Archive for the ‘Fantasy Hockey’ Category

Washington Capitals v New York Rangers

If the season ended today, the New York Rangers would trail the eighth place Philadelphia Flyers by three points in the Eastern Conference standings, and miss the playoffs. Like most teams, they have dealt with injuries this season, Rick Nash has missed time with an upper-body injury, as has captain Ryan Callahan, who injured his shoulder back in late January. The team has received inconsistent play out of All-Star goalie Henrik Lundqvist this year, but to the surprise of many, and especially fantasy owners, Brad Richards has been a major disappointment so far in this shorten season.

The 32-year-old centre, who is signed through the 2018-19 season, has failed to score a goal in his last 14 games. Over that stretch, he has recorded seven assists and 29 shots on goal, but going 14 games without scoring is not what you expected from the 66-point man from a year ago.

In order to try and get him back on track, Rangers head coach John Tortorella put Richards on a line with leader scorer Carl Hagelin and Rick Nash over the past two games that resulted in two assists, but still no goals.

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Nashville Predators v Anaheim Ducks

Looking for offense on the waiver wire is always a tough assignment. You might be in the situation where you just lost Ryan Kesler for 4-6 weeks, or you took a chance on early surprises in Daniel Winnik or Mikkel Boedker, but one thing that will always help a players stock on the wire is news of being promoted to the team’s top line. Enter the little known Kyle Palmieri.

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Chicago Blackhawks v Vancouver Canucks

If you’re an owner of Canucks netminder Roberto Luongo, like I am, the question marks that surrounding him heading into the season still exist as of today.

Luongo is not starting the majority of games in Vancouver. Looking at the numbers, he’s basically splitting the starts  (9 for Schneider, 8 for Luongo) with Cory Schneider, and it doesn’t look like he’s any closer to being traded. So frustrated owners, who to date, have been rewarded with a 5-0-3 record, with a league leading 1.45 GAA and second best save percentage in the league at .941%, have to basically continue to wait for Vancouver to make a move, and it doesn’t appear it’s happening in the near future.

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Florida Panthers v New Jersey Devils

Trying to find a serviceable goalie on the wire at this point in the season is definitively a tough task for owners in need of a netminder. Available goalies in your league may include the likes of Nikolai Khabibulin, Dan Ellis, Steve Mason or Jean-Sebastien Giguere, but a new name has surfaced on the wire over the last few days, and he’s a guy you might want to pick up.

Jacob Markstrom, the Panthers second round selection in 2008, has been solid once again this season playing for the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL . In 33 starts, he owns a 16-15-2 record with a 2.65 GAA and a .920 save percentage. He may not be the savior for the Panthers, although some are calling him just that, but it’s looking like he’s being given the chance to take over the the No.1  duties in Florida. Jose Theodore and Scott Clemmensen have combined to allow a league leading 3.73 goals per game. So it’s time for a change.

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Detroit Red Wings v St. Louis Blues

Owners of both Vladimir Tarasenko and Cory Conacher have been left shaking their heads the last few weeks, after both rookies have gone completely ice cold. After the two forwards exploded onto the scene to start the 2013 season, both have left owners wondering what’s gone wrong.

If you traded either of them during that hot stretch, not only was that a gutsy move, but smart when you look back. Trading either player now may be tough, but it’s still worth investigating in non-keeper pools. These guys have talent, and it’s just a matter of time before we see the offensive production return for you patient owners.

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Pittsburgh Penguins v Winnipeg Jets

Losing a defenseman on your fantasy team is never good news, but when that defenseman happens to be the best player at that position in the fantasy world, it’s really bad news.

Senators’ Erik Karlsson, who has rewarded owners with six goals, four assists, +6 rating and 63 shots to date, had his left Achilles cut by the Penguins’ Matt Cooke last night and is out for the season. Managers that own him in ESPN and Yahoo! leagues can expect him to be placed on IR in the coming days, but realistically, in non-keeper pools, you have to drop him. He may just happen to be a player on your leagues “can’t cut list”, but the commissioner can likely change the settings to allow you to make the transaction. Before the news broke that he was officially out for the season, 2,688 owners on Yahoo had already dropped him.

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Depending on the roster size of your league, the idea of carrying both goalies from one team may not be a bad idea this shortened season.

We’ve already seen many teams turn to the their backups in the early going, with most of them rewarding the team with stellar performances. In fantasy, carrying both on your team in the past was just a wasted roster spot, but if you can land some of these backups on the waiver wire this week, you may just be picking up depth at the position that will potentially help you in the trade market before your league’s deadline as well.

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