F Steve Bernier, Buffalo Sabers
Struggling to find his form in San Jose, the Sharks shipped off Bernier in the trade that brought Brian Campbell to San Jose. In his first game with the Sabers, Bernier logged over 15 minutes of ice time while scoring two goals and one assist. Unlike in San Jose where Bernier often played on the third line, he was given a much more important role in Buffalo’s offense, and seems to have bonded instantly with linemate Thomas Vanek. With his time on ice significantly increased, expect Bernier to consistently put up points.
Fantasy Take: At this point forget all about Bernier’s first half with San Jose. The forward is in a much better situation in Buffalo and is a good lower option fantasy starter.
F Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks
Pavelski has gotten hot over his last three games scoring three goals and one assist. The forward has consistently shown that he can be a dominant scorer in this league and has also seen his minutes climb due to his recent play. Scoring San Jose’s first goal in their game against St. Louis, Pavelski registered over 20 minutes of ice time, finishing the game +1. Although Pavelski has only 26 points on the season, he has recently been playing with Joe Thornton, as well as receiving time on the power-play, which can only increase his totals.
Fantasy Take: Pavelski has been streaky all year but is currently in a good situation playing with Thornton. With four points in his last three games, Pavelski makes for a good pickup in deeper leagues.
F Tuomo Ruutu, Carolina Hurricanes
Ruutu was a disappointment in Chicago, but has gotten off to a fast start with Carolina, scoring three points in his first three games with the club. Arriving 15 minutes before puck drop in his first game with Carolina, Ruutu assisted on one goal, helping the Hurricanes defeat the Devils 2-1 in OT. In Carolina’s 5-1 rout over Tampa Bay, Ruutu had one goal and one assist, finishing the game with over 15 minutes of ice time. With Brind’Amour out for the season, Ruutu will be counted on to provide another scoring presence and so far he has done just that.
Fantasy Take: If Ruutu is available in your league pick him up. He has fit in well with Carolina and should prove to be a good fantasy option during the stretch run.
F Loui Eriksson, Dallas Stars
Eriksson has been on fire since late February, scoring seven points in his last five games. Currently enjoying his first ever five game point streak, the forward has scored 12 goals and 26 points on the year. In only his second year in the NHL, Eriksson has proven to be a reliable forward for the Stars and has meshed well with linemates Mike Ribeiro and Brendan Morrow. Although Eriksson’s totals won’t receive much praise this season, he has been a steady player over the last month and is only going to get better with time.
Fantasy Take: Eriksson is benefiting from playing with Ribeiro and Morrow scoring six goals in his last five games. Start him while he’s hot.
For Illegal Curve, I’m Jonny Remis