F John Madden, New Jersey Devils
Madden has never been known as an offensive guy, but things have changed this season. Immediately gelling with off-season acquisition Dainius Zubrus, Madden has scored six goals and dished out five assists. With four points this past week, Madden has given New Jersey another scoring option that it desperately needs with the loss of Scott Gomez.
Fantasy Take: Madden is currently second on the team in scoring with 11 points and has averaged well over 16 minutes a game for the past four contests. Although his stats look nice, Madden has never shown much offensive production during his career so unless this keeps up, try and look for other options.
F Richard Zednik, Florida Panthers
A disappointment in his return to Washington last year, Zednik only managed to play in 32 games while scoring 18 points. Entering this season, Zednik was pretty much off the fantasy radar, but has regained his status as a decent option, scoring six goals and eight points in 12 games. The former Montreal Canadien is currently riding a three game point streak, scoring four points during that span.
Fantasy Take: If your desperate for a forward option, Zednik may be able to fill that void. Although he probably won’t be a great long term option, Zednik is a good injury replacement that can give your team a boost if he’s hot.
F Alexei Ponikarovsky, Toronto Maple Leafs
Ponikarovsky enjoyed his best year as a pro last season, scoring 45 points in 71 games with the Leafs. He surpassed the 20 goal mark yet again, giving him two consecutive seasons with 20 goals or more. Scoring two goals in one game early on in the season, Ponikarovsky has only been able to notch two more, but has still contributed scoring three assists. Spending time on the power-play as well as playing with captain Mats Sundin, the Leafs are giving Ponikarovsky every chance to succeed which could lead to a career year for the former fourth round draft pick.
Fantasy Take: Ponikarovsky has heated up recently, but hasn’t put up enough offense to warrant a starting spot on your fantasy squad. The forward may heat up, but as of now, look for other options.
D Brent Burns, Minnesota Wild
Entering his fourth year as a pro, the Ontario native has improved his point total over the past four seasons. Scoring two goals in Minnesota’s first three games, Burns is turning into the star player that Minnesota hoped for when they drafted him 20th overall back in 2003. Currently riding a three game point streak, Burns has eight points on the year and a +8 rating.
Fantasy Take: Burns has received several minutes on the power-play, which can only help his fantasy value. With scoring defenseman so hard to find, Burns becomes a reliable start in most leagues.
For Illegal Curve, I’m Jonny Remis