F Patrick Marleau, San Jose Sharks
Marleau has been awful this year, but appears to be turning a corner in the New Year, scoring in four of his last five games. He has also been producing on San Jose’s power-play unit, registering four assists in his last five games. Although this could just be a tease, a player with Marleau’s talent is worth to take a gamble on. You don’t lose the ability to become an 80 point player in the NHL overnight, and even though Marleau won’t put up anything close the 78 points he did last year, the forward could still be in for a pleasant second half.
F Cory Stillman, Carolina Hurricanes
Stillman started the season on fire, scoring 31 points in his first 23 games but has struggled to keep up that astonishing pace and is currently enduring his worst month of the season. With only two points in his last eight games, Stillman’s value has plummeted and may be in the trading block in your league. His recent scoring slump does bring a cause for concern, but with a potent Carolina lineup featuring three other 40+ point players, Stillman’s slump should end in no time. If you can get Stillman for below market value, then do so now as he could heat up at any moment.
F Todd Bertuzzi, Anaheim Ducks
After enduring two unsuccessful stints with both Florida and Detroit, no one was sure how Bertuzzi would perform in his first year with the Ducks. Scoring only two points in his first seven games with Anaheim, Bertuzzi’s miserable start was put to an end early after suffering yet another concussion. Unsure if Bertuzzi would ever step foot back on the ice, owners acted quickly and dropped the forward in favor of other options. Returning over a month later, Bertuzzi got off to another slow start but has since picked it up, scoring 13 points in his last 10 games. Due to his rugged style of play, Bertuzzi puts himself at an extreme risk of another serious injury that could end his season prematurely. With his value as high as it might be all season, it’s advised to ship Bertuzzi off for other options.
F Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Minnesota Wild
Bouchard has been extremely streaky this year, often going several games without registering a point only to bounce back and post the odd multi point game, making owners shrug off his inconsistency.
After scoring only three points in his last seven games, Bouchard bounced back and posted his first four point night, much to the dismay of owners who probably had him on their bench after his awful week beforehand. My advice? Trade Bouchard to another team, avoid his scoreless nights and the headaches that come with debating whether or not to start him for the week.
For Illegal Curve, I’m Jonny Remis