With the trading deadline coming up in two weeks, coaches will need to assess their clubs and make some moves to improve their squad. The same can be said for your team and this week’s lists will help you do just that.
Jason Pominville – LW (MIN)
Another Minnesota Wild player finds himself on this list, with right-winger Jason Pominville being the recipient this week – though it could be anyone with the way they have played all season. Picking up a couple of assists two games ago against Detroit, Pominville had a five-game point streak until his team was held scoreless last night. Still, he has achieved a point in 11 of his last 13 and his contributions should not go unnoticed. After a sluggish start to the season, Pominville has really picked up the slack over his last 15 contests, posting five goals and 13 assists. Though he won’t come near his career-high in goals or assists, he should outdo his production from last season and has a decent chance at reaching the 50-point plateau for the third time in the last four seasons. A nice eight-game homestand continues for the Wild with a couple of average teams in Dallas and Nashville next, so look for him to continue his hot streak. Strike while the iron is hot with the veteran.
Craig Anderson – G (OTT)
If the Ottawa Senators hope to make the playoffs and beyond, they will need to rely heavily on backstopper Craig Anderson who is more than capable of taking them there. Anderson had missed 26 games to tend to his ailing wife, but he performed as if he hardly missed a beat. In his first start since December 5th, Anderson held the Islanders scoreless on Saturday making 33 saves for his fourth shutout in just 20 games this season. If you’re a fan of saves, Anderson is your guy and a true workhorse, as he has made 43, 33 and 22 saves in his last three outings. Last night versus Buffalo, Anderson had another nice performance, though it resulted in a loss dropping his record to 13-7-1. Even with the loss, his GAA is still a respectable 2.37 and his save percentage sits at a solid .926. At age 35, Anderson is proving he can still get it done and age is not much of an issue when you’ve got the skills and passion for the game he does. When healthy, he’s a solid option, so don’t hesitate to trade for him if he’s not available.
Patrik Berglund – C (STL)
One guy recently playing out of his mind not named Alexander Ovechkin is St. Louis Blues center Patrik Berglund. The last three games have been very kind for Berglund, as he has tallied five goals, putting him at 17 for the year and giving him a great chance to outdo his career-high of 22 set in 2010-11. After recording five goals through December, Berglund has achieved six in January and six more so far in February, so he is starting to prove his worth. More impressively, that last game for Berglund against Montreal, he logged a hat trick and he only took three shots, so his shooting percentage is off the charts. The shot totals are starting to rise with eight in his last two games and he has had a powerplay and game-winning goal in his last handful of games which is always an added bonus in the world of fantasy hockey. The Blues are starting to heat up by winning five of six and they will be facing some struggling teams next which may be just what the doctor ordered for Berglund and his teammates. Not many are playing as well as Berglund is at the moment, so land him in your lineup while you still can.
Sami Vatanen – D (ANA)
Lately, the Anaheim Ducks have been struggling to find the success they had early on with a bunch of players not on their ‘A’ game and defenseman Sami Vatanen is no exception. Never one to wow anyone on the stats sheet, Vatanen did have a great year in 2014-15 with 12 goals and 25 assists. However, after another nice year last season with 9 goals and 15 assists, Vatanen has yet to come near those totals, with just 2 goals and 15 assists so far this season. Making matters worse, Vatanen has been dealing with a lower body injury which has sidelined him for five games and it is unclear when he will return. The shots and ice time are there for the Finn, but the production is not. Looking at his plus/minus rating, Vatanen has yielded inconsistent results there too, as a -4 for him on January 21st was followed with a +3 two games later. As it’s unclear what you will get day in and day out with Vatanen, it’s best to avoid the four-year veteran.
Victor Rask – C (CAR)
After a blistering start to the season in which he reeled off points in his first eight games, Carolina Hurricanes center Victor Rask has looked like a completely different player of late. The last goal and point Rask recorded was way back on January 13th, a span of 11 straight pointless games. The plus/minus rating has always been an issue for him, as he has never finished with a positive rating in his two plus years in the league, and this year he is on pace to finish in the negatives once more. Perhaps his struggles coincide with the team’s – losers of seven of ten and fading fast in the hunt for the playoffs – and they may continue with some hot teams in Toronto, Pittsburgh and Ottawa coming up next on the schedule after slumping Colorado. Currently on the team’s second line, that could change if his production continues to lack. As a young player, it appears Rask is still trying to find his game and he will eventually turn it around, but when that will be remains unknown. Don’t waste anymore time waiting – dump him and look elsewhere.