Every game is important but divisional games are extremely key games to win. Week 11 is an important week for the Pacific division as there are 6 divisional match-ups this week. So in this weeks column we will look at one player from each team in the Pacific Division:
Ryane Clowe: Clowe has provided the Sharks with great secondary offence, scoring 19 points through 29 games. Last season Clowe score 52 points and is on pace for about the same amount. Clowe is a scoring power forward who can player either wing, which is great for pools with positional requirements. One word of caution with Clowe is that he has yet to play a full NHL season and is somewhat injury prone.
Wayne Simmonds: The Los Angeles Kings are getting scoring from 3 lines and Simmonds is a big reason why. Simmonds is an energetic spark who will compensate the offensive stars in LA. Simmonds wonít put up huge offensive numbers, as his upside is around 60 points. Ryan Smyth and Justin Williams are both injury prone and have already missed time this season, while Alexander Frolov is inconsistent and lacks the drive to be a star so there is plenty of opportunity for Simmonds to move up to a spot on the top 2 lines.
Stephane Robidas: If Robidas is still available in your pool grab him now! Robidas had some big shoes to fill with the departure of Sergei Zubov and boy has he stepped up. Robidasís career high for goals is 9 and points is 26, this season after just 27 games Robidas already has 7 goals and 18 points. Like LA, Dallas has 3 scoring lines and Robidas is cashing in on all that offensive production, can you say ďCareer Year!Ē
Shane Doan: The Phoenix Coyotes have come back down to earth after their great start but the one thing that remains the same is Shane Doan. Doan has been with the organizations since their days in Winnipeg and has been the teamís most consistent scorer over the past several seasons. Doan is overrated when it comes to fantasy pools; he will never be an elite offensive star but will consistently get you 70-80 points.
Jonas Hiller: After last seasonís playoffs many expected Hiller to carry that momentum over and take a strong hold of the starting position however the Ducks has struggled all season and Hiller has not played that strong. Posting a record of 7-9-1, goals against average over 3 and save percentage around 91% will not cut it. Luckily for Hiller, J.S. Giguere play isnít much better, so for now expect both goalies to spilt starts till one goalie gets hot.
Finally we will highlight the Prospect of the Week:
Jonathan Bernier: Bernier is the Kings goalie of the future and LA management is doing the right thing with his development. Goalies tend to take longer to develop and throwing your future goalie on the ice while your rebuilding is not the way to grow confidence, instead Bernier has been playing in Manchester (AHL) where he is putting up strong numbers. Right now Jonathan Quick is getting the Kings wins but he is just holding Bernierís spot till next season. With such a young, strong core on defense and a ton of offensive threats up front the Kings are going to contend for many years and Bernier will be the beneficiary.