Colorado Avalanche v Anaheim Ducks

The Colorado Avalanche are currently dead last in the Western Conference standings, but incredibly just six points behind the San Jose Sharks for the eighth and final playoff spot. The team has just three wins this month, and to make matters worse, their highest paid player on the team, Paul Stastny, has no goals in his last six games, recording a minus six rating over that period with just one assist.

Stastny, who was involved in the rumour mill at last year’s trade deadline, is a tough piece to move these days due to his salary, and more importantly, his cap hit for next season. He will earn $6.6 million in 2013-14, the same salary he will bring in this season, making one wonder if the Avalanche are even considering using one of their amnesty buyouts on him this summer.

Fantasy owners have seen a decline in production from the centre since the 2009-10 season, when he recorded 20 goals and 59 assists, while playing in 81 games that season. Since that year, Stastny has recorded 57 points (2010-11), 53 points (2011-12), and now 17 in this campaign, making him a possible drop candidate in your pool.

To put things into perspective, Stastny, owned in 53 percent of Yahoo Leagues! and 96 percent of ESPN Leagues, is currently tied with the likes of Tyler Bozak, Jannik Hansen, Daniel Winnik, Matt Stajan and Bryan Bickell for 120th on the NHL’s points list this season. The company he’s now involved with in the fantasy world, makes him a waiver wire possibility, and in the mind of one Denver Post writer, even deserves to be a healthy scratch for the Avs in the near future.

From Adrian Dater of the Denver Post:

“When does Paul Stastny get a night off because of his play? Frankly, I thought he was not good again tonight. Listen, Stastny is a great guy and it’s nothing personal, but I just think he needs to be better and I saw another kind of lackluster result tonight. One nitpicky thing: on the Stars’ second goal of the night, by Trevor Daley, Stastny was right in the path of Daley’s attempted shot, which wound up going in. But instead of stand there and taking the blocked shot, Stastny kept skating by, and I think he served enough of a screen to Semyon Varlamov to confuse him on the shot, react late and let a short-side shot beat him through the 5-hole.

Where is the toughness and leadership there? Where is the self sacrifice, to block a routine shot? Instead, Stastny just floated around in the D-zone that whole shift and the puck wound up in the back of his net – something that has happened a lot this year when he’s been on the ice.

Stastny was a minus-2 tonight with one shot on goal. When does he get his wake-up call healthy scratch? I think he’s been coddled a bit too much here, frankly. I don’t mean that in as mean a way as it sounds. I just think that the Avs somehow think he’s above reproach, and I don’t see why. And if he’s not going to score at all, at least he should pull his socks up and take a simple blocked shot for the team once in a while.”

Top 5 pickups in Yahoo!

1. Devin Setoguchi (MIN)

2. Patrick Wierioch (OTT)

3. Jake Muzzin (LA)

4. Zach Bogosian (WPG)

5. Sergei Gonchar (OTT)

Top 5 drops in Yahoo!

1. Justin Faulk (CAR)

2. Anders Lindback (TB)

3. Johan Hedberg (NJ)

4. Victor Hedman (TB)

5. Damien Brunner (DET)

Greatest Change in percentage owned on ESPN:

1. Joffrey Lupul (TOR) 69.8%

2. Brad Boyes (NYI) 46.3%

3. Alexander Steen (STL) 40.4%

4. Curtis Glencross (CGY) 38.5%

5. Kyle Turris (OTT) 37.6%

If you any fantasy questions this season, let me know in the comment section, and good luck this week.