Fire On Ice

03/09/2010 10:31 AM -  Evan Reynar

 

Chris Stewart was named the NHL's First Star last week.

Chris Stewart was named the NHL's First Star last week.

Chris Stewart, RW, COL (60GP-24g-27a-51pts, with a +13 and 57 PIMs)

Matt Duchene, C, COL (65GP-21g-24a-45pts, with a (+1) and 17 pp points)

The Avalanche have continued to keep up their strong play through three quarters of the season now thanks to the continued strong play of their youngsters. Stewart remains one of the most slept-on forwards in fantasy hockey producing exceptional numbers across the board. He has five multi-point efforts in his last eight games, while posting an outstanding 15 points (7g-8a) over that span. Stewart posted a hat trick in his last game against St. Louis, who had won five in a row coming in to Denver on Saturday night. Duchene hasn’t been quite that hot, but still fantasy worthy. His point totals have been fairly consistent throughout the season, but it’s his defensive play that has stepped up of late, with a +13 over the last two months getting him back on the plus side of things. In your deeper leagues you may also want to take a look at T. J. Galiardi. His steadily improving play has seen his average ice-time skyrocket to over 20 minutes a game for the past two months along with increased point totals (7g-8a since mid-January). Also, keep an eye on the newly-acquired Peter Mueller, who has now notched a point (1g-3a) in all three games he’s played with the Avs.

Brandon Sutter, C, CAR (56GP-17g-16a-33pts, with a +2 and 9 pp points)

And here’s yet another youngster making things happen. Sutter, the Canes’ 11th overall pick in 2007, continues his breakout campaign after a slight January slump. Carolina in now 12-3-0 in their last 15 games thanks in large part to Sutter’s secondary contributions. He has 13 points (5g-8a) over that stretch and a current point streak of 6 games. His value does take a hit in PIM leagues though with just one minor penalty over the entire season!

Manny Legace, G, CAR (19GP 9W-5L-2OTL, with a 2.65 GAA and .909 SV%)

The most incredible thing about the Canes’ recent run: they’ve been doing it without starter Cam Ward. Just like last year, Carolina is putting together an incredible second half. With Ward ailing, it’s Legace who stands to benefit, and he is still highly slept on in most leagues by owners looking at the Canes’ placement in the standings. Legace has allowed just eight goals over his last five starts, winning all five. Take note though; prospect Justin Peters has stolen a few starts from Legace and performed very well himself, posting a 3-1-0 record with a 1.77 GAA and .943 SV%. He may be a solid insurance pick if you have the room.

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