As far as fantasy defensemen go, there haven’t been many better than 37-year-old Sergei Zubov and there haven’t been any that have been better for longer.
Zubov has been money in the bank since his rookie season in 1992-93, averaging more than 0.55 points per game for all of his 14 NHL seasons. That includes 11 in Dallas, sometimes referred to as “the place where offense goes to die.”
With 750 points in 1031 career games, you can imagine how staggering those numbers would be if he were quarterbacking the power play of pretty much any other team this side of New Jersey.
Zubov is at it again.
In fact, the entire team is finding the net with a lot of frequency these days, ranking in the top 10 in goals this season. If this keeps up, I may not be so fearful of my players getting traded to Dallas.
Say what you will about the Brenden Morrow, Mike Ribeiro and Jere Lehtinen line – it’s Zubov who is the centerpiece of this campaign’s spate of offense. He has 18 points in 19 contests and 13 points in his past eight. That’s good for second among rearguards in the entire league. It’s looking more and more as if he will return to the 71 points he garnered two seasons ago.
The fact that he hasn’t missed more than five games in any of his past eight seasons doesn’t hurt, either…
San Jose goaltender Evgeni Nabokov has not lost in regulation in six games and his 4-0-2 run includes a pair of shutouts.
The Sharks are also scoring more, with 20 goals in their past five contests. Funny enough, Jeremy Roenick is second in scoring with 13 points. The rest of the team has half the points that leading scorer Joe Thornton (24) has.
Patrick Marleau is starting to come around with six points in his past four matches and rookie Devin Setoguchi has seven goals in 10 games.
Setoguchi’s fantastic start is reminding me of Joe Pavelski’s wonderful start last season and Steve Bernier’s the season prior.
Similarly, expect a hot month of hockey from the youngster, followed by a cooling off period as coach Ron Wilson juggles lines for the umpteenth time. Setoguchi has a fantastic future in this league, I just don’t see sustained production this early in his career…
Injuries, from a fantasy league perspective: Expect Florida winger Rostislav Olesz to return from his hand injury sometime this week. Prior to his injury, he was showing signs of finally breaking through…Rangers sophomore Ryan Callahan (knee) is also very close…
Farm Report: Chicago prospect Martin St-Pierre, whom I expected to make the squad this season until he signed to play in the Russian Super League, must not have liked the food over there. He returned to North America and joined Chicago’s American League affiliate in Rockford. So far, he has 20 points in just 14 games, which is good for sixth in the league. The 24-year-old should be called up soon, especially with the news of Rene Bourque’s thumb injury (out four weeks).
(this column was originally published by The Hockey News November 19)
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