Josh Bailey has 31 points this season. Whoppie. Have you noticed what he's done of late though? In addition to that massive five-point outing against the Penguins on March 29th, Bailey has recorded a point in six of eight games leading to three goals and nine assists. Who knew? Teammate Frans Nielsen also has points in five of six games (3g, 5a).
Rick Nash has suddenly remembered that he is an elite NHL player as Nash has recorded a point in 5-straight games (2g, 6a). He's also been firing the puck on net any chance he gets leading to an average of 4.8 shots on goal over the past five contests.
Alexander Semin reached 20-goals Monday night giving him 6-straight years at that level. Unfortunately, with only 52 points in 75 games he's on pace for his worst point total in a season of at least 70-games (73 points and 84 points the other two times he hit 70-games). At least he's come on strong down the stretch with two goals and six assists in his last seven games.
Jason Spezza missed some time to be with his wife for the birth of their child (OK, we'll forgive you for missing a game Jason). Pretty darn quietly Spezza has posted 82 points, the fourth best mark in the NHL. That's right, fourth best. Spezza has reached the 50-assist level for the fourth time in his career, and his total of 32 goals is only two behind his career best mark of 34 (twice in 2006 and 2007). Often decried for his perceived flaws, Spezza has racked up 614 points in 603 career games.
Steven Stamkos has 58 goals this season, two off the magic total of 60. He has been guns a blazin' since the All-Star break lighting the lamp, get this, 26 times in 31 games. Teammate Martin St. Louis has 24 goals in 74 games this season.
Kyle Turris is kicking things into overdrive as the season winds down. He's got only 28 points on the year, but he's recorded at least two points in three of his last four games highlighted by his four point effort on April Fool's Day. The breakdown: four goals, four assists, +5, 14 shots on net in four games.
R.J. Umberger is a secondary scorer that you fill out your roster within the reserve rounds, and in each of the previous three seasons he scored at least 23 times leading to an average of 53 points. Doesn't look like he will get to either mark this season as he has 19 goals and just 38 points. However, astute fantasy owners will have noticed that hes scored five goals in his last three games and has lit the lamp an otherworldly eight times in his last six contests.
Ray Whitney will be 40 years old on May 8th. That hasn't stopped him from posting 75 points, the third best mark of his career (83 points in 2006 was his career best). Told his whole life he was too small, Whitney almost quit when he parted ways with the Sharks in 1997. Luckily for all of us he didn't. With those 75 points he just surpassed the 1,000 point total for his career (1,001 points). Amazing.
Blue Line Business
Zdeno Chara has points in his last five games (1g, 7a). With the run of offense he's pushed his season total up to 52 points, a career best. He's also tied his career best with a +33 mark and he's gone over 80 penalty minutes, he has 82, for the 11th straight season.
Michael Del Zotto has 41 points on the year including five in his last three games. Somehow he's still been a (-1) skater in those three games. Perhaps it's because he's recorded three of his points with the man advantage.
Victor Hedman has yet to consistently show an offensive game for the Bolts, but he's been flashing the skills that led to him being taken second overall in 2009 of late. Hedman has points in each of his last four games (1g, 4a) leading to one fifth of his season long production (he has only 21 points on the year).
Willie Mitchell has 20 points and 96 shots on goal for the season, not a shock given the type of game that he plays. However, he's been somewhat offensively minded of late with two points in four games, but more impressively for a guy like Mitchell he's fired 16 shots on net over his last eight games for the Kings.
Nikita Nikitin has a really cool looking name, and lately he's had a pretty impressive fantasy game as well. Nikitin has two goals and six assists in his last six games for the Blue Jackets. Production like that is might impressive from a guy who had all of six goals and 26 assists in his first 93 NHL games.
Marc-Andre Fleury has 41 victories on the year, the most in the Eastern Conference (it's one behind the total of Pekka Rinne). However, MAF has been bombed of late allowing at least four goals in each of his last three outings for a total of 14 goals. His GAA of 2.37 is still only 0.04 behind his career best mark, but it would be nice to see him have a solid outing before the playoffs begin.
Kari Lehtonen is the only goalie in the NHL with at least 200-saves over the past two weeks (he has 206). Take a look at the names in the top-4: Lehtonen, Roloson (more below on him), Antti Niemi and Devan Dubnyk. Yeah, we're winding things down for the season.
Jonathan Quick picked up his 10th shutout of the season Monday night. That's one more than Brian Elliott of the Blues. Quick is also second in the league with a 1.89 GAA and his save percentage is superb at .931. He's also racked up 35 wins, but it's inexcusable that he also has 32 loses. Great job offensively Kings.
What the heck happened to Dwayne Roloson? After spending most of the year looking like an immovable object in net that could be beaten anytime someone could pick a corner, he's actually played fairly well of late winning four of his last six decisions. Still, the last time that he allowed a goal or less in a game in which he played from start to finish was November 17th. Wow is right.
Ben Scrivens is the man to own in net for the Leafs the final week of the year. Jonas Gustavsson (knee) is able to serve as the backup, but James Reimer continues to be dogged by a head issue. Scrivens has performed decently well when called on allowing three or fewer goals in each of his last six starts.
Ray Flowers can be heard daily on Sirius/XM Radio on The Fantasy Drive on Sirius 210 and XM 87, and Saturday's from 4-5 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.