Fantasy Hockey ONE (1/19)


Despite the light schedule, it is still time to take a look back at what happened last night in the NHL for our fantasy hockey fans.



Rise Of The Ducks? — Something told us the Anaheim Ducks could not be kept down the entire season.  In a slightly similar way to the New Jersey Devils last year, Anaheim has bounced back with points in seven straight games (6-0-1) after a 6-2 thrashing of the Phoenix Coyotes last night.  Remember Phoenix just came off a 6-1 rout of the Colorado Avalanche Monday Night.  The Ducks were a team built on maximizing scoring chances (quality over quantity).  Early in the season they were awful at doing it and getting scored upon for it.  However, now they have figured it out.  Scoring seems to be coming from all four lines in the last two weeks.  Even Saku Koivu had a seven point week last week.  Jonas Hiller has been on fire of late, stringing together quality starts.  There is no question the Ducks are playing the kind of game they should have been all year but it is great news for fantasy owners who cannot worry about where this has been but they have to see how far it can take them.  Their schedule into mid-February looks excellent for a continued revival.

Woe Is Buffalo — The team that finally found an owner willing to spend is watching his investments go up in smoke literally.  Buffalo would have actually had seven goals scored on them last night but an apparent hand pass that no one saw disallowed yet another goal.  The 6-2 loss to a team that is considred elite in the West is not unheard of but it is the way this team has been losing games since the Milan Lucic hit on Ryan Miller, that has people talking.  Miller’s 3.12 GAA and .898 save percentage is a far cry from even his career numbers (2.60 GAA, .914 save percentage).  Derek Roy is struggling mightily and everyone knows what a dud Ville Leino has been.  That cohesive “Top Six” scoring has not been there all season and there are few signs it is returning anytime soon.  Even the grit that was somewhat there seems to be replaced by a melancholy that should drive fantay owners away from mostly everyone except Jason Pominville and Thomas Vanek.  It does not get any easier for Buffalo because nothing changes there it seems.

Can anyone figure out Washington? — The Capitals looked lifeless against the New York Islanders on Tuesday but played discipline and took advantage of chances on Wednesday?  Does this make sense?  Where is the consistency?  So they had 17 shots and 9 scoring chances Tuesday but 16 shots and 11 scoring chances (however 3 went in).  They were badly outshot in both games (31-16 last night).  It almost looked like Washington only wanted to press the issue last night when they wanted to.  Okay, it looked like a trap in a modified form last night but Michal Neuvirth posted a 31 save shutout and guys like Marcus Johansson and John Carlson saw the scoresheet.  They have to if Washington is going to have success but the bigger question is what style of play does Washington want to play?  Does Washington even know?  Keep an eye on this fantasy hockey fans.  That story is not going away.



Thursday, January 19, 2012

Teams Notes
Boston at New Jersey 7:00 PM | Gameday
Minnesota at Toronto 7:00 PM | Gameday
Pittsburgh at NY Rangers 7:00 PM | Gameday
NY Islanders at Philadelphia 7:00 PM | Gameday
Nashville at Columbus 7:00 PM | Gameday
Edmonton at St. Louis 8:00 PM | Gameday
Buffalo at Winnipeg 8:30 PM | Gameday
Detroit at Phoenix 9:00 PM | Gameday
Calgary at Los Angeles 10:30 PM | Gameday
Ottawa at San Jose 10:30 PM | Gameday

This night does have a considerable amount of intrigue so we got Ian Gooding on the scene to do his Pick Six.  Here it goes.  Oh and get well soon Ian as the sickness seems to spread in the hockey world.



There will be no lengthy introduction for the Pick Six for Thursday, since I am feeling under the weather right now. A few people I know believe that my current condition was brought on by my attending the Canucks/Kings game last night – a game I enjoyed watching even though my Canucks lost in a shootout.

Speaking of sickness, this Pick Six includes two players from a team that is clearly not well right now – the Buffalo Sabres. It will be interesting to see if long-time coach Lindy Ruff makes it through the week, let alone the season.

Jaroslav Halak, G, STL – start
Even though Brian Elliott’s unexpectedly amazing play has forced a timeshare, Halak has racked up five consecutive wins, including shutouts in two of last three starts. He is starting at home against an Edmonton team that is struggling in all areas right now (Jeremy Rutherford). Make sure you’re not leaving him on your bench any longer.

Kevin Shattenkirk, D, STL – start
Shattenkirk’s point totals this month (three points in seven games) aren’t that impressive. However, he is currently a +7 this month for a Blues team that has made its way into the discussion. Overall, Shattenkirk has 23 points and a +17 for the season – a nice followup after bursting onto the scene last season with Colorado. There’s no reason that he, or any high-scoring Blues, won’t find success on Thursday against the Oilers.

Taylor Hall, LW, EDM – bench
Hall is doubtful for Thursday after taking an errant Corey Potter skate to his head during pre-game warmups (CBC). The former first overall pick has a strange record of injuries over his brief NHL career, as you may recall his broken ankle from a fight last season. The 30-stitch cut will probably need more time to heal than just overnight. Also expect him to be wearing a helmet during pre-game warmups when he returns.

