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Sunday, January 18, 2009
Revenge outing shows fantasy value


It's often said that revenge is a dish best served cold. Atlanta's Rich Peverley certainly heaped out a decent portion to the Predators and the home crowd Saturday night.

A week after the Predators waived Peverley and the Thrashers picked him up, the faceoff specialist assisted on three goals in Atlanta's 7-2 win over Nashville. It was his second straight night with three points, and four of those six points have come on a goal on which Ilya Kovalchuk also earned a point. The two appear to be a perfect fit. Peverley is a must-add in deeper leagues and even is someone to look at in shallow leagues if you need help at center.

With Kovalchuk looking more lately like the first-line winger he was drafted as in fantasy leagues, the addition of a linemate he has chemistry with should further elevate his value. For those looking to invest in a top fantasy asset, Kovalchuk makes a pretty good target. With a ho-hum October performance (six points in 10 games) well behind him, Kovalchuk has been notching more than a point per game in November, December and through eight January games. He also has a renewed sense of urgency in his play since being named captain this week.

The third member of the line is former Penguins prospect Colby Armstrong, who has been relatively average since coming over to Atlanta in last season's Marian Hossa trade. But his 13 goals this season could be a sign of things to come if the Kovalchuk-Peverley-Armstrong connection continues to generate offense. Armstrong does have four points in five games with a plus-5 rating in that same span. If you miss out on Peverley in deep leagues, consider adding Armstrong as a consolation prize.

Ice chips

The third pick from the 2008 draft, Zach Bogosian, managed a goal and an assist for the Thrashers in their romp over Nashville. It was just his fourth game since breaking his leg in October and his third contest since going to the AHL for a conditioning stint. He remains an interesting addition in deeper leagues, as Atlanta can't claim it can rely on an abundance of puck-moving defensemen. … Pekka Rinne couldn't slow the Thrashers' attack after relieving Dan Ellis, but he showed he is still the Preds' goaltender of choice for fantasy in stopping 24 of 28 shots, compared to Ellis' one of four. … A real barn burner of a game in San Jose as the host Sharks downed Detroit 6-5. Ryane Clowe had the highlight fantasy game with assists on goals by Dan Boyle, Christian Ehrhoff, Jonathan Cheechoo and the controversial winner by Patrick Marleau. Clowe often runs hot and cold, and he has nine points in seven January games. Consider selling him high toward the end of the month. He followed up a 16-point November with a six-point December (playing 13 games in each month). … Even though Jarome Iginla clearly is slumping through a goal-scoring drought, he is still chipping in to fantasy teams. Although he has scored just two goals in 13 games, Iginla still managed two assists as Calgary lost to Phoenix 4-3. He even threw in a fighting major for good measure, squaring off with former teammate David Hale. Even though the goals aren't coming for Iggy, he still has 13 points in those 13 games, so don't panic and just wait for him to come around. … Mikkel Boedker treated us to flashes of his future scoring prowess with his seventh and eighth of the season for the Coyotes. His second -- the eventual winner -- came on a breakaway that allowed him to show off his speed. But the eighth pick in last year's draft is not an option this season unless he gets promoted to the top line. … Brian Elliott made his fourth straight start for the Ottawa Senators, and it was another success story. He allowed four goals, but that's a pretty decent total to give up to Montreal. Elliott did look a little out of place in the shootout that gave the Canadiens a 5-4 win, but those stats don't count in fantasy. He remains a great pickup for those looking for help in net. … Andrei Kostitsyn scored for the fifth straight game, and his linemates Sergei Kostitsyn and Robert Lang picked up assists on the goal. They remain a red-hot trio this month. … Jere Lehtinen continues to show some signs of life. He and linemate Mike Ribeiro each had a goal and an assist in the Stars' 3-2 shootout win over the Kings. Lehtinen has points in three straight and six points in seven January games. Lehtinen remains available in one-third of ESPN.com leagues because of an injury-riddled start to the season. Consider scooping him up. … Tim Thomas has used an injury to tandem mate Manny Fernandez to climb back into the driver's seat for Boston's starting job. Thomas has started four straight, winning three of the contests and allowing a total of five goals. Both goaltenders remain must-plays in fantasy, especially now that Fernandez is back from his undisclosed injury and serving as a backup. Thomas may have lost Saturday's contest 2-1 to Washington, but he stopped 28 of 30 shots and looked good while doing it. … Chuck Kobasew assisted on Marc Savard's goal for the Bruins and has three assists in three games that Phil Kessel has missed with mononucleosis. With Kessel expected to miss about a month, Kobasew is a decent add. … Unless you are an Islanders fan, you have to laugh about the club's goaltending situation. With Rick DiPietro and replacement Joey MacDonald sidelined with injuries, the team signed former backup Wade Dubielewicz to return from the Russian Continental Hockey League. However, Dubie was subject to waiver rules on his re-entry to the league, and the Blue Jackets decided to snatch him up Saturday. That left Yann Danis in net to drop his record to 0-5 with a 3-1 loss to New Jersey. With Doug Weight also hurting, the team is left with little offensive power, and only Bill Guerin and Mark Streit should be even considered for fantasy lineups (and they probably should be left out at the moment).

