Fantasy Puck: Best After The Break Talent Blog
1/27/2009 2:17:52 PM
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Strong second-half performers and e-mail interest in Bobby Ryan and Ryan Whitney.

Scott, Now that the all-star break is come and gone, who are some of the traditional slow-starting, post-all-star breakout players that might be on a league's waiver wire right now?  Traditional favourites like Shane Doan and Scott Gomez are no longer slow starters, so I've been scratching my head a bit. - Kyle Murray, Victoria, BC

Kyle, You can add Patrik Elias to Doan and Gomez as guys who have a track record of finishing stronger than they start the season.  Here are the notables that, over the course of their careers, have improved their scoring by better than .15 points per game after the All-Star break:

Jonathan Cheechoo, RW, San Jose
Pre-All-Star (career): 0.60 ppg
Post-All-Star (career): 0.84 ppg

Ryan Whitney, D, Pittsburgh
Pre-All-Star (career): 0.51 ppg
Post-All-Star (career): 0.75 ppg

Paul Stastny, C, Colorado
Pre-All-Star (career): 0.92 ppg
Post-All-Star (career): 1.13 ppg

Ryan Malone, LW, Tampa Bay
Pre-All-Star (career): 0.50 ppg
Post-All-Star (career): 0.71 ppg

Tuomo Ruutu, LW, Carolina
Pre-All-Star (career): 0.44 ppg
Post-All-Star (career): 0.65 ppg

Jussi Jokinen, LW, Tampa Bay
Pre-All-Star (career): 0.51 ppg
Post-All-Star (career): 0.71 ppg

Scottie Upshall, LW, Philadelphia
Pre-All-Star (career): 0.38 ppg
Post-All-Star (career): 0.58 ppg

Jochen Hecht, C, Buffalo
Pre-All-Star (career): 0.55 ppg
Post-All-Star (career): 0.74 ppg

Jeff Halpern, C, Tampa Bay
Pre-All-Star (career): 0.41 ppg
Post-All-Star (career): 0.60 ppg

Robert Nilsson, LW, Edmonton
Pre-All-Star (career): 0.39 ppg
Post-All-Star (career): 0.58 ppg

Colby Armstrong, RW, Atlanta
Pre-All-Star (career): 0.46 ppg
Post-All-Star (career): 0.64 ppg

Patrick O'Sullivan, LW, Los Angeles
Pre-All-Star (career): 0.51 ppg
Post-All-Star (career): 0.68 ppg

Teemu Selanne, RW, Anaheim
Pre-All-Star (career): 1.02 ppg
Post-All-Star (career): 1.17 ppg

Pavel Datsyuk, C, Detroit
Pre-All-Star (career): 0.93 ppg
Post-All-Star (career): 1.08 ppg

Brad Richards, C, Dallas
Pre-All-Star (career): 0.84 ppg
Post-All-Star (career): 0.99 ppg

Christopher Higgins, LW, Montreal
Pre-All-Star (career): 0.50 ppg
Post-All-Star (career): 0.65 ppg

Additionally, here are the goaltenders that have historically been stronger after the All-Star break:

Jean Sebastien Giguere, G, Anaheim
Pre-All-Star (career): 2.58 GAA, .911 SVPCT
Post-All-Star (career): 2.28 GAA, .922 SVPCT

Henrik Lundqvist, G, New York Rangers
Pre-All-Star (career): 2.42 GAA, .913 SVPCT
Post-All-Star (career): 2.08 GAA, .923 SVPCT

Ilya Bryzgalov, G, Phoenix
Pre-All-Star (career): 2.59 GAA, .911 SVPCT
Post-All-Star (career): 2.37 GAA, .922 SVPCT

Niklas Backstrom, G, Minnesota
Pre-All-Star (career): 2.32 GAA, .922 SVPCT
Post-All-Star (career): 1.98 GAA, .928 SVPCT

Marc-Andre Fleury, G, Pittsburgh
Pre-All-Star (career): 3.07 GAA, .903 SVPCT
Post-All-Star (career): 2.59 GAA, .912 SVPCT

I make no specific recommendations on these players, but if you are on the fence about picking up or trading for any of them, you can use this information as you wish. - SC

Hey Scott, My question concerns what to do with Bobby Ryan. When Selanne went down I picked up Bobby Ryan to fill the void. Great pick-up but now with Selanne set to make a return, what will this mean for Bobby? I assume Selanne will be back at his normal position of PP specialist. I'd like to use bobby Ryan as trade bait to address my lack of PIMs.  This leads into my next question, who will be a second half performer in the penally mins category? From a  D-man's perspective would Steve Montador be a good pick up? - Joey

Joey, Selanne's return should cut into Ryan's power play production, unless Ryan takes some time away from Corey Perry, which could very well happen.  I would hope you could get more than just a one-dimensional penalty minute contributor in exchange for Ryan, but some guys who might be good bets in the PIM category for the second half would be: Montador (the solid plus-minus helps, too) would be a good pick up on the blueline while Milan Lucic, David Backes, David Clarkson, Evgeny Artyukhin and possibly Matt Cooke would be decent choices up front.  If you want to go for pure penalty minutes, and not much else, then Atlanta defenceman Boris Valabik is an option as well. - SC

