Welcome to Week 5 of Fantasy Hockey Pickups. First off I want to apologize for not being able to post last week. I was sick with a 104 fever and was unable to lift my head let alone get to my computer. Hopefully the last 2 weeks treated you well and you were able to pick up the wins. By now all rookies have played their 9 games and have either been sent down or have started their clocks on their first NHL season. This season there were more players that remained than were sent down. Last week, there were a lot of key guys that went down with injuries. Here are some guys you may want to consider as a fill in while your players are on the mend.
Ales Hemsky - RW - (EDM): Ales Hemsky had 2G, 1A, 1PPP, 2PIM, and was a +2 last week. Overall he has 15 points this year with 11A and 6PPP. Hemsky is a streaky player and can provide for all fantasy hockey scoring categories and is worth a look. Hemsky is only available in 17% of Yahoo Leagues.
James Neal - LW - (DAL): James Neal had 2G, 2A, 1PPP, 1GWG, and was a +1 last week. Overall, Neal has 16 points (8G, 8A). Neal has been on fire as of late and has produced on a nightly basis. He should strongly be considered if still available in your leagues. Neal is available in 29% of Yahoo Leagues.
Wojtek Wolski - LW - (COL): Wojtek Wolski had 3G, 1GWG, and was a +1 last week. Overall he has 13 points, 2GWG, and is a +6 thus far. Wolski has been a pleasant surprise thus far this season and is a big reason for Colorado's hot start. Wolski doesn't show any signs of slowing down yet and should be considered while on this hot streak. Wolski is available in 29% of Yahoo Leagues.
Nathan Horton - C,RW - (FLA): Nathan Horton had 1G, 6A, and was a +5 last week. Overall he has 10 points and 20PIM. Horton started off slow and has now began to pick it up. Horton has not always been a consistent player but on the nights when he is on, he will put up some big numbers. Horton should be a consideration and can be used in the C or W position. He is available in 47% of Yahoo Leagues.
Ryan Kesler - C - (VAN): Ryan Kesler had 1G, 3A, and was a +3 last week. Overall he has 13 points, with 6 coming on the power play. Ryan Kesler is currently going at a point per game pace. Kesler sees a lot of time on both the power play and penalty kill which gives him more opportunities to score. If available, Kesler should be on your roster and has stepped up quite nicely with all the injuries in Vancouver. He is available in 48% of Yahoo Leagues.
Thomas Plekanec -C - (MON): Thomas Plekanec had 1G, 3A, 2PIM, 1PPP, and was a +2 last week. Overall he has 13 points (5PPP) and is a +5. Plekanec is off to a great start this year and doesn't show any signs of letting up. Plekanec should be considered in deeper leagues and could provide some decent numbers for the rest of the season. Plekanec is available 63% of Yahoo Leagues.
James van Riemsdyk - LW - (PHI): James van Riemsdyk had 1G, 5A, 4PIM, 2PPP, and was a +4 last week. Overall he leads all NHL rookies with 11A. He won't score you many goals but can be counted for more than his fair share of assists and can provide good numbers for all your other fantasy hockey scoring categories. He is available in 77% of Yahoo Leagues.
Jarkko Ruutu - LW - (OTT): Jarkko Ruutuu had 2G and 7PIM last week. Overall he has 7 pts and 27PIM. Ruutu is not someone that will provide you with a lot of offensive numbers but can be counted on for and average of 5-7PIM a week and every once in a while, will put up some offensive numbers. Ruutu should be considered in deeper leagues as he will put up consistent PIM. He is available in 94% of Yahoo Leagues.
Mason Raymond - LW - (VAN): Mason Raymond had 2G, 1A, 2PIM, 1PPP, 1GWG, and was a +3 last week. Overall he has 5G, 6PIM, 2PPP, and 2GWG. Mason Raymond has 41 SOG thus far and is getting plenty of chances to score goals but has not capitalized on all those chances. Once he starts to put those chances in the net, Raymond will be a valuable asset in any league. Raymond is available in 95% of Yahoo Leagues.
