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NHL Barometer: Franzen is Motorin'

Jan Levine

Levine covers baseball, basketball and hockey for RotoWire. In addition to his column writing, he's the master of the MLB and NHL cheatsheets. In his spare time, he roots for the Mets.

This week's article includes the Mule rolling, you gotta Look Sharp in Chicago, another new No. 1 in L.A. with Quick out and the King playing like a pawn on Broadway.

First Liners (Risers)

Johan Franzen, C, DET -
Franzen assisted on both goals for Detroit in their 3-2 shootout loss to Florida on Tuesday. Franzen has been on an absolute tear over the last month, scoring at least a point in 11 of his last 14 games. He has seven goals and 10 assists in that span and is a must-start at this point, especially given all the injuries in Hockeytown.

Mike Richards, C, LA -
Richards grabbed a pair of assists and went plus-3 in LA's 6-0 rout of the Canadiens on Tuesday. He's been very productive for fantasy owners over his last four games, collecting five assists and a plus-6 rating. Richards is shaping up to make a run at 60 points this year for the first time since 2010-11 with the Flyers.

Andrew Cogliano, RW, ANA -
Corey Perry, Teemu Selanne and Dustin Penner rightly get all the publicity in Anaheim, but the Cogliano is making a name for himself after moving from center to wing. Cogliano notched an assist Wednesday, answering his recent three-game drought with a three-game point streak. Cogliano has seven points in his last eight games, giving up 17 in 34 games on the year.

Patrick Sharp, RW, CHI -
Sharp potted a goal and added two assists in Chicago's easy 7-2 victory over the Flyers on Wednesday. Sharp now has compiled eight points over his last three games with the Blackhawks' attack continuing to click along. With 32 points in 34 games on the season, he appears poised to make a run at surpassing his previous season best of 71 points, set in 2010-11.

Jaromir Jagr, RW, NJD -
Jagr picked up two helpers in the Devils' OT win over the Rangers on Saturday and then added an assist Sunday. He leads the Devils with 25 points in 32 games and has shown no real signs of slowing. Jagr looks to be getting better as he ages, using his big lower body to create room and opportunities for both himself and his teammates.

Andrej Sekera, D, CAR
Sekera grabbed a pair of assists and was plus-1 in Carolina's overtime loss to Edmonton on Tuesday. The heretofore unexciting 27-year-old defenseman has been red-hot over his last nine games, collecting three goals and seven assists in that span. It's hard to expect him to maintain any such rate, but he's seeing major minutes for the 'Canes and looks like he could quite reasonably make a run at 40 points. His career high is just 29.

Jason Garrison, D, VAN
Garrison extended his point streak to four games Sunday, assisting on a Mike Santorelli goal in a Vancouver win over Colorado. Despite being shut out Monday, Garrison still has a whopping 10 points over his past nine games rebounding from his slump following his red-hot start to the year. There may not be a hotter defenseman in the league. He has also put 15 shots on goal over his past four games and has been seeing over 21 minutes of ice time per game.

Jonas Hiller, G, ANA
Hiller stopped 23 of the 24 shots he faced Wednesday against the Wild to pick up the victory. With the solid start, Hiller backstopped the Ducks to another home victory, and appears to be rounding into form. He's won three straight games, and hasn't posted a save percentage lower than .914 in his last five starts. Frederik Andersen still looms and Viktor Fasth will return around the turn of the calendar to next year, but for now. Hiller is the No. 1 in Anaheim.

Martin Jones, G, LA -
Jones stopped 38 of 39 shots to push his record to 4-0-0 in the Kings' win over the Leafs on Wednesday. A power-play goal by the Leafs in the second period would snap Jones' scoreless streak at an impressive 177 minutes, 16 seconds, as the young netminder had provided shutouts in each of his previous two turns. With Jones playing sensationally since arriving in Los Angeles, he'll assume the top spot on the depth chart for now even though Ben Scrivens had been spectacular in his own right in place of the injured Jonathan Quick.

Others include Nick Bjugstad (sticking with Panthers), Claude Giroux (six goals, 10 assists last 17 games), Ryan Strome (call up on the Island), Andrew Shaw (10th of year Wednesday, third-line center but 20 points in 32 games), Ryan Garbutt (surprising production in Big D), Ryan Johansen (no signs of cooling), Antoine Vermette (sneaky production in the Desert), Tomas Plekanec (seven points last seven games), Patrick Kane (rolling in Chicago), T.J. Oshie (top-line production), Nick Foligno (another productive Blue Jacket), Taylor Hall (rolling), Alexander Ovechkin (remember when we questioned if he could still score?), Patrik Elias (like Jagr, no signs of slowing), Jiri Hudler (run in Calgary continues), Jakub Voracek (three-game point streak, of course, I just reserved him to start the week in my home league), Nikita Kucherov (goals in last two), Antoine Roussel (seven points last seven games heading into Thursday's contest), Chris Higgins (thriving in Torts' system), Reilly Smith (21 points already), Tyler Ennis (three goals last four games, playing with Zemgus Girgensons), Brent Seabrook (already with 22 points), Roman Josi (scores first of the season), Eric Gelinas (solid on PP in NJ), Cam Fowler (hot in Anaheim), Steven Oleksy (recent hot streak for the Capitals), Jared Spurgeon (four points last five games), T.J. Brodie (having solid campaign for the Flames), Roman Polak (on pace to match career-high in points and exceed his best plus/minus), Duncan Keith (still racking up points), Antti Raanta (starting with Corey Crawford out), Jonas Gustavsson (seeing more starts due to hot play and Jimmy Howard injury), Michael McKenna (last man standing in Columbus wit Sergei Bobrovsky and Curtis McElhinney injured), Ben Bishop (back on the beam) and Eddie Lack (recent play warrants more playing time).

