. But then chemistry happened. Martin Erat returned from injury and after a few games he was tried on a line with Kostitsyn and Marcel Goc.
When he’s on, Erat is the best offensive player on the Predators. With Patric Hornqvist suffering from some sort of sophomore slump (although he technically wasn’t a rookie last season) and Steve Sullivan slowing down with age and past injuries, a red-hot Erat is the best you’re going to get from the Preds right now. But he needs somebody who can keep up with him.
If the potential we saw in Sergei Kostitsyn three years ago has arrived, he can more than keep up. Kostitsyn has 10 points in his past nine games and has quickly gone from probable 2011-12 Kontinental Leaguer to possible Tennessee star.
This hot streak will almost certainly cool off, but the 23-year-old has not only shown he can play in the NHL, but he can produce top-six numbers as well. In Nashville, perhaps that means 65 points some day. But after Kostitsyn’s 19-game slumber this campaign, let’s be happy with anything in excess of 45. I’ve picked him up in two leagues and I’ll enjoy the ride in the meantime...
STEEN CATCHING FIRE
After a terrible slump, St. Louis left winger Alex Steen is turning it around. When he finished last season with 43 points in his last 49 contests, I had him penciled in as a solid dark horse. The 26-year-old started off 2010-11 with just 11 points in 22 games, but has since tallied nine in his past nine thanks in large part to all the injuries to the Blues’ forward corps...
PATCH UP WITH PACIORETTY
Max Pacioretty has been tearing up the American League, so when Montreal needed an offensive boost, who better to turn to? Pacioretty was immediately tossed onto the top line with Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta. He makes an excellent short-term add to your squad, as he has three points in three games and is making a real case to stay up with the big club...
INJURIES, FROM A FANTASY LEAGUE PERSPECTIVE
I noticed in the first game after Chris Pronger was sidelined that the Flyers used just three defensemen on their two power play units. Instead of replacing Pronger with another defenseman, they used a forward - either Jeff Carter or Mike Richards. What that did was open a spot up front for Nikolay Zherdev and James van Riemsdyk. The two of them, along with Ville Leino, should see a small pop in production over the next month.
Anaheim prospect Matt Beleskey has been rounding out his game in the AHL after a couple of disappointing trials with the big club. In the past two games, he has a goal, three points, eight shots, nine PIM and is a plus-3. That’s the type of power game you can expect from him in his NHL career. The 22-year-old should be a regular for the Ducks next season and he’ll eventually be a big part of their second line. He’s also a left winger, which is fantasy gold if he can reach his potential as a multi-category stud.
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. Also, get the top 300 roto-player rankings on the first of every month in THN’s Fantasy section.