Alex Goligoski - D - (PIT): Alex Goligoski had 2G, 1A, 2PPP, and was a +3 last week. Overall he has 12 points and is a +12 with 5PPP. With the absence of Sergi Gonchar, Goligoski has seen increased time on the PP and has capitalized on those chances. Goligoski remains in the league lead in +/- and should be considered as an everyday starter. Goligoski is only available in 23% of Yahoo Leagues.
Thomas Kaberle -D - (TOR): Thomas Kaberle had 2G, 10A, 8PPP, and 4PIM last week. In just 1 week Kaberle catapulted himself from the bottom of the pack to be one of the top scoring defenseman in the league. On a struggling Toronto team, Kaberle was able to put up phenomenal fantasy numbers last week. I'm not sure if he'll be able to keep up this pace all year, but he seems to be on a hot streak now, and if you need help on defense could be a good option right now. Kaberle is available in 26% of Yahoo Leagues.
Bryan McCabe - D - (FLA): Bryan McCabe had 1G, 1A, 1PPP, 4PIM, and was a +2 last week. McCabe didn't shock the world last week, but had a pretty solid week and looks to be on the upswing. McCabe is available in 32% of Yahoo Leagues.
Zach Bogosian - D - (ATL): Zach Bogosian had 3G last week. Overall he has 5G (1PPG&1SHG) and 12 PIM. Bogosian is among the team leaders with 25 SOG so far. He sees time on both the PP and PK which attributes for his 1PPP & 1SHG. Bogosian has flown under the radar thus far and if available, is worth a look. Bogosian is available in 35% of Yahoo Leagues.
Jason Demers - D - (SJ): Jason Demers so far this year has 10A, 8PIM, 4PPP, and is a +7. The rookie blue liner seems to be adjusting well to the NHL. Demers seems to be producing well thus far, while flying under the radar in most leagues. He is definitely worth a look in deeper leagues Demers is available in 71% of Yahoo Leagues.
Pekka Rinne - G - (NSH): Pekka Rinne had 3W, 0.76 GAA, .968 SV%, and 1 SO last week. After a not so great start to the season, Rinne has regained his form and has solidified himself as the starter once again. Rinne is available in 33% of Yahoo Leagues.
Andrew Raycroft - G - (VAN): Andrew Raycroft had 2W, 1.83 GAA, .930SV%, and 1 SO last week. It is uncertain how long Roberto Luongo will be out with his injury, but Raycroft has been playing well in his absence. If you own Luongo, it might worth picking up Raycroft for the time being. Raycroft is available in 86% of Yahoo Leagues.
Danny Briere - RW - (PHI): Groin - DTD as of 10/31. Impact: Briere will be out this week, take him out of your lineup.
Martin Erat - RW - (NSH): Lower Body - DTD as of 10/29. Impact: It is uncertain when he will be back on the ice.
Simon Gagne - LW - (PHI): Sports Hernia - IR as of 10/26. Impact: Place him on your IR, he will be out for about 6 weeks.
Valtteri Filppula - C - (DET): Broken Wrist - IR as of 10/30. Impact: Place him on your IR.
Roberto Luongo - G - (VAN): Fractured Rib - DTD as of 10/28. Impact: It is uncertain how long he will be out for so you may want to be careful before you start him.
Evgeni Malkin - C - (PIT): Strained Right Shoulder - DTD as of 10/29. Impact: Malkin will miss 2-3 weeks. Look for a short term replacement
Andy McDonald - LW - (STL): Upper Body - DTD as of 10/31. Impact: The injury does not look to be serious but it is uncertain how long he will be out.
Alex Ovechkin - LW - (WAS): Upper Body - DTD as of 11/1. Impact: Looks to be only out this week and could be back as early as this weekend.
Jason Spezza - C - (OTT): Upper Body - DTD as of 10/29. Impact: Looks to be out this week. Look for a short term replacement.
Eric Staal - C - (CAR): Upper Body - DTD as of 11/2. Impact: Will definitely be out for this week, so bench him and look for a replacement.
Anton Volchenkov - D - (OTT): Elbow - IR as of 10/30. Impact: Place him on your IR as he will be out a few weeks.
Good Luck with your match-ups this week!