Fire on Ice

10/17/2010 3:30 PM -  Evan Reynar

Drew Stafford

Drew Stafford, RW, BUF (6GP-2g-3a-5pts, with a +3 and 4 PIMs)

Stafford has been on the verge of fantasy relevance for a couple of seasons now but his inability to breakthrough with any type of significant power-play time has stunted his value – until now. With top right wing Jason Pominville currently nursing a concussion he received from a nasty blindside hit by Chicago’s Niklas Hjalmarsson, expect Stafford to continue to produce with top-line minutes. Continue to monitor Stafford once Pominville returns. Hopefully he can turn this early season success into momentum for a breakthrough campaign.

Clarke MacArthur, LW, TOR (4GP-5g-1a-6pts, with a +2 and 4 PIMs)

There isn’t a whole lot of reason to believe MacArthur can even come close to maintaining the pace he’s set early on this season, but there’s nothing wrong with riding a hot hand. MacArthur has scored at least once in every game for the Leafs so far, which means he should continue to be highlighted by the Leafs until he slows down. He’s never posted more than 31 points in a season before but he is reaching the age (25) where his peak years should begin.

Josh Bailey, C, NYI (5GP-3g-4a-7pts, with a +2 and 4 pp points)

The early-season concussion to John Tavares on the island could be just the catalyst former first-round pick Josh Bailey needed to jump start a possible breakthrough season. Centering the top line, Bailey has been one of the most impressive players in the league through the first two weeks, and he should continue to play a large part with Tavares’ recent return. I still think he’s a year away from his “true” breakout season but 50 to 60 points shouldn’t be out of the question, especially if the Islanders continue the strong team play they have in the early going.

Brett Clark, D, TB (4GP-1g-2a-3pts, with a +1 and 2 pp points)

You may remember Clark when he posted back-to-back seasons in the 35 to 40 point range for the Avalanche a while back. That production was heavily reliant on him finding power-play minutes which it appears he has once again accomplished in Tampa. If Clark can stay on the ice for those man-advantages, a career season could be in order with a Tampa squad that should boast one of the deadlier power-plays in the league.

Brent Johnson, G, PIT (3GP-3W-0L-0OTL, with a 1.32 GAA and .952 SV%)

You could hear the collective cringe of a thousand Marc-Andre Fleury owners Saturday night as Johnson got the nod for the third time in the last four games for Pittsburgh. Johnson has now posted three straight solid efforts, all resulting in wins for the team, while Fleury has found the loss column in all three of his starts. The fact that Johnson started two straight nights on Friday and Saturday shows Pens’ coach Dan Bylsma will continue to ride the hot hand in Johnson for the time being.

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