Ryan Miller, G, BUF – bench
Did Miller ask for a trade or not? That seems to be one of the burning questions in the hockey world this week (TSN). Something we can probably agree on is the fact that Miller is not an elite fantasy goalie right now – possibly even into the future. His 11-13-2 record, 3.12 GAA, and .898 SV% have done more harm than good to fantasy rosters. The majority of the fiery Miller’s struggles have followed his return from the concussion that he suffered at the hands of Milan Lucic. The struggling Sabres will be playing their second of back-to-back games against Winnipeg on Thursday, so don’t expect a ton of support.

Jason Pominville, RW, BUF – start
Hey, it’s not all bad in Buffalo. With his two goals on Wednesday against Chicago, Pominville leads the Sabres with 46 points (17g-29a) in 46 games. The Sabres’ captain and Thomas Vanek are probably the only Sabres worth starting in a fantasy lineup right now, as both are above 40 points and no other Sabre has more than 25 to his name.

Todd Bertuzzi, RW, DET – start
Fantasy hockey is all about linemates, and when you have linemates named Pavel Datsyuk and Johan Franzen, you can expect to earn points. Big Bert has reappeared on the fantasy landscape recently, scoring three goals and two assists in his last three games. The Red Wings’ ascent to the top of the Western Conference has also benefitted Bertuzzi, who currently sits at a +21.



1. Patrick Marleau (San Jose)

2. Jonathan Quick (LA)

3. Adam Henrique (New Jersey)



1. Martin Brodeur (New Jersey)

2. Olli Jokinen (Calgary)

3. Ryan Smyth (Edmonton)


There you have it ladies and gentlemen.  Good luck tonight with your teams and we will be on Twitter the whole way to get you through the night.  It’s alright.  Thanks for reading.

About Chris Wassel

Simply I am a hockey writer who is a jack of all trades. Whether it is draft, fantasy, NHL, KHL, AHL, etc...I probably can write about it. The challenge in hockey is to be able to step out of your comfort zone and write like you are still there. Hopefully you enjoy the humor in the writing on the site and tell your friends. Thanks for reading!

Fantasy Hockey ONE (11/9)



Florida put an old fashioned whooping on Toronto last night at the ACC by a score of 5-1.  Yes Phil Kessel did score the only goal for Toronto but it was a 38 save performance by Jose Theodore that was a bit of a surprise.  There are certain fantasy nuggets from last night that need to be mentioned but for the sake of brevity were on the twitter account last night.  Give it a follow @TheProgramBTR.  It is never a dull experience.

So let’s take a quick look back and an even faster look ahead at tonight in the NHL.



Jamie Benn, F, Dallas Stars — Benn is a fantasy beast in Dallas for years to come.  That was the quote I got from one scout last night who is just amazed at his constant work ethic.  Points are not as easy to come by in Dallas as they are looking right now.  His 19 points on the year should not be much of a surprise and his 3 points last night were a testament to his grit and determination.  Washington got hit by the “BENN EXPRESS” last night and had few answers, if any.

Adam Henrique, F, New Jersey Devils — Sure he made a bit of a gaffe last night that could have been a huge one had they lost but Henrique atoned for his sins and sniped the game winner against Carolina last night.  A win in regulation has been rare to come by for New Jersey this year and it was a game they had to have.  Yes this Center will have his growing pains but it will be a fun ride indeed for people that own him in fantasy leagues at least until Travis Zajac gets back.

The Powerless Play — The Chicago Blackhawks have the worst power play in the NHL and it is killing fantasy owners from here and there to everywhere.  Literally this has been something I have been hearing about since Week 1 in fantasy leagues.  At first, it was hey its early, there are no worries.  Now it has hit full panic and gets pub on Puck Daddy.  Now a month into the season guys like Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, and Jonathan Toews are answering questions that they should have answers to already.  It is more than just a passing concern and we will leave it at that.



Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Teams Notes
NY Rangers at Ottawa 7:30 PM | Gameday
Philadelphia at Tampa Bay 7:30 PM | Gameday
Nashville at Anaheim 10:00 PM | Gameday

It will be a light night in the NHL and as we have said there is not too much to keep an eye on but we have some quick hitters to throw at people as always.



The goaltending tonight — This could be a rare night where the over hits in all three games though it is not likely, it is possible.  Ottawa can score goals and give them up.  Philly and Tampa are self explanatory here and well so are Nashville and Anaheim honestly.  Maybe our Team Turkey will not be a goalie but somehow we have our doubts.

Crosby Update — We have no update other than this is “status quo” and his playing status is now up in the air for Friday, next Tuesday, and maybe beyond.  Information is tough to come by on this one so now we are advising fantasy players to just sit tight and wait for something more tangible as far as credible information.


Tonight we will be live tweeting as always plus there is the show too with the “Montreal Screwjob” theme starting at 8pm ET.  Be there!


About Chris Wassel

Simply I am a hockey writer who is a jack of all trades. Whether it is draft, fantasy, NHL, KHL, AHL, etc...I probably can write about it. The challenge in hockey is to be able to step out of your comfort zone and write like you are still there. Hopefully you enjoy the humor in the writing on the site and tell your friends. Thanks for reading!