The resurrection of the Panthers -- and, more importantly, Nathan Horton and Jay Bouwmeester -- continued with a 4-3 win over rival Tampa Bay. Horton has three assists for a total of nine points in seven January contests. Bouwmeester had a goal and assist to continue a six-game point streak in which he has seven points. David Booth also continued his hot play with an assist to give him 14 points in his past 10 games. Tomas Vokoun also continued his strong play of late, relieving Craig Anderson with the Panthers trailing 3-1 and stopping all 22 shots he faced. Get on board with these cats, as Florida's recent play definitely is fantasy-friendly. … The Blues fell 2-1 to the Blackhawks in overtime, but the lone St. Louis goal was scored and assisted on by three players who are gaining fantasy relevance. David Backes' power-play tally was his second goal in two games, and he added to his tasty penalty minutes total with a two-minute minor for 119 PIMs on the season. Patrik Berglund had the first assist to give him 29 points on the season and move him into sole possession of second place in the rookie-scoring race. Carlo Colaiacovo had the second assist, giving him three power-play assists this month. He could be useful for those in deeper leagues. … After an uncharacteristic December with just six points in 13 games, Corey Perry upped his January total to eight points in five games with two goals in the Ducks' 3-0 win over Minnesota. He'll maintain top right wing numbers from here on out. … Owen Nolan gave owners a fighting major by squaring off with Steve Montador in the second period. He remains someone to march out in deeper leagues. Even though the Wild were held off the score sheet, Nolan did find the back of the net. The goal was waved off thanks to a premature whistle. … It was Jonas Hiller in net for the Ducks' win, and he notched his second shutout in January. He is the better Anaheim goaltender at the moment and Jean-Sebastien Giguere owners are encouraged to make sure they have him on their roster. … Just when Drew Stafford was gaining fantasy relevance, another line shake-up by Sabres coach Lindy Ruff has him down on the third unit. Stafford skated just more than 12 minutes with Paul Gaustad and Clarke MacArthur in the Sabres' 3-1 win over Carolina. Move him to the bench for now. Tim Connolly gets the biggest boost from the line changes as he now centers Thomas Vanek and Ales Kotalik. Connolly had two goals in the win. Line No. 1A features Derek Roy, Jason Pominville and Jochen Hecht. The trio accounted for the other Buffalo tally. … In a deal with few fantasy implications, the Oilers sent goaltender Mathieu Garon to the Penguins for goalie Dany Sabourin and forward Ryan Stone. It simply nails down Dwayne Roloson's starting gig in Edmonton, and Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers' future between the Oilers' pipes. It also lends the Penguins a more reliable starter should Marc-Andre Fleury get hurt. Until then, Garon shouldn't see much action. … Brendan Shanahan will debut with the Devils on Monday. Watch his linemates closely, as his value will depend a lot on his role on and off the power play.

Sean Allen is a fantasy baseball and hockey analyst for ESPN.com. You can e-mail him here.