F Jiri Novotny, Columbus Blue Jackets
Only playing 64 career games with Buffalo, Novotny never lived up to expectations, as the forward only managed a disappointing 8 goals and 16 points. Traded to Washington in the deal that brought Dainius Zubrus to Buffalo, Novotny got off to a fast start with his new club, but ultimately slowed down, totaling only six points in 18 games. Signed this past year by Columbus, Novotny has exceeded expectations scoring four goals and four assists in 10 games.
Fantasy Take: Novotny is heating up, scoring 5 points in his last three games. Right now, the former first round pick is only a lower end fantasy forward, but things could change if he continues to play at a high level.
F Tomas Plekanec, Montreal Canadiens
After having a career year last season, Plekanec is starting right where he left off, scoring 10 points in 11 games. The fourth year forward has played a major role in Montreal’s success and is currently second in team scoring. It’s rather unlikely that Plekanec will keep up with this torrid pace, but expect the Czech to surpass his career highs set last year.
Fantasy Take: Plekanec’s 10 points are rather inflated after the forward scored four points in one game. If you look closely, all of Plekanec’s points have come in bunches, so only use the forward as a short term option.
F Alexander Steen, Toronto Maple Leafs
Steen had a disappointing year last season, as his scoring decreased 10 points from his rookie season. Looking to improve on last season’s failure, Steen has come out of the gate firing. Fourth in team scoring with nine points, Steen has had his share of great games this season, including a three point outburst against Pittsburgh this past week.
Fantasy Take: Like Plekanec, Steen’s points have come in bunches. Until he can become a more consistent scorer, look for other options.
F Devin Setoguchi, San Jose Sharks
Setoguchi made his NHL debut on Monday and didn’t disappoint, scoring two goals leading the Sharks to victory over Dallas. Playing on a line with Joe Thornton, Setoguchi capitalized on the opportunities given, and should make San Jose feel a little better about losing Ryane Clowe to injury. With no timetable set for Clowe’s return, Setoguchi may be in the league for awhile and could prove to be a valuable pickup later on.
Fantasy Take: Before jumping on the bandwagon, pay attention to the Sharks next game to see how Setoguchi performs. His previous goals were scored on nifty passes from Thornton, so if the rookie is not playing with Thornton, then expect his output to drop.
For Illegal Curve, I’m Jonny Remis