F Scott Hartnell, Philadelphia Flyers
Hartnell is enjoying his best month of the season, scoring seven points in his last five games. The forward has registered two three point games this month, including a hattrick this past week. With Lupul still sidelined with several injuries, Hartnell has stepped up his play and has appeared on the power-play, scoring two goals and one assist. Hartnell’s season stats aren’t anything to get excited over (21 points in 40 games), but he has become a decent fantasy option due to his recent outburst.
Fantasy Take: Hartnell has been inconsistent all year but seems to have gotten into a groove over this past week. Only use him as an injury replacement or a lower end option at forward.
F Marek Svatos, Colorado Avalanche
Svatos has been a disappointment since his breakout year in 2005 where he scored 32 goals and 50 points. Even though Svatos won’t hit those numbers this year, he has shown glimpses of his past self scoring six goals in his last five games. With both Joe Sakic and Ryan Smyth gone for extended periods of time due to injuries, Svatos has helped fill the void with his superb scoring ability. Scoring 19 goals and two assists this season, Svatos was hardly a factor earlier in the season, but has the opportunity to help lead Colorado with Smyth and Sakic sidelined.
Fantasy Take: Svatos has a natural goal scoring ability that makes him look very appealing as a fantasy forward, but goes through too many stretches without registering a point. With the team counting on its younger stars much more now, Svatos may be in for a big second half.
F Mark Parrish, Minnesota Wild
Parrish was relatively quiet earlier in the season, registering only 18 points in the first three months of the season. He has since come alive, scoring a point in each of his last eight games, including four goals in his past five. The forward has been given significant playing time and has gelled with linemate Eric Belanger, as the two have combined to score seven points in their last two games.
Fantasy Take: Parrish has gone on two other three game point streaks earlier in the season, and has always slumped after they’ve ended. Try and pick up Parrish while he’s still hot, as he tends to disappear for extended periods of time.
D Marek Zidlicky, Nashville Predators
With a big month in December, Zidlicky was able to surpass his point total over the first two months of the season in 15 games. Scoring 11 points last month, Zidlicky raised his season point total to 26, which currently leads all Nashville defenseman. Continuing his hot streak into the new year, Zidlicky has registered five points in his last six games. More impressive is his input on the power-play, having scored all his points this month on the pp. After having an abysmal year last year, Zidlicky has rebounded quite nicely and is slowly making his way into the elite defenseman category.
Fantasy Take: Being Nashville’s number one defenseman will yield several opportunities on the power-play, making Zidlicky a good defensive pickup.
For Illegal Curve, I’m Jonny Remis