Here are your fantasy studs from December 13:
Goals: Kris Versteeg continues his mystical 2011-12 season with another multi-goal night – he had two, one of which was shorthanded – to lead the four two goal scorers on Tuesday. The other three among the group include Tim Connolly, who had the Leafs overtime winner, as well as Brad Marchand and Dan Cleary who provided the daggers for Boston and Detroit respectively. As a Versteeg owner who picked him up at the beginning of the season as a “Kris Versteeg, that’s a cute idea” play, he has really turned it on this season and I couldn’t be happier. The benefit to having a guy like him on a team like Florida is that he gets minutes in all phases of the game since Florida needs it with their ongoing Frankenstein project. Cleary is good for points here and there while Marchand is a lock for penalty minutes on top of 20+ goals. The latter is owned in pretty much every league while Cleary isn’t a bad option in really deep leagues. Connolly should finish the season with 50+ points, assuming he’s healthy. He has 15 points in 18 games this season.
Assists: Jason Spezza, Ilya Kovalchuk and Patrice Bergeron headlined tonight’s big playmakers, putting up two assists each as their three clubs all won. If they’re not already owned in your league, your friends are idiots and you should victimize them now, this post can wait. Moving on to the other four multi-assist getters, Matt Carle and James van Riemsdyk (who from here forward will be referred to as JVR in every post written by yours truly) each picked up a couple of assists in Philly’s Claude Giroux-free 5-1 demolition over the listless Capitals. You can do worse than Matt Carle on the blueline and JVR is one of those players who is just waiting to break out. P.A. Parenteau has had a very under the radar season with 18 assists through 27 games (IMAGINE IF HE WAS ON A GOOD TEAM). Desharnais probably isn’t reliable enough to be a lock on your fantasy team, but with the injury luck Montreal seems to have in recent memory who knows what chances he’ll get?
PIMs: Zach Bogosian is our undisputed PIMs heavyweight champion tonight with 15 in the Jets win over the Minnesota Wild. Bogosian was given a five minute major and game misconduct for boarding Pierre-Marc Bouchard of the Wild in the third period (VIDEO BELOW). Add Bogosian’s second period goal (UNASSISTED AT THAT) and you have a solid night for Bogosian owners everywhere. Bogosian is more than capable of playing a rough game and if his offensive ability catches up with that, you have a VERY solid fantasy defenceman.
Goaltending: Tuukka Rask continues to make Claude Julien’s job the easiest in the world while Richard Bachman proves to be a revelation for the Stars who patiently wait for the return of Kari Lehtonen. Rask posted a 41 save shutout against the L.A. Kings to post the top fantasy performance of the night, narrowly edging Bachman’s 34 save shutout against the Rangers en route to a 1-0 win. Anytime a rookie ‘tender outduels Henrik Lundqvist you have to raise your eyebrows. If you need goaltending help, take a shot with Bachman as I don’t see Andrew Raycroft stealing too many starts from him going forward. Rask is a tougher case given that he’s splitting time with another all-world goalie in Tim Thomas, but if he’s available he’s a solid option for spot starts, ESPECIALLY if you own Thomas already.