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Crashing the Net: Rookie Contributors

Ray Flowers

Ray Flowers

The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: M-F at 5-8 PM EDT), Ray Flowers has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. You can follow Ray on Twitter (@BaseballGuys), he never sleeps, and you can also find more of his musings at BaseballGuys.com.

Trade Deadline

Shocked that Rick Nash, Ryan Smith and Evgeni Nabokov weren't moved? I am a little bit as well. If you're looking for a review of Monday's trade deadline click on the link to Deadline Day Lack of Surprises.

Forward Focus

Taylor Hall had 22 goals, 42 points and 186 shots in 65 games as a rookie. This season the Oilers' forward has 23 goals, 48 points and 180 shots in 52 games. He's been hot of late with three goals and six points in his last four games.

Alex Burmistrov has middling totals for the year, 13 goals and 12 assists, but he's picked up the pace of late for the Jets. In his last nine games he's scored three times while dishing off three assists. That's a moderate level of production that might help out some in deep leagues.

Matt Cooke, yes that Matt Cooke, has been an offensive force of late. Cook has four points in three games and seven points in five contests. He won't keep it up, but it's interesting to note that his recent hot streak has him up to 12 goals and 15 helpers. Each of his previous three seasons with the Penguins he's had between 12 and 15 goals and 15 to 18 assists. At least he is consistent.

Steve Downie was recently dealt to the Avalanche, and he loves his new squad. In four games with the Av's Downie has only two penalty minutes, this after 121 in 55 games in Tampa. However, Steve is a +7 which in and of itself would be enough to lead to positive value in the fantasy game. He's scored two goals as well. This is getting good isn't it? He's also handed out five assists. That's right, he's been a fantasy star in his new sweater.

Carl Hagelin is a point producing machine. Well that might be overstating things slightly, but he is producing points for the Rangers. In each of his last two games he has a goal an assist, and over his last 12 games he's given the Blue Shirts nine points and a +4 rating.

Gabriel Landeskog is going to be an elite player for years. The rookie from the Av's does everything well. He hits, takes shots on net, plays solid defense and is extremely well-rounded for such a young player. He's added point producer to the mix of late as he's posted a point in 6-straight games (5g, 5a).

Ryan O'Reilly is up to 50 points this season, not bad for a guy who produced a total of 52 points in his first two seasons. The Avalanche center has been killing it in the month of February with 13 points in his last 11 games.

Mikael Samuelsson dished out two helpers in his last contest, and he's racked up four points in his last three games. He's also been firing the puck on net with 15 shots in those three contests. Samuelsson is up to 17 points in 28 injury filled games with the Canucks and Panthers, and he is just two years removed from a 30-goal effort with the Canucks.

The ever injured Steve Sullivan is healthy, and not surprisingly, he's racking up points for the Pens. Steve has produced eight points in his last five games with at least a point in each contest. He has only one goal during the stretch, but why quibble with his success?

Why didn't the Capitals trade Mike Knuble? I know he hasn't been producing, but what's the point in keeping him around if they are just going to seat him in the press box game after game? Knuble is schedule to be a healthy scratch for the sixth time in 10 games Tuesday.

Blue Line Business

Dustin Byfuglien isn't going to match his total of 20 goals from last season, he has just 10 this year, but he does have a shot to better his point total. Dustin has 53 points last season and he currently is sitting, or standing (I don't know what position he is in as I write this), with 42 points in 49 games. Dustin has points in 7-straight games and just once in that time has he failed to record exactly two points. For those of you that are math-challenged that equates to 13 points in his last seven contests.

Erik Karlsson is out of control. Up to 65 points in 63 games, Karlsson has an amazing 17 points in his last seven games – from the blue line mind you. Erik has scored seven goals in those seven games, and during his 7-game point streak only once has he failed to record at least two points. It's been a remarkable run for the man we can now call the best offensive defensemen in hockey.

Duncan Keith had 14 goals and 69 points in 2009. Last year he had seven goals and 45 points. This year he has four goals and 34 points. That's not a trend anyone wants to see.

Tyler Myers is finally showing some of that old flair on the offensive side of the ice. Myers has points in four of six games and seven of 11 games for the Sabres (he has seven points in those games). Myers is also a rather impressive +7 for the month. Oddly though Myers wilts on Saturday's as he is a (-10) skater on that day of the week.

Jared Spurgeon has 22 points, including 12 on the power-play, in his second season with the Wild. The undersized defender, who barely stands 5'9", has points in each of his last four contests – one point in each game with three of those four points coming with the man-advantage.

Crease Cops

Jaroslav Halak has a 1.93 GAA through 35 games for the Blues. Halak has won each of his last three starts, an over his last five games he's allowed a total of seven goals. Impressive, indeed.

For Miikka Kiprusoff the beat keeps marching on. With 27 victories he is three wins short of his 7th straight 30-win season. He's won 35 games in each of the past six years so he's got a ways to go to get to that level.

Henrik Lundqvist might finally get his due this season as the best keeper in the league. His GAA of 1.75 is phenomenal, he's allowed two or fewer goals in each of his last 12 outings, and his save percentage of .940 would set an all-time single season record. He's possibly the best keeper on the planet right now.

Semyon Varlamov is all of a sudden taking over in net for the Avalanche. Not only has he won his last three outings, allowing just two goals mind you, he's allowed one or zero goals in five of his last six outings. J-S Giguere has better numbers, his GAA is 2.16 compared to the 2.78 mark of Varlamov, but the youngster is seeing the puck pretty well right now.

Ray Flowers can be heard daily on Sirius/XM Radio on The Fantasy Drive on Sirius 210 and XM 87, and Saturday's from 3-4 PM he hosts the SiriusXM Fantasy Hockey Show. His NHL thoughts can be read at RotoWire.com. Ray's baseball analysis can be found at BaseballGuys.com and his minute to minute musings can be located at the BaseballGuys' Twitter account.To email Ray a question for next week's piece, drop him a line at fantasyfandom@yahoo.com.

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