Training Room (Injuries)

Stephen Weiss, C, DET -
Weiss was placed on injured reserve Thursday due to his groin injury. Weiss, already suffering through a nightmarish campaign in his first season in Detroit, is out indefinitely due to the injury. An official timetable for his return won't be known until he starts skating again.

Ryan Callahan, RW, NYR -
Callahan will miss the next 4-to-6 weeks with a Grade 2 MCL strain to his left knee. Callahan's style of play costs him games during a season, and for the second time in four campaigns, he will miss a decent chunk of the season. Captain Cally is a UFA after the year and one has to wonder if his injury history will cost him $ in free agency.

Alexander Semin, LW, CAR -
Semin, who missed 12 games with a concussion, was activated off injured reserve and was in the lineup Thursday. Having another sniper back, despite Semin's middling to the start to the year, can only benefit the Canes. He likely will play on the second line centered by Jordan Staal.

Jakob Silfverberg, LW, ANA -
Silfverberg, out with a broken right hand since Oct. 26, will be reevaluated by doctors Friday. He said he's at the point where he just needs to regain the strength in his hand, so as long as the doctors are satisfied with his healing, Silverberg should be nearing a return. He has scored seven points in 11 games before being sidelined and likely will slide back onto the third line when he is activated.

Jimmy Howard, G, DET -
Howard will undergo an MRI on his injured knee Friday morning. Howard injured his knee at the end of Wednesday's practice, and though he said he doesn't think it's serious, he was ruled out for Thursday's game and hinted that he could be out a week or two. Expect an update on Howard's status when the results of his MRI become available. Jonas Gustavsson got the start in his place Thursday night.

Others include Henrik Zetterberg (herniated disc, placed on LTIR), Vincent Lecavalier (back, out 3-4 weeks), Tyler Bozak (UBI, LTIR), Cody Hodgson (LBI, sat Thursday's game), Derick Brassard (sore backside, sat Thursday, production waning), Curtis Glencross (MCL strain, returned to action Thursday), Shane Doan (illness, out for foreseeable future), Ryane Clowe (concussion, may play next week), Victor Hedman (LBI, out at least another week), Zach Bogosian (groin, weeks away), Danny DeKeyser (shoulder, nearing a return), Francois Beauchemin (UBI, expected to play Sunday), Corey Crawford (LBI, out three more weeks), Tim Thomas (left Thursday's practice with an undisclosed injury) and Evgeni Nabokov (groin, activated off IR on Thursday).

Fourth Liners/Press Boxers (Fallers)

Paul Stastny, C, COL
Stastny went scoreless in Colorado's 4-3 shootout loss to Winnipeg on Thursday. That effort with no points again means that Stastny has not tallied a point in eight straight, including the last six after he returned from missing two games with back spasms. He now has 17 points in 27 games and is seeing third line minutes for the Avalanche. A free agent after the year, it's looking more and more doubtful he will return to Colorado.

Dany Heatley, RW, MIN -
Heatley was moved to the fourth line from the second line in Minnesota's loss to Anaheim on Wednesday. He had just 9:43 of ice time in the contest. Heatley had a resurgence with three goals in six games, but he's been scoreless the past three games and looks back into the coach's doghouse. He had 21 points in 36 games last year, in what was a disappointing season; he only has 10 in 36 this year.

Sami Salo, D, TB
Salo picked up an assist Tuesday against Washington. It was his first point in 21 games, giving him six for the year. He's chewing up big minutes, but it appears as though his best fantasy days are well behind him. Salo will deliver you about a hit and a block per game, but that's about it.

Henrik Lundqvist, G, NYR
From outhouse earlier in the year to the penthouse a few weeks ago and now back to the outhouse. Lundqvist was pulled in the first period of the Rangers' 4-2 loss to the Blue Jackets on Thursday after surrendering a trio of first-period goals. He is getting beat up high once again, and then when he overcompensates for his shaky glove hand, he allows goals low to that same side. Lundqvist is struggling badly right now, having allowed 14 goals in his last four games, with a 0-3-1 record over that stretch. He'll get back on track at some point, though his fantasy upside may be limited on a disappointing Rangers team.

Others include Adam Henrique (one goal since Nov. 7), Derek Stepan (numbers are OK but impact on game has been minimal), Alex Killorn (one assists last 10 games), Pierre-Marc Bouchard (placed on and cleared waivers), Josh Bailey (zero points since Nov. 22), Martin Havlat (a shell of his former self), Sven Baertschi (sent down to AHL), Seth Jones (skated just 9:29 Tuesday and 11:00 minutes Thursday), Tobias Enstrom (rough patch continues), Marek Mazanec (run as starter looks to be over), Niklas Backstrom (lost fourth in a row despite playing well again Thursday), Ben Scrivens (lost hold of top spot in L.A.) and Jonathan Bernier/James Reimer (both Toronto goalies scuffling).