Crashing The Net: Pavelski on pace for more underrated excellence
Sharls Joe Pavelski has scored at least 20 goals in four consecutive seasons
After winning NHL's First Star for January, John Tavares has one assist in February
Over his last 10 starts, Devils goalie Martin Brodeur is 6-3-1 with a 1.88 GAA
From goal scorers to defenders to the men who keep the puck out of the net, each week we'll take a spin around the rink and touch on some of the players that are in the news.
Did the national media just discover Joe Pavelski after his four-point night against the Capitals Monday? Pavelski has scored 20 goals in four straight seasons and is just six points short of his fourth straight 50-point effort. He's also a great addition in leagues that count shots on net as he's taken at least 228 each of the past three years (he's on pace for 267 this year).
Joe Thornton isn't going to be a 100-point scorer this year -- heck he may not even reach 80 -- but he's got 50 points in 54 games and has four goals and eight assists in his last seven games.
Sean Bergenheim is on every waiver-wire out there. The 2002 first round draft pick has 11 goals and two helpers in 35 games this season, which likely has you wondering why I'm even bothering to bring up his name. The reason is that he has two goals in his last three games and four in his last six contests for the Panthers.
David Booth has had a rough year, appearing in only 30 games due to various issues, but he's scored a goal in back-to-back games for the Canucks and he has nine points in his last 10 games.
Jason Chimera has never been an offensive powerhouse, sporting a career-best total of 36 points, but he's got a little streak going now that might make him an interesting add in deep leagues. He's recorded two helpers in two games and over his last four contests he has four points. Temper your expectations, but he's been solid of late.
Drew Miller has 11 goals and 20 points, and though modest totals they both represent career bests. Miller has four of those goals in his last seven games as no one on the Red Wings can seemingly do anything wrong.
Jiri Tlusty, yeah spell that three times after you've pulled back on five vodka and Red Bulls to drown the pain of yet another Valentine's Day spent alone, has been an offensive juggernaut of late. Honestly. In each of the five games that he's played in February he's recorded a single point (three goals, two assists). He's also been a responsible two-way performer with a plus rating in each contest, leading to an impressive plus-8 mark for the month.
Radim Vrbata has 26 goals. That's more than Daniel Sedin (24), Alex Ovechkin (23), Johan Franzen (22), Patrick Marleau (22) and Ilya Kovalchuk (22). Speaking of Kovalchuk, that dude is finally producing points. Yes he's goalless in three games, but he's still lit the lamp nine times in 19 games while recording 23 points. It's about time the real Kovalchuk showed up.
Eric Staal has 44 points in 57 games, rather middling numbers for him, but he has 19 points an is a plus-5 skater over his last 16 contests. He's also scored four goals in his last three games for the Hurricanes.
John Tavares was the NHL's First Star for the month of January, lighting the lamp nine times while dishing out 13 assists. As a result, he's now sitting in a tie for 7th in NHL scoring with 54 points. Unfortunately, his mojo has left him (where is Cupid?) as he's recorded a single assist in six games in February. An oddity with Tavares: when he plays on Tuesday or Saturday he has 16 goals and 36 points in 28 games. The rest of the days of the week have only led to six goals and 18 points in 27 games.
Henrik Zetterberg has eight points in his last five games. Still, he has only 11 goals, so he's really going to have to pick things up to record at least 23 goals for the seventh straight season.
Brent Burns has exploded offensively in February with nine points in six games for the Sharks.
John Carlson has three points in his last four games and is 10 points off his total of 37 points from a year ago. (He's already matched his total of seven goals). A plus-21 skater last year, he's down to a minus-5 this year.
Fedor Tyutin, never known as an offensive defensemen, has been pretty effective with the man advantage of late. Fedor has four power-play points in his last four games. Production like that from a blue liner is golden.
Alex Goligoski recorded 46 points last year between the Penguins and Stars. He has no chance of getting there this season since he has just 24 points in 44 games. Unless, that is, he is somehow able to sustain his remarkable performance of late (don't count on that happening). He has tallied points in three-straight contests and has 10 points from the blue line over his last nine games.
Brent Seabrook is not going to match his 48-point total from last season (he currently has just 22 points). But he has improved his plus/minus from even to plus-11 this year, and, of late, he has taken at least two shots in six-straight games (21 shots total).
Lubomir Visnovsky has been tearing it up in February. The Ducks, and his fantasy owners, have to be extremely pleased with his totals of four points, a plus-5 rating and 19 penalty minutes in his last five games.
Martin Brodeur has finally found his game, and it doesn't appear that his minor ankle issue is much to be concerned about. Over his last 10 starts, Brodeur is 6-3-1 with a 1.88 GAA and .919 save percentage.
Brian Elliott has allowed three goals in winning his three starts in February. Teammate Jaroslav Halak has won only two of four starts in February but he's allowed a total of just five goals in those four games. Oh yeah, Halak also has five shutouts in his last 10 starts.
Marc Andre-Fleury is one win away from a fourth straight 30-win campaign. He's won 10 of his last 12 outings, though he's just 1-1-1 in his last three starts for the Penguins.
Cory Schneider, the backup tender for the Canucks, has a 2.26 GAA and .928 save percentage in 21 appearances. Those numbers happen to be slightly better than the Canucks' starter Roberto Luongo, who has a 2.34 GAA and .920 save percentage in 39 games.
Mike Smith has been a fantastic keeper this season for those who took a chance on him as their No. 2 backstop (in some leagues he was chosen as a third goalie making him one of the best values in the game). Smith has a career best 23 wins under his belt and he has won each of his last five starts for the Coyotes allowing a total of six goals to lower his GAA for the season down to 2.33.
Ray Flowers can be heard daily on Sirius/XM Radio on The Fantasy Drive on Sirius 210 and XM 87, and Saturday's from 3-4 PM he hosts the SiriusXM Fantasy Hockey Show. His NHL thoughts can be read at Rotowire.com. Ray's baseball analysis can be found at BaseballGuys.com and his minute to minute musings can be located at the BaseballGuys' Twitter account. To e-mail Ray a question for next week's piece, drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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