Hey Scott, I'm having some difficulty for what to do when Teemu Selanne returns. Like most people, I picked up Bobby Ryan as soon as Selanne went on the IR. Should I keep them both or try to trade one of them? I've read that when Selanne returns, Ryan will be pushed back to the second PP unit. Even though he was playing well before Selanne got injured, he only had 1 PP point before being moved to the top line. However, I've also heard that Ryan may soon be eligible for LW, which is actually the position where I could use a boost. If that were to happen then I could keep them both. Just wondering what are your thoughts on those two issues. Thanks, Jazib

Jazib, If Ryan gets LW eligibility (he should, but we all know that's an inexact science with those that provide fantasy games), then that would resolve your issue, but in the meantime, Selanne is going to be a safer play, at least until you see the impact on Ryan's power play time. - SC

Hi Scott, I am currently in a 10 Team – Head-to-Head Keeper League.  There are 10 categories with 4 being for goalies.  I have recently been offered Drew Doughty and an unnamed player for Carey Price.  I am currently well out of a playoff spot and so is the team that is offering Doughty.   So therefore I am looking towards next season.  My other goalies are Huet and Raycroft, which means I would probably want one of his goalies in return as well.  This league also has a prospect draft at the end of the season.  Perhaps I could try and get a 1RDP as well. - Thanks, Scott Schlegel, Guelph, ON

Scott, As much as I think Doughty is promising, you would have to get a really good "unnamed player" to make that trade equitable.  There are only so many goaltenders that can be considered safe bets for fantasy purposes and, in a keeper league especially, Price is one of them.  Even if Doughty becomes a productive offensive defenceman as soon as next season, and it could take longer than that, it's still not likely that he'll be as impactful as Price would be in a league that covers four goaltending categories. - SC

Scott, I have one roster spot open for a defenceman.  I need help in PIM or Shorthanded goals or points. I know it is unlikey to get shorthanded help off the waiver wire so I am looking for PIMS. I cannot decide between Shane O'Brien or Steve Montador. Another intruiging option sitting out there is  Ed Jovanovski if he were to get traded to a better team he could be a fantasy stud!! What do you think? - Mike from Freezing Minnesota

Mike, If Jovo is still on your waiver wire, go get him.  After a terrible start to the season, he has 16 points and 25 penalty minutes (with a plus-3) in the last 25 games.   O'Brien, Montador and Valabik (as mentioned above) are good for PIMs, but some sleepers in the mix might be Mike Komisarek and Craig Rivet, who have both missed time with injuries. - SC

Hi Scott. I'm in a points-only situation and have the opportunity to upgrade my defence.  The options are Ryan whitney, Ron Hainsey, Jay Bouwmeester or Kyle Quincey. Does Whitney have his groove back? Thanks, Joshua Gray

Joshua, I'd be tempted to take Whitney, who is starting to play better (1-4-5, minus-2 in last 8 GP) after a slow start when he came off the injured list, but Bouwmeester probably is the safest way to go.  He's producing well for the Panthers and, if he does happen to get traded before the deadline, he should go to a team that will provide more offensive support. - SC

Hi Scott, So my waiver wire pickups have treated me extremely well thus far (Derek Roy, Dustin Brown, Steve Mason) but I recently picked up Ryan Whitney and I haven't been impressed with his production. My question is do you think he'll pick it up in the second half of the season? If not, do you think he has any trade value? Or should I drop him and pick up someone else off the waiver wire (for example, Byfuglien, Jovanovski, Zidlicky, Robidas, Tyutin)? Thanks for your help. - Cheers, Matt

Matt, Given that Whitney has started to produce a little more lately and the fact that he is one of the better post-All-Star performers on the list above, I'd hang onto him, but if Jovo or Zidlicky are available, they are both productive blueliners so you likely wouldn't be missing much by adding them. - SC

Hi Scott,  I'm in a keeper league and have the "fortunate" gift of having Marian Gaborik on my roster, now I've held on to him for this long, and it seems he will not attract heavy trade bait still he starts performing again, should I hold him,wait until he's healthy, productive, or trade for some promising healthy player now? thank you, -Matt

Matt, I suppose your decision will be made for you by the quality of the offers you get for him.  If you deal Gaborik now, you're dealing him at about his lowest possible value, so unless someone blows you away with an offer, it's probably just better to sit on him and wait to see how the season finishes.  If he gets back into the lineup before the year is done and performs well, you will have a much more valuable commodity to trade -- and, to be sure, I would trade him.  There are just too many issues with a guy who is hurt that often. - SC

Scott, I'm currently in a keeper league with a variety of young and veteran players.  My problem is in goal. All my goalies are old and on their decline of their careers. I was wondering other than Steve Mason, who are upcoming young goalies that have the potential of capturing the starting job next season. My second question, is what is going on in Los Angeles in goal. Will Jonathan Bernier ever play or will they now be relying on Jonathan Quick? Thanks, Chris

Chris, Until Bernier proves he's up to the task in the AHL, Quick is going to be ahead of him on the Kings' depth chart.  What Quick does with the opportunity will determine how anxious the Kings are to get to their goaltender of the future.  Some guys in the AHL that might be ready to compete for a starting job next year include Ondrej Pavelec (Atlanta), Semen Varlamov (Washington) and Tuukka Rask (Boston), but also keep an eye on Red Wings prospect Daniel Larsson, who is sharting time in Grand Rapids with Jimmy Howard, but is putting up great numbers (2.35 GAA, .924 SVPCT).  Of course, Leafs prospect Justin Pogge is going to get a chance to play in the NHL this season, but his play thus far in the AHL doesn't inspire a lot of confidence.   - SC

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