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- January hasn't been a kind month for Lars Eller. He has just 12 points in 44 games, his lowest PPG average of any month.
When he signed with the Habs two summers ago, Jaroslav Spacek was expected to be an anchor on the powerplay but that hasn't been the case yet. With nearly half of the defence who suited up in the playoffs having moved on though, 2011-12 could be a year of opportunity for the Czech blueliner.
2010-11It was a season full of offensive struggles and injuries for Spacek as his games played total was his lowest since the lockout while his goal total (one) was a career low. He did, however, elevate his physical play compared to his first campaign in Montreal as he surpassed the one hit per game mark. He was also a non-factor with the man advantage as he had just three powerplay points (all assists).
Season Stats: 59 GP, 1 goals, 15 assists, +9, 45 PIMS, 0 PPG, 0 GWG, 65 shots, 19:14 TOI
For the first time with the Habs, Spacek won't have fellow countryman Roman Hamrlik playing alongside him. That coupled with the returns of Josh Gorges and Andrei Markov will force him onto the 3rd pairing where he'll likely see time with youngsters Alexei Yemelin and Yannick Weber while also sitting the odd game in the pressbox. Assuming Montreal goes with the traditional three forward, two defenceman powerplay units, Spacek should still see some time, albeit limited, on the man advantage. Expect his average time on ice to drop considerably though, closer to the 16-17 minute range.
Projected StatsAs much as I'd like to be optimistic, I expect Spacek will put up similar production as he has in his first couple of seasons with the Canadiens. A likely reduction in ice time while playing with a rookie or near-rookie aren't generally recipes for a bounce back season. In standard points leagues, you'd be wise to stay away unless you're in a very deep league. However, he does hold a little more value in head-to-head leagues as he has been on the positive side in plus/minus for six consecutive seasons. As a late round pick in a deep league with that format, he brings a modicum of upside to the table.
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- HabsWorld 2011 Fantasy Focus posted by B. La Rose