As we start to wrap up the fantasy hockey season, it is time to once again take a look at some of the trends that could affect your rosters in your championship matchups. There are still plenty to play for in many leagues, which means there are trends you need to be aware of, so let's get started.
Martin St. Louis shines: When we made our fantasy hockey player power rankings at the beginning of the year, there was one player we missed badly on. The Tampa Bay Lightning forward has had a terrific season and is closing in on his second Art Ross trophy for leading the NHL in total points scored. If you have owned St. Louis this year, he has been as solid a fantasy hockey player as there is. With the most important week of the year among us, continue to use the Lightning forward as you normally would as he continues to chase the point-scoring title.
Erik Karlsson returns: In one of the biggest surprises of the NHL season, Karlsson (Achilles') is returning to the Ottawa Senators lineup Thursday night against the Washington Capitals. Karlsson was hurt on one of the most controversial plays of the year, when Pittsburgh Penguins forward Matt Cooke stepped on the back of his ankle with his skate, tearing 70 percent of the star defenseman's Achilles'. Many assumed his year was over at that point. If you have the chance to snag Karlsson off the waiver wire, it would be a good idea to try to pick him up. If you had him stuffed away on Injured Reserve, your patience is about to pay off. When healthy, Karlsson is the elite defenseman in the NHL and needs to be in your starting lineups.
Jiri Tlusty on a point-scoring tear: The Carolina Hurricanes forward has been on a nice run of collecting points of late, with a six-game streak that has seen him collect four goals and four assists. Tlusty has already collected a career high in goals this season and appears to be the perfect candidate if you are looking for a late scoring push to help get your team over the top.
Nathan Horton ailing: The Boston Bruins will be without Horton Thursday night as he deals with an upper body injury. Overall, it has been a disappointing season for the Bruins forward, as he has only had 13 goals and 9 assists in 43 games this year. Even more disappointing for his fantasy owners, is that he won't play against the Lightning. Horton has historically had some of his best games against the Lightning. If you are a Horton owner and need him over the weekend, make sure you check his status to see if he will be in the lineup.
That will do it for this week's edition of the Fantasy Hockey Trends. Good luck to all of you as you chase fantasy hockey championships this week.
About Mike Corcoran
Mike Corcoran joined KFFL in 2011 as their senior fantasy hockey writer. The Tarrytown, New York, native hosts a hockey radio show on ESPN Radio in Tampa, and covers the Tampa Bay Lightning professionally.
You can follow Mike on Twitter @MikeCorcoranNHL