Jeff Carter was sidelined for nearly all of November with a foot injury, but returned last night against Vancouver. Carter had nine points in 14 games prior to the injury, and looked to be back at full health last night. Carter registered an assist late in the game, sending a pass from behind the net to a wide open Mike Richards.
When Carter is healthy, he's a dominant offensive force. His patience and chemistry with Mike Richards gives him a lot of opportunities in the offensive zone. While his assist numbers are never phenomenal, he still puts up a good number of goals and a ton of shots.
Carter missed 10 games while recovering from his foot injury, meaning he may be trading at a discount right now, and is even available in 13% of ESPN leagues right now.
How's your teams +/- right now? Horrible? Then I know exactly what you need: Eric Staal. Staal currently sits -11, and has had a pretty poor start to the season. Fortunately for owners that have already committed to poor plus/minus, he can be bought at a better price because of it. E Staal has eight points in his last six games, with 17 points in 24 games this season.
The Canes have been bitten by the injury bug lately, with Alex Semin out indefinitely with a concussion and Cam Ward is just returning from a groin strain. The loss of Semin didn't slow Staal's roll, which is good news. Being able to play with a hodgepodge of linemates and still produce is a testament to Staal's consistency. With the return of Cam Ward, Staal's plus/minus is likely to improve slightly. His recent production is more characteristic of Staal, who can be expected to finish the season around a point per game pace. Get him while you can afford him.
Looking at Kris Letang's five points, most would assume that he has only played five games this season, and missed the rest due to concussions. Surprisingly, this isn't the case for the Penguins' blueliner. Although Letang has missed about 10 games to injury, he still only has four goals and an assist in 16 games.
The Penguins were struggling offensively for a brief period, but seem to have righted the ship in the past week. Letang, when healthy, operates as the quarterback on the powerplay. He racks up assists and powerplay points as good as any defenseman in the league. It's only a matter of time before he finds his game again. Grab him now.
Fact: Patrick Marleau loves the fall. The leaves are changing, and temperature cools, and he scores a LOT of goals. with 23 points in 23 games this season, it may seem like he's exactly the kind of guy you want on your team for the long haul, so of course I have depressing news.
Marleau comes out of the gate hot.
October 2008: 10 points in 11 games
October 2009: 19 points in 14 games
October 2010: 11 points in 9 games
October-November 2011: 20 points in 21 games, January (lockout) 2012: 14 points in 7 games.
Since 2008, Marleau has finished at a point-per-game pace just once. Do you see a pattern? He's a good player, but don't mistake his hot start for anything that it's not.
Let's start with some facts about Perron.
1. He's 25 years old.
2. He has eight goals in 21 games this season.
3. He scored 10 goals in 48 games last season.
4. In the 2010 and 2011 seasons, Perron played 67 games.
What does this all mean? Basically it means that Perron's current pace won't continue. He's a fantastic player, and he's still young enough that this new David Perron could be an emerging superstar, but past concussion problems means he's a risk. Now is a good time to trade him for a player who has a track record of 82 game seasons.
Scoring goals in the NHL is a numbers game. You play a full season, you take a lot of shots, you generate opportunities, you get rebounds, the puck goes in. Don't believe me? I didn't expect you to. The last five Rocket Richard winners?
2013: Ovechkin - 48 games- 32 goals - 220 shots - 14.5%
2012: Stamkos - 82 games - 60 goals - 303 shots - 19.8%
2011: Perry - 82 games - 50 goals - 290 shots - 17.2%
2010: Crosby - 81 games - 51 goals - 298 shots - 17.1%
And now for the problems with Steen.
Steen currently sits in second in the scoring race with 19 goals in 23 games. His 19 goals have come on just 75 shots, putting his shooting percentage at 25.3%. Scoring is tough enough as it is, and if Steen hits a cold streak, he won't even be shooting enough to get the lucky goals to hold him over.
In nine seasons in the NHL, Steen has played all 82 games just once (2006-07) and the closest he has come since was 72 games in 2010-11. A history of concussions has sidelined Steen numerous times. Steen hasn't missed a game yet this season, and history tells us time off for injury is somewhere on Steen's horizon.
Fantasy playoff chills killed Steen owners last season. In April of 2013, Steen had just two goals in 15 games, and a total of six points.
I know this was a really long explanation, but I'm pulling out all the stops trying to save your fantasy dreams. There's a lot of talent out there, and you could get almost anyone for Steen in a trade right now.