Finding points at the blueline

Drew Doughty has started off the season well with two goals and four assists.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - One of the most difficult challenges to any fantasy hockey owner is coming up with defensemen who can score points at the other end of the ice.

Since their primary goal is preventing scoring at their own end, they expend most of their energy in front of their own goaltender. But every once in a while, along comes a Mike Green or Nicklas Lidstrom who can work it at both ends of the ice.

Unfortunately, we can't all have them, so what do the rest of us do?

Most times, we look for the hot hand. A defenseman who can't score like Green for a full season, but might get hot for a few weeks or a month.

Looking at the top scoring defensemen through the first five or six games, there are half a dozen who are near the top and owned in less than 50% of all leagues. Maybe there is someone who could help you out on the list.

Matt Carle, Philadelphia - Carle current leads all NHL defensemen in scoring. It won't continue, but he might net you something in trade. He earned 26 points last year in 76 games between Philadelphia and Tampa Bay. He's a decent passer and has scored as high as 42 points in a season with San Jose back in 2006-07. His Average Draft Position (ADP) was over 360.

Kyle Quincey, Colorado - Quincey was likely a late draft selection on Draft Day (ADP 250) after posting 38 points in 72 games last season for Los Angeles. He's been involved in the power play and might be a good value to pick up or make a deal to obtain.

Drew Doughty, Los Angeles - Doughty didn't have much value on Draft Day (ADP 367), but he's started off the season well with two goals and four assists in just four games. He's very young (won't be 20 until December) and has a huge upside. He's owned in about 50% of all leagues.

Denis Grebeshkov, Edmonton - Grebeshkov is a key contributor on the Oilers' blueline and has four points in four games. He totaled 39 last season on seven goals and 32 assists. He's owned in 16% of all leagues.

Michael Del Zotto, New York Rangers - The rookie blueliner is performing very well for the Rangers with two goals and three assists. The 19-year-old, 2008 first-round draft choice is owned in only 40% of all leagues.

Daniel Girardi, New York Rangers - Girardi was a disappointment last year (four goals, 18 assists, minus 14), but has started off 2009-10 in a more promising fashion. He already has three goals after punching two past Toronto's defense on Monday night. He's owned in just 5% of all leagues.

Selected Defenseman Scoring
Player TeamGAPTS+/-PIMPPPSOG
Matt CarlePHI1784639
Kyle QuinceyCOL1561248
Drew DoughtyLA2463637
Denis GrebeshkovEDM2350419
Michael Del ZottoNYR2351447
Daniel GirardiNYR31464012


Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.