Vrbata scored on the power play -- his first goal since Dec. 18 -- and went minus-2 in Thursday's 4-1 loss to Washington. The first half was not kind to Vrbata, who's on pace to well short of last year's 31 goals, but it's worth noting that the two points he's picked up in the last two games both involved the Sedin twins. The Czech winger's ice time is still fluctuating and he's not always with the Sedins, but he's still seeing enough time in that prime situation to have solid potential for second-half fantasy returns.
Vrbata scored his 10th goal of the season and had an assist in Friday's win over the Red Wings. It was the first points in five games for the sniper, who logged just 15:30 of ice time Friday. While we like that he ranks eighth in the NHL with 117 shots on goal and plays on the top power-play unit, the fact he's currently being used in the bottom-six hurts his fantasy value. Expect Vrbata to continue to light the lamp at a decent rate, but with just 17 points in 32 games on the season, don't expect him to pile on too many assists.
Vrbata recorded a hat trick in Monday's win over the Sabres. Vrbata tallied his first two in the opening frame then added the third goal late with the game already in hand. The 34-year-old has been inconsistent for much of the season and looked like he might get going with five points in a four game stretch, but he followed that up with a four-game pointless streak that he brought into Monday's contest. This kind of performance could help jump start his season, but last season's 63-point campaign appears to be out of reach.
Vrbata tallied twice, with one coming on the power play, in Wednesday's 3-2 win over the Wild. After a very slow start to the season, Vrbata has start to make strides toward the production he put up last season. He is on a three-game point streak and has three goals and two assists in the last five games.
Vrbata (groin) will return to the lineup Sunday against the Devils, Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province reports. Vrbata missed the last two games with what was termed a minor groin issue, but will slot back into the lineup Sunday. Sven Bartschi appears the likely candidate to sit in Vrbata's place, which would probably place the winger alongside Chris Higgins and Jared McCann on the third line.
Rank Among Leaders
Last 7 Games
|3 Year Avg||64||21||26||47||2||8||3||3||11||17||137.7|